Training

The Master


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Everyone needs to see the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”  It’s on Netflix, so take 81 minutes of your life to check it out that you’d otherwise spend rotting your brain with Honey Boo Boo, scrolling through forum arguments, or mindlessly updating your Facebook feed.

Just for some cliff notes:  It’s about Jiro Ono, a (then) 85-year-old sushi chef.  For over 60 years, he has been working on precisely one thing:  making the best sushi he possibly can.  He gets up before dawn, opens his restaurant, makes sushi from the time the restaurant opens until the time it closes, goes to sleep, and repeats the process.  He is regarded as the greatest sushi chef on the planet, but he does not like to go to award ceremonies because it takes him away from his restaurant for a few hours.  He works on holidays, birthdays, and through illness.  He got lung cancer in his 70s, but rather than retire and turn the restaurant over to his son, he came back to work as soon as he could leave the hospital.

I watched it about three months ago, and as soon as the credits rolled, my first impression of it wasn’t overly positive.  There’s not much of a story, nothing particularly exciting happens, and there wasn’t even THAT much of Jiro in the documentary – at least half of it feels like fluff to fill up the still-short 81 minute run time.

But the more I think about it, the more I like it, and the more powerful it is.

Jiro is a master.  Jiro has dedicated his entire life to perfecting his craft.

There’s a lot to be said for mastery.

There are also few masters.  Mastery takes everything you have.  It requires your life.  Mastery is difficult – too difficult for most to pursue – too difficult for most to even want to pursue.

Most people just want to be good enough – they want to do things that will improve their quality of life and make them happy.  Mastery requires that you re-adjust your priorities, it requires that the pursuit of mastery trump quality of life and comfort:  it requires that the pursuit of mastery becomes your life.

That’s why I wanted to become the Juggernaut content manager.  I’m 22 – I’m not old enough to have mastered anything at all.  But I think I’d like to master my sport (powerlifting) and see what my full strength potential is.  Once my competitive career is over, I think I’d like to become a master coach and help others reach their potential.  There are few (arguably no) places with as many masters as Juggernaut – especially among the usual shallow discourse that typifies the internet lifting community.  Just this week I talked to world record holders, coaches of champions, professional athletes, and an Olympic gold medalist.  JTS is the most exciting place to be in the strength world.

Working for JTS affords me the rare opportunity of constantly interacting with and learning from true masters – athletes and coaches at the pinnacle of their respective pursuits – people who have walked the paths that I want to walk.

Success leaves clues.  The best coaches know what they’re doing.  Success doesn’t happen at random.  There’s a lot you can learn from a master coach or athlete that you can’t learn from a science book, and that’s exactly what I want to do.  I want to help Juggernaut grow by helping ensure the content is the highest quality possible, but I also want to soak in as much wisdom as I can from the masters that write for Juggernaut.

I hope that I’ll be able to expand what JTS is already doing – finding masters, learning from them, and teaching you guys while elevating the conversation in the strength game.  I hope you guys are as excited as I am.

Greg Nuckols is a strength coach, world-class drug free powerlifter, and content manager for Juggernaut Training Systems. His best lifts include a 755 squat (raw w/ wraps), 475 bench, and 725 deadlift. His passion is for integrating in-the-trenches experience with the science that makes it all work.
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