Chuck and I have been working out at Jack King’s Gym for about a week now. The biggest thing that I have noticed is the amount of fun and excitement that I am having again. I am looking forward to each session, and I am looking forward to killing big weights. The moral of the story is that having fun is an important part of training that people don’t talk about enough. It’s the key to long-term success just ask Rebecca Gerdon.
Jack King’s Gym immediately brings me back to my youth, and my body instantly remembers the way it felt when I was winning championships. I equate the musky smell of sweat and steel to hard training and success. When we get out of the car at Jack’s, I hear the rustle of the creek that flows beside the gym, and I feel the cool breeze that always seems to blow. I look at the rustic Jack King’s Gym sign, and I know that I am there to push the limits of my body.
When I was young, I would envision the struggles of my youth. The voices of people doubting me would feel my brain like echoes of evil. The voices did nothing but fuel my training. Now I think about all the doubts of a 41-year-old actually making a legitimate comeback. I think about all the people who I might inspire. More importantly, I think about bringing God glory this time around. The new voices in my head fuel me much more than the old voices of hate and evil.
I have so much to be thankful for in my life right now. Little Rock, Bailey, and Drew are God’s gifts to me. Every night I lay in bed and just look at my wife holding my son while they both sleep. My prayers are those of thanksgiving because I am left with very little that I long for. I just pray that I can be a good steward with what God has gifted me. My training will be something that compliments my family because I will never do anything again that will distract me from what is truly important.
Now I just want to have fun with my other son, Chuck. I want to lift heavy weights, and get in the best physical shape of my life. I want to stay in great shape, so that I will be able to play with Rock for several years to come. I refuse to let my age stop me from teaching him weightlifting, football, or whatever.
Having fun while training allows people to train longer, and it keeps the stress down. Keeping the stress in check will keep the endocrine system pumping at an optimal level. This equates to better recovery and performance. The strength game is a marathon. The person who can train the longest with the least amount of injuries will win this game. That is the bottom line! If everyone would look at the strength sports in lengths of at least ten years, National and World Records would be shattered at a much higher frequency.
The key to a happy training environment is the athletes that are training together. Chuck and I are the best of friends, so we enjoy our time together. We have lots of laughs, but when it is time to get right, we get right. The culture in a training hall is EVERYTHING. If there is one negative dude, it will bring the whole place down. Awesome music, laughter, and dancing will equal PRs!
Another big key is training in a facility with little distractions. This is the big reason that I chose to train at Jack King’s Gym. When I am at my own facility, I am compelled to coach others. I am also looking around thinking about the things that need to be done which interferes with my training. Now I am at a place where all I think about is my own training. If you are at a place that distracts you in any way, I would tell you to consider moving.
Here are the keys to success with the Barbell:
· Have fun!
· Pick teammates that have fun in a positive manner!
· Culture is key!
· Eliminate all distractions!
· Keep focused priorities
At Muscle Driver USA and Mash Mafia Weightlifting the common ground is that both facilities offer an environment of athletes having fun together. Another trait is the community among the teammates. At the Mash Compound, most of the team lives together at the Muscle Hut, and basically they do life together. This is so important. Hanging around others that know what you are going through is incredibly important. You end up helping each other through the hard times. Then when the team puts together a big meet together, we party together. If one goes to the Olympics, we all do. It’s a family! If you don’t have that, find it.
Chuck and I are keeping things really simple at first. We are going Bulgarian until the gains halt, and then I will shift to more traditional periodization. Here is what yesterday’s training looked like:
Back Squat 515lb/1, 525lb/1, 455/2 pause squats
Deadlift 615lb x 1
Leg Curls 3 sets x 10 reps
Back Squat 475lbs x 1, 405/2 paused
I will be posting a Vlog by tonight. Each week we will post more videos on recovery and mobility. I also want to focus more on nutrition this time around, and I will try to pass this information on to all of you. We are having a great time training together, so hopefully I can show you guys how to have fun and still be the strongest lifter in the world. You are beginning this journey with me from Ground Zero, so this should be a fun adventure.
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