CT Fletcher inspires: Your body can never be stronger than your mind

CT Fletcher Trainer

CT Fletcher is popular on YouTube among people who lift weights, but his motivational videos are sage advice outside the realm of power lifting. He’s amazing, and if I lived in his neck of the woods I’d buy a membership to his gym immediately.

His video ‘Advice for Powerlifters and Heavy Weightlifting’ is an instant classic.

Now, when I would step into the auditorium or venue or wherever the contest would be held, this is what I would be thinking to myself: The bad man is here. The motherfuckin show-stopper is here. All you motherf***ers look like sheep to me and I’m the motherf***ing butcher. And I’m here to chop your motherf***ing ass up. I’m the man! Bow down motherf***er because the king is f***ing here. Only one can stand on the top pedestal and that’s my motherf***ing ass. The other two are available for you because this top motherf***er is mine. I own this s**t. CT is in the building! …

“I’m trying to get you guys to realize that I’m not just this guy who gets on YouTube and rants and cusses all the time (although I do a lot of cussing). I’m trying to get a point across to you. I’ve been doing this shit a long time. The last power lifting contest I went to, I noticed one thing. Guys were power lifters … in my day, the psyche up was such an integral part of the lift, but these days guys are in a power lifting contest but I didn’t know if I was at choir practice or in line at the DMV or what!  Nobody knew how to use the psyche-up. They just strolled up to the bar like they were f***ing in line Denny’s. … Your body can never be stronger — your body can never be stronger than the mind. I want you to learn how to get your mind involved in your lift.

When you saw my bicep video and you saw me telling my bicep ‘I command you to grow’ that’s what I was thinking in my mind. I just said it out loud so you could hear it. That’s my mind telling me ‘I command my biceps to do what I want them to do.’

Now, for you power lifters, every attempt is a one shot deal. There’s no tomorrow. You have to give that motherf***ker everything you got right then and there. You can not count on what’s going to happen tomorrow. The only thing you could actually know and depend on is that you can give it everything you have every time you step to the bar. 100 percent effort. I’m not going to say it’s going to work for you, motherf***ker. It’s what I did. You’re going to have to adapt it to you. So don’t say “he said do this.” I’m telling you what I did. You do you motherf***** and I’ll be me,” (CT Fletcher).

Years ago I had a friend who wanted to break 200 lbs. on his bench press. He could rep 190 lbs. at least five times. Whenever I would put 200 lbs. on the bar, he would fail. Over and over and over again he failed despite all the evidence in the world — on paper — that he should be able to break that barrier.

One day I did an experiment. I told him that I would put 195 lbs. on the bar, but I secretly put on 200 lbs. He lifted it without any problem because the real weakness was in his head.

Just as many weightlifters shackle themselves with mind-forged manacles, so does the average citizen in his everyday life.

We are more often than not the architects of the biggest obstacles in our lives. We are the engineers of our own overall success or failure. While there will always be events that are beyond our control (e.g., sudden sickness, a loss of a job) those things pale in comparison to the poison pills that we elect to take or discard on a daily basis.

When CT Fletcher talks about the psyche-up, he’s right. When there is zero — zero — expectation of failure on a lift, more often than not you will surprise yourself with just how strong your body can be. And, while I would hope most people don’t turn into a young Hulk Hogan in their workplace cubicle, ripping their shirts off with a lion-like roar, there is something to be said about getting psyched up for work, for relationships and for life in general.

Every day you have a choice whether to be pumped for what’s to come or not. Every day you have a choice to say “I’m going to give it everything I have” or not. When CT Fletcher talks about “stepping up to the bar” he is also talking about your day-to-day existence. You do not know what tomorrow will bring. You do not know what will happen on your way home from work. Life is a precious thing and every second of every day counts, so there is no excuse why you shouldn’t live accordingly.

CT Fletcher’s philosophy worked for him. A similar philosophy has worked for me. And if you give it a shot, I believe it will work for you, too. There’s a first place pedestal with your name on. Now go grab it.

CT Fletcher inspires — ‘Let’s get it done’

CT Fletcher

From time to time this blog veers a bit off course from its normal politics and pop culture fare to cover health and fitness. I wrote on Schwarzenegger’s “Six Rules for Success. I discussed running and the importance of being humbled. And now, I get to bring to you a short video on CT Fletcher, who in a sane universe would be approached by Marvel to play an older version of Luke Cage; the guy looks like he could walk through a brick wall. CT’s story provides a humbling tale and a message of hard work that I love. To top it off, he’s over 50 years old — and regular readers know I like writing about older guys who continue to sling the weights around despite all of society’s sick incentives to become soft and weak.

Don’t look for an easy way out. Nobody wants to work hard these days. Everybody wants the easy way — the 20 minute abs, the 10 minute this, the 10 minute that. … F**k that! Come to the gym. Work your ass off. Earn it. …

They said: “You can’t do it. You’re going to die.” I said: “Well, I’d rather die doing what I love to do than sitting at home looking at TV.”

I’m CT Fletcher: Six-time world champion, three-time world champion (drug free) bench presser, three-time world strict curl champion. …

What happened (and it took until 2005 for my attitude to change and be humbled) was the fact that I had to have emergency open-heart surgery. I was rushed to the emergency room more times than I care remember. … I was 260 before the operation, so I lost 45-50 pounds just to try and not have the operation, but it didn’t work. I came out of that surgery weighing 190 pounds,  looking like I never lifted weights in my life. I was a human skeleton. … It took me almost 2 years to recover. …

I still want to go back and defend the unbroken 225 strict curl record. I’d like to do it at the age of 54 —be able to do what I did at the age of 30. I think that would be pretty cool to come back 24 years later and do the same thing at a much lighter body weight — and 24 years older. …

20 minute abs, 20 minute calves, 20 minute butt, 20 minute any-f***ing-thing is a pile of bulls**t. If you see somebody with great abs, a great butt, a great whatever, they didn’t do the s**t in 20 minutes, and if they tell you they did, they are a f***ing liar. Trust me on that. No matter what, cause I hate complainers and I hate criers … if I could come in here with a metal valve implanted in my chest, taking 10 different medicines just to stay alive every day and do my workout, you have no excuses. So no matter what — your nose bleeds, it’s that time of the month, the kids are crying, you don’t feel like it, your back hurts, you got aches and pains — it’s still your mother-f****ng set. Let’s get it done.”

Related: CT Fletcher inspires: Your body can never be stronger than your mind