Now You Can't Leave

"Now you's can't leave" is one of the greatest quotes from any movie ... ever ...

If you have not seen this, I feel bad for you.

(Side Note: I challenge any one of you to find either a YouTube video or even a good picture from this scene in "A Bronx Tale." The best I could do is the image below, which pretty much stinks.)

These are the guys that can't leave.

So what does this quote have to do with Advanced Training?

Until a month ago, I would have said, "Absolutely nothing."
It wasn't until I received a letter from an athlete that I hadn't trained in two years that I made the connection.

While I always preached about how great our training environment was inside the gym, I never really paid attention to the impact it made on our athletes after they left.

To make a long story very short, what we do at Advanced Training is more than "working out."

It's actually a way of life.

It's why we never have a bad training session.

It's why athletes come back to train after they have graduated from college.

It's why those who don't "believe" quit.

It's why those who "get-it" never really leave.

Even if they want to... THEY CAN'T.

Without further adieu, enclosed is the letter from the athlete mentioned above, Steve Armato.
I trained Steve from 2006 until 2010.

He put his training to good use - by winning an NEC championship in his senior year of College.

Steve is the one pointing at a guy doing curls in a squat rack

Because of his dedication to the program, he was the first person I ever put on YouTube back in 2009.

To keep the spirit of the letter, I left it in it's original format.
(I did have to make some minor modifications to keep this blog PG13.)

"Once You’re In Advanced Training, You Never Really Leave"

Coach, I know you haven’t heard from me in a while and I apologize for that but this is something I’ve wanted to write for a very long time. Although I don’t participate in Advanced Training anymore, I still follow the same workouts as if I was in Advanced Training.

Why? Because whenever I feel like quitting, dogging it, or just going through the motions I always hear you screaming at me in the back of my head.

Telling me how you’re going to kick me out of the program if I don’t get this rep because I was up late the night before my max day. 

Screaming at me at the top of your lungs in an empty gym at 5am with only us there asking me how bad I want it. 

Stuff like that will always be with me. 

What will also always be with me? Rule number one.

For those that don’t remember what rule number one is, it was said to us on day one in the boxing room upstairs at Atlas. Coach Mahoney looked at all of us and said, “Rule number one, everybody’s an @-ho!e.” This couldn’t be more true.

“What’s with that overhead stuff it doesn’t really do anything for you.” Yeah, because your awful form when you bench and don’t go all the way down is really working out for you bro. 

Or my personal favorite of when it’s time to do chaos overhead anything, “You know you don’t have weight on the other side of that.” I had no idea man, thanks for reminding me. Apparently, I’m not only stupid but I’m also blind.

These are the things you overlook when you’re at Advanced Training because Coach Mahoney is always in your ear, and everyone there knows what they’re doing. 

There are no meathead curl sessions in the corner and there are no guys looking in the mirror and talking on their cell phones as they do a forearm workout.

There is nothing better than getting crazy looks from people who just don’t understand what training is all about. Advanced Training will always be with me no matter where I go. Because once you’re in, you never really leave.

Steve Armato