Mike Shukis

Leaders Show People What to Do

September 11, 2022

Leaders are the example. Think of all the people we see as good leaders. They do the right things at the right times. That's being a good example.

Good leaders show people what to do. They live out their words. Bad leaders tell people what to do. They expect others to do what they aren't willing to do. One is a good example. The other isn't.

Leadership is a choice. It's not something we're born with or given. Leaders choose to do the right things.

I'll use a training example to illustrate the point. Think of two different coaches. One takes their training seriously, the other doesn't. One tells people what to eat and how to train, but they eat poorly and don't train themselves. The other person eats well and takes their training seriously. And then they guide people to do the same. Which one is a better example? Which one is more helpful?

As leaders, we need to choose our words carefully. Realize they have power and don't use too many of them. The words we use are important. They can build people up or tear them down. Choose them carefully.

Remember that what we do matters more than what we say. Our example is our most powerful asset. Choose to do the right things.

Movement is "Medicine"

September 10, 2022

I'm a believer in movement. I think it's good for us and we need more of it. As a society, we don't get enough of it. This is a problem that needs to be fixed.

To clarify, I'm a believer in good movement. That doesn't include most of the things we see on the internet; that stuff is garbage. And it doesn't help anyone.

A popular phrase tossed around today is "movement is medicine." That's a true statement. But just because it's true doesn't mean any movement is helpful. Most of what we see today is far from medicine.

Good movement is medicine. The garbage on social media isn't. Quality movement helps people feel and perform better. Bad movement gets people hurt and doesn't make progress. Good movement is productive. Bad movement wastes time.

Movement is "medicine" only applies when it's good. Quarter squats, standing on a ball with one foot, endless core exercises, and all the functional lies we're told isn't medicine. It's a good way to look busy, but not to make progress.

For movement to be medicine it needs to be quality movement. That means we have to do the right movements correctly. Picking and choosing random exercises doesn't cut it.

Choose Big Movements

August 31, 2022

Big movements are always better than small ones. What do I mean by "big" movements? I mean the ones that involve the most muscle mass.

Let's compare two movements. Think about the back squat and the leg extension. You need your whole body to squat. You need to use your lower body, your upper body, and everything in between. Everything has to work together to squat a barbell.

Now, think about the leg extension. Do you need everything to perform a leg extension? No, you don't. In fact, you don't need much of anything. You can sit down, grab your phone, and text your friends while you do a set of extensions. What a worthless movement.

My point is that big movements are better for progress. Leg extensions might make you sore, but they aren't effective long term. Squats are effective. They require your full body to work together to perform the movement. The more of your body that works at once the better. It's better for sport and life performance.

Bigger movements—like the squat and deadlift—are better. Small movements—like the leg extension—are mostly useless. When in doubt, choose big movements. You'll look better and feel better because of it.

Variety is the Enemy

August 23, 2022

In the weight room, variety is the enemy. Changing exercises is not how you make progress. Confusing your body doesn't work the way you think. Your body doesn't know what to do when you constantly change things.

You make progress by keeping things simple. Your training doesn't need to change much. And the movements should rarely change. At least not the main ones. If the squat is your focus, make it a priority. You don't get better at squatting by doing other movements. That's silly. You improve the squat by squatting. That's common sense.

Don't change things. Stick to the program long enough to see results. Variety is a good way to make no progress. If you want to see changes, you have to stick to the plan. Resist the urge to change things for no reason.

“Injury Prevention”

August 08, 2022

How many hours are wasted every day thinking or talking about “injury prevention?” Two, three, four? I think it's way more than necessary.

“Injury-prevention training” is a popular buzzword. Coaches and trainers waste hundreds of hours a year focusing on preventing injuries. But there's no point. That term is used for marketing anyways.

The problem I have with injury prevention is that nobody can define it. Everyone seems to have all the answers, but people still get hurt. How can this be?

With decades worth of “progress,” things seem worse than ever. That's because they are.

We have all the new gadgets. Bar speed trackers. Readiness monitors. GPS devices. And on and on and on.

But it's all a waste of time. Yes, all of it.

You might be thinking I'm crazy. And maybe I am. But, if you're like me, I bet you wonder how people continue getting hurt. How rest can be scheduled, training can be tracked, and practices made easier, and yet people still get hurt.

Here's a secret: People will always get hurt. It doesn't matter if they play sports or lay on the couch. Injuries happen. It's not a matter of if, but when.

The goal is not to prevent them; it's to manage them well. It's to do everything possible to avoid them, but also to be ready when you get injured. This is not rocket science.

How do you do this? Get stronger. Life is easier for the strong person. It's much easier for a strong person than a weak one.

Everything's hard when you're weak. Walking up the stairs takes more out of you. Picking stuff up from the ground is harder. And getting off the couch takes more effort when you're weak.

So don't try to prevent injuries from happening. You'll chase your tail for decades. Like 90% of people currently are.

Instead, focus on getting strong. And start right now. It never hurts to be stronger today than you were yesterday.

Results are Irrelevant

July 26, 2022

It's that time of year. The summer has been long, but fall sports are here. People are excited. Fans are ready to watch games.

Every July, coaches, players, and athletic directors have conference media days. People ask every question imaginable. “How will the team be this year?” “Will they be better than last year?” “How will (insert your favorite transfer's name) be for the team?”

Of all the questions, there's one that everybody asks: “How many wins does the team need this year?”

That's a terrible question. Seriously. Of all the questions in the sports world, that's the worst one.

It's a bad question because results don't matter. Read that again. Results do not matter.

Results are the ultimate distraction. Wins and losses take your focus away from what you need to do to be successful. Successful teams are disciplined. They listen. They work together. They are focused on the process, not winning games. Results have nothing to do with success.

Success is in the details, not the pictures, trophies, or paychecks.

To be successful, focus on the process. Don't focus on results. They're a distraction. Results are good for people that like losing.

My New Website

July 21, 2022

It feels like my website has been under construction forever. But now it's done. Finally. This is my new site. Designed, coded, and created by me.

Thank you to Derek Sivers. His article about learning to program inspired me to create my own site. Now I can do exactly what I want with my website.

I appreciate all of you who are here and who will be here. I'm excited to share, discuss, and grow together. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Thanks for being here.

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