Are You Living a Life Wasted?

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Motivation

magcov21lg“You’re always saying you’re too weak to be strong.”
— Life Wasted by Pearl Jam

Another summer weekend just came and went and now here we are yet again, on a Monday morning…

With yet another opportunity to change things for the better; to make the dramatic improvements that you have been planning to make for so long.

Maybe you thought about it over the weekend when you drank too many beers or ate too many hot dogs at your neighbors’ barbeque.

Or maybe you were ashamed to take your shirt off at the beach or your friends pool party and you promised yourself that life would be different come Monday morning.  That you would finally step up and make the changes you have thought about for so long.

While some of you were nursing your hangover with a greasy, fried sausage biscuit yesterday morning, the dedicated were doing some early morning hill sprints.

Others slept off the booze lying around on the couch all day while the driven were out training or playing in the hot sun.

Just like every Monday, you have a choice today. You can realize that weakness is a sin and you must now repent for a life wasted.

Or you can continue on the path of mediocrity and continue to let others pass you by.

“I have faced it… a life wasted…
I’m never going back again.”

Sure it sounds good. Who wouldn’t want to be strong , jacked, fit and healthy?

But the question is do you have what it takes to commit to one goal and see it through to the end? Because most people don’t. Those people are the 95%. The disciplined make up the 5%.

Only 5% of all the people on the entire planet have what it takes to achieve greatness in any realm of life.

Be it in their job, their personal lives or a physical endeavor of any sort. Think that’s an exaggeration? Take a look around you. Go to Major League ballpark tonight. Tell me I’m lying.

The 5% are on the field (and are represented in the pictures in this post) while the others are sitting in the stands stuffing their faces. After observing closely you may even think I’m giving more people more credit than they deserve. Maybe it’s one percent.

Where do you fall?

Each and every Monday morning represents a new beginning and a chance to turn things around and finally join the 5%.

We all know that only the strong survive.

We know that to get bigger or leaner or to become a better athlete or stave off illness and disease we need to get stronger.

But what steps are you taking to get stronger every day?

What are you doing to escape your life wasted?

“I escaped it…a life wasted…
I’m never going back again.”

Did you get enough sleep last night? Or is late night TV more important than high testosterone levels, improved insulin sensitivity and enhanced overall health?

Did you avoid inflammatory foods this weekend? Or is the taste of sugar, wheat, and other crap worth a life of pain, disease and incredibly slow recovery?

Did you get a massage recently? Ah, what’s a little scar tissue, right? Let it keep building up. Moving freely and without pain is overrated anyway.

Did you throw out your posture destroying, injury causing Nike Shox and get a pair of New Balance Minimus, Altra’s or Strike Movement sneakers?

Did you trash your fancy Italian loafers and replace them with something like a Vivo Barefoot? Or maybe your knees, hips and spine just aren’t that important.

Have you been taking high quality fish oil? Or maybe it’s too expensive. Besides you need money for beer on Friday nights.

Have you been doing mobility work every day? It’s probably the most important factor in musculoskeletal health and you’ll miss it when it’s gone; replaced by arthritis medicine and a walker.

What about cardio/conditioning? Did you do sled work or run hill sprints this week? Being big and strong is great but not if your cardiovascular health and conditioning has to suffer.

Have you been eating nothing but high quality organic, grass fed meats, fertile eggs, wild caught fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and rice and potatoes?

If you’re someone who “can’t gain weight” have you been adding extra calories at every opportunity?

Have you been taking advantage of the nice weather and getting way more outdoor activity in?

And if you have what will you do in a few months when the winter rolls around? Put your fitness on hold until the spring or put on a few layers and brave the cold weather while everyone else gets an extra half hour of sleep?

Did you throw out all the junk food in your house yet?

Have you started meditating on a regular basis?

Bo certainly never wasted his life.

The 23 hours per day that you spend outside of the gym are just as important, if not more so, than the hour you spend in the gym.

Dedication is a 24 hour a day commitment.

There are 168 hours in a week.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, has ever gotten even remotely decent results from being dedicated for only three to four hours per week.

But those three to four hours are crucially important.

You need to train with a purpose. Train with intent and focus.

Train with goals in mind; don’t just go through the motions.

You need to constantly strive to get better or improve in some small way.

Do you have what it takes to really fully commit to a goal? To stop questioning what you’re doing and wondering if there’s a faster, easier way? To realize that brutally hard fucking work is the only way to achieve greatness?

