In order to experience further progress, do you need to know more, or do you need to make better use of what you already know? Don’t answer yet, just absorb that question…just let that question penetrate your brain for a moment…

Incidentally, I grew up in the martial arts tradition of Bushido, and we were always taught that knowledge doesn’t exist without action – in other words, knowledge that isn’t acted upon isn’t really knowledge at all.

Of course, some of us DO need to know more, there’s no question, but I suspect this accounts for a very small percentage of us. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the latter group – that is, you already know plenty. YOUR problem is you need to utilize what you already know.

For example, you probably already “know that it’s important to eat a big breakfast, to get your metabolism revved up and to counteract the high cortisol levels in your tissues early in the morning. BUT, did you eat a big breakfast this morning? If not, you already “know” enough.

You probably also already know that not all workouts should be super intense. In fact, I was talking with coach Dan John this morning and he said “Not all workouts have to look like a scene from “Pumping Iron.” In fact, I often argue that these moderate workouts…the punch the clock workouts…are the ones that make champions. I think what separates champs is the willingness to just get “them”…the workouts…in.”

My take on the subject: a half-assed workout is FAR superior to a missed workout. I mean, think about it: on a 1-10 scale, a missed workout is worth a zero. But a half-assed workout, by definition, is worth a 5! That’s a LOT better, isn’t it? So are you getting your workouts “in?” Or, when energy’s lagging and you suspect you won’t be able to put in a super-intense effort, do you just end up bagging the workout? If so, you already “know” enough.

Maybe you already know that in order to make progress, you should focus on weaknesses instead of strengths. Personally, I need to work a bit more on sport technique and mobility, and a bit less on maximal strength work. Quick: what’s your weakest correctable link, given the resources you have available? Are you prioritizing this weakness in your training? If not, you already “know” enough.

So for those of us who already know enough, what’s the next step?

It is to ACT on what you know, in a consistent and blue-collar sort of manner. Some of the most successful people I’ve ever met don’t do doing “it.” They’re just punching the clock, day in and day out. And it’s not very exiting or sexy, but they get the results the rest of us wish we could have.

Recently, coach Glenn Pendlay answered an internet post inquiring about his training philosophy, which has resulted in many great success stories. Here are Glenn’s comments:

“My methodology… is based on things like training heavy, focusing on breaking personal records, sticking with the basics, training movements and not muscles, and really concentrating on the squat and squatting often.

I’m sure you’ve heard all that before, I suppose sometimes the devil is in the details. A few that I think are important are… Most of the athletes I train squat 3 times a week. Most focus heavily on multiple sets of 5 in the squat. We pull from the floor hard and often, doing some form of pulling (cleans, snatches, deadlifts, clean or snatch pulls, romanian deadlifts) almost every training day, usually 3-5 days a week. My guys know how to clean correctly, and use big numbers on the clean and snatch, with many of them cleaning above 80% of their best back squats. We train when tired, we train when sore.

We maintain a competitive atmosphere in the weightroom. Record boards with all-time best lifts, another board wiped clean every Monday morning which lists as the week goes by the “good” performances that week, athletes of the same performance levels training together and trying to drive each other into the ground, these are all part of the motivation to kick butt and improve every time you step into the weight room.

I don’t think there are any gimmicks that work, and I don’t think there are any secrets other than learning to do lifts correctly and working very, very hard.” <!– –>



“One of the signs of a great teacher is the ability to make the subject matter seem simple. Charles Staley is one of these rare teachers. After listening and talking to him, you suddenly achieve a new awareness of training. You go to the gym and, suddenly, everything makes sense, and you wonder why you haven’t been doing it his way since day one.” – Muscle Media 2000 magazine August, 1999


Prominent both the United States and across the globe, Charles is recognized as an insightful coach and innovator in the field of human performance. His knowledge, skills and reputation have lead to appearances on NBC's The TODAY Show and The CBS Early Show, along with numerous radio appearances.


He has authored more than a thousand articles for leading fitness publications and websites, and has lectured to eager audiences around the World.


Charles is not only a thinker, but also a doer: At age 54, he competes in the sport of raw powerlifting, and is a 2-time World Champion (220 and 198-pound weight classes). Find Charles online at www.TargetFocusFitness.com.