You Are Better Than That


People have gotten infected by the lazy virus, as my friend Mark "Smelly" Bell calls it. ha ha

YOU are better than that. Everyday, you MUST aim to get better by at least 1%. That shyt adds up, bruthas & ladies. When you make a mistake, get back up, learn from it, correct it and move onward & upward.

LIVE The Code.....

[youtube width="640" height="360"][/youtube]

Would love to hear about lessons you've learned in your life & how you apply them to make yourself 1% better every day. Drop a comment below, share with Underground Strength Nation.

If we learn from you, we ALL get better IF we take action.

Looking forward to your comments!

Live The Code


18 Responses

  1. Dustin M. says:


    You’re definitely right about one thing—people today are lazified to the nth degree, man. Now and then, I try to reach out and invite co-workers/friends to come train with me. I always hear some kind of excuse. But I’m still trying to reach out. Truth be told, if these guys wanted to flip the switch—its up to them. They know they’re welcome to start anytime. I cannot force them, they gotta want it!

    I cannot recall what’s my biggest regret in my training journey, but I would have to refer to “being young n dumb”. I was led astray by powder-puff muscle mags, when I was already strong. Whhen I focused on losing body-fat (lost over 100lbs), I didn’t necessarily care for my strength at the time. That is my biggest regret, because I was a strong kid. I wish i trained a little smarter and maintained my strength while losing bodyfat. I had a dream of competing in the world’s strongest men show. But instead I focused on losing the bodyfat, screweed my strength. Dumb move. Time to start over.

    Now I been on the path since April, destroying all my Personal Records. Stick to the basics, bruthas. We all know the ole’ phrase “If I only knew then what I knew now…(fill the blank)” I’d be a walking hulk. 🙂

    1. Justin! Love your honesty, bro! This is why I am saving ALL my old Strength & Health magazines, books, courses…..

      I wanna pass them down to my kids, and they will hopefully do the same…..

      On and on….. I wonder if the bodybuilding will ever come full circle? How much bigger can these guys get?

  2. Dustin W. says:

    Heros fail when you expect them to be the person they claim to be. Friends disappear when you set out to achieve your goals. Haters are everywhere, and not all are out in front of you. Many encourage you in one breath, and knock you down in the other. Regret follows like a black cloud ever waiting to shower upon you. Self doubt is the burden that weights me down. Making every step feel like a 1000#.
    That was the past. To take a line from a cartoon movie, “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and today is a gift. That is why it is called Present.”
    The failings of our past are the scars that will go with us throughout life. Reminding us of where we failed, or feel below expectations. Living in the past will not allow you to progress forward. Take a deep breath and move forward.
    What I had believed to be true is now false. What I believed to be right is now wrong. What I believed to be awesome is now average. Who I believed to be immortal is mortal.
    I have learned to look around me. First time pulling my head out of the book to see that motivation and inspiration is all around me. Holding my child’s hand, smile of my wife and the warmth of the sun on a cool morning. Yes, life is good! Not because it is given, but because I take it.
    Great stuff Zach!

    1. DAMN! It’s the simple stuff that holds beauty yet we often tend to try and see beyond these things, which is a mistake!

  3. The Janpanesse have a word from the Samuri,it is “Kaizen”. Everyday one must improve or make better.As Bruce Lee said “Make at least one definitive move daily toward your goal. Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable; however, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable”— Bruce Lee

    Living the code. Be Kaizen

    1. Kevin, YES! Love it! Anything spoken by Bruce Lee and The Samurai are worthy of learning and LIVING!

      Thnx, Brutha!


  4. Zach,

    Great video, great comments. I realy love the fact that you never claim to have the “answer” that you’re the “end all be all” of fitness knowledge. This mentality sets you apart from the average musclehead coach. I have been following you on the web since 06 when I ordered the hard copy version of the underground strength kit when I was deployed. I have always been a fan. I think one quality that you never have really touched on, but have alluded to many times is humility. Humility I think is seen as a weakness all to often, especially in the strength training/athletic/special warfare communities. But the top performers are almost always the most humble guys, but you would not dare go to to toe with them, despite their humility. This very point reminds me of A Navy Chief (SEAL) that I deployed with several years ago who was a soft spoken guy, didn’t carry himself like he was a badass(like alot of the other SEALs), but was no pushover either. He ended up in a situation where he got shot around twenty times, and he still won the fight..and lived. Now that is a MAN with a steel resolve, that didn’t need to prove it to anybody but showed it when he needed to.

    1. Dennis! HOLY shyt, the story about the Navy Officer being shot 20 x!!!!

      Yes, I am humble yet very confident.

      Sometimes I AM arrogant though, I won’t lie. Especially when I see athletes we train going to globo type gyms or franchises where the coaching, atmosphere and intensity is NOWHERE near what they get at The Underground, I speak up.

      Yes, ready to go at all times, that’s where I need to be, wanna be and AM!

      Thnx, Brutha!

  5. Damn those shirts look cool. Kinda remind me a Expandables movie logo.

    1. Thnx, Matt!!!! I THINK my graphics guy did their logo… I think. This was inspired more so from Army Rangers Logo

  6. Coach,

    The new shirts look dope but what the symbolism represents of yourself and this community that you have forged is what makes that shirt worth wearing! Straight #truth! Life this past year has been a constant lesson, as is always the case for the introspective. Amazing how just one year, from October 2011 until October 2012, has helped me earn my mettle and changed my perspective monumentally.

    Found out some shyt about myself I don’t like and I am working on changing it and becoming a better coach, a better son, a better friend, a better athlete and a better human-being.

    Found out some shyt about others once in my circle that I don’t like, working on changing that as life is too short to d*ck around with bloodsuckers. To summarize what the lessons learned this past year have taught me I use the motto of the Canadian JTF 2 … “Facta non Verba” … admittedly a creedo I have, at times admittedly fallen short of living up to myself.