Because if you don’t you will never be among the 5% and you will be the one who has to live with your regrets.

I know I have mine, and they eat away at me. I have made many mistakes over the years and know I could be a lot further along in my training then I am.

I could have made better much gains than I have but I made many mistakes along the way. I take full responsibility for that. And I know I have to accept those mistakes, move on and promise myself that I will never make the same mistakes again.

It’s up to you to do the same. Don’t wait til tomorrow because it will be too late.

“Having tasted… a life wasted…
I’m never going back again.”

Leave a Reply

59 Responses to Are You Living a Life Wasted?

  1. Nicole July 27, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    Great post! I find it really easy to forget why I do what I do when it flies in the face of what all the happy-being-mediocre people around me chide me for not drinking, eating shit, etc. Thanks for the reminder! And wow, do sprinters ever have the best asses on the planet…

  2. Edward July 27, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    I loved this post Jason! Thanks for awesome motivation!

  3. Seth July 27, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Not much more to say other than Great Monday Read. Thanks for keeping us honest.

  4. Mike R July 27, 2009 at 10:30 am #

    Another fantastic article Sir! Keep them coming. I would write more but I need to go and get some fish oil!

  5. Duane July 27, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    Jason, this is the best piece you have written. You have just handed us what is basically a motivational manifesto and step by step guide to get stronger, bigger, leaner, healthier, just plain better. It should be required reading for EVERYone! Thanks!

  6. Dave July 27, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    That post describes 99% of my friends…and I’m not talking about the ones making the right decisions. They love their lives of mediocrity.

    “Are you willing to do whatever it takes to move that weight and make it your bitch?”
    – HA HA! I say that to the bar everytime I go for a new PR!

  7. Jenn July 27, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Another great post my man! It is a 24 hr, seven day a week commitment, but well worth it! Now only if I can get to sleep a little earlier ;)

  8. Matty Holmes July 27, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    Jason this has to be one of the best post I have ever read from you or anyone else.

    Thank you for this and I am going to pass it on on my facebook as well. Keep up the kick ass work!!!

  9. Taylor Allan July 27, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Damn Jay, you are on a roll with these posts lately. I think I like this one even more than the last, if that’s possible. Great job, keep them coming!


  10. Chris July 27, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    Great post, motivating and informative.

    Could you talk about a basic mobility routine for the shoulders and hips that can be done at home with minimal equipment in a future post?


    By the way, that sprinter is seriously jacked, do these guys even lift weights? That guy looks like he can overhead press 250. Awesome.

  11. David Yingling July 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm #

    I love it! That is very inspiring and I just bookmarked your website because of it.

  12. Boštjan July 27, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Great article Jason!

    Not in a inspiring kind of way but to realize how many peple really fit into those 95 %! TOO MUCH!

    Keep’em rolling!

  13. Sean Barker July 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    Awesome jam packed post Jay!

    This should become a daily read for sure to stay accountable to our goals.

    Knowledge isn’t power, APPLIED knowledge is power!

  14. Stéphane July 27, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Hi jason and hi all,

    I’m from Québec, the french part of Canada, and I am having the time of my life reading here and learning at the same time. I started training 3 months ago now on the basis of Jason’s book and wow.. what a diff.

    Just yesterday.. on my upper training with the incline bench.. I was about to do my second 8 reps and I fail.. only doing 7 1/2! I knew I was the one to blame.. not being fully energize on it, I knew I was too low on calories intake. It is so true.. training, eating, resting, sleeping, streching.. being able to do it right all the way is a 24h job.

    I am hungry all the time now (every 2 hours) and I find it chalenging to find eating pleasurable, my muscles (all over the body) are tired and building up at the same time.. all the time! I am getting stronger… and I like it.

    I am constantly ajusting and/or managing what I can do on a regular basis. To that I have a question:
    Today, while I was doing 5 miles rollerblade sprint on my off day (tomorrow is lower body training) I saw about 7 guys doing an outside workout consisting of a multiple of things.. all and all they were at it for about 1h30 doing 10 push up, then sprinting 10 yards, then 10 juping squats, then running again… you get the picture! I felt like I wanted to join then.. just to prove how easy for me it is!!! But when I was thinking about it, I thought it would be conter productive for me since I want to build muscle and not ego! With the testosterone/cortisol ratio being consider.. did I make the correct call or can I join them on occasion?

