My Lifting Commandments
I decided that once and for all I will put down what my beliefs are about lifting and getting stronger. This is more of a selfish action because I wanted to have in writing, the things I believe, so that if I find myself getting off track to my goals, I can give myself the swift kick in the ass needed and pry my misguided head from my anal cavity. Enjoy.
Commandment 1: Lift heavy but not like a dumbshit.
This idea of lifting heavy is what you need to do in order to get stronger. Though, from my own personal stupidity earlier in life, and a lot of the shit I see less experienced lifters doing is simply going too heavy, too often. The goal for your training should be to tax the body, illicit the muscles to grow, and give your body the nutrients and rest it needs to rebuild stronger than before. Lifting too heavy, too often crushes your CNS, increases the chance of injury, and cements your position right smack dab in the bowels of mediocrity. You will never be great or even good if this is what you do.
Commandment 2: Stay Focus on ONE goal.
It is impossible to be great at many things in the world. If you want to be a jack-of- all trades you are guaranteeing that you will not be doing anything particularly well, not making progress, and essentially wasting your time. If your goal is to lose weight. Focus on losing weight. If you goal is to get stronger. Focus on eating more and getting stronger. Work on one goal at a time, hit that goal, then work on the next one. You are not doing any favors spreading your talents, time, and effort over multiple outlets. Especially in the world of getting stronger.
Commandment 3: Sleep at night.
If it is late at night and you are reading this on your phone, or you laptop, or whatever, you need to shut it the fuck down and go to sleep. Your body needs to recharge. You are only hurting yourself by not giving your mind and body the chance to recharge. Sure, watching movies while you are in bed is such a great idea at the time. Hell, if you are reading my article I truly appreciate it, but you are hurting your ability to be great in life. Being tired sucks if not for the sole reason that everything gets harder when you do not get enough sleep. That enough should be reason to shut down at night. As soon as you start looking at research about lack of sleep in humans, you will be shutting down that electronic device as fast as your chubby hands can move. Lights out. Quiet. Eyes closed. You need it.
Commandment 4: Eat like an adult.
Carbs are evil. Fat is evil. Protein is evil. That banana will give you cancer. Rice will cause your balls to fall off. Everywhere you look there is someone saying that a certain food is bad and that you should avoid it. The key to this is that everyone understands a few certain rules when it comes to eating for strength. Protein, carbs, and fats are all necessary to being great. You can do more research and figure out what style of eating works for you, but the bottom line is eating nutritionally dense food, avoiding crap, and eating enough of the good stuff is the only way to be healthy, happy, and strong as hell. Stop starving yourself, start using your brain, you know what is good. You just have to commit to the process.
Commandment 5: Water. Just Water.
Save your calories for food. Just drink water. Your teeth, waistline, and body will thank you. When in doubt about what to do for your health...drink water until your pee is clear. Trust me on this.
Commandment 6: Loud Music is always the answer.
If you can’t blast death metal for a PR set at your gym, you aren’t at a real gym. Get lost in the moment and go to a different place in your head. Crush your goals and the weights. Screaming, swearing and profanity are a must for gym music.
Commandment 7: Dedication beats Motivation.
Getting hyped over a gym session is all well and good. Shit, take that extra scoop of HyperPumpFactorXXL Preworkout you paid too much for. Though to really reach your goals you must have unrelenting dedication to making said goals happen. Motivation is the spark, dedication is the engine. Do not forget that.
Commandment 8: Don’t be a dick.
If I have to explain this, you are probably a dick. Don’t be a dick to new lifters, people who are stronger than you, people who are weaker than you, people who don’t lift, people who think lifting is stupid, people who crossfit, anyone at all. Just keep your douche-baggery to yourself.
Commandment 9: If you can’t find PRODUCTIVE Training partners, lift alone.
Call this anti-social. Call this taking lifting “too seriously”. Call it what you will, but if you find yourself surrounded by people who do not have the same goals as you, or do not feel the same way about what you are trying to accomplish, then there is no harm in not training with them. This goes for all avenues of life. Surround yourself with people who are going to make you better, that challenge you, and that push you to where you want to go.
Commandment 10: The Big Three
I am a huge proponent of trying out new training modalities, reps, sets, exercises, and overall different ways of challenging both your mind and body. Though, at the end of the day, you need to realize that the Big Three (deadlift, squat, bench/overhead press) are always going to be the best means of getting stronger. The basics are the basics because they work.
Commandment 11: Accessories Kill Weaknesses
Find yourself not able to lockout the bench? Getting crushed at the bottom of the squat? Do you find yourself struggling from hitching heavy deadlifts? Congratulations, you have found your weakness. Hamstrings, quads, rear delts, and lats can never be strong enough. If you are lucky enough, I did indeed say lucky enough, to know what your weaknesses are then you need to hit them with your accessory work. Weak Triceps? Do pressdowns and dips until you are blue in the face. Need Hamstring help? RDL your way to greatness. Find the weakness, find the accessory that helps it, and turn your weakness into a strength.
Commandment 12: Have fun, or shut the fuck up
for the MASSIVE majority of meatheads, powerlifters, gym rats, and strongmen/women that I know, there is no paycheck or endorsements hanging in the balance on whether or not you hit that next PR. The truth is that we are doing this because we enjoy it, it is fun for us, and it helps us to build our bodies and minds in a positive way. That being said, if you are not enjoying training (and yes, I know training hard is not inherently fun all the time, but you should enjoy the process) then you need to either change your training to something you enjoy, or shut up and move on to something you actually like doing. Nobody wants to hear you complain about “going to the gym” or having to “get up early to train”. We are all doing this because it either makes our lives better, or we just have fun hitting the gym. Nobody is forcing you. God forbid you lead your life the way you want and do the things you actually want to do.
Commandment 13: Do not get sucked into bullshit.
Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT succumb to the marketing of the fitness industry. You will be stricken from time to time with the promises of certain supplement manufactures on making you stronger with “new” research or “amazing transformations”, but the truth of the matter is the things that have worked in the past will continue to work in the future. Proper nutrition, sleep, lifting, cardio, and recovery. Everything else is just bullshit and fluff.
Commandment 14: Cardio is NOT the Enemy.
Cardio helps you get stronger because it makes you less fat and aids in recovery. Bottom line. You are just being lazy. When you can tie your shoes without almost passing out you will be thanking me.
So there you go. Those are the 14 Commandments of Lifting that I try my damnedest to live by. I am not anywhere near perfect, as many of you would be shocked to know, and I occasionally find myself bitching about working out, or being tempted to buy something I KNOW will not work. That being said, this life we live in is a work in progress is a process. We can always strive to work harder and be better. You have that control and it is your life to live. Make the most of it.
Live your Damn Life.