I was watching and taking notes on a Mike Boyle presentation from 2011 this morning on success. While Mike is one of the greatest coaches on the planet, when he speaks about success, it is just as interesting as when he speaks about strength. I saw Mike give a similar speech in 2007. Mike said in the DVD, “Success is easy, but it’s hard.”
I figured it’d been a while since I talked about the 1%ers out there, so here is my take on it…
The above pic is a snapshot of my home office. Its not fancy, but it is my little cave where I make my own success happen. I find too often that people tell me they will open their own gym or they will become such and such a player, but instead of taking action, they talk, make excuses and delude themselves with self-delusion.
I was never the smartest kid in school, in fact, academically I can’t hold a candle to my 3 brothers. But I always had heart and a bull-dog mentality. For a while, in high school, I wanted to become such a good basketball player that I took 500 jump shots per day. I paid my younger neighbor 5 bucks per day, and I charted every single shot on a sheet. I still have them floating around somewhere at my parents house. Needless to say, I developed a jump shot at the time that damn near never missed. Easy but hard work.
I also find it amusing when people tell me they are going to open a gym like mine or better than mine. While I admire the aspirations, people like this don’t realize that I am nearing my 10,000 hours of mastery, coming up on a decade of obsession, blood, sweat and tears. If I had to break it down, I’d say its been 5,000 hours of actual coaching clients and 5,000 hours of reading, studying and attending seminars. Take on to that that I write about 5,000 words per week for my newsletter, articles, emails, blogs and so on. The gym is the easy part. When I go over there at 3:30 every afternoon it is fun time.
Do I possess any special talents? None but persistence and consistency. Most people want to start on 3rd base or worse yet, some people are born on 3rd base and think they hit a triple (Boyle’s line and I love it). I remember driving my little ass car to train clients in their freezing cold garages, listening to Tony Robbins audio tapes and that was when I thought I had ‘made it’. The times of getting up at 4 am to get my workouts in or study before going in to teach for the day. Going over to Rutgers before school to help with the strength training with the football team and to learn from those guys. I have no secrets and that is why I really have no fear of competition. If I had a secret, I would be finished if someone else found it out.
I just know, like you should, that 99% of the people don’t even have the persistence to stick with a nutrition plan for 2 days. Success is really there to be had by anybody, its one of the great fundamental truths to our country. If you are not happy with your life, do something about it, stop complaining. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it, just like getting ripped up. If everyone could walk around shredded, it wouldn’t mean that much. I am going to be starting a 4 months course for strength coaches this fall based on succeeding in this field with never before seen information, but stuff that works….
Tomorrow, I will be touching on ‘goals’, its that time of year again. And don’t forget, if you liked this, pass it on for me so I can build the NS tribe to 10,000 peeps this year. Thanks!
If there is one thing that I thrive on and constantly seek out, its competition. I have a fierce desire to compete because I know that it will only make me better in the long run. In the past day I have heard, “Look out, so and so is coming for you, they came to talk to us at practice today” to “Kyle, look out, so and so is gonna open up a spot and you will be in trouble.”
Both ideas made me laugh as I know that I have nothing to worry about. I have talked many times in the past about what it takes to succeed and it ain’t for the faint of heart. Just now, I was reading three different books, for the past hour (not all at once, although I’d be a bad ass if I could figure that out), two on back functioning and one on Zen philosophy. Both things which I will somehow implement into my knowledge and Newell Strength.
How many other people do you think are out working you right now, or should I say, out reading you right now? If you are reading a book or two per year, I got news for you, you aren’t going to make it. These other so called competitors (apply this to your own situation, my life is merely an example for you) aren’t getting a book per day delivered to their house….seriously, the UPS guy knows me by name and we often bull shit.
These other people might be able to memorize an exercise or list of exercises or design a program on paper that looks perfect (another article of mine coming out soon) but I’ve been there, I know there is no perfect program and what works for my alpha males isn’t gonna work for most of my high school athletes. When someone tells me I better watch out because another coach has worked with a pro athlete I laugh because pro athletes are the easiest to work with, you are working with superior genetics and its hard to mess that up.
I have no competition in my area, you might think that’s cocky, but its a mindset you must start to believe in yourself. If you are sitting behind a desk working for someone else having a shell of the life you dreamt of, then you better start to believe it in a hurry. No, that said, I welcome all the competition to attack me and try to come at me because I know I have the heart of a champion, no one is gonna out work me. Do you believe that yourself?
I can outwork anyone, can you? I will and have gotten more work done on most days by 5 AM than people get done in an entire day. I have spent a good chunk of most people’s salaries this past year on coaching programs, education and seminars. No one is making me do it, its the warrior inside of me that desires to be great that makes it happen. I have been willing to experiment on myself and push myself further than the others are willing to go.
Competition brings out the best in people. It’s no wonder that at Westside Barbell they have random competitions on ordinary days. This is done to keep the athletes on their toes and to see who has what it takes when the fire gets hot. If you are scared of competition, you are a pussy, plain and simple.
The only competition is myself….our own fears and doubts are greater than any opponent we will ever face on the battlefield. The people that get this confused are fighting a fruitless battle. Its all about growth, not a destination. Too many peeps are scared to be a threat to me, scared to be wrong or take a chance or make a commitment, which is becoming and epidemic. Do you believe these things to be true about yourself? Never focus on competition because the greatest competition is looking at you in the mirror. Man up, face up and win!
I am firm believer that you can only become great by going through the school of hard knocks. Jordan had the Celtics and Pistons standing in his way, but he overcame them and went on to be best basketball player of all time. Jordan wouldn’t have become the greatness that he did become if he didn’t have these other legendary teams in his way.
After being at the bodybuilding show this past weekend, I heard or overheard I should say a lot of funny conversation. When I say funny, it wasn’t intentionally funny, but I found it hilarious because of the level of ego and shallowness that I was hearing. One guy was telling others how his goal was to turn pro. Well, rarely my friends do you declare something and it just happens. This guy had a hell of a body in terms of arms, core, and shoulders but he had no back and no legs. He was a big fish in a small pond. If he did declare that he wanted to be pro and then turned pro what satisfaction and lessons would it bring?
I believe that one of the reasons Mike Lockett stopped bodybuilding was because it came too easy to him, a true freak of nature.
You can only become great by overcoming struggle. The athletes that have to work the hardest or combine hard work with supreme talent are the ones that become great. I declare that I am becoming my ‘greater self’ through my leg injury. It is a ‘hard knock’ in the school of hard knocks in my life.
I have people tell me that they want to have a better gym than me, great! Why would you aim for anything less? Become greater each day but be prepared for the knocks…
It hit me smack in the face at the end of last week….I was faced with a fork in the road. I was in the kitchen, making my grass fed beef, I was hungry, my back was killing me, my knee hurt and it was taking me 5 minutes to get my plate of food 10 feet from the kitchen to the table.
A small voice said: “Give up. Grab some cookies, its easier, they will taste good. You won’t have to worry about your body composition for the next 12 months. Give up, do what others would do….”
And then, I thought back to the years of bodybuilding, the years of sweat and tears, practicing basketball in 100 degree heat, 500 shots per day. I already taught myself how to succeed despite being miserable. I have trained my whole life for this moment in time.
I have taught myself to be a 1%er, the hours of getting up at 4 AM to go out and chase my dream every single day, the pain of losing friends, the weekends away from my wife, the injuries from a life of physicality….
I knew that in that one split moment last week, my life would change forever depending on what I decided to do. I was already in pain. I thought of the Hip Hop Preacher, “You are already in pain. Don’t cry to quit. Cry to keep going. Get a reward from it…” I chose that path, it was really the only choice I had.
