Last Updated on March 4, 2024

Focus on your strengths, for fun and profit

For exercise, I like to strength train.

This is probably because growing up, I was extremely weak.

When we did pushups in high school cross country, I couldn’t even do one.

My coach said to lower yourself all the way to the ground and back.

I thought, “He must be joking, that’s impossible!”

Natural (in-)ability

Even today, after strength training for nearly 20 years, pushing movements are hard for me.

Having ridiculously long arms from being 6’5″ (196cm) tall makes pushing challenging.

I can now do 25 pushups in a row, but most people with my “training age” would be doing sets of 50+.

On the other hand, I can do pull-ups with an extra 25lbs hanging from my waist.

I’m not very good at squats either due to my extremely long legs.

But I make quick progress in hip hinging movements like deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and barbell hip thrust.

Your weakness is also your strength

The point is, there are some movements where I can make progress easily.

And other movements where every tiny bit of progress is hard.

If I focus on pushups or bench press, I feel like there’s “something wrong with me.”

But these same long arms are great for pull-ups, rows, and deadlifts.

So it’s really just how you look at it.

My “weakness” is also my strength!

There’s also no rule that says you must be good at everything.

So I’ve decided to focus more on pulling and hinging, and less on pushing and squatting.

Focus on your strengths

What “weakness” of yours is actually a strength in a different context?

Maybe you struggle to focus on boring tasks but are highly creative.

That’s literally the same thing, a brain that’s oriented towards novelty.

As we say in NLP, “every behavior is useful in some context.”

When you find the context where you easily succeed, life just gets better and better.

You can still put some time and energy on your “weaknesses” if you want.

I’m still going to train pushing and squatting.

But life is easier if you mostly do what comes naturally to you.

Until next time,