The past few weeks, I've been writing about my interactions and learnings from some of my students. As always, as I write about what they should've learned from me, I learn more from that process.
Already, I can see a few significant patterns emerge. In this post, I am going to distil that down to 5 things that they do. If you want to take your health and fitness to the next level - well, here are the secrets you are looking for.
And funnily, when my results are going well, I seem to be doing those 5 things as well. What a darn coincidence!
In case you haven't checked them out yet, I highly recommend it - you never know which one resonates with you and it could be the catalyst you are looking for. Here's one where showing up wasn't possible, here's one about being awesome yet unhappy coz we are too close to see it, one about experimentation and finding your own way.
intent and ownership
It starts with intent and drive. You need to do this for a burning reason. It doesn't have to be a noble or lofty reason at all. But it needs to check a box for you and you will not take no for an answer.
In my early 20s, when you think it'd been easier (more energy, more time, more drive), I was quite terrible at it. I was not willing to take control of it, I was not willing to take ownership of my successes and failures. I've seen that the folks with successful outcomes have oodles of intent and drive to begin with but equally importantly, they take ownership and control.
keep moving forward
Failures happen, and it is time to figure out why that happened and move on. Injuries happen. One, you are sometimes lifting a lot of weights. Two, more often, you slept poorly or haven't taken care of your recovery or are half-asleep or have let your ego take over - and you lift in a silly fashion, or you run way too much or whatever.
Successful students immediately learn, do the work aka rehab for however long it is needed and try not to repeat that mistake. There's a constant focus on forward movement. Not linear. But forward. Linear is a fluke.
Just because I saw this all the time doesn't make it less true. The most successful students show up a lot more often than the unsuccessful ones.
3 days a week for 48 weeks beats 5 days a week for 12 weeks.
What I find is 3 days a week for 48 weeks for 5 years. Now, that's just insane! But the more successful they are, the more consistently they show up. There's no way around it.
fall in love with the process
Maybe when they started, they didn't expect to fall in love with fitness or the process of getting healthy and fit. But they were not closed to it. A lot, including myself, saw it as a means to an end. Along the way though, we discover ourselves. We find a new side to us, a part of our identity that we never knew existed.
And it opens up our world and our thinking.
There will be times when things slow down, when things plateau. When things aren't easy. Or simple. When successes stop. When it gets boring.
But it is all part of the journey and all the successful students have a way of rekindling the joy that they get out of training.
ego at the door
When I have a coachable student, I know the probability of getting results for that student is amazingly high. And if the results do not happen, that's on me.
The successful ones tend to listen. Not blindly. Sure, there are a few who will absolutely listen and not ask questions. But that's not a requisite.
Leaving your ego out of it is paramount. Being able to do the work, being able to listen to what you need to do and not your whims and fancies takes a lot of courage and will. I've seen many a student aim for a random number to squat and try and get there as soon as possible, while doing 100 other things in their lives, and either get injured or not get there and lose interest and fall away.
I've had both kinds of successful students - those who push and challenge and probe you as well as those who will do as you ask. With the former, I have to clarify exactly why we are doing what we are doing and get their buy-in. With the latter, the buy-in is implicit. But in all cases, the ones who align with the process, and leave their ego out - those are the ones that truly shine.
There are certainly a lot more but rather than make this a laundry list, I wanted to distil it down to what I feel will lead to the highest probability.
None of this are quick-and-dirty methods. None of these are shortcuts. If you are looking for shortcuts, go elsewhere.
Our training methods are top-notch and the shortcut is in doing the right things as well as we can for as long as we can. The ones that are on the same wavelength as us, well, funnily, they seem to be the most successful. Obviously, my coaching style or The Quad's methods are not for everyone. But if you found yourself nodding along to some of this - wonderful!