tombradyDMMayer

How to Become a Legend: Get Ripped, Eat Right, Date Well, Succeed in Business, & Reach Your Dreams

Be Legendary. Unconventional Tactics for Life, Work, and Fitness…

Be Legendary says it all. The blog consumed with helping us – the author included – become Legends. Ra’s al Ghul says it best when he tells Bruce Wayne, “if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal and if they can’t stop you, you become something else entirely – a Legend, Mr. Wayne.”

Our ideal in our lives is still forming, evolving. Just like you and I, it’s a work in progress. The more trials we face, the more successes we experience, the greater our understanding of what it takes to be a Legend, a real man. Who we are today won’t be who we are tomorrow. Well, it will. Never forget where you come from, but to be the man we’re capable of becoming, we have to evolve.

Looking back on this past year, my 27th year on this planet – I celebrated my 27th birthday last weekend – it has been a year of personal evolution. Due to a hefty appetite for reading, and a growing hunger to move further out of my comfort zone, I’ve pushed myself in ways that I have never before. My outlook on business, life, relationships, even trials, worries, and fear, has evolved. In almost every area of my life, I’m proud to say I’ve grown and matured.

Much of this growth is spurred by my desire to live up to the standard I’m creating on the site. Much is due to the insights you provide in the comments and emails I receive every day. Though, I digress, the point of this article isn’t to toot my own horn, but I’m sure you can see this growth imprinted on every article in the last 365 days, just like you can see the finger prints of your evolution in every aspect of your life. There’s no satistfaction, we’re far from that. But there is pride, and much more to be proud of in the future.

Every year I use my birthday as an excuse to do two things:

1. To bring my closest friends together for fine dining, even finer booze, and ample amounts of tear-enducing, gut-busting, abs-shredding laughter. Which, of course, was accomplished yet again this past weekend.

2. To look over my life in the last 365 days, and within the calendar year. Where was I in January with regards to my business, personal and spiritual development, motivation, routine, physique, and health? And where am I now?

Life can never be one-dimensional. Although the large majority of my time and thought is given to my work, the other areas of my life demand a similar attention as well. Each needs to be given its due. Each demands focus, maybe not as many hours as the goal that gets us up daily before the crack of dawn, but they need attention none-the-less. Where one falls, like a deck of cards, the rest will soon follow.

And so, rather than keeping my review of where I’m at in each area of life to myself, I figured I’d bring you into it. Along with the lessons I’ve learned thus far will be resources, steps I’ve taken – and you can take – to evolve in your own life, career, and relationships.

How to Make Every Workout Legendary

With no specific fitness deadlines, no fights, no photo-shoots, I’ve learned the importance of excuses. But not the excuses you’re thinking of. I’ll find any excuse to get in epic shape. I used my recent trip to Europe as an excuse to train hard, as a deadline to reach. I’m doing the same with an upcoming trip to New York, a friend’s child being born – to whom I’m the Godfather (a lifelong dream) – Christmas, New Years, and any other excuse I can think of.

Excuses like these keep my training fresh, and I encourage you to do the same.

Where many of us run into problems is with motivation, and I’m no different. Sometimes it’s hard to get into the gym and work REALLY hard. Keeping this up all year, I admit, has been a struggle at times, but excuses and mini-deadlines are extremely effective.

I’ve also had pockets in my training this year that were less effective than others. And I say this to everyone, but especially those who’ve taken the PowerHowse Challenge, the splits I’ve had this year that were ineffective were great training splits. What was lacking was intensity. I was going through the motions in my workouts and my progress suffered as a result. Finding excuses like I mentioned previously will help. Rewarding yourself is important as well. Train extremely hard for 8 weeks, the take a week off. Go somewhere, plan a week of dates with your lady, do something special as a reward; do something out of the norm.

Training effectively has to be a part of our routine. Get in the habit of training at the same time every day that you train, but it has to be fresh to be intense. New deadlines, excuses, and exciting rewards for training well done will help you experience the intensity you need to experience to reach the goals you want to reach.

How To Stay Ripped Year-Round

I don’t yo-yo diet or cut weight. I have no problem with guys that do, it’s just not my thing. I like being in great shape all year. I do go on binges like I did in my recent trip to Europe. The beer was flowing and the food wasn’t anything you’d find on any meal plan or nutrition guide. Yet, my body wasn’t effected as much as I thought it would be.

