The other day I was washing dishes and my wife asked if I liked her outfit. I replied “Yes”. She paused. She hung her head and walked into the living room. Photographs of head-hanging popped up in my mind, and it registered as a behavior that stemmed from disappointment and or shame. Shame didn’t apply, so she was disappointed (Yes, I literally think this way through my conversations, hence them being so exhausting… Aspie’s get drained from social interaction quickly as we have to consciously think the meanings of body language, something neurotypicals do without any cerebral effort).

At any rate, she was sad. Disappointed. Let down. How in the world did my liking her outfit not please her? Was she hoping for justification to sell it? Was she hoping I wouldn’t like it so she could replace it with something else?

I head into the living room and gently ask her what is wrong. “You didn’t like it and I am sad you don’t because I bought it thinking you would love it.” I reply, “Babe, I DO love it. I said ‘Yes’ when you asked if I like it.” “You didn’t exclaim, or get excited, or say why you liked it…”

Here we entered into a discussion of why I was able to like it but was not chatty because I literally loathe doing the dishes. We sat down and I was able to affirm her feelings, and help her see that I truly did like it. A simple yes turned into a complicated labyrinth that ended with “No” written across the exit door.

As coaches, and athletes, we tend to want things to be overly complex. I see athletes worried that the programming is not enough, won’t do enough, or isn’t flashy enough. Sometimes the most basic movements are the right answer. Yes, pushing a sled for 10 minutes unbroken, slowly building up to 15 minutes unbroken, will help you in jiu-jitsu training, as that sled pushing is increasing your work capacity. No you don’t need to tuck and roll around for 15 minutes with weights, you will get plenty of fancy and exotic movements in your sport training. Weight training often times is more effective if it is simple.

Now this isn’t to say that progressions, undulations, and other training methodologies are unnecessary, because they actually are VERY necessary. What I am getting at is people try to use a proven methodology on an exercise that is beyond ridiculous (e.g. single arm bosu ball kettlebell snatches). Most people will do just fine with basic movements, coupled with enough variety to prevent boredom. The more advanced one becomes, the more advanced training methods become.

To break it to you with honesty, chances are you are not such an advanced athlete that you need uber crazy programming. Are you squatting? Pressing? Pulling? Training those muscle groups through secondary and assistance movements? Good. You will be just fine if you increase your work volume over time.

Jay Brewer,

The Aspie Coach