Archive for the ‘Path to Greatness’ Category

Jonny Gomes

Jonny Gomes

While getting ready for the week last night, I was looking through all my bookmarks of the motivational articles, videos, and quotes I stumbled across throughout the last few days.  I enjoy all different types of motivation or inspirational stories whether it be sports related or not, but for some reason a couple stories in particular kept coming back into my head.

The first two are baseball related. I know it’s a bit cliché, but there are so many great accounts of guys persevering through the minors to finally seize their unlikely dream in the big leagues. One of the best stories I’ve come across, I was fortunate to witness and see develop first hand…as seen below. The other is an E60 story on Jonny Gomes and his unlikely rise to the majors, fighting through traumatic events, and horrible odds to achieve the level of success he has to this day.

In the third article and video, brings us a really awesome story about a broke kid and his attempt to become a millionaire from scratch in two years. Really cool stuff.

Here we go. Let’s start this week off right!

This is a pic of Evan’s ID as a janitor, a job he carried only a couple years prior to making in to the MLB.

The Story of El Oso Blanco, Evan Gattis- I truly feel grateful to call Evan one of my good friends. I had the opportunity to spend the last couple years in my tenure with the Atlanta Braves getting to know Evan really well. Besides being a great talent, an extremely driven worker, and natural born thoroughbred of an athlete, Gattis is an old soul who has been through more in 25 years than most people hope to go through in a lifetime. Now that he has finally reached and succeeded in the big leagues, his story has become that of legends. Along with having a great swing, and a great story to go along with it, Evan is a class act, whom every kid out there should look up to.

Jonny Gomes : The Man Who Wouldn’t Die – In light of the Red Sox making it to the World Series, ESPN did a cool piece on one of their key additions this year, Jonny Gomes. As if surviving a terrible car crash that killed another human being wasn’t enough, Jonny suffered a heart attack that came so very close to taking his life again.

A Young Man’s Daring Journey to Become a Millionaire – With a burning desire to help his struggling mom retire, Corey Wadden set out on an outliers journey. Avoiding the safe and comfortable route, he set his earnings goal at $1,000,000, but starting from scratch. Check this out to see how he’s getting closer to making his dream come true through pure hustle.

That’s it for today friends.

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Franco arnold


Before we begin, check out this quote from the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 “I did it because of something I’d seen in Franco (Columbo), which was his incredible willpower. I knew he could go all the way. I knew too that he was the training partner who could weather the ferocious workouts necessary in the coming year. It was important for me to be with Franco during a time when I wanted to adhere to a grueling workout schedule.”

That’s a really cool quote for me. I came across it the other day, and it inspired this article. It got me thinking of the gains in athleticism, strength, and power I’ve made over the past few years, and forced me to realize the importance that incredible training partners have had on my development. In one sentence I would say this.

“A great training partner can take a great program and make it superhuman.”

Yep. I just quoted myself, but I don’t care. I feel that strongly of a great training buddy’s impact on one’s progress in the gym.

I also don’t feel that a training partner is limited to just people who share the same program as you. In fact not one of the athlete’s that trained alongside me in Boston at CP shared the same program as I did. Each person brings an individual set of strengths and weaknesses to the table, therefore no program there is designed alike.

With that in mind, a “training partner” can be a coach, mentor, friend, family member, or even someone you don’t really care for, and probably would never go grab a beer with. That’s ok. They come in all shape’s and sizes, and here are the qualities that every great one possesses….

rocky training partner

1.) A great training partner hold’s his buddy accountable for effort and consistency.- Effort and consistency are certainly two of the biggest deterrents of training gains, and when working alone, it’s easy for many people to use their rational mind to negotiate around a tough ass workout, or showing up every day ready to crush it. It’s simply human nature for most individuals to avoid discomfort, good pain, and loads of sweat. An awesome training partner doesn’t care whether you hate him or her temporarily. He or she will push you to your breaking point, make sure you finish all your reps, all your sets, and take you beyond your comfort zone. If you can find someone around you who you feel is capable of this, bring them into the gym for a test run.

2.) A great training partner is probably stronger than you. If they aren’t, then they are usually just as strong. – This quality is something that I’ve noticed over and over. I’m no sociology major, but strong motherfuckers tend to gravitate and train with strong motherfuckers. The weak guys tend to workout together too. If you are weak, I recommend finding someone who trains hard, is strong, and does it the right way. By the right way I mean working their butt off, eating right, and living a diesel lifestyle. Find this person. Sack up and ask them for some training advice. Ask them who taught them to get strong and get the body they wanted. Just don’t ask them 2 seconds before they pull 600 off the floor. Have some feel…Maybe they can help you with a program or keep you accountable for showing up and getting after it like an animal.

