What a GREAT success story I have to share of Brian “Curls” Pascal.
From slowest and weakest athlete to BUILDING HIMSELF into 1 of the Strongest, Fastest and Most Powerful Athletes I have ever worked with.
I posted this on my Instagram but I want to link it on the blog as “Curls” stopped by the gym the other day and I shared his story very briefly with the athletes.
You see, Curls was in 3rd grade when I began teaching Physical Education and I remember him being tagged first during almost every tag game.
He always worked hard and kept his head held high, even as a young kid, he had a GREAT attitude.
Time flew by and although he was chubby and slow in elementary school, he was active and played 3 sports; Football, Basketball & Baseball.
When I transferred to the middle school to teach and Coach, Curls was now an 8th grader.
He was tall and looking strong and athletic.You could see he had muscle on his frame and was growing / building himself UP.
He was getting into sports on a more serious manner and was doing lots of calisthenics on his own: push ups, squats, sit ups and pull ups he told me, every day.
Our most successful athletes are always doing some form of training on their own.
This ownership and self motivation has a BIG carry over to your success as an athlete. The kids who can ONLY train when Coaches or told by others what, how and when to do it never become BIG success stories.
When I began training athletes from my garage, Curls was a sophomore in high school and although big and strong, he lacked the athleticism and agility. He could move big weights in the gym but needed more power and overall athleticism.
We built the speed, agility and athleticism into his overall training and he transformed himself BIG time. His transformation was a result of ALL the things he did, NOT just the training.
THAT is where MOST kids miss out.
They train but then have EXCUSES for poor eating, poor lifestyle choices, lack of self discipline, etc. Too many Excuses and Not enough Reasons or Goals to drive them to Succeed.
Read on and Learn How to Change That…..
1)He would have eggs, oatmeal AND a protein shake for breakfast.
Curls would wake up early and make his own breakfast. MANY athletes blame Mom “didn’t wake me up” or “I don’t have time”. We MAKE time when we WANT something, we make EXCUSES when we don’t want it. WHAT do YOU do?
2)He packed his own strong & healthy lunch.
He made his OWN lunch. NO buying the garbage school lunch that doesn’t support being a strong, successful athlete.
3)He ate a protein bar for snack during school or packed 2 pieces of fruit. Eat Strong to be STRONG!
4)After school he would lift with the Football Team AND then get home and have more healthy food for a post workout meal. This is critical for recovery and muscle building.
5) Then, AFTER training at School he would lift at The Original Underground Strength Gym (Edison, NJ), the garage OR, travel to the warehouse when we opened up! Today I hear COUNTLESS athletes making excuses that they trained at school and now they can’t train at The Underground.
6) If the High School weight room was closed, Curls would hit sprints and calisthenics on his own. Other days he would play pick up Basketball to build speed, agility and overall cardio.
** Your Competition LOVES Your Excuses **
Here’s some early days footage of Curls from High School:
– Curls would train after school, then, come to The Underground. Often times he would lift after school, then play pick up Basketball at the park for speed, agility & conditioning.
– He was a multi sport athlete through high school. He trained with us Year Round.
– He trained 4 x week at The Underground in ADDITION to his own calisthenics, sprinting, pick up basketball games and high school weight room.
In college he did the same, coming back to The Underground as soon as college finished training through his 3 months of Summer.
As you can see, Curls EARNED his success.
Train like everyone else and you will NOT have the edge. You’ll sit the bench and be Joe Average.
There were NO excuses for Curls, ONLY REASONS to do the work.
He attacked training and lifestyle, Living The Code 365 like a Champion does.
The blue print for success is out there. What Curls has done and what others continue to do at The Underground shows you the way. The most successful athletes here train and LIVE like Curls.
The athletes who struggle or remain average never go beyond “normal” and in turn, they get normal results, aka AVERAGE.
Excellence is The ONLY option.
Want Success? Prove it through ACTIONS.
