I’ve been doing this a long time. Working out and training people that is. For over 13 years, I’ve been putting myself and others through rigorous workouts and finding great success with many and little to no progress with others. That’s right, not every person who’s crossed my path has transformed their body into a picture of chiseled granite. Not everyone will. That’s the hard truth that me and every other passionate trainer out there are going to have to swallow. Having said that, there are definitely some common characteristics I’ve observed with those who have achieved their goals and gotten into great shape.
Obviously, great programming followed consistently will pay huge dividends. For now let’s put aside sets, reps, intensity and all the other “fitness ideologies” that are so heavily debated these days and take a look at the more intangible side of becoming a physical specimen. Let’s take a look at what REALLY separates the STRONG, LEAN, and CONDITIONED from those that are too scared and/or lazy to even break a sweat. I’m talking about the most powerful tissue in your body and it sits right between your ears….
A BULLETPROOF MIND
It seems the proper mindset is the driving force behind reaching any type of fitness goal. I’m not talking about some fleeting motivation that comes around every January and evaporates like morning dew in mid February. I’m talking about a mindset that is built to last, fortified with an indomitable foundation, and impervious to futile distractions. This is the cloth that champions are cut from. These are the doers, the people you read about, the alpha dogs if you will..
A bulletproof mindset is comprised of many things including but not limited to the following:
1. ENTHUSIASM – Ralph Waldo Emerson once said ” Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” When was the last time you saw someone that was in great shape that dreaded going to the gym? How often do you see that shredded guy lollygagging his way through a workout just to get it over with? The hard truth is if you don’t wake up excited to hit your next workout you might as well refill your bowl of Doritos, loosen the drawstring in your pants and just bask in your mediocrity.
2. BELIEVING IS SEEING – That’s right, I didn’t write it backwards. It sounds sounds simple enough but this may be one of the biggest roadblocks to people’s success. The hard truth is most of you wish you were in better shape but very few of you BELIEVE you can really take your fitness to the next level. Stop and ask yourself “Do you really think you can get a six pack?” “Do you really think you can do 10 unassisted chinups?” If you don’t think you can succeed why even bother starting an exercise program? Your wishful thinking has to be turned into concrete confidence. Your determination and will has to be greater than any other external force. Middle class thinking won’t get you a first class body.
3. THREAD IT INTO YOUR DNA – The strongest, fittest, and leanest don’t get that way by casually working out here and there. They get there because its a part of who they are; their character, well-being, and happiness are directly intertwined with how well they take care of their bodies. Make looking and feeling the best you can a purpose in your life. When a day you haven’t trained feels like a day you haven’t lived, then you have armed yourself with the weapons you need to build a better you.
4. THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD – Most of us train to achieve some desired goal or result (i.e. get a six pack, lose 10lbs, deadlift twice your bodyweight, etc.) and this is a great way to stay motivated and consistent with your training. However, the reality is good habits implemented on a daily basis are what separate the good from the great. Waking up on time, staying hydrated, and treating every rep like it’s your last are just a few of the little things that lead to huge success. I wake up every morning excited about the PROCESS of becoming better. The hard truth is there is no destination! ” The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” If you think you’ve arrived, you’ve only made a pit stop. Every squat, every pullup, every burpee is your reward for not taking the easy way out. ENJOY THE RIDE!!
5. GO THE EXTRA MILE – This can be taken both figuratively and literally. For some of you, getting to the gym and running an extra mile may be exactly what you need to do to step your game up. The hard truth is you need to go above and beyond the call of duty. This could mean getting to the gym early, working on your mobility, a few extra sets of cleans, whatever the case may be it’s not enough to just “show up” or “punch your time card.” Hold yourself to a higher standard. Ask yourself “Am I doing everything I can to be the best I can?” Nobody ever got to the top just by doing the bare minimum. I challenge you to push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of and see where it takes you.
Remember, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” so rise above the average Joe and do what others are unwilling to do. Then, and only will you stand a chance.
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