I was recently asked by a prospective intern what I look to do best during the day while focusing on building Newell Strength. In truth, I like to learn by far the best and I like writing second, but if I had a choice, I’d sit on my butt, watch sitcom re-runs and eat pizza.
Don’t be confused, what I mean is that I, just like you, have a choice each and every day to decide what we want to do. I often think about what if any my next tattoo will be and I have decided it will be of a mule. Why a mule? Because it is the most efficient animal on the planet, just plodding along, getting the job done. Not that I have done anything remarkable such as some of the members of Newell Strength have, but I do realize that some of the college students that I speak to and have come to the gym for mentoring look up to what WE have created at Newell Strength. But I also realize the look of disappointment on their faces when they want me to tell them the secret and I respond: “The truth: any accomplishments I have had came slowly and painstakingly, that my success was the result of mule-like hard work and monkey like imitation.”
Just a year ago, I was working 100 hours per week, no that is not a mis-print, getting up before dawn each day, toiling through the night while my competitors, real or imagined, were sleeping. A few times actually working myself to such exhaustion that I had to take visits to the ER and which also led to this mug shot:
You may have seen it on my site before or on facebook and rather than being ashamed of it, I actually cherish it because that look, the picture, was a sacrifice I made to get to where I am today. I look ill and I was ill, chasing my dream well over the obstacles in which my body begged me to stop. Now, I am in a better place because I knew in my heart of hearts that that period would pass and all the hard work would pay off. I knew it was bad when I would wake up in the mornings and my first thought would be of fantasizing about possibly sneaking in a nap. Actually, I did do this during school hours on my lunch break while I was competing in bodybuilding, teaching and building up Newell Strength.
The roads I have used are the same roads that everyone has access too. Its just that some people use them to commute to jobs they hate, the bars, the clubs and getaways while I used them to go to the library (I used to do this every night before I started dating Devon), seminars all across the country and speaking engagements where there were two people listening to me.
Some of you will get this because you have been down the same road and already chose the path I chose. You know who you are and I follow in your lead, I commend you. There is no secret to those of you wondering what you want to BE(ing), the secret is that I work really hard, ALL the time. If you can’t do that like 99% of the people then it falls squarely on you.
Go after your dreams with a dogged determination, iron discipline, energy and desire and see where you end up. Plus, I never had the blue blood of thoroughbred☺
I am out in California right now learning from one of the sharpest minds in the fitness business and am mentally and physically drained after absorbing such kick ass information all day, but…I am pumped as I am watching the video above as I write this.
Alwyn Cosgrove, the man running the mentorship (along with his wife Rachel), said today that you should read one chapter of Think and Grow Rich
per day for the next two years. I have read the book twice, but I know thats not enough, but I do know that if, scratch that, not if, but when I start doing this when I get home, it will take me as a person to the next level. So Think and Grow Rich is one of the most influential books for Newell Strength. Keep in mind that these go in no particular order, but they should all be read.
I do not have a link for the next book, but if you watch the video above, Jared has a link for his book, Devote Yourself to an Ideal, in the video. The cover is cheesy, but the book is literally one of the best motivational development books I have ever read. I read it while I was going through the process of making my decision to resign a few months ago. It gave me the extra push I needed to go ahead with my decision. Order this book, have it printed up (its and ebook) and read it, then read it again.
the 50th law
You are probably getting sick of me writing about this book, but it creates a culture of fearlessness in your mind. And to be fearless is what it takes to get where you want to get. Whether you are a fan of 50 or not, do yourself the favor and read it five times.
awaken the giant within
I read this book every single night during my best year in bodybuilding, while coming back from a very mysterious, 2 year battle with a nasty stomach disease. I literally harnessed to the power of mind to such a degree that my life has never been the same since. I would sit up like a little kid looking at his first PlayBoy at night, pouring over the pages, marking the pages up, highlighting it. It is one of the first books that I recommend to someone that is looking to change their life.
Ok, this book is for those of you that have been asking me for the best training books. And I racked my brain and there wasn’t one that jumped out in particular as, ‘Read this book and you will know everything’. That is the thing, I cannot recommend one book to share what I know, it has been a process of connecting the dots, experimenting, implementing and literally 15 years of self-research. Even though I have put in well 10,000 hours, I can tell you I am no where near where I need to be. But I am getting off track, what I want you to take from Dinosaur Training is the Intensity that Brooks trains with and the passion.
As a side note, I actually read a whole book, The Anabolic Solution, on the plane yesterday. The stewardess came up to me later on in the flight to ask me questions about it since she wants to do a figure competition. I fell asleep with the book on my lap, but I constantly keep the mindset that no one, no where, will out work me. And you need to have that same attitude. I was not blessed with a high IQ or great genetics, but I simply work my plan every day and the biggest part of that plan is reading one hour per day. Let me know how you like the books.
