Don’t Just Move…

As I have been prone to do at time, I found myself browsing Facebook.  I was scanning through the pics of gyms moving large loads, people hitting PR’s or holding the handstand against the wall.  It was a feed of celebration and then there was a man holding a v-sit on paralletes.  And in it, were these words and they got me over to the blog to fill the pages…this is a great topic to follow-up my “basics” post found here.

Don’t Just Move, Move Well

After we reach a point of not simply embracing the basics and embarking on the journey to understanding how everything builds upon itself.  We need to focus on moving well.  We all must force ourselves to get rid of the clock in our heads that says get this done as quickly as possible and change our paradigm to:

Get this done as perfectly as possible

There is a time and a place for speed work.  There is a time and a place for competing and pushing the envelope, but for the majority of people that is after you have forced yourself to focus on moving well.  Don’t rely on just performing a pushup, perform a perfect pushup that is going to get the necessary response for what you are trying to accomplish.  Are you locking your arms at the top, chest touching the ground?  Why not?

What crutches do you have in your way, that keep you from performing at the highest possible level?  Do you let the fear of finishing last keep you from taking the necessary steps to gaining strength.  Are you afraid of falling down, without knowing that when you get back up you will be stronger and wiser.

Take the hit, give up a little of your need to finish first or be the fastest and challenge yourself.  BUT challenge yourself to move perfectly.  This might mean less weight on the bar and more focus on how you are moving.  It might mean more time with technique work and getting assistance from your coach.

And COACHES…hold your athletes to a higher standard of movement.  If they move like crap, you are part of the problem.  If you let them slide with half-reps, then who is really to blame?  Do you set the example for them or are you the example they use for not moving correctly?  It is on all of us to set the standard and what is or is not acceptable in our gyms.

Time for everyone to step up!


Embrace the Basics

Originally Published on my home gym’s website (but still good to remember):


Yesterday in training we had a session of hollow rocks or hollow holds depending on where you were at.  As I drove home from class, I was reminded at how often we neglect the basics and how much they have to offer us as athletes.  Everybody wants to get the muscleups and heavy snatches, but what are the pieces that lead to that. We must embrace all the elements that make those movements possible and focus as much on proper technique in those as we do on the advanced movements.  I will give everyone some insight into the coaching side of things.  It is harder to teach the basic movements than the advanced ones, for a very simple reason:

Everyone believes they know how to do simple movements correctly, and they KNOW the hard ones are hard.

That is not mind-blowing news.  How many times though has your coach taken you back to the basics to diagnose your faults or difficulties in the advanced movement?  Think about learning to perform a kipping pullup, or toe to bar and having all the pulls removed and all you are allowed to do is demonstrate a controlled swing. If you want to excel at the complicated things you must excel in the basic ones too.  They are the foundation of all that follows, so don’t neglect them.  There is a reason that a house has a foundation poured and is reinforced by steel.  There is a reason it is framed with 2x4s and then walls attached to that. It is for this very reason that we require demonstration of movements at every workout.  This is why we ask you to show proficient movement before we bring in the speed component and intensity.  There is a huge process that is going on in making connections in the brain about how to move safely, efficiently and ultimately effectively. So as you go through even the most basic of movements, take a minute and notice all that is going on with each one.  Take time to see the difficulty that is truly involved in a perfect pushup or perfect squat.  There is a lot more going on than you think.  Engage with the movement.

PERFECT Practice Make Perfect Performance!

Hard Work Still Matters

This one is a little personal.  This one is a little more universal and does not just apply to training or fitness.  There is a growing trend of laziness in this world.  There is a trend that drives me nuts and that is that far too often people expect things to just happen.

In too many facets of life, it seems people expect things to just magically work the way they want them to and how they expect them to.  No matter what the job, it seems that people are afraid or allergic to working hard and being held responsible for even the simplest of tasks.

If you want to get anywhere worth being, hard work still matters.  Hard work is still the path to success.  You can try the shortcuts, but if you want to grow and learn, then put in the time and effort necessary to achieve the things you want.

No one is going to set you up for success better than you can.  AND WHY SHOULD THEY?  That my friends in the million dollar question.  Why are your dreams and your goals someone else’s responsibility?  Not even dreams and goals, but little day to day tasks.  Why do we walk around with this expectation that we don’t have to put in the time and energy necessary to make our wants into reality.

One of the best quotes that I heard recently that resonates with me is as follows:

If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs ~Tony Gaskins

It really is that simple.  If you are not going to work to build what you want, then you will help someone else build what they want.  If you are not willing to put in the time and effort to get where you want to be in life, then stop complaining.  This world is not out to crush your dream, but it isn’t going to hand it to you either.

When you are ready to start building, let’s get after it!   It’s your time…put in the time and work necessary for you to make that dream real!

