There’s No Gold Star for Attendance

by Johnny Pain

Woody Allen is noted as saying that eighty percent of being successful in life is showing up.

It’s hard to succeed in the gym, in a relationship, in business, or as a parent if you aren’t present for duty, that much is true, however what actions you take and what decisions you make on the playing field are certainly of significant importance as well.

I am a known proponent of the importance of consistency in training. I’ve openly stated that being consistent in a poorly designed (by internet strength training site standards) program is infinitely superior to half-assing a space-age program from the most en vogue guru on the net.

This goes for diet as well.

Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, NutriSystems, all of these diets will work for a person who needs to shed some poundage. The key is that they need to be done consistently over a long enough period of time for the effects to compound and yield noticeable progress.

A good portion of my business is of course tailoring diet and exercise programs for individuals who pay a professional rate for my services. If I were not competent in my ability to best pair the individual with the plan that will produce the most result I would have little to offer and would not be in business long.

This being said, my own mother is overweight. Significantly so, and has been for most of my life. I could, without a doubt, aid her in remedying the situation and getting her on the road to a healthier, more high quality existence were it not for one roadblock:

She doesn’t want to listen to me.

I can’t make her do anything she doesn’t want to do. No matter how much I want her to change her ways, ultimately that will not happen unless she makes a conscious decision to do so. I can only hope to inspire her to take that path through being supportive of good decisions that she does make, and providing feedback and tips along the way that may spark something.

Getting back to the consistency bit, if my mother were to take up Zumba and get head over heels into Weight Watchers or (gasp) the Zone diet, I would be thrilled. Ultimately anything she was to get fired up about and be consistent with would yield significant returns on her efforts.

Ok, but didn’t I say that showing up wasn’t everything?

It’s not. Consistency may be King, but couple consistency with laser-like focus and truly extraordinary efforts and you have an unbeatable mix. Going through the motions will get you farther than the majority who do nothing, but it will only get you so far.

You can’t hope to produce extraordinary result from ordinary effort.

It has long been stated that each workout is simply a “brick in the wall”; this is true, and further illustrates the importance of consistency in the big picture. A small pile of beautiful bricks will do little to keep would-be conquering hordes out of the city.

Build a wall of these beautiful, hand crafted, selected for quality bricks and you have a truly awesome site to behold.

Think of each workout as a single brick, but remember that is only part of the equation. It may be eighty percent of it, but it is the other twenty percent, inspecting each brick used, that separates the good from the exceptional.

Inspect your bricks; make sure that whatever individual task you are undertaking as part of a bigger picture is as high quality as you can muster. Every set, rep, sprint, kiss, game of catch, toast, fuck session, apology, you name it. Make it the best you can make it.

Showing up may be eighty percent, but last time I checked there were no gold stars given for attendance in life.

Show up, and do it better than everyone else when you get there. Repeat.

 

Johnny Pain is the man behind StrengthVillain.com as well as the East Coast’s notorious Greyskull Barbell Club and several other ventures. He is the author of several books on subjects pertaining to strength and conditioning. He can be found comically entertaining questions on his Q and A forum at StrengthVillain.com or can be reached for consultations, training seminars, or speaking engagements at john@villainintl.com.

Also, you can follow him on Twitter: @thejohnnypain

 

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11 Responses

  1. Mitch

    “Going through the motions will get you farther than the majority who do nothing, but it will only get you so far.”

    Brilliant.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:28 am

  2. Butch White

    These three lines are worth memorizing and some of the best no bullshit wisdom I’ve read in quite some time. Well said JP.

    “Inspect your bricks; make sure that whatever individual task you are undertaking as part of a bigger picture is as high quality as you can muster. Every set, rep, sprint, kiss, game of catch, toast, fuck session, apology, you name it. Make it the best you can make it.

    Showing up may be eighty percent, but last time I checked there were no gold stars given for attendance in life.

    Show up, and do it better than everyone else when you get there. Repeat.”

    December 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm

  3. Vim

    Good stuff man. I know guys that hit the gym every other day, every week, but theyre just “going through the motions”. Sure, its better than not going at all, but its not really going to get them anywhere significant.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm

  4. King Schlong

    Or there’s the Flex magazine approach: accumulate so many mediocre bricks that they can’t bear there own weight and collapse on top of you.

    December 6, 2011 at 7:49 pm

  5. Jason

    I’ve never commented on anything online but that was a badass article. truly inspiring! love your closing quote.

    December 8, 2011 at 1:06 am

  6. Worth

    I needed this, thanks JP.

    December 8, 2011 at 11:24 am

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