Rhythm And Discipline: Lessons From Buddy Rich

Rhythm And Discipline: Lessons From Buddy Rich

Most days my Facebook feed and Instagram is bombarded with “fitspirational” quotes. Such gems as “Every journey starts with a single step”, “The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do”, a whole host of celebrity quotes that allude to the secret of success and my all time favourite… “Be the best version of you”.

But I think the process of buying into these quotes actually makes it harder to succeed.

So who is Buddy Rich?


The short answer here is that he was a famous American Jazz drummer.

The long answer is that he is probably one of the greatest drummers of all time, known for a “virtuoso” level of skill and technique, despite no formal training or dedicating a great deal of time to practice.

He was actively performing from around 1920 and up until his death in 1987.

He even had a drum battle with Animal from the muppets once.

What does this have to do with discipline and success?

What is the primary role of a drummer in a band? To keep consistency and rhythm.

People often write or talk about the need for inspiration to fire you up to succeed.

I think that is complete bullshit.

What you really need is consistency and you get that from developing a rhythm. Your consistent habits (the things you do WITHOUT having to think about them) are what build your ultimate success or failure when it comes to your health and fitness.

Relying on inspirational quotes and for every workout having to feel like another step in an “amazing journey”, means you are purposely setting yourself up to fail.

Your expectation becomes that you need to feel fired up for every workout and that you must feel amazing before, during and after.

But the reality is that you won’t. You won’t ever feel amazing before, during or after a workout.

At best you will feel focused before, determined during and accomplished after.

At worst you will feel dread before, find any excuse to become distracted during and absolutely spent after.

So why bother at all?

Always remember, the goal of working out and exercising is not how you feel around the workout that is important, but what happens to your health and fitness after that workout session.

Maybe you want to be able to pick the baby up of the crib without throwing out your back.

Maybe you want to be able to run around the park with the kids without needing to call an ambulance.

Maybe you want to feel confident down the beach in your budgie smugglers.

Maybe you are simply just sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the time.

Whatever it is you want from your health and fitness always remember:

“You only get better by playing.”