4 Mindset Articles From CoryG
Lately, I have been looking through old pictures and I must admit, I love seeing how far I have come in my life time thus far. It's wild to me because sometimes, just like anyone else, I lose sight of the journey. It’s been nearly 15 years since I stepped out of the coal mine. I never knew that any of the things I have done in life were truly achievable. In all reality, I couldn’t even have made any of this up. The picture that is on the cover of this article was from my friend Josh Dorsey’s garage gym. I trained there for a few short months while I was underground mining. It’s strange how I remember the most random things. One particular day, I remember training at Josh’s, it was arm day and even though I was whipped from shoveling the coal on the belt line all morning, I trained as hard as I could. Something about that day and that training session made the light bulb inside of my head go off. It was during that training session, I realized I was following the right path. It was in that moment, I knew I was done with the coal mining world, ready to move to Columbus to start my dream of being this so-called gym and fitness guy.
My vision was clear, I knew what I wanted to really do in life and I was locked in to achieving it. I worked so hard every day with the vision of just the opportunity. The opportunity was work, 16 hour days, the opportunity was to do what I love to do. Logging 80 sometimes 90 hours per week for 4 to 5 months underground, I saved money to move away. My bank account had reached nearly 20 thousand dollars, enough for me to chase my dream. All those long days shoveling coal were finally paying off and on top of that, my physique was improving as well. Back then it was just a dream, I wanted to turn that dream into a reality, with every shovel full of coal and each rep in the gym I moved one step closer to achieving it.
I love looking back at the past as it can help build the future. When you can tap into that mentality daily which I believe my current habits allow me to do. It creates a path that you can’t even visualize how far it will lead you. I challenge you when you are struggling to look back and see how far you’ve come. I do this all the time, not to pat myself on that back but check myself, keep it real and stay hungry toward being great one day. I know I have come so far, yet 20 years of grinding I have to stay hungry. I know I have so much left to do as an athlete, so many more people to teach, impact and lastly to build a legacy I am proud of when I am an OG. I am going to seize my future and so should you!
I was looking through some old pictures recently and found pictures from my very first gym/personal training studio. Honestly, gym is a stretch, really it was just a ladder closet inside of a mini mall that I somehow convinced the landlord to rent me. The “gym” had all home equipment that was donated to me or I bought at a used sporting goods store. The carpet was blue and had holes in it, the place was small, barely 900 square feet, it wasn’t much, but it was mine! The place where my dream started, the place where I knew being successful in business and life was possible, this was my first step to being the guy you see today 18 years later.
Previously, I was a personal trainer for another gym in the area. I had a schedule filled with clients, paying rent, just kind of going through my days and then they did something amazing that changed me forever. They got greedy! The gym manager wanted to take more of my money. Here I am putting in all the time, landing all the clients, doing all the work and they want to take even more than they already were? It was that decision, made by that manager, that made me start thinking, maybe working for someone else isn’t what I really want to do. The competitiveness in me came out, they think I am going to roll over because I am so young they can take advantage of me? I thought to myself, hell no! It was time to open my own personal training studio/gym. I got the spot in late June and opened in July with 15 clients roughly. These people supported me so well and believed in me, it was unreal. I wasn't even 21 years old and yet, I had a full-time business doing what I loved to do, which is lift weights and help people. It is just like Rocky said, “everyone is a contender before they become a champion, everyone is a beginner once”.
Fast forward just two short years and notice how much better my studio looked, how much more together it had become. In the background, you can see the beginning of my supplement experience, my 4 shelf "supplement center". Who would have known that this studio would eventually lead me in the direction of starting The Old-School Gym one day? Arguably, one of the baddest gyms on the planet? Who knew that 4 corner shelf I called a supplement center was leading me towards MusclePharm and now Max Effort Muscle? Who would have ever believed that the man on the posters, my idol Arnold, would become my friend and mentor? Who knew that my dreams would all come true and still are? I knew!
None of it would have happened however, if I didn’t just progress little by little, getting better year after year. This a before and after, two years of hard work, dedication, and belief. I knew I was poised to be a leader but it takes years of work and confidence. It doesn’t happen overnight, focus on the process, making yourself better daily. Transform your business, your body, whatever it is your pursuing, little by little, each day. Every step counts, each one matters and it’s all a part of the process.
I came home every day on the bus from school to our trailer we lived in just dreaming of making that come up, pursuing my dream & changing my situation. When you’re a kid, you don’t know exactly what that means, but I knew that I wanted something grander for myself. For some reason I had a chip on my shoulder, and I wanted to show everyone it was possible to do exactly what I wanted to do. I wasn’t mad at my mom, dad or really anyone else. I’m honestly not sure who I was upset with, but I had a rage inside of me that needed to come out with hopes that I could keep it positive.
