In recent years, I have gained attention and interest from others with my approach to training. I field questions regarding my workout split, volume, exercise variation, focus on eccentric vs concentric, etc. While these are all pertinent topics, they all miss the overlying theme that embodies my approach to not only my workouts but contest preparation as a whole.
The most important piece of advice I could give someone, who wants to look his/her best onstage is to train with a sense of urgency. By that I mean every time you walk into the gym to workout, you have to treat each set as if your success or failure as a competitor is going to be determined in that very moment. Maybe your next show is 4, 8 or 12 months away. It doesn’t matter! You have to train as if it’s the last opportunity you get to gain an edge on your competitors.
One of the unfortunate side effects of our modern civilized society is that most people have become soft in their nature. Humans have lost touch with their primal instincts that once enabled them to survive as part of the food chain. There is an overwhelming reliance on others for the most basic needs. Training with a sense of urgency requires you to abandon this mindset and return to one far more primitive in nature. If you want to train like an ANIMAL you have to think like one, which I cannot sum up better than the following proverb:
“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle... when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.”
This is the type of thought process that gets you out of bed at 4am to do cardio. This is what motivates you to find it in you to turn a 15 rep set into a 20 rep set. This is what enables you to set a new PR on squats when you’re only eight pounds above your stage weight. Do or die every day! How good do you want to look when you hit the stage? How bad do you want it? Convince yourself of what must happen every day! There can be no option in the matter. You are not allowed to be tired! You are not allowed to have a mediocre workout! You are not allowed to slip on your diet! Success or failure is defined at every moment and every moment is equally important so you must always act with a sense of urgency!!!
In nature only the strong survive. Unlike animals in the wild, humans have the choice between thriving and just surviving. If you choose to go through the motions, you may someday look back on your life, defined by mediocrity, with great regret…or worse you’ll die having accomplished nothing of significance. It is your animal instincts that will enable you to excel, not only on the stage, but in life, so that one day you can look back with pride.