Be Good At Everything

August 29, 2011 — 10 Comments

“You can’t be good at everything.”

Why not?

Ok, I guess you can’t be good at everything. But, I’m gonna talk about “fitness”, and why I hate it when someone everyone says that “you can’t be good at everything.”

Defining fitness briefly, and I actually like the CrossFit definition-(I can hear the eyes rolling and cries of despair).  The aspects (aspects, not skills. Skills are things like running, climbing, throwing, catching…) that make up fitness are strength, power, speed, agility, coordination, endurance, and flexibility (I actually prefer mobility).  The standard thought regarding training is that you have to sacrifice one area for another, and be strong and powerful with no endurance or mobility; be skinny and have great stamina but cannot squat your bodyweight; be a yogi that can’t do anything other than the broken wing eagle pose.  These arguments are of course ridiculous, just typical “this or that” thought.  Realistically you can be good at all those things.

We just gotta have a better view of what “good” is.  Good is not the best. Good is better than average. Good is something you are proud of. Good is good. We have a tendency to compare ourselves to the best(s) in every category. That’s frustrating and can be demoralizing. You can be good at all of those aspects of fitness; you may most likely not be the best at any one aspect-but being better than the vast majority of others in all aspects is pretty damn awesome.  Let’s be honest, most are NOT competing in any events; so the obsession with slightly improving one aspect- be it strength, endurance, etc- by focusing on that aspect and ignoring the other aspects is pretty useless.

Now, if you are competing, or are very focused on one personal goal or set of similar goals, then tailoring your training to support your goals or contest is great. However, the vast majority of us do not compete (running in the rock and roll marathon isn’t competing unless you have a chance at winning, BTW), and those specific and arbitrary goals of focused individuals are also not terribly common. The most common goals are to “be fit”, “not hurt”, “move better” and of course, to “look good naked” (or something along those lines).  You can accomplish those things at once-and you don’t have to follow a nazi esque approach of one method or another.  Getting “fit” is not a “my way or the highway” endeavor. Getting good at all of it is pretty simple: do some strength work, some mobility and agility work, some conditioning, some play, sleep well, eat well, and don’t obsess over arbitrary aspirations to take your back squat from 450lbs to 455lbs, or your 10k from 40 minutes to 39 minutes. Take what is lagging or lacking, emphasize it a bit more than the other aspects, and have fun. Seriously, have fun, enjoy yourself-otherwise it’s just another job.

My general split:

  • Monday: Strength and Power @ gym or with rocks outside
  • Tuesday:rest, or MovNat Conditioning or Basketball or yoga
  • Wednesday: Rest, or conditioning with MovNatting
  • Thursday: Strength and Power @ gym or with rocks outside
  • Friday: Rest. Foam Roll and TV with stretching, or a massage.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 8 hour MovNat workshops and practice. Endurance.
Author’s note:  In MovNat the focus is on the quality of movement, and once you have mastered certain skills you can start to address your personal goals of conditioning through the technical practice of your mastered skills. 

10 responses to Be Good At Everything


    Would love to know a bit more about your “MovNat Conditioning”


      My conditioning via MovNatting has no particular program that I follow. I go to a park, and work on skills such as climbing, balancing, running, tumbling–it depends on the park a lot. I do it for however long feels good-it’s very intuitive and opportunistic training.

    Scott Stephenson August 30, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Great article and I like your philosophy, particularly the “aspects” vs “skills” distinction.

    I am very excited to participate in the MovNat workshop in Chapel Hill. Seeing the world as a playground and a gym is something I am working to open my eyes to.


    Amen! There are far too many fun ways to play to just pick one.


    I’m pleased Movnatting is a word now


    hi clifton when you do your strength and power workout do you do have a plan of attack or just whatever you feel like on the day

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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