Dedication Doesn’t Start with a Fancy Gym

Some of the best athletes in the world are people who came from the gutter. Like it or not, right now there is some guy training in his garage that is 10 times more yoked than you, and he only has a few dumbbells and a squat rack. Maybe he doesn't even have weights, it may just be some heavy log he lifts, or cinder blocks on a bar.

Right now as I type this, there is someone in some shit-ass 3rd world country running barefoot, and guess what? He'd fuck up the Boston marathon without any fancy sneakers.

Right now there is a guy training on a Huffy bike that would stomp most people riding Cannondale bicycles.

There are people in this world with a desire for something so big that nothing will stop them, not a God Damn thing! There are bodybuilders out there with no protein powder, no vitamins, and no mattress to sleep on, and they are better than us.

Sometimes I miss my old gym up north. It was nothing elaborate, but it was the only thing I knew. I never traveled anywhere or went to another gym. I didn't know gyms had tanning beds or protein shakes, or even had sales people. The first time I stepped foot into a Gold's gym I was blown away. Hot girls everywhere, music, supplements, and 10 different machines for your back or chest.

Now I wish it was like my old gym again. The social aspect is what kills me, people just can't leave me the fuck alone. They want to ask me about my job, or talk about some bullshit current event. Then I deal with another 10 of them that all want to talk about the same shit.

The issue isn't them, they are normal people. The problem is my mindset is still that of someone in a hardcore gym with limited equipment. All of the bullshit is ignored. I'm in there for one fucking reason, to get big and ripped. You ever notice that the most serious looking guys in the gym also have the best physiques?

The gym can be distracting sometimes. It's easy to get into this funk where you don't know what workout you want to do because you don't know where to start. You try to map out some routine in your head, and if your gym is anything like mine then sometimes you end up walking 1/2 mile between weights and machines. And in that walk you get stopped by some stupid asshole who wants to talk about depressing shit or what's wrong with his life. Before you know it, a simple workout that should have taken 35 minutes has had you in the gym for an hour and twenty minutes.

This is why I love early morning workouts… whole different crowd! Most people in the gym at 5:30 am are serious, they don't have time for bullshit. The crowd from 4 pm – 8 pm is horrible, I try avoiding that time frame at all costs.

Something I like to do from time to time is simplify things. KISS, you know what that means? KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID! Try to make up a workout with very limited amounts of weights. Pick a barbell and a couple dumbbells and stay with those your entire workout. Go to a power rack, and think of a workout you could do right there and be done.

Chest and Back OK, here is some help… chest and back. Options are pull-ups, deadlifts, half deads, bent over rows, T-bar rows, 1 arm T-bar rows, underhand rows, pullovers with barbell, rack presses, push-ups, incline bench, flat bench. I could work my entire chest and back right there at the rack and be done in 35-45 minutes. High intensity, busting ass, doing all of the moves that none of the other pussies in the gym want to do! Hardcore frame of mind friends.

Legs – at the rack, let's see what we have here; squats, lunges, step ups, sissy squats, stiff legged deadlifts, Jefferson squats, enough to choose from that I don't need to go anyplace else in the gym! I hit it and I'm done!

Arms – barbell curls, tricep extensions with a barbell, seated tricep extension, close grip presses, close grip push-ups, behind the back wrist curls, seated wrist curls, maybe bring over a couple dumbbells and do 1 arm tricep extensions, concentration curls, alternate DB curls, hammer curls, hammer concentration curls.

Delts – shoulder presses, front raises with barbell, behind the head presses.

This is just one example of what you could do with nothing but a power rack and MAYBE a couple dumbbells. Don't even go back to the DB rack for different dumbbells, get whatever you're going to get out of that one set of 30's or 35's or whatever.

This will clear your mind and help you focus in on what you're really trying to do, keep things intense!

“Hardcore” is simply a state of mind, it's not the gym. My advice is to get into this state of mind, because there are people with far less than you that are doing a hell of a lot fucking better with getting a body.


10 thoughts on “Dedication Doesn’t Start with a Fancy Gym”

  1. Hey Brother JD, You are so right on. I trained in basement gyms were water was leaking from the pipes and the smell of rust and sweat permiated the air. Now we have these metro sexual candy ass gyms, like planet fitness catering to the losers. This is why the bulk of my training is done at my basement home gym or one of those non franchise hardcore warehouse gyms where many of the bodybuilders and power lifters train wearing their hoodie while training to avoid their surroundings and to stay focused.

    • The ugliest gyms produce the most beautiful bodies!!! As long as equipment is maintained, nobody wants to train in some dump where everything is broken

  2. Damn straight. I recently read something interesting lately. The difference between an advanced lifter and a beginner is not the amount of weight lifted, but rather what one could do with that weight (increase total body tension on compound lifts, i.e. get more out of less, mind/muscle connection.) I think too many people get hung up on putting up big numbers in the gym. Hey, let’s face it, it feels good 2 throw around some heavy iron, but at what cost? Bad form and injury usually plaque someone who only trains at their max every workout. The hell w that. How about just focusing on hittin 20 perfect reps on chin-ups? Have u ever known someone who wasn’t in good shape that could knock off 20? I haven’t. Intensity and consistency are the keys.

    • Precisely how I train, it’s all about time under tension. A couple days ago I did some seated incline db curls and used 30’s for 4 sets of 12 reps and it damn near killed me. I explain this to people a lot, all they see is me lifting the weights, what they cannot see is how hard that bicep is contracting under the load. An advanced guy is more likely to train lighter than heavy, he contracts his muscles in a way someone new cannot. You can actually add pounds in your mind. Something I have my trainees do often is grab something light and I tell them to focus on form and contraction to make that light weight feel heavy. They grow rapidly

  3. NIce article man, I have fallen out with alot of people for having the same attitude, and i get frustrated still when i see them in my local gym, talking for to long in betweeen and using the gym to pound their chests and over do the back slapping and forced reps.

    i actually train cellar dwellar style alot and use nothing but a barbell heavy stones and a pull up bar and my own body weight, and i train clients like this as wel and they fucking love busting ass that way.

    Thx for the intelligent posts, As family man with 4 kids under the age of 8 yrs i know how much more it takes to maintain the commitment to the lifestyle.


    • My family always comes first, if I have to eat nothing but tuna and rice for a week straight they’ll never go without. I know the struggle sometimes myself, but I’ve only gotten better from it


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