I had my 25th birthday this past week. 25 sounds a lot older than 24. Knowing this, I had mixed feelings about it. I’m not big into my own birthday- meaning I don’t feel the need to celebrate it for a week, or even a month like some people (these people are attention hogs). I got to thinking about my life. 30 is just around the corner and after that it’s a blur… or so I hear. Personally the last 5 years was a blur. So I decided to sit down and write a random list of things I’ve learned and observed about training and life. I left some stuff off, but some stuff on this list will most likely change, as I grow older. I sure hope the numbers at least get higher…
1. The basics work- press, squat, pull, row, sprint, jump. Do all these with bodyweight and free weights- only use a few machines when necessary.
2. Always be honest, have integrity, and show respect. Be polite and a gentleman, especially in public.
3. You need mobility, flexibility, and recovery in your program and do some sort of it every day. Don’t neglect foam rolling and the lacrosse ball. Get ART when needed.
4. Have fun, don’t be so serious. Learn how to relate to the people.
5. Strength is KING. Get strong, do #2, and watch your athletic ability skyrocket. If anyone says they don’t care how strong they are then they are probably not being completely truthful.
6. Don’t waste your time caring what others think about you but always try to make a good first impression.
7. Getting big and strong won’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of time, effort, hard work, and learning from your failures. Don’t expect any success without committing and sacrificing first.
8.In sports, not everyone is going to be able to go out on top. Train your ass off so you won’t have regrets and maximize your ability the best you can. Take advantage of every opportunity to get better.
9. Six-pack abs can’t throw punches. If a girl ONLY likes a guy because of his abs then she is probably pretty shallow and not worth being around. Move onto the next one as I bet she has some strange viewpoints on other things as well. (Also run if the girl likes a guy because of his “swag”…whatever the crap that is).
10. If you want a six-pack you must- get in shape (use high intensity conditioning- sprint, push the prowler, etc.), eat cleaner and/or smaller portions, and train to get strong. If these don’t work- get better genetics. This also will not happen overnight.
11. Having big traps, forearms, and neck is cool.
12. Train technique and build a foundation before adding too much weight to the bar too soon. If you don’t know how to use proper or “good enough” technique then ask.
13. Once your playing days are over- its not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Stay healthy and progress slowly. Still try to keep and obtain as much athleticism and strength as possible while staying in decent shape.
14. Some people just don’t get it- in training, sports, and life. You can accept this fact and stay calm- or get frustrated everyday for the rest of your life dealing with these types of people.
15. Train the mind just as much as you train the body- if not WAY more. (I’m working on this, as I’m not anywhere close to where I need to be).
16. If you aren’t leading, you’re following.
17. You must consume large amounts of real food to gain weight and add size. Add a little more everyday. If you want it bad enough you’ll do it. If not, you’ll always be smaller (and probably weaker) than what you could be if you took this advice. Add supplements as need if you’re eating enough real food every day.
18. Athletes are athletes. Not competitive Olympic lifters, bodybuilders, or powerlifters. They should be trained AS athletes and for sports. Borrow a little bit from each of these separate sports but don’t focus solely on one. And using home workout training programs as “training” for athletes is a joke and I can’t believe I’ve had to discuss this with real, actual people before…
19. Anyone can work hard. It requires no talent. If someone doesn’t work hard then they are either lazy, accustomed to losing, or both.
20. If you’re not tough- don’t act like it. Someone will call your bluff and embarrass you.
21. If you want a bigger upper body, you must squat- a leg press is not a sufficient substitute.
22. There are a lot of exercises and styles of training. The question you have to ask yourself is, “which ones are optimal and will give me the best results the quickest and the safest?”
23. Nobody knows everything. Everyone needs help. Always be open to learn and value the people that are willing to help you. Find a mentor.
24. A weak grip will slow you down in training, your sport, and in life. Develop the fingers, hands, wrists, and forearms to be strong. All your lifts will improve by doing this. Plus, a strong, firm handshake helps with.
25. If you want to coach/train others how to get big, strong, and athletic you must first be somewhat big, pretty strong, and mildly athletic. Put your time in under the bar. The biggest, strongest, and most athletic guys in the gym aren’t always the smartest but they probably know a thing or two from their own training. Learn what you can from everyone and apply it to yourself (develop a filter for this info).
26. BONUS. Generally speaking, kids today, are for the most part, soft. Everyone will not be a winner just because they participated. There are disappointments in life and you will fail. Being soft, mentally weak, and lazy is not okay. Trying your best will not be good enough all the time. Kids need to learn how to deal with this and not be wrapped in bubble wrap. I had an athlete once who thought they should be starting because they worked out 3x/week for 2 months before the season. They “paid” their “dues” and thought they deserved to play because they “participated”. They sacrificed going to the cottage TWICE over the summer so they could workout. News flash- there is always someone better and probably working harder than you. When you train for 2 months they train for 12. If you ever compete against this person you will lose. Develop a work ethic. Grow that work ethic and get mentally and physical tough. Losing is not okay and you don’t have to accept it all the time. Train and surround yourself with other “winners” that recognize this concept and EARN whatever you’re after in this world.
Thanks for reading!