What I Learned from Mr. Olympia

Frank watched closely as I did a set of bench press. I thought my lifting was clean and technically correct. But when I finished he just shook his head in disapproval. When Frank Zane, a three-time Mr. Olympia, shows his disapproval, best to take it seriously.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, puzzled with his reaction.

“You’re quitting when you’re half done. You’re letting the weight down too quickly, there’s no tension as you’re lowering it.” Then the clincher, “If you want to see dramatic results, you have to finish the job and do complete reps.”

Quitting when half done? I thought bench press was all about how much you could lift, not how much you could lower! But Frank was right. If strength gains and muscle development were the goal, then I was throwing away half my workout.

Which got me thinking about how organizations operate. How often do we quit when we’re half done? When we’ve created the plan but haven’t executed it? When we’ve wowed them at the trade show but haven’t followed up? When we’ve made a key decision but haven’t taken action? Does any of this sound familiar?

Don’t quit when you’re half done. Like Mr. Olympia said, if you want to see dramatic results, you have to finish the job.

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