Archive for January, 2017

Someone asked me many years ago how much Jump pay was, and said he was considering going to Airborne School. I told him  if you won’t do it for free, there is not enough money in the world to make you jump out of a plane.

So what does that have to do with today’s title?

It comes down to a matter of the heart. If he couldn’t be a Paratrooper from the heart, then he should not do it to make a few extra bucks each month.

As a coach, if you don’t have a heart for people, you shouldn’t be a coach.

If you don’t really care about the people you are training, you will never give them your best and they will not achieve their best either.

All people matter whether you agree with their world view, politics, sexual preference, religion, or lack of religion.

I thought of a quote tonight that kind of sums it up, “Don’t put a label on me, I have a name.”

Coaches are in a unique position to help build mutual respect and understanding among people who might be very different from each other.

I live in a beach town that is very popular with people from other countries. They come here from all over the world. Plus, the local community also is extremely varied (I don’t care the word diverse since it is overused).

As they come to my gym, the Cave, we focus on building a bond through hard training.

The military has done this for years and it works very well.

People don’t give a rip who you voted for when you are  doing a heavy deadlift. They are cheering you on. They help each other change plates, get a bottle of water, or bring the chalk bucket over closer for you.

They are spotting you on the bench press, encouraging you if your back squat is stalling out (and you make it after all).

They are living in their present reality, living in the moment.

I have said many times that a common struggle builds an uncommon bond.

Create an atmosphere of cooperation and friendship for all who come to train with you.

Make it a place free of social media, news, and other disruptive things.

Focus on what really matters:  people



Anyone who lifts heavy and hard knows how important it is to get adequate rest and recovery. In fact, all those who train hard, even if they are in a non-barbell sport, know this.

However, many people sabotage their recovery through excessive amounts of stress. Much of that stress comes from being completely immersed in social media. I mean they cannot live without checking Facebook a gazillion times a day.

Another  source of high stress is the news, real or fake doesn’t matter. It keeps people in a constantly agitated state of mind.

People rant and rage about all manner of things they cannot do one thing to change.

For instance, people are ticked off about the election. Big deal, I have been ticked off about numerous elections over the decades, and it didn’t make one bit of difference in any of them.


So, if you want to recover more effectively, here’s some things that should help

  • get out of town for a few days to a beautiful place (the mountains, a lake, a beach, for instance)
  • spend time with someone you get along well with
  • do some simple, relaxing things
  • stay off social media (you won’t die from that, I promise)
  • don’t watch the news (it will be just as bad, just on a different day)
  • get some extra sleep



I want to commend all of our Cave girls and Cave men for giving it all you had this past week and a half!

Yes, I expect a lot from all of you, but I expect even more from myself, as your coach.

I am probably twice as old as some of you, but I feel 1/2 my age, so I guess that makes us equal.

There is never a time at the Cave when less than 100% effort is acceptable!

Does that mean all your training sessions will go great?

Not in the real world, but every session will help make you better.

Remember to always dig deep!

It’s always too soon to quit!

I am proud of all of you!


Classes will resume on Jan. 24

This book is helping me to teach Olympic Weightlifting in a simpler way.

It is very clear and doesn’t waste time or words on useless junk!

We are just over 1/2 way through our quarterly strength/work capacity tests, and overall everyone is doing quite well.

Both strength and work capacity have improved as our training records have proven.

There are still some technique issues to correct, but that is not the biggest issue I am seeing (though it is vitally important).

The biggest issue is the mental side of it, and these are the key areas:

  • fear
  • lack of confidence
  • lack of focus
  • over-thinking

Getting people stronger will never be just about the number of pounds or reps alone.

It will be how much stronger mentally we can help people to become.

I often tell people, who lack confidence, to give themselves permission to be strong.

The ones who fear getting under heavier weights are capable of so much more, but they limit themselves.

The distracted people need to concentrate on the rep immediately in front of them and nothing else.

Those with “paralysis of analysis” just need to breathe, brace, and lift, nothing more.

My job is draw forth the best I can from each person for their own benefit.

That I will do!


There was a time when teachers weren’t afraid to fail someone in their class.

I know, I was that guy.

The teacher knew her subject well but I just couldn’t see any relevance of it to my life and didn’t care to learn it. I developed a really bad attitude about it and consequently failed the course.

The worst part for me was I failed off the football team right before our last game.

The team captain went with me to beg for a passing grade, but she wouldn’t budge.

Now, looking back, I am so thankful she taught me that lesson! She kept her standard high and if you didn’t measure up, you got an “F”.

That never happened to me again. I learned my lesson and I will always remember that teacher; her name was Mrs. Hurley.

So, tomorrow we begin our quarterly strength/work capacity tests and I see mixed feelings from the people anticipating the tests. Those who missed a lot of training (by their own choice) during the holidays are nervous, while those who disciplined themselves to keep training during that time are excited to see how much they have progressed.

As I have said before,  a person’s habits will tell on them and it is true.

Centuries ago it was said that you reap what you sow.

That is still true today, so be it.