If you grew up playing team sports at any level you have undoubtedly seen what an advantage it is to be a naturally gifted athlete. James Smith, is probably the best physical preparatory program specialists on the planet and broadly groups athlete in terms of ability as follows:
1. So gifted that if all they did was show up on game day they would still outperform the majority of their teammates and competitors
2. Recruiting mistakes in so far as their lack of physical ability; yet their neurophysiological ability is high and this combined with incredible work ethic allows them to overcome their physical short comings and keep their head above water and contribute in some way
3. Somewhere in between the two points already listed. Good physical and neurophysiological talent that is combined with hard work.
If you were not in the first group, you were probably the first to point out how unfair of an advantage the “gifted” kids had. These were the kids that were successful in their sport, whether they worked for it or not. No matter how many hours you put in the gym or even in the kitchen you sat behind on the depth chart or watched in awe as they did the imaginable. It was only the kids in group 1 that made it to the league. Combined with a good habits and a good work ethic they had a CHANCE to be great. Everyone else, the guys like you and me decided that physical gifts were the key to success (and maybe some drugs) and if we weren’t born with it, we’d never be as good as those genetically more fortunate than ourselves.
Luckily, being strong as hell, lean and mean is NOT a team sport. You, every single one of you, can be successful if you’re willing to shut up and put in the work. Do you think the Brandon Lilly’s , Chad Smith’s and Vince Urbank’s of the world give a shit about the hand they were dealt at birth? I made the decision to dedicate to my life to surrounding myself with these people – men and women that seem to be successful no matter fucking what and have come to the (very surprising to many) conclusion that their success has not been a result of superior genetic or excessive PED use; instead they all share certain habits that YOU should adopt immediately.
It is no coincidence that the strongest people I know are also the most intelligent. Knowledge is not easy to come by and the truth is all great strength athletes are always still learning. Free internet forums and common perception, while entertaining, is useless.. Instead you’re going to have to understand that you have to make an investment in yourself.
Athletes with elite totals, all time records and slabs of muscle have all made an unimaginable investment in themselves. They have invested time and money, often sacrificing luxuries to do so. When I talk to these guys in my network, I am often astonished at how much they have paid for coaching and seminars, how far they have traveled to compete with or meet certain athletes. Recently, a well known, extremely successful (and well connected) powerlifter paid a HUGE sum of money for his custom diet. If someone at that level, with his knowledge is still investing in himself, then there is no doubt that you should be too. Paying for seminars, email, calling or texting the people that are where you want to be, paying for a great athletes time are all things we should all be doing all the time. Stop trying to get shit for free, you cannot put a price on accomplishment.
Strong people generally spend their time talking to other strong people. The fact is, you become an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. In surrounding yourself with powerful, successful people, you’re becoming one. As you develop similar habits and have useful conversation, you yourself with become stronger. As a strength athlete, there is no way you will NOT get stronger is you surround yourself with elite totals, pro strongmen, and all time record holders.
That being said, if you spend your time with weak people with poor habits… you get the idea.
This is the big one. All of the knowledge in the world will not matter is you are not consistent. Talking to the greatest strongman and powerlifters in the world I have noticed one thing that stands out more than others; these guys will NOT miss a meal. Some are hyper-organized, some don’t organize shit, some dudes are strict about their training schedule while others move it around freely but when all is said and done they get their damn food in!
All great athletes have their priorities, and based on their sport or current condition they may be different than an athlete in a different sport or different condition. What they share is the desire to succeed and the knowledge they have earned through their investments in themselves. They know what to do and they do it. They do it consistently every month, every week, every day every fucking hour. While the rest of the world is looking for the quick fix, the magic pill, the easy way to get “jacked” the people that have mastered the four steps above are slowly and surely becoming champions.
There are no “type 1” people in strength sports. It may not be today or tomorrow, but the individual willing to make the investment in himself, get the education he or she needs and lives their life based on their end-goal will be successful. It will have nothing to do with drugs, it will have nothing to do with genetics, it will simply be the a a result in the relentless pursuit of success.
The take away: Step back and re-asses your priorities. Practice consistency. Surround yourself with people you want to be. Stop putting time and money into STUFF, put it into yourself. Literally anybody reading this has the ability to be successful, to be a champion in their sport. Unfortunately, only a handful, maybe 1%, will make the sacrifice.
Don’t be the majority.
Nic Peterson is a top amateur strongman based out of Florida, with PRs of 705 deadlift, 429 bench and 342 axle clean and press, in addition to training athletes of all types from his facility, Relentless Performance. Website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter