Going Beyond Capability with Your Fitness Training

One of the key differences between training for fitness vs training for sport is the emphasis on developing capabilities vs abilities. This episode defines these similar terms in a new way so you can figure out which exercises you need to be focusing on and why.

Fact: people train for a lot of different reasons.

We know you have your own goals, and one thing we’ve found a massive proportion of our clients to have in common is that lifting more weight or doing more reps is not the end-all-be-all goal for them. More important is translating that strength or endurance or other attribute to performance in some sort of activity, be it a sport or just the regular daily stuff. That’s not to say it’s wrong to focus on reps or to add weight to the bar; we just want you to know whether or not that’s your real reason for training, because it’ll impact choices you make about the best path forward.

As always, be on the lookout for stupid jokes and an invitation to really spend some time introspecting about why you’re even working out in the first place. There’s no wrong answers as long as you’re asking the questions honestly.

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Andy: All right. All right. Welcome to the Gary Means Business Podcast.

Ryan: Oh good old Gary. Good old Gary.

Andy: Yeah. Wonder what he’s up to these days?

Ryan: I’ll tell you what. Yeah. So mean dude, but yeah.

Andy: Yeah. Yeah. So today we’re going to talk about capability, and ability. And before anybody says, “Oh my God, these guys are going to spend 30 minutes talking about words.” I swear that this will be worth your time. Because this is a really underrated concept that we use a lot in GMB, but it’s very important for understanding why you can’t do things sometimes. Why things are difficult. If you are plateaued, if you’re stuck, if you’re making slow progress, and you’re trying to figure out a way past that, being able to distinguish between the ability you’re trying to achieve, and the capabilities that get you there, and understand what to work on next is one of the most important things you can do to actually be effective, and efficient in your training. So that’s what we’re doing today.

Ryan: Yeah, man. Good stuff. Yeah. And just to reiterate what Andy said, like please listen. They’re just words, but these words can help you to become better no matter what you’re doing.

Andy: So, right. So I think the best distillation of this concept really comes from the illustrious MF CEO, probably also Dr Kenny Powers, who is a fictional character from some TV show that is probably long since canceled. But he basically said, “You know, I play real sports. I’m not trying to be the best at working out.” And I think that that sums up a lot of what we’re about at GMB.

Ryan: Oh yeah, man, absolutely. And you know, we said it before many, many times. We’re not about trying to work out more, we’re trying to focus on just doing what you’re doing so you can focus on the other stuff in your life. And we don’t play sports. But yeah, if we did, we’d be awesome at them.

Andy: We would, we would, of course. So yeah, it kind of sounds funny to say that… To make the distinction between sport, and working out, even when none of us actually play sports. But we do come from kind of activities specific backgrounds. And we’ll get into that in a little bit. But in short, basically the distinction is that in most fitness training, working out is aimed at increasing your capability, the raw material you need to be able to do stuff. But in sport, or in activities, or in things that you do in your job, or whatever, you need actual abilities. You need to be able to do things. So that’s the difference between a lot of training that we do, and being able to apply them in real circumstances, which a lot of times people are frustrated when they can’t.

Andy: So just to make a quick definition here, we’re going to define ability. And just so anyone knows… Any pedants out there, I did not consult Webster on this. This is our definition, and if you don’t like it, you can suck it.

Ryan: Oh, yeah.

Andy: We’re going to define ability as… Or capability as the attributes you need to be able to do a thing. Right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Andy: Physical capabilities, mental capabilities, these attributes like strength,
flexibility, reaction time, motor control. Ability is being able to do the actual thing on purpose, repeatedly, and safely. That’s ability. So ability is… It requires the capability, but it’s kind of plus something on top of that. And that’s where we need to sort of dive into things. So maybe quick examples of capability, and ability.

Ryan: Okay, sure. Yes. Absolutely. One example, if we’re looking at activities, let’s look at something like swimming. So you might be able to swim. You might actually be a really good swimmer, but it doesn’t mean that you’re going to immediately have the ability to go surfing. So it’s a little bit different in that aspect. Yeah. Swimming in the ocean is also something you might be able to do, but does it translate over, and help you to have the ability to surfing? Yeah it helps. That’s a capability. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you can do that.

