“In a perfect world, 99% of the music being made wouldn’t make you question humanity and 100% of the training programs would get you big and strong. That ain’t the case, though.
Fortunately, there is a solution, and it’s not performing multiple sets of whatever cable Kegel exercise is being pushed as “The Answer.” Just a little hard, smart, basic work.
It’s boring, I agree. Do you want to be entertained or get big and strong?"
Creator 5/3/1 Program Elite FTS Columnist Powerlifting Badass
I have always been striving to be as strong as I possibly could be. Though, before I got into competitive strongman, and training as hard as I do now, I would find myself going to the gym for a couple weeks, taking a week or two off, hitting maxes multiple times a week, and not really making any significant progress, I just seemed to be sore and partially injured quite a bit, and being hurt is not a good way to make the gains you are looking for. I essentially followed the “Lift When I Feel Like it” plan and as a result, nothing got accomplished, and I was frustrated. I was not making any sort of real progress, and needed to figure out why.
Not only did I have that going for me, but I was getting inundated by the fads of the fitness world and what they were offering. I was entranced by the supplements promising amazing results, or the latest Lifting Program that guarantees putting 300 pounds on my deadlift or your money back (sign me up), and even coaches (and their marketing teams) trying to get everyone to sign up with them because they have the secret to success and fat loss. I am a fan of an open market, and believe that if you have a product you feel is worth people buying, and that you are confident in, you should have the right to sell it and make money. I hope to do the same when my “Weight Loss Survival Guide” is done (shameless plug). The fact of the matter is that nothing will work if you do not have this one particular thing…That one thing is consistency. See, consistency trumps perfect programming, products and professionals telling you what to do. All of those things supplement your training, but without that solid base of consistent, unrelenting, work-ethic, you will not see the results that you want, and frankly, you have not earned the right to hire a coach in my book. You would waste their time as well as your own, because some things you just need to learn on your own.
That is why I love working out and lifting weights. You know that week in and week out, the 45 pound plates will weigh 45 pounds, a 500 pound deadlift is always going to be 500 pounds (questionable some days), and that the gym will always be there, ready for you to put the work in. The only variable is you. In order to find the results you need, you need to be as consistent as the weights and show up, week in and week out, ready to put the work in and do what you need to do. Merely showing up, and putting the work in, for weeks and weeks on end, will lead to you getting results. You will stumble around, screw up, and eventually find your footing and begin to make progress. All of which is on your own, without magic products, and without spending a god-forsaken amount of money. Think about it, even if you do not have a perfect plan, but you do something for a long time, you will eventually figure it out, and hell, you might even get good at it. I am still working on the trying to be good at this whole lifting thing and I do not plan on quitting any time soon.
So if you read the last section, and your body shuddered after reading the “weeks in and weeks out” part, well you are shit out of luck. It takes time, lots and lots of time, to be strong. It has taken me years to get to the relative strength I have today, and it will take me many more years to get me to where I want to be. That is years of consistent, methodical, and injury free work, put into the weight room, to get me where I want to go. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule comes into full effect here, because your body needs the constant supply of input and work in order to change and to get you to where you want to be, and lifting the weights you desire. It is not an overnight process.
So you have built up your consistent work ethic, and want to step your game up even more? Shit, that is the easy part. This is when you hire a coach, or jump on online training program, or get your nutrition dialed in to perfection. These are the “supplements” that would benefit you and your training once you get to the point where you want them. I personally work with Professional Strongman Matt Mills for my programming because I have seen great success with him, and because my week is usually super busy, and not thinking about programming (especially when I am feeling lazy), is exactly what I need in order to just shut my brain off, and hit the gym, but I would not be able to get the benefit of a coach if I had not developed the work ethic and consistency on my own first. I learned what works for me based on screwing up, trying something new, and eventually finding something that works. Simple, but not easy.
So what is essentially the biggest piece of advice I could give to anyone looking to get stronger? Consistency in the weight room. Show up every week and do something. Use your brain, and problem solve, and if all else fails, work harder. Spend more time under the bar, and less time on the internet trying to find the best way to do something. Go out, do it, screw up, and keep doing it. Consistency builds strength, gets you smarter, and builds you up to be who and what you want to be.
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Sam Brown CPT (LiftLaughLiveSHB@gmail.com)
Certified Underground Strength Coach
Certified Personal Trainer