More Business and Training

So here we go again.  This blog will talk a little about business, but a lot about character. The two go hand in hand.  And hopefully business and character plus hard work and hustle and you can find yourself tasting some success.

I am a member of several groups that deal with being a business owner.  In my case, these are primarily gym owners.  I look at the questions they have and I am a huge fan of sharing knowledge and ideas, but more and more seems to always turn into…tear someone down to make myself look better.  STOP!  That reveals your character or theirs if they are talking trash about you.

Analyze what they are saying…is there any (even a tiny bit) of truth to it?  If so, how are you going to fix it?  How are you going to fix it within the walls of your own business?

I do not know if it is the culture that we live in, the politics ruling the world, the he said- she said garbage or what, but we are obsessed with proving that we are better.  We are obsessed with slinging mud and talking trash to belittle someone else just to feel better.  We will destroy someone just so that we can stand on a pile of rubble and say we are better.

Who wants to be king of ruins?

Seriously, take a minute and think about it.  If all we do is try to destroy someone else and their kingdom or their business, we are standing on ruins.  Where is our business?  Is it getting any better if we spend all our time and energy making someone else look inferior or hurting them.

STOP!  Build your empire.  Build your business and focus on that.  You want to be the best, invest your time and energy into yourself and your people.  Don’t invest it into tearing someone else down…just keep getting better.  Gain knowledge, make more and better personal connections with the people you see each and every day, clients and employees.

How can you make their lives better?  How can you make a difference in building a better community around you.  Grow into a leader that others can say whatever they want to about them and no one will believe them.  Let your character respond for itself.

Put your head down and work!  Form your own path, carve it out of the mountain and get to the top by working hard.

The same philosophy hold true in training.  You do not get your gains by talking trash about someone else’s program or training methods.  I guarantee you someone following a “bad” training program will make more progress than someone spending all their time trashing it.

So start learning how to learn from your own mistakes, grow from them and then craft a business that is all you!  Focus on this business being an extension of who you are and stop caring about what everyone else is doing.  Stop thinking you have to cater to the same crowds or the same people.

Cater to the people who have the same values, goals and character as you.  They will come and success will find you.  Results will come if you put in the work…

Unless you want to rule the ruins!

Train In Reality…Do Everything in Reality

I don’t like excuses at all.  I do not like whining at all.  But I also understand that life happens.  I currently have one simple request for anyone that wants to train with me.  Answer this simple question:

Are you willing to train within your reality?

What I mean in that question is, can you accept the truth about who you are and how that will relate to your training.  The reality that you must address is, what are you willing to give up or take on in order to reach your goals?  Will you accept that time table on reaching your goals changing based on the reality of your life and the choices you make?

If you want to lean up and lose 4 sizes, but do not want to give up your weekend ways, can you accept that as your reality and not get discouraged when it takes several months as opposed to just one?  Or are you willing to give up a month of partying, to get to your goal quicker?  You decide.

If you want to put on 20 pounds of mass; how many times can you train a week and give your best effort?  How are you willing to change your nutrition to reach those goals and again, it will effect your time table.

Have kids?  How does that alter your goals to make them realistic?  Can you accept your role in reaching your goals and recognize that no matter what you have to accept and train within your reality.  Your coaches cannot make things magically happen because they want to, or even if you WANT them to.  You have to make them happen.

You have to make some sacrifices and ACCEPT the reality of your situation.  If you work 60+ hours a week at a desk, eat terrible and have a gym membership that only gets used once a month, you probably will not be in contention to be the world’s strongest, or fittest person.  It just is not realistic.

If you are a someone who has no constraints on their time, is willing to work hard to reach their goals, understands that success means sacrifice, the sky can be the limit.

But stop lying to yourself about where you should be.  Look at everything realistically and then make some goals.  Accept that no matter what, it is going to take work to get to where you want to be.

Do you live in reality?

Fired Up! Just WORK!

I am a little fired up today.  People need to work.  Not complain.  It really is simple, get to work.  Start!

You don’t need all the fancy equipment.  You don’t need the latest and greatest supplement stack or elite bar.  You need to get up and start working.

You have your body…literally start using it to get things done.  Run! Sprint!  Pushup, situp, squat, find a tree limb and get in some pull-ups.  Google bodyweight training and start a program that requires nothing but your own body.

Strength training…find some rocks to lift, some tires to flip.  Whatever you want.  But stop with the excuses!

Get started now!

The same holds true in life.  Get to work!  Stop thinking you deserve anything more than what you have in front of you.  If the tools you have allow you to complete your job, then you have all that you need.  This world has become about needing the right environment to get stuff done.  Any environment is the right environment when you decide to get to work and accomplish something.

You do not need the fanciest laptop or computer, you need one that allows you to complete your task.  Speakers…not necessary!

Decide today, right now, that you are going to be different and that you are just going to get [email protected]#$ done.  No matter what is in your way, get it done!  At least get started.

No more excuses…time to work!