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Don't be a Gypsy

Words of Wisdom w/ Gerald

Article Four: Don't be a Gypsy

Fact #1: Strength doesn’t come easy. Opinion #1: Don’t make this shit harder on yourself than it already is. Fact #2: The strongest people in the world have one thing in common; consistency. Opinion #2: I’m beating a dead horse even covering this, but it’s that important if you want to accomplish anything in strength sports; short or long term.

The conversation comes up all too often, “Hey, my squat has plateaued, can you help me?” My response is always, “Well, where are you at in your training, are you still following your plan, program, or coach’s advice, have you been consistent?” Nine times out of ten these people know why their lift has stalled, and are just looking for a quick solution to get their numbers (back) up…it doesn’t exist. Big progress comes when you chip away at your training every week. Some training weeks are boring, sometimes life gets in the way of your training, and sometimes your body is just beat down, but if you want to continually see progress on a monthly or yearly basis, those excuses can’t win you over.

Aside from those outside factors, my biggest pet peeve when it comes to being responsible with your training are the “program hoppers” looking for the next best protocol to try. I could give two shits whether you’re doing 5-3-1, linear progression, RPE based training, the conjugate method, whatever, but stick to it! Training isn't erratic; you're not a gypsy fleeting from place to place. Four months is barely enough time to learn and apply yourself to a program, let alone when lifters jump ship after 4 weeks and still expect to advance. If progress stalls or slows down with your plan, EVOLVE and adjust it. Now on the flip side of this, I don’t mean stick with the same shit you have done and/or worn out without real adjustments for years and years. What worked for you 3 years ago, may not necessarily be what you need in training now. By evolving we are talking about adding in exercises or accessories that target weak body parts, removing exercises that are useless or cause pain, or increasing the movements that you aren’t good at or that annoy you. You can adjust all of these variables under the umbrella of a larger plan to continually build strength.

My personal preference is using a METHOD that you can adapt with and grow within. If you stick to the general system, and apply the concepts towards your goal, progress will never stall out. Of course, some lifts require more work and attention than others, but with consistency those weaknesses are addressed. Being that I’m still a relatively new lifter, realistically any program will produce strength gains. However, since switching to the conjugate method back in July 2017, my recovery times have vastly improved, strength (equipped & raw) is still on the rise as it should be, and my CNS is damn near bullet proof. Plus maxing out every single week in one form or another is just fucking fun. The real key here is to find something that you trust and enjoy, then stick with it!

So even after all of that there are other items to consider before you jump ship on your program or system. Maybe you need to look at your eating habits. Your meals fuel your training sessions and drive recovery; if you’re not consistent there it really won’t matter if you’re steady with a program. Maybe you need a change in training partners or environment. Maybe your training partners are more worried about their fucking Instagram likes and image than they are about putting in work, or maybe you’re in a gym where there is no real knowledge to soak up. Get around people that have been doing this longer AND more successfully than yourself. Orrrrr maybe you just need to change where your own head is at. Changing your attitude is tough for some people to grasp, but maybe by simply thinking positively vs having a defeatist attitude is the only change your training needs. Do you have the discipline to stick with what you’re doing during the weeks of growth and hard work? This is the kind of consistency that will take you places in this sport.

This may be a gut check for some, but it’s done out of love. I want to see you all reach your desired destination, and this is how it’s done! I’ll end this article with a huge thank you to crew at RPG. You guys and gals show up week in and week out to train, help your fellow gym members, and bring the hype when needed. The consistency is noticed!

Remember - Don't be a gypsy...and while you're at it don't be a pussy either.

-Steve Stuecher

RPG…Destination for all things strength.

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