Quael dich, du Sau! (Talent Alone Means Nothing!)

The value of putting in the work.

Udo Boelts
Udo Boelts (on the right).
Today I want to touch again on the topic of genetics, since that is something I encounter often when speaking with trainees.
The above saying could be loosely translated as "make yourself suffer, you piglet". These wise words were spoken by Udo Boelts, the gentlemen on the right, to his teammate, Jan Ullrich, wearing the yellow jersey during the 1997 Tour de France. The roles were pretty clear, Ullrich was the captain of Team Telekom and in command of the tour. Boelts, on the other hand, was his assistant, his job was to get him over the Alps and safe to Paris.

Boelts was a worker on the bicycle, Ullrich had more talent than anyone else during the last 50 years. But in terms of mental toughness and work ethic, nobody could touch Boelts. So he felt entitled to scream at his captain when he appeared to not give it his very all.

The unorthodox strategy paid off, Ullrich ended up winning the tour.

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Bodybuilding is exactly the same; Dorian Yates was not the most gifted bodybuilder, he had a rather broad waist and was prone to injuries. Flex Wheeler was incredibly gifted, just look at the pics when he was 17. Insane muscle bellies and fullness, perfect proportions.

Yet, Yates has 6 Mr. Olympia titles, Wheeler zero (granted some placings are subject to debate). The main reason, however, is: work ethic. Yates didn't take time off, never missed a workout, never missed a meal.

So whether you got Yates' or Wheeler's genetics, you still have to eat your chicken and do your reps in order to achieve your goals.

Train hard,


Maik Wiedenbach

Maik Wiedenbach is an Olympic athlete, personal trainer, and nutritionist. He shares his training wisdom in the 101 Fitness Myths and 30 Secrets for Bigger Arms! ebooks, and the Desk Athlete DVD. Superb.

When not in the gym, he may be found training clients over at Adler Training; and also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Swing on by.

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