That’s when I decided I needed to work on hitting the heavy bag and lifting weights until I felt better daily. I’m completely aware that the angry 14-16 year old Cory could have easily gone either way in life. My mom was always working, so I had a lot of freedom to do whatever I wanted and could have gotten into way more trouble than I did as a kid. Instead, I thank God that I chose to put my energy and focus not only into sports, but into making myself a stronger, better version of me.
I taught myself some of the basics on boxing, and with my grandpa’s lead, I learned how to lift weights. To go along with this, I was reading anything I could get my hands on that was Arnold-related. I vividly remember how I felt during this time, and those same emotions rushed back as I pulled up in the driveway of where the old trailer sat. I truly wanted something different, and I was willing to do whatever it took. It didn’t matter how many hours that I needed to stack lumber or work underground as a miner. All I wanted was a shot to leave and live my dream, to forge ahead to change the future generations of Gregory’s.
I tell this story all the time, and I want to make it clear that I was not abused, I didn’t starve, and I wasn’t neglected. I was loved and cared for, and the way my Mom got us by was simply amazing. The rent of our trailer was $100-150 per month, and my mom was always busting her ass as a waitress to make ends meat. I would get off the bus each day and couldn’t wait to lift in my neighbor’s basement for hours, dreaming of the physique I always wanted to achieve. I daydreamed about owning a gym and being a famous bodybuilder (or something along those lines). Between sets I just kept telling myself that I was meant for great things, and everyone from here will know me one day.
I was almost afraid to tell people because it sounded like total nonsense. However, I convinced myself that I was the guy: I was going to be the first to come out of here and do the things I said I was going to do. I remember this every day, and I have gratitude when I come home from the gym to my wonderful family. We are completely blessed. I have true gratitude for everyone that has supported me along the way, and for that I thank you. This guy does not take anything for granted because this is how it started, and I will never forget that. In fact, it’s the opposite: I remind myself daily.
The reason that I enjoy getting up so early is because I know the advantage that it gives me in the marketplace. I think that because I’ve been so consistent with this for so many years that it allows me to train without being interrupted, which is important as a practitioner. It also allows me to weed out any knucklehead training partners. If you aren’t real then you’re not going to get up that early. That’s why the 4AM Crew is so legendary because the guys are so dedicated. It truly gives you a strategy hours ahead of the rest of the world that, if you keep at it long-term, it pays off. I think that being able to withstand it for this long is the biggest key to my success. When I don’t get up early and get in that development of my body and mind, I don’t even feel like the same person. The difference it makes is unbelievable.
Tip #1: DON’T USE THE SNOOZE BUTTON
The snooze button is the biggest procrastination tool I’ve ever encountered. People set an alarm knowing that they’re going to hit the snooze for a half hour. To me, that doesn’t make any sense. Don’t tease yourself, just set the alarm a half hour later. I would completely outlaw the snooze button. Stop saying that you’re going to be lazy for 5 more minutes. Quit doing that to yourself! The snooze button sets the tone on being lazy for some amount of time before you start your day. It will limit your productivity so just outlaw the snooze button.
Tip #2: SET YOUR ALARM CLOCK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM
Check this out, when my alarm goes off at 3AM, of course I feel tired. I’m excited to go to the gym, but I still feel tired. You can’t have the alarm clock right beside your bed because then you’re going to break step 1. What’s happened to me is that I’ve shut it off without even knowing it because I was so tired. Set it on the other side of the room. If you have to get out of the bed, then for me, I’m already right by the mirror and I have to look at myself trying to be a little punk who wants to go back to bed. So just make sure you set it away from you.
Tip #3: SELF TALK
Everybody is going to battle from time to time. Some days this will be harder than others but what I talked about: no snooze, alarm on the other side of the room, so when I pick up that phone, I immediately turn on the light in my bathroom. I have to look at myself and I can say, “you ain’t that tired,” or literally go, “wake your ass up!” This is what it’s about. This is the separator. This is what it takes to bring your A-Game. If I’m feeling like a little punk when I wake up, I’ll say these things to myself. And I’ve got to tell you, I barely ever wish that I didn’t go. I feel so much better. So much more focused. All it takes is getting uncomfortable, getting up and going to the gym.
A lot of people think that I’ve never experienced this, which isn’t true, because everyone does. We’re all human. But if you can use these 3 tips to help you out a little bit, you’ll be good to go. I’m even going to give you a bonus tip!
Tip #4: WAKE YOUR ASS UP JUICE
The bonus tip is that Max Effort Pre Workout sets the tone for me. I drink it either on the way or as soon as I get to the gym and it gives me the proper dose of ingredients that I need after forcing myself out of bed. It gets my body and mind dialed in for that workout that’s starting at 4AM.
Lastly, don’t go from getting up at 7, to getting up at 4. Ratchet it back an hour, then another hour, and over time you’ll get yourself to what I believe is an elite schedule.
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