I’ve always been jealous of people that have come up with a saying that could be applied to just about any situation.
You know, like “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” or “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”.
Even my dad used to have a cool saying…
It was “not now son, Daddy’s drinking. Daddy’s gotta drink.”
Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I still don’t really know what that one means. But I think once I’m a little bit older I’m sure I’ll figure it out!
But without any further ado, I present to you my own contextually malleable piece of wisdom:
Don’t ever strive do anything more than the absolute bare bones, bare assed minimum.
(with my luck, I’ll find out this has been said just like that millions of times over by millions of other people, but for right now, let me bask in my moment of glory will ya?)
What does the word “minimum” mean to you?
Does it stir up negative connotations and implications?
I bet it does.
But it shouldn’t.
If you’ll permit me, I’d like to take a stab at changing the way you think.
Because, the minimum to me means putting forth the least amount of input(s) necessary to get the desired output. And from that definition, it would seem like just common sense to only put forth your best MINIMUM effort at everything you do!
In my chubby years of adolescence (middle school) I was naturally an overachiever (and no, not just when it came to the ingestion of mini tacos… hardy har har…). I always put my absolute all into each and every academic endeavor. And by doing so I achieved my desired output, which of course was to maintain straight A’s (Looking back I’m still trying to find that value in that…). What I didn’t realize at the time, is that I could have attained that exact same output, with significantly less effort.
This seemingly obvious revelation dawned on me in high school math class, when “homework” no longer became mandatory and we were evaluated solely on the our exam performance.
Now, for some reason or another I have always excelled at test taking. In middle school homework was obligatory, as it was collected each week and weighed heavily on our final grade. But since this was no longer the circumstance, I decided to run a minor self-experiment. What I decided on, was that I simply wasn’t going to do homework anymore. Sounds wonderful, like something every kid would do if presented the opportunity. It was wonderful. And for me homework was nothing more than time consuming, as I fully grasped the material simply from class participation. The desired output was still the same, I wanted straight A’s, but now I was attempting to hit that same output with fewer inputs (the inputs in this case being time invested into studying).
MAJOR NOTE: I am in no way saying that homework doesn’t have its place and that nobody should ever do homework! This is MY anecdotal example. Please take it for what it is. And not what it is not! (shame I even have to put disclaimers such as these!)
Now this experiment didn’t turn out to be all apple pies and motherhood. As I quickly became known as “the slacker” and un-favored by many of my high school math teachers and students alike. Whenever the teacher asked me to publicly bring forth the answer to the assigned homework problems I could do nothing more but shrug my shoulders and offer an innocent grin. More often than not this greatly irritated my instructors (along with many of my college professors… which we will get to shortly). But what did that really matter? I still got my straight A’s. I still got my honor roll. I still got my desired output. And I got it all with much less input.
Throughout my high school years I impressively refined my minimalistic approach. Constantly seeking and striving for that perfect bare minimum. Finding that holy grail of the ABSOLUTE least amount of effort that I had to put forth in order to get my desired output was consistently my goal in everything academia. This lead to a reputation of me being “that smart jackass that doesn’t have to do anything but still get’s all a’s”. Ok. I’ll take that J ( I never thought the jackass part was very fair, but I could sympathize with their sentiment – I’d be annoyed to if I was consistently working harder than someone else yet receiving no additional recognition for it!) – but what people who thought this of me didn’t realize, is that in many ways, if only they too could have adopted my minimalistic approach, then they too could have saved themselves countless hours of valuable time. Time after all, is something that you can never get back, and is of the utmost value to me, as I hope it is of the utmost value to you as well. That is why finding that bare minimum is so important, because it grants you the gift of “more time”. Now that’s not to say that everyone could have gotten away with doing almost zero homework, but I guarantee that every one of those other straight (again still trying to figure out the value of that…) students could have done less of SOMETHING and still gotten their desired output.
This was reaffirmed to me yet again as a musician. Throughout middle school and half of high school I would practice my craft for hours and hours on end.
Not the flute. (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
I was an ax man! And I got damn good. But what I didn’t realize until my later high school years is that I was practicing WAY too freakin’ much! Is such a thing possible? Absolutely – especially when you have so much free time from never having to do anything homework! Somedays I’d practice for up to 12 hours a day, often until my fingers bled.
