I have often talked about time and the value of it. Or in some cases, the lack of value most people place on it. Time is often thrown away, spent for nothing in return and rarely thought about. I went down to see Charlie Weingroff (see video below) the other morning and the only time we could both make work with our schedules was 6AM down in Marlboro, about 40 minutes away. I didn’t hesitate to book it because I knew the visit would help me.
One of the worst excuses in the world is that you don’t have time. We all have the same amount of time, we just choose to use it differently. I wrote a few months back about how while I was driving out to my grandmother’s funeral in Pittsburgh, I decided to listen to a time management CD by Dan Kennedy. I realized after listening for the 8+ hours how much I have been slacking off on commanding my time. Some of my friends think I am crazy that I schedule out my weekdays down to the minute, but I get so much more done this way. If you have ever tried calling me unscheduled you now know why I do not pick up. And when I do have a phone appointment, I make sure it has a definite ending time before I get on the phone. Again, respect your time, let other people throw theirs away.
If you want to accomplish great things in life, you need to command your time. I am not sure who it was, maybe one of the Schwab’s off the top of my head, but he was asked for a secret to his success. So he took out a napkin and scribbled something on it, handed it to the inquirer and said, “If you follow the secret on that napkin, it will yield you know less than $25,000 extra in the next year (equivalent to over half a million now days). When the inquirer opened it up, he was disappointed to see that all it said was simply: “Schedule your days out the night before.”
There is nothing sexy about it, nothing magical and all it takes is a little discipline. I can hear people saying now that they don’t have time for this type of thing, see what I’m talking about? People want to be great but they can’t bring themselves to do something as simple as this. What is the purpose of this entire maniacal attitude towards my time? I love the sense of purpose and accomplishment I get during and at the end of each and every day and it allows me to create my ideal life, which means no more working on the weekends since I’ve stopped teaching. This allows Devon and I time to enjoy each other without my being distracted.
Want to get lean? Use your time wisely and wake up early if need be. If you can’t do that, then you don’t really want to be lean, you just like the idea of it. I cannot tell yo how often I have people tell me they want to be lean and in the best shape of their life yet they are the same one and two months later. How come they couldn’t do it but others could? Is it some secret ‘thyroid’ issue? Nope, just a difference in attitude and with that, how they use their time towards their goal. I have a definite deadline of June 1st to be under 10% body fat. I know what I will look like and where I will go from there. Dave Tate once told me that when you are on a mission, set a start and ending date, otherwise there is no urgency. While talking with my boy, the Wolverine, last night, we decided where we are going to be at certain dates throughout the summer. We used to be buddies on the competition trail and now we do it for the love of being awesome and getting in the best shape we can. If you need a contest to get lean and in shape, you are employing backwards thinking. That doesn’t mean I am opposed to competing, it means you need to be clear on what you are doing and why.
Finally, the point you thought I’d never get to. Some dieting advice and tips to look for. I always become ultra aware of these things when on the journey myself and it follows the same patterns almost every time. So, if you are trying to get lean, really lean, look for these things to happen:
• You will start to get lean in certain areas first. Usually the face and cheek and then from there its individual. For me, I have a certain vein that comes out in my right arm and I know I am on the right track. For guys the belly will be one of the last things to go and for the females it will be the glues and thighs.
• Your body temperature will drop. This is normal when you are in the appropriate caloric deficit. Leptin, thyroid, testosterone, IGF-1 and other hormones will crash after just 4 days of a deficit. Your body will literally begin to shut systems down and you will notice body temperature coming down. This is one of many reasons you need re-feeds.
• Getting up in the morning should be much easier and I attribute this to keeping insulin under control on a consistent basis.
• Hunger is constant, but not severe. You will always have the feeling (besides your cheat meals) where you could definitely eat more.
• Urination levels will go up. This is due to two reasons. 1)Less carbohydrate for your water to bind with. We are aiming for lower glycogen levels any way to lose body fat, but look at the name carbo-HYDRATE and you will see that for every one gram of carbs it’ll bind with 3 grams of water. 2) As your body begins to break down and mobilize body fat, it will release the toxins in the fat cells, and thus they will have to be excreted via the urine.
There are many more, but if you are just starting, these will save you some time to know if you are on the right track. By the way, the Wolverine and I will be starting our own Internet radio show unlike everything you have ever heard before. And, if you are interested in the fat loss stuff I spoke of, check out the banner with the link to my fat loss seminar page. Win the day!
In case you are new to this site or wondering why I, a physical preparation coach, speaks on such topics, it is because I am all about living life at the highest level. I am about to have a huge breakthrough in my life and I will make that annoucement when that time is right, but I am confused as hell. The trick is, when you feel that confusion, keep going, straight into the heart of it….