Ryan: Another example could be you’re really good at doing pull ups. You have some great pulling strength. Doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to go rock climbing, and scale a particular mountain right away. So there’s a difference between having just that strength, and having it carry over to what you want to do. So that’s just some quick examples of capability versus the ability to do something.

Andy: And remember…

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. Just to go forward with that. Again, it’s that you might be able to do at once, but the ability means to being able to do it on purpose, and repeat that. And so that’s a big thing as well to always look at when you’re looking at capability versus ability.

Andy: Yeah. So I mean there’s a billion things that we could try to illustrate this. Like even just writing words, right? The ability to hold a pencil, and to move it, and to have the finger dexterity that you develop over many, many thousands of times writing letters when you’re a kid. Right? Versus being able to write a cogent sentence. Right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Andy: Now granted, that’s also a skill that requires different kinds of thoughts, and… And you know, cognitive things too. But being able to hold a pencil, and move it, versus being able to write a strong line even, or a neat letter is very different things. Playing a guitar. Right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Andy: Yeah, you just bought an electric guitar man.

Ryan: Yeah. Acoustic, but hey still same thing right?

Andy: Oh, acoustic.

Ryan: Yeah, it’s all good. But yeah, same thing. It’s like, just because you can move your fingers, just because you can hold something doesn’t mean that you’re going to have the ability to take that right away, and strum a guitar, play the chords, and even going further with that, you might be able to play the notes. And it doesn’t mean you can play a song yet, because there’s so much involved with that. Looking at rhythm, looking at being able to translate again, and put that into the ability to do something.

Andy: Right.

Ryan: Great example. Yeah.

Andy: Yeah. And to even make… To show that this goes the other way too, Ryan, maybe… How long ago did you first start playing guitar?

Ryan: Yeah, so I was in junior high. So shit yeah.

Andy: So in other words, 573 years ago. You’ve been playing-

Ryan: A little longer. Little longer. Yeah.

Andy: So a long ass time ago. And you practiced a lot then, and you got to the point where you could play a lot of different things. Now fast forward to now, say 20 years later. Right? And you just bought a new guitar.

Ryan: Yep.

Andy: You know a lot of scales. You know chords. You know sort of the feel, and rhythm, and how to make things work together musically. Yet at the same time you have not been actively playing. So your fingers lost their callouses. You’ve lost a little of your endurance, and the cleanliness of your technique. So you have a lot of these things. It’s not just… It’s not just like skill, or knowledge that’s lacking. Because you have… You have some skill in there. Right? You have knowledge. You understand what you’re trying to do, but you’re actually now lacking the capabilities to play the way that you used to be able to.

Ryan: Right. And so like what you’re saying exactly it’s back and forth. And so you need to look at where you currently are. What is your experience in this, and where are you starting again from? So to take this even further, we can look at the very beginning of GMB. When I was growing up, I was a competitive gymnast. Did that, and I stopped when I was 18 years old. So from age 18 until 31, 32 years old, I had done none of that. And then Jarlo sent me a pair of gymnastic rings. And so even though way back when I had the ability, and the capability of doing gymnastics, I hadn’t done it for so long that I kind of had to go back to the beginning of sorts, focus again on that capability to be able to use them so I could build up my ability for particular skills. So just another example to throw it out there. Yeah.

Andy: Yeah. Right. And this is… It’s great, because a lot of people watch our tutorials on YouTube, or read articles, or even in our programs look at the instructions of what they’re supposed to be doing, and they say, “I watched the video but I can’t do that. And I watched it once.”

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah.

Andy: And so there’s a lot of like snarky replies we could give to that, which since we are fully enlightened, we’ve outgrown all of those, and we never… We never rely on that sort of thing. But this is actually the point where, “Okay, you can’t do it. So well, your options are to quit, or to try to do something about it.” And what we’re trying to talk about today is how do you know what to do about it.

Andy: So if you see something, and you know, basically what’s involved in doing a handstand for example, or a cart wheel, but you can’t do it, what does can’t’ mean? What is the point? What is the thing that is making that can’t? Because there are a lot of things that go into, say, a handstand. Right? There’s… Everyone assumes, “Oh, it’s just balance,” which if you’ve ever tried it, you know that’s not really all there is to it. But there is some strength component, there’s some flexibility ability, flexibility component. There’s some physical control component. There is just being able to balance. But there’s a lot of things that go into this. And there’s also managing your mental state, and like fear of falling, and all those things.

