Why You Need to Fail

I’m going to try as hard as I can to not articulate this point like every other cliche article, video, speech about why you need to fail. But if you feel like you already know what’s coming and don’t want to hear my take, feel free to move on.

Whether it’s in the gym or it’s in life, failing is essential to growth. Why?

Because we must be constantly reminded that progress is not linear. That we can’t always succeed and succeed and succeed, and that our goals can always be achieved effortlessly.

In the gym, failing a rep or failing at a PR attempt is a great thing. Because that’s exactly the moment when you grow the strongest. Until you fail at a rep, you never truly know what your threshold is. You may be getting stronger rep by rep, day by day, but you never truly know how much you can go before you can’t go any more. Your mind is never met with true adversity in the gym. While you may struggle at reps, really failing a rep, I mean failing hard, not even able to budge the weight, gives your body and your mind a threshold and challenge.

You’ve suddenly realized there’s something you can’t do.

And you learn from that. You change up your programming, you change up your diet, you change your mindset, you change your behaviors, then get after it to attack the weight the next time to lift that barbell off the ground.

This is important in the gym and in life to fail because not only do we find motivation in that, but it reminds us that success and growth isn’t easy. And it shouldn’t be. If we continue to have everything given to us without the need of hard work, dedication, and intention then we’d go through life living with a dull flame, and excitement, achievement, and self-pride would hardly exist.

We must also keep in mind that rewards from success are not always monetary. Doing a good job at work or hitting a PR in the gym brings increased self-confidence, pride, and allows you to learn the steps that it takes to succeed so that you can apply it to the next goal you have set.

So train to fail. Embrace failure as something to learn from. You will never know your true potential until you reach your maximum threshold. From there, you will be able to recognize just how much it will take to achieve the goals that are important to you, and you’ll be informed and educated from the failures you’ve had to help you succeed in the future. All to help you become the strongest, healthiest, and happiest you can be.

The Importance of Grip Strength

Do you train to strengthen your grip?

If you answered no, it’s time to start.

Grip strength, basically, one’s ability to make a fist and resist force attempting to open it up, has many benefits in the gym and also in every day life.

Here are 3 reasons why you should be training to improve your grip strength:

It allows you to lift heavier in almost any exercise

Because so many exercises involve holding a dumbbell or barbell, improving your grip strength will allow you to focus more on activating the proper muscles instead of focusing on trying to hold the weight in your hands for dear life.

Every day tasks will become easier

Think about how many things you do on a daily basis that require you to use your grip. From opening up a jar to carrying bags of groceries from the car, your grip is crucial for achieving tasks and promoting functional independence as you age.

Promotes healthy joints

Improving your grip strength will have positive effects on the health of your wrists, and more importantly, your elbows. The elbow joint is extremely prone to injury, so training your forearm and grip muscles will strengthen the surrounding musculature and ease up your tendons to keep the pesky elbow pain away.

So how do you increase your grip strength?

Use more Free weights and fewer machines

Using free weights forces you to use your grip more, therefore strengthening it due to repetitive use. Machines make it easy to isolate specific muscles, but often don’t require a strong grip since gravity is not an opposing factor/force, which is the reason why so many free weight exercises with dumbbells and barbells work your grip and other muscles (hence, free). Here are 2 great exercises that build a strong grip:

1. Deadlifts

Deadlifts are a great way to increase your overall strength, and one of the important muscles that the deadlifts train aside from your back are your forearms, i.e. your grip, since you are holding a heavy barbell as you lift it up and down.

2. Farmer’s Carries

A farmer’s carry is executed by holding two dumbbells of medium to heavy weight down at your sides while in a standing position. From there, you should walk around 10-30 yards at a time, depending on weight, while maintaining an upright posture. The main muscles activated are your forearms and traps, but is a great exercise to incorporate into any functional training program.


Even the smallest muscle groups require big attention and your forearms and grip strength are no exception. Being able to hold onto dumbbells and barbells with more weight, longer, will help develop strength and endurance for functional activities leading to a stronger, healthier, and happier life.

The Importance of Gratitude

I recently went away on vacation with some friends and after no more than ten minutes upon arriving at the resort I could not stop telling myself how lucky I was. How lucky to have been able to afford a vacation like this, how lucky to have friends who could come with me, and just how lucky I am in general to be alive and have the life I have.

