What I’ve Learned From A Decade of Lifting

1. ANYTHING is better than nothing.

Small things add up. Even if you only did 1 set of 10 shoulder presses every other day for a year, you’d see in a difference. The idea that if you can’t do a whole workout, you might as well skip it is backwards. Value a 15 minute walk, value a few push ups, value half of your planned workout. If you do the math, just like investing, it adds up over time.

2. MOST of your time should be spend doing variations of a few lifts.

You’re never to advanced for the basics. There’s so many exercises to choose from and some are flashier than others. But you can never go wrong with squats, hip hinges, lunges, pushes and pulls. Spend most of your time getting strong at these and less time getting strong at tricep extensions, biceps curls and crunches.

3. OFTEN things will take longer than you think.

You can get your Amazon order delivered in less than 24 hours. Our perception of how long it “should” take to get results is skewed. Change your thoughts to, “it takes how long it takes”. It might take you longer or shorter than it takes your friend. You can’t control the outcome, you can only control what you put into it. So focus on that and trust the process.

4. FORM is priority number one.

Good form is going to save you so much pain, time and frustration down the road. Even those of us that have been training for years can still improve our form. Record yourself and watch the videos back. Send your videos to a coach (I offer this for free), hire a personal trainer and reap the benefits of using your core instead of your back and your glutes instead of your knees.

5. STARTING your workout is the hardest part.

Normalize the fact that sometimes you don’t want to be working out until you’re halfway through or even sometimes until it’s over. Minimize the barriers between you and starting your workout. Trick yourself by saying that if you can do one set and then quit if you feel like it. Just get yourself to start and odds are you’ll keep going.

6. JUST because you don’t like something at first, doesn’t mean you can’t learn to like/tolerate it.

I used to relish hating cardio. It was a part of my identity. Until I realized that “hating cardio” is a stupid identity. You probably don’t enjoy things that you’re not good at or are uncomfortable. But the more you do them, the less bad you get and the less uncomfortable you are. Give yourself that learning period before you say you “hate” something. Even if you still hate it, find a way to to it that sucks the least and then work on getting to a place where you tolerate it.

7. FOCUSING on performance improves your body image/relationship with your body.

There’s been nothing better for my body image than focusing on strength and performance (and having fun) in the gym. So much on what we focus on about our body is what it looks like on the outside. Exercise helps us find something else to appreciate our body for. It helps us see value and growth that is not just aesthetic.

8. THE weights respects consistency.

You don’t have the be the strongest in the gym or the most genetically gifted. The gym respects consistency. If you keep going and keep showing up, you’ll get results. Sometimes the results are things you can see, sometimes they are things you can’t see. Don’t worry about being the best, focus on consistently being your best (or the best you can be that day).

9. YOU can’t do it all (at least not at the same time).

Variety is the enemy of execution. There’s so many different exercise plans or workout styles you could try. You can’t do them all at once. Pick something and stick with it for a few months, long enough for you to see progress. Then, if you want to try something else, switch. Just make sure to commit to something for a little while and then feel free to change it.

10. THE right song can make your workout.

Music can make or break your workout, use this to your advantage! A good workout playlist makes your workout so much better. Have a go to song that you can put on while stretching/warming up that really gets you going. Workouts should be a little bit fun, so use music to help you really enjoy and zone in on your workout.


Have you been lifting for a while? What are some things you’ve learned?

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