Ryan: Absolutely. Yeah, I was just going to say that. Yeah.

Andy: So if you watch this great, amazing, best handstand tutorial in the world, that GMB has produced for you. If you watch this thing, and you try it, and still find that you can’t do a handstand, well what is the part that you can’t do?

Andy: And that’s key to being able to move forward. Right?

Ryan: Absolutely. And that’s what we’re about in GMB is assessing that situation. Why are you not able to do that? What is keeping you from being able to do that? Let’s focus on improving the capability side of things so that you can start working on that handstand, or whatever skill it might be.

Andy: Right. And you may find yourself where you do have all the capabilities you need, yet you don’t have the ability. And then really it’s just a matter of practice.

Ryan: Yep.

Andy: Right?

Ryan: Yep.

Andy: But you may find that you’re lacking certain capabilities, and then in that case, all the practice in the world is not going to help you. Okay? So if you’re trying to do a handstand, and you… So I have one shoulder that’s way stiffer than the other from injuries, and stuff. And if I’m trying to do a straight handstand, and I’m like, “Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I do this? I just need to keep practicing until I get it,” without understanding that I need to kind of treat the way I’m using my shoulders differently.

Ryan: Absolutely. Yeah.

Andy: Right? Then I’m going to not be able to practice efficiently. Right?

Ryan: Yeah. And this… That’s a great example. Another example I like to use is looking at the wrists. If you can’t bend your wrist at a 90 degree angle in the very beginning, you can’t hump to beat… You can’t hope to be able to get upside down, and comfortably perform that handstand. So what’s something you can do? Then you can go back, and you can work on that wrist mobility, as well as wrist strength. By doing that it’s going to help you to be able to start working on that handstand. It’s not going to be as frustrating later down the road. As well it’s going to be safer for you to work on it that way.

Andy: Right. And so I think a lot of this comes down to these kind of like bastard step sibling worlds of fitness, versus sport when it comes to training. And this is what that quote from from Kenny Powers really kind of alludes to. And I think it’s interesting, because it can seem like it’s a sort of semantic shell game. Again, like fitness versus sport, what is it? And in CrossFit they call it the Sport of Fitness. And whoa. Fitness is a sport now. So how much you bench actually becomes the ability. The like… You’re doing pull ups for the sake of doing pull ups. And I want to be clear, this is not to bash CrossFit, because I actually think CrossFit has done a shit load of good for the way people see fitness, and understand things. But when you start seeing fitness as an end in itself, if the point of the workout is to get 10 pull ups, well then 10 pull ups is all that matters. But I think the point of doing pull ups is to get stronger.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. For something else. Right? Yeah. Yeah.

Andy: And so… Anyone may completely disagree with us if you have different values than us, and that’s absolutely fine. And I wish you the very, very best. What is that old curse, may, or… May your every wish come true. So that’s great. But GMB, a lot of what we do is based on the fact that Ryan, and Jarlo, and I, we come from activities, sports specific backgrounds. Even though we’re not actively in… Doing sports right now, but we’re all practicing martial arts. We’re all doing different things that we enjoy. And that’s why we got into fitness is to be able to build the capabilities we needed for those things. So we can do them better. So when we look at the way we train, it’s always been about being stronger for something. Having flexibility so you could do something. Building the motor control to be able to perform a task. Never just to get more pull-ups.

Ryan: Mm-hmm. That’s right. And some people might hear this and be like, “Well you guys work out a lot.” The thing is is I do love to work out, but the reason that I love to work out is because I know that it’s going to be helping me for the other stuff that I really like doing. Like my martial art, like my, whether it be hiking, or trekking, or whatever like that. So that’s why I’m so into working out. It’s not that I just want to do that all day long. Because I don’t. I want it to-

Andy: I’ll go on record right now. I do not like working out. And you know… But I do like what I’m able to do when I am working out.

