What It Takes to WIN: MANY Talk About It, the RARE Few LIVE it



Above, The LAST Crew for The USC Cert. I Gifted 2 of My Favorite Books / Authors:

Gary Vaynerchuk & Steven Pressfield.

I was 13 years old.

It was the Summer before entering high school.

My friends were NOT doing what I was doing. It was the beginning of a new path in my life.

My older brother convinced me to join the wrestling team as a freshman after telling me that "Wrestling is the Greatest sport in the world!" As soon as my brother told me I should wrestle, something inside of me clicked. My inner voice spoke to me and said, You need to train your ass off to be prepared!

I didn't really know what I was in for. I had watched some wrestling instructional videos on VHS and my brother would wrestle me and kick my a-- anywhere he could; the living room, the backyard, our rooms. We wrestled everywhere in the house.

I had grown up playing Soccer. Outside of Soccer, I would play street sports and ride my bike everywhere, that's how we grew up in the 80s.

Things I was not prepared for with wrestling:

- The Intensity

- The Mental Toughness

- The Desire to Fight against someone else

- Learning How to Harness my Fear Into Strength

These were things I was no ready for mentally as I grew up a nice kid with no desire to fight other people. Through my training, which was mostly bodybuilding in my brother's room or at my friend's house and long distance running, I WAS getting stronger and building muscle but not what I needed as a wrestler.

Without the right mindset, I'm telling you now, it's a BIG waste of energy and time to train like a bodybuilder. I was busy following pump up workouts. Lots of "squeeze and feel the muscle" - I needed to train myself in a way that prepared me for man to man battle and I didn't know how, not did I even know there was such a style of training.

When I was 13, I had the opportunity to do so as I wrote about in my Encyclopedia of Underground Strength but I lost that opportunity because I was immature. It's the story of "Andre the Giant" although his name is spelled Endre Holtzer. Photo Credit from Istvan Javorek.

The mind MUST be trained and prepared for sport, competition and LIFE. 

The Summer before high school was 1989, I was riding my bike 6 mornings a week to the YMCA.

It was a good 6 mile bike ride each way. I'd get home, eat and show and then mow lawns for money.

That money went into investing in my knowledge with any and every muscle building books and magazines I could find. I bought all the bodybuilding books and magazines. I didn't see any books on training for sports, specifically wrestling. Knowing what I know now, I wish I came across The Wrestling Encyclopedia of Physical Conditioning from John Jesse. As you get older and wiser, you learn that life is a lot of being lucky enough in your younger years to come across the right information and opportunities.

I didn't have a training partner when I went to the YMCA. I was on my own and tried to copy the stronger guys in the weight room. 

I would copy Arnold's high volume workouts from his Encyclopedia and then ride my bike home. Exhausted from 2 hour daily workouts.

After those crazy high volume leg days I would sometimes walk my bike because I would do 30 sets for legs. My legs felt like jello but I LOVED that feeling. I CHASED the pain, I didn't want to avoid it. I didn't want the short cut, the 6 weeks to this or that, I WANTED the dedication!

I remember going into someone else's back yard while riding my bike home to drink water from their garden hose I was so thirsty and exhausted on the bike ride home. I fell in love with training so hard that I could barely ride my bike home or walk up the stairs to my front door.

We need MORE of that intensity and MORE of that dedication. Then, take that intensity & dedication and Pour it into ALL areas of your life. It's a WAR out there because we're letting the people who accept mediocrity become the people in charge.

What does it take to WIN in Wrestling and Life?

I recorded 2 wrestlers who used to train at The Underground, both won state titles and one of them is an All American wrestler now......

They spoke about training 2 or even 3 x day in high school to achieve their goals of winning a state title. They also speak about taking that drive and hunger and applying it to life when wrestling is over.

Watch below as John Poz and Anthony White, both Rutgers Wrestlers, share their tips and lessons.

Think about what we see today compared to what it REALLY takes.....

Today, 2024, the world has become a place of convenience and speed for everything. We want shorter workouts. We want food delivered to us from an app. We want to WIN without doing the Work.

The world can only become a better place if we fight against mediocrity. Stand for something or fall for anything.

The World of Today.....

  • We're ALL "too busy" to train.
  • People need someone else to motivate them and coach them or they can't get off the couch.
  • People blame work, kids, marriage on being out of shape.
  • Athletes are going to more clubs and personal trainers yet they demonstrate incorrect technique on the basics. Who is wrong here? The average coaches who allow poor technique or the athlete who doesn't want to be coached?

Many SAY they want it but their actions don't add up to the goal.

They WANT to win, but they squat half way down or as a coach they allow half squats, round back deadlifts and sitting for 5 or 10 minutes between sets touching their phone non stop. How about NO sitting down, Just DO. THE. WORK.

They WANT to win, but they fear getting out of their comfort zone so they fabricate excuses.

Don't forget, the way to succeed is to Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

The sh-t that hurts and makes you dig deep is what REALLY counts and produces results.

"Good Luck, Johnny......"

NO. I will NOT wish my athletes good luck. The harder you work, the luckier you get.

You MAKE your own luck.

You EARN it.

You don't get what you want.

You get what you EARN.

No car?

Ride your bike.

No money?

Provide service and value to others and EARN the money.

Not sure "what it takes" after reading this?

Look at what "normal" people do and take the opposite path.

At the end of the night, look in the mirror and KNOW you gave it your ALL.

Live The Code 365,


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Underground Strength Training for Wrestlers 

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"Zach Even - Esh is the Charles Atlas of Powerlifting / Weightlifting / Athletic Training. He is a walking inspiration. A kick in the ass for all of us."
- Steven Pressfield, World Renown Author
War of Art & Turning Pro

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