T Nation

How Did You Do It?

Recently I had some questions for Jim Wendler and he was kind enough to give me some of his time and answer those questions. Along with those answers came a small bit of advice, that all programs work and you just have to train harder than everyone else if you want to succeed and do your best. So putting the endless debates about which method of programming is best for who I thought I would create an opportunity for people of all experience levels to share what has worked for them in the past and present and why they believed it worked?

I think it would be interesting to hear how other people have earned their strength!

Time + Effort = Results.

easiest equation ever.

Lift heavy stuff regularly. Do re/prehab. Eat food.

Pick a program, do what it tells you (a.k.a. don’t throw your own shit in there), and don’t drop it 2 weeks after starting because your lifts didn’t go up 20 lbs since the last time you maxed out.

You can’t just work hard, you have to work smart. You’ve gotta get the most bang for the buck out of you do. You also have to take care of yourself with mobility, pre/re-hab, eating right, rest, and all the rest of the stuff that ensures proper recovery. There’s no point of running yourself into the ground if you can’t recover properly. On the other side of that coin, you need to know the difference between being a pussy and knowing when to back off a little or up your recovery game.

One thing that nobody has mentioned is the mental aspect of lifting. In my opinion, it’s one of the most important parts.

I made great gains following some shitty bodybuilding program I found online. The program itself was pretty much trash, but I believed in myself so much that I made it work for me. When I switched to use 5/3/1, I made great gains. Not because the program itself was magic, but because I busted my ass and believed in it.

When I switched gyms and started following a conjugate style system, I had the chance to train with a former APF Senior National winner and believed in his training methods. I busted my ass and put over 120lbs on my total in about 6 months. Looking back, his methods were not anything special, I just believed in myself and made it work.

You have to consistently work hard. You have to be your own biggest critic. You have to be able to take a step back and objectively identify your weaknesses. But also, you have to believe in what you’re doing. To make consistent, long term, repeatable gains you have to understand what you’re doing as well as WHY you’re doing it. You can make gains on any program, given enough time and the right mindset.

frankjl kinda beat me to it, but anyway if you are a Youtuber Elliot Hulse and CT Fletcher both recently put out videos basically talking about how your attitude is more important than anything, even your program itself.

Whatever program you’re running you need to believe in it and attack it fiercely. Lift like a savage and have an assertive and aggressive attitude about it.

Don’t be a method whore.

Know what you want. Most people usually end up getting what they want. Its too bad most want to fail.

5/3/1 was what got me on the right track. A good simple method, with an easy to understand e-book. Made my transition from xfitter/wanna be to a ‘powerlifter’ easier.

[quote]frankjl wrote:
One thing that nobody has mentioned is the mental aspect of lifting. In my opinion, it’s one of the most important parts.

I made great gains following some shitty bodybuilding program I found online. The program itself was pretty much trash, but I believed in myself so much that I made it work for me. When I switched to use 5/3/1, I made great gains. Not because the program itself was magic, but because I busted my ass and believed in it.

When I switched gyms and started following a conjugate style system, I had the chance to train with a former APF Senior National winner and believed in his training methods. I busted my ass and put over 120lbs on my total in about 6 months. Looking back, his methods were not anything special, I just believed in myself and made it work.

You have to consistently work hard. You have to be your own biggest critic. You have to be able to take a step back and objectively identify your weaknesses. But also, you have to believe in what you’re doing. To make consistent, long term, repeatable gains you have to understand what you’re doing as well as WHY you’re doing it. You can make gains on any program, given enough time and the right mindset.[/quote]

Great post, alot of stuff I have to remind myself of in my own training…the taking a step back aspect especially…I sometimes fall into charging ahead when I should reflect and possibly take a step back for success in the not to near future

I trained with a block periodized template for years which has always worked well for me, especially during contest prep. I now train with 5/3/1 for powerlifting and it has been going nicely as well (It’s basically the same thing, just with 4 week training cycles instead of 12-16 week training cycles).

Consistency and commitment.

Everything else works out if you have those 2 things.

[quote]Hold Up wrote:
Don’t be a method whore.

Know what you want. Most people usually end up getting what they want. Its too bad most want to fail.[/quote]

Would like to add… with RARE exception, every highly successful person I have come across or read about in any endeavor will have INSANE FOCUS. Once you are truly passionate about something, this should be present…and obvious.