So, it’s time for Part II of my 3 Years, 39 Lessons postings I’ve got for you.
If you missed Part I, check it out HERE.
Again to recap on what this “3 Years, 39 Lessons” is all about is that I wanted to share with you some of the top lessons I’ve picked up over the years since starting my gym, The Forged Athlete.
I hope that you can take these quick lessons and apply them to your fitness and life for accelerate progress forward.
So without further adu, here’s Lessons #25 – 39! Enjoy!
Lesson # 25 – A New Way to Look at Supersets – I’ve always enjoyed supersetting movements, especially upper body pushing and pulling movements.
One of the BIG mistakes I made for the longest time was I would always do a push movement first. I did this because I was naturally stronger and more comfortable with pushing then I was at pulling. Overtime, my pushing movements got a whole lot stronger then my pulling and luckily I caught this early on and made sure to try and balance out my strengths.
One of the things you should always focus on with supersets is to hit your weakest movement first. Most people do not do this. This will help you focus more in on your weaker movement as you’ll be fresher and not quite as fatigued as you would be if you hit up your stronger movement first.
Bottom Line – When hitting supersets, start hitting the weaker movement FIRST out of the of the two that you’re doing.
Lesson #26 – Push Through The Pain and Take Risks To Reap Rewards – This lesson goes right along with Lesson #39 in that if you want to progress in life whether that be with your training or personal life, you must be willing to give up some level of comfort.
If you want to get yourself stronger or bigger, you bet your ass your gonna have to dig and go through some major pain barriers to get yourself to a higher level.
One of my favorite clips ever…
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It’s also just like when my boy Joe and I decided to first open our gym. We risked a hell of a lot in order to open up our doors, but by adding in this risk into our lives, we were forced to HUSTLE our ass’ off to get sh*t done.
It was DO or DIE.
If there wasn’t any risk involved, or if we weren’t ever pushed outside of our comfort zones, things would be a lot different.
One of the biggest forms of learning this lesson came from when I first invested into my business coach. Up front I had to invest a TON of money and at the time, this scared the sh*t outta me because what was I to do if I were to fail?
Things have worked out great, but if I was never willing to take that initial risk on my end, there’s no way I would be where I am today.
Bottom Line – If you want REWARD, you’ve got to be willing to take the RISK.
Be willing to shed blood, sweat, and tears to get what it is you want.
It will take sacrifice, commitment, and even a little bit of pain to get what you want.
Lesson # 27 – When In Doubt – Eat A B.A.S. this is for you peeps out there that want to get shredded and stay shredded…
When in doubt, have yourself a nice B.A.S.
What’s a B.A.S. you ask? Stands for Big Ass Salad and you should eat more of them.
Start off with a big ass bowl and load that baby up with a ton of mixed greens then top with your favorite lean protein and add some healthy fats on top of that via nuts, seeds, avocado, or some a solid choice oil like EVOO, some balsamic vinaigrette, ect.
If anything, AVOID the typical “healthy” footlong sub sandwich. I made this mistake for many years thinking it was a healthy choice! You want to cut out all of the processed carbs and grains as possible.
If you’re out for lunch or dinner and you need help with what to get that’s healthy, opt for the B.A.S. and you can’t go wrong (unless you smother your B.A.S. with ranch dressing and top with croutons – DON’T do that)
You can usually get a B.A.S. at any restaurant and if they don’t have one, go next door 🙂
Lesson #28 – Train For Power, Strength, and Conditioning in Every Session – If you want to get stronger, improve your performance, and get lean at the same time, here’s a great template for success…
1A) Power Movement
2A) Strength Movement
3A) Superset push / pull
4A) Lower Body Unilateral Movement
4B) Core Movement
5A) Conditioning Finisher
Doesn’t get much simpler then that. You cover all of your bases here – strength, power, hypertrophy, and fat loss (via conditioning)
Lesson #29 – Do Strongman At Least Once Per Week – Yep! That’s right! If you really want to get yourself stronger, you need to drag, push, pull a heavy sled, carry heavy sh*t, or pick up and load heavy stuff.
When I finally got to move into my own gym, strongman training became a weekly ritual and I quickly discovered just damn how powerful and effective strongman training could be.
Its simple; just make sure that you at least hit up a strongman session once every other week or more.
Like I mentioned at the beginning… Drag heavy sleds or push a truck. Carry a keg. Walk with farmer handles, heavy dumbbells, a large sandbag, or the heaviest objects you can find. Just be around heavy sh*t.
