Focus, the 3 S’s and goals.

Focus, the 3 S’s and goals.

Jun 1, 2013

First off some of my articles DO NOT pertain to bench pressers or powerlifters only. They pertain to everyone who competes. Competes in sports or life. People in the gym make comments or ask me      ” How do you get strong like you are?”  The answer is easy. I respond with” I have been doing it 23 years and anything you do that long you better be good at it if not you are doing it wrong.”  Well that’s a dumb or sarcastic answer you may say. I say “Really?”  (I am going to stray alittle right now) Let’s think about this together.  Sit back and mentally go to your gym and think of someone who has been there as long as you have (assuming you have been there over a couple of years).  Don’t pick someone who has only been there less than a year or so. I will sit in the gym look at some and think back years ago when I met them and compare where they were then and where they are now. Go ahead, got a person? We all know that person who has been at it for a few years yet they are no stronger, no leaner, no bigger, no better, just flat out no different. If you are in a gym shouldn’t you have a goal or goals? Ok maybe their goal is just to be healthy. That is fine but if you just eat healthy, and don’t go to the gym, but do things like drink, in moderation, can you not still be healthy?  My point?  Not everybody who exercises at a gym has to compete in a sport but they should have a goal. That does not make you a better person then them just more focused on what you want to do with your life. I want to ask why they go when I don’t notice some visible change in what they do or look like. They don’t need an approval from me or anyone if they want to be there but if they have a goal (that would be noticeable to someone on the outside) then they are not attaining it. I feel like they are just going through the motions. They have no barometer on what they want from themselves in the gym. This is where

Complacency breeds stagnancy applies.

There was a time (10 years ago at least) when you would walk in a gym where the grunts, moans  and intense training came from bodybuilders, power lifters ,football players or the “muscle heads”. Yes they were usually the males but times have changed. They have changed in a couple of ways.

  • More women and teenage girls are in the gym training serious (bodybuilding, fitness, physique).
  • More sports have now more serious athletes of all ages being represented in the gym. Cross fitters, obstacle course and like runners, plus the original group now infiltrate the gym.

With this influx, of new sports and the broadening of age groups, the gym is becoming an awesome place to be and attain goals. If others who want to be successful doesn’t motivate you then stay home. I heard from a hairdresser some ladies were bitching because the gym was getting “loud”. What the #@$? You serious? I love it!!! I want people to be there training their ass off for I don’t care what sport. They are focused and that will bleed onto others. The environment will be awesome. People that complain about the “loud” people or those who see the gym as a social gathering can go to Planet Fitness or do Facebook and be mediocre at best. As long as people don’t insult another person’s sport or act like their sport is the greatest thing (annoys the hell out of me cause some think that). I had some guy (a cross fitter) tell me he use to powerlift but evolved!!! I was like huh? Seriously F off I thought but I continued with the conversation. I walked away and refuse to conduct a conversation with a person who thinks because he does a certain sport he can carry an elitist attitude. Honestly you probably stopped powerlifting because you probably weren’t good and moved to a different sport. It is ok to admit you are not good at something and move on BUT DO NOT BASH OTHERS because you didn’t have what it took. I stopped bodybuilding years ago because I sucked but never bashed those who did it. How shallow that guy was now when I think about it.

Ok now let’s get back to the original point, my response.  For 23 years if I was an electrician, carpenter, sales, stock broker, even a custodian, it doesn’t matter I BETTER be very good or great at it. If you ‘re not selling more, making more, doing things better or more efficient then you are doing it WRONG! Life is a competition with yourself. You must beat your previous best or be at the top of your game. There are going to be days, weeks, months (hopefully not that long) when you won’t be. That, like having a bad day in a competition, is going to happen regardless of how well prepared you might be. Granted losing a job or something more tragic makes anything negative that happens in a competition petty. Accept it but also know if you are driven you will be angered or disappointed and that, my friend will carry you to bettering yourself. Focus First.

It is important not only you are paying close attention to the actual training but pay attention to the 3 S’s sleep, supplements(nutrition), and stress.  You can give 100% to two of the three but don’t be surprised if you are not hitting goals after awhile. Sure you can overcompensate one area to make up for another but it WILL bite you in the ass if you persist on neglecting one of the other S’s.

SLEEP. I try to add an hour minimum sleep per night 2 weeks out from a meet.

SUPPLEMENTS. I take supplements not just for my muscles but for my CNS. I believe some people overlook the CNS and I was one of them. I felt if I am taking protein, creatine, glucosamine and vitamins then why I am not helping out my adrenal glands? I researched receptors being closed which limits the amount of caffeine your body will accept. Some believe (lifting sites) this is hogwash. I went to sites that weren’t affiliated with any form of lifting. I went and researched .org health sites and a site among others. I felt the information was researched by people who actually knew what they were talking about. If your tolerance to caffeine is higher and higher each week (month)where you have to keep increasing the dose,  this is a sign your receptors are closing. You can actually stop taking caffeine which can or may reopen them after a “cleansing” week or two or you can take adrenal supplements which help open the closed receptors. Now you will get a kick out of a smaller dose that worked weeks ago but not now.

STRESS. There is not a lot you can do about stress. It is a part of life.  Everyone has different things that cause stress and everyone deals with stress differently. I try to keep my real life out of the gym. I focus on what I am there for. It doesn’t always work. Those of us that have children probably find it impossible to keep a situation where they are involved out of the gym. That is fine because your children are the number one thing not a competition. If you didn’t worry about them then your priorities are wrong.

If I had a stressful day I try to reset my mind by listening to something peaceful on the way to the gym to recharge my mind. Maybe go home first, do something you like, or go somewhere that eases your mind then go in later. That can help.

GOALS. Your goals should be both long term and short term. The long term goals should be realistic if not you may have many failures through your short term GOALS which will prohibit you attaining the long term. Another result will be overtraining to try to keep up. Don’t make the short term goals extremely easy because you are not pushing yourself. They should be attainable with hard work. Do not jeopardize your body or mind because you are out of touch with your capabilities going into a training cycle. Remember the article I wrote C.R.E.A.T.E.? Well the assemble part is where this article expands on with the thought philosophy. When you have multiple short term goals that do require hard training and you start punching them out you will  construct  a positive invincible feeling that you will need to conquer your long term goal but if you keep missing your short term goals well you will not have the right mental approach when the competition comes. How can you be confident the day of a meet when up to the meet you have been failing? Don’t fail keep the positive thoughts and workouts accumulating. It takes a snowflake to start building a snowman. Focus First.


I have touched somewhat brief on a few topics but all with one thing in common, the meet. You add this all up and leave the ego at the door it should add to success. When I start training for a meet I have 7 workouts (for the movement) to the competition day (My competition season starts 73 days out for a 3 lift meet, 66 for bench only.). The first workout for the movement I am training for honestly is easy, not because I am lazy, but because I just got off a training cycle of volume with lighter weight. It is like a transition workout from high volume to lower volume. I also want to set the tone first day of the cycle and hopefully for the rest of the cycle. Second week, and on for me is about pacing. Pacing with success at each step I take. Pacing towards the ultimate goal, the meet. If you miss a step, that is fine you can make up for it in the next workout but you miss a FEW steps you are bound to stumble.

Don’t stumble into your meet or ROAR INTO IT!!!

Only YOU can stop yourself.

Good luck.

Focus First.


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