1. You don’t grow in the gym
You destroy and tear up fibers. You just train until you tap out. You just go at it until you can’t bend your arms anymore. You don’t grow in the gym, you break yourself. Your job is to recover and regenerate and that’s when you grow mentally and physically.
2. You will forge your mental and physical toughness in the gym
When you feel like you should skip leg day. When you feel like 3 sets instead of 6 will do the job anyway. When you think that you did great with your diet and your bodyfat has only gone down by .5%. When you are at repetition number 6 and you say to yourself that you have to try another one, no matter what. When you are so sore from the last workout that you can’t even fathom the fact that you’ll have to go at it again. It’s far from a navy seal test, but try to make it as hard as possible, and there will be a lot more to come.
3.We are unique
Your buddy’s workout won’t have the same effect on you. Your buddy’s shape has a lot more to do than just the single workout he is doing. There is such a thing as genetic predisposition but in no way, should it be used as an excuse.
4. What we do now has an impact on the rest of our life
Talking about genetic predisposition. We are born with a set of genes, which we have power over. You either feed them properly and empower them or you slowly incapacitate them by feeding the problems. Every single day we are bombarded by multiple chemicals, our job is to feed the body in a way that he has all the required nutrients to detoxify and regenerate those cells. If at a young age you can’t figure out that you are stuck with that body for the rest of your life and don’t take care of it, sooner than late it will catch up to you.
5. Stick with the basics
My godfather was a Judoka and trained a lot. So when he saw that I was interested in lifting weights, he gave me a program. I thought to myself that I was going to have a kick ass program made by a pro. When he gave me the program, my Jaw dropped. Here I was looking for a crazy ass program, worst than the bodybuilding magazines and with all the possible exercises for chest and arms, all I had was…wait for it….wait for it…
Chin-ups 5x amrap
I said to myself, let’s keep it with magazines. I let it settle in and gave it a try anyways. Maybe he was testing me. He is giving all the cheap ass exercises so I leave him alone or prove him I am worth his time. So I stuck to it. It wasn’t a fairy tale or what you would imagine. I trained, not regularly but still was going at it maybe twice a week. Up until I hit 14 years old, I stuck with variations of his workout, plus the occasional arms and chest workouts in between martial arts sessions.
As I went along in those two years, the more I did his program, the more it kicked my ass. Got a lot stronger and by 14, I needed a lot more weights for squats and bench press. My godfather gave me some of his weights. So my max squat was about 200 lbs and benched almost the same. I was driven to lift as heavy as I could, but didn’t give a shit about the reps. Heavy and that’s it.
At 15, I had a very decent shape, so did say all my friends and family. At 15, something clicked. I got involved into track and field, and was busting records with 100 meters, javelin and discus that were my main interests. In high school, you could always find me in the weight room. I was already writing out programs for my friends and they tried to follow me. Again in the high school weight room, you could always see me try to anything that could be as heavy as we could find, like many times, I loaded the barbell with all the weight I could find in the weight room (which was a shit load, maybe 600 pounds) and tried to squat it. First time, I did 1/10 knee bending squats a few times, just lifting the weight off the hooks, and it was the hardest shit I did because I still remember my legs shaking and everyone looking at me. Thankfully, I only did that a few times. After that, one of the teachers, who competed in Mr. Canada years ago, took me under his wing and showed me the proper way to train.
Can you guess what type of workout he gave me? I, Again, thought he would give me a workout of the style of Lee Haney including everything to trash legs, arms and especially chest since he is a former physique competitor. Far from it. Guess what was my workout…
Benchpress dumbbell 4×6-8
Pull ups 4 x max
Cross bench pullovers 4×15
Close grip benchpress incline 4×6-8
Standing barbell curl 4×6-8
Back squats 4×20
Romanian deadlifts 4×6-8
Calf raises 3×50
That’s it. I did not say a word and complied. Although I read different school of thoughts about training, I knew I had something that fits my needs. Even though it was short, the program still stuck to basics, which is what I started to like doing. Especially for track, everything I did, that I didn’t know at that time, had a purpose. Little did I know that both of these trainings were going to be what forged my basic strength and set my training for the rest of my life.
6. You don’t know you are strong until you have to be.
I was comfortable in a gym setting. However, being strong on the bench or squats does not mean shit if you can’t transfer that ability somewhere else. For me, it was martial arts. I had the opportunity to train Close protection officers and be trained by them. So all the nice Kata and fake fighting learned had to be applied for real.
Throwing people around, pushing, lifting and carrying them, made me realize that under stress, being strong mentally and physically is the only thing you can rely on. Running for 2 hours won’t…Actually, it raises your cortisol even more. Under stress, you need to be able to manage it, not make more cortisol…so here you go.
7. You build intestinal fortitude
The famous fight or flight response. Might not be something that you build in the gym, but nonetheless, it all goes down to some of the workouts you have gone through. If you ever tried your personal record on the squat, deadlift or full snatch, you probably know what I am talking about. That little voice in your head that comes up when you begin to doubt yourself. That little voice that is saying you shouldn’t be in that situation, just in case you get hurt. But you still go on, knowing that you might get hurt, but only if you mess it up.
8. You have to be patient
Losing weight takes time, especially if you do it properly. Gaining lean mass takes twice as much time. Be patient and have a plan.
9. Train for my type
One of the first trick I’ve got from my mentor Charles Poliquin is to train for my element. I am wood all the way. Which means to cut on the volume frequently and have variety. For more information on the elements, Read this:
10. Structural balance is a big rock
A professor of muscle gains University stood before his class with some items in front of him. When the class began, without a single word he picked up a large empty protein Tub and proceeded to fill it with rocks about two inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the Protein tub was full.
They agreed that it was full.
So the professor then he picked up BCAA pills and poured it into the tub. He shook the tub lightly and watched as the pills rolled into the open areas between the rocks. The professor then asked the students again if it was full.
They chuckled and agreed that it was indeed full this time.
The professor picked up a protein powder and poured it in. The powder filled the remaining open areas. “Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this Protein tub signifies your gains. The rocks are the truly important things, such as structural balance. If all else was lost and only the rocks remained, your gains would still be meaningful. The pills are the other things that matter in your life, such as hypertrophy, strength and/or body composition. The powder signifies the remaining “small stuff” like your friends who don’t lift or don’t who don’t understand your lifestyle.
If you put powder into the jar first, there is no room for the rocks or the pills. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are truly important.
Have a great week!