Success starts when you punch your excuses in the face and get dedicated 365.
You can have results or you can have excuses but you can’t have both!
Live The Code 365,
The Underground Strength Gym Is Located in Scotch Plains & Manasquan.
Parents – Schedule Your Child’s FREE Intro Assessment Workout Today Before The Competition Does.
Some of our athletes quietly come to The Underground Strength Gym, doing their training with a RARE, quiet intensity. They don’t say much but their intensity speaks quite loud….
I find out about the success stories of our Manasquan & Edison athletes through following a newspaper reporter on Twitter or Facebook.
I get a text message or perhaps an e mail from the parents or the athlete telling me how they did at a recent competition.
Some of our athletes and parents are private, they don’t want to even tell me about their success stories. They feel as if they are bragging so they don’t tell others.
I understand both aspects…… The quiet intensity AND the pride and desire to tell others about your success.
You fear that if you tell others it will look like bragging, but it is not bragging.
We LOVE hearing your success that comes through your dedication and hard work.
You EARNED your success.
Remember: You Get What You Earn!
This morning, I came across some posts from coaches and parents and saw some great news I want to share with some powerful lessons behind them.
– I saw The Santaniello bros placed In States.
Vincent placed 5th and Anthony 4th.
They are both work horses, these 2 boys.
We’ve been working together for a long time now at The Underground Strength Gym. Anthony started in 5th grade and Vincent began in 7th grade.
Weekdays, Weekends…. These boys are here on the attack along with our other middle school athletes.
Often times I give these boys the opportunity to finish their workout and then I turn around and they’re doing what we call “Champion Workouts”.
This is when the athlete trains through his OWN desire. You give them the opportunity to stop or leave and they refuse to stop, they go and train more. Their inner drive guides them to work harder than the competition.
I’ll see The Santaniello bros and the other boys from our “middle school wrecking crew” climbing the rope, doing pull ups, pushing sleds and more.
When I see the extra work, THAT is the difference maker.
We Can’t Make You Do the Extra Work, YOU Must WANT It Yourself.
After seeing the news of Anthony & Vincent achieving All State Honors….
I saw a Facebook Post about 1 of our Edison Underground Strength Gym Wrestlers, Anthony White of South Plainfield.
The post I caught was from Steve Giordano, 1 of the best coaches and athletes I’ve ever known.
Steve was a very big inspiration to me as he was a few years ahead of me in my younger years and I would see Steve in the newspaper or at the local gym tearing the place apart with his intensity.
I STILL remember seeing how intensely he trained at the gym. The memory is imprinted in my mind and that was dating back to the Summer of 1991!
The Post Said….. “Congrats to Anthony White. STATE CHAMP.”
I saw the post around 11 AM on Sunday and I was in shock and also a bit confused for a second because after every training day, my coaches and I check in with one another regarding who trained that day, who skipped their workout, who cancelled, who worked hard, who didn’t work hard, injuries, etc……
And the E Mail from SUNDAY morning says “Anthony White was in and he killed it…..”
I start thinking to myself if we have ANOTHER Anthony White because I JUST saw that Anthony White won the states by PIN yesterday. I’m asking myself how the heck he trained the day after winning a state title?!?!
I’m also thinking and assuming that Anthony would probably be exhausted the day after winning a state tournament and would need to sleep in Sunday morning, especially being it was day light savings AND he probably needed the rest after battling through a state tournament??!!!
So I e mail Coach Rosa to double check and he tells me YES indeed, Anthony not only killed the workout but he also didn’t look the least bit tired.
This story reminded me of how Dan Gable went running the day after he won The Olympic Gold Medal.
Anything more that needs to be said about Anthony’s work ethic and dedication is a waste of time & energy if you don’t understand what this young kid is doing through his OWN motivation and how this applies to your success or perhaps your lack of success.
