Muscle for life

Shut Up and Train (Or I Really Want to Get Fit But…)

Shut Up and Train (Or I Really Want to Get Fit But…)

You’ve got excuses and I want you to shut up and train. Let’s see who wins…




*pokes your chest*

Shut up and train.

Shhhh. I know. You don’t have to tell me.

I’ve heard the same from hundreds–nay, thousands–of others “planning” on getting fit.

You really want to get into shape. But something about not having time. Or needing more sleep. Or fear or lack of know-how or experience or your middle school PE teacher that forced you to run laps until you puked and made you hate exercise.

I don’t care.

I’m training. You’re not. End of story.

No seriously. Shut up. Shut. Up. And train.

Yeah it’s hard. Some days it feels like you’re trying to swallow the sun. Like you’re trying to walk a 220-pound dog or lift dead elephants. Training requires discipline, effort, and sacrifice. There are no free rides. There’s no way to slide by on bullshit. You have to give something to get something.

But let’s face it. Training isn’t that hard. It’s not mortal combat. It’s not quantum physics or even algebra.

I’m not asking you to pick up a sword and shield and enter the arena or wrestle an alligator or eat fried tarantula. Hell I’m not even asking you to make a fool of yourself in a public place or scrub the stale piss off a public bathroom floor.

I’m telling you to drag your ass up to a bunch of metal every day and pick it up and put it down like a savage until your muscles burn and body aches.

Clank. Boom. Thud. The beautiful chorus of a ritual honoring Mother Nature’s most cherished touchstone for all her creations: survival of the fittest.

Not the richest. Not the wittiest. Not the kindest. The fittest. Money can’t buy strength or discipline. Wit can’t make you tough. Kindness can’t stop life from running you over.

So shut up and train.

Don’t talk about training. Stop reading about it. Don’t even read my blog. It’ll be here later–after you’ve trained. When you’ve put in the work and paid the admission ticket. You go train. Then you come here. Anything else is just foreplay. Masturbation even. That’s not how it works here. Get it in or get out.

I really want to train but–

But what? But bullshit.

Writers write. Salespeople sell. Politicians politick. We train.

You wanna get fit?

Easy. Get training.

Oh you’re scared, are you? I understand. It means ditching the excuses, the self-destructive habits, the self-pity shticks. It means opening yourself up to criticism, judgment, disappointment, and maybe even despair. It means announcing to the world that you’ve been less than perfect and have somehow found the audacity to live up to your standards.

Trust me. I know. I really do. And I don’t give a shit. Shut up.

I’m not telling you to jump out a plane without a chute. I’m not trying to conscript you into a harem of coke-addled runaways. Nobody is lurking in the alleys. Nobody has written your name on a bullet.

Train. Right the fuck now. Go. Train.

What? You don’t have the time? Oh okay. Why didn’t you say that in the beginning? You’re excused then.

Get real. Who has the time for half of all the stuff we want to do? I’m sorry that life isn’t gift wrapping a chunk of time every day so you can train in Zen-like comfort and solitude. Join the club. And face the fact that you’re going to die with a long to-do list. Make damn sure “start training” isn’t on that list.

Oh, you’re afraid of messing it up? Of quitting like all the other losers? Welcome to being human. Nobody wants to face plant. It might leave a scar. People might jeer at us. We might jeer at ourselves.

But everyone stumbles and falls. The strong ones get back up a little wiser. A little less likely to fall again.

Or is it that nobody respects that you want to train? Nothing new there. People love to ridicule what they don’t understand. And what they wish they had or could do.

So who cares what they think. Disrespect is how you know you’re getting somewhere. Forget glamor and glory. They tarnish and fade. Dirt and honor? Now we’re cooking. Those are the real treasures.

You’re either training or you’re not. Stop worrying about what comes next. Stop thinking about how great it’s going to be. Stop talking, tweeting, and promising.

I’m waiting. And I can’t do anything for you if you’re not training.

I can’t make you train. I can’t strap your lazy limbs to mine and do it for you. This is on you.

So shut up and train. Right now. Stop reading this article and train. Whatever you can do right now. I don’t care what it is. Start with 100 pushups. Then go run some sprints.

Who cares if it’s random. If it seems pointless. Do the work, sweat the sweat, and admire every bead that your body offers you. And then go in for some more. Push, pull, and squat like your life depends on it.

And once you have, stop and be proud. Take that self-doubt and punt it across the room because you’re doing it. You’re training.

Scream. No, roar. Go ahead. Like a conqueror.


And tomorrow?

The plan starts with shutting up and ends with training. Don’t call your friends to see if anyone is going to join you. Don’t think about how hard it’s going to be. Don’t you dare tell yourself you deserve a break.

You deserve to train.

And once you’ve done it enough, you get to say you’re doing it.

So shut up and train. Then you can email me. Then we can talk.

admin admin

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.


If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

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Leave a Comment!
  • Debbye S. Sparks

    Standing ovation!