Then it hit me again. This time in an even more abrasive and obvious fashion. I was at my weekly guitar lesson, and after three years under this particular instructor, I finally conjured the sense to ask the question of “how much do YOU practice”. To my complete dismay, he told me that he practiced for only about an hour to two hours a day, three to four days a week.
So here’s a guitar virtuoso, who for all these years I just assumed that throughout his life that he’d ever have gone a second without a guitar in his lap, telling me that he only practices for two to three hours a day! And only on four out of the seven days of the week.
But the truth is, is that was all that he had to do to get the desired output, which was to be as good of a player as he was. His practice sessions may not have been all that lengthy, or even all that often, but rather they were incredibly focused and productive. He was doing the bare minimum. And he was doing it damn well.
cut my playing time back. This in turn forced me to make each session more focused and efficient. And to my amazement, I not only maintained my current skill level, but continued to improv, and at a rate unlike I never had before.
One part of the lesson there is not only was I doing too much, but I was also doing too much of stuff that that really didn’t matter or just wasn’t focused/productive. By scaling back to the bare minimum, you are often forced to focus only solely what does matter and that one or two couple of things that have the biggest impact on reaching your end goal. When you strive for the bare minimum, you have no choice but to weed out any unnecessary efforts!
Fast forward to college. (Last piece of my personal story – I promise it won’t be too long winded) I go in as an accounting and finance major and of course had every intention of doing nothing more than the absolute bare bones minimum to get the my degree and to be on some Dean dudes list. Come my sophomore and junior year, since I was a student with one of the highest GPA’s in the major, I was repetitively approached by my one accounting professor (who I had the displeasure of being stuck with for four semesters) to submit my resume to his friends at certain prestigious accounting firms “as a personal favor to him”.
I never did.
This naturally pissed him off.
And I guess I can understand why.
But I still don’t (or didn’t) care.
And that’s because my desired output of college was never to work for someone else, but rather to work only for myself. Contrary to what many folks attend college for, I actually wasn’t there to be taught to work for someone else. I was there to better myself and to be better at my own thing. Which is exactly why I refused to put forth any effort towards anything that didn’t contribute to obtaining that what I wanted!
Was I was being selfish by not doing this man his “personal favor”?
Damn right I was!
And that’s what you need to be too!
Realize that you need to take care of yourself first, before you can ever truly take care of someone else. Being selfish is not always such a bad thing.
Had I taken the time to tailor and submit my resume to one of these firms, I would have had to waste my time (and theirs) explaining to them why I never really wanted to work with them in the first place. And wasted time is something I will never get back. That’s too valuable to me.
If nothing else, you should always learn to think in terms of opportunity cost. What are you potentially giving up by doing what you are doing right now? Think,” what is the best alternative that is now forgone by me doing what I am currently doing”. By taking the time to tailor my resume, I would have been giving up valuable time that I ended up devoting towards developing super awesome content for Chronicles. It’s not that I’m not a nice guy and don’t like to do people favors, but the opportunity cost was simply too high, and the effort put forth wasn’t even a viable input towards generating any sort of progress towards obtaining what I wanted!
For some people it is their dream to work for a big four firm, and that would have been a worthwhile effort. But for me, accounting doesn’t make me any sort of joyful. And I refuse to live a single second pursuing something that is not fulfilling. Perhaps that professor of mine will read this someday and realize why I was the way I was.
He was a very nice man anyways…
Enough of my anecdotal history. Let’s put this into something you can really use. Like putting the bare minimum into strength practice.
Getting strong is no different! It’s all about finding that beautiful bare ass minimum baby. Because doing anything more than that is a malinvestment of your time, and will only result in diminished, if not negative returns. But realize that the tough part is not implementing that bare minimum, but rather finding it. How much is too much? How little is too little? And I’ll admit it, this was a tough one for me too. Even though many programs yielded substantial gains for me, I couldn’t help but always feel like I could still do LESS and be just as stronger, and/or just as lean.
I was right.
I was doing more than I needed to.
Let me take you back to the year that I pursued ketosis.
What a fun year that was… heh.
The truth is however, I had never been so lean in my life. But the amount of effort I was putting forth to be that lean was RIDICULOUS! Think about it. I had to just about give up all carbs and live off a high fat diet for a year! By no means an easy task.
But what did that really mean??
