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What I've learnt about open mindedness

All of my mentors in the fitness industry have had one trait in common, and that's open mindedness.

To me, it shows the ability to progress constantly where others may be stuck trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

One of the most well-known figures in lifting circles and possibly the entire fitness industry, is the godfather of powerlifting, Louie Simmons. This may come as a shock to some who have heard him on videos or podcasts, but when it comes to training he is one of the most open-minded people I’ve ever met

The floor at his gym, Westside Barbell, is covered with the most seemingly random assortment of training equipment, from the individual “good girl/bad girl” machines, to the “6-pack” equipment sold through infomercials, to welded up rigs that look like medieval torture devices.

The moral of this story is that this man, whose gym has set over 140 powerlifting world records, is always looking for a way to get 1% better - even if that way seems ridiculous from the outside looking in.

To him, the only thing that matters is: What is the result?

I have a lot of respect for people who care more about learning the truth than they do about being right.

Ask the question: Does this new evidence compete with what you previously thought?


Now you either find a way that they can both exist, or you must discard your old false beliefs.

While at a powerlifting certification at Westside Barbell in 2010, I watched as a 65kg Crossfit man was trigger-pointing his shoulder with a Lacrosse/hockey ball. Louie came up to him and asked him what he was doing, he explained and then showed Louie how to do it himself. For the rest of the 2 months I was there I watched Louie work that ball into his shoulder every session.

I don’t know many powerlifters that would take tips from a scrawny crossfitter, let alone the Godfather of the sport, but here I was witnessing a complete lack of ego from this man who had achieved the highest levels in his realm. Louie's attitude is; it doesn't matter who came up with it, either it works, or it doesn't.

I truly believe that once you think you have nothing more to learn, you are in big trouble. I still learn from my clients every single day, it’s one of the things that keeps me in love with my job.

Maintaining an open mind not only saves you from looking ignorant, but it allows you opportunities to grow and learn on a daily basis.

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