20 Things I’ve Learned

Insights from a Hardbody Athlete Coach

  1. Results Matter Most In training, the only thing that truly matters is the result. It doesn’t matter what should happen according to textbooks or online forums. What matters is what actually happens. Once you understand this, you can focus on getting real results.
  2. Think Outside the Box Don’t feel pressured to conform to traditional training methods or beliefs. Innovate and find what works best for you, even if it means going against the norm. This applies to both training and life.
  3. Learn from Experienced Coaches Take training advice from those who have trained themselves to a high level or who make a living by getting results with real people. Remember, coaching and doing are different skills. Find mentors who excel in both.
  4. Absorb and Adapt My favorite Bruce Lee quote is: “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.” Take advice from others and tweak it based on your experiences to create something uniquely effective for you.
  5. Effort Over Perfection A good program performed poorly is worthless. A mediocre program done with high effort can yield great results. Combine a solid program with maximum effort for amazing outcomes.
  6. Balance is Key Keep your training, nutrition, and overall attitude balanced. Avoid overreacting to new trends and under-reacting in the long term. Tools like Swiss balls and kettlebells are useful but don’t rely solely on them. Similarly, balance your life outside the gym to enhance your training results.
  7. Real-World Research Research can guide your training but remember that real-world application may differ. Use research as a guide, not a rulebook, and adapt findings to your unique circumstances.
  8. Comprehensive Training A complete training program should include movement preparation, flexibility work, injury prevention, core work, cardiovascular training, strength training, and recovery. Most programs only cover a few of these areas. Aim to address all aspects for well-rounded development.
  9. Principles Over Methods Training principles are timeless, while methods may vary. The principles of overload, specificity, and progression are fundamental. Apply these principles consistently, even as you adapt your methods.
  10. Recovery is Crucial No one improves just from training; improvement comes from recovering from training. Pay as much attention to recovery as you do to training for optimal results.
  11. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies Regardless of debates about pesticides or fructose levels, people who eat more fruits and vegetables are generally healthier. Don’t blame the obesity epidemic on apples; focus on a balanced, nutritious diet.
  12. Use a Foam Roller Prioritize the quality of your muscle tissue before focusing on strength, size, or flexibility. Incorporate foam rolling into your routine to maintain muscle health.
  13. Read and Learn Reading enhances knowledge and perspective. Read widely and critically. Don’t believe everything you read, but don’t limit yourself to what you already believe.
  14. Train Regularly and Wisely Beginners often need to train more frequently, while advanced athletes may need to train harder but less often. Adapt your training frequency to your level and goals.
  15. Adapt to Stress Your body doesn’t differentiate between types of stress. If other areas of your life are stressful, adjust your training to avoid burnout. Balance your overall stress load to maintain progress.
  16. Effective Supplementation Most supplements don’t deliver significant results. Focus on training and nutrition first. Use supplements to accelerate progress only if your foundational practices are solid.
  17. Single-Leg Training Incorporate unilateral (single-leg) exercises into your routine. Most sports and daily activities involve single-leg movements, and they can reduce spinal load compared to bilateral exercises.
  18. Power Training Insights In power training, both fast repetitions with sub-maximal loads and the intent to move the bar quickly are important. Balance both approaches for optimal power development.
  19. Respect Your Influences Acknowledge and learn from the influential coaches and mentors in your life. Their guidance and experience can shape your training philosophy and help you achieve your goals.
  20. Stay Real and Reflective Be honest with yourself about your progress and challenges. Surround yourself with positive influences, appreciate your loved ones, and stay humble in your journey.


In developing your training philosophy, focus on real-world results, balance innovation with tradition, and always be willing to adapt and learn. By integrating these principles into your training and life, you’ll set yourself up for success both in and out of the gym.