Tip: Embrace the Grind

Here's the hard truth about success in the gym, whether you want to hear it or not.

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A Lesson from the Coffee Shop

Most mornings I walk to my local Starbucks. For the past several weeks, I've noticed a woman sitting at the same table every morning at 6 AM, and it's clear that she's working on a writing project of some type.

Is her secret the type of computer she uses? The venue? The time of day she writes? The specific drink she orders? While these factors might play a minor role, the real "secret" to any success she likely enjoys is the willingness to do focused work consistently every day, rain or shine.

I know very little about this woman, but I strongly suspect that she's successful, because I've seen her do what few are willing to do, which is put in the work, day after day, no matter what.

The Truth About Training Success

The cold hard truth about training success is that as long as your methods aren't totally asinine, consistent hard work is pretty much all you need to focus on.

Many successful strength and physique athletes do a lot of things that sports scientists would consider "wrong," but all of these guys work their asses off on a consistent basis. So if your goals revolve around some combination of getting bigger and stronger, there are only a small handful of things worth paying attention to:

  • Get to the gym 3-5 days per week. Don't miss workouts. Even if it's a shitty day, show up anyway, and do the best you can. Unless you already know better, assume you're lazy and need to work harder.
  • Select training methods and techniques that are widely used among lifters who have achieved the goals you're working toward. Then do those things.
  • Work as hard as you can. Constantly strive to exceed previous best performances.
  • Sleep, eat, and manage stress as needed to support the above points.
  • Enlist social support to help ensure compliance.
Charles Staley is an accomplished strength coach who specializes in helping older athletes reclaim their physicality and vitality. At age 56, Charles is leaner than ever, injury free, and in his lifetime best shape. His PRs include a 400-pound squat, 510-pound deadlift, and a 17 chin-up max. Follow Charles Staley on Facebook