Dec 19, 2012

This past year has been interesting to say the least. There have been more up’s and down’s, uncertainties, and opportunities than I can count.

But, with all the BS and nonsense I’ve definitely gained some knowledge through experience which will only shape me into a stronger version of myself from here forward. Take a few minutes to read and see if you connect with anything I touched on.

KISS Speaks Volumes

I’ve tried every program, periodization style, method, and exercise under the sun. I can honestly say that I’ve come full circle. After training clients from the general population, college wrestlers, HS basketball players, grapplers, MMA fighters, firemen, police officers, Navy SEALs, Marines, and a bunch of other denominations, I’ve found that the basics work for everyone, every single time. Of course I’ll tweak what I’m doing to suit the needs of whoever I’m working with but I stick to the basics.

My programs are pretty boring on paper. No fancy machines, flashy “new” exercises, crazy set and rep schemes, or blind following of what other people are doing. It’s more or less all squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bodyweight stuff, and some simple strongman moves. That’s it, and I’ve yet to get any complaints.

Fortunately this boils over into all other aspects of life as well. Keep It Simple Stupid!!

Make Your Own Luck

I stole this saying from a tshirt I saw Rob Dyrdek (pro skateboarder) wearing on his show The Fantasy Factory. It holds true. Luck is non-existent. Opportunities may arise but it’s up to you to take advantage of them.

This past year I was able to work with some hungry young basketball players from a catholic school near my town. My cousin just happened to be the assistant coach for the varsity team and knew I was a trainer so he got in touch with me and asked if I wanted to help out. I could have easily said no knowing I wasn’t going to get paid. But I took the opportunity as it came and even ended up getting paid in the end. And after working with the kids for the summer I got a chance to stay with them up until their season started. Now, after talking to my cousin and the head coach, we’re trying to put together a legitimate strength and conditioning program for the years to come.

Have Honesty And Integrity

If you don’t have these 2 character traits then I suggest you reevaluate your life. I’ve done my damnedest to uphold my integrity and be honest to myself, my friends, my family, and my clients, and its paid dividends like nothing else.

Don’t try to cheat people to make a buck or blow smoke up their butts because it’s what they want to hear. Be real. I’ve lost more clientele and close friends over this past year because I wouldn’t lie to them or let them hold me responsible for their lack of effort. It sucked and still sucks but I get to go to sleep at night knowing that I didn’t sell them a dream or let them bring me down with them. This says a lot about some people’s values but this is life and life goes on.

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot harder to make a difference.” Tony Brokaw

Strive To Be The Strongest Version Of Yourself

I spent more money on educating myself this year than I ever have. Whether it was books on training, building a business, philosophy, meditation, diet, language, science, etc., I bought it, read it, and applied it to my life. I’ve definitely expanded my knowledge base and become much more affluent about the world. I don’t know a lot but I do know a little about a lot of things. This is huge when it comes to having a conversation or relating to someone.

Now I’m not saying to blow your money on books, although it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. What I am saying is to learn as much as you can about everything you can. Find out what your real passion is, explore something you never thought you would be able to, learn a new language, read that book that everyone’s talking about, write a poem, hug a tree, DO SOMETHING!! You should be striving every day to make yourself better than you were yesterday whether it’s mentally, physically, or spiritually. I’ve started on this path and I will never go back.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Ernest Hemingway


Make Someone Smile

The power of a kind word can change someone’s entire outlook on life. This year, for one reason or another, I made it a point to make some one smile every day. You want to know what I gained from that – nothing, in the tangible sense. What I gained in the spiritual sense was more than words can describe.

I worked with a patient during my volunteer internship at a physical therapy clinic who was pissed off every single time she came into the office. She was mad about how long it was taking to get better, why she had to wait so long to be seen, why the parking lot was full and she had to park around the corner, even why the water from the fountain wasn’t as cold as she wanted it to be. Talk about a Debbie Downer. Well I got assigned the lucky position of taking her through her exercises after the PT had seen her. Woopdi-friggin-do. I decided to make the most of it and after being with her for 15 minutes I had her smiling and laughing. The lady wanted attention and no one was giving it to her. I’m not looking for applause or anything but had someone just listened to what she had to say for a couple of minutes it would’ve changed her mood. That made me feel good.

On a lesser note, I would send out random texts and emails to my friends and family just to tell them how awesome they are and how grateful I am to have them in my life. As corny as it sounds, I know it made them smile. And if you’re having a really crappy day, that stupid little message can really turn things around for you.

Never Give Up

If you want something, go for it. You don’t want to be lying on your death bed crying the shoulda-coulda-woulda’s with giant tears of regret. You want that promotion, that deadlift PR, to lose 20lbs, go back to school for a doctorate, start a business, tell someone you love them, take a trip, or swim with the dolphins? Then make yourself a plan and follow through. You might not get want you want at first and you might have to do some tweaking to your plan, but never give up. If you want something bad enough you will find a way to get it done.

I wanted to go back to school for physical therapy (hadn’t been in a classroom since 2003) so I applied for a loan, filled out a college app, and got started. I wanted to start freelancing my personal training services so I talked to a few people, found a couple really great gyms and contacts, and made myself a little business. I felt that people needed to hear what I had to say and that I could potentially help more people if I started up a blog so I found blogger, set up my stuff, and got to writing.
Did everything I mentioned take some time and some tweaking to my plans – of course, but I found a way to make them all work and I couldn’t be happier. As long as you keep that fire burning you’ll be surprised at how EPIC you can actually be.

Love Life

Take the time out to stop and smell the roses because life is short and fast and before you know it its over. Spend time with your friends, family, and the people you care about, and don’t hold any grudges.

Most of all remember that you are not defined by what you possess or what you have accomplished, but rather by the obstacles you have overcome and helped others to overcome.

Be Epic.

In Strength,
Franco Crincoli



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Franco Crincoli
I am a personal trainer, strength coach, and all around iron addict, with a philosophy deeply rooted in old school methods. My training has been influenced by strongmen, powerlifters, Olympic lifters, gymnasts, and the Golden Era bodybuilders. I believe in reaping the greatest rewards the simplest (not easiest) way possible and having fun doing it.
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