Mistakes Skinny Guys Make: Training Environment
In case you missed the previous installments, in Part One I basically told skinny guys around the world what time it was and said that they needed to eat something. In Part Two, it was all about covering the basics. This is a barbell. Place it on your back. Now, squat it. Repeat.
It was a little more detailed that that, but you get the idea.
Today, though, I want to discuss something a little less, how should I say…..direct. Unlike the past two installments which covered, in some detail, the nutrition and training side of things (you know, stuff that plays a quantifiable role in your progress) – today’s rant discusses something a little less concrete.
Training At a Non-Poopy Gym
Honestly, this is something I feel is VERY important and is an often overlooked component of training success. I can’t tell you how many times I hear guys commiserate about what it’s like to be all fired up to train, only to head to the gym and have their t-levels zapped to oblivion the second they walk in and hears Michael freakin Bolton on the radio. Yeah, that sucks!
As someone who’s been there, done that – I get that it’s kind of hard to get amped up for a deadlifting session when you have Susie B. Elliptical Trainer in the background gabbing away with her best friend about who got eliminated last night on Dancing With the Stars throwing you the look of death everytime you add another plate to the bar.
Even worse still, how many of you train at commercial gyms where none of the trainers walking around even look like they lift weights?
In fact, no one there trains, they all workout. What’s the difference?
In no uncertain terms – training actually entails doing something with purpose and intent. Training means you hate life by the time you’re done, and you brag about the size of your calluses. Working out, on the other hand, is cute and fun. It’s reading the newspaper WHILE exercising. It’s thinking your 185 lb quarter squat is somehow impressive (Hint: it’s not). It’s step-aerobics class. In short: working out is what everyone else does.
It’s kind of hard to get better – let alone bigger and stronger – when you’re surrounded by people who only workout.
Which is why, time and time again, you hear me talk about training environment and how it’s often the missing link for many trainees.
To me, walking into a facility that has loud music playing, encourages the use of chalk, actually has more squat racks than pieces of cardio equipment, and instills the attitude of “I’m going to make this barbell my bitch” into all of its clients is where it’s at. Not coincidentally, this is, in part, what makes Cressey Performance so successful I think.
Of course, there are other things that separate us from the masses – we take the time to actually put people through a thorough assessment and write individualized programming based on what we find, for starters. But, in some way, I think it’s the attitude that’s the “x-factor.”
As an example, a few months ago we had a guy start up who’s first day entailed pushing the Prowler. OUCH. Anyways, as a guy in his mid-20s, he admitted to always having a hard time putting on any weight. He decided to nip things in the bud and make the trip out to CP – which was like a 45 minute drive for him (both ways).
After his third set, one of our high school FEMALE clients – Becca – asked if she could jump in on the fun. “Sure,” he said, “do you want me to take some weight off?” Becca responded, “naw, I’m good,” and proceed to ADD MORE WEIGHT.
How awesome is that?
Taking it a step further, look at the picture above at the start of this post. What started as more of a joke, has resultingly turned into an annual event where we take a bunch of our skinny guys – or otherwise kids who need to put on some weight- and have a “Race to 200 lbs” contest.
Admittedly, while not all of them get to 200 lbs (actually, most don’t even sniff it), you’d be surprised as to how many end up slapping on anywhere from 15-25 lbs during the off-season.
Do you think this would happen if they chose to train at their local commercial gym where the heaviest set of DBs goes up to 70 lbs? I think not!
Basically it comes down to this. If you want to get good at chess, you hang out with chess players. If you want to improve your dancing skills, you hang out with people who dance. If you want to get good at not getting laid, you stay home and play World of Warcraft.
Likewise, if you want to get better at putting on weight, getting stronger, or just increasing your general sense of badassery – you need to train at a place where people are bigger, stronger, and more badass than you. It’s as simple as that.
Even if it’s only one time per week – it’s worth the time spent, gas money, and wear and tear on your car. Get it done guys (and girls). Trust me, you’ll thank me later.