Tom Cressey, owner of Cressey Performance, has spent over 25 years helping people be their best. He has helped them set personal records on the field, and he has helped them win championships in the gym. He has been a strength coach for athletes, he has helped individuals reach their fitness goals, and he has helped corporate clients improve their bottom lines. One thing has been constant for Cressey, however: helping people achieve success.
At Cressey Performance, we provide a unique training experience by combining solid science with a unique, personal approach to fitness. Whether you’re looking to improve your athleticism, or just want to become a more powerful person, this program can help you reach your goals.
The Summer is finally here! It’s time to enjoy the nice weather, and to look for ways to get a little extra “me” time. I wanted to create a series of blogs to help you do just that, so here is number three: Cressey Performance.
It’s a simple fact that we often overlook: the same abilities that help us succeed in one area of life often help us succeed in other others.
Many of us are preoccupied with the differences between the various aspects of our lives. We use phrases like:
“Sure, I’m a fantastic mother. But I’m terrible at exercising and staying in shape.”
Alternatively, “As an executive, I’m always on my toes.” But I can’t seem to get a handle on the health-care domain.”
The irony here is that we all too frequently forget that the same qualities and abilities that make us effective parents or employees may also make us terrific friends, exercisers, and healthy eaters.
- We all know we’re good lawyers or engineers, but we often overlook the fact that evidence-based logic can also be applied to nutrition.
- We know we’re terrific at taking care of our families, but we often neglect ourselves.
- We can organize a meeting but overlook the fact that we can also plan a supper.
It’s a pity, because you can be competent in all areas of your life with ease. The goal is to let go of the “newness” and “complexity” that we associate with acquiring new skills. Instead, look for and pull on the common threads of experience. We can disentangle our reality by doing so.
From initial perplexity to “tying the knots,”
For those of you who are unfamiliar with me, I am one of the men’s Lean Eating coaches, and I really adore what I do! But for a long, I was stuck in my job as a teacher (which is a fantastic profession for the right person). I wasn’t pursuing my true calling.
So, after resolving to follow my aspirations and change careers — but before actually doing so — I did my best to prepare myself by reading everything I could get my hands on.
I watched DVDs, went to seminars, and spoke with some of the industry’s most well-known figures. Everyone seemed to have achieved prosperity beyond my wildest aspirations.
Of course, I was taken aback.
First, I worried if I could ever succeed in the face of these behemoths. Second, while all of these folks had exceptional achievements, their techniques appeared to differ. I hopped from horse to horse, changing my strategy to meet whichever expert I was following at the time.
I became very perplexed and frustrated. Until it occurred to me:
The same talents that help us succeed in one area of life also help us succeed in other others.
Now, I’m a well-educated and intelligent man. I knew I’d be able to figure it out. Here’s how I went about it:
Instead than focusing on the differences, I concentrated on the similarities.
I continued to pay attention to all of the new techniques I was learning. But I concentrated on the fundamental principles, which turned out to be more united than I had anticipated.
Now fast forward to the present day. I’m interning at Cressey Performance while working as a Lean Eating coach and getting a master’s degree in High Performance Physiology. Today, I’d like to focus on my internship in particular.
I received the intern “handbook” on my first day, in January. It has all of the essentials:
- Pete Dupuis’ coffee preferences (a little almond milk, one packet of Splenda, and it’s on his desk when he gets there);
- when Eric Cressey’s dog Tank has to go outside, he barks twice and then chases his own tail;
- when cooking Chris Howard’s chili, how to create the correct smoky/spicy blend (3 pinches cumin, 1 sprinkle cayenne);
- DO NOT get the Mogwai wet, do not feed it after midnight, and do not expose it to harsh lighting.
I began to investigate what makes CP so successful after managing restroom and coffee breaks.
To say I’ve learnt a lot already is an understatement. The time spent at CP with Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore, and the other coaches is equivalent to seven days in dog years. It doesn’t take long to notice the major factors that contribute to the success of this establishment.
But here’s where it gets funny. I recognized that what the Cressey Performance team is doing is based on the same ideas that I’ve been teaching as a Lean Eating coach for years.
The same talents that help us succeed in one area of life also help us succeed in other others.
