Archive for the ‘mental toughness’ Category

Having been a martial arts instructor for many years prior to  my transitioning to strength & fitness coaching I have learned the importance of this.

For a coach to be effective, he must definitely be very knowledgeable and experience in his chosen field. However, that is not enough.

You must be able to interact with people daily without getting entangled in their personal lives. Some people join a gym to get in shape, but others have different reasons, often very personal.

As a coach you will meet people from every walk of life. Discernment is needed in sorting through each person’s  reason for wanting to train with you. Sometimes you won’t find out the real reason they are there until much later.

Just who  are bar tenders or barbers, you are hear all kinds of things you never asked to hear about. This is where professional detachment must be applied, or you will get sucked into the drama of a struggling person’s life.

They want to tell you about their problems, I mean all about their problems, and this is where you need to draw the line. If it is directly related to training, then hear them out.

However, if it gets into personal problems, relationships, money, etc. don’t let yourself get involved.

Remember, you are their to coach them, not be their “shrink”, or their baby-sitter,  or their shoulder to cry on.

This requires a tough attitude and the willingness to firmly  tell them you are not the answer to their problem.

Many a coach has gone down the hard way due to not maintaining professional detachment. Don’t be that guy!



One thing about humans is that they tend to keep looking back at problems instead of moving on towards what is next. They keep replaying the negative event in their minds over and over again, even when the problem no longer exists, like Hurricane Irma.

For those who lost everything, maybe even loved ones, in that storm the road to their future will be much harder. Other people were merely inconvenienced by it, but almost act like the world is ending.

Today is a new day, there are huge amounts of recovery work to do. So, let’s get on with that and on with life. That also includes on with training.

Physical strength and mental toughness are always needed in life, now they are needed even more. Stay strong for your families and others that depend on you.

Get back to your training.

Regain your focus.

Move on!

“HARD LABOR” DAY  is our annual celebration of

the blessing of hard physical work

general warm up (10 minutes)

Adex club inside mills x 20/20 reps

Adex club  pull overs x 20 reps

clamp curls x 15 reps (learned from Jedd Johnson)

Adex mace barbarian squats x 20 reps

specific warm up (5 minutes)

keg/stone/sandbag carry set up and light practice

strength (20 minutes)

keg/stone/sandbag carry  x 100 feet x 1/1/1/1/1 Note:  Use at least 100 lb

conditioning/accessory work (3 rounds)

straight arm push downs (with 5 second negatives) x 15 reps

heavy Adex club front cleans x 15 reps


general warm up (10 minutes)

clock push ups x twice around the clock

Adex mace barbarian walking lunges x 100 feet

windshield wipers x 20 reps

Power Wheel hand walks x 50 feet

specific warm up (5 minutes)

bench press/farmers walk set up and light practice

strength (4 rounds)

bench press x  3 reps

followed immediately by farmers walk x 50 feet

conditioning/accessory work (2 rounds)

Adex club front cleans x 20 reps

Adex mace “10-to-2” x 20 competition reps

after the mace & club work is done do this

pinch grip isometric plate hold x max. time

In two days, GOD willing, I will be 67 years young. Almost six decades ago I was diagnosed as terminally ill. Obviously, I did not die.

I believe GOD heard and answered my parents prayers.


I am thankful to still be here and I want to make every day count! It is very important to me to be fit and strong for my entire life; and to help others to do the same.

Our mindset is vitally important in achieving this. As long as you have breath in your body, you are not done. You are still in the game.

I did a lot of manual labor over the years and I am thankful for it. I worked all kinds of hard physical jobs. It made me value strength and tenacity.

I developed a “never quit” attitude over the years. No hard physical job was going to break me!

Many days I came home totally sweated out, dirty, and exhausted, then got right up the next day and headed back for more.

Depending on the job, I might be unloading 100lb bags of Marcite or 94lb bags of Portland cement inside freight cars all day (which feel like 130 degrees inside).

On other jobs I was cutting trees all day or working construction.

The point is this, strength matters every day and you can be strong every day.

In fact, you must be strong every day. There is no off season. You cannot afford to just shut down and quit trying because you turn a certain age, like 40.

I no longer do manual labor for a living; but I do a lot of manual labor at my gym, the Cave. There is not excuse for not being strong no matter what your age is.

Remember, weakness invites aggression. Weakness makes you a target.

Refuse to be weak at any age!



Just passed the three week mark on Jedd Johnson’s August of Arms program