You Have To Want It More Than You Are Afraid Of It

The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is geared to the new to intermediate powerlifter. LIVE, LEARN and PASS ON.

MONSTER GARAGE GYM is one of the premier powerlifting gyms in the US.

THIS WEEK’S Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: You Have To Want It More Than You Are Afraid Of It 


Coaching Log:
For the novice lifter it can be a daunting thought. You are new guy/gal at the powerlifting or strongman gym. So many muscle-laden warriors with their surgical scars, detached this, torn that, their competition war wounds as tangible evidence of the well worn path down the road less traveled….that is the road of competitive lifting.

You watch them each and every training session moving the big weights as the bar bends to the mercy of this heavy load. You see them move those big Atlas Stones, the ones that when the few competitive strongmen are not around, sit in still silence in the corner of the gym that so few go to.

Then it gets worse. You are at home and you see those throw-back-Thursday videos on social media of power Gods like Coan and Karwoski walking out and doubling what it seems like today’s lifters need hydraulic gear, spring-loaded wraps and a high box just to attempt. Worse yet, there is more bad news on your television. It is Zydrunas Savickas pummeling guys half his age with strongman feats that seem like something out of an old Hercules comic book.

How will you ever compete with against these immortals, not to mention the seasoned lifters at your hard core gym who are using your deadlift max as their warm up weight on the military press?

The simple answer is, you won’t, and you shouldn’t. As you are breathing in that sigh of relief you are also asking the question, “why.” The why is this, your competition at this stage of the game is you, your own numbers, the rules of the competition, the experience of having lifted in a first competition, as well as the books, the articles and other varieties of education that is out there about your sport.


A mistake many make is looking at the top of the mountain and thinking how daunting of a task that it must be to scale it. How impossible it might seem, especially as they look at the warriors who have scaled those mountains at sit at their peak not unlike the solemn faces on Rushmore.

Coan, Savickas, Karwoski, so many other legends loom as both inspiration as well as intimidation. But in the world of powerlifting or strongman or any other iron toting sport, as with any aspect of life worth anything, this phrase still rings true….You Have To Want It More Than You Are Afraid Of It.

One of our most successful master powerlifters at the Monster Garage Gym, is 2-time WPC World Powerlifting Champion John Ponzetti and I often hear him tell his tale to the newbies at our gym. He came to the M.G.G. with the intention of joining no less than three times. Each of the three times he entered the lobby, before pulling open the big wooden door that leads from the safety of the gym lobby into the weight room he heard the sound of weights clanging that only 10 plates per side can make, the sound of massive deadlifts going up and down for reps, the yelling of the other lifters as they use their voice to help their training partner move that massive weight from point a to point b. John entered that lobby three times, and each of those three times after hearing what was looming on the other side of the door, he walked back outside, got in his car and drove home. John wanted the results he knew could come from training from in there but the fear of what was on the other side of the door was keeping him away from his goals. Contrary to the saying, in this case, the fourth time was the charm. Like thrice before, John exited his car in the lot, walked through the main entrance door, walked a few steps further and put his hand on the doorknob of the weight room door. But this fourth time, John turned the doorknob of the door that leads from the lobby to the weight room, paused for a moment, then with a deep breath, opened the door to his future. John reached a point where wanted it, more than he was afraid of it. And this is the key to facing your mountains, your Coans, your fears. Finding that first meet, signing up for your first meet, training for your first meet, learning the rules and regulations to your first meet then competing in your first meet. Many other lifters will be there, but your competition will be the lifter you see in your mirror each and every day, and this lifter will be your competition for the rest of your life. There will always be someone strong(er) and there will always be someone less powerful than you, but keeping your focus on the lifter whose reflection you see each and every day will be the foundation for any mountain climbing endeavors you will have in the future.

Loads of people train, we see that ad nauseum on socialookatmedia until it makes us ill, but that perfect angle of the one good set in the middle of a half-hearted “training” session, a session strewn full of texts and ‘likes’ and non-focused distractions, will never take the place of facing one's fears and putting it all out there in the heart of battle that is a competition.

Our operations manager and ret. United States Army Green Beret at the M.G.G., Rich says committing to the deadline is the first thing you can do toward actually achievement of that goal. In other words, you can train strongman, but once you sign up for the meet, and there is a competition deadline looming, your training takes on a completely new meaning because come meet day, nobody cares what you ‘posted’ about during your training, nobody will care about your program, your meal plan, your sets, your reps, nothing. They will want to know how you lifted when it counted and that was at the meet. But here is a little secret I will share with you…..shhhhhh, don’t tell a soul…..are you ready????.......nobody really cares about your meet either. We compete for ourselves, we compete because we want to improve on ourselves, we train, we pick a meet, we enter a meet, we then train, we then pick a meet, we then enter a meet because life is short at best and at the end of this day you can either have documented through your smartphone, useless moments at the gym, or you can have lived the journey that is competitive powerlifting, competitive strongman, competitive lifting.

Quick question….raise your hand if remember last 15 posts of anyone at the gym? Neither does anyone else. You will however always remember competing, and if you don’t believe me, ask someone with a few decades of meets under their belts. They can tell you the meet venues, the meet details, their meet numbers, their meet p.r.’s and all because they all wanted it more than they were afraid of it.

The accompanying video is of one of our newer lifters, Big Ben competing in his first meet. He chose a novice, four event strongman event. He signed up for the meet and with that looming deadline, he trained and faced his fears, because he wanted it, more than he was afraid of it.

Live the journey that is competitive powerlifting and competitive strongman and competitive bodybuilding. Those lifters that might chuckle at you for not winning are doing so behind a mouth that inspires no one, and a body that has never competed.

As I have in the past, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes, a passage from the speech, “Citizenship In A Republic,” The Man In The Arena. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Wishing you the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM

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