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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Young Rookie

Chapter 1

More bad days than good young rookie.  Understand this, and you will go far.  Hold onto your dreams tight young rookie, or this sport will snatch them from you.  Always stay focused young rookie, or you will be forever lost in limbo.  Understand you are a rookie, this will help you become a vet.  Everything you learned before weightlifting throw away, nothing applies to this alien sport.  Stop with the thinking young rookie, for this sport doesn't make any sense.  The minute you try to figure out this sport young rookie, is the minute you will end up in a straight jacket.  Walk at night to clear your mind.  Wake up early to a cup of coffee while the news softly plays in the background.  Take a shower, not to get clean, but to wash away the frustrations of the day.  Let the water hit your face, giving your hands a rest from hitting the gym walls.  Listen to your coach young rookie, on and off the platform.  Your coach is not just a coach, but a path to success...... the only path to success. When you become a vet, then you can spread your wings with your own ideas and opinions.  For now, you have no opinions, no ideas, you have no rights, no control, no freedom, shut up and do what your told.  Lay down your sword, break down your wall, and become a slave to this sport and your coach.  A slave is what you are, and will always be if you don't succeed.  This doesn't just go for weightlifting, but for life as well. You must live weightlifting to conquer weightlifting.  You must cry tears of pain before tasting tears of joy.  Learn to love the pain and you will never feel the pain again.  Adapt, adapt to a new you, a new outlook on life.  No one cares what you did before weightlifting or what obstacles you've had to overcome.  The only thing that matters young rookie is how much weight can you take from the ground to over head..... that's it.  The day you understand this is the day you will lift big weight from the ground to over head.  Don't listen to anyone but your coach. Stop reading this article, unless your coach says it's okay.  Become a robot.  Learn how to sit when coach says sit.  Train your body and mind to react without thinking.  React when coach says lift, react when coach says eat, react when coach says more weight, react, react, react.  Train your body to understand two things in life, snatch and clean and jerk.  If you can do more than 10 pull ups then some thing's wrong.  If you can still bench press over 300 pounds after a few years of weightlifting, then get the fuck out of my gym and stop wasting my time.  Become the weakest person on earth, but the strongest weightlifter in the world.   The minute you understand that there is no such thing as over training, is the minute you will learn how to train.  The minute you learn how to train, is the minute your body will finally break down.  The minute your body finally breaks down, is the minute you will rebuild.  The minute you rebuild is the minute you will become a monster.  The minute you become a monster is the minute you will become numb. The minute you become numb is the minute you become a weightlifter.... or better yet...... a vet.  This takes time and dedication.  This takes a lot of trust, for your body will tell you different.  Your body disagrees with this blog whole heartily.  The devil in a red dress will try to make love to you, will you?  Or will you punch her in the throat and trust my words, trust your coach, and not trust yourself?

The day the bar body slams you into the platform from falling on your back is a good day, a day that gets you just that much closer to becoming a vet.  Young rookie, the day you bomb out at a meet, is a great day, a day and feeling you will never forget.  A bomb out is a day that will harden your skin, harden your hook grip, harden your heart, and harden your mind.  Living broke only to spend the money you have on food for recovery is a rich day, a day that will make your training even that much better when you have rubber band stacks in the trunk of your car to spend on better food, massages, etc.  Coming from the bottom always tastes better when you reach the top.  Young rookie, I am not done yet.  And I hope you asked your coach before reading this because my words mean nothing compared to your coach, I'm just another schmuck online typing words. 

Let's talk haters.  The more people who hate you, the better you will become.  Bath in the negativity, love it, dream about it, inject it in your veins, and then go train with it.  Taking a negative and turning it into a positive = vet.  Taking negative feedback and looking at it as negative = young rookie.  Remember young rookie, the only thing that matters in life is coach, everything else is just.... fuel. 

Becoming numb is one of the hardest parts to becoming a vet.  Becoming numb is teaching your mind to stop sweating the small stuff, and then big stuff, and only focusing on training.  Stop thinking about how you did yesterday, or even last rep, to become numb means only focusing on the lift ahead of you.  Nothing else matters.  Learning how to clear your mind to only focus on each lift is one of the hardest things I have ever had to learn, and am still working on to this day.  Young rookie, stop...... and just lift.

Learn how to get your balls broke.  Train with me, and I'll break you down like a mother fucker.  I'll be talking so much shit in training you'll want to run home crying.  I'll call you out in front of the whole team and coach.  Why you ask?  I'll tell you why, it's what Donny did to me, and what I will to do you, young rookie.  The day I took it, is the day I learned how to get off my high horse, face reality, face life, face people stronger than me, face myself, and the day I became a man.  If you can't take some shit talking from a few vets, then this sport will have you for dinner young rookie.  Shut your mouth, learn how to take it, put your head down, and train.  The day will come when you have a good enough resume to break a rookie down only to build him up.  Thank you Shankle for breaking me down and yelling at me to get the fuck out of your gym. It's the best thing anyone has ever done for me.  Guess what Shankle, I never left, and now because of you, this once young rookie is now a vet. 

Thank you to my coach Glenn Pendlay, and my teammate Donny Shankle for graduating me from young rookie to hardened vet.  Salute to all the young rookies out there.  Put your heads down and become champions. 

Chapter 2 coming soon
Pendlay Shankle 2016



  1. Best blog yet!! Train hard, salute!

  2. Hey Jon, love your blog, "Weightlifting Talk," and your general approach to the sport. I have been watching your 3-part series on the "hit and catch drill," and I wondered if the same drill would carry over to the clean, provided certain differences -- grip, place of hip contact, etc? I would be interested in any of your thoughts.

    Keep training hard, Rich.

  3. Bro, your blog is a straight up inspiration to me. As a matter of fact, I am going through a rough patch and had a dream the North emailed me and told me to rock out. Be a winner, not a loser. Thanks for the good read and words of inspiration Jon!