It was a way more gradual. There was a lot of trial and error. There’s a lot of failure and there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance and a lot of internal almost turmoil in a way. Starting off with when I put that bar down. I hit my goal for the better part of a decade what my goal was, I felt very lost.
Like what now, every training session for that entire time frame was geared towards four times better a deadlift, everything. Going to Westside, going to train at Cressey Performance. Every training program I did, every workout, everything was geared towards that. Every set every rep is what I was thinking about constantly. It’s all I wanted.
So I put the bar down. I’m like, “I’m done.” Then I’ll never forget when I was ready to go to my next workout, that next week, I was like, “What the fuck do I do?” “What do I do?” Like, I don’t have a powerlifting thing program. But I had been, I’d just spent the better part of three, four years writing about powerlifting and studying powerlifting for the better part of a decade.
Like, “Am I doing something wrong by not powerlifting?” “Is it OK not to powerlift?” “What do I do if I’m not powerlifting?” So that was a huge shock and then not to mention, a major portion of my clients were powerlifters. So does that mean that they shouldn’t be powerful anymore like and that was a big learning lesson as a coach is understanding that your goals are not your clients goals.
Eventually what happened was I started to understand that powerlifting isn’t the only way to train and that it’s OK not to be trying to lift as heavy as you possibly can all the time. I ended up didn’t. I moved to Israel for a little bit, and I was there and then I got the job coaching Gary Vaynerchuk.
They reached out and they’re like, we’d love for you to coach Gary. So I moved to New York. That is when my fitness for the first time since I was 13 years old, when I went to shit, [laughs] it was awful because I basically more or less stopped training. Not completely but not like a powerlifter not like an elite lifter I was traveling with Gary.
He was in Hong Kong, I was in Hong Kong. If he was in London, I was in London, he was in LA I was in LA, seven days a week for three years straight. So basically what happened is, I went from a very unbalanced lifestyle, focusing on my own lifting to a very unbalanced lifestyle, focusing on my business and Gary Vaynerchuk.
In that time, in which I was very unbalanced in my own fitness and my own health, I was able to then come up with strategies to help other people live a more balanced life with their own fitness, going through the most extremes of it.
It’s like when you learn to deadlift, four times your body weight, you don’t have to help other people do the four times their body weight but you learn how to help other people deadlift maybe more than they could have or wouldn’t have otherwise.
You learn the mental side of it. You learn the emotional side of lifting. You learn the recovery side of it. You learn things that you can’t learn in a textbook. It’s the same thing. I have clients who travel a lot. When I have clients who are super unbelievably busy, when they don’t want to or don’t have the desire to count calories.
I learned how to do all of these things on myself so I could help them with it. Really, I think the major thing that I try and teach people and say a lot is in order to live a “balanced life” in whatever it is, you are going to through periods of unbalance, in which in order to know where your limit is, you have to toe the line. You have to go too far the other way.
I think that’s really one of the things I’ve done for better or for worse is I toe the line so other people don’t have to.