I received an unexpected phone call on Saturday night from a long time friend and he just started talking. He said, “Kyle, you can’t let this beat you. People look up to you and if this beats you, it will beat them too. You once told me that if you say you are going to do something, do it. No if’s, and’s or but’s. If anyone can do this, it’s you.”
I have never chosen the road titled ‘Complacency’ and I am not going to start now. I’m gonna get a reward from this experience. I also believe that by choosing certain paths, things and people will come into our lives to keep guiding us, urging us along. Just as I started writing this 1o minutes ago, Louie Simmons called me! Imagine…legend, whom I spoke with graciously last week, called to see how I was doing. Louie wants to make sure I document everything so we can use this experience to help other athletes. Signs like that remind me that I and you really do have no choice, complacency is not an option….
I love to write, so I figured this post could be at least good therapy for me. It is not meant to be a sob story, so excuse me if it comes across like that. I have been open and honest with my audience from the beginning and I don’t intend to stop now….
Here is the beginning of the story, an event that will no doubt change my life forever in some form or another. It started on Thursday night of last week, April 12th, 2012.
I was and still am getting over pneumonia, but I was cleared by the doc to resume activity that I felt capable of doing, which for me, is usually 100 MPH. I had a great week of workouts and played in my first basketball game in 2 weeks on Tuesday night and my conditioning was actually pretty good for taking 2 weeks off.
Wednesday I crushed a lower body workout and all seemed fine. Thursday morning I rode the bike to loosen my legs up and then proceeded to teach all day and work the gym into the evening hours. I rushed over to my game at 8:30 and loosened up on the sidelines. I was playing well throughout the first half, felt pretty good. Early into the second half, I was chasing down a player from the other team (actually a student of mine’s father, Tyrone, ironic, lol) on a fast break. It was just the two of us and we were about under his basket. It felt like his heel kicked back and up into my one and I remember thinking, “That’s odd” and then I remember falling and wondering what was happening. As soon as I hit the ground, I felt ‘it’. I took a quick glance down, noticing that my knee was now pretty much on the side of my leg. I was screaming and banging the floor, yelling for 911. I knew it was bad because many of the other players had to cover their eyes and walk away. Tyrone and Bryan from my team were great in helping me to stay calm, making sure I was comfortable with towels draped on me.
The police arrived first, followed by the ambulance. My buddy Stretch called Devon and I tried to stay calm talking to her, telling her not to worry or come up because they would just take me to the hospital and then pop it back in. Apparently I was disillusioned and Stretch had called her back minutes later telling her to get up to the hospital with my parents because it was far more serious.
The EMTs had to splint my legs together. They had to try and roll me over to my good side for the ride to the hospital but they didn’t get very far because of the pain. So, I had to do it myself. I counted to three and rolled over, not too fun, lol.
The EMT decided to take me to Morristown because of the Trauma center there. When I arrived, they took me into the main trauma room. 3 of my friends, including Stretch and Bryan came with us and came back to keep me company. The doctors came in a few minutes later after the nurses administered the morphine. At this point, he told my friends they were going to want to leave the room because he had to straighten the leg back out. It felt a hell of a lot better after the knee cap slid back into alignment with the rest of my leg. Next up was the X-rays, which confirmed a completely torn patella tendon of my left leg. The doctors gave me an initial recovery time of 6 months, at which time I started to cry, not for the pain, but from the shear overwhelming weight of the moment.
Devon and my parents drove me home and it was quite an ordeal to get in the house. I was/am in a complete leg brace and have crutches. I woke up twice that night in excruciating pain, even after 2 doses of morphine at the hospital and a steady dose of oxycodone. It was back to the surgeon in Morristown at 8AM the next morning, which confirmed the diagnosis and I was informed that my leg will be immobilized for 6 weeks following the surgery and told that it would be a long road back. A torn patella tendon is just about the worst knee injury you can have and it fairly rare. It is comparable to the ‘triad’, when a person tears the ACL, MCL and PCL at the same time. For most, it brings instant terror, as it did to me.
