Written by Blaine Sumner
What makes you stronger? A certain rep scheme? A certain volume scheme? A magic program? The right assistance exercises? Drugs?
The answer to this question is the Holy Grail of strength training. And it is something that will never be agreed upon by the lifting community and never fully understood. Athletes, coaches, and fans will always chase this question in their quest for strength.
Picture this. Laying in front of you are four pills. Each pill is a ‘magic’ pill and contains one key to strength. Each pill is the best in the world at what it does. Your options are: 1 – The best strength training program, 2 – The best genetics, 3 – The best supplement/drug, 4 – The best motivation.
Without a doubt, I would take the motivation pill every single time. In every aspect of life, the people who are the most motivated reach the pinnacle of what they set out to do. In sports, the absolute unshakable insatiable desire to win will trump genetics, drugs, or whatever else you throw that way. I’m sure many people will doubt this logic, but if you are sitting and reading this and thinking of excuses of “well I do REALLY want to be strong and I work really hard but I’m just weak and have poor genetics” then I challenge you to truly question how motivated are you. Chances are if you are still reading this, you are a motivated individual who has a healthy desire to get stronger. Being simply motivated is not good enough unless you want to be average. The motivation that will trump everything is a fanatical obsession with sacrificing literally everything in your life to pursue and achieve a goal. Anybody who gets under a squat bar, at a minimum, hopes they come up with it. But again, that is not good enough – with no exaggeration, you need to want to come up with the weight more than you want to breathe, more than you want money in your bank account, and more than you want that hot crossfit girl.
THE RIGHT MOTIVATION MAKES THE IMPOSSIBLE BECOME POSSIBLE
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
– Napoleon Hill
Still want to take the best drug out there and pass up on the motivation pill? Consider this. Motivation is the only thing that can make a human being transcend what should be physically possible. When something is so important to you that everything outside your tunnel vision seems less significant, the human body can do absolutely amazing things. There have been numerous football paralyzed and told they will never walk again. But became so motivated to walk again, that they did; something that no drug or genetics could have made them do. Another example on why motivation trumps everything – there are plenty documented stories on women lifting a car off the ground enough to pull someone out, even a mother fighting a polar bear to save her children. If there is a mother out there fired up enough to donkey punch a polar bear, what kind of insane weights is the human body capable of moving with the right motivation?
MOTIVATION IS THE GREAT EQUALIZER
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
All else being equal, the more motivated athlete will almost always win. They will train harder, train more focused, eat better, rest better, and generally work harder. Even if things aren’t equal and somebody out there is stronger; becoming more motivated can be the best thing you’ve ever done for your training. But being driven to become the strongest person in the world is not a part time job. Busting your ass in the gym and doing extra sets is great. The gym is only part of the battle. Eating, resting, and recovering are the other crucial parts of becoming a wholesome athlete. If you want to spend an extra hour or two a night watching TV or cruising Facebook so that you are getting six hours of sleep instead of eight, I can promise you somewhere out there is your competition shutting it down and getting to bed.
When people are bit by the iron bug for the first time that is usually when motivation is at its highest. Gains come easy, you see your body transform, and you are quickly moving weight that you once only dreamed possible. I encourage you to take a trip back and find that motivation and thrive on it once again.
Everybody who consistently strength trains is motivated, or else they wouldn’t sacrifice hours a day in the gym. But sometimes fat ladies are kind of motivated to lose weight and it just isn’t enough. I promise you this – pick up the motivation and you will pick up more weight.Blaine Sumner is a drug-free powerlifter who competes in the IPF and USAPL both raw and single ply. He holds the IPF Raw World Record for Squat (881 no wraps) and Total (2,056) in addition to winning the 2012 IPF Raw World Championship. Sumner played Division II football at the Colorado School of Mines where he started at nose tackle for 4 years in addition to scoring 8 touchdowns as a short yardage fullback. He also set NFL testing records for 225 bench reps (52) and Kirwan Explosive Index (95). In addition to having a 33” Vertical Jump and 50” box jump at 350 lbs., Sumner was a 4 sport athlete in high school (Football, Wrestling, Lacrosse, Track). He is originally from Colorado and now lives in Oklahoma City where he trains at HATE Barbell and works as a Petroleum Engineer. Facebook, YouTube