Bottom Line – You’ll burn fat, build strength and muscle, and you’ll keep yourself athletic.
Lesson #30 – Keep A Thanksgiving Journal – I wrote about this a while back in an older blog post HERE
Bottom line on this lesson – if you’re struggling to move ahead within your life whether that be with your fitness or personal life, I highly recommend you start keeping a daily “thanksgiving journal”
Lesson #31 – Keep Your Ego In Check – A HUGE mistake I used to make all the time, especially when I was in high school and college was letting my EGO get in my way.
Basically what I was doing was trying to train too heavy to much.
I still see athletes and serious lifters make this common mistake of trying to train too heavy too early and too often in their training. People that make this mistake often find themselves stagnant with their results or worse, injured or dramatically losing progress.
The keys to fix this issue are to 1) Check your ego at the door and 2) Don’t miss reps too often – train with submaximal weights and only go heavy every once in a while.
For example, if you’re doing bench press and you’re supposed to do 5 sets of 5 reps and on set 2, you only get 3 reps. You went WAY too heavy and thus, your 3rd, 4th, and 5th sets are going to be compromised. This is why you would want to hit your first 4 sets with a submaximal weight in order to make sure you hit each and every rep clean. Then on the 5th set, if you miss a rep or two, that’s ok.
The main thing is to avoid going too heavy too early.
Know your limits and stop lying to yourself. Stay honest with what you’re capable of doing. Don’t worry about how much weight is on the bar, rather worry about how fast you’re able to progress overtime.
Lesson #32 – Always Train 110% H.A.M., But Train SMART – Now this lesson goes right along with the last lesson in that you want to make sure you’re always training at a high level.
YES – you should always be pushing yourself to the limit, but at the same time, you need to know what these limits are.
Bottom Line – Don’t Be A DUMBASS 😉
Watch this video for more reference on this lesson…
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Lesson #33 – Hit The Track! – If you’re looking to increase your overall endurance and running capacity, forget running miles on end. That stuff is for the birds.
If you want to stay strong and build endurance all at once, hit up the track at least once a week.
Hit up 200m repeats, 400m repeats, or 800m repeats as these will help build up some major endurance while keeping you strong.
What’s the best about these shorter mid distance sprints is that they will help you save tons of “road time”.
When I have to increase my running capacity, I start hitting up the track even more. I suggest you do the same. I’ve had athletes who’ve run in big races such as marathons and half’s and a huge part that helped them become more successful was through adding in mid-distance sprints.
Lesson #34 – Finish Off Your Sessions Right – Truth be told, I used to add in finishers every now and then, but after I’ve personally seen the power that regular planned finishers have with my overall results, you bet your ass that I use them after 99.9% of my sessions now.
Finishers are a powerhouse in regards to helping you increase you’re overall performance. This is especially true if you’re an athlete or serious lifter that’s training for overall performance.
Shoot, finishers are also a great solution for guys that are looking to gain muscle as you can tailor your finisher to a particular body part if need be.
Just as I mentioned Attacking Weaknesses in Lesson #37 below, Finishers are another great way to attack those as you can add in a few of your weaker movements that you need to practice on right into them.
Bottom Line – Finishers are the BOMB. The results show for themselves, and I feel it’s a good option you add in a finisher to most of your workouts if not all of them.
I’ve successfully added these in via Thursday Throwdowns or I typically hit up something that I’ve already laid out in my Hardcore Workout Finishers.
Lesson #35 – Set Hard Deadlines And Stick To Them – If you want to get a TON of things done in life as well as progress forward with your training, it’s imperative you start setting up some sort of deadlines for yourself.
It wasn’t until I started doing this on a weekly basis that my productivity and free time started to drastically change.
Setting a deadline is a lot like setting a goal in that a deadline know creates a target to shoot for. Whenever you have a target to go for, your aim will always be a lot better then without.
Also, if you’re someone that likes to procrastinate, deadlines will fix that problem in a hurry.
What I like to tell my coaching clients is to set a 6-month goal for yourself then set a 3 month deadline to get that goal accomplished. It’s amazing how much you’ll get done in that 3-month span.
Bottom Line – start setting deadlines for yourself and stick to them!
