What is the difference between the average lifter and a great lifter? Where is the separation in the two? What makes the great lifter great, and keeps the average lifter average? In the last decade of training I’ve come to the conclusion that there are multiple reasons such as: intensity, lack of knowledge, mindset, will power, and excuses. But there has always been one variable that is always constant in the separation - CONSISTENCY!
I realized very early in my training career that consistency was going to be the only way to separate myself from the rest of the pack. My first day in the weight room I recall benching the bar and 2.5s on each side for 3 reps, which made me the weakest kid in the weight room. Instead of getting discouraged, I put in my head that day that I was going to train every single day as hard as I could until I was able to bench the 45’s on each side (135lbs). So that is what I did. I trained hard & started investing in more reading material to become better. After a few long months of being picked on by my peers, I finally reached my goal of benching 135lbs. I was PUMPED! Benching 135lbs still made me one of the weakest kids in the gym, but looking around I didn’t see anyone else adding 80+ pounds to their bench In 3 months. That’s when it clicked; I shouldn’t be trying to compete with the guy who benched 300 lbs that first day of practice. He still benches 300lbs three months later!
I was seeing more progress than anyone else, and at the time I could only see one reason why. I was showing up 7 days a week where everyone else was showing up 3 to 4 times a week. The coaches told me I was “over training” and my peers consistently reminded me that “You train everyday but never get any bigger or stronger.” See, they couldn’t see it at the time but I could. They didn’t see I had already added over 80lbs to my bench. So, I kept doing what I was doing and the after school hobby soon started to consume my life. All that mattered was training. I would spend my whole school day writing workouts in my notebook. I couldn’t wait to get to the gym! In a short time I started noticing I was passing some of the other guys. I remember hearing their excuses “I’d be as strong as you if I lifted everyday too.” But they didn’t, and I did! This kept me progressing week, after week, after week and I kept getting better! Small, but noticeable improvements is what fueled me. I soon after gave up on trying to be stronger than anyone else, realizing no one else in the weight room had the mentality I had. Maybe they were bigger and stronger, but I knew it would only be a matter of time before I’d be catching and eventually passing them. So it happened, by my senior year I was benching 315lbs weighing 150lbs soaking wet! The lightest guy in the gym benching in the 300’s.
As the years continued, I’ve watched hundreds of people come and go. I’ve watched people get incredibly strong extremely fast, then slowly start becoming less and less consistent. But I continue. Day in and day out I refuse to miss a single day of the week. I push myself just to get a little better than I was yesterday. Still to this day, after squatting and deadlifting over 700lbs and benching 465lbs, I am reminded how I am “Over Training”. It’s hard not to smile when I hear that knowing that the number one reason I’ve totaled 1,800lbs at 180lbs body weight and you reading this article is because I’ve trained every day the past decade. (Note, my training methods aren’t for everybody. Train how you wish.)
I believe in over achieving. I believe the person who gives the most, will receive the most. I believe in the compound effect of daily consistency. I believe in CONSISTENCY!