T Nation


Last weekend, I was working with my teenage son in our home gym. He is taking a weight training class at school and wanted a few tips on performing cleans. When we finished the technique drills he said, ?Dad, it must have been tough when you started lifting-you did not have anybody to show you how to lift and you had to figure it all out on your own. He was correct. When I started lifting, there was no internet, books were scarce and you had to travel to even find something resembling a lifting/bb magazine to at least give you some type of information. (even if it was bad information) The only book that our area library had that was on weight training was a book on track and field that had a section on lifting weights ( I kept it checked out for almost 2 straight years) Despite all of this, the ?figuring it out on my own? was half the fun of training. If a magic genie showed up when I started training and handed me a thick notebook and said-This book contains a detailed list of your all of optimal workouts for the rest of your life. Each training day is already written out for you-all you have to do is follow it—if that had actually happened, I doubt I would have kept training?I always loved lifting because you could personalize your workouts as you saw fit-there was no rules. Of course, there are basic principles and laws to adhere to, but you could pretty much do your own thing. The very essence of lifting is self-discovery. Be patient, set goals and keep a training journal!

I, and I am sure many others have frequently been guilty of always hoping for ?ideal conditions? in order to get the best possible results. If I only had this new piece of equipment, if I only could get more sleep, if I could only afford more supplements, if I did not have to study for these darn exams, etc, etc. ?then I could REALLY train hard and make better progress. All through high school, I said to myself-if I did not have football and wrestling practice, I could make better gains, If I did not have to get up t 4:30am to milk cows, I could make better gains. Then I went into the service and after basic training started a two year nuclear training program which was broken up into two parts consisting of one year each. The first year was rough, up early, in school all day, studying till late at night, plus had to stand duty every third day, plus normal military activities-I lifted and I made progress, but I kept thinking, if I only could work a ?normal schedule? I could make great progress. The first year came to an end and the next series of classes for part two did not start for three more months. Our class was assigned to a cleaning detail where we had to show up each day at 7:30 to do building maintenance. We ended up only having to work 2-3 hours each day for four days a week. Most of those hours were not spent working, but goofing off or taking a nap in a broom closet. We also received a substantial pay raise and I had thousands in savings from the previous year. Our base also had just built a brand new gym. I had time, facilities and money-ie, what I though was the ?perfect conditions? to reap maximum results. Guess how much progress I made during those three months? Try none?With few work responsibilities, I began staying up later at night and even going out during the week. I would get to the building and then find a place to sleep. I started skipping breakfast and eating crap from the snack bar. The extra time made me lazy and sluggish and this carried over into my training. As soon as school started up and I got busy again, my progress resumed. This has happened to me many, many times in my life. Whatever conditions you currently have are currently the ideal conditions for you to train in.

Lessons Learned




yeah I find myself in that if only mindset often…

If only I slept a bit, if only I had less stress, if only I could get Biotest products year round… but you just gotta keep on it…

Thank you for the reminder

Nice post, Keith. I’ve followed your stuff over at Sherdog a lot, and really appreciate the wisdom you share.

You’ve hit the mark, Keith.

Sport is about self discovery. That’s the reason I believe any man should train, be it lifting, wrestling or running.
If you ever are truly interested in getting better in your particular sport, you have to physically confront yourself.
The day someone invents the pill which gives you a perfect body will be a sad day for mankind.

Great post, Keith.

great post Kieth.

Haven’t seen you here in awhile, welcome back.