5 Life Lessons that Took my Body to the Next Level

August 8, 2017 by VAHVA Fitness

5 Life lessons you can use to take your body to the next level and reach a top quality physique in terms of performance and aesthetics. 

Here are 5 life lessons that can really take your body to the next level once they are properly internalized and applied to your training.

These are all mistakes we have done in the past and which we would have wanted to do better when we started working out. 

Everyone is currently struggling or has struggled with these things in the past. It's very rare to see high quality training done these days so take notes!

This is a patient approach where quality of your training will matter the most. You also have to be totally honest with yourself and drop the ego.

Let's start.

1. Know Your Level

The problem with many of us is that we progress too fast and eventually end up thinking we are stronger than we actually are.

Just because you can lift a certain number of weight from point A to B, doesn't necessarily mean you are that strong. It's a good indicator, but often not very accurate. 

When you do an exercise with a slow tempo, control and a perfect form, the amount of weight you can lift will dramatically drop.

When you sacrifice the form, use lots of momentum and explosive strength, you can surely lift heavy weights but you may not be as strong as you think you are.

You merely found a way to move the weight by sacrificing many factors that make the exercise effective in the first place.

Many pro bodybuilders and athletes use rather light weights and we are fans of light weight training as well. These guys can be strong and athletic, but they don't need to display their strength or athletic prowess every time they are in the gym.

It's crucial to find the perfect amount of weight for the given exercise. It's never the heaviest you can lift. Film yourself and listen to your body (mind-muscle connection) to calibrate the correct amount of weight you should use. It's likely way below your max.

It's very hard to quantify real athleticism and strength because it can so easily be masked. The amount you can lift is not the same as how strong you are. It's only one of the many indicators. 

2. Set Your Goals Right

Do you actually want to get athletic and look like you are strong? 

Instead of focusing on getting stronger, most people focus on proving themselves or trying to achieve a certain skill or a certain amount of weight by any means necessary. 

Many destroy their bodies in order to reach a heavy bench press or an advanced bodyweight skill like planche. This is all ego and unless you are competing in powerlifting or similar, this is not a good approach to take.

This obsession can lead to results, but you will sacrifice joints and tendons in the process. It's common in the powerlifting circles to talk how having injuries is just "part of the game".

When you just let go and focus on having fun in your training and getting stronger in the long term, you may notice that you will make much better progress than ever before.

By letting go you may notice that all the skills you were trying to achieve, will come naturally without even trying. If not, just keep growing stronger.

3. Master The Basics.

As said before, people obsess over lifting a certain amount of weight, a certain amount of repetitions or doing an advanced progression without ever solidifying and mastering the basics.

Most people never spend the necessary time to actually master the basics. Just because you can do a harder exercise doesn't mean you should be doing it. Just because you can do many repetitions of the easier exercise, doesn't mean you have fully mastered it.

Let's say there are levels from 1 to 10 in the training game. Most people immediately jump to the level 3 without ever mastering the levels 1 & 2. Then they hurry to complete the level 3 so they can begin the level 4.

Eventually they reach the level 6 and cannot progress further because they never fully completed the previous steps.

This lack of patience will produce good results in the short term but bad results in the long term.

How well your foundation is built and maintained will determine your results in the long term. When you want to build the tallest building, you should first focus on building a strong foundation or otherwise you will hit a plateau very fast. 

What are the basics? They are the basic functions and articulations of the joints. They are the basic exercises such as the push up, bodyweight squats and pull ups. All of these basic functions (and many harder exercises as well) are covered in Movement 20XX program.

4. Training Quality is Everything

Repetitions only matter if they are done right. In training and getting results, the quality of your training trumps everything.

When you drop the ego and no longer care about the amount of weight you can lift, you can focus more on quality of your repetitions than the quantity.

When you focus on quality, every repetition matters and produces results.

You need to prioritize control, form and focus over everything. For example, when you want to target the biceps, only your biceps should be doing the work and not the shoulders or any other body part.

Every repetition should be thought as a single unit that needs to be as perfect as possible. This is the way you will produce the best gains in strength, mobility and athletic prowess.

5. Train Everything and Become a Complete Athlete

Humans are far from one-sided in their physical capabilities. We are literally good at everything and when your approach to training is right, you can become a complete athlete.

Many people nowadays train all of their bigger muscle groups, but still miss a great deal of their smaller muscles.

Your elbows, shoulders, core and hips have many smaller muscles that can easily be missed if your training quality is lacking. 

To ensure the longevity and success in the training game, many smaller muscles in the rotator cuff, hips and core need to be targeted.

This is why mobility training is such a big deal. The purpose of mobility training is to ensure the structural balance of the body and make sure no muscles or areas are being neglected.

This will allow you to make better results in the long term, keep you safe from injuries and create high levels of overall athleticism (especially movement quality). 

Moreover, you don't need to limit yourself to just one training style. Powerlifting can be your "thing" but there is no reason to add some good parts from other training styles such as bodyweight training or mobility work to compensate for what is lacking in powerlifting.

For example, Movement 20XX consists of pretty much everything. It's strength, mobility and movement in one package. Most of the flow movements consist of different training styles as well.

That's all for today. Master these 5 lessons and you may notice your progress to skyrocket in the future. 

Train hard, stay safe.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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