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Misses are Just Warm-ups – Part Two


Hello Diesels!

Several months ago, I put up a post here about having the right mindset for success in strength training, called Misses are Just Warm-ups. Go here to read it => Mindset of a Strength Training Warrior.

In that post I talk about why you can’t just give up if you fail to do something or miss a lift. You have to keep trying several times, because sometimes you’re only a few attempts away from success.

Success in Strength Training is based on many things, but one of the most important things is right inside your head.

And no, I am not talking about the brain as a part of the central nervous system, I am talking about the little conversations you have in your head before and after you attempt something.

What you tell yourself inside that little head of yours can have a profound effect on what you are capable of doing.

If you stroll up to a lift and say, “Man, I’m not sure if I can do this today,” I can just about guarantee you that you will not be successful at it.


You’d have much better luck approaching the bar like you are a brainless Tarzan and NOT THINKING than when you talk yourself out of success before you even try it.

(If you have not seen the movie, Greystoke, Legend of Tarzan, you absolutely MUST SEE IT right away. There are some classic unintentional humor lines in there you MUST EXPERIENCE, especially when the French guy tries teaching Tarzan English – AWESOME.)

Fatman Blob (Original Style Blob)

Second Generation Blob

Fatman Blob Clone

In that original post, I tried to lift the Fatman Blob Clone after several months of not touching it. It is very wide, slick, and had gathered some rust, so I knew it wouldn’t be like lifting one of my smaller, rougher, second generation York Blobs, but I was still able to lift it like 4 or 5 times right-handed, even after several failed attempts, because I approached that feat with the proper mindset.

Remember, some people consider the York Blob Clones impossible to lift
, just because they’ve never seen anyone lift them. I actually think more people would be lifting them simply if there were more of them around and if a couple more people broke them off the ground.

Speaking of impossible feats, anybody remember Roger Bannister? He’s the first 4-minute mile dude.

Before he motored his ass around a track four times in less than four minutes, scientists thought that your heart would explode and your legs would fall off at the hip joint if you tried to break the four-minute mile mark.

Then Roger Bannister stepped up to the plate (damn right, a baseball reference) and lifted his figurative Fatman Clone and then people all over the world started making the 4-minute mile their outright bitch.

Quote that I love from this clip:Bannister, a superb technician, has suffered some criticism in the past for adopting his own rather unorthodox training methods, but they’re paying dividends now

Now, let me ask you this. Do you think Roger Bannister had thoughts like these swirling through his head while at the starting line…?

  • Oh man, nobody’s ever done this before…
  • Oh boy, I don’t know if I can do this
  • Oh, might know, it’s windy today – now I have that going against me
  • Maybe my unorthodox training methods won’t pay off after all
  • I don’t think anybody here thinks I can do this…

Hell no! None of that crap was going through his head.

He was focused. He had a strategy. He was a freaking Diesel-Powered Savage!

If you want to be successful in a lift, you need to go about it like Roger Bannister. You need prepare wisely, you need to start out at a solid pace and when it counts most, you need to finish strong.

If you miss or if you fail, don’t let that crap bother you – don’t let it get in your head.

Especially when it comes to Grip Training, you can not stop trying to lift something if you don’t get it the first time.

Oh, you missed that Gripper close? So what – your hands are better warmed up now. Get it next time.

Oh, you missed again? Readjust your hand placement and go again.

Oh, you missed again? Go squeeze a harder gripper and then come back to it and try it again (thanks, Paul Knight)

Whatever you do, don’t just give up after you miss. Misses are Just Warm-ups.

I can’t tell you how many people have written or called me since the first Misses are Just Warm-ups post that I put up telling me how big of a difference this simple concept has made in their training.

It really is all about mentality, and recently this proved to be true in my own training like never before.

As you know, I seriously messed up both middle fingers in the middle of February. I could do almost no Grip Training during this time without serious burning pain. Hell, I couldn’t even turn a door knob without serious pain, so I had to modify a lot of my training.

I won’t lie, I was afraid of what would happen to my numbers due to this lay-off.

But after this session that I filmed recently, I am not nearly as worried about it as I was before…

Pinching Two-45’s, for me, is a feat that I often struggle with. I normally have to train on it several times over the course of a couple of weeks in order to be able to pinch them. Even when my Two Hand Pinch is solid, I might not be able to do Two 45’s. So to be able to do it after not doing any static pinch training at or near this thickness made me extremely happy…

And as you’ll see, just because I didn’t get it the first time with both hands, I kept going until I got it.



Wear this motto on your shoulders like so many others have done. Make your order here.

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In this interview, we discuss the concepts of the Westside Method
as well as AJ’s Mental Approach toward producing these World Record Numbers.
It truly is a look into the MIND OF A CHAMPION!

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4 Responses to “Misses are Just Warm-ups – Part Two”

  1. Carlos Rodriguez Says:

    Great article!!! The battle always begins in the mind!!
    If you fail the first time, try again, never give up!!!

  2. Jeremy Priestner | Art of Lifting Says:

    I think a lot of people forget about the mental side of the things when it comes to training. It’s a shame because getting the mental side down really helps out the physical side of things.

    This is one of the themes I try to blog about often, since no one seems to be talking about it. I’m glad to see that you’re spreading the word.

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