Posts Tagged ‘Mindset’

I was in the gym just the other day, working my ass off on sets of heavy Overhead Presses.  I had already completed a few light warmup sets and 2 of my 4 planned work sets when I took a quick peek in the mirror hanging on the wall just beyond the power rack I was lifting in.

C’mon now… you know you do it too.  Just don’t stand there staring and flexing too long or you’ll look like a complete twat.

I had eaten really well that day, taking in plenty of quality calories, and my pre-workout formula was kicking in hard, so I had a REALLY nice pump going in my shoulders.

Not to toot my own horn but, I have pretty decent shoulders to begin with, so the insane pump on top of my natural size made me overly impressed with myself. Not a good thing to do. Don’t ever start thinking you’re cooler than you are. I definitely was guilty of it that day.

When I train, most of the time I wear my Beats and listen to Slipknot or some other equally disturbing and aggressive music. That’s my way of shutting the world out and to keep myself fired up to train hard.

On that day, after leering at myself for far too long in the mirror, I was bobbing my head to some form of kill your mother music when I caught a glimpse of a couple of guys out of the corner of my left eye.

I glanced in their direction and noticed them standing in front of the cable station, both of them staring at me.

Neither of them could have been more than a buck forty, soaking wet, and I’m sure they were doing cable crossovers in order to “shred” their chests, which they had no business doing. I felt like telling them to man the fuck up and do some bench presses to actually build a chest but I decided to let them be. After all, I’m not their trainer and they didn’t ask for my advice.

So, I took a sip of water, let the song ‘Psychosocial’ flow through me like electricity, and dug in for another intense set of presses.

After grinding out the 8th rep I slammed the weight back in the rack and stepped back to catch my breath.

I feel someone’s eyes burning a hole through me…

Have you ever just known, because you could “feel” it, that someone was staring you down? Creepy…

I look over at the cable station and, sho nuff’, Junior and Billy (I have no idea if that’s really their names but they looked like a Junior and Billy) have their lil’ eyes cast upon me in a gaze that tells me they’re either about to profess their undying love to me or they’re gonna smack me in the head with a fucking dumbbell.


I felt the blood rush to my face and I knew, without looking, that my ears were fire engine red. What in the hell could have these two jack assess so interested in me that they’re not even trying to get their “chest shred” on?

I tore my Beats off my head and started their way like a damn Brahma Bull going after a Matador. I decided come hell or high water I was going to find out what these little dip shits issue was!

After bowling over a couple of defenseless women and a few small children (COMPLETELY kidding) I made my way to jack ass number 1, who had finally turned his attention from me to talk to his buddy.

As I approached they must’ve seen a look on my face that said I was either:
a) A cannibalistic serial killer who intended to make them my post-workout meal
b) A complete psycho, hell bent on ripping their legs off and using them as a barbell
c) All of the above

because one of the guys immediately turned and hauled ass towards the water fountain for a drink, leaving his buddy to meet his demise on his own.

“What the fuck are you staring….” I growled, before he cut me off.  The other, apparently much more courageous, guy started explaining immediately….

“Dude, you have got freaking big shoulders” the courageous kid says to me. “Do you always do barbell presses?”

Wow… Now my face is red for a different reason. Turns out, I’m the JACK ASS.

After thanking the kid I explained to him that Overhead Presses are a great compound exercise to help you build size and strength in your shoulders. I tossed em’ a little advice on their chest workout too, instructing them to do more basic, heavy compound lifts, like the bench press, if they want to build muscle and get strong.

It was the least I could do after thinking about where I would bury the bodies once I was done with them, for absolutely NO reason at all.

I headed back to the power rack to finish up my sets with another lesson learned in mind. And, like so many other lessons learned in the gym, it was one I could and should apply to the rest of my life.

The point is I was too quick to get frustrated, upset and angry for no reason at all. Why? Because some guys who were just starting out, who are exactly where I once was, were impressed by my body and interested in learning how I do it?

I let it ruin my motivation for what had started as a kick ass training session. I packed up my gym bag and walked out the door thinking about the experience. I promised myself that from now on I will get all the facts and completely consider the situation before I let something bother me, make me angry, or drag me down.

ANOTHER life lesson learned in the gym.There’s a lot of them to learn, if you pay attention.

Guys and Gals, if you’ve been around the gym for a while, and have some experience under your lifting belt, I encourage you to keep my experience in mind. Don’t be so quick to judge the newbies. Be willing to offer up some advice, give them a spot or lend them a helping hand.

After all, at one time you were right where they are now. Believe or not, a lot of those new people are looking up to you in a way. You’re the example of who and what they want to be.

Remember how you felt when you first started going to the gym? Was it intimidating? Was it confusing? Where you envious of the amazing bodies around you? Would you have loved for those more experienced people, with those amazing bodies, to give you some solid advice that would help you get the results you were looking for?

New people: One day YOU’RE going to be one of the people with an awesome body. One day people will look to you for guidance and advice. You can be really cool, and most likely make their day, by spending just a little time to point them in the right direction. You should do it. It’ll make you both feel better.

And when you’re busting your ass, building your body to even more impressive levels, and a few new guys are watching you from across the gym, take it as a compliment. They just wanna be like you.

Until Next Time,

Michael Wheeler
Hey guys, have you ever had a time when you were being watched or “stalked” from across the gym? lol
Have you ever given a new gym rat some solid advice? I’d love to hear about it below!

Do you ever stop to think about why you do the things you do?

Or, do you live your life on auto-pilot, and just sort of coast through your days, doing the things you do because they’re habit and it’s what you’ve always done?

Now, of course there are some things you do simply because they’re necessary.  Things like brushing your teeth, using the restroom, driving to work, drinking when you’re thirsty, eating when you’re hungry and so on.