The volumes of gratitude that overcame me also made me extremely happy. Because it is so unbelievably important to recognize the things you have in life – all that you’ve been given, all of the help you’ve received along the way, and to have the ability to do the things you do. If we lose sight of where we came from, what we’ve been given, and what we have, we can become greedy, unappreciative, and unhappy. Expressing gratitude also makes us humble. We can understand that we did not do this all on our own. The help we’ve been given along the way made us who we are and has given us the opportunities that we have had. Most importantly, gratitude can help us recognize that not everyone has what you have.

The importance of this post is not only in gratitude for the material things like a vacation. It is about everything in life. Because if it is not material things, it may be good health, or happiness, or just your physical life in general. Being thankful for everything about your life gives you perspective. Every single one of us is extremely lucky to be here on this earth, but not everyone is lucky enough to go college, get a job, and live in an apartment in a major city. Not everyone is lucky enough to have good health, a family, and food on their table. Taking these things for granted if you have them will lead you to devalue what has been handed to you because you just expected it as the norm, and you will live life expecting these fortunes (your health, money, and whatever you have) to last forever, unchanged. If you’re lucky, they just might last forever, but for some, this will not be the case. And if that happens you won’t know how to make what you do have work, and you won’t be able to choose to be grateful for the other aspects of your life that you do have, because you have been taking them for granted the whole time.

If you’re feeling that you don’t have things to be grateful about, which right away I will tell you that you do because you’re alive in this world, there are many of ways in which you can create things to be grateful about. If it is money you seek to be grateful for, make attainable, realistic goals to gain wealth by dedicated hard work and persistence. If it is good health you seek, do just the same. If it is friends, again, do just the same. Dedicated hard work and persistence is the key to achieving any goal. It’s how and what you focus your hard work and persistence towards that dictates what you are going to achieve.

So be grateful. Don’t forget who has helped you every step of the way from birth to now, and thank them. And thank yourself for being a hard working, persistent individual who won’t stop until you get what you will be grateful for.

 

 

The Importance of Looking Up

We all need to take a second to look up, right now. Away from your computer, phone, or whatever you’re looking at to read this. Even if you are sitting inside, look around you. Just for a few seconds.

Our world is becoming so inside of ourselves it’s scary. All we seem to do is look into ourselves and our phones that even the simplest things like looking up, are becoming more rare.

Taking a moment to look up and around you forces you to step out of your own little world and puts you in everyone else’s. It allows you to see the beauty of your town, neighborhood, city, and even more importantly, the human race.

Looking up allows you to appreciate many things we take for granted over time. It’s humbling to recognize just how small we are in relation to the whole world.   We spend almost all of our time inflating our personal world, giving ourselves the impression that we are better than everyone, that our time is more important that everyone else’s. The truth is that none of those are true.

You alone cannot be great, all powerful, or all important. It’s the things around you, the people, the architecture, the environment, that all shape who you are and help you live the healthiest, strongest, and happiest life you can, and that needs to be recognized and appreciated. Not forgotten. Thinking that you’ve done it all by yourself is naive.

So look up, appreciate the life you’ve been given and step out of your own small world and join us in the one that gave you all that you have, and all that you’ve yet to discover.

Just drink water, dammit.

Here’s an extremely quick and easy way to improve your health and, if you are trying, to help kick-start those weight-loss goals. And it all comes down to three words:

DRINK WATER, DAMMIT!

Water is so unbelievably important to the body and it can’t be understated. There’s a reason why they say you can’t live without water for more than 3 days. Because it’s THAT important.

Now when I say this I mean pure, plain water. I don’t mean drink flavored waters or Vitamin Water or juices. Just water – nothing else. Try to make water 90% of your liquid intake and you will feel better, lose weight, and ultimately live a healthier life. Staying hydrated (you’ll know when you are, because your pee will be clear and copious), is one of the most important things you can do for your body. You’ll rid your body of toxins more effectively, and you won’t be taking in massive amounts of excess calories through sodas and sugary drinks. Even those fruit or juice blends that we think are so good for you, are more harm than health because of there very high sugar content.

Now this is all easier said than done, but there’s a reason why I say 90% of your liquid intake here too. It’s almost impossible to go 100% water. Beer, wine, soda and coffee all get in the way. But limiting your intake of these bad liquids will help keep the weight off and make you feel incredibly healthier. Just recognizing how bad these drinks are in excess will lead to a healthier life. And it’s as easy as choosing water at the restaurant instead of a Coke. Try that for a week or two and see the difference. It’s cheaper (actually, water is free), and better for you.

So again, JUST DRINK WATER. Your body will thank you.