I woke up early Saturday morning at 4 AM, Devon woke up shortly after. I woke up in tears, scared of the road ahead of me. I had put the 3 Stooges on TV to try and calm down and try to hide my tears from Devon. I was scared about never being able to squat again, never being able to sprint again, jump again, play ball again and so on. Devon helped to calm me down. I had to get some rest because I had my Fat Loss seminar in a few hours, which I decided to still put on. My good friend, Steve Fenton came over the next morning to help load up for the seminar and help assist me into the back of the truck. He also gave me a poem that he wrote about my journey ahead. That too brought me to tears.
The seminar went great but I was mentally and emotionally drained at night. I read the Jim Hoskinson Story on EliteFTS and reached out to Louie Simmons, whom I will speak with this week. Jim recovered from double patella tendon tears and went on to squat 1100 pounds and Louie tore the same leg as me.
I had one more break down this morning while watching a motivational video, but this time it wasn’t because of self-pity, it was because I am finally faced with a challenge that will allow me to use everything I have ever taught myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I have never faced a challenge like this all my life. Bodybuilding and sport has prepared me well for this battle. I am going to beat the odds and I plan on walking again in 2 months. I will use this to inspire others. I will train my mind to be even stronger. I will jump again, I will squat again, I will play ball again, I will compete again.
Interestingly, I got the tattoo below earlier in the week, it means Fear Nothing, damn right, bring it on! There is a bright side to it, I just had to find it. Stay tuned.
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 have recently found my old roots and try to tear up workouts each and every time that I set foot in the gym. There is nothing worse than going through the motions at the gym, not inspiring anyone, let alone yourself. You should learn to train with such a ferocity that people stare at you in disgust or disbelief depending on where you train. You should like each session is your last.
I was watching ESPN the other day and they did a special on Bobby Knight. Knight went back to his old high school to talk with the current players. Knight said, “You guys are truly blessed to have the opportunity to play a sport here. You learn more about yourself playing sports than you do in the classroom. This is a part of your education.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
When you are training in the gym and you get to those reps that seem damn near impossible, are you going to stop? Or are you going to push through it? What if you are the only one in there? No one will know if you didn’t get all the reps right? If you take the easy road in the gym, what do you think you are going to do in the real world?
Do you want people to see you as a ‘beacon of light’ in the gym? I remember an old friend telling me back in the day when I first started out my business that people wanted to train with me not for what I knew, but because they saw me as this ‘light’. This was not from a conversation that these first clients had with me, it was from observing my workouts in the gym, watching me wage war on each workout. I lost this drive for a while, but now its back…
People that train like this are often very successful in all areas because they carry this mindset to everything they do. If you can’t finish a hard set, what makes you think that you will be able to support your family? They are going to be depending on you to put food on the table, to pay for their needs, to comfort them. That stuff is hard….
Probably the hardest I ever trained was the year that my friend, Tim Martin, won the the Team Universe. I shared that same dream as him but I lived it through him. We battled in the gym, I learned a great deal from him. When the judge announced that he had won the overall, I was elated and had tears in my eyes at the same time. His training had so inspired me that it moved me on a very high spiritual level.
This is how you must train, this is how you want people to view you in the gym. How hard did you train today? Did you leave it all in the gym? This is your duty….
As I write this at the end of the Michigan State drumming of Michigan (In case you didn’t know I am a huge Spartans fan!) and shortly before the Super Bowl, I was reflecting on greatness. You will see it in today’s Superbowl i.e.-Tom Brady, a man that wasn’t supposed to get drafted let alone become a superstar. But nobody told Brady…
I get emails and questions all the time about how to ‘do your own’ thing and open a successful gym like I have when I was told it couldn’t be done or how I am ‘lucky’. The thing is, you have to realize that nearly everyone you meet or know wants to be great, but just like the 1% rule in all things, 99% will never move past the start line.
I have some athletes that bust their ass every single time they are in the gym. I have Alpha Males that destroy their workouts and bring a ferocity to the workout that you won’t see in ‘globe gym’. Not surprisingly, they also bring this same focus to their nutrition, business, family and school work.