Ryan: Thanks to working out. Right. Exactly. Yeah. And that’s totally fine. And I just wanted to be clear, for those of you listening, like we don’t want you to feel bad if you like working out. Because again, I love it. Andy doesn’t like it. Okay. And that’s totally fine. But the reason.. Our endgame though is actually the same. And it’s to be able to get better, and stronger, have you better flexibility, and control for the other shit in our life that we want to be doing.

Andy: Absolutely. And I’ll say know I’m a special case. You know, I have a… I work in a fitness company, and my ideal day includes reclining, reclining, and more reclining. So that’s a little weird I know, but I do like the fact that because I do work out, I do practice, I do train, I do stretch out, and all of these things I can recline all day, and not get stiff, or sore. I can feel good. I can… And I’m not probably contributing to like general sloth, and bad health by doing so. So to me, I work out so I can recline all day, and still be in decent health. That’s my purpose.

Andy: But anyway, let’s… So as fascinating as I am, we’ll back away from that topic. But let’s say fitness is a sport. Right? Fitness is a sport, and one of your events is bench press. Right? Or pull ups, or whatever. And okay, that’s fine. But I think in general, most people, most people when they think about bench pressing, there’s two reasons that they want to bench press. One is get stronger. Two is get pecs.

Ryan: Yeah.

Andy: If you’re just being honest. Why do most dudes bench press? So they can have pecs. But usually it’s for doing something else. So for example, if you play basketball. Right? And then you go into the weight room, and your coach says you need to squat.

Ryan: Yeah.

Andy: The point of squatting is not to be able to get a two times body weight squat. The point of squatting is to be able to play basketball better, to be able to jump higher. Right? To have more endurance. So if your squatting doesn’t make you better at basketball, then it’s not a valid activity for you. Right? Now if you’ve been playing basketball for a long, long, long, long time, and you start squatting, your basketball performance is going to improve. Now let’s say Ryan, or I picks up a basketball. Ryan, and I both… Well Ryan actually lately you’re not doing squatting, but I do squat twice a week.

Ryan: I actually am. I do barbell squats once a week.

Andy: You are?

Ryan: I do barbell squats once a week.

Andy: Okay.

Ryan: Yeah. But go ahead. Keep going.

Andy: So Ryan, and I both squat multiple times a week.

Ryan: Yeah.

Andy: Now since we squat, obviously our legs are just fucking huge.

Ryan: Enormous.

Andy: Put a basketball in our hands, and what do you think is going to happen?

Ryan: Slam dunk.

Andy: It’s embarrassing. It would just be so embarrassing. The thing is squats don’t make you good at basketball. Squats add fuel to the fire if you are already good at basketball. Squats for someone like Ryan, or I do not make us good at basketball, because we are already not good at basketball.

Ryan: Yeah. Hell no. It’s just… Yeah. Don’t even want to think about that.

Andy: So this is the capability… Capability, ability distinction here. Squats build capabilities for us that we can then go, and learn to play basketball with other capabilities, and practice that thing, and probably get good at it… Good ish at it. Right? But squats… That capability on its own does not make us able… Does not give us the ability to have a killer jump shot. Right? And that’s why it’s so important to understand whatever you’re trying to work on. Okay?

Andy: So let’s move on to some more examples of activities, and the capabilities that
you would need to develop. And then how the abilities different… Differentiate from some of those things. Right? So again, to to reiterate, capability is developing the things you need to even approach the skill, and ability is what’s on top of that. Being able to apply it, being able to use it, being able to do it repeatedly on purpose.

Andy: So we have lots of people on Instagram. They got their picture of their one arm handstand. I think being able to… You know, like I can do a cartwheel, and have someone take a picture on burst mode, and pick one that looks like I’m doing a one arm handstand too.

Ryan: Oh man.

Andy: But that’s not repeatable. It’s not on purpose. It’s not actually owning that skill. So you may even have the full capability, but you definitely don’t actually have the ability to do the thing.

Ryan: Yeah. It is… It’s just so different. And I’m sorry, it’s just cracking me up with the a one arm handstand. It’s… Working on that handstand… And this is the other thing too that’s really interesting, is that just because you can do a really, really solid one minute handstand with both hands on the ground doesn’t mean-

Andy: I’ll stop you right there because we all know that that means you can do a one arm handstand for 30 seconds.

Ryan: Absolutely. Yeah.

Andy: It’s just math dude.

Ryan: Yeah. It’s math.

