Tag Archives: dream

Who is Your Competition?

Ever since I founded Primal Strength Camp, and even more so since I opened the Primal Strength Gym, I get asked “Who is your competition?”

My answer probably isn’t what you expect from a typical businessman, but my honest and genuine feeling is that I have no outside competition.

That is not me being naive. The biggest gym in my town is a mile away from me. There is a Gold’s Gym less than 5 miles away. There are other gyms scattered around the town, all within a few miles of my location.

I could easily win a pissing contest about how I’m the gym in Charlottesville (and the region) with the biggest social media following; how I’m the only one with a kick ass blog that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors; how my training knowledge is light years above other trainers; how my gym is exclusive with some of the strongest lifters in the area, and actually institutes a waiting list; and how my gym has the best and most unique equipment.

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If you ask me or any of my clients and gym members, they will tell you hands down, I have the best gym in Charlottesville.

That all sounds great on the surface and sure, it’s awesome for marketing and potential sales purposes, but it does nothing for my personal growth as a business man, a coach, an athlete, or a human being.

All of the above accolades and praise, in a way, are meaningless.

Let me clarify that thought with three examples:

#1: Most Competition is Subjective

Aside from head to head competition in sport (who can lift the most weight under identical conditions, for example), most competitions are really just subjective comparisons.

Take my gym example. How would you rate the best gym in Charlottesville? The serious lifter and person wanting to sling some serious poundage would take my gym all day, but the typical housewife would much rather take group ex over at Gold’s.

What about the Monday morning office debates about who the best NFL quarterback is? We’ve all heard it and everyone has a different answer. (The classic debate about comparing quarterbacks based on Superbowl wins versus position statistics comes to mind.)

The point is, it’s all a matter of opinion.

Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks.

#2: Competition is Unrealistic

Competition is simply not realistic in most cases.

Say you wanted to be as strong as “The Mountain” Hafthor Bjornsson. Hate to burst your bubble, but you don’t have the genetics…

Just like I think it would be pretty cool to be a bassist in a rock band, I’m not going to surpass Flea from the Chili Peppers any time soon…

You need to compare apples to apples and 90% of the time, we are really just comparing apples to oranges…

#3: Competition Can Make You Drift From Your Identity

This is probably the most important reason of the three and something you must understand to achieve long-term growth as an individual.

You see, my outlook on the strength and coaching business is different than the norm.

If you ask me, I’m not in the business of making money. I’m in the business of making bad ass motherfuckers. That means I don’t take every person that walks through the door as a client or member, and I’m really focused on working with the right kind of people.

If I bring the wrong people in just to make some more cash like most gyms do, I’m letting competition pull me away from my identity and brand.

Don’t get distracted by what other people are doing. Nobody else should ever drive your progress and vision. Always stick to your values and know who you are as a person/coach/entrepreneur.

Everything else going on around you (“competition” included) is just noise…

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So Who Is Your Competition?

The above thoughts are not meant to portray competition as bad. We compete in the weight room everyday and it’s damn healthy for your mental and physical drive. You should attack the weight room (and life) with a take no prisoners attitude. If I’m training with a partner, I am out to crush him on every lift, even if he outweighs me by 50 pounds.

But competition is a slippery slope…

At the end of the day, the only competition you have is with yourself.

The minute you learn to stop comparing yourself to others (on a deeper level), and instead focus that energy to making yourself better each and every day, the more freedom and clarity you will have in your life.

Better than I was yesterday.

That should be your mantra.

Nothing else matters because at the end of the day, your personal growth is your only measuring stick.

If you plan on kicking everyone else’s ass in the gym and in life (as you should be), the path is always through self-improvement. Are you smarter than you were yesterday? Did you lift more weight than you did last week? Did you train more frequently than you did last year?

Those are equatable and measurable things.

Worrying about outside noise and comparing yourself to others is a waste of time and energy, that of which is far better spent investing in a stronger version of yourself.

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Forget about the competition. Just worry about what you see in the mirror…

— Tank

Rewards Are Worth The Risk

Some of the most rewarding times of my life and times when I made the most personal growth are times when I took the biggest risks.

I’ve always been an adrenaline junkie so things like bungee jumping, sky diving, white water rafting, and rock climbing come natural to me. Other times, like my deployments to Iraq with the U.S. Government and volunteering to go outside the wire to some of the most dangerous places in the world were a bit more unnerving. Founding Primal Strength Camp was a minor risk financially, but a big risk to my ego if I failed. Opening the Primal Strength Gym was all of the above, a big financial risk and also opening up a big opportunity for embarrassment in the public eye if I had to close my doors.

But despite the inherent risk all of these situations carried, they all have one major thing in common.

They made me feel alive.

Isn’t that the key to life? To LIVE.

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Don’t misconstrue that with just “existing”.

On a daily basis, I’m surrounded by people who are just existing and trust me you don’t want to be one of those people. Going through the motions, treading water in their careers, staying comfortable instead of doing things with their life that they dream of. People who are not living up to their potential or are waiting for something better to come along. Doing the same shit at the gym every day because they are afraid of trying something difficult.

Existing is not living.

You will never achieve greatness or reach your full potential by just existing. The people that just exist are the ones you never hear of. It’s the guy in your office who will be sitting in the same desk 15 years from now with no legacy to show for it. It will be the dude in the gym who still looks the same 2 years from now and is lifting the same amount of weight. It will be your Uncle Rico talking about how back in the day he could’ve done this or that had it not been for <insert excuse here>.

To live requires action. It takes hard work. But more than anything, it requires you to go out on a limb, to put yourself at great risk for failure, and give yourself at least an opportunity to achieve something remarkable.

I’ve felt more alive in the last month prepping the Primal Strength Gym for its grand opening than I have in quite some time. It’s a risk, but one that 20 years from now I’ll be far happier I took, rather than just maintaining the status quo in my life.

riskI was reading this article on Forbes recently, and one of the top 5 things risk adverse people said was “What if it doesn’t work out?”

But people are looking at it all wrong. The far more important question you should be asking yourself is “What if it does?”

Think about that for a second. Think about your dreams, where you want to be in the future, and what you want out of your life. Then think about where you are now and if you’re truly happy with where you are.

I’d venture to guess that there is at least some degree of disparity there.

Now ask yourself…is it worth the risk to find out what it’s like if it does work out?

You’re fucking right…

Live. Don’t just exist.

You owe it to the world, but more importantly you owe it to yourself.

— Tank

5 Ways to Change Your Life Immediately

Changing your life for the better is typically a process.  It usually starts with a goal, then a plan, and then after some period of execution, boom!  You may end up where you want to be.

But it’s never an overnight process, nor is there an end destination.

You should always be striving to get better.  Every.  Single.  Day.  If you aren’t better than you were yesterday, you are wasting your potential.  Each and every one of us is capable of great things.  I truly believe that.  It’s just up to you to believe that about yourself.

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Now while there is no such thing as overnight success, there are things you can do right now that will change your life for the better.

#1: Drop Negative Influences Out of Your Life

This one is huge!

The key to being successful is being confident and having a positive attitude.  Negative people are your enemy.

I don’t care who they are either.  If they aren’t firmly entrenched in your corner, supporting you through thick and thin, or having a positive influence on you, get rid of them.  Unfortunately, I had to do this with my own mother.  She was/is battling substance abuse and just general bat sh*t craziness since I was a little boy, and after years and years of trying to help her, I realized I had to cut the cord.

Some of you may think that sounds harsh, but some people you just can’t change.  But you sure as hell better believe that you can change yourself and who you associate with.

#2: Simplify Your Lifestyle

This kind of goes with #1 up there.

The more sh*t you have in your life, the more complicated it is.  Bottom line.

I was reading a muscle building book a while ago and it had this awesome discussion on “free will”.  It talked about how so many convicts are jacked but yet a lot of people with fancy gym memberships and all of this freedom still were weak and average looking.

The author chalked it up to “free will” and how each decision we make takes a little bit of energy out of our tank.

Convicts really have no choices in their daily lives.  Life, as funny as it sounds, is simple for them because they don’t have to make many decisions.  The decisions they do make are how they pass time in their cell and how they spend their rec yard time.

But for “normal people” like us, all of our free will is eaten up by the thousands of decisions we have to make every day.  When do I go to bed?  What tv show should I watch now?  Should I buy this?  What am I going to wear?  Where should I go out to eat for lunch?  Do I fold laundry or wash the dishes?

Somewhere buried in all of those decisions is the one to exercise.  To spend that extra 15 minutes to stretch.  To do that extra set of good mornings.

Inmates are working with a much fuller tank than we are.  So you may need to even the playing field.

The more simple your life is, the more freedom you have.  And you could use that “free will” towards making yourself better.

It's Simple

#3: Stop Watching TV

This one is a biggie.

I’m just as guilty as anyone on this.  I do watch a lot of sports and some occasional trash tv when I’m trying to get my newborn to sleep, but turning off the tube can be one of the best things you could ever do to fuel your productivity.

