I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. He is a world famous strength coach. He is also a MD. The guy is smart. Really smart. He trains the most elite athletes in the world. What is unique about him and what is most appealing to me about his makeup and philosophy is that he eschews all nonsense and goes with what works and throws all BS to the side. He does not waste one second of time on what might work regarding training. No time for that way of thinking.
I love to get him on the phone, because he validates a bunch of what I do but more importantly, his answers are to the point. Right to the point. He can expound on the sliding filament theory but he would rather talk mental toughness. Every time that I talk to him, I hang up the phone fired up to train.
So I called him because I was frustrated about gimmicks and visors and functional and collared shirts and talking shop and do you know this guy and what's the latest and chocolate milk and phasics and....and you know what he said to me?
"Sometimes it's as simple as, you have a weight on the ground, you pick it up. You have a weight on your back? Go down and stand up with it." Ah yes, the simplicity of the complicated that always comes back to the simplicity. Ground zero. And this is a guy who trains famous, zillionare athletes. They hang on his every word.
Because what he believes in, what he coaches, and mostly what he attributes the success of his athletes that he trains and is around every day is the mental toughness, the fortitude to get stuff done when others can not get it done or to get stuff done with an unshakeable belief that they will get it done. Programming is important, and coaching and rest and all of that. Yes, it plays a part. But in my friend's point of view, the guy who is shipwrecked and swims 10 plus miles to shore to survive is damn sure not concerned if he had his preworkout and peri workout and postworkout window of opportunity shake/meal/carbs/gycosupershake. The mental toughness and sheer will of resolve is what got him to shore. An isolated example? Yes, of course. But let us say that you use 50% of that drive and adrenaline and focus to get your training to super levels. Programming a ton of volume and weight and intensity will not matter much, because you will complete what ever is thrown your way. It's a mental toughness thing.
Also refreshing is the cut to the chase part of his programming. Here is an example of what he faces on a daily basis- "So now, let's get this straight- you are never in an aerobic energy system in the sport that you play, but in order to get ready for your sport, you want to run five miles a day. Ok, makes sense. Have at it. But you will get slower, you won't be ready for a game and your chances of injury will increase." He makes his point.
And he believes that once you make a commitment, that is it. No backsliding. Supposed to have so much protein a day? Of course he gets it in. No cheat days? The mere word, cheat is silly. Why would he? Don't need it, made a commitment. He can have whatever he wants to eat, but he chooses to eat this way. Silly to even think about eating what isn't needed. Eight servings of veggies a day? Yep, every single day. Missed workout? Never. Too busy? Just an excuse. Got a cold? You will feel better when you get that training in. It's refreshing to be around him or to just talk to him. Slicing through the internet theories and the swole- til -you -die crowd with science, commonsense and brain power.
It's inspirational in it's simplicity. And it's comforting to hear it. Because it's real and it's the basic premise that all of this training stuff was built upon many years ago: Mental strength, dedication and common sense.