Got Fight? Book Review
If you’re a fan of mixed martial arts you’re undoubtly familiar with the name Forrest Griffin – former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and now hall of famer.
From making $26,000 a year as a cop to earning six figures to merely step inside the Octagon there’s a bunch of valuable lessons and humour in Forrest’s book, ‘Got Fight?: The 50 Zen Principles of Hand-to-Face Combat‘.
Regardless of whethe you’re a fan of combat sports the blend of hilarity and hard truths to reach your goals and live life are well worth a read.
Below you’ll find my Got Fight? book review and 6 takeaway lessons from Forrest.
10 Lessons From The Man, Forrest Griffin
1 – Toughness Can Carry You A Long Way…
Toughness can carry you a long way, especially in fighting. Personally, I don’t have the best strikes or combinations in the business. The reason I’ve won most of my fights is that I’m too stupid to back down. It’s always been this way.
How can you develop this kind of toughness?
You must do things that make your body and mind uncomfortable and want to quit!
Forrest performs interval sprints on a treadmill…
3x five minute intervals on 12mph (you don’t have to do the same speed, just push yourself beyond your comfort zone mentally snd physically).
2 – The Best Indicator We’ve Got…
Most intelligent stockbrockers will tell us that the past is not a good indicator of the future, but it’s the best indicator we’ve got.
Fighting in a cage? Study your opponent’s previous fights like a hawk.
Starting a new business? Study the start-up process and shortcomings of similar businesses in your niche.
Looking to start a new diet and workout regime? Look back at what you’ve tried before and the results you’ve netted.
Looking back can teach us not only what we SHOULD do to attain success but also the things we SHOULDN’T do.
3 – If You Wanna Be A Pro You Better Get Packing
My advice is that instead of travelling to train, you should move to a city where the training is prevalent, places like Los Angeles, San Diego, or Las Vegas. In Vegas, a ten-minute drive will take you to five different gyms. It’s the best of both worlds – you get to maintain your daily routine, yet still get introduced to new people and ideas.
If you truly want to chase your dream, be it the beginning of a professional career in MMA or the growing of an online business you have to be prepared to pack up and move. Yes, there are gyms everywhere and the internet gives us the power to work from just about anywhere in the world, but to make it to the top you’ve got to go all in.
You must live in the hotbed and grow.
4 – Basics Are Best
For a couple of years I was working out with a personal trainer, and he had me doing all the hip new exercise regimens, such as core training, kettle bells, and resistance training with rubber bands. Although I got something from each workout, I came to the conclusion that too much of a gimmick is not good. most of the time, you’ll benefit a lot more by focusing on the basics.
There are a ton of different workout regimes and diets constantly being pushed by fitness magazines, trainers and bloggers – we all flock to them because we’re susceptible to shiny object syndrome (SOS).
Shiny object syndrome is relevant to all disciplines, whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee, a casual gym-goer or a parent….
Here are a few prime examples of shiny object syndrome in action:
Starting Multiple Websites
Wanting to start a blog or dropshipping store, setting one up and then before producing any significant content or becoming well established changing niches and topics again and again, resulting in a handful of half started, half finished websites is a clear sign of shiny object syndrome.
Changing Workout Routines Every Month
It takes several months to gauge progress from a workout routine, in terms of both size and strength.
Constantly browsing the internet and fitness magazines to find a ‘better’ workout routine every couple of weeks is a sure-fire way to see no progress and submit to shiny object syndrome.
Changing Diets Before Seeing Results
As above, results in terms of gaining mass and burning fat take time, constant diet changes without allowing time to gauge results is a classic case of SOS.
5 – Learn To Pace Yourself (Overtraining is Real!)
It is important to to recognise when you are overtraining. If you don’t listen to your body and continue to push yourself to the extreme, you’ll do more harm than good.
You’re likely overtrained if…
1 – You’re Riddled With Muscular Aches & Pains
When I’m getting to the point of overtraining I begin to notice odd aches and pains in my muscles and joints – the most common niggling pain is by far the rotator cuffs (shoulders).
If you’ve upped the intensity and amount of cardio you’re performing you’ll most likely discover knee pain and aches to be the first sign that it’s time to ease off temporarily.
If you’ve been training for any period of time you should have no problems differentiating between delayed onset muscle soreness which is normal for several days after your workout and aches and pains as a result of overtraining or injury.
2 – You’re Lacking Your Usual Motivation
Struggling to get yourself to the gym when you’re normally the first person there?
Don’t have that same fire in your belly and relentless determination to annihilate your early morning workout?
Decreases in testosterone, increases in cortisol and a highly stimulated CNS are likely to blame as a result of a poor training to recovery ratio.
3 – You Fade Early On In Your Workouts
When I’m well rested and amidst a heavy workout although fatigue begins to kick in I’m able to lift consistently heavy for each and every set, exercise after exercise.
When I find myself in a large sleep debt or on the verge of overtraining my endurance plummets exponentially, my usual leg regime including 5 sets of 315lb squats quickly becomes 2 sets of 315lbs followed by 3 sets of 200lbs or below – I simply can’t continue to lift so close to my 1 rep max when my body is struggling to recover in time.