Well, this is the week that I have been looking forward to with excitement and nostalgia. It is for now, my last week of teaching in the Bridgewater Raritan School District, leaving to pursue physical preparation or personal training, whatever you will call it, full time.
When I was trying to make this decision, I sat down with a few men that I look up to for advice. One of them asked me what my dream was. Was it to be the best strength coach in the world? And for a second or more actually an entire day, I pondered the question. Because I had lost my vision there temporarily, something that will happen the longer you stay in a comfort zone. Then I rememebered back to when I first started teaching.
On my breaks, I would consult with teachers that hired me about their nutrition. Immediately after school, I would head over to the high school to run the weight room and by the second year I was making daily trips to South Brunswick to be their football teams strength coach. While my students were meditating, I was reading the latest on strength research. On my breaks when I was consulting, I was doing more research on the computer. Above my bed used to hang a sign that read “I will be the best strength coach in the world”. You see, everything I ever dreamt of has been about being the best strength coach or personal trainer (I hate that term, but you probably are familiar with it).
However, coaching and teaching are the same thing to me, the same disciplines. I have always believed that we dumb down things too much to the elementary aged students and with this belief, I always made sure to teach them complex life lessons in simple words. So I was delighted when a group of third graders approached me recently to talk me into staying. It was heartbreaking and one of the girls said she has been having nightmares because there will be someone new here. On and on it went, about how I was the only teacher that taught them real life lessons and I was proud of that.
My only response to these kids was, “I have always told you guys to go for your dreams, no matter how big and no matter what anyone else says. So now is my chance to give you the greatest lesson I can, to actually do that. If I did not go for my dreams, then I am nothing more than a fraud. I hope you see that by me leaving, I have hopefully set the example I set out to set for you guys.”
To which, they could only nod in agreement. Leaving is hard, starting something new is scary, but that is what stepping out of comfort zones is all about.
That dude in the above video is the Ultimate Warrior, a childhood hero of mine. He speaks the truth and so simply that it is prophetic. I am a crossroads in a good way in my life and as usual, I always try to get as many opinions from people smarter than myself as I can gather. I take in what they have to say and process it, not agreeing 100%, but often being nudged in the right direction. I am planning on growing Newell Strength, located in Hillsborough, New Jersey, into the premier personal training, human strength and athletic training facility in the world!
But here’s the thing, I know in my gut what the right thing to do is. No one but me can decide my path, not my wife, not my best friend, not my parents, not my mentors. You have one shot to live this life and you will only get to the top if you follow your gut. Most of the time, that path is going to be much harder than the easy path that you are currently on. But all those obstacles and walls will only reveal how badly you really want it. Most people get to those barriers, otherwise known as the edge of their comfort zone and turn back.
If you wanna be a great athlete, show me, don’t tell me. If you dog it when no one is watching, you don’t really want it…If you always wanted to own a bed and breakfast then what the F*** are you doing working in the corporate 9-5 world? Your lizard brain is going to think of all the reasons why it can’t be done and this will happen instantly. Let me tell you one reason why you can do it, because it has been done before and your gut is telling you to go for it.
No one wants to get to the last chapter of their life and realize they forgot to write half the book. Yet, this is what happens to most people. You are in control of your life, no one else. You are responsible for every single thing that got you to where you currently are. Whats the choice going to be? How bad do you want to be great? Better yet, how much are you willing to sacrifice to live the life you’ve always dreamt of?
I remember watching Will Smith when I was growing up in “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. It was one of my brothers and my own favorite shows. Maybe I have a personal affection for him because I grew up with him, but he has done so much in his life and come from meager beginnings. Listen to the part of the video when he is talking about the tread mill and his sickening work ethic.
He, like you, like myself and others, has no special skills. He will simply out work you and that is the same mindset I’ve always had. Too many people talk about wanting success and don’t want to act on it. High school athletes want to be great, but they want to go out and drink on the weekends too. People that are fanatic about success have a delusional quality to them, it comes across as cocky to many people but that is their only ‘secret’. Successful people almost always come across as having a social disorder because their mind is consumed with becoming great and don’t get me wrong, it’s not for everyone. Devon often tells me that I get this scary look on my face when I am in the zone and I always have to reassure her that its not a bad thing, it is something out of my control. I have created an unstoppable momentum to creating the life I want.
Again, how bad do you want it?
I get asked a lot how I manage to squeeze everything in, especially now that I am back to teaching full time and running Newell Strength.
