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9/15/2012 8:53:56 AM - Steve Pulcinella
Is goal setting important?

I really have been doing a lot of hard thinking and soul searching lately. I don’t know why, but I just get in these moods where I feel like a need a major life change but I don’t really know what I want to change. Last night I was sitting all alone on my deck, it was a cool crisp evening, the stars were shining down on me and I was enjoying a cigar and listening to some music. A song happened to come on that I haven’t heard in almost thirty years and it instantly transported me back to when I was in my late teens. After I graduated high school and just starting out on the journey to my adult life I really had no plan for my future other than I was optimistic, wanted to be larger than life and a be a superstar of hugeness. But I remember I had no specific plan, my goals were very nebulous. I was committed to lifting weights and my training was serious business to me, I knew powerlifting wasn’t really going to take me anywhere for real. Plus even though I was competing in powerlifting meets pretty regularly I really wasn’t all that into it as a sport. As I grew older and was fortunate enough to be able to compete at a world class level in both strongman and highland games but I was still looking for ways to stand out, I was always searching for more.

As I sat there with my fine cigar smoke swirling into the darkness of the night sky so many of those uneasy thoughts I had as a younger man were going through my head. But now as I approach my late 40’s my views and thoughts turned a bit more bitter and pessimistic. I’m running a business with no real plan, my professional life has no plan, my personal life has no plan and my lifting is at a stage now where I have no goals other than to get in the best training that I can on that given day and try not to get hurt. For thirty years now I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants basically just trying to make it through each day so I can get to the next one. I have no long range or short range goals and my future from day to day is an uncertain roller coaster ride. Fortunate for me that even though I am not very proactive I am however very reactive and have made the most out of situations as they come at me. I think that trait, a lot of luck and my ability to work hard have at least gotten me as far as I have gotten today.

I know a lot of you read this and say, “Bullshit, there is no way you can accomplish things without a plan.” You are right, I still don’t feel I accomplished much other than making a long hour, low paying job for myself and a cool gym for other people to train in. Let me let you all in on something you might not believe. It was never my dream or intention to even open a gym or be a gym owner. The thought didn’t even appeal to me, I never even wanted to work in a gym. I started my first little gym just so I had a decent place to train in that had the equipment that I wanted, I already had a good paying job that I liked. We started letting other guys train there to defray the cost and that’s how it got started. When we got into the building we are in now and started a commercial gym it was a HUGE undertaking but I did it completely without one day of thought or planning. We just wanted a bigger space, we signed the lease a day later and I borrowed money and bought a bunch more equipment, threw it in there and opened it up. At the time I was still working a 40 hour a week job with my fathers company, working at the new gym 50-60 hours a week, plus I had full and sole custody of my two daughters from my first marriage that I was doing a terrible job taking care of and also competing 15-20 weekends a year. I ran that grueling schedule for about 7 years until I finally left my day job and and started putting all my efforts in at the gym 70 hours a week. Although I later learned to love my work in the gym I freaking hated it then in those early years. All I did was work, run to the next job, rush home and sleep, eat like shit, then go back to work. So the gym wasn’t as much a labor of love as it was a labor of desperation in the beginning.

Flying by the seat of my pants and having no plan or goal to be a coach is also the same way I fell into coaching. I have never once thought about being a coach, I have never played an organized sport in my life, I have never had a coach or trainer of any kind. I have never even personally witnessed anyone being professionally coached, I have never read any books on coaching or attended any training seminars. But by owning a gym and being available to the people in it I was sort of thrust into the world of coaching by default. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind giving people the info they need, I just don’t always do it in a nurturing and understanding way like a coach should. I was never what you would call a technician when it comes to lifting or throwing but I know what it takes to get strong and I was always able to get the job done. Chad Smith was accused recently of not being a not so great squatting coach at the last Learn To Train Seminar. But in his defense he is a good strength coach but by his own admittance he is not a classically trained powerlifter like a lot of the other coaches there. He had told one guy he was coaching, “I’m trying to help you but I’m just not very technical when I squat. I just sit down and then stand up really hard.” At least Chad was being honest about it. He’s just a brutally strong guy and thats how he squats. I have always done things that same way so it has taken me a very long time to feel comfortable coaching people and find my own personal coaching style. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting much better.

I’m really not too sure what my problem is but I just can’t seem to forecast or plan things out too far. Maybe I subconsciously crave the challenge of just winging everything I do, it’s also quite possible that planning my future forces too much pressure on me or something, I really couldn’t tell you. Maybe It’s like that line that Vince Vaughn says in the movie ‘DodgeBall’. “I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But if you don't have one, then you are never disappointed. And I gotta tell ya... it feels phenomenal.”

So this begs these two questions:

1) Is goal setting all that important?

2) Is Stevey P still your fuckin’ hero?

Let me know your thoughts.

And just so you know this is still a training log, here is what I did Friday (yesterday)

Light front squats to warm up for deads:
60kgs x 6
80 x 5
100 x 3
110 x 3
120 x3x3

Deadlifts with 2” axle
130lbs x 8
220 x 5
310 x 5
395 x 5
445 x 3
490 x 4 sets of 2
490 x 1 set of 6

Hammer high row:
4PPS 4 x 10

Standing abs:
4 x 8

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