Batting Practice

A couple of years ago, Jim Wendler was out to WFAC for a Starting Strength Roundtable event and I got a chance to train with him briefly (I was supposed to be working;) During the event, one of my favorite sayings of his was that each of us need to “Pay our Dues” when it comes to training. This resonates with me this week as I’ve dealt with a few impatient folks (yes, you know who you are) who have felt some frustration that they’re not picking up the barbell lifts as fast as they “feel” they should.

For some reason, barbell training brings the “I WANT IT NOW” out of people. I’ve coached some sports teams and athletes up to this point and learning the foundations of the sport was an acceptable part of training. Why is it that barbell training is different? Is it because we’re older and have forgotten the importance of batting practice? You know, that part where we started Little League and they took us out to the plate and we hit three out of thirty pitches? And then we did it again the next week? And the next? Eventually, most of us got pretty good at this thing they called Batting Practice.

Dudes. Being a novice lifter is the same idea. You learn the foundations first and then practice them. Over. And over. And over. If you have a strength coach that’s worth a shit to help you out, good for you. Be patient. If you don’t and are learning strictly from video’s or books, you are on your way. Be patient. We all start from the same point, just at different times in our lives. Be patient.

As long as you’re training, YBF (if you don’t know what YBF is, it’s a very powerful medicine originating in the Pacific Northwest and will show up here often.) Don’t skip batting practice, it’s the fun part. It’s where we get to screw up for a while only because we don’t know better. Have fun!

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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