    That’s all for now.. feeling hungry again.. got to go eating something!
    And after that I’m going in the park for some streching, couple of dips and pull ups as a refresher for yesterday training…

  15. Nia Shanks July 27, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    Hell yeah, Jason! I love your attitude. That is definitely why you are so successful in your personal endeavors, and why your clients are as well. That attitude is contagious!

    That’s the reason why I do things similar to the way you do at Renegade. I no longer work with people who aren’t willing to do everything necessary to make a change and achieve their goals. I refuse to waste my time, or theirs.

    Keep up the great posts, and keep getting strong!

  16. Caroline July 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    What an awesome article! Thanks so much for the kick up the backside! Doing a lot of those things, but its easy then to sit on your laurels thinking ‘I’m doing alright’. Always an opportunity to step things up – even if that means taking a step ‘down’ from the craziness and into some meditation – just started the Holosync stuff on Mike Mahler’s reccomendation and it’s made such a difference already!

  17. John July 27, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    thanks jason, always enjoy the kick in the ass motivation to get it into gear

    your integrity keeps it real- honesty without going soft, having a backbone and inner and outer strength. keep up the good work

  18. Matt July 27, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    Great post Jason! You just motivated me to get from behind this computer and do my Z-Health mobility work… You touched on everything needed to be HEALTHY and successful! Thanks for that.

  19. Craig July 27, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    This is one of the most awesome, truthful, in your face articles I have read !
    As a (well what I thought was) a dedicated trainer and healthy living person, this has opened my eyes, kicked my ass and made me re evaluate a whole load of things 1
    So thanks for that, everyone needs that every so often

  20. Kelly M July 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    Monday is a nice day off after several, Sunday evening farmer’s walk and medicine ball throws and slams, while my wife did sprints. Great words. They should be posted on the digital billboards that are popping up everywhere, instead of the McFast Food commercials.

  21. Alyson July 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    It is a 24hr/7days a week job..but well worth it

  22. Jon Le Tocq July 27, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Great article!

    I spent Sunday doing Tough Guy here in the UK with a bunch of clients. They are the clients who decided it was time to step up to the plate and attempt something that most of them thought they couldn’t complete. Others will permanently place their weekends on the piss on crap-food fuelled trips as a priority with bitching about lack of results as a close second.

    Most people either live on past glories or will achieve glories in the future, forgetting that the present or at least the very short term is the only thing that matters when it comes to action.

    Live now, live better later.

    Jon Le Tocq

  23. Doug Willick July 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

    Best article you’ve written and you’ve written great ones.

  24. Doug Willick July 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    And as you would you have to strive to write an even better one next time.. just like lifting a little more weight in the gym…I’m kidding man but that article will be hard to top…

  25. Coop July 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    Great post Jason…right on the mark.


  26. denise boucher July 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    jason u should get the noble prize for that article…OUTSTANDING!!!!!! and if what u said doesn’t sink into alot of people,then they might as well just give up on themselves. i see many adults playing beer pong games and other drinking games,and it seems like they forget about what their body looks like!!!!!! there is nothing better than physical fitness…..u go jason

  27. Fernando July 27, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    Thank you. Thank you for reminding me what it takes to be great. After reading this I can’t help but stop and really think about some things in my life. Keep up the good work.

  28. Andy Campbell July 27, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    Brother you are on a roll….between this and the “What it Takes…” post you are on a creative and professional high. Both of these are chock full of timeless suggestions for anyone to make a better life for themselves. Thanks man and keep the great writing flowing – its much appreciated.

  29. JMJ July 27, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    Brilliant article, just brillant. Great motivation. I do the “take a look around” test just about everywhere I go, the number of people out of shape and obese is sad, really.

    That sprinter is ripped. I think that answers the age old steady state vs. interval cardio question, huh?

    Thanks for the great articles.

  30. jasonferruggia July 27, 2009 at 9:29 pm #

    Bostjan, glad you liked it in a not so inspiring kind of way.

    Stephane, as long as that kind of extra work isn’t cutting into your recovery ability and you are still getting stronger, it’s fine.

    Nia, great move.

    Caroline, thanks for the comments and I’m glad to hear you’re liking the Holosync.

    Doug, that’s a lot of pressure, man…

    Thanks Denise. I have submitted it to the Nobel people based on your review and hope to be hearing from them shortly. Glad you liked it.

