Strategies for Self Preservation

As human beings, our biology and instincts work to protect us from harm and limit us taking great risks.  Our sense and fear and pain motivates us to withdraw or quit, often causing us to bail out even if we try.  You've probably seen this time and time again where an athlete swings away beautifully, attempts to kip or pull up to a transition, but then everything freezes and the athlete falls back, falls through, or falls down.  Some athletes even predict this chain of events coming as they make their next Muscle Up attempt, and so to compensate they strategically transition into a series of desperate and frantic kicks to try to tread up into the dip.

Was the athlete not strong enough?  Maybe.  Was the athlete not skilled enough?  Possibly.  Was the athlete not prepared?  Absolutely.  To swing and pull yourself up on an unstable surface 4 to 5 feet off the ground is no small feat, and if you've never done it before it becomes a huge risk to take.  Our instincts for self preservation kicks in, and at some point we all freeze.  In the back of our mind, we're thinking: what do I do next if I do succeed?  Am I safe if I fail?  When is it safe to fail and bail?  How do I bail?  We've all seen Muscle Ups before and there are one or two ways it could go right, and a lot of ways it could go wrong for a beginner.

The solution is to be more prepared and that means having at least one back-up plan or an exit strategy.  Quite often this is a workout partner or coach who's commited to spotting you, but that may or may not overcome your biological instincts when you're flying through the air and you don't feel those helping hands.  I recommend that you always actively learn and practice movements that are part of your exit strategy.  If you are learning how to jump, you must learn how to land.  Learning how to jump higher?  First learn to land and roll.  Learning Muscle Ups?  First learn to Roll Out on the rings.  The more exit options you have with confidence, the more you'll overcome those protective instincts because you will know that there is a safe path to the finish and come out unharmed.

Over the next few weeks we'll show you the Roll Out and how to use it, and not only will it serve as a great exit strategy but it also leads in skill transfer opportunities for bigger movements on the Rings:

Coach Carl