Here are a couple lessons I’ve finally learned over the years from being in the gym. While I’m no where near where I want to be, I’m definitely on the way.
1. At some point, you have to put more weight on the bar. Add all the fancy programming you want but if you want to get stronger, the weight on the bar has to eventually rise above a level that you have never done before. In some cases it may scare the shit out of you but that’s part of the process. Learn to embrace that fear instead of backing down from it.
2. Never underestimate the power of simplicity. Simple plans work and they always will because they’re far easier to execute. Next time you’re reevaluating your weaknesses for a particular skill or lift, hack it down to the simplest things that can be done to improve it. Always keep the Pareto Principle in mind when it comes to programming.
3. Bacon is a superfood. Thick cut hickory smoked bacon is also Chuck Norris’s only weakness. True story.
4. Stop focusing on muscles and concentrate on movement patterns. Great hamstrings won’t make up for a shitty squat pattern.
5. Keep the beginners mind. Everything is a learning opportunity, even if it’s learning what NOT to do. Try to find something useful you can take away from every conversation you have or article/book you read.
6. Some people can eat like shit and still look and perform great. The other 95% of us aren’t that lucky. Learn to feed yourself without being neurotic about it and you’ll be 3 steps ahead of where you were.
7. Passion for something is great but don’t be that guy/girl who can only talk about the gym and what they ate that day. It’s annoying and worthless. Branch out and find other areas that interest you.
8. We have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. Shut your trap and listen to others for once. You just might learn something.