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As a strongman competitor, Darren has pulled 50,000 lb trucks and dead lifted 805 lbs. As a competitive bodybuilder, he has won Provincial Super-heavyweight & Overall titles. As President & CEO of FREAK Fitness, he has coached his clients to hundreds of Novice, Provincial/State, National, and IFBB Pro titles. Having been involved in the sport of bodybuilding for over 20 years, Darren has his finger on the pulse of the local and international bodybuilding scenes, and will be keeping you informed through his column, “Freak Fitness."
Genetics Isn’t Everything
Can a positive attitude and hard work in the gym trump your genetics?
What’s the difference between those winning shows and those who never seem to break into the top three? How can some athletes come out of nowhere and turn pro? What makes a top athlete rise above the rest?
I won’t sugarcoat it—great genetics definitely does help. Genetics, in a sense, gives you the hand you start the game with, but genetics doesn’t determine how you play. Genetics cannot and should notlimit your desire to become better.
There are more powerful elements that are under your control that ultimately determine your success in attaining your physique goals:
Execution: Nothing can replace hard work. It’s your level of effort, intensity, and time in the gym. It’s your consistency and compliance in the kitchen. It’s your time dedicated to enhancing your recovery. It’s your execution of all these factors that can transform an average person into a freak in record time!
Attitude: You can only achieve what you believe. If you believe you’re plagued with less than favourable genetics and therefore destined for mediocrity, then that’s only as far you will get. But if you believe that achieving short-term goals will ultimately lead to you achieving your long-term success, then before you know it, you will be far ahead of where you started. When you become fully determined to achieve your personal best, then you can stop wondering if, and believe it’s only a matter of when.
I’ve seen it time and time again, so believe me when I tell you, a positive mind-set—not genetics—is what determines how high you can rise.
Patience: There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Yes, even those Instagram influencers that seem to pop up overnight or those athletes who come out of nowhere and turn pro in two shows all have many years of preparation behind them. Real progress—real success—takes time. So you must have patience in pursuing your physique goals. Not only does this give you more time to enjoy the process, but it also gives you more opportunity to learn lessons that will make you a bigger success.
As I tell my athletes,
“The longer you are an amateur, the better a pro you will become.”
In the end, we all know most of us will never become Mr. or Ms. Olympia, but you can’t let that stop you from pursuing your physique goals. You owe it to yourself to seek out the limits of your genetic potential and discover how far you can go. In fact, I hereby challenge you to dig deep, chase your goals with relentless conviction, and become obsessed with becoming the absolute best version of yourself! F—k genetics!
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