The Other Side of The Story…
Last week I had an athlete on a JV team tell me he missed workouts because he maxed out in the high school weight room.
If you’re on Varsity and the top recruit on the east coast, OK, maybe you’re busy doing a LOT of work.
If you’re NOT dominating the competition, WHAT excuses can anyone have that is truly valid? The answer is None!
Let me explain…..
Maxing Out in high school doesn’t exhaust you. We’ve been training Football Players since Day 1 and the BEST always show up even when doing these “max outs”.
And by the way, high school athletes who max out are often NOT technically or emotionally ready to hit their best 1 Rep Max AND use safe, proper technique. At The Underground we test every workout, BUT, it doesn’t have to be a 1 rep max. We push for regular progress but it ALL comes down to doing it right.
When you’re in shape as we train you to be, the training we do does NOT interfere with your sports practice or your lifting outside of here. You CAN handle lifting or sports practice and then come to The Underground.
The Champion wants MORE than the norms. Joe Average will make excuses.
WHO are you?
What type of athlete are you?
The norms are doing exactly what your teammates are doing.
The norms are doing what the competition does.
Do NOT get comfortable because maybe you’re the best kid on YOUR team or the strongest athlete in the weight room. “Big fish in a small pond” scenario.
Or, you live in the past……
The glory days….
Your team USED to be good or USED to dominate. The past is GONE. Stop being delusional and taking pride in how your team USED to be. NOW is what counts. Period.
I’ve seen MANY “Gym Strong” athletes who can bench heavier than everyone else BUT, their training does NOT carry over to their sports performance. When we train you at The Underground Strength Gym, the goal is giving you the edge BOTH physically and mentally in Your Sports.
The training has what is called “Transfer of Sport” so it makes you better in your sport. When you win a Football game, Wrestling match, etc no one asks you how much you bench? You either win or lose.
No one asked Anthony White how many pull ups he can do or how fast his 1 mile run is. He won the GOLD medal and is a NJ State Champ. Results Count!
This is why we don’t give a crap when an athlete tells us “I maxed out at school and Squatted 365.”
Then, the same athletes squats with us, yet he is Squatting 165.
WHY the 200 lb difference?
Because of EXCELLENCE. We do it right. Half reps don’t get approved here.
Technique and Sports Performance, THAT is what counts. The half rep, dangerous technique max outs and round back lifts do NOT aid your sports performance. Period.
Those who dog it in their training, making excuses and avoiding the work, eventually, it catches up to them and the lackluster results show up.
I see it ALL the time in ALL sports. Baseball, Football, Wrestling, Soccer, Swimming, Basketball. The truth catches up to you! You get what you earn.
Even though this ad below from Ernest Shackleton is a folk tale, I wonder which of our athletes would apply if this was related to training for sports?
Sounds crazy, and if people wanna call me crazy that is ALL good by me, because the “normal” people never achieve greatness.
I WANT to work with the Crazy Athletes who are hungry to become Champions.
In fact, We ONLY want to work with Hard Working, Highly Motivated, Hungry, Dedicated Athletes …..
THESE are the Young Men Wanted for The Underground Strength Gym of Edison and Manasquan.
IF the Coach is more fired up than you are to attack training, you’re not digging deep enough. You don’t want it bad enough. You think you’re good enough.
Good Enough is the Death of Greatness
You’re just “playing sports”….. That’s how many see it. Just happy to be part of the team, not caring about that losing record year after year.
What we do in Sports is sooooo much more than “playing sports”……
It’s a journey you take in life, where you face obstacles and must slay your inner demons, slay the dragons on your back that try to hold you down and conform you to become like “everybody else”.
I get into the recliner and if the house is quiet I just might be able to watch a movie…..
The other night I watched the movie Creed. I pushed back the recliner and kicked up my feet. Although I don’t think Creed came close to what Rocky III & IV did in terms of motivation, I DID get inspired watching Adonis Creed training.
