My first Muscle Up

I’m trying to put a timeline together, starting with when I began work on the Olympic Rings, and when I finally completed a muscle up (April 28th 2015). The reason I want to put a timeline together is that I’m usually the kind of person that gives up on the things I can’t do, and instead I focus on the things I’m already good at.

We’ll start in June 2014, when I spent a weekend training with Ido Portal. I had already quit the the gym at this point because I had leant that all that weight lifting gave me the aesthetic look of someone who was in good shape, without any real strength or stamina to back it up. I had replaced the gym with Rushfit (see previous blog post) and was feeling stronger than before, even though I was now lighter. Ido introduced me to the Olympic Rings. The Rings are a great piece of equipment to expose those that look the part, but lack substance. By substance, I mean integrated, full body strength and conditioning.

I thought a muscle up on the Rings looked easy, a similar motion to climbing over a wall as a child, at a time when all walls were above head height. But when I tried a muscle up for the first time, the Rings exposed me too, and I didn’t even get close to completing one. So I decided to buy some Olympic Rings of my own (because I don’t have a gym membership) and continue to work at it. The Rings arrived in the post a month after training with Ido (I can’t find a purchase order so I’m guessing), so that brings us to July 2014. 8 months later, I complete a muscle up.

8 months is a crazy amount of time for me to stick at something while consistently failing. Others will progress faster. I only do one session a week on the Olympic Rings because I have other training commitments, so maybe I was particularly slow. But persistence, persistence, persistence, repetition, repetition, repetition, and your body will eventually master the movements that you throw at it. The next goal, string multiple muscle ups together into a set, 6 consecutive muscle ups seems like a good target. In a later post I’ll go through the different exercises that you can do that lead to a successful muscle up, but for now, just know that if you’re not good a something, it means you need to work on it, and don’t fear failure, you’ll get there eventually.

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