Surpassing the Minimum

There’s been a lot of talk and just as much writing about Certification or Qualification Tests. No matter what they’re called, or how they’re dictated to us, all have one (sometimes) overlooked aspect in common — each represents a minimum standard.

One hundred Clean & Jerks in ten minutes might sound like quite a lot, as does a hundred Snatches in five minutes, as does a hundred hand-to-hand Swings, and the list continues. As challenging as these tasks can seem, none offer the final say in Strength, Wellness, Fitness or even Conditioning. When we talk about these tasks, we are talking about the minimum it takes to get us in the door, to enter us into an ever growing conversation.

The question about the standards is never Can you? the question is always Will you?

Likewise, our training for these tasks & goals should not prepare us towards them as endpoints, our training should prepare us to surpass these standards. If we focus on the why, we could all probably come up with a hundred different reasons why this is a good idea, but let’s focus on two:

  1. If we only train up to the outer brink of the standard, and our training usually happens in optimal or prime conditions, what happens when the test is administered in less-than-ideal conditions? We could be sick, the air conditioning could be out, or maybe our biggest opponent is our bundle of fragile & impressionable nerves boiling inside us. When we start thinking about the realm of what-ifs? we see a lot of room for negative potential to creep in, despite our seemingly positive steps towards training.
  2. Say we do pass the test or requirement . . . What then? We don’t really expect to be done, do we? All of the examples listed above are considered Level 1 Standards. In every one of those cases, there is a potential for Level 2 Status, Master status, or some other lusty moniker.

We should always have a mindset of training past the minimums. If the 5 Minute Snatch Test calls for 100 good & proper Snatches, do you really want to have only practiced up to 75, hoping that ‘momentum’ will carry you the rest of the way? Wouldn’t you feel a little more confident if you have already completed 100 countable Snatches in less than 5 minutes, or pushed beyond the minimum requirement by 3, 9, 18 or even 20?

Always prepare to do more than what’s expected of you. Even if you are ordered to park the bell after your final rep, it’s good to know that you still have some left in the tank.

Semper Fortis


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