Here’s a list of what I consider to be the most important aspects of success, as seen from three different perspectives:
- Cressey Performance (CP) is a method for improving performance.
- As JB2, I’ve taken a different approach.
- The (PN) method
(It’s worth noting that the JB 2 is there for a reason.) Because, despite the fact that I’ve been known as JB my entire life, there is only one JB.)
Success tip: Take an honest look at who you are and where you are right now.
When customers come to Cressey Performance, we screen them, figure out who they are, and then create a program for them based on a variety of things such as their abilities, goals, sport, position, and so on. You must first determine what/who you are dealing with before you can devise a strategy.
The Jay Bonn technique (JB2): CP chose random clients to provide honest, anonymous written feedback on the interns a few weeks into the internship. Aside from the occasional remark, my complaints were quite consistent: I was too quiet. This didn’t come as a huge surprise to me. I’m an introvert by nature. It takes me a long time to open up and start a conversation with someone. This is how I’ve always been. It doesn’t mean, though, that I’m comfortable to have this as my identity. This candid critique can help me become a better coach, and it can also help me improve my communication skills.
The approach (PN): We constantly question customers in the PN program if their identity fits what they want it to be. We inquire if they are aware of how they are seen. Sure, we all desire to live a healthy lifestyle. However, if we exhibit behaviors that contradict this, we may never achieve our objectives. Not only do we require physical and personality exams, but we also require lifestyle assessments.
Focus on the most crucial thing first as a success tip.
CP: We build programs based on what we believe is most important to their success based on the information clients offer, as well as a blend of experience and common sense. We’ll start with the most important aspects when cuing and/or correcting clients during their workouts. In other words, if someone is deadlifting like Quasimodo, the first item to correct will not be the angle of his or her toes.
Prioritize the most crucial points.
JB2: I’m determined to enhance my communication abilities as a coach, which I’m sure will translate to other parts of my life as well. That is my top priority and the most significant aspect of my development. Learning more about biomechanics will have to wait until this crucial area, which is currently my limiting factor, is developed.
PN: If at all feasible, we’ll start with the most important issues. For example, if chewing gum keeps a client from bingeing on candy and other sweets, should we encourage them to stop chewing gum since artificial sweeteners may be harmful to our health? No way! We begin by addressing the root of the problem: binge eating. After that, we’ll work on the gums.
Success tip: Your actions, not your results, will determine your success.
CP: We always emphasize the significance of technique above the amount of weight lifted to our clients. “We’re here to become great baseball players, not lift a specific amount of weight,” Eric recently told one of his baseball players. Sure, the end aim is to improve, lose weight, join the team, win awards, and so on — but it’s the habits of turning up, using proper technique, and so on that make it possible. You won’t progress if you’re hurt and/or can’t move well.
Concentrate on your goal and the quality of your journey rather than the end result.
JB2: To strengthen my communication abilities, I adopted specific behaviors. I’m not simply stating, “I’d like to be more vocal.” That isn’t so much a behavior as it is a result over which I have no control. When I worked at CP, the specific behavior I established for myself was to greet and speak with every client who came in. It didn’t matter if I’d seen them every day for the previous week; I still had to do it. I determined that this couldn’t just be a “Hi” for added challenge. I needed to have a real conversation, which could be about anything. Each client should be greeted and spoken to in a meaningful manner. That is a particular and measurable action task. There was no waffling; either I did it or I didn’t.
PN: We advise our clients to go from “I want…” to “I will…”. Keep the “I desire” phrase for your birthday gifts. Instead, we assign them particular tasks. Change “I want to lose 5 pounds” (an outcome over which you have no control) to “I will exercise 5 times per week” (a meaningful and quantifiable behavior).
Develop the correct physical and social environment as a success tip.
CP: There’s a lot of friendship at CP. Professional players are seen talking with and supporting high school freshman as if they were younger brothers. In their off-season, you’ll find women over 50 sharing a power rack and going set-for-set with college youngsters. Side by side deadlifting by father and daughter. Uncles, uncles, uncles, uncles, uncles, uncles, uncles, uncles, uncles, After all, the family that lifts together stays together… It will take a few hours for people to travel here to train. It’s not just the pros, either. There are high school students driving from out of state, either on their own or with a parent if they aren’t old enough to drive. Everyone wishes to be a part of this event. Everyone wants to put in a lot of effort in their training. You are a product of your surroundings, which includes the people that surround you.
