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.

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#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