I did a little experiment a while back where I stopped watching tv, and in one week, I had cleared out my reading queue of 3 eBooks and finished a book on Dan John that I had been trying to finish for several months.

Some of the most successful people I know don’t watch any tv at all.  They don’t have time for it because they are too busy hustling, kicking ass, and doing better for themselves.

#4: Clean Up Your Diet

There is a direct correlation between what you eat and how you feel.

So if you want to feel good, you need to eat clean.

Lay off the fats and heavy carbs.  Eat quality proteins, a diverse array of veggies, and never drink your calories.

For a good breakdown of macronutrients, click here and here.

The reality of it is, you could have the best muscle building program in the world, but if your diet is crap, you will see no results.  You will never be able to out-train a bad diet.

#5: Find a Passion

Passion

It doesn’t really matter what it is.  Just find something that you really care about and immerse yourself in it.

Passion breeds success and allows you to focus on something that you think is much bigger than yourself.  It just so happens that my passion is strength training and getting stronger.  And in training myself, it carries over to when I train others.  I do my best to motivate and help others reach their goals.

Showing your passion to the world is an inspiring thing.  It’s infectious!  And when you are doing things that you want to do, you feel better about yourself.  You have a sense of purpose.

So even if it’s only for an hour or less a day, live your passion.  You need it for yourself, and the world needs it from you.

Alright Primal nation, time to take action!  You have an opportunity to make a difference right now, this very second!

Don’t waste it…

Evolve!!

— Tank
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Underground Strength Coach

I Used to Weigh 400 Pounds

Primal Nation,

Not everyday are you privileged to be a part of a story like this.  But a few weeks ago, my new friend Robert reached out to me on Primal’s Facebook page and brought my attention to his weight loss journey.  After seeing some of his before and after pictures, I asked him to put his story in writing because I thought his accomplishments were remarkable and needed to be shared with the world.

And boy, was I blown away.  These kind of stories are what I live for.  Seeing people fight against the odds, push through mental barriers, become stronger day by day, and persevere through great physical and emotional challenges.  Achieving the extraordinary…

Robert’s achievements are not related to Primal Strength Camp at all.  He is just a follower of the page and every now and then I hope I give him some useful information via Facebook posts and the Primal blog.  He achieved his transformation all on his own, but after meeting the man, you better believe I’m in his corner as his journey to reach 200 pounds continues.  He has a ton to offer the world with his weight loss story and we could all learn something from him.  So it is my pleasure to help him share his story here…

Start following his page here: https://www.facebook.com/OneGuysWeightLossJourney

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One Guy’s Weight Loss Story by Robert “Bear” Asche

I don’t even know where to begin or how to start this off. My weight loss journey has been one hell of a roller coaster ride filled with small victories and major fails – I could start this off with an opening cliché such as “Once upon a Time” or “It was a dark and stormy night” or one that seems more fitting for what I’ve been through, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – But I won’t, I’ll merely start off with – I used to weigh 400 lbs.

On the left me in my mid 30’s – On the right me in my mid 40’s.
On the left me in my mid 30’s – On the right me in my mid 40’s.

Now that I’ve got your attention and curiosity let me attempt to consolidate my weight loss experience and journey from the beginning so you understand where I was, and how I got there. I was always skinny growing up and never had a weight issue. In my 20’s I was a construction worker, and never had to worry about being in shape. The job was physically demanding, I was ripped, and so strong I could carry 3 bundles on roofing shingles on my shoulder which is about 240lbs up a ladder on a 2 story house – I was an animal! Ahhh, to be young again – 🙂

In my 30’s I left construction and dove head first into the web design / development field. My environment changed but my diet didn’t, consuming everything in sight, smoking, and drinking beer like it was free. My waistline started getting bigger (a lot bigger), and the muscle was disappearing. But hey who cares!! – I’m a part of the internet boom making tons of money, right?! I knew I was getting big; and within a few years I blew up to a 48 waist, and a 3x shirt. The day came when I needed a new pair of jeans so I went to the big and tall clothing store (it was the only place I could shop for clothes) tried on a pair of 48 waist jeans and they didn’t fit – They were too tight. I walked out of the store refusing to buy 50 waist jeans. That’s when reality smacked me right in the face, and I knew it was time to make some major changes in my life. I was a disaster, tired, unmotivated, sick all the time, and I fucking hated looking at myself in the mirror – I was completely disgusted with how I looked.

On the left me and my baby girl – On the right me becoming a fucking warrior!
On the left me and my baby girl – On the right me becoming a fucking warrior!

