Build Your House! || Coach Tim Garland

“Once upon a time there were three little pigs. One pig built a house of straw while the second pig built his house with sticks. They built their houses very quickly and then sang and danced all day because they were lazy. The third little pig worked hard all day and built his house with bricks.

A big bad wolf saw the two little pigs while they danced and played and thought, “What juicy tender meals they will make!” He chased the two pigs and they ran and hid in their houses. The big bad wolf went to the first house and huffed and puffed and blew the house down in minutes. The frightened little pig ran to the second pig’s house that was made of sticks. The big bad wolf now came to this house and huffed and puffed and blew the house down in hardly any time. Now, the two little pigs were terrified and ran to the third pig’s house that was made of bricks.

The big bad wolf tried to huff and puff and blow the house down, but he could not. He kept trying for hours but the house was very strong and the little pigs were safe inside. He tried to enter through the chimney but the third little pig boiled a big pot of water and kept it below the chimney. The wolf fell into it and died.

The two little pigs now felt sorry for having been so lazy. They too built their houses with bricks and lived happily ever after.”

– credit: www.short



We’ve all heard some version of this story, at least those of us that grew up before Facebook and Instagram. What if we take this story, change the characters and details up a bit, and then apply the general theme of the story to your training regimen? What does that look like…sticks, or bricks?

Over the years I’ve witnessed the evolution and devolution of people walking in and out of the doors of different gyms. The ones that stick with it for the long haul and make it a part of their lifestyle seem to approach things a bit differently than the other folks. That doesn’t mean they didn’t attempt to build a house of straw or sticks before they got wise and started laying down the bricks. What it does mean, is that they eventually found a better/more sustainable way of building their house. The goal of this article is to hopefully save someone the time (and possibly money) trying to build that new house, or remodel an existing one with more sustainable materials. The sustainability may just start with your blueprint…your paradigm or the way you approach things at the gym.

The straw and stick village residents occasionally take the shortcuts. You may know these folks. They may slack on their warm-up, cut reps here and there, or forfeit sets and reps that could be used to improve their range of motion and stability for sloppy form and heavier weight. We can all fall victim to these things on any given day. Those who have been on their fitness journeys for some time know when they have been slacking on the little things. If the house starts to creak, something might be a little out of whack.

All that huffin’ and puffin’ without a solid foundation can lead to injury and a demolished housed. Let’s work hard, train smart and do the little individual things/maintenance that each and every house needs. I challenge you take to the time, ask the questions and put in the work to build the best house you can. I challenge you to you to not brush off the “easy” skill work, but to embrace some of the different drills that can improve your overall skill set. Even if you can perform a skill, strive for improvement and more proficiency. Re-evaluate, re-assess. Build your house out of bricks. Those “modified” drills just might be the bricks your house needs to bust through an annoying plateau.

Warm-up. Cool-down. Improve stability throughout a proper range of motion. Skills and drills. Rest. Refuel. Recover. Repeat. Build a strong and secure foundations. Lay bricks!

Build your house,

-Coach Garland