As my feet were kicked up and I laid back watching Creed in training, I realized the BIG difference.
When I DID watch Rocky III & IV I was a young kid, capable of putting my body through the hellish training to prepare for combative sports.
But this time, I realized my time has passed.
And sure, I can go and find something to compete in but it will NEVER be the same.
The time is NOW. Maybe you can do this in your 30s, but do you have the dedication of a Tom Hruby, driving from Indiana 1.5 hours to Northwestern at 4:30 in the morning while also being a father of 4?
I doubt it.
The truth is most people don’t wanna drive more than 15 minutes let alone 90 minutes.
For the athletes of The Manasquan and Edison Underground Strength Gym:
– What regrets will you have at age 40 when you sit back in that recliner?
The excuses I hear now…… They are horrific at best.
And, when parents want to see their child “Dominate the competition” yet you only show up once or twice a week, then every other week you’re MIA, well, you will have a LONG list of regrets when you kick back in that recliner at age 40.
I promise you that.
You Can Have Results Or You Can Have Excuses But You Can’t Have Both!
With E Guy & Olympian, Steve Mocco at American Top Team in Florida!
This weekend is already the district tournament for wrestlers.
It is the weekend when the TRUTH comes out regarding every wrestler’s preparation or lack of preparation. For some, it is the beginning of their journey and goals towards Atlantic City where the state championship is held.
For others, it is the end.
Small Minds and Small Goals lose out.
Coaches who say things like, “We just want to win 1 match here” or other feeble goals never make it.
As I always say, “Kids don’t know what they don’t know.”
What does this mean?
– It means that if an athlete has a coach who doesn’t care & parents who don’t support him in training then he thinks THAT is “normal”.
– On the contrary, if a kid has a Coach who cares and is always encouraging, organizing off season training and has parents who take him to sport clubs and strength clubs, then that kid thinks THAT is “normal”.
The one who accepts average and “good enough” or the one who seeks out Excellence and nothing less?
In the pic above you see my son and I with Olympian and 1 of the most decorated NJ Wrestlers of all time, Steve Mocco. Steve was a Blair Academy wrestler under Coach Buxton which is how we originally connected. Steve was a 4X D1 Finalist and 2X Champion.
That pic was in Florida while my daughter had Tennis Camp for the week, we were lucky enough to train with Steve as our hotel was 300 feet away from American Top Team. I met with Steve one morning and did some consulting with Steve on his training.
I also took The American Top Team Fighters through our signature Underground Strength Gym Power Warm Up which was an awesome experience. There were about 50 fighters and they got after it.
The wrestlers training with Steve were mostly 30-60 minutes away each way. The locals within a few miles were NOT there. He said there are high schools literally minutes away not showing up. I guess being an Olympian to help the local team is an inconvenience?
I have heard the saying that you can not be a King in your own backyard. Hence why Edison and Manasquan locations have 2 or 3 kids from each town and 95% of our athletes are from surrounding towns.
The only answer to this is what is called “Mysteries of the Mind”.
When a team or individual athletes have a losing record, then they NEED to get stronger, tougher, faster and more skilled. These traits will NOT improve by avoiding the WORK.
With the state tournament 3 weeks away, “the hay is in the barn.”
This means that you can’t try to cram in the work NOW to make up for the Lack of work before. You either did the work or you didn’t.
I am excited to make my annual trip to Atlantic City to watch the state wrestling tournament. To get there takes serious WORK. Not just 1 season of work but often times it is years & years of work that all come together.
Success is NO accident.
Another factor to be addressed is that of challenging yourself.
Strength is the product of Struggle.
I respect Coaches who organize a tough competitive schedule. This way, the athletes know the truth of where they stand. When you’re beating opposing athletes / teams that you know or sub par, is it REALLY a win? NO.
The truth is the truth.
The Struggle is how and when tough, successful athletes are built.
Kris Lindemann of Howell EARNS His 100th Career Victory