When I put a post about needing article ideas, I got some real good ideas from a bunch of guys. The one I kept getting the most was, "What would you do differently?" So, here is a list of things I would do differently if I could go back in time. Please keep in mind that this is just my opinion.

  • I would not do any tricep extensions. My reasoning is two-fold. First, I think extensions were the main cause of me tearing my tricep tendon. The overall abuse far outweighed the benefit. Second, I think compound movements help more. People forget how much a dumbbell bench works the triceps as well.
  • I would get out and walk more or ride a bike. I try and get out and do that 4-5 days per week now and it really helps my recovery and general heath.
  • I would have done more forearm work. I do a ton of it now and I feel it really helps to keep the elbows healthy. I know a lot of people will disagree with that, but it sure has helped me.
  • I would do more recovery stuff. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. I like Epsom salt baths, hydrogen peroxide baths, and hot/cold showers. All of the above don't take very long, but they will go a long way towards helping you recover and keeping you healthy.
  • I would do more stretching. I think this is going to be a roundtable soon and many will disagree with me. However, I think the stretching I do now really helps to keep me healthy.
  • I would keep my reps on good mornings to 3-5. I used to work up to singles and my form went to hell. The only good mornings I would do for singles are the chain suspended variety.
  • I would do speed bench every other week as opposed to every week. This also tore up my elbows to the point where I have had to eliminate it.
  • I would do more rear delt work. I did almost none in the beginning and I think this hurt my shoulder stability.
  • I would have dealt with my injuries and tried to heal them. Instead, I simply tried to ignore and hide them. This worked for a while, but it caught up to me this year. I was in such bad shape that I couldn't bench the bar without pain or walk 10 feet without being in agony.
  • I would have taken the time to talk to more lifters. You can learn something from everyone and most lifters will talk to anyone. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend that you ask questions.
  • I would listen to my body better. A lot of times I was beat up and would train anyway. Taking a light day would probably have served me better in the long run. George Halbert once told me that powerlifting is a marathon and not a sprint. He meant it would take you many years to reach your goals. Skipping some workouts will help you reach those goals in the long run.
  • I would have trained my abs better. There were times where I would take the easy way out and do something easy or nothing at all. The abs are a key component to squatting and deadlifting. You need to do the hard stuff.
  • I would have never have gone 308. The added weight at that point just made me fatter. Fat doesn't help once you get to a certain leverage point.
  • I would have taken the time and learned the bench shirt better. Like it or not, if you are going to lift in equipment, you better learn to get the most out of it.
  • I would have tried to go to more big meets. I went to a bunch, but I could have gone to more. This would have allowed me to network with more lifters. Knowledge is power.
  • I would have video taped more of my workouts. It is much easier to understand the mistakes you are making if you can see them. I was just lazy and that doesn't help.
  • I would have read more of the Russian books. I have read more as I got older, but I should have done more reading earlier in my lifting career. It is important to understand the "how's" and "why's."
  • I would also never do another floor press. I realize that this a great exercise for some. For me, it was a pec strain every time I did them. If a specific exercise gets someone hurt, how productive can it be for that individual?

As you can see, there are many things I would have changed. But, I am still learning as I go.  I think half the fun is in trying to figure out just what you, as an individual, need to be doing to get stronger. Learn from your mistakes. I am trying to learn from mine.