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In the long list of qualities that trainers wish clients had – strength, flexibility, endurance, etc. – the top of all traits is not physical. The biggest problem for most is simply what’s between their ears.

Many give up without even truly trying. And what does that say about how they treat the rest of their lives?

If it’s acceptable to turn up for training late, is it acceptable to turn up for work late?

What about if it’s okay to put in 80% effort when the workout states to put in 100%? Have you ever done “just enough” at work, or do you truly go all out on every project?

Just looking at the last two – have you ever felt like you weren’t looked at for promotion but couldn’t figure out why? Perhaps laziness is the answer? While not lazy enough to warrant firing (or truthfully, making your boss go through the hiring process to end up with another sand bagger who likely will be just as bad as you, but in a different way) you manage to hang in by virtue of being the devil known, rather than a performance standout.

And this is how working out is. Each session brings a particular mental element that needs improving. I watched a client this morning spend 35 minutes on a single lap of crawling. Given the entire purpose of today’s session was to teach the clients to finally crawl correctly I was delighted. What made it even more fantastic was that for each breach of form there was a 10 push up penalty. For someone who struggles to do a single set of 10 push ups it is quickly obvious why it took her so long as she had to do 80 push ups to complete a single lap of crawling. The crawls were done with a foam roller sideways across the lumbar spine – any form breakdowns and the roller comes off. What made her efforts so spectacular was that even if it meant she dropped it without taking another step she dropped and did 10 push ups. Compare that to the clients who grabbed it with their feet but though, “it didn’t hit the ground, so I don’t have to do push ups”.

Which of those people would you be more inclined to hire if you were looking to employee someone?

The skills of life are in evidence during training. Gym time is merely a microcosm of the rest of life that allows us to breakdown and focus on different skills in isolation. Just the same as I can set sessions to focus on your squat, or deadlift, or crawl, I am also setting sessions that test patience, perseverance, toughness, and discipline. Will you actually go all out when the workout says to and face the inevitable detonation after, or will you play it safe? Will you complain when the workout is changed halfway through, or will you take it in your stride and laugh about it? And again, if you were thinking as an employer, or a husband, or someone stuck on a desert island with someone, which traits would you rather they have?

We have three rules at our gym, and the second is “Don’t complain”. Even with it written up on the walls it is amazing how many people fail to realise that they self-sabotage by allowing themselves to be involved in negative self-talk. Their argument for this is that they are using humour to cope with the situation. Yet in every joke there is truth, so what is really being said is, “I can’t cope right now”. Yet the only actual hardship they are facing is shortness of breath. It’s not like anyone is firing live rounds at them, nor are there dangerous wild beasts attacking them, and there certainly isn’t a ninja death squad out to kill them. All there really is, is  a little bit of physical discomfort.

At some point, and we can find it in most people quite easily, the thing that really will set them apart from the herd is mental strength. Attitude. It can be developed and it can be improved. To be honest, anyone who is still focused on the shallow physical side of training, and in particular the aesthetic side of training, is largely wasting your time. nailing down the discipline to eat right, go to sleep on time, and turn up and train regularly is a guaranteed way to improve the way you look (and feel). Ignoring the underlying health aspects of training won’t ever see much improvement in anything other than what you see in the mirror. And while having a six-pack can be amusing, it won’t make you many decent friends, and it won’t get you a raise, nor will it help you buy a house. But discipline will do all those things.

This is why we push genuine challenges at our clients every week. Only by pushing them past their boundaries can we help them as people. There is simply no place for the comfort zone in training sessions. Coddling people only serves to make them softer and weaker both mentally and physically. Forget shallow goals like bigger arms, or how you’ll look at a dance party and realise that the only benefits of any true value from physical training are the mental benefits and any training program that doesn’t address these is written by someone with a child’s grasp of where training fits into modern life.

Man evolved as the apex predator by being tough, relentless, cunning, and determined. If you think you have what it takes to be an apex predator then contact us.

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