5 lessons learned from over 25 years of Strength Training
1. Death, taxes…strength training basics. There are certain exercises and training methods that have been around for decades and centuries for a reason…they work. Stop adding every new Internet -fad exercise by these self-dubbed “experts” to your training plan. Single Arm, single leg, barbell press while standing on a kettlebell is not a strength training exercise…it’s an exercise in stupidity. The multi-joint movements done consistently over time utilizing progressive overload are proven to give you results.
2. Instant gratification is for the weak. Strength is earned. You can’t fake it. There is no shortcut. In our society, on average, if the video or website we click hasn’t loaded in less than 10 seconds we get frustrated and move on. This mentality spills over into so many other areas of our lives, but no greater than in the gym. People literally look in the mirror after one set and expect to see a difference. My dad used to tell me growing up in sports, “Every day you work hard at practice or in the weight room you deposit money in your bank. On game day you get to make a withdrawal.” Put in the work, have some patience and build your physical and mental bank account.
3. No matter what just keep showing up. If we only worked hard on the days we felt good or were highly motivated we wouldn’t be very consistent. This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest factor in achieving your goals or constantly starting over. Some days you might have to back off the weight a little, change the exercise or just merely force yourself to suffer through. But if you can make it through these days, the other days are easy. If you truly want to get where you want to be then stop having “Day Ones”.
4. Know thyself. What works for someone else may or may not work for you. Your path to the best version of yourself is a process and very specific to your body, your mind, your environment, your family and your schedule. Find the situation that allows you to consistently get the work done.
5. Enjoy the process. Training should not be a chore. It is an opportunity every time you walk in the gym to get better, to gain strength physically and mentally. As far as I know, I have never heard anyone say that the feeling of achievement after putting in all the hard work was not worth it. You also need to avoid the comparison game. There is always someone stronger and/or more fit…always. Comparison only brings frustration and negative self-talk. Look in the mirror, that is your competition.