Find Your Fire

Jordan Feigenbaum
August 12, 2012
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Table of Contents

    While cruising Twitter this morning I saw this:

    The title of this blog post, Finding Your Fire, represents the single most important component in your training, nutrition, and other things in your life. When you find that motivation to consistently do the things that your goal or end results require you do, that’s when the magic happens.

    So, what motivates you? I’m not talking about what you tell other people when they ask “Why do you squat?” or “Why do you eat so healthy?” I’m asking what, in your brain, makes you want a certain goal? What’s driving your decisions to measure your food, do your conditioning, load increasingly heavier weight on the bar, or seek out coaching? Identify what’s really driving the boat, own it, and let this fuel your efforts.

    All to often people are looking for the perfect program, rep scheme, accessory work, macronutrient totals, or eating protocol. In the strength and conditioning world, good coaches know that these don’t actually exist, and instead of searching for something that’s going to revolutionize your life, it’s more important to get your mind right for your quest to awesomeness. Can you verbalize what motivates you?

    Let’s take dieting, for example, many people feel like failures 2-3x a week when they “mess up” on their eating plan. They feel like they’ve failed themselves, their coaches, etc. I would say that they just don’t really want to get leaner or bigger or whatever their goals are because if they did, they wouldn’t be deviating from a protocol. They’d be seeking out every resource available and doing the right things to get them where they want to be. The notion that there is some magical dietary plan that will allow someone to be noncompliant, yet see incredible results, is laughable. The more logical conclusion is that a person seeking body composition changes just needs to consistently do the right things that pertain to their own goals. People who really want it, who have found their fire, are doing their conditioning, pre-cooking their foods, seeking out good information or coaches, and not throwing in the towel when the going gets tough. They’re not yielding to the mindset that they deserve this or that, because they want their results more than they want the brief pleasure that occurs from making poor nutritional choices.

    By the same token, a few dietary indiscretions over the course of a week or month will not make a significant difference in someone’s overall results after a 3-6 month period or longer. There’s no need to stress out about a dinner out or a family get together, provided all your other ducks are in a row. That’s where people are missing the boat, they’re missing the forest from the trees by focusing on a single dietary flub when in reality, the other 90% of their diet isn’t on point anyway. Focus on the 90% and consistently do that day in and day out and don’t sweat the small stuff. That’s the difference maker. Figure out what will motivate you to do both the big and little things consistently and everything else will fall into place. On the other hand, it’s important to not fall in to the “paralysis by analysis” group of people, who think too much about their training, nutrition, etc. and don’t actually DO the right things.

    You must understand that there are a variety of tried and trued methods that will help you achieve virtually any physical imaginable. It’s a pretty good idea to look to those who have successfully done what you are aiming for and see what the overarching principals or their training and/or nutrition are. High protein, high carb, and low fat diets spread over many small meals every day combined with higher repetition training have forged many a bodybuilder and figure athlete’s lean physiques. People have done low carb, high fat diets and lost lots of body fat in a short period of time. The thing is, you have to actually believe in what you’re doing in order to let your motivation allow you to be consistent over the long haul. If you don’t trust your coach’s advice, or the program that you’re doing, you’ll never actually do it correctly or long enough to get to your goals. So again, what’s your motivation and what do you believe in your heart of hearts?

    All this kind of sounds like guru-talk for some secret psychological technique to get you motivated, but sadly, I have no secret for you. I want you to actually think about what you’re doing and what you want do actually get out of your training. When you can come up with a clear and concise reason for doing this hard and trying work day in and day out, then you can figure out your approach and attack it with the fire of 1000 suns. Nobody has gotten extraordinary results with an average effort. So……what’s burning in you?

    Jordan Feigenbaum
    Jordan Feigenbaum
    Jordan Feigenbaum, owner of Barbell Medicine, has an academic background including a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Master of Science in Anatomy and Physiology, and Doctor of Medicine. Jordan also holds accreditations from many professional training organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting, CrossFit, and is a former Starting Strength coach and staff member. He’s been coaching folks from all over the world  for over a decade through Barbell Medicine. As a competitive powerlifter, Jordan has competition best lifts of a 640lb squat, 430lb bench press, 275lb overhead press, and 725lb deadlift as a 198lb raw lifter.

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