Back in the day when my garage, backyard & playgrounds were OUR training grounds.......
[youtube width="640" height="390"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx1-eehKHrQ[/youtube]
One of my most popular training courses sparked a TON of controversy when it was released. I remember like yesterday, people e mailing me about negative words being said about me.
These were BIG name Coaches shouting angry remarks from around the world, I kid you not.
At the time, I was training athletes from my garage gym, my backyard & at the local elementary school field. The kicker was that our athletes were crushing their competition.
I was a bit upset when I first heard of the smack talk but then I toughened up, thickened my skin and slapped myself in the face. Today, JUST like back then, the # 1 focus to me was the athletes I train. My focus was on helping them achieve success and I refused to deter because Coaches with big names were talkin' s**t about me.
I quickly learned the shit talkin' was simply their blazing insecurity. Those who achieve don't need to put down others, period.
Today, I couldn't care less what anyone says about me. It's a damn good feeling knowing that others can not and will not stand in my way or I will mow them down. A powerful book I've read is called 'Thick Face, Black Heart'. I represent that at all times, numbing myself to outside criticism and negativity.
Reading a book won't suddenly give you thick skin. Some have it, some don't. I didn't have it, so when I don't have something, I learn about it and find out how to get it. I'm a knowledge junkie. You should be, too. Remove the time you spend watching the negative news and any negative, time wasting BS and I know you'll feel infinitely better within a few short days.
There's a TON of GREAT news out there but the news channels don't tell you about it, they mainly tell you about the crap. Time to leave it behind 🙂
Since Day 1, My BIG focus has ALWAYS been taking care of my athletes but I've REALLY gone full circle lately. I lost focus somewhere along the way and when I realized what I did I got really pissed at myself.
I've decided to end a few of those focuses I had, and even though they were helping others, I could NOT deny the fact that my heart was set on these FOUR things:
1) Helping the athletes at The Underground Strength Gym achieve success in sport AND life. I had a very rough time in high school and didn't know how or what to do with building the right mind and body. I want these kids to NEVER experience what I experienced.
[youtube width="640" height="390"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRwV8gtd1lY[/youtube]
2) Growing Underground Strength Nation.... Helping people who follow this blog improve their quality of life through greater health and strength (physically and psychologically). That is what Underground Strength Nation is all about. A mission to help One Million people develop inner AND outer strength. LOTS of programs focus on ripped abs, ripped biceps, etc. My mission is beyond the external. It's about training that gives you greater health, greater mind power and allows you to enjoy life and achieve greater success as a result.
3) Giving my ALL to members of The Underground Inner Circle - these are the TRUE go getters and die hards, I go above and beyond for them and the past 6 - 8 weeks have seen the largest growth of our Inner Circle ever since the community began in 2004.
4) The USC Certification - Near and dear to my heart is the Strength Coach who REALLY cares and has passion for helping others. If you think they ALL care then you are unfortunately mistaken. I am also emotionally connected to those starting from meager beginnings. I remember those days. I ALWAYS will. Don't forget where you started either 🙂
I ended my focus on a few web sites and stopped the majority of my business coaching. I was here, there and everywhere. In my heart, it didn't feel right.
And one thing I learned about life and business... If it doesn't sit right in your heart and in your gut, then it's NOT right. Period. I know that sounds "ghey" but it's the truth.
Many of my business courses that were offered as physical courses I am now offering as downloads (Click HERE for the Latest), my business newsletter is finished and I'll give my heart and soul to The Underground Strength Coaches growing around the world.
By streamlining my business I quickly realized I can actually help MORE people. I did a MUCH better job with my focus and if you focus and buck down & focus on the shit you know you can kick ass with, then the same realization will come to you. A while back, This story on Steve Jobs talking to NIKE REALLY hit home for me, you can see the article HERE and it doesn't matter if you own a business or not. The relevance applies to life, training....
The Life Audit: Life doesn't have to be complicated. Simple works best for me and I'm psyched to move on. Take a look at your life and do a life audit. What in your life is not of benefit to you? How can you improve it? Focus where you want to go and keep charging to make it happen.
Just as my life is evolving, my training evolves as well.... it's the cause - effect from gaining greater knowledge.
Evolution simply means learning new things and applying them, getting rid of the shit. Bruce Lee woulda been proud 🙂
The reason why I thought of this "evolution" was because my training has evolved a LOT since my shoulder injury slightly over one year ago. That shoulder injury seemed to go on for what felt to be a lifetime and my journey out of that painful injury parallels the fact that it has changed my outlook on strength and health for a lifetime.
One thing I ALWAYS remembered was that when we trained our athletes with a mix of our basic free weight lifts, bodyweight AND odd objects, our athletes NEVER got injured. Yes, NEVER. No one was ever injured when training from the days in the garage.
Once I got my warehouse set, I realized I got away from the odd object frequency and did more powerlifts and guess what.... we saw injuries and less successful athletes. We saw BIG guys who could squat, bench and dead the house but couldn't do a bodyweight lunge, couldn't do a push up and for sure unable to do a pull up.