Actually, it wasn’t effected much whatsoever. The reason: when I eat. All of my carbs in a day come after my workout. I may have some assorted berries to go along with my meat and nuts breakfast, but I load on the carbs after I’m done training. This includes if it’s a morning workout. The shake and the meal after are the only time I have carbohydrates – vegetables I’ll have with any and every meal.

The timing of our meals is huge, and after a workout we NEED those carbs, both fast, and slow. This is also the only meal I’ll have that’s low in fat. The spike in insulin is an opportunity to carry proteins and carbohydrates to our muscles when they’re craving them most: post workout.

Whether you’re going low carb or not during the rest of your day, PLEASE make sure you pack them on heavy after a workout.

What you eat is also important when you wake up and before you go to bed. I’ve talked about it extensively, but meal timing can also help you naturally raise your testosterone levels when eating fats before bed and upon rising.

Our Thoughts Are Things

Early in the year I read “Think & Grow Rich“, by Napoleon Hill. It’s a lifechanging book that focuses on how we think. A change in how we think can change our outlook on life, what we accomplish, what we CAN accomplish, and our happiness.

I followed that book up with “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living“, another book that has proven to be lifechanging. 99% of what we worry will happen never does. Most of our worries do nothing more than distract us from what we should be focusing on.

I used to have terrible sleeping problems. I had insomnia – doctor diagnosed – that kept me up all hours of the night, or had me waking up in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep. The diagnosis from the guys with the degrees on their wall, was that I had a different carcadian rhythm. That I needed to follow a sleep schedule that was completely out of tune with how society works. I wasn’t about to sleep in until 11am, something that made no sense to me because the problems persisted whenever I changed time-zones.

This year, thanks to both of those books, I’m sleeping like a baby. Where my mind used to unnecessarily race, always thinking about what else I could be doing, I’ve learned to be present. No matter where I am, if I’m working, on a date, training, or with family and friends, I’m in the moment. This has been arguably the most important thing I’ve learned to do this year.

It hasn’t just had an effect on the quality of my sleep, but on the quality if my life. It takes practice – which I take about in the goals. dreams. section – but it’s amazing how the quality of every aspect of my life that requires focus and attention has improved.

Practice being aware of how you think. If your find yourself getting worried about something, stop and ask if it’s really worth it? What can you do to solve the problem? The first step is being aware that our thoughts are negative, and uselessly so. Once we’re aware of them, we can start working on improving them.

How Dating Changes with Every DecadeLegend

As I get older, women want different things. And it makes sense. In high school they wanted the cool guy, the jock, the guy with some personality, friends, and popularity.

In college it was more of the same, but the ugly guy with dollar bills began to get some dates. Muscle crept its face into the picture a lot more, and looks were about as important as anything.

Now, ambition is king. But as I age, the results of that ambition becomes more and more attractive. Women want security, and who can blame them? In college the guy who didn’t know what his major was, could be cool. His care-free attitude was mysterious and attractive to the ladies. That isn’t so any longer.

Mind you, through these different phases of the dating game, the sweethearts, the girl’s you snatch up and never let go, always have an idea of what’s really important. They have a head on their shoulders. Their attractions may change from the bad boy to the success story, or from the tough guy to the man’s man, but when it comes to dating and building a relationship, they know that a man’s heart is where you look for a real companion. Ambition, success, and more importantly how you get along are bonuses.

If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to follow Einstein’s advice: “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Have a mission in life and pursue it relentlessly. If you’re yet to find that mission, or that thing that gets you up in excitement for the grind before dawn, keep pushing and keep and open mind. But don’t spend too much time chasing girls. They’ll come, don’t worry. Just be good. Work hard. And take pride in how you look – believe it or not, it’s important.

Oh, and when you do find the right lady – after much trial and error, I’m sure – give her the attention she deserves. When you’re working, be engrossed in your mission. But when you’re with her, act as if she’s the only person on the planet…

… Another bit of advice from Mr. Einstein: “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” Be immersed in everything you’re doing. And always treat her like a princess.

Goals. Dreams.

More than ever this year, I’ve seen that thoughts are things. They aren’t wishes that will never occur, but tangible things that we can – and will – turn into reality. The thoughts that dominate our minds will be. If you’re constantly worrying, your fears will come true. If you’re always happy, positive, in the moment, and focused on the task at hand, you will see success.

This year I started reciting my goals every morning and every evening as if they’re already reached. They’re a foregone conclusion. If I work and stay positive it’s only a matter of time until I reach my lofty goals. It’s only a matter of time until my dreams are no longer dreams, but the reality I wake up to every day.

