Quick recap

In "The barbell" I touched on

  • Simplicity being critical in training.
  • I explained that laying a solid base before implementing accessory equipment was a "fool proof" way to attack training long term.

In "Work ethic" I touched on

  • How you cannot hide from hard work - if you don't put the work it's painfully obvious
  • I went on to express how I feel about putting your all into something- can make you  successful at anything - not just lifting weights

For this part let's talk about heart and balls


I was just on elitefts.com (shameless plug) shopping around for some things I need, and for shits and gigs I searched Heart- and to my surprise, three items popped up.

1. A chakra pendant

2. A heart rate monitor

3. A rower

I couldn't find where you order "heart" - and in case there is any confusion when referring to having  "heart" I mean- win - lose- or draw you will give it your all that's "heart."

Heart is trying to accomplish a goal even when the power cord is frayed and spliced together with rolls of electrical tape trying to salvage one last burst of current in a desperate attempt to finish what one set out to do.

Can you get strong with out heart? Absolutely- know this though, if you want to be great, and I mean top 3-5 great you're going to need heart and a lot of it. You can't piggy back a training partners heart, you can't fake it, because sooner or later just like passion (a synergistic component to heart)- it will call your bluff real fucking quick.

Bomb out of a meet or two, tweak something on your opening squat, go without a PR for weeks- months- years. It's real easy to "suit up" when the sails have a strong wind at your back- when that head wind kicks up, and you second guess everything, that's when you will need heart. Stare down some divorce papers, get let go from work, use a candle to light the house when the power company cut the lights from lack of payment. Have to borrow some gas money or hitch a ride to go squat- because you aren't finished yet.

That's heart- now mind you I'm not expecting a lot of you to get it when I write, I think of myself, and people I've had the opportunity to exchange stories with and greatness always seems to be the primary objective in conversation. So don't run out and ruin your life and call that having heart- it all boils down to accomplishing a goal by any means necessary. Another extension of the get shit done highway is balls - heart and balls combined is the best-designed route to get where you want to be.


Did you giggle? I didn't ... ok, I did so fucking what- I'm immature - judge me. Ok now I'm just paraphrasing here, but Stan Efferding said: "The 800 pounds on your back doesn't give a shit about your college degree." That's an excellent way to explain balls- you can have every degree- write up the perfect plan down to each accessory movement- without having the balls to get under that bar, it's all a giant fucking waste of time.

It takes grit- you can't be sweeter than blackberry jam and expect to get under a weight that can- and will kill you- and hope to sit down and stand back up- no fucking way. This weekend I was talking to someone  (Dave Tate)  who's forgotten more about training than most of us think we know- he made two excellent points that I've been thinking about since.

  1. Three things can happen when you take an attempt 2 of them are bad- you miss - or you get hurt- the 3rd being you make the lift. So you already have roughly a 66 % chance of shit going bad.
  2. He said- he can within a good percentage pick whos going to miss- it's usually the guy headbutting the bar -screaming-or doing some weird ass shit pre lift, those are the guys who miss.

Knowing out of the gate the odds are stacked against you 66% it's going to take balls to know that and still give it hell. The second thing he mentioned was someone attempting to trick themselves into believing they had heart and balls, as I stated earlier you couldn't fake that shit, it'll call your bluff and cash you out. Balls can't be bought or taught - I do however think you can be conditioned to "have balls" but that's  if you have heart.

Now I know there is always an exception to every rule, but moral of the story is this: if you want to be great, or even do great things- it's going to take a barbell- some plates- a nasty work ethic - and a whole lot of heart and balls.

That's it- all the glitter and glitz that has replaced the yoke as a way to identify a powerlifter will die off- and when the next fad comes along those three pillars will still stand as a tried and true method of success.