elitefts™ Sunday Edition



1. transitive and intransitive verb- finish doing something: to take further action as a consequence or extension of a previous action, especially to continue something through to completion

Encarta® World English Dictionary[North American Edition] © & (P) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”

- Zig Ziglar

“Those who are blessed with the most talent don't necessarily outperform everyone else. It's the people with follow-through who excel.”

- Mary Kay Ash

“When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word "succeed," you find that it simply means to follow through.”

- F.W. Nichol



Throughout most of these columns, I have written about the lessons, values, and skill sets that are learned in the gym and can be carried over to business and life. With this one, I am going to flip this and speak about what I have learned in Business that can, and does, carry over to training.

It has always been interesting to me to see how many of these values and lessons from the gym have helped others and myself grow in business and as people. At the same time, there are other lessons from the gym that have helped many excel, but that wouldn't carry over very well and could tear apart a business and relationships. For the most part, it really isn't about the values or skills, but about how they are implemented. For example, following through.

There have been many times I have suggested to others to back off and pull out of a meet because of injuries, or to cut movements out of their program because they were bordering on overuse issues. In the past, there were many meets I did do while injured that I shouldn't have, and the end result was a crappy day on the platform and a bad total. There were also many times when I pushed too hard in the gym when I should have backed down. Following through IS one of the most important values that is more about how it is implanted than just putting it into practice.

Caring and Sharing

In business and in life, it is important to do what you say you are going to do – on this I think we all agree. All of us have also fallen short of doing this and have consequently seen, and been upset, when others have fallen short on us. Nobody is perfect. And while we all enter into projects, agreements, and relationships, s**t happens. The next thing you know, you find that you have fallen short of what you wanted to do, or what you said you could do. In business and in life, these will add up and will dampen your self-worth and integrity. However, over time you learn not to over-extend yourself and say things you know you can't do. When you begin to fall short, you look for solutions and communications instead of excuses. When others are involved, you let them know in advance that you won’t be able to finish or will be late on the project. Basically, you just have to become better or else your business and relationships will fail. The simple way to look at this is that you learn to care instead of share. By caring, I mean you care about the work you do. You have passion for it and care about how it will affect others, as well as the work they do. You see the big picture and care about making it all work together – as a unit.  By sharing, I mean all you are really doing is making a contribution based on your own terms, your own agenda, and your own motivations. In my years of business, I have never seen “sharing” create a passion for work; however, I have seen the difference caring can make.


In business, you also learn that "almost" being done creates the same result as doing nothing at all. Just missing a deadline in business can mean the difference between making money or losing your ass. "Almost there" just doesn’t work. How many times have you heard people speak about the great ideas they had, but they never followed through? How many times have you heard about the book that was “almost” done? The great training program that was “almost ready?" This gets even more compounded when the work that needs to be done is part of a bigger project. The bigger the project, the more links in the chain. One delay can ripple throughout an entire organization and has the potential to cripple a project. As noted earlier, in business and in life S**t can happen. So you need to be able to know and understand if you were the one that created the situation due to your own lack of follow up, and you need to realize that you are always responsible for your own actions. We all make mistakes, but the key is to learn from them and keep growing because of them. If you are one who is constantly falling short and spend most of your day coming up with excuses as to why, you need to understand that you are not the only one that is being impacted. Many times this impact extends further than you know. You also need to stop making excuses and complaining, because you are not being part of the solution. You are actually part of the problem. When you find yourself making excuses or complaining, take a step back and ask yourself why.


You may be asking what any of this has to do with training.

Sometimes in training, not following through is a good thing. While this can also be true in business, it is usually not the case- at least not as often as you will find in the gym. The take away is that it becomes too easy to use this as an excuse in the gym, instead of using it for when and how it was really intended. Every day I hear something or read something about how they need to de-load or need some time off, or even how they have to back it down. All of these have there place in time, but for too many I have seen this become an excuse to not do their rehab work, skip their core work, not train their accessories, and skip some of their training days. It usually just begins with skipping the last movement of the day's program to maintain muscle balance. This ONE skipped movement on ONE day turns into that entire movement being removed from the program. Then follows another and another and another, until they are down to doing just one or two things and then leaving the gym. The excuse will be “training economy,” “not having the time,” “don’t want to over train,” or about 50 other things. We have all heard them, so there is no need to create the never ending list of “training to be a puss” excuses.

Take Away and Purpose

A few months later their strength comes to a halt, or they get injured and have no idea why, but they will have a boatload of excuses why that will ALL have nothing to do with them taking responsibility. In business, making excuses for the lack of follow up might work sometimes, but if it continues, you will be fired or go out of business. In life, your continued lack of follow up and excuses will catch up to you, and you will become “that” person. (However, the impact of this may not be felt as much as it is in business because over time “birds of a feather flock together.” So you will not notice that you are “that” person when this ends of being the same type of people you spend most of your time around). In training, the lack of following through will lead to lack of progress or injury. So out of the three, the impact is felt less because the accountability is usually lower.

This column has one major take away and one simple purpose:

The take away is to hold yourself to a higher standard. Make your own accountability higher than anyone else would ever expect.

The purpose is that when you look at yourself, are there things you are not doing because you know you shouldn’t be doing them? Or are you simply not following through and doing what you really know needs to be done?