How To Become Instantly Stronger, Part 4

Multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself.

– Marilyn vos Savant


“Excuse me??”

“You heard me – No. I’m not going to do it. It doesn’t fit into my schedule or fit with my goals. In fact, it is a waste of my time.”

Ha! When was the last time you had a conversation like that?

For most of us, it’s probably been awhile.

Learning to say “no” is an art, or more specifically, a skill.

And yet, the key to being truly successful is learning to do just that. It’s the key to becoming instantly stronger.

Learning to distinguish the “urgent” from the “important” falls into that same vein.

There’s always too much to do, to much to try, to many bright shiny objects to be distracted by, especially in the strength world, especially for the average person who “just wants to get in shape.” As my buddy, Josh Henkin said, “Round is a shape.”

Many of us have The Goal.

We have a Clear Vision of The Goal.

We even have a Fixed Attitude – it’s “easy.”

But we fail to execute and truly achieve because we are unable direct our energy.

DE = Directed Energy

Remember our equation for gaining Instant Strength:

Instant Strength = Specific Goal + Clear Vision + Fixed Attitude + Directed Energy

This is arguably the hardest thing for us to do. Many things take a back seat to getting done what we truly want to get done. We attempt to do too many things at once and in doing so accomplish very little successfully.

With regards to strength training, exercise, and working out, it just makes good sense then that you have to exclude some activities to the practice of others.

For example, if you are chasing a 700lbs deadlift, you shouldn’t be running 5Ks. Sounds logical, but I cannot tell you how many people I see and hear of who do things that aren’t pertinent to their goals. In fact, many are contradictory!

So the next time you have a question about a program you are on or about to embark on, ask yourself the following questions,

“Why am I asking this question, really?”

“Is what I’m asking or wanting to do going to detract or distract me from my goal?”

“Is the fact that what I’m asking is not in the program I want to follow actually mean something?”

For example, many of the programs I design are for three days of training a week only. (I posted about my rationale here.) I am very specific about their structures. If it’s not in there, you shouldn’t do it.


Because it distracts you from the purpose of the program, and ultimately, from achieving your goal. It’s “misdirected energy” – the exact opposite of what we want to do.

So, practice eliminating the unnecessary.

Program Design, Modeling, and Success

One of the ways to achieve any goal is to model what someone who already has achieved what you want to accomplish. Learn what was done, and follow the same steps. This usually works assuming sound principles are followed. Which brings me to program design.

Do you really want to see results in your kettlebell/powerlifting/strength/fat loss program?

And I apologize in advance if this hurts your feelings – then stop wasting your time making up programs and messing around with nonsensical ideas like “Workout of the Day.”


Get a plan. Something that has a timeline. Something that has structure. Something that has been tested and produced results. Something with direction.

Do you really have the time, energy, and know-how to design your own programs? You’re results, or in some cases, lack of them, will tell you the truth.

If not, it’s time to model success.

Modeling saves you time and energy. And not only that, it helps you direct your energy. And that helps you achieve success.

By whittling away all the unnecessary things, you now have more energy, more strength to achieve your goals.

If you struggle with getting the results you want, and want to become instantly stronger, then get on a program.

Do the thing, have the power.

– Emerson

2 comments… add one
  • Kester Aug 6, 2010 @ 23:56

    Hey Geoff,

    Back in May you did a webinar with Kyle Battis that was the first time I heard of you – I’m so glad I took the time to listen in on that webinar. There’re only a few guys in the fitness industry I call mentors and you are definitely one of them.

    “How To Become Instantly Stronger”, these post are extraordinary. These kinds of posts are life changing. Not just in the gym but also at home and at work, for that matter, in all areas of our lives. In my opinion that’s the difference between a coach and a mentor. A coach is about the task and a mentor is about “whole” person.

    Thank you for your contribution to my growth, I really value you


  • Russ Moon Aug 8, 2010 @ 10:55

    I believe less is more, however those bright shiny exercises (windmills, Long Cycle look really enticing), however I will remain mentally strong and find my pleasure in the root fundamentals. So I must be boring but I find myself falling into the minimalist (fewer exercises with a desire to master at a deeper level) side of the coin.

    KB Muscle has increased my TGU Elbow to Post (kalos stenos) or “to palm”. I won’t give away why that happened, but it did and I am very excited as moving to that position while still a weak point is not as weak as it was….its catching up. When a different position becomes the weak point I’ll know I have reached a milestone…and it is going to be the “High Pelvis to Bend moving to Knee to Half Kneeling”. I’ll address that when the time comes.

    Modeling – yes it works, never seen it not work if you replicate the activities, you may not be a world champion but you will tangibly improve rapidly.

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