I’ve had a pretty normal couple of days for a weekend but a couple of experiences and conversations have prompted me to write this quick article as I think it is a concept or clarity of purpose that can easily get lost in the pseudo intellectual worlds of diet, fitness, strength training and sport.
I want to be quick, strong, lean and big these are all my goals and I want to train them all at the same time. What is the smartest, quickest and sexiest way of going around reaching these 4 goals at the same time? Said the person who is committing to being shit at 4 things all at the same time.
I get to spend a lot of time with people in my job and various business ventures, the contrasts in personalities and mindsets that I encounter on a day to day basis is one of the most interesting things about my existence. Interacting with people of a completely different understanding whilst trying to find ways to either get them round to my way of thinking or trying to get them to understand where I am coming from is one of the most mentally stimulating activities that I have the pleasure of experiencing.
The people I really like spending time with however are the simple characters not in a yellow school bus kind of way but in I have black and white views in life and goals way. People who try and make everything about nuisance or try to live in a rich tapestry normally leave me feeling like they are trying too hard to spin their bullshit together in a coherent manner. A lot of lifters who I like spending time with are just people who want to be as strong as possible they don’t really give a shit what they look like and they don’t obsess over anything other than training. These people “get” strength training.
They understand that your relationship with whatever barbell sport you like to frequent is about lifting more weight in that barbell sport using whatever exercises are used in your sport. They don’t spend 120 minutes a day watching Kelly Starlet overcomplicate the fuck out of stretching or reading about the latest complicated way of having an unhealthy relationship with food. They like lifting weights and they want to get stronger.
Likewise people I respect and like to associate with in “elite” sport understand that winning is the name of the game. They don’t obsess over needless shite like what their peak watt output is in an exercise that has jack shit to do with their job in their sport. They know that being fitter and stronger helps them to be better prepared to a point. They understand what kinds of training work quite well for them and how much they should ideally look to do in a pre-season and during the week. The athletes or coaches who break me are the ones who get caught up in nonsense the ones who need to be doing some novel or interesting training method. They normally are the ones on the fringe of the squad and the flakes who end up falling by the wayside. A rugby player who doesn’t focus their attention on being a better rugby player first and foremost is in for a rude awakening when they enter a professional set up.
The people who do well in business or in their own work understand clearly what they need to work at and stick at it doggedly. The entrepreneur who has a semi-decent idea but sticks at it like an obsessed fanboy and re-iterates until it works is the guy or gal who ends up with the nice house, car and bank account. The entrepreneur who is constantly hopping between projects and ideas is the hipster looking individual serving you coffee at starbucks. Professionals that know clearly where they want to go with their career and stick to it for a long time are the people who end up with the CEO roles. The employees who can’t make up their mind what they want to do are the annoyed hapless leeches stuck at another entry level position in another company they don’t like.
If you are involved in strength training to achieve something you need to crystalise what that something is and get round to achieving it. Stop flooding your mind with choices and options that make fuck all difference and start to get obsessed with your goals. If you want a bigger bench press then that single arm floor press is going to do fuck all for your goal, I don’t give a shit what internet wannabee expert says differently. People who increase the noise levels in life or in training are the people you need to shut off and cut free because they are going nowhere so don’t let them keep you with them.
If any of the shite that T-nation et al spout on a daily basis made a blind difference do you not think the people who write for them while weighing 110 kg+ and being juiced out of their mind would bench press more than 190 kg? Look at Mark Bell, Chad Waterbury and Boris Sheiko what is their message? Look at their results it seems to add up with their communication doesn’t it. When supposed “world renowned experts” haven’t achieved better than an average level of strength with themselves or those they train alarm bells should be ringing.
How do you break free of the OCD training rat race? Focus on a task you want to be good at and shun everything else till you have achieved something with it. If your a 90 kg (198 lb) man and want to powerlift your goal might be to squat 250 kg (550 lb) good. Do everything within your power to achieve that milestone the learning process you will go through on the way to achieving it will show you everything there is to know about achieving anything in life. Focus on what works and let the people talking nonsense melt into the background where they belong.