Part of making my athletes the strongest around is getting them to believe that they can do certain things. Many times, I know they can do it while I can see a look of doubt on their faces as to whether they actually believe they can do it.
Great athletes have an almost cocky type of attitude and they will embrace the challenge. The ones that are scared to go for ‘it’ in the weight room never really amount to much more than an average player.
I have trained myself over the years to embrace and attack challenges and I taught myself this in the gym. 20 sets of 315 for 12 reps in the squat as an example, back when I was more actively competing in bodybuilding.
I have only been off of my crutches for 8 days and the improvement since then is almost scary. I drove my truck for the first time yesterday. I got the seat in to a level 11 on the recumbent elliptical at PT, the pain nothing short of excruciating, but I loved it. I was using 4 plates on the reverse hyper yesterday while most able bodied fold are scared to go above 1 plate per side.
My subconscious got the immediate message that it was okay to start pushing the boundaries once I got off of the crutches and out of the wheelchair. Tommy, one of the PTs that is working with me said he thinks I will set a new record and standard for coming back from this type of injury.
The point being, you can do far more than you think you can. If you have the right attitude, you will go to high altitudes. Believe you can and you will….
I was gonna write about something different today but I am to souped up after last night to not share with you guys what I did. I had set a goal to walk within one month of surgery and I did it last night. Now, I am not walking around all the time without assistance, but I did it, it’s a start. I also got my first leg raise last night! Don’t worry, I captured it all on the video below for you:)
This reinforced the power of the mind to me. I have been visualizing, dreaming about and meditating on these events every day. No one broke the speed of sound until Yeager did it in 1959, people thought you explode and disintegrate if you tried (thanks Rich for sharing this with me). The year that Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile, 50 others did the same thing. Because….someone broke through. Impossible is nothing….
Many people go through life like mindless drones, wasting minutes, wasting hours, wasting days. This might take the shape of an athlete not working 100% in practice or the off-season or it might manifest with people that talk about their dreams and what they want to be, but they do this while watching TV.
I have always told anyone that asked me that the one great advantage you have as a 1%er would be to look around on any night and see what other people were doing. Most of them were just draining time. When you start to think of time as having value, your whole perspective changes.
One of the biggest and most important things that I teach my physical education students is that of time. I teach them that the most important thing a person can give to you is their time, it is the highest level of love a person can share. You will often see wealthy parents showering their kids in gifts, but not giving them time and it literally destroys the child’s childhood.
Time also has a compounding effect. If you use it effectively, your investment starts to compound. There is one author that I know of that wrote his first book on 10 minute coffee breaks from his day job. It took him a few years, but he did it.
Many athletes say they want to be great, but they aren’t really willing to invest the time. Read that again, the word INVEST. The best thing you can do in your life is to invest in yourself and you do this by how you use your time. I was reading something recently on a knee website I joined and the one guy was saying it is no wonder that most professional athletes have such good success with their rehab programs because they eat, breathe and think about getting better every moment. It becomes their purpose in life just as it will become mine when the time is right.
If you want to be a great ball player, you must be willing to outwork everyone else in your sport. Extreme things take unusual efforts. Time is not to be wasted or spent on silly things. When you develop a philosophy of time, it will drive everything you do in your life. This is something that successful grasp and understand. It is why they people to do things that aren’t worth their time value. Many others see this and say, “It’s so silly to spend money on X, they should just do it themselves.” No, this is incorrect thinking. You should only spend your time on those things that have the greatest return on investment, whether that means spiritually, physically, mentally, athletically, family relationships and so on.
As you can see in the video above, I always try to track and remain aware of how I am using my time. I despise time vampires, which unfortunately 99% of the people are. When you look back on your life, you don’t want there to be chapters in your life book of nothing, no growth, no progress. If you use your time and invest it, you will always be making progress and growing. In life, we are either growing or dying, there is no middle ground. It is not what we do, but how we choose to do ‘it’.
You can either talk about using your time wisely or you can actually do it. When you realize that things can be taken from you in an instant and life changes on a dime, you will have a different view. Was your workout great today? Did you cherish each rep? Was your practice good today? 50 said that after he was shot 9 times, he realized how urgent things were, that time is scarce, Steve Jobs said the same thing, often saying that he knew he wouldn’t live a long life, so he commanded his time like no other. For me, it was my knee. You better believe that I will never take for granted another squat rep, another basketball game, the ability to stand on one leg, the ability to stay healthy and compete on a bodybuilding stage. Use the things in your life as vehicles for transformation.
I find that too many people go through life with no purpose, no goals and no direction. Maybe these people never had mentors to model a life of striving or maybe they have a guilty conscience, doesn’t really matter the cause. You will never achieve much in life if you aren’t definite in purpose towards something. I know very few people that are actively and actually working towards their dreams. This is not a knock on anyone, but reality.
