I have kind of gotten used to referring the time in the gym as the time in the trenches. For anyone making a living in the gym it is known as the time where you dig deep. Physical and mental output is full blast to ensure everything within that session is in fine form. It is also where ideas happen, lessons are learned, and the training craft evolves. While the literature is important, it is the gym floor where I have learned most of my lessons in both the science and the art. It has taught me a lot about making the most of exercise but on a larger scale has taught me a lot about life both on a professional and personal level. These would be some of them.
1. Ten In Ten Out
Success comes down to effort and I have learned that the more that you put in, the more that you get in return. This to me is a staple for both in and out of the gym. I don't look at it as having to run yourself ragged but I look at making the most of what you can bring to the table for any particular effort. I stole this line from a mentor of mine and super trainer Todd Durkin.
2. I Steal A Lot Of Lines
Theft may not be the appropriate term but I have definitely learned that success can occur by making the most of someone else's ideas. Chances are that the ideas that you are ''stealing'' were ''stolen'' from someone else anyway. In the gym we are always bouncing ideas off of each other whether it be acquiring new exercise ideas from the textbooks or the trenches. If there is anything that I can say about stealing information is that it is a matter of understanding it and making it your own. If you can avoid the copy and paste process and turn ideas into your own, success will follow.
3. Work Well Under The Microscope
This would have to be one of the most valuable lessons that I have learned while in the gym. It has allowed me to understand that impressions are made quickly and are made to last. This has made me very conscious of being on the gym floor as there is always an audience present you you better bring your A game. I have learned lessons in etiquette, body language, engagement, manners, and I am sure the list can go on. I am certain that this can go well beyond the gym floor and can apply to any type of workplace.
4. It Just Keeps Going
I remember being younger thinking about how much I was looking forward to adulthood as I would have everything figured out. Well I have made it there but I am nowhere near figuring things out. In fact it seems as if there are more questions than answers as adulthood evolves. One thing that I do get however is that I would be pretty bored if I did have it figured out. Fitness to me is no different. I see a lot of people get into the gym with a goal in mind but no plan for when it is accomplished. Fitness is a long term pursuit and so is life. While you may not attain all of the answers or achieve perfection, excellence can definitely occur while pursuing them.
5. Things Change
The trenches have taught me that what may have worked in the past may not work in the present day. I have been able to learn, understand, and apply a lot of different exercises and workouts over the years. More importantly, I have come to understand that we have seen major changes in the way we work, eat, manage time, manage stress, and ultimately in the way we move. Putting it all together I have learned that what may have worked ten years ago may not work today as things can change. The ability to be aware of that and adapt to it is key for success in the trenches. This is a topic that I have a lot of interest in and will be sinking my teeth into it a little further.
6. Same Recipe Different Ingredients
I answer a lot of questions related to fitness success. I would like to say I have heard them all but they are limitless. If there is anything that I can say about finding success in the gym is that it follows the same recipe as any success story. Reps, sets, weights, movements, and heart rate will be the ingredients to any fitness program. However it is the ability to possess traits like drive, determination, clarity, education, and action that will complete the recipe.
If there is anything that I can say that would trump everything listed above is enjoy what you are doing. When it comes to fitness I have learned is that the art of it is just as important as the science and enjoyment definitely fits into the art. I can say that I am beyond grateful because I really enjoy what I do and I have seen a lot of success occur as a bi product of people enjoying their time in the gym. This to me is the ultimate lesson in success for both in and out of the gym.