    • Steve Ward

      *standing with Debbye

      • Michael Matthews


    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! 🙂

  • garo

    great job i have to apply this not only in training but in my diet too…..
    shut up and stick with your diet!!!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Yeah that too. 🙂

  • brandon

    This gets me fired up. No lie

    • Michael Matthews

      Nice. 🙂

  • James Buckley

    Nice writing, Mike.

    I’m halfway through a novel. Writing is way harder for me than training ever was … but then I should shut up and write.

    Note to people starting with training: the first step is normally by far the hardest. Nail down a sensible routine and soon it’s comfortable; you don’t feel right without it.

    • Martin Jones

      Best of luck with the novel.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks James.

      Yeah, shut up and write is good advice, haha. Remember that just about every great writer…ever…struggled immensely to produce good work. It’s not supposed to be easy.

  • T

    Love this!

    • Michael Matthews


  • Darren

    Shit Mike its my rest day !

    • Michael Matthews

      That’s permitted. 🙂

  • Kevin

    Sitting at my desk at work, i was really close to ROARING outloud. haha. need to train now! …but i’ll have to wait a few hours till lunch 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Hahah hope you had a good workout!

  • Martin Jones

    It’s amazing how much time we actually have spare when we make exercise a priority alongside eating and sleeping. I did my workout yesterday, which took me just over 20 minutes. I can easily spend twice that time mindlessly browsing Youtube videos if I don’t conciously stop myself.

    • Michael Matthews

      Very true.

  • Ben R.

    *slow clap*

    • Michael Matthews

      *high five*

  • Morgan

    I read this in Arnold’s voice

    • Michael Matthews


  • Kevin Clark

    Today I am on week 1 day 5 of your Bigger Leaner Stronger workout for one year. It feels so good. By the way I am 52 years young.

    • Ronk

      You are just a baby…I’m nearly82 and still training and trying to get that elusive body. Is it madness-endurance – determination or just plain vanity.

      • Kevin Clark

        Thanks for the encouraging words Ronk, maybe one day I will be as cool as you.

      • Michael Matthews

        That’s awesome.

    • Michael Matthews

      Awesome man! Let me know how it goes!

  • Edward

    How to train on budget tho …those who don’t have the money to buy the supplement n the proper nutrition etc

  • Leslie

    Great article and by the way I read it after my training session!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! And nice! 🙂

  • Kerry Rosenhagen

    Nice work Mike. Best motivational article for training I’ve read.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Kerry!

  • Willog2

    just do it !

    • Michael Matthews

      Love Nike. 🙂

      • Daniel

        Nike, in greek mythology, is a goddess that personifies victory. 🙂

        • Michael Matthews

          I’m aware. 🙂

  • Marcelo Torres

    ok People STOP commenting on this article and shut up and train!

    • Michael Matthews


  • saveourskills

    Getting pumped up and I want it all NOW of course… I wish it were that easy for a natural guy to just go nuts until you were shredded like a roider can do.

    Would love to have an article on how to know when you are training hard and getting shit done vs over training. The line is fine!

  • Gretchen

    Quantum physics kicked my ass, but training is something I can do.

    • Michael Matthews

      I have faith. 🙂

  • JB

    “I’m sorry that life isn’t gift wrapping a chunk of time every day so
    you can train in Zen-like comfort and solitude.” – I love this!!

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha thanks. 🙂

  • Edward

    Thanks So much mike …n thanks for the motivation

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks brother. Train hard! 🙂

  • Lianne

    So flat out honest. I love it! You never fail to say what is on your mind, Mike. KUDOS!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Lianne!

  • Theron Yantes


    • Michael Matthews

      Merry Christmas. 🙂

  • Donna Kushnir

    Holy cow that’s an awesome article! The best one yet! Seriously, very motivating. I’ve been using the Thinner, Leaner Stronger training program combined with my custom meal plan from you and am LOVING training again! Thank you very much!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Donna! Awesome! I’m really glad to hear it. Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

  • Charlotte Grøftehauge

    I am actually thrilled that I got my first real workout in after 2 weeks of rest because of surgery. D… I missed the weights. But now I’m back in business 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Awesome! Glad to hear it.

  • JRoder

    Best article ever! I want to read this ever morning before I start my day!

    • Michael Matthews

      Haha thanks! 🙂

  • brandon

    Dude that was freaking hilarious !!!!! But motivating as hell!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! 🙂

  • phoenix

    I did shut up and train today it was arm day, it burned.

    • Michael Matthews

      Good job! 🙂

  • Pingback: Why Searching For Motivation Is Keeping You Fat, Unhappy, and Stagnant | Muscle For Life()

  • Tom

    Awesome! Am going to print this off for those days I need a kick in the butt! Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Great! LMK how it goes!

  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

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  • Reggie

    You need to make some lactose free protein, preferably of the beef variety. Us lactards thank you in advance.

  • