What Are You On?!
“Hey bro, what all do you take?” If I had a nickel for every time I was asked that… “I’m not on steroids but thanks for asking” is my favorite T-shirt idea! Today I’m going to reveal my top-secret, G-14 classified, deep-state certified, no Russia collusion necessary, secrets to getting bigger and stronger.
If you knew me in my younger days, you wouldn’t have looked at me as a future powerlifting champion. I was known for being fast and relatively strong for my size but I graduated high school at only about 175 lbs. Running track in college was a blast, but after suffering a couple of hamstring injuries, I knew my future wasn’t in running. I still craved competition so I had to do something active. I started lifting to get bigger and stronger at around the age of 22. From 175 to 262… I had to have taken something, right? I can honestly say that I’ve tried about every supplement that GNC has to offer, but with my hand to the Good Lord above, I’ve never taken any illegal performance-enhancing drug. Has the temptation been strong? Absolutely! Is steroid use in the world of powerlifting and bodybuilding incredibly prevalent? Absolutely, which is one unfortunate reason these sports will never become mainstream in our culture. At some point in my lifting career, I had to make a choice. My addictive personality made it an easy choice to refrain, knowing of myself that if I went down that road, I’d be ridiculously irresponsible and would take steroids until my heart exploded!
So, what’s my secret? I’m going to give you three principals that will help you if getting bigger and stronger is your goal. This isn’t an exhaustive list; however, it’s been the three most important things for me as I’ve embarked on this journey.
#1–You have to be a little crazy… I say it all the time… lifting for me is much cheaper than counseling! The reason I say you have to be a bit unstable is because of what it takes to take lifting to the next level. If you’re the guy that just wants to get to benching 225 lbs. then that’s great. But if you’re the guy that wants to bench 500 lbs., you have to have some screws loose because it’s HARD WORK! Day in and day out, dealing with soreness and injuries, tearing your body apart 6-7 times a week… you have to be a little crazy to want to do that!
#2 – You have to be consistent… whether it’s New Year’s Resolution season or two weeks before spring break, people simply don’t realize how the body works. You can’t lift for 2 months then take 6 months off and expect to get results. It took me over a decade to squat 700 lbs... I can remember when my goal was to just be able to put a 45 lb. plate on each side! You have to embrace the grind! Embrace the 5- and 10-pound personal records! Enjoy the journey. But to really reach your goals, you have to be consistent. Everyone wants to be strong, they just don’t want to put the time in to achieve the results.
#3 – You have to keep it fresh… change things up! Your body is an incredible machine and gets accustomed to the stress of lifting very quickly. I’ve seen guys in the gym for ten years that look exactly the same as they did when they first started lifting. They fell into the rut of “routine” and their body stopped responding. You can’t just do heavy weight all the time… you’ll tear your body apart. You can’t just do hypertrophy training all the time… you’ll never get the strength you desire. You can’t do chest and triceps every Monday for the rest of your life! You have to constantly be switching things up. Do light, do heavy, group body parts differently, etc. Just like any marriage, if you do the same “routine” day in and day out, things can get very boring and very stagnant! That’s when it becomes easy to quit.
You don’t need to “take” anything to get stronger. Apply these three principles to your lifting and watch the commencement of “the gains” begin. And do it naturally so you don’t die of a heart attack at 45! Have a blessed day!