It was BAD. I was bothered by the results and disappointed in this misdirection.
This is where Underground HAD to step UP..... So I did just that.
In the book 'Super Training', there was a style of training referenced as "Imperfect Training".
In essence, this style of training will sometimes put your body in an awkward position. You don't use maximal weights here as it can cause injury. Instead, the body becomes prepared, trained and "hardened" for the "imperfections" that will happen on the athletic field or in your day to day life.
In essence, life and sport are uncertain. You can get injured doing a myriad of things and if you ALWAYS train in a perfect setting with perfect technique and your back NEVER leaves neutral you are likely NOT battle ready.
Last week, our athletes worked Kettlebells, sandbags, dumbbells and bodyweight. Not only does this syle of training harden the body, it also hardens the mind, forcing them to adapt and overcome to "equipment" NOT being set up perfectly for them to move from a bench or squat rack positioned perfectly for them.
Check out this finisher to my leg workout and note the final exercise....
[youtube width="640" height="390"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzc8_O1Siec[/youtube]
Check this video, using calisthenics, sledge hammers, sandbags and stair training...
[youtube width="640" height="390"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpnuiHy5FZQ[/youtube]
Does this mean we never use barbells and basics? Hells NO, we use them, but, for maximal effect I suggest blending them together as outlined in The Underground Strength System.
I do this and I feel healthier and more athletic. Do you HAVE to use this variety in your training? I'll tell you this. Ask yourself the question and answer honestly. Remember, if in your heart it doesn't feel right. Then you know it's NOT right.
Live The Code,
PS: If you want to learn more, then get on board with The Underground Inner Circle.... Test drive it for 30 days and let me prove to you just how powerful it is from an educational, inspirational, motivational and supportive stand point.
You'll dig the forum with special sections for everyone for both training & business, along with monthly updates, interviews, special reports and behind the scenes access to what happens inside Undergrund HQ.
We just added the following:
- The Deadlift BEAST Report
- Underground Workout of the Month
- Underground Strength Movie
- How to Make Monkey Bars
- How to Re-Use Your Broken Down Medicine Balls
- Ultimate Warrior Interview, Part II
If you're a Strength Coach you'll dig the added business insights and the special forum for networking, sharing ideas and critiquing / giving feedback on web sites, etc.
==> Take advantage of Your 30 Day Trial HERE <==
Great article Zach. I love that you are always re-evaluating and being completely honest with yourself. It’s hard not to see success as doing more and more instead of doing less, well. Reminded me of this Gray Cook article, http://graycook.com/?p=829. I don’t know who I fear for most, your athletes or their competiton, now that your full attention is back:)
@Scott: so funny bro as my friend told me that’s a fav book of his!
Great f*****g article as always – I watch your vids before I go to the gym so I can get myself psyched up for battle. I am the in the process of starting my own website about alternative health, fitness and prosperity. I am going to have your site in my “recommended resources” section. Do you have an affiliate program I can enroll in? If not that’s cool, I just thought at one time you did have one.
@JT: thnx, my brutha!!!
check out http://UndergroundStrengthAffiliates.com
that first video showed me the light of what my garage will become…thank you
@don: garage gyms rule, make it happen and send me video when done!
Great article! Thanks for the strength, 35 days sober and I’m getting an edge that I didn’t even know I lost. Zach your site has really done more for me than I think you realize, much thanks to you and the underground nation.
@Strongnella: congrats, keep kickin’ ass! You need to do this on your own but you also need a TEAM…. If you’re HERE you’re part of Team Underground!
Ben Hoben says
Glad to hear you want to focus on the Inner Circle. I love it in there. There is so much content in there to go through.
If anyone hasn’t tried it you should.
@Ben Hoben: my focus is multiplied BIG time, my man. I’ve always been zoned in but the RE-focus is helping me f**k shit up for Underground Strength Nation! Psyched!
John Mulry says
I’m just starting out in the fitness industry but learning how to develop a thick skin is one think I’ll have to work on. Thaks for the book recommendation. There’s a lot of haters out there but when someones goes hating on me I just think of a saying an old teacher of mine used to say. “Empty vessels make the most noise.”
P.S. Love your vids man. No B.S. No hype just top info…
@John Mulry: John my pleasure 🙂
Yep, gotta believe and focus on those you help….. haters gonna hate 🙂
This article really hit home for me. I just started training athletes out of my garage gym a few months ago. Training has been a passion of mine for a long time and I’m finally doing something I love (I took kinesiology in university but became a teacher). Anyway, keep up the great stuff. You’re very inspiring!
@Conor: yo bro, good for you 🙂 I’m a former teacher off 11 years and started in my garage as well! I MISS those days, I’ll always go back to them to remind me where I started 🙂
I was just thinking to myself the other day, the only exercises that have never caused me any issue have been pushups, pull-ups, etc. It’s always been when I break form on a dead, or squat or whatever. Not saying these exercises aren’t vital but you are dead on when you say you are not ready to go to battle if you’re always setting your spine in neutral. Great post!