100kg Squats, Chin Ups, and How To Get Things Done

Me So there are two things I want to talk to you about. They are 100kg squats and chin ups.

There is also stuff that happened in between, and I’d like to tell you about those things too!

First things first, Will is a coach in CrossFit Ireland and he pinned the tail right on the donkeys bottom when he asked the question; “Have you earned the right to complain?” He even wrote a short article about which I've linked to in the comment section below. You will hear me talk about earning the right to complain a lot in this spiel and this is where I got it.

So it starts with my chin-up ‘fantasy’! A chin up is when you hang from a bar and pull yourself up, palms facing towards you, so that you chin is over the bar. I love the idea of being able to lift my own body weight. For me it epitomises strength… moving your own body off the ground is such a great feeling.

I started to talk about my goal so it made it much more real, and I visualised the whole thing – chalk my hands, big jump, grab the bar and pull! So one day in the gym during a warm up, one of the coaches saw me doing a few assisted chin-ups and asked if I had tried and unassisted chin-up and I said no. So he got me to try and whilst I was close I didn’t quite get it. No worries he said, you’re very close. At the end of the class, when people were shuffling home the same coach called me over to the bar, told me to chalk up and try again.

The look in his eyes that time, I knew I was going to get it and you know what, I did! I did a chin up! I was so thrilled! The lesson here, I shared my goals with the right people, I was supported, someone believed in me, and most importantly I believed in myself. I had evidence that I could now do a chin up - it wasn’t a fantasy anymore, it was a reality.

Fast forward a year and I can just about do 3 chin ups!

HOWEVER, there is not one second that goes by that I don’t feel jealous when I see someone doing better, or progressing faster than me. I have a bar and bands at home. I also have million excuses for not practicing at the ready, and I’m very good at complaining. All I have to do is spend as much time practicing as I do feeling jealous or complaining, Jaysus I would be like superwomen on steroids if I did that. On my phone, as a constant reminder, I have the following quote “Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do”. I don’t work for the pull ups, so I have no right to complain.

Then there was a 100kg squat. If you don’t know what a squat is than I can’t help you. Everyone should squat, it will give you an arse you can crack an egg on!

I came home one day after successfully getting through a new 20 rep max back squat at about 65 kgs. It felt great, I always loved squatting! I told Mr. Hanley who said that soon enough I would be able to squat 100kg. Well talk about waving a red flag to a bull! I wanted that squat more than I wanted washboards abs, and I thought I worked pretty damn hard at it (the squat, not the abs).

I felt I was diligent, dedicated and committed to my goal. Last August, I had a go and after three failed attempts I called it quits and realised that it wasn’t going to happen. I’m not sure how many of you have ever had a 100kg resting on your back but its pretty god damn heavy. I knew I didn’t work hard enough. I was disappointed (very disappointed) but I didn’t complain (at least openly). It wasn’t enough to just go to the gym… I needed to do more. So, I did more!

I slept more, I ate better and I when I eventually did squat 100kg in October it felt AMAZING!

The lesson here is that the 100kg squat required me to make sacrifices, work on mobility, look after my body – do things differently than the way I did before.

The right to complain didn’t matter anymore because as long as I was chasing after my goal in the right way, there was never going to be a need to complain!

Fast forward a few months and I was about to test my squat again. I was feeling confident, I had a great plan and I was feeling confident (have I mentioned that already?). Things started well, the heavier my warm up reps got the lighter it felt. This is where it all went wrong!

I got greedy, and cocky and deviated from my plan. I made too big of a jump and missed the rep I wanted, and I was too tired to give it another go! I was so pissed off but I had no one to blame but myself. Designing a goal is an exciting process, but there are reasons we PLAN goals and that is to ensure their success. There is a difference between taking a risk, and being greedy, and I was greedy!

So there are a bunch of things that I learned that are really important. -Design your goal the right way -Talk about your goals -Identify a support network who will believe in you -Believe in yourself -Be honest with yourself, make sacrifices and work for what you want -Don’t get upset or jealous that others achieve what you have never worked for - just because something sounds cool to say, doesn’t mean you have the right to be good at it -Follow your plan

I know what I’m talking about is gym stuff but it applies to all aspects of life – a promotion in work, developing a better relationship with you partner, or starting a new project. It doesn’t matter if it is 100kg squat or a 50kg squat or a chin up or cart wheel. It’s requires a plan and hard work!!

It’s really easy to complain about stuff because the feeling that you have the right to complain can materialise in a million ways: you don’t practice, you work hard but not smart, you deviate from a plan or you get cocky. If you (and by you I mean me) would spend as much time practicing as you (again, me) do complaining we (me) would all be like superwomen on steroids.



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