"It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste." Henry Ford I like this quote for a few reasons. First, I come from a Ford family. My father, uncle, & grandfather all worked for Ford Motor Company back in the day and my grandfather was even presented with an engraved watch by Henry Ford, Jr. Second, I am one of those nuts that you find in the gym at 5am. I don't go at 5am because I like waking up that early, but rather because that's the only time that I am guaranteed to have an opening in my hectic schedule. So, this quote makes me feel better about going to the gym while the vast majority of the normal population is "wasting" their time sleeping. Finally, I like this quote because you can see it in action in every gym in the world every day. If you don't believe me, take a look around the next time you go workout. You'll see some people in great shape and others that consider round to be a great shape. Now, let's take the kids out of the equation here because there is something about being a college student that means you will be ripped by simply looking at the dumbbell rack let alone actually picking them up. I'm just talking about the post-college working people that you see in the gym. Now, watch those 2 groups of working age people, those that are in shape and those that are simply round. I will bet that the round people spend at least 2-3x as much time in the gym as those that are in shape, right? So wouldn't that mean that they would eventually be in better shape? Not necessarily. Watching the people that are in great shape you will notice that they show up, get to work, and go home. They don't waste their time finding a magazine with a new article or talking to the rep counter... um, I mean personal trainer who is checking himself out in the mirror. They don't bounce from one cardio machine to the next to get a better view of the TV. They don't spend 5 minutes doing 3 pound dumbbell curl/extension/raise combination moves. And they sure as heck don't take phone calls while working out! They know exactly what they are going to do before they even leave to go to the gym. They know exactly what exercises they are going to do and have alternate options if their machine or weight isn't available. They know that the key to getting results in the gym is to have a plan and stick to it consistently getting as much work done in as short a time as possible. They aren't afraid to lift heavy weights or wipe up a puddle of their own sweat. And they know the importance of proper nutrition and that all the supplementation in the world won't help them one bit if their post workout meal comes from the donut shoppe or all you can eat buffet on the corner. Before your next trip to the gym ask yourself these questions: - Do I know exactly what I am going to do when I get there? - Will I be working hard enough to create a change in my body? - Have I eaten properly to fuel my body for the demands of my hectic life? - Have I adjusted my nutrition to account for my workout routine and my fitness goals? - Do I need to supplement my nutrition with anything that may be lacking in order to achieve my goals more quickly? Now, stop reading and go work your tail off at the gym! Dan Huff is a NCSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a YMCA Strength Training Instructor. He is in his 10th year as a head strength and conditioning coach at the NCAA Division I level. Aside from all that, he's a husband, a father to two kids and a dog.