The Gym

April 16, 2007

This week I decided to do a little tough talking about hitting the gym. The gym is such a huge part of the wrestling business, yet it seems to get over looked by a lot of people, especially those just starting out. Despite what you may think about the nature of this business; be it “Fake”, “Pre-determined”, “Sport”, “Art”, what have you. It has to be treated like a genuine sport and trained for accordingly.

While I admit that being the fastest, strongest, or best conditioned athlete in the industry doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly makes your chances of success a lot greater. As “fake” as people may think this business is, it is one of the most physically demanding sports out there, at least when done properly and at a top level. To succeed at a top level in this sport (with very few exceptions) you have to put year after year of hard work in the gym. Weight training isn’t something you are supposed to do, or should do, it is something you HAVE to do.

I have being weight lifting now for 25 years. I’m 38 years old and started lifting when I was 13. Next year I will have reached the point where I will have been weight-training 2/3rds of my life. I had 8 years of weight lifting behind me before I ever stepped foot in a wrestling ring. Weight training prepares you physically, so that you are strong enough to do this job, big enough and solid enough to survive the physical beatings involved with this job, as well as prepare you cosmetically to look the part so you are believable when doing the job. I heard a great saying the other day, which applies perfectly; oddly enough it was while watching Dancing with the Stars.

Yes, as much as I hate to admit it I’m a big fan of Dancing with the Stars. I started watching when Stacy Keibler was on and got hooked and have been following it ever since. What can I say, any hour of television spent watching Cheryl Burke dance, is an hour well spent.

Anyway, back to the saying, which was, “If you fail to prepare, you are prepared to fail.” I don’t think truer words were ever spoken, and I think that is what separates the guys who make it in this business and those who don’t; the Gym is not a recommendation, it is a pre-requisite. Progress and making gains in the gym takes consistency and hard work over a long period of time. There cannot be any excuse for missing the gym. You train through and around injuries, you train when you are sore, tired, injured or depressed. When your career is at it’s lowest is when you must train the hardest. To succeed in this business you have to take the job seriously and give it everything you can, and not just bell to bell. Bell to bell is the easy part; the job is the preparation and all the hard work that goes in before hand that no one ever sees.

I am pretty much retired and I still train a minimum of 3 days per week. I’m even stepping my training up again because I’ve got a booking in August. I could coast on my name value and work a smart entertaining match in the shape that I am now, but that is not the way my brain works. Just good enough has never been good enough for me, and I think that is why I succeeded in an industry where most do not. If people are going to pay money to see me work, they are going to see the best Lance Storm they can possibly see, which mean preparation and hard work, and more time in the gym.

If you are considering a career in pro-wrestling or in the infancy of your career, you need to be logging some serious time in the gym. This is a tough business to succeed in, and if you fail to prepare, you are prepared for nothing but failure.

In closing I want to offer a few keys to successful training.

- Join a gym; do not train at home. This is not a hobby it is part of your career. It is too easy to pass up a workout or short change the workout if you are at home. Get into a routine of getting to the gym, once you are there you are more apt to work hard.
- Find the right gym. You need a gym you enjoy being at, one with good atmosphere, and good people. If you don’t enjoy being there you will be more apt to skip. I train at Work out World here in Calgary and every time I walk in the door I feel welcome and at home. I enjoy the people so I enjoy going.
- Get a training partner. Having someone meet you at the club at a certain time makes it hard to skip workouts. A work out partner can also make you train harder. If you are close to the same level you can compete and push each other.

That’s it for this week,
Lance Storm