When I first began personal training with my good friend, Bill Quick, who is the Mr. Illinois bodybuilding champion, I figured it would be an excellent way to learn some new weightlifting techniques. And in fact, he has taught me several excellent methods to train smart and hard.
The thing I didn’t expect is that he would add even more value to my training by being an exceptional motivator and leader.
The first time I trained with him, as I was about to pick up the barbell for a set, he said, “Timmy!” Once he had my attention, he proceeded to say, in a gravely serious tone, “It’s game time, buddy.”
I knew exactly what he meant.
When Bill works out, every set, even every rep, is serious business. I liken it to if you were training for the Olympics, which only come around every 4 years, and you are training to compete in your sport in just a couple of short weeks. It’s time to put your game face on. No fooling around. Every repetition is do or die.
Now I am training mostly on my own without Bill’s personal attention, yet I still bring his work ethic and sense of extreme urgency with me into the gym. Every time I pick up a bar or dumbbell, it’s game time! With this attitude, I’ve been able to improve my body well beyond what I thought was ever possible. I took the attached photo of myself this week, and I feel like Bill has really gotten the best out of me, especially considering that I’ll be turning 60 in just a couple of years.
There’s a general lesson here I’d like to point out. If you are in a position of authority or influence as a teacher, boss, parent, or coach, how effectively you motivate those around you is at least as important as what concepts you teach. The people in your charge are looking to you for inspiration and a reason to excel, so give it to them. Energize your troops—be like Bill, and be the extraordinary leader you are capable of being!
P.S. Before I was about to post this article today, I went to the gym and did my daily workout. As I was sitting on a chest press machine, resting between sets, this elderly woman ambled up, pulling an oxygen tank behind her, to do chest presses on the machine next to me. She had her breathing tubes in as she did set after set. So I walked over to her and said, “You are such an inspiration. It’s easy to come into the gym and work out when you are in your 20’s and healthy, like most of the people in here. But older people like us, and you having a health condition, you are to be greatly admired and I find you very inspiring.”
She said, “Oh, I don’t know about that, but thank you so much for your kind words.”
You just never know when or how you might be an inspiration to someone, or how someone may inspire you.