Andy: It’s just math.

Ryan: Shouldn’t that work? You know, it should be evenly… Yeah. And that’s just… Exactly what you’re just saying right there too. It’s… You can just go into a completely different world. And so while it’s suggested by a lot of people out there that it would be good for you to have a one minute regular handstand, it doesn’t equate to you being able to do a one arm handstand. And so… It’s this for everything out there.

Ryan: Surfing… Coming back to the surfing, if we can change that to a different example again. You know, swimming again. You could be a world-class swimmer. Okay? Yes, you’re going to have that strength. You’re going to have mobility. You’re going to have the endurance in that particular thing that you’re doing in that case, swimming. But as soon as you put a board underneath you, you’re going to have to find a new set of skills to be able to work on that balance. Being able to simply just balance on that board.

Ryan: When you hit those waves, and those waves are crashing over you, do you know how to duck dive? Do you know how to go over the waves? Do you know how to paddle out in a different way? Your stroke is different when you’re paddling out, compared to when you’re swimming in water. Once you get out to the waves, can you sit up on the board? This is also something that’s completely different. You know, you see surfers sitting on their board waiting for waves. This is not so easy. I mean, after a while you get used to it. But that’s a whole different thing. Can you time things just right to be able to catch that wave. Once you catch that wave, can you pop up, and continue to balance? Can you turn? So a lot of different things going on in there.

Ryan: And that to me is why in GMB… Bringing it back to GMB, is why we do the things we’re doing. It’s not to be able to do more pull ups, it’s not to be able to whatever. It’s to focus on this stuff outside of GMB that’s going to help you to get… To be able to do the things that you want. So looking back at that capability, yes you might have that strength, you might have flexibility, you might have that control, but can you… Do you have the ability to focus on the skills that you need? And to bring it back to what you were talking about earlier, basketball, and squatting, is what you’re doing in your workout helping your activity? That’s all it comes down to. That is really it. Yeah.

Andy: Yeah. And this is the thing where athletes spend thousands of hours doing drills. Thousands.

Ryan: Yes.

Andy: So you may say, “Okay, well I am not going to be spending thousands of hours doing agility drills like a soccer player. So maybe I should just stick to squatting, and-

Ryan: Yeah.

Andy: That’s good enough. But here’s the thing. You are spending not just thousands, hundreds of thousands of hours over your life practicing walking, sitting up and standing, squatting down, bending over. All of these movements that you do in your life… All of these things, you’re practicing them whether you realize it, or not. You’re spending a lot of time moving in the activities that you normally do. So adding capability to those abilities you have will make you more efficient in this. If you are able to learn how to integrate those capabilities into the thing.

Andy: Because you know, take a martial artist who’s trying to learn how to do the split so they can kick higher, whether high kicks are necessary, or not. Let’s just say… Let’s… So they can take faster. Let’s just say that. No controversy about that. Right? Martial artists getting their and getting in or stretch on so they can kick faster. Right? So the thing is is they’re still practicing those kicks… Like a thousand cakes a day. Right? They’re integrating that flexibility constantly into what they do.

Andy: And this is what a lot of do subconsciously… Unconsciously, actually without realizing that they’re doing this is when you do work out, you are integrating this into the way that you move, You… Unconsciously whether you know it, or not just by living. However, if you can have skills, and movements, and things that consciously help you start to bridge that gap between capability, and ability. And this is a lot of what GMB is about is these sort of simplified skills like crawling, or rolling, or handstands, or some of these… Basic tumbling, is they add extra capabilities around what you’re doing, and add different skills, and abilities around the attributes you’ve developed that help you learn to apply them in different things. And this is why GMB doesn’t stop with assess and address. Right? We assess and address, and then we try to apply that to different movements so you can get better at applying what you do, and being able to actually use it.

Ryan: Perfect. Yes. And again, not just stopping to just beat a dead horse. Not just stopping with that capabilities side of thing. You know, not just more pull ups for the sake of pull ups. And even looking at how we’re doing our particular skill work. Yes, you might be able to do 10 pull ups. Great. So does that mean you should aim for 20 pull ups? Not necessarily. You know, good can be good enough. If 10 pull ups is going to help you for whatever activity that you’re working on, great. Go do your activity. Enjoy it. And yeah, that’s… When we’re talking about good is good enough that that’s kind of what we’re talking about. If you want to continue working on a particular pulling activity, then I suggest sophisticating the skill. If you can do those 10 pull ups, then start working on a variation of those pull ups. Start doing… I don’t even know. Muscle up, or something like that. It’s going to start working on a different side of this capabilities that’ll lead to other new abilities down the line.

