We’ve had a few catchphrases over the years.
In the early days of Barbell Shrugged, I can remember scribbling, “Coffee, Tequila, Barbells” everywhere and on everything. It was silly, but also an effective way to define and state our mission. All we wanted to do was talk about training and have a great time doing it. And it worked!
The Window of Gains is a more recent example. It’s was still fun and on mission; but the goal was very different. We wanted to teach something practically and personally – With laughter.
That’s the challenge, right? There’s no shortage of theory and opinion in the field of sports nutrition. And yet, the world is overflowing with athletes who aren’t meeting their nutritional and performance goals. We have more available information than ever, so why should anyone be confused about what they need? Why should anyone argue for certainty of knowledge over action?
Our approach was to film a light-hearted show on the topic, and maybe slap a cartoon logo on the side of a shaker bottle. “People will see this and giggle,” we thought. “And then maybe they’ll remember that building a strong and adaptive body begins with a shake and a decent meal.”
This is the power of a phrase. A short, funny thing. It is a trigger. It is your spark. A real path of action, and results, and truly profound change.
Time to d3&t
Yes, we’ve had a few phrases over the years. Some were funny, a few were even useful. But only one phrase has proven durable and real enough to serve as our default battle flag, our rallying cry.
It doesn’t look like much at first. It doesn’t even make sense – d3&t, what is that?
The name itself is very easy to explain. To d3&t means to, “Drop Everything & Train.” As it suggests, this is a call to action. Actually, our exact call to action. The “3” in the title points to 3 o’clock, our sanctioned training time. But all the real power here is contained in the depth.
Real knowledge is about taking action. And this particular action of “dropping everything” works at three distinct, body-strengthening, life-changing levels.
Begin and discover for yourself.
Level 1 – Establish the practice
There are countless ways your training could go poorly. There are so many variables at play, so many possible goals to chase, and like I said, there’s so much theory to consider.
And it’s true, you’re going to get lost and fuck up eventually, probably more than a few times. But this is the only way that you can truly learn. In time, and with enough of the fuck-ups, you’ll start to notice that successful training means nothing more than restarting and recommitting again every day.
On balance, you will have good days and very bad days. The weights will feel light, and sometimes immovable. And toughest of all, there will be moments where the entire world feels like a barrier between you and the barbell.
That’s when you’ll make the real decisions. Day by day, will you choose to drop everything? Will you do the work?
Level 2 – Focus your intent
Touching the barbell is always a plus, but still just a start. There’s still more that needs to drop.
You might guess that the plan is very important, and it is. But it can also be a big distraction in any gym or training space. There are many great programs, written by many amazing, highly capable coaches. But as map in your hands, that program isn’t worth much on its own.
Vision and earnestness do all the driving.
So, drop everything. Every distraction of your life. Every urge that tells you to try something new, or something else, or something fancier and more complex. Drop anything that serves to divide your intent.
Go ahead, you know the answer. The time is now. There’s only the barbell, this first lift of your training session. So give the moment all the focus it deserves. Give it everything you have, and pay very close attention to the results.
You’ll quickly discover that intent is almost everything.
Level 3 and beyond – Remove the expectations
If you want to achieve extraordinary results, focus your attention. Do not try to take on everything all of the times.
But with that, it’s important to say that even focus has its limitations. Consider that the world is filled with tremendously strong and fit people who don’t feel that way inside. They might win more races than they lose, or lift immense loads, but they can’t keep from chasing bigger results.
I don’t want to discourage you, the opposite is true. You should pursue a meaningful goal, something you. Don’t stop until you realize that goal. But you should also realize that the most powerful kind of action isn’t anchored to the result.
You’ve heard of Yoga, right? Sure, there’s the physical, bendy, sweaty, incense-infused kind of Yoga. But then again, there’s a more ancient, fundamental, flowing kind of Yoga. Something for the body and the mind. More of a verb than noun, I guess.
It’s called Flow, bliss, or even just happiness. It’s not a thing to get, but the natural byproduct of a still, trained, soothed mind.
It starts happening when you get lost in a book, spin thread, write, garden, or shoot baskets alone in the backyard.
It is the high that hits the runner mid-marathon, and it’s what you can experience at will in the gym as soon as you stop caring about how strong you look.
That means the burdens of your daily grind, your attachments, and your expectations for what you must become and achieve. Let it go for a while.
Just load a barbell. Grab a weight. Move and fuck around. Play! Express your skills as efficiently as possible, without any worry or concern for how much you’re lifting or the work you’re not accomplishing. That’s it, the only trick.
Once you stop worrying about the result you can finally lift for yourself. This is an opportunity to get lost with the barbell, to have a deeply rewarding time, and to connect with yourself. You will leave those sessions with a steady and clear mind, which ultimately means you will be far more effective out in the world and with the people you love.
That’s what d3&t really means to us – It’s freedom through training. Live that, and you’ll do far more than break records in the gym.
Now, go train.
You guys always manage to put everything into perspective
Great article, people really do struggle with dropping everything. I know that as someone who gets up early to train it is difficult to drop my grogginess. However, I always have the best sessions when I get up ready to go. This seems silly, because I’m sure that other people have much more difficult things such as, stress, insecurity, and other things to overcome. We are all different though and this is why I like this philosophy, “dropping everything”, means something different for everyone.
I’d say, the wiser you get, the more you realize just how much “dropping” needs to be done. That’s probably the only mission at this point for all of us…Drop it and focus on what truly matters. Cheers, Justin.
Great article! I really needed this today. I’m a mom of 3 under 3 years old, and it is incredibly difficult to “drop everything” and do something for myself most days. After I finished this read, I went out and got a PR on my deadlift! Thanks guys, keep doing what you’re doing!
Mal, that’s awesome to hear. Cheers! 🙂 Chris
Are you going to put the d3&t shirt on Amazon? I have a gift card just waiting to be spent.
Yes; I’m that cheap!
Suggestion, though I know you want to get your word out, but
what about putting d3&t on the front and back with zero indication of what it means or where it came from?
I’d buy a couple of those!
The point is that powerful things can go immediately unsaid. The effect is unchanged. As the meaning is discovered, the effect only grows. Also, it’s defined on the back.