It meant no beer!! Not even COLD beer (which just so happens to be my favorite kind)!
Clearly, the inputs in this case were personally not worth the desired output of maintaining sub 8% bodyfat 😛
So that’s when I began figuring out what could I possibly do less of, yet still maintain my single digit body fat percentage. And let me the first to tell you that it was no easy process figuring that one out. For a while I just thought that being ketogenic might actually be the bare minimum.
But through due diligence and careful research I yet again found myself putting forth more effort than was needed to obtain my desired output.
That was when I came up with the Metabolic Reset through utilizing the power of fasting, tactical binge days, and concentrated carb dosing. Now the amount of effort I had to put forth was significantly decreased, with no negative correlation on the output – as I am still able to maintain a single digit body fat percentage throughout all four seasons. And I get to have my COLD beer! I simply just had to work smarter. Not harder. This is the power of investing the time to seek out that bare ass minimum my friends. And what a powerful and worthwhile investment it can be.
But being the straight shooter that I am, I don’t want you to confuse the “bare minimum” with “easy”. The bare minimum is often times still a lot of work. And personally, I work my freaking ass off at everything that I do.
I am not presenting you with the task of finding the easy button. Rather I am presenting you with the task of finding the efficiency button!
My point is that you should NEVER do any more than the absolute minimum amount of work that is necessary to obtain the results that you want. And for my purposes, and many others, that bare minimum for fat loss is the Metabolic Reset.
Now let’s talk about finding that beautiful bare ass minimum in terms of getting strong(er), leaner, and more conditioned.
Wait a minute!
I’ve already got it!
But for real! In this eBook I offer three possible “minimums” to ensure that you find exactly what the least amount it is that you have to do, in order to reach your goals – whether they be strength, conditioning, or fat loss related – so that way you have more time to spend doing the things you love and less time In the gym. (But what do you do if what you love is exercising like me? I’m still trying to figure that one out myself… I should probably find some new hobbies…and maybe some friends too…)
Did I provide you with the bare minimum amount of information to persuade you to start changing the way that you think about putting f
While I may have been practicing on honing this craft for many years, I am still far removed from mastering it! But what I want you to get out of this is that you should never do anything more than the absolute bare bones bare assed minimum in order to get what you want. Anything more is well… just silly!
Drop some love in the comment section below. If I’m feeling sprite, I may give out a free T-shirt or eBook. Maybe 😛
Introducing the Flynn-Thruster
But if you haven’t signed up for our SuperHero Development Program yet, then I’m afraid I’m going to have to go ahead and accuse you of being downright silly!
This is only four bucks a month right now folks – for an utterly ridiculous amount of content! But don’t take just my word for it – check out what others are saying HERE in the comment section!
Anyways, here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect in next months issue that you can incorporate right into the Birth of a Hero Program…
The thruster is a pretty cool full body movement, and a great smoker if that is your intention. But I wanted to fix a few things. First off – stop bouncing and hanging off your passive structures at the bottom of a squat. This is unnecessary and I often see some major inward bowing of the knees (valgus collapse) when this is going on. Control the eccentric, pause at the bottom, then explode up all the way through the press. And to add even more sizzle to the steak I have continued the movement with a unilateral “tag-along” – meaning you go from the squat thruster, right into a lunge thruster in order to up the misery… ahem, I mean fun index!
Enjoy this. And be sure to sign up for our SuperHero Development Program if you haven’t yet. Seriously guys and girls, it will be the best four dollar investment of your life!
Here is Mark’s first goblet squat video:
On top of that there is some hyperextension going on past terminal range and his depth is clearly restricted. Little hard to tell because he is moving so fast but it looks to me like he’s trying to back squat his front squats as well – sitting back more so than sitting down.
Again, can’t really tell much about the footwear – but if those are running shoes, then ditch em’.
Tailbone tuck going on there too.
Now onto Mark’s second video:
Much more stability in the spine and depth has greatly improved.
Oh, and look – the shoes are gone! Schweeeeeeeeet.
Still a little tailbone tuck and some undesirable mobility in the spine, but at his rate of progress I’m sure he will have this cleared up in no time.
Improvements such as these need to be acknowledged and commended! Mark has been training both hard and smart and it is showing!
Please offer any feedback you have for Mark on how he can improve his squat in the comment section below!