Andy: Right. And pick something that’s going to get you closer to the things you’re trying to be able to do.

Ryan: Right. Yeah.

Andy: Yeah. So in GMB a lot of these things are really baked into what we do. Like it… We talked about assess, address, and apply. Right? When you’re assessing, you’re trying to identify the capabilities that are weak. Or if it’s… Or if you have all the capabilities it’s a straight up ability issue where you just need practice. Right?

Andy: And then assess and address, address is then to figure out how you can work on that thing. Right? But then when we apply, we’re trying to develop the actual abilities. We’re trying to integrate those capabilities. How to use them, how to add them to our skill, and our know how. And our knowledge, and be able to, you know… Be able to take it from being able to do it once, to being able to do it repeatedly. Being able to take it from doing it accidentally, to on purpose. Being able to do it where it takes everything we’ve got, and we might die if we screw up, to being able to do it safely. Right? And then after we apply, we’re continuing to assess and address as we go along. And that’s what the whole cycle of assess, address, apply is, is being able to identify, and constantly improve, and tweak based on where you’re at.

Ryan: Yeah. It might sound monotonous, but the thing is is that is actually a good thing. And so when you’re doing something, you assess that day, you’re looking at micro, you’re looking at the macro cycles of everything as well. And so putting this… I’m just going to continue forward, and looking at this, and our framework of how we program things. It’s you’re always looking at practicing a particular skill. You’re trying to look at that technical proficiency. Are you getting better? If you are not getting better at that particular skill, let’s assess, and figure out what’s going on.

Ryan: Do you need to go back, and look at the capability side of things? Do you need to work on your strength? Do you need to work on your flexibility? Do you need to work on control? Let’s pick one of those. Focus on that so that we can get better down the line. Once you’re working on that practice portion, you can then move on to… If you want to play. If you do need to get stronger then you look at the push side of things. This is where we’re focusing on really building that strength component of that conditioning. What do you need for that so that the next time you come back to your session, and you’re practicing that skill, you’re practicing on that. You’re practicing that skill on a higher level, whether it be physically, or even mentally. That is a big thing too.

Ryan: If you’re working on the handstand, if you have a fear factor of going upside down, okay great. We now know that you have that fear factor. We have assessed that. So what we can do then is we can take a different skill, and focus on a skill that’s going to help build you up so that you’re not going to be scared. So if you’re scared of going upside down, let’s move back, and just focus on the kickup. Let’s get your bail out of the handstand. At a very high level have you the… Get you the ability to be able to work on a handstand safely, so then later you can start playing with that handstand. Looking at some of the options that you have. You’re going to become more efficient because when you’re playing with something, you’re going to explore different sides of that movement.

Ryan: So a lot of different things happening within there, but again, it comes back to the simple thing of assessing, and figuring out do you have the capabilities to be able to start working on a skill. Once you do, then you look at the ability to do that, and then go back, and look at the capabilities again. Strength, flexibility, control, or whatever it is you need to work on and improve that skill. I just went off on just talking a lot there. So your turn.

Andy: Well that’s fine. But I think… We’re at the point to kind of wrap things up here. But ability, capability… Like I said, I don’t really care what’s in the dictionary on these things. But it’s not just about the words, it’s about knowing that you have the ingredients for something and being able to turn it into a delicious cookie. You know those are two different things.

Andy: So we all have.. We all, no matter what we’re training for, we all have situations where we’re doing a thing, and we’re getting better, or we’re increasing the weight, or the duration, or whatever, but we don’t feel like we’re able to apply it well. Right? We all have things where we’re, we’re continuing to work hard, but we’re still not achieving whatever our goal is, whether it’s activity-based, or physique, or otherwise. But this is a tool, this distinction is, to help you understand where you need to focus your efforts. Is this something where you have a capability that’s lacking, or is this something where it’s the ability itself that you need more work on? And then you can start to look at what you need to work on more. Right?

