After 17 years of training, hundreds of contests, 2 world championships, and training with some of the best in strength, I want to share some of the secrets the fitness Pros, YouTube stars, and shredded models don’t tell you. The reason they don’t tell you is because the truth doesn’t sell to the guy hungry for progress. Magic pills, secret routines, and mythical exercises are what everyone wants to hear. Like searching for the Holy Grail, the truth is; it doesn’t exist.
The most important thing for progressing no matter what your goals are is CONSISTENCY. No matter if you want to be stronger, leaner, or bigger, the same simple thing gets you there every time; Being consistent in your effort, i.e., doing the right stuff over 90% of the time, for a long time. I have said it for years and still believe it is absolutely true. If you want to be strong, squat moderately heavy in your training at least once a week for 10 years. Diet is no different. You have to do the right thing all the time for years. This consistency is what will really get you to where you’re trying to go. Doing a lot of small things right for a long time does get hard and that’s where I was you. Progress is slow.
INJURIES, no matter what your goals, are part of the deal. If you’re going to push yourself to make the most progress you can or change your life through lifting, you’re going to have injuries whether small nagging injuries or bigger ones that require time off. You’re going to have to learn that it comes with the territory. Learn to listen to your body. Figure out what works best for you to heal properly and quickly. Start to understand what you can work through and what needs a break. Spend time learning mobility and other body maintenance work. This stuff will keep you healthy and training at your best. Doing the best you can to stay uninjured is going to keep you making progress as much as any other thing you’re going to do.
Early on in your training, you will always be on the lookout for a MAGIC BULLET. The truth is there isn’t one. All the talk about natty or half natty can go out the window. I will save you a ton of time and frustration if you learn one thing: there is nothing out here illegal or legal that will magically change your life if you’re not already doing everything else you can to be your best. Learn to love the process instead of always being focused on the work.
If you’re committed to making life-long progress and surpassing your goals, then make sure you love the process. You’re going to spend the vast majority of your time grinding toward that goal than you will ever enjoy the actualization of that goal. Don’t let that thing you’re chasing define you. Learning to love the work and grind will help you hit your goals and keep working forward.
These are the big things I find in common with all the big name people in strength I know. These three things are not magic either but they are the philosophy that will get you where you’re going no matter what. Apply these to anything you’re chasing and eventually you will get there.
Remember, you can chop a tree down with a butter knife if you do it long enough. Steady progress is forever progress.
Prepared by Matt Vincent
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