3.) A great training partner isn’t a prima donna. This should go unsaid, but unfortunately it must be expressed. The last two months I’ve been training at a commercial gym, so I’ve gotten to see some of the umm how should I say this…”interesting” dynamics of not only what people do in the gym, but with whom and how they go about it. I give people a bunch of credit for showing up. If I was a teacher of gym101, that would be half the credit of my student’s grade. A great training companion encompasses the other half of the grade.  He or she trains and doesn’t simply “workout.” He or she pushes themselves and whoever they are with to the max. He or she isn’t afraid of heavy weights. He or she isn’t afraid of sweat, blood, and possibly regurgitation. Above all ,you and the person you train with have a responsibility. You owe it to each other to move weight around fast and hard, keep your head down and work without looking at your phone or socializing. Bottom line. Don’t be this guy….

skinny douche

In summary, take Arnold’s advice. Find that person this offseason with the willpower, commitment, and no bullshit workhorse mentality. Watch them, talk to them, train with them. It will take your training to levels you never thought possible.

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Today we have special guest Ryan Wood writing some cool content for us. I first met Ryan at the beginning of the 2012-2013 offseason in Boston training at Cressey Performance.  He was clearly a guy who went at it hard with his head down which I loved, so I knew eventually we would be getting along quite well. As we got into the meat and potatoes of our winter training, Ryan became a close friend of mine, and someone I could trust to train as hard as I like to. The perfect training partner.  Matt, Andrew, and I all have tremendous respect for this guy battling his ass off in the neverending fight to reach his full potential athletically. Ryan is everything we want our Showmestrength athletes and readers to embody, as he trains ferociously, seeks new information always, and consistently surrounds himself with likeminded positive people. Ryan has some cool insight, and a unique story to boot…

Ryan Pitching

Ryan Pitching

Some more on today’s author…

 Ryan Wood is a part time intern/coach at Cressey Performance as well as a personal trainer at Boston Sports Club. He is pursuing his passion of pitching at the highest level possible and played independent ball in the Pecos League this past summer. Loves heavy metal, burgers, and the phrase “BOOOOOM”

My interest in strength and conditioning began soon after my 2nd year in college. Having played baseball my entire life up until that point, I was intrigued by the value of building strength and improving my performance on the mound. When I first started out with weight training I didn’t know about much more than bench presses and bicep curls. That’s what everyone does right? I was a complete neophyte when it came to strength and conditioning and had no idea what a solid program entailed. I’m finally realizing at this point in my training career one very important lesson:

In order to truly understand how training works, you have to log time in the trenches…..

Ryan pulling heavy

Ryan pulling heavy

While I do believe reading up on things related to training will enhance your knowledge, I place more value on the “doing” rather than just the acquisition of knowledge.

The best thing I could have done for my baseball career as well as gaining experience in the strength field, was to venture up to Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. Needless to say, I first visited the facility in late summer of 2010 and still train/coach there. The way they did things in 2010 was very progressive and forward thinking for the baseball community. With a baseball tradition so far rooted in old school methodologies, it was a breath of fresh air to learn correct training applications for improving baseball performance. Had I just read Eric Cressey’s articles online, I would have missed the bread and butter of what it means to fully appreciate in the trenches training.

During my second off season of training at CP I began going to the inservice presentations. During inservices, a member of the staff discusses a topic usually related to baseball training and performance. For me, this was part of the in the trenches training. I would absorb the material during the inservice and put it into practice during my own training.

As my interests in strength have grown, I’ve begun to appreciate even more the value of hands on the bar experience. This can apply to all facets of life as well. I recently started working as a personal trainer. I am able to pass on information I have learned to help others achieve their goals. I am fortunate enough to have done some coaching/interning at Cressey Performance. I was taught how to properly coach athletes and clients. This is just another example of how gaining hands on experience can be of great benefit whether you are trying to become a better pitcher, trainer, or general badass.

I don’t care who you are, no amount of reading about how to deadlift will actually help you pull more from the floor. You have to train. And I don’t mean just show up and go through the motions. I’m talking about training like a savage and striving for constant progress. You’ve got to sweat, bleed, and exert EFFORT. When you’re training and looking to improve your performance, effort is what counts. Don’t rely on a textbook, website or magazine to tell you what works and what doesn’t. So get out there and get your hands dirty.

Train hard. Train heavy.


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strength from within

Today’s motivation is all over the board and I love it. We have a couple well known fitness professionals who share their story of rising from the dark and finally living the life they envisioned.

We also have an article from our favorite women’s fitness site about taking  your thought’s of dismay, disrespect, and disgust when it comes to your body, and turning those thoughts into love, appreciation, and amazement of what your body is capable of.

Without further ado, here is some inspiration to start your week…

How Extreme Focus Can Change Your Life by JC Deen-  JC is a no-nonsense guy. That’s why we like people like him so much. He is very good at understanding what makes people tick, and using those tools to better his clients. I think he gets that, because for a long time he struggled to live a fulfilled life. A life of meaning. This article over at is in a nutshell, his life story, and how JC created through focused effort, a rewarding existence. Excellent Mr. Deen.

Moving North of the Vag by Jim Wendler– A effing fantastic title from a badass strength coach. This may be an issue that never gets resolved, but if people keep being soft, badasses like Jim are gonna keep showing up. The uphill battle against lower and lower testosterone (the symptom of the universe, Black Sabbath plug!)  in the world rages on, but so do the very few who train like motheeffing animals. A short quick article to remind you to step your game up and get after it.

barbell grip motivation

Love Your Body by Girls Gone Strong-  This is a contribution article from the women of GGS. Each talk about what part of their body they love from all the work of training paying off.  “Train because you love your body, not because you hate it.” A model article for all girls to read. The cynicism about your body is not sexy, believe me.  A confident, strong woman who trains hard and loves her body is the most attractive thing a woman can do.

girls gone strong

Thats all for today folks! Please share so we can motivate as many as possible today! Follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or like us on Facebook. :)

lazy athlete

“The enemy of the best is the good. If you’re always settling with the good, you’ll never be the best.” Jerry Rice

Ok. So you played a ton of games this season. That’s cool. You’re mentally and physically spent. I get it. You are probably even a bit banged up and maybe even injured. Alrighty then..

So what? These are simply truths for the athlete that lays it all out on the line, shows up everyday ready to play, hurt or not. It is a truth for the player every baseball manager drools to have 9 of out on the field.

I personally love to observe how these guys get the job done and how they go about their business on and off the field. Many times they are they guy that’s been looked past their entire career. It’s seemingly always the guy who doesn’t have many physical tools or smooth natural ability. It’s the little things they do right. The things that are simply a choice to be good at or not.

What keeps guys like this in the game for so long is their ability to turn off the pain switch, turn off the tired switch and just grind out whatever it takes to be ready every night…for every damn game.  It’s truly a pleasure to watch the wheels turn inside these players’ heads. I can see the pain inside their eyes, but they will never dare express it. I know for certain it will take a mack truck running over them to see their name on the disabled list.

As I’ve played long seasons, and had the honor to call men like this my teammate, I’ve also seen a correlation in how they approach their offseason compared with the season.

The player who is a true grinder finishes out the season broken, beaten up, and sometimes a bit injured, but healthy in the eyes of his team. He has shown up and used whatever fuel he had to give on that particular day. He will be dying inside for the offseason to come, but NOT to rest and put his feet up on the couch. Rather, he see’s this time as an immediate opportunity to get to work on becoming healthy through proper training.

The work never ends for guys like this. It only changes. It takes a different form. The grinder never stops hustling.

On the flipside, far to many players have only thin skin. A ball off the foot, and they are out for 2 weeks. A broken fingernail, and they can’t swing a bat. A few rough outings, and all of a sudden their shoulder hurts out of the blue. And then when it comes time for the offseason, they feel the need to take a month off.

For these players, the work never began in the first place. They are just soft, simply put. Soft in season, soft offseason. Simple as that.

The grinder has a plan for his offseason before it even begins. He can’t wait to get to work, and fix the things that wore him out during the season. The things that wore him out, but didn’t kill him. I absolutely love having conversations with these players, because they already are looking forward to going out the following spring and kicking ass and showcasing the countless hours of work they put in during the winter. They have a plan. An aggressive one.

The softie wants to take off because they think doing nothing will “heal them.” They want to party and vacation for awhile. For them, awhile turns into a month, two months. By then the grinder has already logged some serious work. He hasn’t yet hit full throttle, but he has healed through smart training, eating, and resting properly. Let me tell you something…..Let this stick with you….

As soon as you put on a jersey, the people who make decisions are already looking for your replacement. They are figuring out who’s going to fill your shoes when you don’t quite cut it.

Are you going to be the player who finishes his season and stays content with resting for a couple months once its over? Or are you going to take the lesson of the grinder? As soon as that hourglass turns over, and your offseason begins, you best have a plan, a direction, and you better get moving sooner than you think you should. Here are 2 things to remember as you begin the grind this winter.

1. Your idea of rest is overrated- Taking completely off with no training activity isn’t resting, its only being lazy. Take the first month to get some of your mobility back, gain some strength and get back into working shape. Construct an awesome diet to optimize your hormones. Get on a regular sleep schedule, and do your resting once you get out of the gym feeling refreshed and one step closer to the guy you want to be in the spring.

2. You aren’t working as hard as you think. If you start training smart early in the offseason, you will be amazed at the things you will be capable of around January. If you let these precious first month to months go by because you are “resting”, you’ll never find out what real progress feels like.

So, get on it. Someone out there is working hard while you are horsing around, resting…….resting for what? Remember they are looking for your replacement. Don’t let it happen. Get to work.

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Show Me Strength is dedicated to delivering you the best of the best.  Our goal through our writing, whether it concerns training, nutrition, or even anecdotal stories about life, is to hand you the tools and information to better yourself a little day by day.   After all, Ray Lewis said greatness is just a lot of small things done well, stacked on top of each other.

This is our first installment of reads of the week (yes, we’re continuing our motivational reads as well).  Each week we will pick three or so posts that we feel really add value to the conversation and further our journey to greatness (our “winners” more or less).  These will be supplemented by three other posts that we feel our deserving of our recognition as well.

There is always value in the written word.  Take something from each of these posts.  It doesn’t have to be monumental or life changing but there are lessons to be learned nonetheless.  Even if the context of the article doesn’t interest you, the author may be making a subtle point about the bigger picture.  Without further ado, here are our inaugural Show Me Strength’s Path to Greatness Reads of the Week.

Winners of the Week

Cutting Crossfit a Break by Tony Gentilcore:

I’ve often heard it said that nothing in life is ever as good or as a bad as we think.  From a baseball perspective I can relate, as you weren’t nearly as good or bad as you thought on any given night.  Crossfit is no different.  It’s not black and white and with the good also comes the bad.  So often in the fitness industry, writers like to play the part of Internet troll and take shots at Crossfit without offering up anything constructive.   It’s not to say that these criticisms don’t have merit, but if you’re not bringing value to the conversation why start it in the first place?   Crossfit actually does have a lot of good things going for it and Tony does a good job exposing these positive attributes while offering up areas where Crossfit can take the next step and improve it’s model.  Crossfit isn’t going anywhere so instead of trying to tear it down, let’s acknowledge the positives and offer suggestions for continual improvement as it becomes more and more Americans first gym of choice.


Is Clean Eating a Scam? Cleat Eating vs. IIFYM by JC Deen

Want to know the keys to a best selling diet book: butcher science, fudge data, and make it as extreme as possible.  Sexy sells, science doesn’t.  I’ve always said that a monkey could teach someone how to lose weight, eat a little less and move a little more.  When you break it down, it’s really that simple.  Unfortunately, money talks so born are these extreme diet methodologies and the zealots that come with them.  Now, that’s not to say that there are not beneficial aspects of paleo or low carb strategies as I think it’s best to implement bits and bits to fit your needs.  JC Deen does a good job exposing the ambiguity of “clean eating” while showing you the path to navigate the many dieting methodologies out there to find the right one for you.

Teaching a Kid to Lift by Chris Colucci

I wish I had someone with me to train with when I was growing up.  I always joke around with my younger brother that I “built” him because he didn’t make the same training mistakes as I did, in which I made many.  I’ve always been one to work hard, but I can’t say that early on I ever worked smart.  I’m better for it now as I learned immensely through the trial and error that is going through the fire.    Most kids in the entitlement generation are given access to the best coaches money can buy and lost in the fold is the most important part: learning to grind and work hard.  They never learn how to grow up because they never were forced to go through the fire and learn.  If you have the opportunity to train younger athletes, honor this opportunity.  As Chris says, it’s a privilege and an opportunity to foster a relationship that your athlete may have with the iron for the next 50 years.  Cherish it.


Exit Sandman: Baseball Bids Adieu to Mariano Rivera

A model of grace and consistency, Mariano is a living legend whose presence will be sorely missed.  He did it the right way and is someone we all can aspire to be like, baseball players or not.

Honorable Mention:

Hacking Sleep: Engineering a High Quality, Restful Night by Brian St. Pierre:

Sleep more and thank me later.  ‘Nough said.


Dear College Students by Jason Ferruggia:

Whether you’re an athlete, aspiring bodybuilder, or even a weekend warrior, learn to strike a balance in life.  Work hard but make sure you leave time to have some fun.  I’ve always found that I play better when I care less (or stop being so fixated on playing well).  It’s an incredibly frustrating thing to experience, but if you learn to be loose and have some fun, you’ll find life to be that much more enjoyable and your training will see similar improvements.

Beast Reality: Shitty Days by Erik Eggers

Show up everyday.  Show up when it’s the last thing you want to do in the world.  Be accountable to yourself and everyone else who depends on you.  These aren’t just power lifting lessons, they’re lessons in life.