Get Your Hands Out of Your Pockets

There are several different things that I’ve responded to this morning that result in today’s post. They all collide into a common theme: people who are unwilling to do what they need to do to be successful.

This is a timely post on 70’s Big. In December I made the point that waiting for the New Year to start a new habit was stupid; “If something is important to you, do it right. fucking. now.” Then I asked everyone to commit to a competition and explained what to do after committing. This is the time of year when gyms swell and nutrition challenges are everywhere.

Yet everyone looks for a short cut. And it drives me fucking insane.

I’m currently reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography. I’ve read his previous biography and have always been a fan of his drive and determination. But reading this recent, more in depth life account shows two things: 1) Arnold always did everything he could to achieve his goals, and 2) None of us are anywhere near that level of commitment (including me). Even in the first decade of his acting career, he was diversifying his portfolio by investing such as investing in Indianapolis real estate, buying and selling properties, running his mail order business, and traveling the world to promote every movie he made. He is the epitome of undying motivation.

While Arnold fights to succeed, all of us accept laziness and sloth. When Arnold heard businessmen talking about how hard they worked for 10 or 12 hours, he’d say (and this is a direct quote from the book), “What the fuck are you talking about, when they day has twenty-four hours? What else did you do?”

Right now there are paleo challengers who want to know if they can use artificial sweeteners, there are veteran lifters going to bed late, and there are sedentary people considering exercising but not actually doing it.

These are the same people — some of you, even — that look at someone successful and think, “They are a genetic freak,” or “I wish I could have as much money as them.” And that is such bullshit. I’ve gone on this rant before, but all my life I’ve been accused of using steroids or just having superior genetics, but I’m the one who has squatted every week with hardly any breaks for 12+ years. I’m the one who made the decision to stop drinking soda at 13 years old. I’m the one who felt like shit, but woke my ass up at 7 in the morning or walked into the garage at 10 at night to train. And I’m not even anywhere near Arnold’s motivation!

Write your goals down. What do you want to do? What do you want to be? What do you want to have or know? WHO do you want to be? Do you think squatting 405 is a big deal? Then do it — because I believe every man can squat 405. Do you want to drop your body fat below 15%? Then do it. Anyone can accomplish these basic training tasks. But they are harder than being a slack-jaw piece of shit, they are harder than deciding to eat the candy, and they’re harder than being content with a sub 350 squat.

In last weekend’s seminar I made a reoccurring joke about “the naysayers”, something Arnold has talked about in various speeches. These are the people that think your dreams aren’t possible, that they are too lofty. The naysayers aren’t always out there in the world talking you down. In reality, the naysayer is you.

For gods’ sake, when you have that moment of weakness in managing your time, going to bed, eating the junk food, or going easy in training, have the courage to tell the naysayer —  yourself — to go fuck himself. When you’re done telling yourself to go fuck yourself, stop whining, stand up, and start productively working towards your goals. I leave you with a quote from Arnold:

“When you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hahd. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning, just remember that.

“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”

— Arnold Schwarzenegger

34 thoughts on “Get Your Hands Out of Your Pockets

  1. Holy Crap! I already trained in my shed at 5:15 this morning but I’m so hyped after reading that, that I want to do it again as soon as I get home!

  2. Fuck that was good. As well as the video. I wish I had done my intensity day today instead of yesterday, because I was sorely lacking in motivation going into my work sets. Fuck. I’m going to destroy my volume day on sunday. I want 405×5 squat and BWx5 press so fucking bad right now.

  3. In case you didn’t catch the reference on Saturday when I said “yeah they’re always naysaying!” That was some Tenacious D.

    “Always nay-saying…everything I create! You piece of shit!
    YOU create something like inward singing! You fucking shit!
    You fucking sit in your tower! Fucking nap…”
    –Jack Black “Inward Singing”

    Glad you’ve picked up the new book! I tried highlighting my favorite quotes in the book but soon realized my copy was starting to look like a coloring book. I’m a big proponent of writing down quantifiable (operationally defined) goals each year. A year is an arbitrary time period, but it works for a lot of things. My goals include easily achievable things that I never bother to do (this year it they include learning to do a genuine finger/opera whistle and buying all matching dress socks b/c I’m tired of wasting time sorting), as well as hard things like deadlifting 500 and earning high marks on 5 Toastmasters speeches. I would never set a goal to “exercise more often” or “eat better.” Fuck that. If that’s your goal you’ll never be able to hold yourself accountable or pat yourself on the back.

    Also, I meant to wear my WWAD (What Would Arnold Do?) shirt to the seminar but since it’s my second favorite gym shirt (after 70sBig) it was too gross to wear. If you don’t have this t-shirt it’s worth getting. There’s nothing like doing curls in the mirror with Arnold staring back at you. My next Toastmaster’s speech is actually titled “What Would Arnold Do?” and it’s about this very subject. I’ll probably post a video of the speech.

  4. Fuk yea. No PRs this week, but did set a goal of 400/300/500 by Thanksgiving. Probably devoted too much time to cycling last summer, will prioritize the weight this summer.

  5. Thanks for the article and I agree a 100%. It is always me who is saying stay in bed and making excuses… But beginning about 4-5 months I have been getting after my lifting and School. I managed to end the semester with straight Bs and one D in Trig and Im telling you this because the first thing that usually goes though peoples head is. Fuck that teacher sucked and its the test and we never studied the test. When in reality it was me, I studied the wrong fucking shit and failed my final. So this semester I am doubling up on maths, taking chemistry and I am going to fucking slaughter it with an A. Oh and I hit a 205lb snatch and a 260lb clean and jerk and a 275lb clean. I weight about 180-185 and my squat is at 385. I am pretty happy with that but I know I can do better and I will get my squat to 405 and I will snatch 225 and clean and jerk 275. I seriously doubt I would have made it this far if it was not for lifting, this site, and the people I have surround myself with. Also fuck New years and resolutions. Thank you and keep up the hard work.

  6. In the words of Ronnie Coleman, “Ain’t nothin to it but to do it.” As weird as his other sayings are, this one actually works for me. People always make excuses for not achieving their goals when you can really just ask them, if you know what it takes why the fuck aren’t you doing it?!?!?

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  17. Arnold is one of my role models for sure. No doubt he worked harder than anyone else, and possessed great genes for training, but don’t forget he also had help from steroids (since he was 14, according to one of his biographies). Personally, this doesn’t affect my image of him, but he definitely didn’t do it all on his own.

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