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Tomorrow Starts Right Now
Former World Heavyweight Champion boxer, “Iron” Mike Tyson, inspires the following. Tyson said, “Most guys get intimidated. They lost the fight before they even got hit. I knew how to beat these guys psychologically, before I even got in the ring with them. While I’m in the dressing room 5 minutes before I come out, my gloves are laced up. I’m breaking my gloves down. I’m breaking the middle of the glove so my knuckle can pierce through the leather of my Everlast boxing gloves. When I come out I have supreme confidence but I’m scared to death. I’m totally afraid. I’m afraid of everything. I’m afraid of losing. I’m afraid of being humiliated, but I’m totally confident. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. All during my training I’ve been afraid of this man. I’m afraid this man might be capable of beating me. I have dreamed of him beating me. I always stayed afraid of him… but the closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. Once I’m in the ring… I am a god. No one can beat me.”
Why do I believe this quote is so powerful? Simple! This quote can be applied directly to weightlifting, powerlifting, grid, ETC. I am a firm believer that being ready before you even step through the doors of the gym is the key to a good training session. You don’t want to unrack a squat for your top set and think to yourself, “Ohhhh shit… this is heavier than I thought it would be.” Iron Mike highlights four huge points that I would like to focus on. All four will help you be fully ready for the day you will have tomorrow. All four tie into the previous point, keep that in mind. First is the anticipation. This is the beginning of your battle with the barbell. We will call it “the build up”. Second is the acceptance that follows the anticipation. Your acceptance of the task at hand can make or break your ability to fully prepare to tackle that particular challenge. Third is the physical preparation that goes into each and every PR attempt. The fourth and final point is the mental preparation that is required to be fully prepared for the next day.
First, we must understand the goal, which is quite simple. Be ready for tomorrow, before tomorrow is even here. Why is this the goal? Because failing to prepare is preparing to fail. You must be ready – mentally and physically – to attack tomorrow with everything you’ve got. The first part to being fully prepared for tomorrow is to anticipate it. It is quite easy to get on to your computer and look up what your program has mapped out for the next day. If my program says “Squat 3RM, Deadlift 2RM” the only thing I have on my mind until I have completed that workout is a 3RM squat, and a 2RM deadlift. I am anticipating everything. I am anticipating the walk through the gym doors, the feeling of the bar in my hands, the sound of the God awful music the gym will have playing. I anticipate taking a big breath and bracing my stomach against my belt as hard as I can. I anticipate grinding through my final reps. I anticipate the feeling of accomplishment I will have when I hit rep PR’s on my big lifts for the day.
I have now anticipated and visualized my whole workout a day before it has even taken place…so what is next? You must ACCEPT it. You must accept everything about the day to come. When I talk about acceptance it must go further than being excited that you get to train hard tomorrow. You must accept everything about tomorrow. Sure, this includes the excitement of hard training, but it also includes the struggles that are associated with pushing yourself past what you formally believed to be possible. You must accept that tomorrow is going to be hard, that tomorrow is going to test you. You must accept that the day to come will try to break you, and that you will have to fight with everything you have to come out on top.
After anticipating the day to come, and accepting the joys and struggles that will come with it, you must acknowledge the physical preparation associated with your next workout. You must be physically prepared to attempt big weights! I believe this is the easiest part of my preparation because I know that I would not be attempting these weights if I were not in the proper physical shape to nail the attempt! You must fully believe in your heart that you are strong enough to hit the numbers that you want to hit in your next workout. You can do it! You are strong enough! The weight is a weight; do not let it become a monster. You become the monster!
The final piece to this puzzle of preparing for a workout the day before it happens is being 100% mentally prepared. This aspect ties into the three previously discussed. Your anticipation, acceptance, and your physical condition all add up to being mentally prepared to crush your workout. If you go into a workout 100% mentally prepared, you have put yourself in the best possible position for success. In good time, being 100% prepared for each workout will produce much superior results then walking into the gym with no clear goals set out for you to reach and surpass.
Iron Mike said, “Once I’m in the ring… I am a god. No once can beat me.” If you put time and effort into getting yourself ready for your next workout, you too will become unstoppable. You too can get to a place where you feel like a god, where no amount of weight will beat you. There is a tomorrow, and tomorrow starts right now.