Years ago, a young guy was doing ¼ squats with far too much weight in a gym when an old timer noticed he wasn’t performing the squat correctly. The old timer, wanting to pass on knowledge he’d gained through many years of injuries and bad squats, approached the young guy and gave him some tips. The young guy brushed it off and continued his ¼ rep squats, thinking, “What does that old timer know? He probably can’t squat half what I’m putting up right now!” The young guy continued his incorrect squats and went home feeling great about how much weight he had on the bar that day. A few days later, he was back in the gym when he saw the old timer again. The old timer approached him and attempted to give him advice on the bench press, to no avail. The same things ran through the young guys mind. “He doesn’t know shit. I’m probably lifting more than he’s ever done before!” A few more days went by and the young guy saw the old timer, yet again. This time, the old timer came up and simply said, “You know, it would help if you got more coachable.” (Thoughts from Thirty Years of Barbell Training, Mark Rippetoe)
Today, I give you that same piece of advice. Get more coachable. There’s too much to do in the little time we have together, and you are getting in the way of your own progress.
Now, don’t take offense and bring in the cavalry just yet. Read what I have to say from a purely objective perspective and really give it some thought. If you do that, and are still pissed at me, you can let me know the next time you see me. But if you manage to get through this whole thing and feel up to the challenge, well then, let’s get some work done.
I need you to be better. I want you to see continuous progress. I want you to focus your attention on performing movement correctly every single time you step in this gym. I want you to be better.
What about you? Are you here to get better, or just to go through the motions? Are you here to get stronger, or just throw on the same weight as last time and rep it out ‘cause you know you won’t fail?
I believe that the work done in the gym can save your life. Furthermore, have you ever heard someone say, “Man, I hate having abs,” or “I wish I looked fatter?”
You won’t hear people complain about results, only the path to achieve them. And you won’t hear people who have survived the trial to achieve those results complain at all. There’s a good reason for that.
If you don’t leave the gym feeling better than when you got there, you are cheating yourself. If you don’t wake up the next day, feeling stronger, faster, and more fit, you aren’t getting everything you can from your workouts.
“But coach, I show up every day and do the workout you tell me to!”
It’s not enough to just show up. It’s not enough to just go through the motions. You have to BE PRESENT.
Being present means using your mind to move your body and focusing all of your attention on it. Anything that takes your attention away from the task at hand should be regarded as the enemy to progress. Distractions are the barrier stopping you from feeling fitter than you’ve ever felt. Distractions halt progress and leave you weak both mentally and physically.
You are perfectly capable of not letting them, and I’m right here with you every step of the way.
Each and every one of you has it in you to be stronger, fitter, and more powerful than you’ve ever been. Truly, you do. I’ve seen it.
And it’s my pleasure to keep you on that path. But I need your help.
It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be quick. But I’m right there with you.
Every time we work together, I’m right there.
So show up on time, be mentally present, be ready to ignore distractions, be ready get some work done and ask questions!
You are one good choice away from progress, and one bad one away from injury.