Devon asked me the other night what makes me uncomfortable and I thought for a minute and told her, “I make it a point to do at least one uncomfortable thing every single day.” And this has been true for as long as I can remember, whether thats doing work on the computer, making phone calls I’d rather not, waking up early, wearing my under armour tights out to eat (I do this from time to time just to really get uncomfortable). I read at a charity event last week and there is nothing more in the world that makes me more uncomfortable than reading in front of a group of people off a book or script. But I did it because I knew that somewhere down the road, to get to where I am going, I am going to have to continue pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone further and further out.
I have a definite purpose every single day when I wake up: To be the best strength coach in the world and be the best husband I can be. Balance is always going to be an issue for me, I have lofty goals. But there is rarely a wasted minute in my day. I would challenge you to follow me around for a day and see if you can find any ‘wasted’ minutes. Think about training in the gym without a goal. It suddenly becomes meaningless and the thought of “Why am I even doing this?” will enter your mind. Once you develop a time line and goal list, the training will get exciting again. You can learn more about life in the gym than you can in any class room.
I have a purpose and I am going after that purpose with a sense of urgency. I know that my dreams won’t wait for me. I have a gap right now that I can either hit or let pass by. Life will continue either way, but I know which one I am shooting for. As humans, when we don’t have purpose, we die. Harsh, but true. Define your purpose
When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you think about? When you are busy during the day, what are you thinking about? What is your library like at home?
I am not suprised that most people don’t even have a collection of ten books at their house. It is also no coincidence to me that most people never become truly great at anything and despite what they think of themselves, they are pretty much average in all regards. I have an addiction to studying and learning, pretty odd considering I swore off reading and studying when I graduated college in 2003. Somewhere along the way I realized that if I wanted to be great, even if to no one else but myself, then I owed it to myself to learn as much as humanly possible about the human body and strength.
I realize that many of you that read this aren’t strength coaches, so I will make this so it can apply to anyone. Until you love what you do so much, you will never be great at it. If you are working a job you only kind of sort of like, good luck to you. When I am teaching all day or even relaxing with Devon, the deepest parts of my brain are still working on different ‘strength questions’. I don’t do this consciously, but strength training is who I am.
You could sit me down and lock me in my home library and as long as you gave me water, I’d be deliriously happy to stay in there for weeks on end. I love what I do. Do you? I often have people that see me reading a book ask if they can borrow it. First of all, not likely and if I do lone it out I ask that it be back to me within 2 weeks. Second, if they were really a serious student, they would go buy their own. That type of question only tells me they aren’t passsionate about the topic. I am constantly jotting down notes while driving around listening to audio books or educational material about which books the author recommends. As soon as I get to a computer, I order them. I am always practicing the principle of the ‘slight edge’. In fact, I am writing an article for EliteFTS about the slight edge right as soon as I am done with this.
I also love it when people ask me when I have time to read or study and they tell me that they don’t have time for it. Funny thing is that I can almost guarantee that 99% of the people I meet wouldn’t make it through a day of my schedule if we were to switch schedules. Its called being driven. If you are, then god bless you.
If you are really serious about your strength, body and health, you should be studying it relentlessly. That is how my whole quest began, it was personal and selfish and then I had more and more people asking me to write them programs.
I always keep the mindset that no matter how much I study or learn, I still no nothing. The principle of the ‘empty cup’. I do know that I heard at a seminar a few years ago that if you study for one hour per day in your field of passion, that in 5-7 years you would be one of the world’s leading experts.
Stop talking and take some action!
I just finished up with a lot of the athletes that play spring sports. Always a bit of sadness mixed with happiness at this time as I usually form a pretty strong bond between myself and my clients. Happy because I know these athletes will be very pleased at their new found strength, size, etc.
I had a kid in the last batch that wasn’t the most athletic kid, but he worked harder than just about all the other athletes, passed all his conditioning tests that the coach puts them through and he ranked at the 4th strongest player out of 75 at his high school. He stopped by to tell me this last Saturday while we were in the process of moving the gym to its new spot.
It got me thinking, this kid took something and made it his own. He controlled his circumstances and results by pure, hard work. Many people, athletes included, want to talk about this and that and how they are going to do this or if they just had better genetics and so on. The secret they don’t know (or do know but are unwilling to put in the work), is that you can get nearly anywhere in life with hard work. Who is going to be left standing at the finish line 4 years from now? The person with all the talent in the world that was a flash in the pan or the person that showed up every day and refused to quit? We can and should make our dreams turn into reality by simply being willing to work the hardest to reach them.
