My Top 10 For Damn Near Everything…
Change your mindset.
In her book, Dr. Carol Dwek examines the difference between a “fixed” and “growth” mindset and how each affect a person’s perspective on just about everything that occurs in their day to day life. The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that is focused on judging: “This means I’m a loser.” “This means I’m a better person than they are.” “This means I’m a bad husband.” “This means my partner is selfish.” Whereas, people with a growth mindset are also constantly monitoring what’s going on, but their internal monologue is not about judging themselves and others in this way. Certainly they’re sensitive to positive and negative information, but they’re attuned to its implications for learning and constructive action: What can I learn from this? How can I improve? How can I help my partner do this better?
Chapter 8 in Dr. Dwek’s Book is about changing the internal monologue from a judging one to a growth-oriented one. It shows how mindset change has enabled people to pursue their goals more effectively both in and outside the gym.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Simply put, you’re going to be sore… Sometimes even too sore to sit down on the toilet. Don’t let that deter you. Embrace it. Know that you are in control and that your body is only sore because it’s becoming a stronger, healthier version of itself. OWN IT!
Furthermore, spend more time training what you HATE versus things you’re good at. Focus on your weaknesses as you continue to build your strengths.
Nothing comes easy, especially when it comes to transforming your body. As much as you may not like it, out body’s are fine where they’re at. Even if you’re carrying a little (or a lot) extra body fat, your body is going to resistant change as much as possible in order to maintain it’s internal homeostasis.
You’re going to have to not step, not hop…. But LEAP out of your comfort zone if you’re ready for real change!
Constantly strive to add weight to the bar, and move it faster.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, lean up, get stronger, add muscle, or whatever; you need to strength train. And by strength train, I mean consistently try to get stronger week in and week out.
As pretty as they are, those pink 5 and 10 lbs dumbbells are only and should only be a starting point. Once you have mastered the movement, increase the weight.
Your body is dying for you to push it’s limits. It is the ONLY way you’re going to change not only your physique, but your mindset too!
Just ask any of my strength training clients how he or she felt when they hit their first PR (personal record) on any given lift. Then ask them how not only how much their body has changed for the better, but also how mentally stronger they now are to handle any objective in and outside of training.
You have to put the bar overhead.
Pretty self-explanatory… grab a bar or some dumbbells or a kettlebell and press it overhead. DO IT!
Put the bar on the floor and pick it up a bunch of different ways.
There is only a few exercises out there that require more full body, total strength than the good ‘old deadlift and all of her close relatives.
Conventional, sumo style, single leg, staggered stance, stiff legged, Romanian style, isolateral…. The variations are endless. Get creative and get pulling!
Go heavy. Go hard.
Do I really need to explain…
Keep it simple. Less is more.
The worst thing a trainer can do is make his sessions so complicated you need a graphing calculator to figure out what comes next in the session. Any novice trainer can throw a bunch of random, “functional training” exercises together and say go with no rhyme or reason as to why they’re asking the client to perform them in the first place.
NOTE: I can spot a novice newbie trainer dead on in any gym just by watching a session for about 5 minutes because of this.
Instead, focus on whole body lifts and use isolation exercises as accessory lifts to help you better perform the core exercises. Focus on progression week to week by either: adding more weight, adding more reps or sets, or decreasing rest between sets.
Did you eat breakfast? If not, then don’t ask me anything about nutrition.
Follow your mom’s rules: eat breakfast every day. Be sure to eat 3 meals per day with healthy snacks between. If you’re hungry an hour or so after a meal, you didn’t eat enough protein. Water should be your major beverage. There’s nothing more fiber can’t fix.
Have some fun!
Don’t let fun disappear from the strength world. You need to work hard. Okay, I agree. But never forget about fun. Try training outside, jumping in a silly game at the gym, and just enjoy the camaraderie and pure thrill associated with strength training.
You are now part of an elite fraternity of strength training men and women. Embrace it and relax, your fellow “lifters” are here for you just as you should be for them.
Have some passion!
Passion is a word that doesn’t mean what you think it means. It means to suffer. Now, that may not be how we use today, but that’s what the root of the word means, at least in the dictionary. Let’s define it this way: Passion, to suffer for love.
I think greatness comes to those willing to go past the sweat. I hear all the time, “Look, see, I’m working hard. I’m sweating.” Yeah, well, you’ll sweat in a sauna, too. It doesn’t mean anything.
You have to go past the hurt, too. The hardest thing to teach a new client is the difference between being hurt and being injured. Injured means out; you’re done for today, this week, this month. Hurt means you’ve just moved beyond the pain. Winners learn to live with hurt. In life, you’re going to be hurt, a lot. Bosses don’t always care about inner child when you blow a sale or ram an oil tanker into a dock.
Passion is learning to push beyond all of this in the pursuit of your dreams and goals. Your goals are going to cost you in every nuance of the word: physically, emotionally, financially, and all the rest of the ‘allies you can find.
Live with passion and WIN.