motivation and successTraining

Strength Training = hard work?

Strength Training Made Easy?

For those of you that know of Buddy Morris, you know that strength doesn’t come easy nor does improving sports performance.  He’s the Godfather of the strength coach world despite growing into a coach of physical preparation.  He has some interesting thoughts and they are a big “controversial” actually hard hitting about strength training. Since he’s worked with several hall of fame NFL players, won several body building contests(even as an old man in his 50’s), he has a pretty good idea about success.  He’s been around the sports performance/ strength training world and back again. Buddy is going to drop some life lessons on us!

Working Out Means Working!

By Buddy Morris

Typical Buddy sans sleeves
Sport Performance Training expert Buddy Morris

A good friend of mine sent a text the other day reminding me of something I’d read years ago but had filed away in my 55-year old brain. Through 30+ years of being a coach of physical preparation, beginning in 1980 when most of you were still having mommy change your diapers (I apologize if that wasn’t politically correct and I hurt some feelings – get over it!), I have read, seen and experienced a lot. Does this make me an expert? Absolutely not! Malcolm Gladwell, author of the wildly successful book, Outliers: The Story of Success, says that it requires 10,000 hours in one’s chosen field to become an expert. But obviously Malcolm has never heard of the coaching profession because there are some coaches who have achieved 10,000 hours and still suck. There are also new college grads who take the CSCS exam – never having laid eyes on a real athlete – who are considered ready to be hired as Strength Coaches! I never stop reading, watching or learning. (By the way, it was my former assistant James “the Thinker” Smith who coined the term, “coach of physical preparation” as opposed to a Strength Coach). I am far from an expert and I still have a lot to learn even after more than 3 decades in my profession.

Now back to my original point.

The text I was sent was from Arthur Drechsler, author of the book, The Weightlifting Encyclopedia. He pointed out that, “there are two fundamental ways to become strong: a.) Being born with a hereditary predisposition toward strength and letting the biological process unfold as one matures, and b) to train.”

As for point A, I would call this a genetic freak or simply, one lucky bastard. There are few out there, but they’re there. The second point is where the majority of us fall. Who said life is fair? The statement he makes is brilliant at its foundation. But here’s the problem: we have forgotten how to train because it requires work and as a society we have become soft. Don’t believe me? Go look at any playground or, better yet, a gym or phys ed class, which I believe now run only 9 weeks instead of all year long. Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs are way smarter than I will ever be but I am bright enough to recognize that the work habits of our nation have been ruined. Why go out and play when I can do the activity or sport on a computer and not even break a sweat? To top this off, we have created what I refer to as the “Musical Chair Syndrome.” When I was growing up we played musical chairs, a game in which everyone walked around a circle of chairs as music played. When the music stopped everyone had to find a chair and sit. Here’s the kicker: there was always one less chair than people! So you had to fight, scratch and claw your way to a chair. If you didn’t get one you sat your ass down and dealt with it! End of story – you were OUT. They then took another chair away and repeated this until there was one winner. These days you have enough chairs for every kid (i.e., 29 chairs for 29 kids) so when the music stops everyone gets a chair. If you don’t like the chair you get, we’ll get you a new one and we’re going to talk about everyone’s feelings after. Really? This isn’t reality. And yet we wonder why we have this generation of “entitlement!”

These days, everyone is looking for the top secret, double probation program and the “easy way” to lose weight, get in shape or become a better athlete. Here’s the secret: THERE IS NO SECRET! It’s all about things like commitment, effort, dedication, perseverance and WORK! You think that might be why it’s referred to as, “working out”?

Every year gyms/ health clubs increase memberships after the first of the year due to the “New Year’s Resolution Syndrome.” This phenomenon lasts about 3-5 weeks before people figure out it’s hard and takes effort. Really? What did you expect?! It’s the same with people who workout thinking that once they finish they can eat anything they want. Here’s a secret, fat ass: that doesn’t work!

It’s also become ridiculous with the athletic population. Every guru is out there trying to sell his miracle top-secret never-seen-before program to make you a super athlete. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times; “a good coach gets a lot done and goes a long way without gadgets, gimmicks or toys to enhance performance.” Charlie Francis’ athletes didn’t have the use of starting blocks all year round yet they had tremendous starts from just throwing medicine balls and completing variations of jumps. The best don’t use gimmicks. They are very directed. Another expert in the field, Louie Simmons, once told me that chains and bands are not the reason his athletes are explosive and strong and if you’ve ever been to Westside Barbell you’d understand that. If you don’t work, Louie will just tell you to leave. It’s that simple.

Training is not supposed to be easy; it’s supposed to be hard. You must strain your body and work, which is what the human body is designed to do! Then again if it was easy everyone would be doing it and we’ve all heard that one before. Ain’t nothing new; there’s no latest or greatest out there. Just good old-fashioned sweat, effort, work and some pain – yes, pain. Now, go WORKOUT!

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