When speaking to successful people--successful in business, sports, life, family, academia, getting out of bed daily--about their paths to success, there is a common trait. That the road to success wasn’t always that straight. It was characterised by bumps, detours, u-turns, dead stops and a lot of thick mud. If it was easy, everyone would be as successful, right?!


The health and fitness journey is much the same, especially because the overarching goal is lifelong fitness. Your progress is going to be far from linear. You’ll often feel like there is no progress or you’re moving backwards. The most common strategy when progress seems to stall is to do more. More reps, more kilometres, less calories. This can and does work at times, but a better approach in my opinion is to consciously turn back with a view to better progress.

Yes, go backwards in order to go forwards.

Back to strict gymnastics in order to improve your kipping (M3 starts next Tuesday!!).

Tweak your running mechanics and use sprint work to improve running capacity. Air squats to improve your front squat. A week away from the gym every few months….

Life will inevitably slow you down, but don’t wait for that to happen. Pause and take a step back. Remember that there is no end destination so enjoy and respect the process. When you look back in a year you’ll realise that when you started, you were unable to air squat, but now you’re using air squats to better your front squats!

Darren Ellis