The things I wish I had done

Ok, this might be falling on deaf ears, I am not sure. I hope not because if I had read something like this 10 years ago I would be in a better place now.

I am talking to all you guys out there who lift. Who want their abs to pop, have arms they can show off, and shoulders wide enough to make you have to buy a larger size shirt. I know you well, I am one.

We all think we can do this on our own. Yeah, 1999, I walk into Coles bookstore and pick up my copy of The Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding, by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I read it cover to cover that night and hit the gym ‘armed’ with my new workout plan the next day.

Fast forward 10 years.

I am now an educated exercise professional who owns a fitness studio and has helped hundreds of people achieve their goals. I have arms that fill out my shirts, I can bench 2 plates comfortably and can say I’ve benched up to 350lbs. I have squatted almost 500lbs and seen that Olympic bar bend during the effort. 

But there is only one thing I regret – I did things on my own for the first 3 years.

I have other complications I have to deal with now.  To start I have a messed up right shoulder that now hurts every time I attempt to work my chest (yes, even push-ups).  It also makes continuing to learn Muay Thai very difficult when every single jab hurts me as much as my sparring partner.  I now have to deal with my shoulder, in addition to knee pain, which are both lifting related injuries.

What happened in the first three years?  Looking back at my workouts and my form, I realize now everything I did wrong.  Wrong, and just simply inefficiently.

If I had known what I was doing and had done it right, my shoulder wouldn’t hurt or my knees for that matter. In fact none of my lifting injuries would be plaguing me now.

And what about the progress I made? Sure. I eventually hit most of my goals. 4 years after beginning to lift people made comments on my arms and shoulders. I loved it, but 4 years! I tell new clients all the time, give me 6 months and people will be commenting on your physique changing. And it happens.

Why? Because I know what the hell I am talking about. I am a professional at this. I can get you there faster and safer than you can on your own.

You can do it on your own. You will get there. The question is when will you get there and what state will your body be in when you arrive? And how much fun will you have along the way.

I do not know why guys have this ‘I can do it all on my own’ attitude. I honestly don’t think I ever did consciously. I guess it is just the way we are all taught to be- tough. “Figure it out on your own”. “Do it yourself”. “Be strong. Be man”.

I guess if your house is on fire you could probably put it out on your own. Maybe ask your neighbours and friends for help. Gather all the garden hoses together and get the flames back. Maybe even rescue the dog from the backyard. If you were really smart you would have read a few fire prevention articles or books in the past and had your house ready for just such a situation. You have a good solid plan in place.

My guess though, is that if you called the fire department and the professionals showed up, they would most likely put the fire out faster, more efficiently, more effectively, and much more safely. And if anything went wrong they are probably prepared to handle them.

And I doubt you, anyone you know, or those firefighters would think you were stupid, lazy, less of a man or incompetent because you had called for help. No, most of them would think you had made a good decision, calling on the professionals to help you out in a situation they are trained for and you are not. 

Taylor

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