With all the internet gurus and know-it-alls in the fitness industry, it's hard to separate fact from fiction. Something that goes without saying even five years ago when I started getting stronger to fifty years ago when strength sports in the 60s exploded, is that you should always listen to those of higher power. Now I don't mean those that have transcended to a god like state (or do I?..) but those individuals that are just flat out better than you. In reality, in the strength world, any girl or guy who lifts more than you is better than you. In bodybuilding, as well, any girl or guy who is more muscular or leaner than you, is in fact winning at the game you say you want to be on top in. In no way am I saying they are smarter than you, that they are a better coach than the one you have or are more experienced than you, but yes indeedy, they are better than you at this stage in your journey.

What this all means is that they have something, one thing or even everything you need to know in order to take your game to the next level. They are a RESOURCE for you! Something they've done is an OPTION that you need to consider. If a boxer wanted to start a career in MMA and decided to go in with his blinders on to the entirety of all fighting styles, he will get his skull smashed in. If instead, he considers talking to James the Ripper, a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, or Black Bean John an elite Jiu Jitsu master, or Big Rob a master in Kung Fu, (all real characters from the gym) than he will surely have a better chance at winning his fight. They are better than him, so he takes each word they speak like gospel and applies it one way or another to his training.

What this comes down to in your own training is about draining all your resources and exhausting all your options. Trust those that are better than you even if it pains you to lower your guard down. Step one: shut the fuck up and listen. Step two: tell your ego to jump in front of a train. Again, if they are stronger, they are better, so listen quietly.

Now!

In draining resources from those of higher power, you are guaranteed to be annoyed sometimes as you may actually be smarter or know more than them about said topic. Focus on asking, and not preaching. When talking with someone with a higher deadlift than you, regardless of how dumb their setup is, how ridiculous their hand placement is in relation to their stance, or how irregular their breathing is, do not preach what you know to help them because you may miss out on what you NEED to know. Wait until they've drained themselves and sure enough they will say something completely different about how they tighten their lats that you had no idea about, which may be a missing piece in your puzzle. Respect those of higher power, they are obviously doing something or everything different, and its working for them.

With regards to exhausting all options. You never know until you try. I've done deadlifting every day. I've done cycles with zero warm up and I mean zero and go right to my top set of the day to see if I can engage with full power every rep. I have peaked for meets with the opposite of a rest/taper and gone hard as fuck to see what happens. Until you've tried everything, you've tried nothing. Most of the time when you ask those of higher power what they do, they will usually say the obvious, train hard, don't miss accessory work and eat eat eat. In this case they are right so just keep plugging away at your training for months because that is tried and true. On the other hand, if he or she say they do 200 reps with the empty bar and then start their build up to work sets that should set off some alarm bells as a different option than what you do to try. If someone says they do max effort once every three weeks and you go every week, hmm, maybe give it a try. If these individuals are truly stronger or better than you, they must be doing something right so take what they say literally as an option in your next microcycle and place it into action. You're not getting terribly strong doing what your doing if there are individuals who are stronger, so might as well exhaust all your options and take a chance which could be your one breakthrough. Hey! If it worked for them it could work for you. Might as well try and figure it out before you dismiss it as false. 

In the end, no one knows everything, but everyone knows something. Find out what those who are better are doing to better yourself, instead of wondering why they're beating you. As well, don't be the annoying person asking a thousand questions, try starting off with a satirical yet fully implied question: "Hey! How'd you get so strong?" 

 

Brody Arndt

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