How To Become Instantly Stronger, Part 1

Imagine having the power to do or accomplish anything you wanted. The world would be your oyster so to speak. That 700lbs deadlift PR would fall. That SSST with the 24kg would be an easy 250 reps. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was an exact formula to help you do just that?

Before I tell you about this formula, I know I have some loose ends to tie up.

  1. Normandy. I’ve been postponing doing this blog post. It was a profound experience. I WILL get to it, I promise.
  2. Your Questions. I apologize – I started this series just before I went on the road. So, I’ll get to them this Friday, although they will most likely be in a format that’s the easiest for me to get you your answers – writing. Video is fun, but time-consuming. Not saying I won’t ever do videos, but just not every time.

Ok, back to the formula.

Instant Strength = SG + CV + FA + DE


SG stands for Specific Goal.

I know what you may be thinking, “Not another goal setting post…” and the reality is this isn’t. It’s about getting stronger – instantly stronger. Remember, strength isn’t just physical. In fact, the physical manifestation of strength, is yes, mechanical in nature, but also psychological, or metaphysical. It exists first and foremost in your mind.

Napolean Hill, in his timeless classic, Think And Grow Rich, states in the very beginning that “thoughts are things.” Which means that thoughts are real. They exist in time and space. They are the seeds of achievement, and as such, need to be cultivated.

When I was a senior in high school, I wanted nothing more than to win our high school wrestling championships. I thought about it daily, routinely. I thought about how it would feel, what I had to do to get there. I lived in the future as if I had already accomplished my goal. And it wasn’t really surprising when I did win. I had already planned it out in my head.

The same goes for any goal – strength or not. It just so happens that we’re talking about getting instantly stronger, so we will apply this concept to that goal.

So, what is it that you absolutely must do? You’re just dying to do it? Is it that 700lbs deadlift or that SSST with the 24kg? (For me, currently, it’s get to 240lbs – already up to 222lbs from 213lbs four weeks ago – because I have better leverage to lift heavy stuff there. And yes, I want to lift heavy stuff.)

Write it down.

And don’t just write it down anywhere either. Write it down in someplace important – someplace you can see and will see routinely. Someplace that is really important to you.

Writing down your specific goal allows your brain to really focus on the task at hand. More importantly, it allows you to actually have a fighting chance at achieving them.

Don’t believe me?

Take a look at this study done on the 1979 graduating MBA class of Harvard Business School. Researchers asked the following question,

“Have you set clear written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”

This was Harvard, remember, so what do you think the answers were?

Probably as high as 90% said “yes” right?


Here are the results.

  • Only 3% had written goals and plans (!)
  • 13% had goals but they weren’t in writing
  • And the rest – 84% had no goals at all (!!!)

Here’s the fascinating part of the study.

The researchers caught up with the class members 10 years later and conducted follow up interviews. Here are the results.

  • The 13% who had goals were earning twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all

And here’s the mind-blowing part –

  • The 3% who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, 10 times more than the other 97% put together!*


What do you think that will do to your strength gains??

Imagine where you will be in one month from now. Three months? Six months? One year?

Now go write that down specifically.

In the next post in this series, I’ll reveal what CV is and why it’s vitally important to getting instantly stronger.

Until then, remember, thoughts are things. Go capture your thoughts in writing.

*From What They Don’t Teach You In Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack, a nice little book my father-in-law gave me about 10 years ago.

5 comments… add one
  • Coach Mike Jul 19, 2010 @ 10:58

    I sat at a dinner table with Olympic gold medalist Dan Gable in 83 when some one asked him if he set goals as a kid. He looked at the kid and said “Yes, I wrote them in big letters and hung them in my room. If you can not close your eyes and see yourself winning you can’t!”

  • Roper Jul 19, 2010 @ 11:20

    Good post.
    More abbreviations… SG + CV + FA + DE
    What about KB, GTG, PTTP, RKC ?
    My head’s spinning.

    Incidentally, I believe that Harvard study never actually happened, it’s a myth.

    But that’s not to take away from your post, just an interesting side note.

  • Russ Moon Jul 19, 2010 @ 13:01

    High School – me too as a freshmen who lettered only on special teams I visualized when I would make 1st Team All-State in football, then I told people and they all laughed in my face. 4 years later I made the goal and none of those people were around…..

    These are stretch goals but achievable so let’s go public.

    TGU – w Beast Kalos Stenos, I’m at 40kg so a ways to go.
    * as a mini-goal I want to somehow get connected to Brett Jones, whom I believe resides in VA my home state to engage in a coaching session centering on the TGU.

    SSST 250 by HKC in September, I have a feeling after Kettlebell Muscle my endurance will be improved 😉 I told Dave I would be able to do this by September HKC , so now it is “Death before dishonor.” I have to deliver. Previous best 221, but “its a long way to 250.”

    Kettlebell Muscle weeks 1-6 – condition myself enough to graduate to 32 kg’s and survive the workout with solid form….and the courage to voluntarily continue through weeks 7-12.

    DMP – Beasts

    16kg swings – I want to do some fundamental volume work and build up to a long set of 1,000 reps allowing for switching hands but continuous.

    That mentally will prepare me for the 1,000 rep challenge which will be another mountain to climb. Just want to make sure my shoulders are conditioned and strong enough for that so they can take the reps.

  • Billy Meyer Jul 21, 2010 @ 10:22

    The hardest part about setting goals are setbacks, like pain. It’s hard not to anger your way towards your goal like a tyrannical dictator over your emotions. Pain and emotions is where I get confused. But my goal is always in mind. It sure is hard not to focus on the pain a lot too though. Injury’s suck… period. But they give you that extra drive to get where you want to go. My goal, helped by my physical therapist, is to complete RKC one. It’s hard for me to see it, but I believe it and can imagine the elation that I would have being there. Because not only that, but it would open up the doors to so many other things that are missing in my life. Like coaching baseball… my passion. We’d be doing KB stuff in the offseason from all of the stuff I’ve learned. You have seek out the right people to get there too, and be patient. Something hard for us athletes. Thanks for this post. I needed it today and yesterday. Oh, just read your next Blog. I’ve got the emotion part down.

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