The Secret, Part II

by coachdanbell

1. Show up 2. Train hard 3. Repeat for 10 years

So you’re showing up. You are in the gym, the box or the training hall when you are scheduled to be there and you are ready to train. You are ready to “go hard or go home,” as the annoying t-shirt philosophy goes. You are ready to train hard. So what does that mean, really?

Let’s look a few things that are not hard training. It is not yelling, growling and stomping to amp yourself up for an 85% lift. (To be honest, if you are yelling, growling and stomping for a PR, you are dissipating energy and your focus is scattered) It is not wrapping yourself in knee wraps, a belt, wrist wraps, elbow sleeves and Rock Tape for every lift. It is not decreasing the scheduled weights or reps or sets because the weight “just felt heavy today.” Hard training certainly isn’t twenty minutes of rest and bullshitting before each set. It is not being chained to your iPod for every set, needing to hear that one Incubus song before you can squat heavy. It isn’t skipping deadlifts because you are weak off the floor in favor of the push presses at which you excel. It absolutely does not mean driving yourself in death-march fashion, just wanting it to be over as soon as possible.

Training hard means showing up ready for work, with a business-like attitude. Your warmups are no longer than absolutely necessary to hit positions and prevent injury. You are ready to add weight and/or sets if you’re really feeling it that day, but grudgingly doing a little less if that is what your body demands at the moment. Still, you work the hell out of those sets anyway, with all you’ve got. You know what work you have to get done and you do it at a pace, not fast and sloppy, not slow and unfocused. You dial into the heavy sets like a Zen monk, closing out all but the bar in your hands and the job to be done in the moment. You listen to your coach closely and try to understand the lesson, then you attack the next set with purpose. Unless your are injured, you do every exercise, every set and rep, then you pack up and go home knowing you’ve done what it takes to get better, letting work and focus take the place of doubt and insecurity.

Training hard means putting all the emphasis on right now, doing all you can right now, and giving no less than the best you have in this one workout. You’ve shown up and you’ve trained hard. You have two thirds of The Secret mastered.