I guess that it goes back to when I was in college….I always opted to have the 8 AM classes, even while living in my fraternity house. The other guys thought it was ridiculous, but I loved it.
I became meticulous at scheduling my day. I was often done with my classes before most of my friends even started class. And then, I had the rest of the day to do with as I pleased.
A typical day now looks like this for me, with little variation during the week days:
• I wake up around 5 AM, grab a cup of coffee and either roll out on the foam roller while studying strength DVDs or I head to the gym to train a few clients depending on the day.
• Around 6:30 AM, I get a little extra work in for my conditioning. This might be some sled dragging, bike riding outside, pushups, high rep belt squats or like this morning, pull aparts and farmers walks.
• I have opted to not eat breakfast this year as I am doing a fat loss experiment in which I let the cortisol that his highest in the morning keep breaking down body fat until much later in the morning. Nonetheless I package up my food for the day and make any shakes I have to bring along with me. (Don’t worry; I will cover the breakfast thing later this week or early next).
• I shower up, and shoot off to school around 7:30 AM. On the way to school I listen to some kind of business CD or writing CD, maybe mixed in with a little Stern for the first or last 10 minutes to lighten things up.
• When I get to school, I either lesson plan, meditate or read for a half hour.
• I then teach for the next few hours.
• At my lunch, I eat and then work, either writing or working on my business for an hour.
• I then teach again for a few hours, followed by another half hour of work at the end of the school day.
• I then drive over to Newell Strength and the ride is much like the one in the morning, except
at this point I drained from the kids, so I use it to recharge.
• I coach my clients from about 3:30 PM to 9PM, depending on the day, then its off to eat and go to sleep.
• I have been getting my hard workouts in on Wednesday afternoons (my day off from the gym), Friday nights, an d the weekends.
That’s my typical day in a nutshell. It looks very similar the past years, even though the current Newell Strength has only been open for under 2 years. I was busy building it up in my basement and traveling from client to client for the 5 years before that. That’s some serious time management and attention to detail to make sure I don’t burn out.
For all the aspiring strength coaches that read this, I have already started working on an online course of how to follow my blue print and open up your own place.
The Human Strength Expert
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!
Today and Thursday, I am going to be writing about something I heard or saw in the USA vs. Spain Gold medal basketball game on Sunday morning. If you don’t know by now, I am a huge basketball fan, so of course I took the opportunity to watch our country’s best go out and capture the gold, with some of the best players in the world playing for one of the best collegiate coaches of all time.
What got me though was the player celebration after the game was over. It was a thing of beauty to see this grown men, who have seemingly everything in the world at their finger tips, dance and laugh. You see, much of the public know-it-alls kept saying we could just show up and win. Not so, the game is too international now to dominate like we once did. So these 12 players that gave up their time off and worked their butts off, after a condensed, long and furious NBA shortened season, time that their body’s sorely needed off. The sacrificed for US.
They put their all into their practices, much of which we will never get an inside glimpse of. However, these guys understood each other and that they all knew to win gold they would have to work hard and give up much. There was no glory to be had by them, because again, the know-it-alls kept saying we had to win or we were failures. Pretty much a lose, lose for our basketball team.
So then why did they celebrate like that? Simple, the put in sweat equity. They gave their all and will always have the experience and memory of that moment. They could have stayed home, like many of the NBA stars did, but they chose not to.
In the gym, no one is there to make sure you do your job. I never understood that when people say they need someone there to make sure they are doing what they should be doing. Coaching is one thing, babysitting is another. Put in the sweat equity and be rewarded. But remember, it takes 10,000 of sweat equity to become great. Can you go the distance?
P.S-If you are liking what I am writing, please sign up for my email list below. I am on a mission this year to create the Newell Strength Society-10,000 people strong. This will be hard work and I will need your help in spreading the message. I am promising to bring you some killer information in my emails, free gifts and first looks at some of the stuff I will be coming out with. Thanks! See below
Most people never put a thought into the best ways to learn or how our nervous systems develop. And I get it because most people don’t like to think or aren’t interested. With that, I thought’d I’d share with you why it is important to perform grip work in your training….
If you have ever seen an anatomy chart, then you would realize how many nerve endings are in the hands and areas of high nerve content are intimately connected to the central nervous system. That may be an oversimplification of sorts but: ‘a huge part of the sensory and motor cortices in the brain are involved with the hand.’ (Hannaford, 2005) Again, the brain is central along with the spinal cord in the CNS.
So, the stronger we can get our grip and the more work we give our hands, the more efficient our nervous systems will be. More efficient nervous systems= greater strength. Think about it, you can tell how strong someone is by their hand shake most of the time. My grandfather has been a mason his whole life and has hands that can rip a deck of cards in half and believe me, you would know it by shaking his hand even at the age of 87. Athletes with stronger grips are stronger and tougher, simple as that.
