Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Note: Today’s guest post comes from my good buddy Travis Smith, former starting second baseman at Assumption College.  I’ve known Travis since high school and he is easily one of the hardest workers I know.  We talk all the time here on Show Me Strength about what it means when someone truly grinds.  When he played, Travis was the embodiment of a grinder and I think you’ll find a lot of value in his guest series.  

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For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be a professional baseball player.

I failed.

Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve acknowledged that I failed; since I haven’t played a meaningful baseball game since last May, its pretty clear on a daily basis that I failed at becoming a professional baseball player.  But putting that sentence down in words leads to an interesting, and sometimes uncomfortable, path of reflection.

Fortunately for you, I made it all the way down that path unscathed, and now I’m ready to help prevent you from ever having to venture down that same road.

Originally I was going to spend some time talking about my career, but it’s a long, unimpressive story that most people would not care about in the slightest.  You’re on this website to make yourself a better athlete, and I completely understand and respect that.

As briefly as possible, I was a division-two baseball player that couldn’t hit consistently.  For reasons that had little to do with my offensive ability and a ton to do with “projectability” (AKA I was tall and could throw the ball really hard across the infield), I had workouts with some MLB teams.  I had some good seasons, I had many more bad seasons, and went undrafted.

While I may not be an authority on hitting curveballs, I am an authority on what I did wrong and how I could have improved my training, my mental approach, and everything else that embodies a successful athlete.  The point of this series will be to illustrate the mistakes I made in an effort to prevent you from doing the same.

  “Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen” in Regard to Strength Training

I’m not sure where this line originated from, or I would certainly credit it, because whoever originally spoke these words had a great handle on productivity and getting things done.  To put it in its simplest form, and stick to the original analogy, its not hard for a single chef to boil a pot of water: it becomes tough when fifteen chefs have to boil one pot of water and every one of them has a different method for boiling water, a different trick to speed up the process, and so on.

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Don’t suffer from program ADD

In short, you need to be careful who you listen to.  In the age of the internet and commercial gyms, there is no shortage of weight-training advice, and certainly no shortage of bad weight-training advice.  Just because that guy in your gym has huge biceps doesn’t mean what he says should have any bearing on your training.  Chances are, he is not an expert on building rotational core strength or optimizing the timing of your rotator cuff.

When I was playing, I always enjoyed lifting, and I loved the grind.  I may not have loved every set of Bulgarian split-squats, but I loved leaving the gym everyday knowing that I was closer to my ultimate goal.  I looked forward to going to bed early on a Thursday night to be rested and ready to go for a 7 AM lift on Friday morning.

The problem arose when I started thirsting for more information on exercises and programs, and lost my ability to stick to one program.  In this way, you need to be careful what you read and what you expose yourself to.

For me, it was T-Nation.  Every afternoon after class I would head back to my dorm and read the latest post from Wendler or Thibaudeau or Bruno.  The problem for me was that everything on T-Nation appealed to me.  And when a lifting program appealed to me, I wanted to try it.  Regardless of the fact that I was already in the second week of an eight-week strength program, suddenly, in my head, I was doing the wrong program.

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And even when I didn’t directly change my strategy, the appeal of the new program made me doubt my current program.  I might have finished the remaining six weeks, but was my heart truly in those lifts anymore?  Or was I just rushing through them in order to get to the next program?

To be clear, I’m not advocating ignorance or suggesting you avoid websites like T-Nation or Show Me Strength just because you already have a program.  There is never a bad time to read an article on perfecting your squat technique or generating more power off the floor on your deadlifts.

But if you have a program, I would avoid reading that article proposing an entirely new program.  Because chances are, you’re going to like it, and you’re going to want to incorporate it, at the expense of your current program.  Maybe you’re mentally strong enough to read about a new program and not want to try it, but I wasn’t.

Bookmark the article, and come back to it when you’re actually ready to start a new program.  No matter who you are, eight weeks of one single training program will help you more than two weeks each from four different training programs.

If you enjoyed the first volume, be sure to check back next week for part 2 of the series!

Do us a favor and follow us on Twitter and Like on Facebook for the most up to date showmestrength happenings.  Sharing is caring :)

badass in a hoodie

You won’t find any bullshit in our motivational series. We will not necessarily publish the most popular articles or the videos with the highest views to entertain everyone. What ShowMeStrength is striving for when bringing our readers inspiration are stories, articles, videos, and real life accounts of real people and real athletes who truly grind, truly overcome, and truly preserve through tougher events than you or I could ever dream of.

We want to show you not the most popular, but the most genuine people on the internet. Trusted names in the fitness, sports, and/or any industry that will help you lead an incredible life. Here are some reads to get you rollin this week..

“I make my training so hard that its impossible that the fight will be harder than my training.” Georges St. Pierre.

What Is Hardcore? by Brendon Doherty-  A great article from a cancer survivor who took his cancer diagnosis by the balls and fought harder than I thought possible. Treatments weren’t enough as you can see. He overhauled his diet and training to put cancer at a literal disadvantage in his body. Very powerful stuff.

Are You Tough? by Chris Shugart- Self-entitlement over any problem we have in this world today is the most disturbing. Kids everywhere are growing up without ever knowing what an honest days work means, never understanding what true pain is, and going into the real world without any hardcore setbacks. This article by Chris can help you all right the wrong that’s happening in our society.

Pain Don’t Hurt by Craig Weller- Craig, whether he knows it or not, is one of my favorite guys to get information from in regards to training, health, metal toughness, and lifestyle design. A former special operations warrior, he now is a coach for Scrawny to Brawny which helps guys clean up their life and become alpha males basically. He also is a coach at BarefootFts, a team of coaches geared toward training with the bare essentials with training programs designed to get back to the basics of our existence. Craig is a tough motherfucker, trust me.

That’s it for today. Do us a favor and follow us on Twitter and Like on Facebook for the most up to date showmestrength happenings.

Monday Motivation!

Posted: September 30, 2013 by cmrodgers100 in General, Training
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Jim Valvano

One of our favorite things to write about is inspiration. The main reason for that is two-fold. First, is that no matter how tough you or I think we are, we all need a little push now and again to keep pushing toward our goals. Number two is that we @showmestrength love to make a positive impact on our readers. Even if only one of you who read our motivational stuff leaves feeling better, it was all worth it for us.

Without further ado…Monday Motivation is back with a bang. Enjoy :)

ESPN 30 For 30 Survive and Advance– This excerpt, from the feature on Jimmy V and his role in leading his North Carolina State Wolfpack to the 1983 National Championship, shows one of the most influential speeches in sports history. Although dying with terminal cancer, it was as if a higher power was speaking a powerful message through him before his passing. “Don’t give up….Don’t ever give up.”

Powerlifting The Mentality- This video of course was shared with me via a couple of the hardest training mother effers I know. They know that I like to leave it all out there when I train just like they do. Although many of you, including us, don’t powerlift, the message at the beginning of this video speaks volumes. I guarantee 99 percent of people who train out there, have gas left in the tank at the end of most training sessions. Sometimes thats ok, but other times we need to push the limits. Our bodies are amazing machines, and our brains are even more incredible. Listen to this video this video, it will help you push your training to another level. Believe me, its even on my playlist when I’m getting warmed up.

“So you might as well be a f***in’ savage in the meantime.”

Do It Anyways Feel Like It Or Not- A great video from the always eccentric and informative Elliot Hulse.  He’s a no bullshit straight forward guy who’s a beast in and out of the gym. His “Yo Elliot” Q&A videos on youtube are fantastic. Check them out here.

Thats all for today! Have a great week! Follow us here on Twitter and like us here on Facebook!

It’s Time For A Revolution

Posted: September 17, 2013 by aferreira in General
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The world is soft.  Soft I tell you and the stories of the pussification of America are unfortunately commonplace in today’s age.  My generation is one of entitlement.  Hard work?  Please, my generation is terrified of a little sweat and blood.  Trust me, bragging about how hard you work on Twitter and Facebook doesn’t constitute grinding. Don’t tell me about how hard you work.  Show me.

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Be honest with me for a second.  Do you work out or train?  Is your cell phone attached to your hip in between sets?  No, I’m not asking if you listen to music while you train.  I’m asking if you’re finding out all about your girlfriend’s day in between sets of bench because every day is chest day right bro?

I’ll fill you in on a little secret: most people work out.  Just as most people are soft, most people have no conception of what training means.  There’s a mindset that accompanies those who train.  These individuals don’t have time to bullshit with their buddies in between sets because they have tunnel vision.  All they see is the iron and an indomitable will to conquer.  Because you see, the iron, like life, doesn’t give a shit about you.  It’s apathetic to whatever is going on, good or bad.  Feeling good that day? Well, you better bring it because the iron will staple you if you don’t.  Is the world around you crumbling?  Forget about it because in that moment where it’s you against the bar, all the worries in the world dissipate.  Few things in the world are black and white but whether you embrace the struggle and overcome the iron that day is very clear-cut.

The iron is my metaphor.  It is the lens through which I see my life.  I acknowledge that I cannot defeat the iron or succeed in life without grinding.  No, not grinding in the empty meaningless way that most kids these days throw it around.  Grinding to me means selling your soul for something that you want.  It means leaving no stone unturned in the journey to accomplishing whatever goal inspires you to get up in the morning.  The iron is black and white.  It simplifies my vision.  Hard work may not give you everything in life but I know no other way to the top.

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My name is Andrew Ferreira and this is my introductory post to Show Me Strength. I will write for the 1%.  The 1% in this generation who acknowledge that nothing worthwhile is just handed to you in life.  The 1% who train.  The 1% who want to be successful as badly as they want to breathe.  I have no time for the other 99%.  The other 99% who may feel entitlement because they got drafted or earned a college scholarship.  I was an athlete at Harvard and that means absolutely nothing.  You want to find soft, entitled athletes?  Walk those halls.  Show Me Strength will not be a place for the 99%.

My hope is to transform Show Me Strength into the elite nutrition and training resource for those athletes and individuals who embrace the struggle and live by the grind.  Whether you want to gain 10 lbs of muscle by next season or double your testosterone levels, we are your resource.  The 1% is the place for the elite and Show Me Strength is where you will be able to find no nonsense, no bullshit strategies to become the best you can become.

Full disclosure:  if you want easy or you’re looking for the new magic pill in supplements, leave and never come back because we’re not about shortcuts. If you are willing to lead a revolution against the entitlement generation, welcome, you are home.  There is no place for soft individuals on Show Me Strength.  Learn to embrace the grind and we will take you to the promised land.

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never stop learning

These reads of the week come from a selection of the gurus from whom we consider ourselves very lucky to be able to personally learn from. Their continued contributions to their respective areas is no accident and inspirational to us; they continually challenge themselves to learn more and evolve as scientific progress dictates, even though they already practice on the edge of discovery. Please take a minute to catch up on some of their contributions!

1) Developing Young Athletes by Mike Robertson– Once again, Mike frames this tremendous discussion through his life experiences as a young athlete himself, a father to a young daughter, and a strength coach of many young athletes.

Follow Mike on twitter here

2) Shoulder Adaptations Over the Course of a Baseball Season by Chris Beardsley and posted by Mike Reinold– In this detailed research review, Chris thoroughly covers the whole host of issues which manifest in the throwers arm over the course of a season. These are the major reasons why we care so much about proper training and preventative care! Mike, the Boston Red Sox Head Physical Therapist for years, also shares his insights on the review.

You can follow Mike here and Chris here

3) Should Baseball Players Bench Press? by Tony Gentilcore– This is an article we are so thankful was written in such detail! Just this week, I was asked by one of the athletes I coach, why we don’t do bench press for 45 minutes like his football playing high school friends. Well, this post by Tony could not have come at a better time and I know I will be referring people directly to this article often!

You can follow Tony here on twitter

4) Invincible Immunity by Eric Cressey– A post from 2009 that we were recently reminded of and is very fitting considering the high impact that the flu is expected to have this season (as long as the world doesn’t end first!). A well researched and presented reminder of things you can do to get healthy and stay healthy!

You can follow Eric here

Show Me Strength’s Posts of the Week

Check out our posts from this week including the Monday Motivational Reads, a post from Chad about Throwing Progressions from the Ground up and Matt’s surprising review of why you might not want to use a weighted bat in the on-deck circle after all.

Thanks for reading this week!