  31. Ryan July 27, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    Very profound post, Jason…

    This is something I do struggle with a lot: trying to achieve all that I want and/or need to in my life while also consciously and subconsciously at times, sabotage my very progress, etc. by allowing myself to fall into many of the very habits most people around me do…

    So, today, i’m making a serious effort to tune all that bs out and just focus on the goals I have made and am making for myself and making damn sure I acheieve them…

    and, I do meditate and have been since undergrad…

  32. Will July 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    Awesome article dude. Gets me even more pumped for hill sprints tomorrow!!

  33. Chris July 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Awesome post. I felt like I’d been losing my way a little recently and this has brought me right back on track. Can’t wait till my next set of front squats to slap that bar around. Thanks

  34. Ronnie July 27, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

    Hey Jason,u are spot on as always.That article touched me to the core,coz i have of late backslided on my training regime.I recently moved for work to Burundi,East africa,and despite the organic food here,am still getting a challenge putting together a good diet especially with proteins since it’s almost impossible to get things like fish oils here.Please give me a thought on that Jason.Otherwise i do my morning jogs along beautiful lake tanganyika but just needed to step up my game.Thanks again to your article J.


  35. Vig24 July 28, 2009 at 3:44 am #

    Jay, have a question about bodyweight exercises. In your program, sets of 5-8 are prescribed for exercises like dips and chin ups. What happens when I can do more than 8, should I do more(AMAP) or should I stick to 8?

  36. Christian Bylsma July 28, 2009 at 5:08 am #

    “Do you have what it takes to really fully commit to that goal? To stop questioning what you’re doing and wondering if there’s a faster, easier way? To realize that brutally hard fucking work is the only way to achieve greatness?”

    Raw, intense, love it! Keep it coming big Jay, add fuel to the fire!

  37. Hazard July 28, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    Excellent post Jason. Some people have to realise that in order to achieve the desired results then you have to follow the system to the last letter. If you don’t then the result you get will be totally random. Good shout on the fish oils as well. Seems to have cured my sciatica.

    Keep up the good work mate!

  38. Jack July 28, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    Excellent work! Thank you, Jason!

  39. Bill Lawlor July 28, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    Great stuff Jason.

    One q for you.How should lifters looking to gain size and strength work sprints into their training without them having a negative effect on the lifters progress?

  40. On a limb with Claudia July 28, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    Thanks Jason. I was just sitting here thinking – GAAH, summer. It’s so easy to just… mellow out. This is exactly what I needed.

  41. Dan July 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    If that doesnt get you motivated I don’t know what will…

  42. Alejandro July 28, 2009 at 7:08 pm #

    Hi Jason;

    I bought you book a week ago, and started with the intermediate phase 1 routine. Right now I feel very confident with the training, and think I actually can make some serious change in the next weeks.

    My question is, on the training stage I’m currently going trough, when are the best days for my cardio training?
    I thought of make it on mondays right after my upperbody training, wednesday on my day off, and on friday right after my lowerbody training; but I don’t know if those are the best moments for cardio. I thought that if I hit cardio on an upperbody day, I should also do cardio on my lowerbody training day, you know, to keep things balanced, but my stunning reasoning may be shit too.

    Another question, for abs. On your book you told about substituding forearm/grip excercise from the training. So I decided to leave one forearm excercise on the second lowerbody training day (friday for me), and exchange the grip excercise for abs and obliques the first lowerbody training day (tuesday for me).
    So, can I do that, or I should something else? Maybe training forearm and abs on tuesdays, and forearm and abs on friday? What should I do with this issue?

    Thank you a lot for yout time Jason.

    P.S. Sorry to repost this, but I thought you might pay more atention to my question if placed on a recent post.

  43. Adam July 29, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    Great post!!

    What kind of morning mobility work where you referring to? Just basic foam rolling and stretching??

  44. John July 29, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Awesome post again man; I’m so fired up right now I’m about to take out the sled. Are nike free’s and vibram five fingers good for sprinting or just lifting? What days would you recommend fasted cardio, off days, workout days, any?

  45. Jami July 29, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    Jason…do you take fish out supp’s yourself even being Vegan? This has been my battle determining whether or not to take these being a vegetarian myself…if you do take them what brand do you use?