I was dedicated to lose the weight, but I did it all wrong the first time. I went from 420lbs down to 245lbs in a year and a half. My eating habits and gym habits where horrible. Diet Pepsi and fat free pretzels where my main source of food, along with chronic cardio. I had NO clue about proper nutrition; all I knew is that the weight was coming off. At 245lbs I found myself back in the construction field (while still running my own web design business part time), working hard and eating anything I could get my hands on. I remember walking in the front door of my house after work one day, looking in the mirror and seeing my belly sticking out. I weighed myself and saw that I was up to 270lbs. I decided to get back on my “diet” plan. I managed to get myself down to 209lbs. But once again I did it all wrong. I was so hell bent on reaching 200lbs I would go days without eating, consuming ex-lax like it was candy, and popping stacker2’s all day. I plateaued at 209 lbs; I eventually (and completely) gave up trying, started eating and drinking again, and ended up shooting back up to 310lbs.

On the left, me at 310 lbs. A failed “diet plan” – On the right, finally doing it right!
On the left, me at 310 lbs. A failed “diet plan” – On the right, finally doing it right!

On January 1st of this year (2013) I decided once again to lose the weight, eat healthy, and do it the right way. This time I was eating chicken, fish, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. I joined a gym and by my third visit I was ready to quit. Walking on the treadmill was painful, my shins hurt so bad I was practically in tears. For weeks I pushed myself on the treadmill in agonizing pain 5 to 6 days a week, but I absolutely refused to fucking quit! I had to put my war face on when walking into the gym because I knew the next hour of my life was going to suck. I was hoping the pain would eventually subside, and lucky enough for me it went away. No more shin pain, foot pain, or leg pains. I went from barley walking a mile in 40 minutes to running a mile in under 7 minutes in just a few short months! Sitting here thinking back, this was probably one of the hardest things I had to overcome, and it made me a stronger person all around. This part of my story is an emotional experience for me, it’s a good thing you’re not reading a paper version of this because it would probably have tear drop stains on it. Hey, even warriors cry, and it doesn’t make me any less of a man because of it. Real men aren’t afraid to show their emotions.

From barely being able walking a mile in 40 minutes to running 5k charity races!
From barely being able walking a mile in 40 minutes to running 5k charity races!

I never thought of it this way but if you go back and do my weight numbers of losing and gaining, then losing, it’s mind boggling. My actual total weight loss would be 334 lbs. Most people complain about trying to lose just 20 lbs. I can’t help but laugh at myself sometimes about how naïve I was about proper eating and rest. I recommend the book “The Primal Blue Print” by Mark Sisson – I’ve followed it religiously for the last 6 months – It works, and it makes sense. I also want to thank my new friend Tank from Primal Strength Camp for answering my questions about weight lifting, and giving me a venue to share my story. Tank is a good dude, and is VERY willing to share his knowledge of strength training. As Tank would put it… EVOLVE!!

A lot of people ask me how I eat and how much time do I spend in the gym. I spend approx: 60 to 90 minutes in the gym, 5 to 6 days a week. 90% weights, 10% high intensity cardio. My food intake is: Breakfast = 2 or 3 hard boiled eggs or Greek Yogurt, and a few handfuls of berries. Lunch = 2 cans of tuna straight out of the can along with a piece of fruit, an apple, pear or plum. Dinner = A HUGE plate of veggies (you’d laugh at the how big of a dinner I eat, it’s almost comical sometimes – LOL!) along with a big piece of grilled chicken or salmon. I graze on nuts and seeds all day – Mostly almonds and pumpkin seeds, and I drink water like it’s my full time job. I’m almost NEVER hungry!

On the left me at my heaviest – On the right are those abs I’m getting?
On the left me at my heaviest – On the right are those abs I’m getting?

Now comes the part where I’m supposed to end this somehow – But the more I think about it, it’s really a never ending story. I’m 46 years old, and as of today, I am 211 lbs, I’ve lost 99 pounds in the last 6 months, and I’m only 11 lbs. away from my goal weight of 200 lbs. – Pretty exciting for me don’t ya think? I’m doing it the right way this time, eating a lot of healthy foods, sleeping/resting, and exercise. The day I get on that scale and see 200 lbs. is going to be very emotional for me. I’ve come along way, I finally like myself again, and I like what I see in the mirror. If I can do it, so can you. Stay focused, and you will see changes, it’ll happen! Become the warrior you’ve always wanted to be. I hit the weights as hard as I can, and run sprints like I’m being chased by a pack of lions knowing that I can say – I used to weigh 400 lbs.

Join me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/OneGuysWeightLossJourney

— Robert “Bear” Asche

Dream Big and Believe in Yourself

Ok Primal Camp.