4 – You Can’t Seem To Progress Any Further (Mass Gain/Fat Loss)
Increases in cortisol which are a consistent symptom of overtraining will cause your body to hold onto fat.
Cortisol (and stress in general) will send your appetite plummeting down, if you’re in a bulking phase this can make hitting your caloric goal to ensure you’re in a surplus extremely difficult.
Lack of progression due to overtraining along with the dip in motivation can leave many dedicated gym-goers in a depressed and confused state.
5 – You Constantly Feel Stressed & Sluggish
Lack of rest, niggling aches and pains and minimal to no progress due to decreased testosterone, increased cortisol, lack of sleep and a highly stimulated central nervous system will have you yawning and struggling to focus or get anything done, inside or outside of the gym.
When in an overtrained state I’ve found regardless of how much coffee or home made pre-workout I consume I can’t shake the sluggish state without a extended period of rest from the gym.
6 – You Struggle To Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Find yourself taking a lot longer than usual to get to sleep at night? Restless and constantly waking up during the early hours of the morning?
A highly stimulated central nervous system could more than likely be to blame.
If you’re lifting heavy 6+ days a week and rarely taking a rest week or deload week it’s likely your sympathetic nervous system responding to this recovery deprived state.
When it comes to recovery I recommend…
- Start each day with a 5 minute cold shower
- Foam roll once a day
- Spend 5 minutes hitting dynamic stretches before each workout
- Use a sauna (infrared) 2 – 3 times per week
- Have an epsom salt bath 2 – 3 times per week
- Use EMS 2 – 3 times per week
6 – It’s Best To Be In The Middle
You don’t want to be the best guy in the room, dor do you want to be the worst. If you’re the best, no one will push you, and you won’t grow nearly as fast as you could. On the flip side, you also don’t want to be the worst guy in the gym because you’ll only experience constant ass kickings. To get the most out of your training you want to be the guy in the middle.
Here’s my take on training partners…
A training partner is far more than just someone who spots you while you’re failing on your left few reps of that heavy bench press set, they’re someone who is invested in you, someone who truly wants you to succeed. This made sound corny and all but good training partners share a special kind of bond. They’re positive and they want each other to succeed and they’re prepared to help them unlike many of the negative nancies’ out there in the world today that find great joy in the failures and shortcomings of others.
Ensure your Goals are Similar…
You and your workout partner will ideally be following the same workout routine, so ensure you goals are similar. There’s no point in training with someone that’s looking to compete in a powerlifting competition if your goal is to run a marathon as you both have completely different end state goals. Find someone that wants what you do, whether that be a certain weight, a certain look, a certain endurance level. You must be on similar paths in order to push each other during the journey.
Show Up on Time Every Time…
It doesn’t matter if you show up late to the gym when you’re training by yourself, but when you have a training partner ensure both you and your partner are on time, as you’re relying on each other don’t let each other down. Refer to the saying “If you are early you are on time and if you are on time you are late”. Show up on time and be ready to train at the time you agreed on, no excuses, no messing around.
Does your training partner want you to help them unrack the weight when they’re doing heavy incline bench press? Do they prefer being spotted on the bar or by the elbows? Learn exactly how your training partner wants to be spotted. This not only improves you and your training partners comfort during the set, but it’s also necessary for safety – if your partner is expecting a spot and you’re not doing what is expected of you there can be trouble (or injuries!).
Assess Their Form…
When your training partner is performing their sets don’t wonder off to talk to someone else in the gym, watch their form. Are they using the correct tempo? Acceptable range of motion? Is the weight too heavy? Can you learn anything from their form?
If your training partner’s form isn’t as good as it could be refer to the following tip…
Be Open to Constructive Criticism…
This works both ways. Both you and your partner need to be open to constructive criticism. Are they lifting weight that is too heavy? Could form use some improvement? Is rest between sets too long? Not pushing hard enough on sets? If you’re doing something wrong your partner should pick you up on it and vice versa, not in a negative – you will become a better athlete by accepting, accessing and applying advice if necessary.
Find out what motivates your partner, do they want to be yelled out to push out those last few reps? Do you need to call each other daily to check up on how each other’s diets are going? Based off your partners goals find out what best motivates them to achieve the success they are after. If you don’t know how are you going to motivate them?
The gym isn’t an office, so switch off the phone, tablet, PDA and/or whatever other electronic devices you carry around that are easy distractions. In order to focus on the task at hand and get the most out of your workouts both yourself and your training partner need to disconnect for the period of your workout. This should be discussed and agreed on as there’s nothing worse than having your training partner walk off to take a phone call while you’re struggling on the last few reps – waiting for them to spot you.
I’ve been there, it’s frustrating.
No Small Talk…
Socialize before or after your workout, not during. The 45 minutes – 1 hour you spend in the gym is for intense training, stop gossiping about that girl, or that movie you watched, or that party you’re both going to on the weekend. From the moment you both step in the gym it’s game time – the workout you’re about to crush is the only thing that should be spoken about.