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Cressey on Work Ethic

Written on June 13, 2007 at 2:21 pm, by Eric Cressey

This is the foundation for everything. I’d like to be able to give you a quick-fix answer, but the truth is that nothing will ever go as far as elbow grease and perseverance. It sucks, but work long hours – longer than you could even imagine. I have regularly worked 80+ hour weeks for as long as I can remember; at times, it has been 40 of athletes/clients (some for free) and 40 of writing/online consulting/forum responses. I did it in the past so that I could get to where I am now, and I do it now to capitalize on the foundation I put down in the past and so that I can spend time with my family when that day comes.

I had a conversation with Mike Boyle on this back in December, and asked him flat-out where I should draw the line on work and play. His response: “At your age, you don’t. Sleep in the office if you have to. It’ll all pay off.” You won’t find someone who works harder than I do, and when one of the most sought-out performance enhancement coaches in the history of sports gives an overachiever like me that kind of encouragement, you not only pay attention; you go from really productive to crazy productive.

So, in short, the truth is that I have busted my butt from day one and wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t done so. I didn’t spend a penny on alcohol in my college career; it was better spent on resources such as books, DVDs, seminars, and quality food and supplements to make me the lifter and coach that I am today. I never went on Spring Break; I worked in gyms and with athletes at universities for every single one of them through my six years of college education (undergraduate and graduate).

I didn’t abuse my body with excessive late nights – or any alcohol or drugs – because I knew how such behavior would affect my training, coaching, and writing. I haven’t even watched an episode of Survivor, 24, American Idol, Lost, Alias, Will and Grace, The Apprentice, or any of a number of other popular shows I’m forgetting to mention; I’d just rather be doing other things. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve still had fun along the way, but I’ve gotten better about finding a balance. Life is all about choices, and I chose to be where I am today.

Eric Cressey

Have you ever wondered what separates the average trainers from the best of the best?

2 Responses to “Cressey on Work Ethic”

  1. Mike Says:

    Eric- I always admire the work ethic you display in and out of the gym. Admittedly, my own doesn’t hold a candle, but it’s good to have a role model. I’m definitely going to start reading a book/publication a week in my field and go from there…I like the idea of simple improvements made over time. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Chris M Says:

    Damn Eric, I thought I could just sit on my butt, meditate and all good things would come to me. I guess you’re saying it takes a lot of positive action.

    Actually I work around 70 hours a week but I love what I do so it doesn’t even seem like work. If I didn’t love my work even 30 hours would seem like hell.

    I guess being passionate about it is the key

    I admire your work ethic Eric and it’s obviously paying off


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