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The Slight Edge on Muscle Up Challenge

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

I remember watching Frank Medrano perform the Muscle Up* exercise. It seemed easy to me, and I thought it was a great exercise for a warm up…!!!

Next day I tried to do it and I could not; it seemed impossible for me to complete 1 repetition (rep)!!!

I was frustrated and at the same time challenged. At that moment, I set a goal to not only to be able to do the Muscle Up, but also to make 10 reps of this exercise.

I decided to follow the Slight Edge** principle, which is mainly a tiny step every day consistently until the realisation of the goal.

The daily discipline required to accomplish my goal was to practise every day, 6 days a week, 4 sets of failure repetitions (meaning as many reps as I could). That was a 5’-10’ procedure.

I started following my daily discipline and I was trying to perform the exercise. It took me 2 weeks to be able to do 1 rep!!! (So at the beginning I was not doing 4 sets of Muscle Ups, I was doing 4 attempts of Muscle Ups!)

Day by day I was becoming better though. After 2 months following through my daily discipline, I made it. 10 reps of Muscle Ups!!!

Before the video, my top record was 8. What made me make another 2? I believe the fact that I committed to my friend that was filming the video that “today I will make 10, come and take a video”. His presence and cheering pushed me to the next level.

The accomplishment of the above goal was nothing more than a procedure of 5’-10’ for 2 months.

Now, how many people can do that? In my opinion, everybody can, but very few will. Apart from the DESIRE, which is a must on any goal, CONSISTENCY is the key. Once you have the desire, you have to be consistent and committed with your goal to follow the simple disciplines consistently. I once heard that “Uncommon people are just common people who do common things uncommonly well”. 

  1. Decide and set your goal

  2. Pick one or a couple simple daily disciplines that will take you there

  3. Follow the daily disciplines consistently

Your mind can see much easier the accomplishment of the daily discipline than the accomplishment of the goal. Your only job is to follow the simple discipline. Since you can accomplish the daily discipline you can accomplish the goal.

Nakis N. Theocharides

High Performance Coach


*Muscle Up is an exercise done for strengthening the arms and upper body, in which one lifts one's own weight while hanging from a bar to a position above the bar

**Slight Edge is a book written by Jeff Olson and it is in my Top 10 books.


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