Lesson #36 – When Your Mind Says Your Tired, You Still Have 60% Left – This lesson I took from a few different sources…
1) Navy Seal / Endurance Runner / Superhero David Goggins speaks about this in the video below…
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2) One of my athletes, Ronan, who I have the upmost respect for has taken what David talks about and proved that it is true. This guy has truly amazed me in what he’s accomplish in the 2 years that he’s been apart of my gym.
He recently ran in and completed the infamous Death Race (which has a 17% finish rate) and just found out he got accepted into a Military Officer’s School that he’s been trying to get into for the last year.
He truly has lead by example and represents what it is to be 110% H.A.M. and Forged Strong.
Anyways, the lesson I’ve taken from Ronan and David is that when your mind says that your tired, you’ve only just begun! This is so true and if you can harness the power that your mind truly possesses, you can accomplish some truly amazing things.
Bottom Line – When you’re body is tired and you’re extremely fatigued, you’ve got to master the art of letting your mind take things over from there. We are all capable of way more then we think. It’s all in our mind with how far we are willing to push ourselves.
Lesson # 37 – Train What You HATE (Attack Your Weaknesses) – This lesson goes right along with Lesson #25 in that if you want to improve with your training and increase in your overall ability to perform, you’ve got to relentlessly attack your weaknesses!
For example, if you suck at pull ups, start doing more pull ups. Do them in your warm up, in between sets of exercises, and then again at the end of your session. Train your grip every other day.
Bottom Line – do the things you HATE more often as when it comes to doing things we HATE within our training, it’s typically because we suck at that particular thing.
For me, I HATE front squats, but I’m actually starting to love them because I’m getting better at them. What was once weak is now strong…
If it’s a weakness, ATTACK it!
Lesson #38 – Tailor Your Warm Ups – When it comes to warming up before a training session, it’s absolutely essential.
Too many people skip their warm ups and in turn, hinder their overall progress.
First off, you should have yourself a “go to” warm up. Something that you know will get you fully prepared for battle. This is a must have.
Here’s an example of a good “go to” warm up…
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Besides having a “go to” warm up, something that I’ve been using more has been specific warm ups. This has worked wonders.
If you’re someone that’s strapped for time, specific warm ups won’t work as well, but if you have a little bit of extra time to devote to your warm up, I suggest doing more specific warm ups.
For example, I snatched and deadlifted heavy the other day so I made sure to hammer out a ton of upper back and shoulder mobility stuff within my warm up specifically more for the for the snatches.
Then, I also made sure to hammer out a ton of dynamic mobility work for my low back, glutes, and hips for the deads which also prepped me for the snatches. The warm up took a bit longer then my normal “go to” warm up did but it pays off.
Lesson #39 – Take Chances Every Day – AKA – Live Life Aggressive! – Out of all the lessons I’ve shared within the 39 I’ve posted, this is by far the most powerful in regards to moving forward in your life.
If there are things in your life that you truly want and you’re not taking action on trying to get them, you’re missing out.
The hardcore stone cold fact of life is this – If you don’t take ACTION (aka – take chances) in life you will never get yourself to where you want to be. Things will not just fall into your lap.
YOU must go out and grab life by the f*cking balls and make it happen. You must live life with some sort of personal creed.
I follow this…
Looking back over the last 3 years that my biz partner Joe and I have had The Forged Athlete Gym, it has NOT been easy. It wasn’t like we just went out and got a spot, bought up some equipment and said, “Hey, we’re open for business!”.
We had to go out and be Aggressive with building our business. We’ve taken many chances in regards to making investments for the business. Some were good and some were bad but the ultimate lesson is this – you will NEVER know unless you take that chance.
Some people will be quick to take action on things while others will be a little bit slower but ultimately, don’t sit back and let life pass you by.
Live it Aggressively!
Get out and make stuff happen. Be the FIRE STARTER.
If there’s something you want, get off your ass and go get that sh*t.
Remember lesson #24 from Part I…
Yeah, it’s all on YOUR shoulders. No one else’s. If you take anything from these two blog posts, make sure it’s these two lessons: Live Life with 110% Responsibility and Live Your Life Aggressive!
That’s a good way to end things out right…
What do YOU think? Let me hear your thoughts and comments on Part II. Which lesson was your favorite out of the 15 I shared.
Also, if you could do me a HUGE favor. Please click the LIKE button at the top of this post and SHARE this post with your friends.
Keep Living Aggressive and Get Strong!
PS – Quick reminder on the HUGE Sale I’m running on ALL of my strength manuals…
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