JB2: I started lifting heavier and more confidently within the first week at CP. (For example, see my video of a 215-pound front lunge at a 170-pound bodyweight.) It’s a terrific beginning!) I’ll soon be able to ignite matches off my chest like Tony since I’ll be sipping gasoline. (However, not at the same time for fire safety considerations.) Have you seen the cast at Comic-Con? If you can’t make it down in person, check out some of the films they put on their blogs, such as these:
It is contagious to be enthusiastic and committed.
PN: We advise clients to put themselves in the best possible position for success by altering their physical settings. For instance, we begin by taking inventory in the kitchen. Is it stocked with unhealthy food? Are individuals equipped with the necessary tools (pots, pans, knives, and so on) to prepare decent food? We also consider the working environment. Try taking an alternate path to the copy machine if you routinely pass by the “candy bowl.” You’ll be astounded by how effective this one tweak is.
We advise clients to surround themselves with persons who reflect their ideal selves. Do you want to be thin and muscular? Spend time with folks who are lean and strong. They’re not only doing the things necessary to get and stay that way (thus serving as good examples of “how to”), but they’ll also make it easier when “decision time” arrives (e.g., “Do I want to go pull some heavy weight or do I want to take it easy on the recumbent bike?”; “Do I want to make it ‘difficult’ on the waiter and order a grilled steak with steamed veggies or do I want to just eat the
Success tip: Seek for help and put your faith in your mentors.
CP: Clients don’t look at their software after receiving it and then ask to modify things around. Why? Because CP has a track record of delivering outcomes. They have faith in them. Furthermore, the majority of individuals are unconcerned about how things function. Clients don’t need or want to know why they should, for example, squat with their knees out. Nobody ever questions Eric about why they only complete four reps instead of six. They simply want to know what to do, how to do it, and whether or not they are doing it correctly. Believe me when I say that the last thing a high school student wants to learn about is the roles that certain muscles play in various actions. I can speak from personal experience when I say that the blank stare is something I rapidly became accustomed to.
JB2: In my personal coaching evolution, after receiving the “intern feedback” and deciding on a course of action, I informed Eric of my new gym purpose (greet and speak to each client in a meaningful way). If I’d kept it to myself, I’d probably have done well for a week and then faded away. Even if Eric isn’t thinking about it the way I am, knowing that I talked to him about it is the symbolic cattle prod I need. In addition, I am now responsible to everyone who reads this. (What the hell did I get myself into?)
“Sure, we can explain why we recommend a specific amount of fish oil… but do you really need to know 31 distinct benefits of fish oil before you let go and trust the experts?” we tell our clients. One of the first things we urge folks in the LEP and S2B programs is to let go and trust the program. Why? Because, like CP, our outcomes are unmistakable. We’ve aided thousands of people in significant and repeatable ways. Where are you going to turn next if you can’t trust our judgment? Bottom line: Consider entrusting the “why” to a coach. If you’re a coach, don’t try to impress someone by giving them too much knowledge.
Finding the common threads is the goal.
I’ve been quite blessed. I’m now interning at Cressey Performance, where I’m working with. I spend the day at my internship working with Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore, and all of the other fantastic coaches. At home, I communicate with John Berardi and the rest of the PN team.
I’m continually surrounded by some of the industry’s most well-known and sought-after figures. And being around by good and skilled people allows me to detect common threads as well as increase my knowledge and talents.
To summarize, success stems from:
- Getting an accurate picture of who you are and where you are in life
- Prioritizing the most crucial task
- Success is measured by actions rather than results.
- Creating a conducive physical environment
- Seeking assistance and putting faith in coaches and mentors
As you can see, the qualities that make us successful in one area may be applied to other aspects of our lives. Cressey Performance has already proven to be successful. I’m also well on my way.
What evidence do I have? Well, don’t tell anyone, but the other day I actually broke my poker face and smiled.
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