    However I have also learned that sometimes, no matter how hard you work at a relationship – friendship, business or otherwise, what may be in your own personal best interest is to simply let go and have FAITH, in yourself and the journey that you must endure!

    I recall a Buddhist saying: “pain in life is inevitable, suffering is optional” however I have come to appreciate that it is the suffering that tempers our resolve, it is our suffering that allows us to grow and demonstrate a level of empathy toward others who may be struggling with similar challenges to our own but most of all it is our suffering that makes this journey in and through life OURS and OURS ALONE to OWN. Ownership has become a source of strength.

    Keep living the code and leading from the front Z!

  7. Zach, I could not agree with you more. This laziness attitude is very prevalent in the school system. My wife and I are both teachers. I teach band and my wife teaches secondary english. Kids today want the easy way out. Hard work is a foreign word too many of them, although not all of them. But what really makes me crazy is that they get this from their parents!!! Some parents want their kids to be handed high grades to get into a good college, regardless of whether or not they earned them or learned anything!! When I went back to school 10 years ago to get my music degree, I busted my butt in the classroom as well as the weight room. I was rewarded as a magna cum laude graduate. My wife has had some principals side with her and some principals side with parents. Unbelievable!! Oh, well. I do my job to the best of my ability. Great blog!!

  8. ParkerWilliamson says:

    I love how the kids have to earn the shirt rather than just receiving it. It means alot more, and I think if the ones that are “too busy” see the other kids with the shirts they will find time to push themselves. I just finished the Portland marathon on sunday and I know the feeling of satisfaction you get from working towards something and achieving it. If you have never ran a marathon, I would put it on your running to do list.

  9. Several years ago I admit I became lazy after meeting a lot of personal goals (buying a house, driving a car, graduating from university, getting a proper job and starting my career). I had always been a hardworking and strong as an ox, growing on a weekly basis but admittedly not keeping it lean. I was also training mma style back at the time when it was unheard of. I gave myself a break to heal up a lot of accumulated injuries and over the months reverted back to a somewhat ‘normal’ lifestyle.

    Along with stresses about keeping afloat during hard times, dealing with grown-up issues such as loss of friends and family, debt, i lost what I had always taken for granted- my strength and passion and work-ethic.

    People used to say I was mad for training 3 times a day on top of studies and working three part-time jobs. I lived for lifting heavy weights, martial arts and still dragged myself to the line to gt my cardio done.

    A year after losing my dog I worked out that I had become slowly unfit.

    I used to walk 2 hours a day (1 hour before work and 1 hour before bed) and the weight had piled upon me.

    The excuses just flowed out of my mouth for the state I was in and I was unhappy with why a I saw in the mirror and how weak I had become.

    I joined a triathlon club, bought a new bike and changed everything.

    I was back in the gym lifting moderate weights on the squat, dead lift, overhead press. I was cycling 90 miles a week, getting some coaching, reading motivational stuff and back to my clean eating.

    All of a sudden, I got immense calf pain and ended up with a DVT.

    Still undergoing treatment, but I have slowly got back to exercise and strength is once more returning. The medical people say I am crazy and expect me to just sit around waiting to fade away!

    Make or break I am going to be strong and fit. Dependent on scan results next month I may have lifelong limitations, which will surely challenge my mental strength.

    Living the code!!

    Keep up the good work Z-man, I just wanted you to know how inspirational some of your messages are to a lot of people with all kinds of circumstances!

  10. You always have great stuff, Zach. The whole community is great. One of the greatest reasons I keep coming back and reading through sites like these is the old adage of “you are the average of the 5 people you are surrounded by most.” I believe that in all sort of life’s success. Weather it be happiness, morally, ethically, financially, physically, etc. Although that adage likely refers to actual face to face time, coming back to communitites like this on a frequent basis really helps keep your eye on the prize.

    Laziness is definitely prevelant. How many people do you see circling parking lots waiting for that closest spot? How many people take an escalator without thinking rather than making the conscious choice of taking the stairs? And that’s the simple movements in life…nevermind actual exercise.

    It has become an entitled world. Work for less and get more. There are still plenty of us out there that want to earn what we have. Realize that is the true path to success. Thrive on the challenge. And actually love the feeling of accomplishment.

    I read something this week, that I think this community will enjoy. It was an obituary printed in the London Times. I hope it resonates with some of you as much as it did me.

    – James Cipriani

    “Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
    – Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
    – Why the early bird gets the worm;
    – Life isn’t always fair; and
    – Maybe it was my fault.

    Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and
    reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

    Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

    It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

    Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

    Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

    Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

    Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

    He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame and I’m A Victim”

  11. James, ha ha, funny obituary. Please use your real name when dropping comments, my friend. THNX!

  12. Zach, thank you for all your posts and videos. I am just a simple woman, one who decided to start doing something different and getting off my butt since I was unhappy with my body and my life.

    I couldn’t agree more with the laziness factor and I just love to hear people tell me how they want to lose over 100 lbs as I have or whatever number they dream of and then excuse after excuse follows as to why they cannot. Or those people who whisper to me asking how I have come so far as if I have some secret drug or something. To those people I lean in a whisper back they should ask their doctor if getting off their butt is right for them, haha.

    Everyday I read my self motivation, set my goals and push myself because at the end of the day it has to be a self driven thing. You cannot depend on someone else to run or workout with you. Depend on yourself and hold yourself accountable, in the end you don’t share your results so why should you hold others responsible for the path? 🙂

    Thanks again for all you do and how much inspriation you have brought to myself and others!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

"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

Get Zach’s Best Bodyweight & Strength Training Programs for FREE!

Become an Underground Strength Insider

I HATE spam as much as you