Mike O’Hearn: Success in Fitness Comes From Staying Consistent, Not Expecting Recognition

The bodybuilder movie star believes committing to the process is more important than the destination.

Episode eight of The Mike O’Hearn show on Generation Iron‘s YouTube channel was released on July 22, 2022, and O’Hearn’s co-anchor for the episode, Vlad Yudin, wasted no time getting into the meat of the show:

Have you ever had altercations with anyone in the [fitness] industry?

Yudin references a previous history between O’Hearn and powerlifter Mark Bell, who is known for creating the Sling Shot®, a bench press accessory tool. It turns out that the “beef” between O’Hearn and Bell started as a work — meaning it wasn’t serious, but spectators of their back-and-forth, including Yudin, thought it was legitimate. O’Hearn could not recollect anyone “of stature” that he has quarreled with, though he admits there are plenty of people he doesn’t like and is confident that feeling is mutual.

Check out the full video below. The episode focuses more on O’Hearn’s experience in the fitness space rather than on a particular piece of training advice, as has been the case in previous episodes:

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Social media has changed the culture in the fitness industry as everyone now has a platform to perform for an audience, whether to show off their physique, a big lift, or promote a particular mindset regarding their fitness journey. O’Hearn and Yudin chatted about bodybuilder and fitness model Joey Swoll, who calls out negativity in gyms or other fitness settings on his social media. O’Hearn supports Swoll’s endeavor to shame those behaving negatively towards others.

It seems to take a lot to rile up O’Hearn in the gym. He isn’t bothered by people who don’t wipe down their equipment after using it or those who take long breaks between sets as long as they allow others to work in on the machine they’re using. Although he doesn’t define it, O’Hearn reiterated that he has an “old-school” mentality, which presumably means he is okay with a grittier setting in the gym as he trains at four o’clock in the morning.


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O’Hearn’s “old-school” mentality is supposedly also fully embracing the journey rather than the destination when it comes to fitness, combined with the notion that fame, recognition, or an audience shouldn’t influence behavior.

Get up, do the work, every single day. Stop complaining, nobody cares. Today, it’s safe space and mean words. Life ain’t easy. Stop looking for handouts and pats on the back.

O’Hearn uses his consistent habits as a way to carry him through his struggles. When he lost his parents, he spiraled a bit but caught himself by trusting the process and sticking to his habits. He suggests to his fans and followers that if fame and recognition are the main reasons for training, it will ultimately lead to failure. He believes fitness success is committing to training every day, and recognition comes as a byproduct of being better than those not putting in the same commitment to their fitness goals.

Featured image: @mikeohearn on Instagram