If you want to know how NOT to do something…I’m your guy. I started weightlifting full time in December of 2010. I’m approaching my 5 year anniversary in the sport. It seems like much longer. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in the sport. Mainly, a lot of really questionable decisions. I’ll get to those shortly.
I haven’t written a true blog in probably 3-4 years. I’ll be writing more from here on out though. I realized I missed it. I was also inspired by my good friend Jon North’s latest blog to pick back up on the blog.
Mistake #1: Never settling in with a team
I am probably known as the “nomad” weightlifter. Here’s a short timeline:
Jan-Dec 2010: Cedar Falls, IA (Trained by myself mostly, some at United Sport & Athlete)
Jan-May 2011: Trained at California Strength (Bay Area, CA)
June 2011-May 2012: Trained at Average Broz Gym (Las Vegas, NV)
June 2012-Jan 2013: Opened up my own gym in my hometown (Graettinger, IA)
Feb 2013-July 2013: Trained at the Olympic Training Center (Colorado Springs, CO)
August-Dec 2013: Recovered from hip surgery
April-June 2014: Mash Elite Performance (Advance,NC)
Jan 2014-Present: Trained at Crossfit Pandoras Box (Colorado Springs, CO)
The good side is…I learned a LOT. Both on what to do in weightlifting and what not to do. I was introduced to a ton of different programs, coaching styles, and personalities. The experience itself I wouldn’t trade anything.
The mistakes…I moved too much. I could never really settle into a good life situation. At Cal Strength – I was there 5 or 6 months. I couldn’t get used to the training. I would do everything the others were doing, but, for some reason my squats went down. So, what did I do? I started adding in extra squat workouts at night secretly. Ummm…..Terrible idea. Not only did those sessions never go well – but they had a huge impact on my normal training sessions. I tried doing TOO much!
At Average Broz – I was there about a year. I loved Vegas and I loved training there. My downfall was that I never had a consistent lifestyle that would benefit my training. I was always stressed for $. Not only that, but, I was a jerk to a lot of friends because I was SO focused on weightlifting. Looking back…I realized I was incredibly selfish. There’s a HUGE difference between being dedicated and selfish.
When I opened my own gym…I soon found out very quickly that I needed some good training partners. While it seemed like a good idea at the time to open a gym in a town of 800 people…Obviously it probably wasn’t! I did have some good training there training with kids, but, didn’t quite scratch the itch
Olympic Training Center…This was the most demanding training. Zygmunt Smalcerz is the man. I respect the heck out of that guy. However, I pushed so hard that I didn’t listen to my body. I started having some hip pain and decided to push through it (Nationals was close). This led to tearing my labrum in my hip and requiring surgery. As much as I recommend training while tired/sore…You must used your best judgment.
Mash Elite Performance: This was a great experience. Trained with Travis Mash, Jon North, and a whole crew of other great weightlifters. I’ll expand on this later.
Crossfit Pandoras Box..I’ve been training here technically about a year and a half. I’ve had some of the best training of my life.
Every single move was to chase training. To chase the best atmosphere. What I quickly learned was that if the other elements in your life aren’t lined up (relationships, work, housing, $, etc), no amount of atmosphere or training can make up for that stress/constant change. You must feel comfortable and happy in the situation in order to expect good training. I know a lot of people talk about “you have to be miserable to train.” I always believed this. Upon reflecting on this though – I found out it couldn’t be farther than the truth for me. I always moved because I never set up the other things in my life that would promote a longer stay/situation.
So how do you learn from my mistakes? Do more research before you move or make a decision. Settle in. When things start getting a little shaky – don’t bolt. Stick with it. If I could do it all over I should have moved straight to Bozeman, MT in January of 2011. Steve Gough, Mike Karchut, and Tyson Bradley are amazing people and coaches. I only chose elsewhere to begin with because of training partners. That was it. What I didn’t realize was…That small town atmosphere/feel to Bozeman was probably exactly what I needed! Get all the other aspects in your life together…and the training will follow. I always thought it was the other way around. It took me almost 5 years to learn…But after spending almost a year and a half in my current location (steady job, seminars, $, relationships, stress) – once all that was set up – my training has taken off. Take it for what it’s worth, but, those are my $.02.
Merry Christmas 🙂