We all make mistakes. Plain and simple. I write this not because it is important to understand that you will make mistakes and fail, but that in order to evolve as a person, you must also learn from them. And you cannot be afraid to make a lot of them either. But if you spend too much time looking at errors and reasons why you can’t do certain things, perhaps you will miss the value in taking chances and how those mistakes turned you into the person you are today.
To set the record straight on things done “wrong,” I believe I have achieved master mistake status. I trained in a day when I drank out of the backyard hose, didn’t have a foam roll, Y’s and T’s were just letters of the alphabet, and it was ok to say I liked “burn” the seated calf machine produced. My first gym was a bench with 200 pounds of sand-filled weights in my bedroom and yes, I invested in and used the Weider Arm Blaster, an EZ curl bar, and thought my lifting gloves were cool as hell. My warmup consisted of a glance at a Muscle and Fitness magazine, admiring a double bicep pose in the mirror and loading a bar with my first exercise. Yes, I did back Squats, Donkey Raises, and (god forbid) Leg Extensions all while wearing my Valeo Belt. My pre-workout was a soda, I ate fast food after school and finished training sessions with high rep abs in which I flexed my spine and had raw eggs and ice cream in my post workout shake. By today’s expectations, the fitness experts of the training world might not only consider me lucky to have gotten results, but even more lucky to be alive! I consider myself more lucky to have learned the lessons these experiences taught me on how to do things “right.”
I am sure 25 years from now some current young talent will write about how he used to “roll” his butt cheeks before leg day, hurt his shoulder trying to pick up his girlfriend doing Turkish Getups, and tried to cure a staph infection from a Mud Run with dry needling and going “Paleo” for a time all in the name of getting Facebook likes and Twitter retweets. Maybe these will be seen as mistakes, but he will probably have grown to find “better.”
Over those years, I battled with what training methods was “best.” I have come to realize that there is not and may never be a best. Instead of getting “bitter” we must always be on the search to deliver “better.” When I began Impact MetroWest instead of tying Impact to individual exercise philosophies or pieces of equipment, I decided to uncover the principles that were essential to follow regardless of the exercise tool or methodology used. I am sharing my system with you in the hope that you will use it to impact the lives of many others.
It’s all about HUMAN Movement Performance! By getting the body moving as an integrated unit, exercise gets enjoyable! We stick with things we are good at and if we can squat, hip hinge, push, pull, rotate, and anti-rotate well. That’s when GREATNESS follows.
If you are you on the search for “better” here are Four Impact Principles that will help make sure you are on the right path:
1.) Regardless of your training style, the main secret to improvement is CONSISTENCY. For the last 25 years, I have not missed training for more than a few days. I may not have been the strongest or most gifted when I started, but after 25 years of consistent work, I appear to be one of those people now. Short version, put a bunch of days in a row and a little eventually becomes a lot.
2.) Stop talking, start doing! I see so many people that are unsure if they are doing the right thing and they do nothing. As I spoke about, I may not have been doing what current science accepts as the “best” possible training, but I was doing something. If you wait for all the lights to be green before you get in your car, you will never get going.
3.) Stick with the BASICS and FUNDAMENTALS. Make sure you keep the “fancy” stuff for youtube (if it looks ridiculous, it’s ridiculous). Want strong muscles, get on a diet of gradual overload. Get really good with Squats, Lunges, Deadlifts. Stuff you do every day within your ADL’s(activities of daily living). Just like you wouldn’t put on your tie before you put on your shirt, make sure you build a foundation before you start worrying about the one-legged, stability ball, kettlebell, pistol squat.
4.) Take a solid direction and FOCUS. You can’t ride two horses with one butt. Too many people spread themselves thin trying too many styles and become the classic “jack of all trades and master of none.” If you want to be great remember that “multitasking” doesn’t make you effective, it makes you mediocre.