The strength game in many cases is very much that… a game. A constant play of progressions, nutrition and recovery in combination with accommodating life practices that line up equaling the right-ish environment for an athlete to grow and develop. When people ask me of my journey, more specifically from start to present, most people don’t expect the twists and turns athletes including myself have to go through to develop into who they are at the present day. Being an athlete overall has plenty of ups, downs, zigs, zags and quick laterals along their journey through sport and life, and mine definitely could be the equivalent image of a toddler’s first experience with crayons.
It all started when I was a kid… I was always pretty active, played plenty of sports with my friends as well as activities. Little league baseball, travel soccer and grade school soccer, softball and kickball to name a few; not including my regular career of finding the most obnoxious hills to ride up and down on my mountain bike. I never knew how to not be active, but that didn’t stop short stack Rob from gaining a few too many around the middle and kicking off this hobbyist journey into a career mindset.
The big interest in performance started off in high school. I went to private schools up through college, so work ethic was a make-or-break type agenda, but track and field was a rather fun and interesting start mostly because I joined after losing a bet. Inevitably, however, this got the wheels really turning along with some issues that I was having that would later become very unhealthy. The combination of recovery from that to foster my athletics, the encouragement from my coaches and my introduction to powerlifting and strength training come Sophomore year really launched things into overdrive. During my last couple years, and using what my strength coach at the time taught me, I assisted the track and field team on a regular basis in the weight room and also on occasion snuck in myself (shh) to work with individuals who were looking to grow somewhat how I did.
College was certainly an experience as it is for any adolescent male. Though sport was always my passion, my first two semesters of school were for hospitality management with the intention to own a gym, before switching to exercise science. Being away from high school, it was time to jaunt out as a big boy which took me a-ways away from my coaches and out on my own, leading to my little 2ish year bodybuilding career and the start of my coaching career. During this period, I was working with and training along a great deal of old school lifters at a little townie gym. I never considered personal training or coaching a full time career until I found myself on a regular basis asking “why” with little to no responsive results.
From that point on, I had made it my every intention and goal to be able to provide the “why” everyone really wanted to understand. Aside from switching my major, if someone asked me a question in the gym, it was my first and utmost important goal to write it down and research it until my eyes dried out and I would bleed from my ears. Luckily enough, that pursuit of “why” also gave me the tools to grow and assist myself as well. With some little details, continuing education and side jaunts into strongman, crossfit, weightlifting and other endurance sports, I have gotten the opportunity personally to really learn what I have a passion and drive for, not only as an athlete but as a professional leading to where I am today.
At the end of the day, the biggest separating factor between the results I was getting to the progressions I am achieving today is the application of know-how. Learning through schooling, reading, continuing education and other educated professionals has really put me out on top as far as my growth as an athlete and my growth as a coach. Thankfully it’s an ever growing industry and the information never stops getting more interesting, the key idea is to seek it out and soak up every last little bit!
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