Tuesday, June 2, 2009

8 Things We Can Learn From Louie Simmons!

So last week I did something I hadn't done in years and I was long over due.

I went to the old deepsquatter.com page and to westside-barbell.com and re read all of Louie Simmon's old articles.

Years ago I had these all printed out and in a binder - this became my new training bible.

I studied every word, learned and understood all of the concepts he talked about, and tried to apply them the best I could. I was obscessed, and like the rest of the strength training world, Louie (Mr. Simmons!) had a tremendous impact on my own training and now what I do for a living.

What stands out most, however, is not just Louie's knowledge, but his character. You see, at the end of every article you will find the number to Westside Barbell. He literally invites thousands of people from around the world to call him and ask him questions about his infamous Westside system, or strength training in general. I'll never forget the TWO occassions I called Louie and he answered any question I had and gave me whatever insight he could. I remember both calls being over 30 minutes long. The kicker? I was a 15 year old kid with a 250lb squat! It wasn't like I was some world class lifter or athlete calling him out of the blue. I was just a snot nosed kid and he gave me just as much attention as he would to anyone else. To me, this had a lasting impact and is something I now strive to do today.

So enough blabbering, here are 8 things that we can learn from Louie Simmons that we can apply to our everyday lives and find our own personal paths to success.

1) Have PASSION for what you do. Find what makes you most happy in life and GO AFTER IT! Louie is over 60 years old and still trains with the young guns at his gym, doing dynamic effort and max effort workouts weekly.

2) Give Back. The law of reciprocity is very real, and as revealed through my 2 phone conversations with Louie, he genuinely cares and gives back as much as he can. Do this and the return will be ten fold.

3) Never stop learning. Louie is THE innovator in the world of strength training and powerlifting, and he is always learning, always growing, and always searching for a better way. If you want to become the best at what you do, then education is an ongoing process.

4) Take a stand. How many people just go through life without any definate opinions? Louie has STRONG opinions on strength and conditioning and is not afraid to share them. Some people don't agree, but A LOT do. Stand by your beliefs, but don't be afraid to admit when you're wrong.

5) Surround yourself with positive people. Or people you wish to emulate. Louie is 60+ years old, but still trains with guys in their 20's and 30's and he doesn't give a fuck. The strong hang around the strong, not just in the weight room, but in all walks of life. Don't associate with people who drag you down or waste your time.

6) Walk the Walk. If you're going to have a strong opinion about something, then you had better be prepared to back it up. Louie is not only strong as hell himself, but he has had hundreds of lifters come through his Westside gym and become world class.

7) Dream Big. If you have a goal, nothing should ever EVER stop you. It doesn't matter if its squatting the house, or owning a successfull business - you need to approach life with a do or die mentality. To do this, you need to have high expectations and only be around people who support your dream. A 600lb bench press at Westside is just average. Huge to me and you, but just average in Louie's world. You need to attack your dreams and don't stop.

8) It all boils down to PASSION. This needs to be repeated, because their no reason to walk through life doing stuff you hate. Louie has an UNDYING passion for strength training. He eats, sleeps and breathes this stuff. It is his life. Period. Find what you love to do and pursue your goals with everything that you have.