The result: I’ve made more progress from February to now than I have in any other year with this business. I’ve moved much closer to my goals than ever before as well. When we look at goals as if they’re in our future, all we have to do is do the work and persevere, quitting is taken out of the picture. It’s no longer an option.

Quite often success is given to the man left standing. After all have quit. After all others have grown tired of the work, the one who’s most successful is the one who has put the most hours into reaching his dream. This includes studying, and probably most importantly perfecting your craft first and foremost. If you’re the best at what you do, you will be rewarded for it.

Set goals, audacious ones, but KNOW you’re going to reach them. It makes no sense not to.

Burn Bridges to Win In Business

In February of this year I took a trip down to Austin, Texas. This trip now signifies when my business truly began. I came back from that trip, and burned all bridges. I stopped being a part of my training business, and devoted all my time and energy into the dream that matters most to me: helping 1 million guys build their dream body.

Since then, I’ve accomplished more with this site and in business on a personal level, then all of my years combined.

My advice, which is tough to give, and even harder carry out, is to burn your bridges when focusing on a goal. But, you can only do this if you’re willing to work harder than everyone else. If you’re not, you’ll fail big time.

This lesson I’ve learned applies to every other area of life worth mentioning as well. With our training goals, have that as our only focus. Rid ourselves of all comforts, distractions, and things in our lives that can conceivably hold us back – friends and family included. For relationships, when you find that one special relationship, focus only on her. Keep your eyes and energy on your business, but stop looking and do your utmost to make this the best relationship you can make it.

Give your dreams, relationships, careers, physique, and dreams the respect they deserve. Cut your ties with everything holding you back, and start really making progress.

Resources: Books

Learn the Value of Hard Work

Bounce by Matthew Syed

Get Your Mind Right

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

How to Stop Worrying & Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Business/Self Improvement

The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg

Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=163100027 Levi Clampitt

    Some real good stuff. Definitely concur with Burning Your Bridges. Tough to do but essential none-the-less.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      It really is tough. Sink or swim, but if we’re willing to work we always survive, and then thrive.

  • Rob

    Great article Chad! I can clearly see how much you’ve developed as a writer from the first post I read. Don’t ever stop.

    Favorite quote that I like to keep in the back of my head at all time:

    “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”– Ayn Rand

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Great quote – thanks Rob!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.b.behrens Chris B. Behrens

    Great article – one slight edit: I think you mean “Burn your ships”, not “burn your bridges”. It’s a cooler phrase anyhow.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      haha I know I caught that as soon as I posted it. I still need to make a few more edits to the article. Thanks man.

  • http://www.12minuteathlete.com/ Krista Stryker

    I think people underestimate the power of goals. Goals give you something to work toward, whether it’s goals of self improvement or your workouts. Whenever I don’t have a specific goal, I float through life (and my workouts) aimlessly… Yet the second I make a concrete goal, I’m focused, I’m intense, I’m working toward that goal like my life depends on it.

    Goals make me feel like I’m a better person, and give my life meaning—and I’m sure I’m not alone there.

    Anyway, great post. And happy 27th, by the way. I’m about to be 26 in a few weeks… strange to be getting older, but I guess everything has it’s pluses, since I definitely feel wiser and more appreciative of life now than I did 10 years ago.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      It is weird to get older. I’m always used to being the young guy, whether it’s in sports, in this line of work, or wherever. That’s starting to change, though it does have it’s pluses for sure.

      Happy 26th in a few weeks! Thanks for the comment, well said.

      • http://profiles.google.com/ryan.canty Ryan Canty

        Chad: you shouldn’t feel odd about getting older. Embrace it..and happy birthday! I mean I felt weird about that at one point, but now that i’m about to be 37 next month, I’m fine with it and embrace getting older…and it’s part of life, etc. :) And happy birthday also!

        Great article!

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        Cheers buddy, thanks!

  • Jake

    Fantastic post Chad! Great to see such a well written and personal article. Full of insight and real talk. This is going in my bookmarks for sure.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Thanks Jake, I appreciate it man. It’s always the articles you’re most hesitant in putting out, or a wee bit nervous about that are the most well-recieved.

  • Dean Phillips

    This was awesome man

    loved the quote from Einstein and you’ve shown and proved that burning bridges does not always have to be a bad thing!

    Love it

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Thanks bro!