7 Things you should know, to get stronger
(and better, and perhaps happier)
In the coming months (and maybe years), there will be a natural compulsion to view the world pre and post-lockdown and lynch-pin many lost goals on the lockdown. We’re here to help. There are two versions of you. One that says ‘I never got back after that lockdown’ and one that is the all-time, strongest, best version of you. Strap in; this is somewhat outside of pure lifting, so let us know if this kind of content is valuable.
If you are not where you want to be in12 months from now, there is a genuine reason you could have changed.
Here is the cheat sheet, you may...
Need more self-awareness
Need to be more teachable
Have stress running your life
Haven’t educated yourself enough
Need more resilience, you don’t ‘like the suck’
Don’t know why you want to train (or even care about training)
You have some confidence issues
Reflect more often – we’re not trained to do it, its actually hard!
Self-reflective thinking isn’t about sitting in a circle and talking about how to mean your boss is; it is taking a few seconds to
1. Recognise what you’ve done
2. Recognise what you could have done better
Don’t bash yourself up about why you aren't where you want to be. It’s about examining your past shortfalls while keeping focus in a forward direction. First of all, if you show up to the gym, realistically, in modern culture, you are killing it. If you are getting stronger every year, you are in rare air. If you are getting leaner as well, you deserve a prize. That’s good.
However, you can't get better by repeating the same mistakes repeatedly, so ask yourself three questions when you experience a shortfall: ‘where did I fall short, ‘how could I have prevented it’ and ‘what will I do differently next time.’ Something like your squat sucking is easy to fix.
Something like your squat sucking is easy to fix. Something like you is mentally tired from life and relationships; well, that’s harder. We’re not saying fix the world; we’re saying, ‘chip it forward,’ just some progress, not perfection.
Never think you know it all (when you don’t)
“In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.”
Pretty good ole Emerson quote
Nobody knows everything about training or nutrition or anything.
When someone is trying to explain something and approaching the conversation with an attitude that you know it all, you are cutting yourself off from learning and growing all together.
Without a doubt, a single even question, this is the primary way to get stronger. You ask people stronger than you questions, like – hey man, I’ve been at 180 for a while, how did you get past there.
This applies to everything in life. In the last year of us growing, all we did was ask people questions. Nobody thinks you are dumb for asking; everyone likes to explain things.
Stressed stops you from thinking properly
If you get out of bed and the first thing you do is check emails, check socials or worry, you might find yourself more reactive than proactive throughout the day. This applies to doing this between sets. (Apparently, when you’re stressed, your brain is in the overactive BETA brainwave state, in this state, your mind is frazzled, and you can’t think properly - logically or critically). You have to turn your phone on silent or get a plan.
True story, just last week, an epic squat session was going down; everything seemed fine, everything seemed rosy. I got a message via social to check an email. I checked email, and it wasn’t even a big deal, but just the idea of jumping into my workout, the whole activity never got back to where it left.
If you know you are the kind of person who gets annoyed by trivial work-related things (i.e., pretty much everyone that lifts to reduce life stress), don’t allow this to happen. It took a long time to realise that I needed space between work (and even relationships) and training. Not even doing anything, literally lying on the floor of my house for 30 minutes, or sitting in my car.
Call me crazy or anxious or diagnose me, but I’m not the kind of person that can talk to my partner (and generally get a ‘dump’ of all the issues in their day) then train.
Get more knowledge
Trying to do something but not knowing enough yet leads to stress, worry, and doubting yourself. If you don't know how to do something, learn. With knowledge comes understanding and the faith that you can do it.
Just simple things we always see (like lifting straps or wrist wraps), people do wrong and get super stressed and annoyed.
Enjoy the suck
If something scares you as much as it excites you, you’re on the right path. Your lifting goals should freak you out a bit, should sound on the edge of possible.
If you have big ambitions or goals, you have to match that with equal amounts of effort and get used to liking it because it never gets easier. Not if you’re doing something great.
A bigger why
You need a big reason behind why you want something to give you enough emotional juice to fuel your tank and keep you moving forward.
Many many people fail in lifting due to this. You have to make it important. Nobody, ever, who ‘just likes to be get toned’ squeezed the juice from the berry.
Again, for myself and many of my friends, we do this because we need this. We understand that many modern structures don’t allow a consistent effort of will and that ‘discharge’ of the battery makes life better. In recent times, with all the current workload, there were 6 or 7 days where I didn’t train, and I just kept buying stuff, and it was so unconscious, but I’d finish work and just go to bed thinking about buying things. It got to the point where there was a list of things I wanted.
Saturday rolled around, 4-hour squat sessions just dumped the burners. Sunday, when I looked at the list of things to buy, I had zero compulsion at all. I really went "ah – man, I gotta lift, I have no choice, I go nuts otherwise."
Have more self-belief
Limiting beliefs can hold you back and make you less confident. The same people who say ‘how can you get to the gym five times a week’ are the kind of people who never get to the gym five times a week. We’re going to assume the goals you have set are human (i.e., been done before), and to a large extent, if someone else can do it, so can you.
Squatting 300 isn’t impossible, it's just a marathon.
That’s it. That’s the list, we hope it helps. Everyone is in the same boat, everyone has stress, everyone is tired. Some people do, Some people don’t. There are reasons both ways.