Average Is Crap: The Painful Truth About Making Gains
The other week I posted another video clip of me squatting and hitting more personal records in the process. I post a lot of my training videos online for several reasons. I like to get feedback on what I’m doing technically, so I can continue to learn and improve from people with more experience than myself. The other main reason is to show people that you can change, but you need to work your ass off to do it.
I received this coment from a friend and colleague last week, on one of my videos: “I would sincerely like to know how the heck you are able to make the gains, while still training people and running a business.” At the time I just responded with eating well, recovering enough, and having a simple desire to never be fat again. When I thought about this over the weekend, though, I realized this was a very simplified answer, and only the tail end of what actually happens.
With my daughter now on the scene, my life all of a sudden feels very crazy and time is never my own. Having said that, the average day I go through is not really any different to many other people who have kids. So why do I make the gains? How do I continue to push and progress my training to higher levels?
Simple – sacrifice and consistency.
On a daily basis I consistently sacrifice, because my health, strength, and mobility is ultimately more important to me than the other fluff with which people seem to fill their lives. I’m not saying that other people are wrong (I am really), but I know which I would rather be doing.
I already miss many hours in the day with my daughter, so I make sure I don’t need to leave for work before she wakes up, and I make sure that I’m home for her bath time. This, for me, is incredibly important, and I won’t let any money, clients, work or training replace this. This for me is a priority.
I don’t go out in the week for drinks or dinner. Not because I don’t want to, but because my evenings are full with family, food preparation, work preparation, and getting to bed at a reasonable time to have adequate (seven to eight hours) of sleep and recovery. This allows my body and mind to recharge, regroup and gets me ready for the day ahead and whatever it may entail.
I sacrifice the junk food, deep fried foods, sweets, and processed crap. Not because I don’t like it (I love it), but because I love myself, my body, and my physical and mental health more. I love the confidence and energy that looking and feeling good gives me. Average is shit, and it’s great to be better than the average.
I don’t miss training sessions. I didn’t miss a single session in 2012. If something comes up and plans change, then the session gets rearranged, caught up, scaled down. It never gets cancelled. Looking after your body isn’t a quick fix or an appointment, it’s a lifestyle. Until people realize this, they will continue to miss the mark and fail to live up to their potential.
I disassociate myself from negative people and bad influences. I surround myself with positivity, healthy choices, and strong emotional and professional support structures. I engross myself in environments and situations that will challenge and further me. That is how I grow, gain strength, and continue to learn and make positive steps forward in my life.
The spare money I have gets reinvested into my family, business, education, or my training. I don’t buy gadgets, expensive clothes, go out boozing, buy take away food, or purchase anything that won’t enhance my life or help me progress. Some will see this as strange or say I’m not enjoying life, but trust me I am. It’s only when you have no money and need to work your ass off for what you do have that you truly find the value of money.
Looking back at the original question, I haven’t talked about specific strength training, gym programs, or nutrition, and I don’t need to. They are the tiny cogs that form part of a much bigger machine. It’s the big things that count. When you get the big things right, the small things fall into place and you can’t help but progress and make gains in everything you do.
I can picture some people reading this and thinking that I’m denying myself the pleasures they have. I’m not denying myself. I choose not to participate in some things, as I want something more, something greater.
Some will think I’m being big headed and making myself out to be better than everyone else. I’m not; I’m just telling it as it is and sharing what I do. If you feel that way, then there’s probably some guilt at the way you lead your life.
Others will think I’m obsessive over the way I live my life and the choices I make. To those, all I would say is, “Obsessive is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated.”
The last year was the toughest and most challenging of my life. It was also the year I made more progress in all facets of my life than ever before. I must be doing something right.