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Brick x Brick

Words of Wisdom w/ Gerald

(aka midnight powerlifting-ramblings of a night owl)

Article six: Brick by Brick

It’s obvious that we live in a day where quick gratification is the new normal. People want to scroll through social media or throw up a post for their quick ego boost or gossip. People want to grab fast food on the go more than they want to cook or spend time with their people/families. And to the point of this article, people want AND think they deserve strength & performance success without putting in their time! You're not owed anything!

How the hell have we strayed so far from good old fashioned, diligent, hard work? I see lifters that think success is right around the corner from the next best program, or the next best pre-workout supplement, without first having put in their time checking off the most basic building blocks: technique, nutrition, sleep, recovery, etc. The only way to accomplish anything of value is through years of training, years of building a strong base, years of learning, and years of not just learning, but of applying what you have learned to your training.

We’re talking about putting the pieces together brick by brick. Add a brick to your "building" or your progress, every training session. Do you hit all of your necessary sets? Ok, you had a bad day at the gym; did you still hammer your accessories? Did you hit some movements that will help you recover better for next time? Did you take notes on why you had a shitty training session and/or what you can fix for next time? Do you drink enough water every day? Do you tackle outside stressors head on to minimize the negative effects on your body in the gym? Do you set goals? Do you schedule enough time to get real rest and sleep? Did you eat your veggies? Now I'm just sounding like your mom, but you get the idea...but really, eat your damn fruits and vegetables. These types of bricks are what contribute to how successful you will be.

Your home (whether it be your powerlifting total or your talent on the field/court) is a culmination of everything you did to deserve that outcome. What bricks did you lay to accomplish what you set out to accomplish? Sometimes it work outs, and well, sometimes it’s an eye opener, one of those learning moments! I just read a recent quote from Shelby Starnes, "The harder you work, the luckier you get,” it reminded me of another saying that my dad always used to say. He used to confidently shout, "I’d rather be lucky than good any day, son.” So, how do you be better than good? Get lucky. How do you get lucky? Work harder. The more effort you put into something, the more opportunity you have to welcome success, to be better than just good. I’ve always lived by the adage that you need to be willing to sacrifice enough to be the best, to be truly great, and/or to be considered one of the “lucky” ones.

Everyone wants to be a champion, until it’s time to do what champions do! Classic, cliché line, but it’s refers to laying down all of the necessary bricks to be successful. These are the actions that go unnoticed by most. Are you willing to undertake the challenge of doing what it takes to be a winner? There’s the discipline to even show up to the gym, the discipline to set aside time out of your busy day, the discipline to keep a long term focus on your goal, and the discipline to stick to your plans even when the roads are rocky (or filled with fuckin’ potholes if you’re a Michigander). Then, can you handle what comes with the injuries, the nagging aches and pains, the ankle sprains, the back pain, the torn/partially torn muscles and tendons? Do you have the willpower to come back and say that you're not finished, that you accept the risks involved,

and that you knowingly make these sacrifices to fulfill your idea of what the best version of yourself should be?

I’ll wrap this up with a cool story from my time as a RC Warrior. I was blessed to play basketball under local legends like Coach Garth Pleasant at Rochester College, but a great memory that I keep from college ball comes from his good friend, Coach George. George would pop in to random practices and games with an unforgettable fire barking; "We work harder than they do!" “We play defense better than they do.” “We warm up better than they do!” “We win better than they do!” He had to have brought up everything under the sun that you could do in a game, and then tack on that we execute it better. Step back and think of this in its simplest form; are you doing enough TODAY to say you do it better than them? Build yourself up brick by brick to earn that honor. Good isn’t success, but fulfilling your full potential and giving yourself a shot at becoming great, one of the “lucky ones,” is!

Steve Stuecher

Rochester Performance Gym

Building athletes...Brick x Brick

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