I have ‘competitor’ gyms opening up all around me, some of them ‘globo’ style and some of them ‘copycats’. They aren’t competitors at all. I could give them my exact blueprints for business and workouts and I still wouldn’t be worried. Because….I know that they all want to be great, but they won’t put the work in that I do or have the drive that I do.
If you want to achieve great things, you need to put your heart and soul into ‘it’ every single day. I constantly invest and spend on my education and mentoring when others tell me its a waste. Keep telling me that, I’ll keep advancing. People that want to be great in one thing usually have that alpha mentality where they want to be great in all things.
Look how many things Schwarzenegger became great at. ‘Dumb jock’ didn’t hold him back at all. Maybe this mindset goes back to my serious bodybuilding days, maybe its inborn. Maybe I am trying to make up for never making it in ‘basketball’, maybe not. Come to think of it, I spent hour upon hour during hot summer days shooting 500 jumpers per day, paying my neighbor to rebound for me.
How badly do you want to be great? Is it just lip service? Do you really want to be great at whatever it is you do? I won’t rest until I am great which will never fully be realized. This week I challenge you to dare to be great!
Update on the State of My Health Journey
I will take the night off and ‘enjoy’ and join everyone else in this Super Bowl Holiday tonight. I am down to an even 234, body fat is down another percent and I feel great! Tomorrow starts the regime with my own Coach, John Meadows. I am psyched to get started with him and pack on some more muscle while stripping some serious body fat.
Also, if you are interested, I will be holding a ‘closed door’ seminar this April all about fat-loss. Much of this cannot be found in any text-book or from any other expert. I am down to 12 spots left…
I was out to eat the other night with my in-laws and I love hanging out with Big Dave (my father in law) because he has a wealth of knowledge and he was a very successful business man. I have a few different ventures going on with Newell Strength right now and I was looking for some guidance in which direction to go right now. Keep in mind that I am currently still teaching and running a business full time. Now, running a business is 24/7. Throw a full time job on top of that and imagine the schedule you get. Most small businesses go out of business because they don’t think their business has to be 24/7.
Big Dave still has a Christmas tree farm on his property, something he did while owning another business for years. He told me the other night that 90% of Christmas tree farms go out of business without ever making a single dollar. The reason: people see a tree farm, think the trees plant themselves, don’t do the research and then start the farm up. Here’s the thing, the smallest of trees that you see on the farm take at least 7 years to grow. That means you aren’t going to be getting any income for at least 7 years, yet you will still have to work on the fruits of your labor the entire time. And, you need to maintain the farm year in and year out, which is a lot of work. It looks ‘easy’ on the surface for someone that goes to the farm.
This is a great analogy to success in any part of life. Too many people want a simple way to be successful. I have spoke of Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ book before in which he studied thousands and thousands of cases and how it takes at least 10,000 hours to become great at anything.
You will see this same Christmas tree farm mentality in all walks of life and in all corners. I have had many people approach me and ask me how to start and run their own renegade type gym and I am always glad to help them. But they won’t make it because they don’t see the work that goes on behind the scenese. Sacrificing time, sleep, friends and countless hours to get where I wanted to go. I put my health on the line to achieve what I have, maybe stupidly, but I made it through. How do I know they won’t make it? Because the 1% rule applies to everything. Only 1% will actually listen to what it takes to succeed and then apply it. There is a big difference between the two.
I also see this in the gym all the time. Guys join the gym and they want super fast results and they get it if they stick to what I coach them up on. But then you have the guys that won’t follow the diet and they want to know why their energy still sucks and they haven’t lost as much fat as they wanted to. Sorry, can’t help ya 99%ers. You need to have the fortitude to stick with their plan until the end in anything to get the results that you want. Don’t be in for the momentary glory or quick burst. Buckle down and plant those seeds and then nurture them year after year. You will be happy you did….