It’s time to get REAL for a moment.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m one of the contributors to the Male Health Motivation facebook page.  It’s a pretty cool page if you’ve never seen it before.  With about 50,000 followers and growing by the hundreds per day, it offers a lot of different perspectives on the strength game.  One of the best things I’ve found is that it gets a ton of interaction with comments and dialogue from the followers.

Most of the time it’s good, but something happened a few weeks ago that totally blew my mind.

During the middle of the night my time, I scheduled a post showing a photo of Tom Hardy in his role as Bane in the latest Batman movie.  For his character, he gained 30 pounds in about 3 months.  What I thought was inspirational and motivating turned out to be a total sh*t show of perspectives.

When I woke up, the post had over 150 comments, mostly negative of how “he couldn’t have done it naturally”, or “if I had a full time chef and that was my job, I could…”, or “I have kids and don’t have time”.  Some guy told me that I was setting a horrible example because “it was unrealistic” and I “was giving people false hope”.

I was baffled initially, but the more I thought about it, the more it pissed me off.

What the hell has happened to our mentalities that we immediately seek excuses and cop outs for why someone was able to do something remarkable?

Think You Can

Were their comments wrong?  Maybe not.  I don’t know if he was on roids.  I’m sure he did have a lot of help with his diet and cooking, and yes, he was paid a lot of money to get jacked.  That was his job.

But so f**king what?

He had some fortunate circumstances, but he still had to work hard to achieve that physique.  And just because he had a lot of extra help doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve something extraordinary like that for yourself!

How do I know?

Because I did it back in 2007.  I gained 40 pounds in under 5 months, simply by training my ass off and eating like a complete freak.  I did this all while holding down a full time job, being broke as hell, and I did it naturally.  For a little glimpse into my life at that time, check —-> this <—- out.

My current dream is building Primal Strength Camp into a “strength training movement”.  But guess what?  I’m still working a full time job, running Primal at night essentially, contributing to Male Health Motivation, trying to be a good husband, raising my 3 month old daughter, and spending time with my baby boy Bruce (American bulldog puppy).  I’m tired as hell at night, but I have a dream.

Listen.  We all have circumstances.  We aren’t all privileged.  Some of us may have to work 10 times harder than others to achieve the same results.

Cry me a river.  Life isn’t fair.

You have to dream big for yourself.  Will you succeed 100% of the time?  Of course not.  But if you don’t believe that you can achieve something amazing, you are doomed from the very beginning.

Don’t hold yourself back with a negative attitude.  Know in your heart that it is possible to accomplish big things, even if they do seem extraordinary.  This world thrives on people doing epic sh*t and there is no reason that you can’t be one of the shining examples of “the impossible”.

Dream Big,

— Tank
Primal Strength Camp LLC
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Underground Strength Coach

Are You a Doer?

A lot of times, the distance between where we are in life and where we want to be is not that great.

It may seem way far out there, but the reality is that it may just be a matter of “doing” before you close the gap.

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I knew for years that I wanted to be a strength coach before I made it happen.  I always had some reason (some good, some bad) that prevented me from getting certified.  Finally, one day I woke up and said “F**k it.  This is my passion and this is what I’m going to do.” I signed up that day.

After being certified I knew I didn’t want to train people in a box gym and that I only wanted to pour my energy out to people that were truly serious about training.  I wanted to train my way and help people not make the same mistakes I did.  So once again I said “F**k it.”  And I founded Primal Strength Camp.

Within 8 months I went from an uncertified dreamer to owning my own training business.

strength training

Now this may seem very quick, and some of you may be thinking “How the hell is this guy qualified to train people?  He hasn’t paid his dues with ‘in the trenches’ experience, yadda yadda yadda.”

That is a fair point actually and I would never advocate people taking shortcuts.  But the truth is I’ve been training for a long time, with all kinds of different people, in all kinds of different places.

This all serves to prove my point though.  I accomplished more in 8 months for my strength career than I did the previous 8 years all because I turned into a “doer”.  I made the conscious decision to act rather than simply dream.

For years I worked my day job, crushed the gym at night and gave out tons of free advice, wrote programs for people, coached them up for free when they should have been paying for a trainer.  And yet, there I was, being a “don’ter”.  Looking back on it I think, where would I be now if I started back then?

Are you ready to be a “doer”?  

If you have a dream, I implore you to take control of your future and get sh*t done.

Stop wasting time just thinking about it.  That won’t get you anywhere.  I speak from experience…

Don’t be like me.  If you wait too long, it might just be too late.

Evolve!

— Tank