Too many people are sitting at the training buffet with hungry eyes and small stomachs. Their goals, commitment, and effort don't match up. This is something we all go through. Case in point, every summer some high-school football player sends me a variation of the following question:
"My football coach tells me that if I gain 50 pounds over the summer, increase my bench press from 225 to 300, and get faster, I have a good chance at playing. What template should I follow? Also, what do you think about creatine?"
While the enthusiasm is admirable, you wish the kid had at least one foot set in reality. Maybe the football coach is having a bit of fun with him. "Sure kid, you'll play. If you gain about 50 pounds of muscle and get faster and grow a foot taller."
Now we can all have a good laugh about this as we've all been there, but way too many people stay in this dreamland. Their commitment and effort isn't on par with their goals.
How to Correct the Problem
First, lessen the goal; make it smaller. Now before you go all self-help on me and scream, "You gotta dream big!" let's look at this in a practical way. Progress in the weight room, no matter how small, is still progress. Anyone who complains when they're making progress, even if it's small, is simply a chump with a suck attitude. Instead of thinking big, think small and keep your head down.
If you squat 300 pounds right now, focus all your effort on getting to 305. Never look up. Never calculate where you might be eventually. Figure out where you're going next, and then 310 will drop. Soon after, 315 will be there and if you keep focusing on the process – the work you do every day, every week – 400 pounds will be there before you know it.
The greatest success comes from those that love the process and focus on getting a little bit better. The trick is to not come up for air and admire the view. That's when you get shot in the head.
You must love the grind, the unsexy mobility work, and the discipline to keep going day after day. All people seem to see is the glory on the field. They think, "Man, I wish I could run out on the field and the crowd would roar for me!" But there is no glory without the sacrifice.