  46. Joey G July 29, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    you got me on the fish oil one…hahah

  47. Rob July 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    John on July 29th, 2009 10:04 am,

    I have a pair of Vibrams and they are awesome. It will take a while to get used to them depending on how weak your feet have become because of normal shoes. Anything your feet can do, the Vibrams can do. I love running hills, doing box jumps, and of course lifting in them. They also helped strengthen my feet which was contributing to some gait imbalances.

  48. jasonferruggia July 29, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    I would take them if you are not vegan. The benefits are just too great to deny. I haven’t found anything else that replaces fish oil effectively. But I will keep looking. I recommend Nordic Naturals, Pro Omega. If you can’t find that Ultimate Omega is pretty good as well. And you have to take A LOT. Six to twelve grams per day.

  49. Jami July 29, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    Thanks for the info on the fish oil Jason! I will def be picking up some soon :)

    I am really sad I got rid of my free’s…I used to work at Nike and was a HUGE proponent of them when they first came out with all my athletes. I myself had plantar fasciitis really bad and I would attribute that to running in shox! For women especially, and even more so when they first came out where basically the men’s version used with a women’s last…so basically the men’s shoe made smaller for women. The biggest problem with this is that the shox were way to stiff so if you weren’t at least 150 lbs they didn’t give at all creating major problems…a huge attributing factor to plantar fasciitis! I would get up in the morning not able to even walk or put any pressure or flex in my foot…I was practically in tears every morning! I ended up having orthodics made to no avail and I kid you not, the moment I switched to the frees it all went away! After the major initial push of the technology they haven’t put out as many and have started to utilize the technology within other shoes but it hasn’t been the same. I have to admit, embarrassingly so that I got rid of the frees because I couldn’t stand the color as they only made the womens in light blue and pink initially! I know I know that is lame but really, PINK!!! Give me a break!! Anyway, point I just made to myself is that I need to go pick up another pair! I’m just sad it’s now at full retail :(

    Sorry, went on a tangent…off to order some fish oil!!


  50. jasonferruggia August 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    You usually need to take 12-24 caps per day.

  51. jasonferruggia August 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    If you are used to running in traditional running sneakers get some Free’s before the Vibrams. And the Vibrams are kinda brutal on concrete. I would start with the the 5’s and then slowly progress into Vibrams after a few months.

  52. Nick March 13, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Hi Jason,

    I’m a massive Pearl Jam fan – and fast becoming a Ferruggia fan too!

    Your words have a deep resonance with me and echo many of my beliefs.

    Though I’ve been successful in my professional capacity, I’ve always know that something was missing in my personal sphere of success – the mirror don’t lie.

    I have totally modified my diet in recent months, discovering superfoods (maca, cacao, spirulina, bee pollen, etc.) and have experienced the new found energy.

    With your advise, and that of your peers, I now have a way to invest this energy.
    Man or super man – the choice is ours to make; total commitment is required.

    Thank you for your inspiring and down to earth sharing of the knowledge.

    I look forward to reading and learning more; you’re a very special guy.

    All the best,


    PS. I don’t idolise anyone – I just respect and admire the ‘doers’ in life :o)

  53. Luke H February 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    I love this website, it is a real motivation booster. I only started reading some of the post a couple months back, but now i’m like a moth to flame! Always eager to see a email from Jason in my inbox

    Keep them coming!

  54. Shelley. May 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Wow. Friday night spent reading Ferruggia’s archives is time well spent! Thank you for all you do, sir.

  55. Jason Ferruggia May 7, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    @Luke and Shelley- Thanks. Much appreciated.

  56. Bridgett Kominski August 24, 2011 at 5:06 am #

    Just wanna remark that you have a very decent site, I enjoy the style it actually stands out.

  57. chris davidson July 24, 2012 at 3:24 am #

    Now thats a blog, no bullshit, no nonsense, best one i’ve read in a long long time. No harping on about training methods this and training methods that cos that shits irrelevant if your not even putting in the effort consistently in the first place. Love the quotes : ‘Competition is a healthy part of life and without it you are an organism that is not truly living, but slowly dying’ & ‘brutally hard fucking work is the only way to achieve greatness’ if more people lived like this the world i reckon it wouldn’t be so fu*ked up .

  58. Michael August 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    This is great, I live in Australia and it is winter at the moment and this morning I was wondering should I get out of bed to train its to cold, but I just remembered why I am doing all this, it is for better health in the long run to look great when summer comes around and be the best person I can be, I now no oI am in the 5% I still have a long way to go with my goals but I am now in the right mind set and I dont want to go back.