Andy: There’s a lot of things where I always say focusing on your strengths is the best bet, but when you’re continuing to put effort into something, and not getting results, that’s when it’s time to look at your weaknesses. And whichever weak point is the number one thing… When you say, “I can’t do it,” what’s the number one thing that’s turning that from a can to a can’t? When you identify that, then you can address it, and you’re going to rapidly make progress at that point. Because you’re throwing off this anchor, this dead weight that’s holding you back. The weakest link in the chain is being fixed. Right? And that… That’s the thing is when you fix the weakest link in the chain, what happens to that chain? It gets a little stronger, but then there’s another link that is now the weakest. So it is a continual thing. Right?

Andy: But when you find yourself saying, “I can’t do something,” this is a tool that you can use. A sort of mental tool to help you figure out how to go about fixing that. How to go about making progress again. I think that’s so valuable to anyone who has been training for like more than a handful of months.

Ryan: Oh, that’s good. That’s good man.

Andy: So you know, capabilities on their own… I’m just going to go on, and say for me that they are subjectively meaningless. Sorry, CrossFitters. Sorry. Anybody who’s just trying to do more weight. If that floats your boat, and then it’s great, and it’s wonderful for you, and it’s great. I’m glad you enjoy it. But to me subjectively, adding more weight to the bar… So I actually… I work with a trainer, and I don’t know how much I squat. Good. I just… I don’t even… I don’t ask. I don’t look at the weights. I don’t care. Right? I just do what they put on the bar. I don’t care if I’m squatting more weight. I can tell when I feel stronger. Right? It’s subjectively meaningless to me to know how much weight is on that bar. But it’s subjectively meaningful when I can go on a hike with my friends, and I never have… I never feel like my legs are tired. That’s really cool.

Andy: So to me that’s… Subjectively what’s meaningful to you… For you is the important par. Some people want to look better naked. That’s not wrong, but I think it’s a little hollow. Right? I look how I look naked, and that’s between me, and the bathroom mirror. So I’m not going to subject anyone to that image, but it’s just how it is. We found that among our clients, the people that take that extra step of trying to integrate the capability into some ability they care about, they just get more out of their practice. And this is… Again, it’s completely subjective. But this is… Interacting with like many, many thousands of people, those people who go beyond capability, and work on their abilities are happier, and more fulfilled by their training. So I highly encourage it, highly recommend it to everyone.

Ryan: Absolutely. So if you’re doing GMB, don’t get stuck on those numbers. Just look at what’s going on inside your lifestyle. Things improving. That’s that to me is the most important thing. It’s not about how many pull ups you can do. Are those pull ups helping you to do the other stuff in your life that you want to do?

Andy: Yes. All right. So to wrap up, real quick bonus tip here about capability, and ability. Everyone thinks they know how to jump. Right? You have the ability to jump. Right? But unfortunately, look at almost any adult try to jump, and it’s a sad, embarrassing story. We’re all bad at jumping. When was the last time you practiced jumping? Unless you do a sport that includes jumps, I’d say it was when you were like five. So what I would say is to practice building up the ability to stick the landing on a jump. Start with just a regular, regular broad jump. Even just one meter, or one and a half meters, or something. It doesn’t even have to be very long. And just try to stick that landing. Then work on sticking that landing with 180 degree jump. Right? Same thing with a single leg jump.

Andy: The thing is you’re going to find where one of these things is harder for you than the others. And some of this is about ability, because single leg jumps are foreign for people, and 180 degree jumps are foreign for people. But you’re also going to find that you have different capabilities when you’re pushing off in different directions, and trying to land in different ways. Just check it out. Just try it, and see if you can identify which of these things is easier, which of these things is more difficult, and why. And then try to think capability versus ability. What could you do to make the weakest one of these things just a little better? And that’s it.

Ryan: Groovy. Love it.

Andy: All right.

Ryan: And also feel free to post on our… On the Facebook Group. Let us know how that’s going. And yeah, feel free to also post those videos of your jumps if you would like. We’d love to see them. So, yeah.

Andy: Yep. Absolutely. All right. Thanks for listening. Gary Means Business.

Ryan: Ha, ha. Laters.

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