I was reading a Houdini book the other night to a group of children. I was amazed to read that Houdini would often practice up to 8 hours per day on his craft, he constructed the biggest library on magic in the world at his home office, he trained, swam, boxed, ran and so on. He had no formal education, he just knew where and what he wanted to do.
I was consulting with an online client the other day and I was recommending to add in some extra conditioning now that we have hit a stand still and his reply was, “The problem is, finding the time.” Correction, the problem is him not wanting it bad enough. I get up at 4:20 AM on the days when I have to train the morning crew so that I can get my cardio or conditioning in before they arrive. I have always been willing to outwork the person next to me. Never been blessed with superior genetics or a superior brain. In fact, I was significantly less smart than my three brothers growing up. However, I just keep reading, keep writing, interviewing anyone I can and I have slowly started to emerge where I one day hoped to be.
A great example that I have followed through the years is Branch Warren. I rememeber when he first became a pro bodybuilder and he worked his ass off, but his physique was no where near that of the more blessed competitors. He has now won multiple Arnold Classic titles and it is by nothing more than being the last man standing, living his dream day in and day out.
I know that I have ruffled some feathers in the fitness industry by people accusing me of being a copy cat or playing dirty. I just laugh for a few reasons: 1-dogs don’t bark at parked cars, 2-the real reason these people hate on me is because I am doing what I learned from them better than they are and I am outhustling them every single day.
The question you need to ask yourself is: What is it that you want most in life? How hard are you willing to work for it? Are you just kind of into it, like missing out on time with ‘it’ to watch tv? Or are you gonna go outside, brave the world and put in the work that no one else wants to put in? Its a really simple formula and success can be yours once you realize that most people will simply give up long before they reach their destination.
I know some people out there wish I’d just shut the hell up and talk about nothing but training and nutrition, but then I wouldn’t be being true to myself. I know that many of you are more interested in mindset and you have already made the connection between working out in a 100 degree gym, beating the workout and how this forges you ‘steel mindset’. I often times think that I could very easily be happy with a career as a psycho-therapist.
I have always loved pyschology and truth be told, I have learned much more about it from my time in the gym, under the bar and as a strength coach. Newell Strength is really just my playground, my lab for life. There is a lot more teaching going on there than just how to squat or bench and there is a lot more learning there going on for me personally than just what works in an exercise program.
I get people hiring me from all different back grounds and they all want success. Most of them are type A personalities, most are warriors. But then you have people that I have worked with in the past that hire me and then object to everything I try to coach them up on. They have an excuse at every turn, every corner, why they can’t eat such and such. Those types of relationships don’t last very long for me.
I would love to go home like most teachers and sit on the couch while eating a bowl of ice cream, but that doesn’t jive with my dream. I would love to eat pizza tonight, however that is not a choice. It is not self-torture, it a choice I have eliminated to take the mental battle out of the equation. I want to be healthy, I want to be lean. I have done so in the past many times, but not like I am doing now. This is perament. It is a part of my being, my perspectives have changed after turning 30 this past summer. I would have loved to sleep in a little later this morning, alarm clock blaring at 4:30 AM, but I want success more than a little extra sleep. I had my conditioning scheduled before training the morning crew at 5:30 AM before going in for a full day of teaching and then back to the gym.
I would love to sit back and watch stupid youtube videos on my lunch break, but instead I am writing this. I know what my dreams are and I know what type of effort it will take to reach them. A lot of people tell me how badly they want to succeed, but their actions don’t line up with what they tell me. They want to sleep in all the time, have ultra-success, they want to eat whatever. Most people are unwilling to be uncomfortable, to step outside their comfort zone.
I love what Eric Thomas, aka the Hip Hop Preacher says when he says, “Most of you are crying to quit. Don’t cry to quit, cry to keep going! You alread suffering, get a reward for it! Most of you like sleep more than you want to be successful. Until you are willing to give up sleep to reach your dreams, you won’t ever have the success you want.” I am not saying not to sleep, but you are going to have to sacrifice a lot to get done to where you know you want to be in your heart.
How many athletes have you seen that say they want a D! scholarship, yet they will cut every corner they can? They will opt to stay up late playing PS3. I didn’t have the physical skills, but during the summer you could find me lifting weights or shooting hoops at midnight. I had a dream and I can say I put every single thing in my soul into it. When I see these qualities in others, I will go to the end of the world to help them.
I had the best weekend ever with Devon last weekend because I switched a few things around, I got all my work done before teh weekend hit. I want to re-live that every single weekend, I want to succeed at that and I will! I don’t care if I have to get up at 3 AM the next 2 days to get all the work done, I owe it to her and myself.
Stop saying you want success or to be successful, act and live successfully every single minute of every single day. 1%…..