Can’t or Won’t

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Today I have another guest post from personal trainer Mike Anderson.  He did such a good job with his last installment, that I invited him back for round two.

This time around, he’s kinda angry (and I like it!)

We’ve all heard it a million times; hell, most of us have said it that many times. I just can’t do that!

As a trainer, I hear this way more than I’d like to admit to.

 I just can’t do another rep!

 A 7 a.m. session? I can’t wake up that early!

 Stop eating muffins and eat more meat?? I just can’t!

The more I hear it, the more I want to drop a kettlebell on my own balls. Is it really something you can’t do? Or is it something that you’re not willing to do?

This is really frustrating to hear because people come to me to get results. Nobody pays a trainer to stay exactly the same; everybody wants to improve something. Whether it’s to get rid of their low back pain, get stronger or get abZ you can bounce a quarter off, of people want results.

Why, then, are you not willing to do what it takes to get those results?

Get your ass out of bed and go to the gym. Go for a walk – do something!  I don’t care. The extra hour of sleep in the morning isn’t going to make a difference anyway; if you’re that tired, go to bed earlier.

Dan John always says that the hours of sleep you get before midnight are more important than the ones after midnight. (There’s no science to that, but if Coach John says it, it’s got to be true.)

Note(s) from TG:

1.  For those who aren’t familiar with Dan John (shame on you), HERE’s a post I wrote a while back highlighting some of his more memorable quotes from his book Never Let Go – which is required reading for ANY fitness professional (or anyone remotely interested in fitness for that matter).

2.  There actually is some solid research backing the whole notion of getting more sleep BEFORE the hours of midnight as opposed to after.  While I don’t have any studies to link to offhand, myself, Eric Cressey, Dan John, and a host of other coaches often state to our athletes and clients that one hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours after.

Of course this isn’t to say that this applies to everyone, and maybe even more pertinent to the conversation is that it’s more important to go to bed and wake at the same time each and every day depending on body’s “internal clock.”

They say that variety is spice of life.  If you’re taking cooking classes or practicing the Kama Sutra, this is true.  BOM CHICKA BOM BOM.  Sooooooooooo, true.

With regards to sleep, however, you’re much better off staying the course and being consistent with your sleep patterns than to throw your body a curveball and head to bed and wake up at different hours throughout the week. 

Okay, enough with me, lets get back to Mike’s epic rant.

Just work hard! Your trainer should know your limits and the right way to push you; if he or she doesn’t get a new trainer.

Another option would be to find a good training partner, because, you know, training on your own kind of sucks.

A good training partner can make a world of difference in the way you work out.

Stop eating like a child – eat like a grown up! Seriously, if there’s anything that makes me want to jump off a cliff more it’s when I hear a client say this:  “I just don’t have the time to cook”

This a total bullshit excuse. Everybody is busy (yet we somehow manage to find an average of 4.5 hours PER DAY to sit in front of the television). Everyone has friends, family and a career to deal with. If your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, you must find the time to spend in the kitchen cooking your meals. You don’t have to be Julia Childs either; every meal doesn’t have to be five courses. Make something simple that tastes good and fuels your body.

Try. Just try! The worst is when someone says “I can’t do that” without even trying. How do you know what you can or cannot do? The limits to what you can do are set only by your mind; if you just try I bet you’ll surprise yourself with what you’re actually capable of.

Have a great day, and go lift something heavy!

Author Bio:  Mike is a Boston area personal trainer and currently interning with Boston University Strength and Conditioning. Mike is also finishing his degree in Exercise and Health Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He loves bacon, beer and his 7 year old pit bull Lexi. You can reach him with any questions, comments or notes of affection at You can also visit his website:


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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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