The Deciding Factor

There’s simply one thing that will remain the main deciding factor on excelling in a strength sport or being able to maintain a physique that you desire.  


Every single new guy in the gym wants to rage on how freaking hardcore they show out. They claim they lift hurt, they lift without safeties in places, they don’t de-load, they just rub on whatever hurts (possibly foam roll) and hit it hard all again.  Bragging about how bad-ass this makes them.  

Suddenly a year later their Instagram accounts now show them out with friends and picking up new hobbies, and that bad ass lifter you saw is nowhere to be found.  

Usually when you hear someone claiming “I’d rather break in half than miss a squat” is someone whose never been broken in half.  How stupid is it to even come close to making that statement?  Less then 5% of any person in the physical fitness realm will amount to anything just in those circles much less the status of someone like Arnold. How many people do you think walking down the street know or care who the hell Phil Heath is?  I bet it’s very, very few.

Yeah, take that 405 squat and push the limits as hard as you can trying to get your ass to touch your calves while you blow out your lower back.  Living in your Instagram fame, and being the strongest lifter in your local YMCA or Anytime fitness.

Eventually, after you’ve been this douche bag I’ve talked about (if you continue to stay in strength sports) you’ll learn that moderation is your biggest ally.   You should never miss a lift in the gym if you are a person that competes.  The only time a PR matters is on the platform, or in a competition.   Always leaving one in the tank means that your likeliness of injury will be way lower.  Grinding out that one rep honestly probably gives you .2% more strength over a given year, but being out due to injury for 6 months and you’ll miss out on 5-7% strength gains over that given time.  

The moderation mentality also applies to how the gym affects your life.  When on vacation, don’t lift. Enjoy your vacation. You get one to two weeks a year of vacation why waste any of that time in a gym? Do you really think that you’re going to lose months and years worth of strength gains by not hitting the gym over a two-week time span?  Learn that moderation also applies to how you set your priorities and your diet. Yes, I fully understand working out being a priority, but sometimes that has to be pushed to the side.  When you have family functions, alone time with your spouse, your kids ball games, etc.

When you end up feeling like the gym is a never ending obligation rather than a privilege you’ll start to hate going.  It then becomes a job and not something you “enjoy” doing anymore.  This happens a lot of time when people don’t understand every aspect of life needs ample moderation to remain in good balance.  Which includes training, diet, and cardio.  

My best lifts came from training cycles that I never maxed out on.   I also didn’t stress out that when I missed a day here or there that I would lose all of my strength.  I’m not reaching to the other side and saying that you can miss a day a week and be okay I am saying that all aspects require moderation.  

Learn to use moderation to your benefit and you’ll be a much stronger lifter over the long term.  With far fewer injuries.  

- Dallas Norris

Dallas Norris