It doesn’t really take much thought, or emotion, to motivate you to do these things.  Hell, most of them happen without any thought or motivation.

Who hasn’t been stuck in rush hour traffic and had to pee so bad they were sure they’d bust before making it home?

It sucks… Peeing your pants wasn’t even cool when you were 5.

Once you got home you didn’t need to put any thought into why you were taking a piss.  At that point it was pretty much automatic and very much necessary!

And, I’d bet a weekend getaway with Sofia Vergara that, at some point, most of you have been so tired you couldn’t keep your eyes open, no matter how hard you tried.

This wasn’t something that required for you to ponder why you were doing it.  Your body was simply so exhausted that your eyes closed themselves.

But, there are also a lot of things you do, a lot of actions you take, that are provoked by thought and fueled by emotion.  These types of things require a decision to be made.  And, when you decide to do something, it means you’ve put at least a little thought into why you’re doing it.

So, why do so many people just “workout” without considering WHY they’re doing it?

You see, I firmly believe that in order to maximize your potential, achieve real results and make dramatic changes to your body, you need to identify and fully understand WHY you want to build a great physique.

In the post “Do you want a great body or not” I told you to find your reasons for training hard to build a better body.  Your reasons are what will keep you pushing forward, when others would quit.  Your reasons will help you find the courage and inner strength to do what’s necessary to achieve success!

The best way to find your reasons is to think about why you want to build muscle, lose fat and make dramatic changes to your body.  This will help you understand why you’ll do what it takes to get RESULTS.

Why in the hell would you drag yourself out of bed at an ungodly hour, to go running in the cold or do any other hellish form of cardio, when the rest of the world is warm and comfy, still spinning their dreams?

Why would you fight through rush hour traffic after a long day at work, only to get to the gym to lift heavy objects, instead of heading home to the couch for some television and relaxation?

Why would you say “no” to pizza and beer when all of your friends are eating, drinking and having a blast?

If you don’t know the answers to why you would do these things, and you plan on having a great body, you’d better figure them out…

Every day people decide they want to “get in shape”.  They join a gym and start “working out” and “eating right”.

I know… that’s a lot of quotations and it’s annoying.  I’m going somewhere with this… I promise.

So, with only a very vague idea in mind, they start working out without really knowing why they’re doing it.  They don’t know why they’ve given up their favorite foods.  They don’t understand why they’re exhausting themselves in the gym after a hard day of work.

They don’t know why they’re pushing through the mental discomfort of being the new, “out of shape” person in the gym or living with tired, sore muscles all of the time.

Some of them last a week, some last a month and others actually make it several months.  But, whether it takes a week, a month or six months, all too often they eventually give up and quit. 

They don’t persevere because they never really understood why there were doing any of it in the first place!

You don’t want that to happen to yourself.  I don’t either.

If you’ll put in the effort, and take the time, to understand exactly why you’re striving to get what you want, you’ll be a helluva lot more likely to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.  That’s because you’ll be emotionally connected and begin to want it badly.  It’s powerful because it’s meaningful to you.

You’ll discover what determination is and you will not quit, even when shit gets tough!  This is as true in “real life” as it is in the gym.

So, if you don’t know your reasons and understand why you want a better body, I encourage you do to this…

Go somewhere quiet, where you can be alone.  Sit down and think about why you go to the gym, why you eat right and why you want a great body.  I highly suggest for you to get a notebook, write these questions down, and answer them as honestly as you possibly can.

Being completely honest with yourself is the only way you’re going to find the answers that will help you change your body and life.

The answers to these questions are your vehicle, to get you where you want to go, towards the physique of your dreams.  I would look at them often; first thing in the morning, all throughout the day, and before bed at night.

Use what fits your goals.  If you’re not concerned with building muscle size, don’t worry about that question.  If you just want to get strong, and could give a damn less about abs, focus on that question/area.

The key is to find what is important and meaningful to YOU.

Answer these questions and you’re taking a MASSIVE step towards achieving the body you’ve always wanted.

  • Why do you want to build muscle?
  • Why do you want to get stronger physically?
  • Why do you want to lose fat and get in better shape?
  • Why do you want to get ripped and have great abs?
  • Why do you want to be healthier, more energetic and better looking?

Now, let’s dig even deeper…

  • How will building bigger muscles make you feel about yourself?
  • How will getting physically stronger help you?  Will it also help you get mentally stronger?  Emotionally?
  • Do you want to live a long, healthy, happy life and have more time to enjoy with your wife/husband/children/family and loved ones?  If you take better care of yourself physically, will that make you able to do more for them?
  • Would you do a better job at work/in your career if you had more energy and felt better?  If you were stronger mentally, and your mind was clear, would you perform better?
  • Would you be treated differently by others, with more admiration and respect, if you had an amazing physique?
  • Would you find it easier to talk to, and attract, a partner?  Would it help you find the mate you’ve been looking for?
  • Would taking control of your health and fitness improve your life?  Would it provide you with more energy, ability, enthusiasm, discipline, determination and confidence?

I can’t answer these questions for you.  Neither can anyone else.  You’re gonna have to look inside your own mind, heart and soul to come up with the answers.

Make no mistake, out of all the exercises you could do in order to build a great body, this is one of the most important. 

Take it seriously, dig deep and be very honest with yourself.

When you do, you’ll understand exactly WHY you want a great physique and you’ll be willing to do everything it takes to get it.

You’ve heard the old saying “Where there’s a WILL there’s a WAY”.

That’s true….  But in order to find your “WILL” you need to understand your “WHY”.

What about you guys?  Why do you go to the gym?  What are your reasons for pushing yourself further and harder every day?  Why do you want a great body?  I’d love to hear all about YOUR reasons why!!!