Try performing some fat grip barbell or dumbbell holds or the wheel of death in which you take a 45 pound plate and turn it in revolutions, anywhere from 25-50 turns, just to name a few.
In closing, I will shoot a video on this topic this week, but I am continually disappointed in the lack of commitment people seem to have these days. Excuses point out of them like a running faucet. I don’t give a damn for people that make excuses because they are amateurs and always will be. People say they want to be great but they don’t take action to BE great, a huge difference between the two. I realize that as each day goes by, there are less and less people that I choose to surround myself, not because I am a hermit but because I refuse to be around lower energy levels such as excuse making and self-pity. Man the F up and grow a pair and actually stick with a plan and go after IT! You only have one shot at this life, make the most of it!
“Of all the disorders of the soul, envy is the one no one confesses too.” -Plutarch
It seems that I have been getting bitch slapped left and right by little verbal jabs that friends and clients have been reporting back to me on, which I normally just laugh off but at the same time I think it’s important enough to write and teach about.
Last week, one of our athletes had a box jumping accident and got 20 stitches. We push the envelope hard at Newell Strength which is why so many athletes want to come and train there.
Turns out some young assistant strength coach at the local high school saw his shins and said, “If you were training here that wouldn’t have happened.” Not the first time this high school assistant strength coach has said something to this effect to a local athlete that trains at Newell Strength, and I am sure it won’t be the last. I have never met the kid nor do I care to. I normally operate on a level that I don’t pay any attention to other coaches unless I know they are really good and I can learn something from them. This tool of a strength coach has a lot to learn. His comments wreak of ENVY, pure, unaldultered jealousy.
BTW, the reason an accident like that wouldn’t happen at a local high school gym is because they don’t push the boundaries like we do and I am sure if they saw what we do at the gym it would look very, very foreign to them as I and my staff are constantly learning and applying things from the top strength coaches in the world. We are not stuck in some dumb ass text book, going by outdated, theoretical program design parameters. But I digress, let me stick to my topic.
Fact #1 about envy-people will hate on you when you are better and more superior in your niche than they are. Think about it, what else would a kid like this say? “Kyle is much, much better than I.” Not likely, so its human nature and his nature to talk smack. I am just using him as one of my examples, but stuff like this goes on all the time EVERYWHERE.
Another good friend and client of mine came in to the gym this morning and said some guy on his softball team that knows me said there is no way my gym can be as successful as he was telling him it was. Of course it can’t, if that particular kid was running it. The 99% rule applies to ALL. Most people can’t fathom or muster up the energy it takes to keep a schedule that a 1%er does, waking up at the crack of dawn, spending any and every break in the work day to work on building his dream, having every waking minute geared towards reaching his ultimate goal. That takes more mental energy up in a day for a 1%er than a 99%er spends in a month. This kid wasn’t there when I was sleep deprived for the past 5 years, not there when I was writing down my every thought in my little notebook, not there while I was driving around the country going to different seminars, spending thousands and thousands of dollars on my own education. He is not here with me right now writing this, when I’d much rather be sitting by the pool (in fact, I am sure he is chilling out somewhere right now, taking it easy).
Fact #2-People are secretly infuriated when you achieve success and they haven’t and know deep in their hearts that they won’t achieve it, not because they can’t but because they want it handed to them. They don’t want to go through the pain and discomfort. It is too hard for them and that is fine, but it’s the 1%ers that make the world go round, however the 99%ers allow the 1%ers to shine.
Envy is a cancer and the sooner you learn how to deal with it, the better you will be. I have had top people in the industry accuse me of stealing ideas and such, but ‘dogs don’t bark as parked cars’ and I knew it was them just getting envious of me passing them by.
Anyone, yes, anyone can attain success, its just that few are willing to put in the work and discomfort to do so. The mind is a powerful thing, as an example, Devon and I were watching a horror movie, Insidious, last weekend and she got so spooked that she no longer wanted to sleep in the basement so we had to go upstairs. Nothing changed but her ‘suspension of disbelief’.
Fact #3-Most people don’t believe they can become successful and great. They don’t know how to use the principle of ‘suspension of disbelief’ to turn on the theater of the mind. There have been many nights where I would sit there at the gym in my truck, long after everyone else went home and picture the athletes and gym that I wanted. Do you know how most people train their minds? By watching tv, think about that.
The whole point is that envy makes people do stupid things and if you attain success on any level, you are going to have some envious people trying to bring you back down to their level with the other muck. Recognize it for what it is and laugh it off, don’t waste your precious energy getting into losing battle….