​Head Coach and Next Level founder Christian Matyi – a/k/a "XN" – gives notoriously complex answers to even the most simple of questions.  He'd always rather you "think more" than "know more." So you can only imagine what'll happen when there wasn't any question even asked . . . 

You never know what his many years of coaching will inspire him to claim as "relevant" to your progress. 


Your gains are not your gym's snow day priority.

It seems people love showing off their level of "commitment to gains" more than they love showing off the gains themselves.  It is a thrill to brag about how nothing can deter their will to achieve whatever blah-blah-blah goal, which is supposedly "the best version of themselves."  (Eye roll.)  Now, the old version of themselves is more or less pretty close to the new version, with only a few temporary physical alterations. But nonetheless folks will be damned if they're perceived as anything less than profoundly committed to their work.

Bostonians are used to seeing maps like this every other day this year.

Bostonians are used to seeing maps like this every other day this year.

Then it snows.

Like a LOT of snow.

And while you would think that would throw a wrench in these bombastic commitments, you are wrong.  Obstacle is like igniter fuel dousing the flames of vanity; now these folks get more examples to use in the declaration of their awesome, unwavering brilliance.  Now they have to trudge through snow, shovel themselves out and otherwise manage deterring conditions that leave the rest us slovenly regular-commtters stuck in the snow banks of laziness.  "Bring it on," they must think.  "Anything to show off just how incredible my obsession is in the light of lesser mortals!  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

Yes, these commitment superheroes love to tout themselves as the Hyperion examples of pristine human will power.  Which is why they are so eager to show us their incredible feats of commitment; to remind us that they possess something the rest of us humans could never fathom.  They are our inspiration, they imagine, and so this is why they must show that they are not going to let anything halt their –

Wait, the gym is closed because of snow? 


It's remarkable how those who choose to hyper-commit feel that the rest of the world should comply to their personal choices.  Those who boast of their extreme commitment to gains seem far too often the same people who unfairly chastise others for not also being committed to their gains.  

This week Boston and New England broke a gains record: we had the most snow fall in the shortest period ever in recorded meteorological history.  That doesn't mean the most snow ever (that honor goes to something like the famous Blizzard of '78 or something).  What this means is that the snow we have gotten has fallen faster and piled-up faster than snow has ever fallen on us in history.  

To illustrate: imagine someone dropped 5,000,000 SUVs on Massachusetts over the course of an hour. This is how much weight we have gotten.  That is a lot of weight.  That is a lot of snow-gain.

This is what a "good day" looks like us this year.

This is what a "good day" looks like us this year.

Logically, while we approach near national-disaster levels of impact, our city and most of the surrounding cities have been shutting down and struggling to manage basic infrastructure.  Subway failures; floods; snow plow deaths (literally); and of course streets are marginally navigable.  Walking in Boston is like trudging through a frozen corn maze.  The city is unsafe to move around in – literally.  Staying home proves a stronger commitment to self-improvement than going out into these conditions.  

So, naturally gyms – being small private businesses – are often closed.  And they should be.  No gym employees – not even gym owners – are paid enough to risk their neck over some dude's need to deadlift according to his strength schedule.  Risking injury so that some woman can increase her metabolic rate is just not a fair trade.  

And yet I hear grousing, whining and complaining about gyms that are closing down, closing early and uncertain of their emergency schedules.  it is hauling to watch people post on their pages and (even more offensive) saying aloud how upset they are their hit gym did;t have the courtesy to risk human life and injury just for those who work out in their spare time.

Oh yeah, reminder folks: working out is neither a right nor a necessity.  It is a leisure activity.  (Yes, even for you goofballs who are "competing in a pro event in a few weeks for money.)  The inability to indulge a luxury is not a point of deprivation.  It's just life.  Suck it up.

It is very easy to let our hubris take over when we are making progress towards a dream goal.  Soon we inadvertently feel entitled to our progress, as opposed to merely proud of our hard work.  An air of entitlement never goes over well, and certainly not when it obligates others to sacrifice more than yourself.  

Achieving goals and gains does not mean rejecting reality. Let the gyms close if they must.

Achieving goals and gains does not mean rejecting reality.  Let the gyms close if they must.  Let the stores and the banks and even sidewalks close if they must in the name of common sense safety.  If you miss a workout or two – or ten – because the weather forced conditions of safety, well, then that is just life.  

besides, if the gym was so incredibly essential, by now you would have worked very hard at a job, saved up money and figured out how to build the equipment in your own home where you would never have someone telling you that human safety prevents you from using it.  In other words; don;t whine about not getting use of what you yourself have not obtained for yourself.  If it is important, you would find a way that doesn't involve obligating others.

Those who achieve enviable goals often diminish their concept of human courtesy.  The rich will often neglect charity in favor of comfort.  The eloquent will often decline encouraging inspiration in favor of applause.  And the well-built will often ignore human conditions so that they might feel further admired.  This is a sad byproduct of success, but a true bad habit.  

On the road to gains, gratitude showing gets you more perks than speaking about victory ever will.

Is it a habit you are developing?  In your eagerness to achieve your gains, are you losing social courtesy in the name of social regard?  Do you act like you deserve different treatment just because you have done things others find challenging?  Attitudes like this are usually exhibited by impatience; getting upset and huffy when you can't have things your way; as if, because you have "gotten ahead," the world ought modify how you get treated.  

And that attitude is also exhibited with reactive complaints about the common sense of others, like when a gym gets closed because of safety-threatening snowfalls.  

Set up your process to allow for humanity; never rest your process on the obligation of others.  Getting help is not the same as "expecting benefits."  If your process requires others to behave and do certain things, then you must remain humble and patient if those things do not get done.  Work around them.

And while you're at it, go pick up a shovel and get a workout digging out your gym so that it is safe for the folks who open it for you every day.  

On the road to gains, gratitude showing gets you more perks than speaking about victory ever will.