Be the star of your own Action Movie

Hi everyone,

it’s time for another blog. I think I’m going to try and pump out a couple of these a month. I’ve been going down a fairly common path with my last couple of efforts and I certainly have more to say on those topics, but for now it’s time to head down a bit of a different path.

One thing that I believe is overlooked in the fitness industry, but certainly not here at Dan Toohey Personal Training, is the mental side of success when it comes to getting some positive results. I’m talking not just in terms of the umbrella attitude you need to work on to do what you have to (although that is super important) but the attitude that you carry with you every time you lift something heavy and put it down again.

To speak to the more general attitude for success that everyone from the semi-acquaintance on your Facebook wall to your personal trainer or your parents will tell you, success begins upstairs. I think everyone is capable of working on and improving their attitude towards something they want or need. It’s not always easy, but it’s not exactly a complicated thing. Once you want something enough, you will find reasons to make it happen and stop finding reasons why it can’t. I don’t think I need to go into greater detail on this, for all my clients who show up, you already have this down. If you want something badly enough, you’ll make it happen, if it isn’t happening, more than likely there is a mental issue inhibiting your progress if you take out other obvious factors (illness, injury etc.).

What I really want to hone in on today is not the 90% attitude that you see above, but the 10% attitude that separates the, as you’d expect, 90% of us, from the 10% of elite achievers. You have probably heard through your fitness experiences that whatever your goal may be, weight loss, muscle gain – the last 10% is the hardest part. This is absolutely true. It applies to almost everything. The last 10% is where a lot of people hop off the wagon. Near enough is good enough for most people. That’s why only a few people go on to realise their full potential. Think of sport at the highest level. AFL clubs don’t just pick the best of those who show up. There are thousands and thousands of guys who would sell their soul just for a chance to make it in the big time. There is an attitude that comes with being able to succeed at the elite level. To continue with the AFL analogy, this is what makes the draft such a crapshoot. It’s very difficult (although they get better at it each year) to tell what sort of mental make-up the upcoming players have. In terms of skill difference at the elite level you are talking plus or minus 5%, with a few exceptions (Gary Ablett Snr and Jnr for instance). The difference between those that have the talent and become great and those that have the talent and flame out is purely mental. If you’re picked in the draft by an AFL club, you have the physical tools to make it; the rest is down to attitude and mental strength and stamina.

What I want is for everyone I train with to start adopting the same habits that these elite achievers have. It doesn’t have to be an elite sport with a million dollar contract up for grabs for you to adopt an elite mindset. You might want to lose 10kgs and fit into a bikini again for summer. That’s great, work towards it the same way an elite athlete would. As much as we can question some of their off field decisions, these guys and girls know how to succeed at what they do. Emulate it. To get the best results and the most out of yourself and grow, you have to do more than just show up. Think about Usain Bolt. He has all the physical attributes to be a world class sprinter, of course. But for him, the difference between winning and losing is about one tenth of a second. You can’t even comprehend how little time that is unless you see it on a stopwatch. His margin for error is so small, he has to do everything right. He obviously has a team and more resources around him than any of us, but a lot of what he does, any of us can do. If you want to get that last 10%, you have to do more than show up; you have to begin doing what 90% of people don’t.

I have one mental technique that I want you to try and take to your training; whatever it may be (you can use this for other stuff too). I’ll finally get back to the title of this blog now. You need to be the star of your own action movie. Hopefully you’ve all seen Armageddon, or any other movie that has a slow motion walk in it. If you haven’t, I’ve included a video montage so you can get in the mood.

Now, putting aside how cliche it all is, remember when you saw these scenes in the context of the whole movie, if you are like me you were all “damn, these guys are badass.” It’s the cinematography and direction that makes you think that these guys are awesome, or hot, or scary or whatever they are going for but they achieve the goal of having you feel how cool they are. If you’re really like me you will also wish that you were one of those slow motion walkers having people think how damn cool/hot/badass you are too. Well, the next time you are training, that’s exactly what I want you to be.

In your mind you need to be one of these guys. You are the damn coolest person lifting weights in the world, everyone wishes they were you and everyone is relying on you to lift that weight and put it down again and they’re gonna be totally jealous of you when you do. It sounds dumb when you read it like this, but it is the beginning of being someone who is able to go that extra 10%.

You are the most badass mother or father around and you’re damn sure gonna show every sucker looking on that you are too. You need to feel like those guys in Armageddon. The fate of the world rests on your ability to do enough reps of that weight. Lucky for the world you’re the coolest mofo going around and you’ll damn sure do it. Doesn’t matter how much you struggle because no one else is anywhere near cool enough to get it done.

I want you to believe that what you are doing every time you do a rep is achieving greatness, because believe me, that’s where greatness starts. You need to be great, truly great, at doing what you are right now, before you can be great at anything harder. You need to lift that weight as though you’re saving the world and looking cool doing it so that one day when you are called on to actually save the world, you’ll be ready….and you’ll look cool doing it.

It’s not about the magnitude of what you’re doing; it’s about your attitude towards doing it. I want you to be elite, to be great. You aren’t just showing up anymore, you’re saving the damn world, so don’t give me no jibber jabber, do another rep!

Yours in training,

Dan