Did the bar touch your body on bent rows today? Or just come close?

Did the bar touch your body on bent rows today? Or just come close?

Wayne Bennett is an ex professional rugby league player, who is now one of the best coaches in the game, working with St George Dragons, Canberra Raider, Brisbane Broncos, State of Origin, Australia and now England.

He has earned a reputation amongst his teams for not only making them better players, but better people.

Coach Bennett had a saying that has become quite famous.

“Don’t stop three steps short!”

When his players were doing interval sprints in training, some of them would stop running just short of the finish line and coast across, something Bennett took issue with.

“It’s a state of mind,” he said.

“Stopping three steps short won’t make any difference fitness-wise, but three steps make all the difference to the psyche. Deep down you know you've taken a shortcut."

“The kind of people who stop three steps short, I wouldn’t call them losers, but they’re never winners either. They tend to fall short in everything."

In the gym, we sometimes can see the same thing.  Walking those last few steps through the roller door at the end of a run is one obvious comparison,  but not dragging the sled all the way back to the finish is the same thing,  putting the barbell down with 5 seconds to go on the clock, and not standing up with the last slamball rep.  All are examples of stopping three steps short.....

Then there are the subtle things, not quite locking the knees out on power cleans and box jumps.  The kettlebell not fully extended on straight elbows in the swing, or the knees touching the floor to rest, a fraction before you complete the pushup, the wallball not quite making it to the line.

As Coach Bennett says, it wont really make a difference to your fitness, but you'll know you stopped short.   Whereas if you always push to the end, never stop until you hear the buzzer, you'll know that too.......and you'll be stronger for it.

One my own favourite sayings is "how you do anything in the gym is how you do everything out of the gym" and the above behaviour can bleed over in to the rest of your life.  A bed half made, a work project half finished, a fence mostly painted..... little things, but it's still quite common to have a degree of regret afterwards, wondering if you could have done better.

Why wonder what could have been???

Think about those three steps,  always take them and be proud of your effort, knowing that you gave it everything.

Darren Ellis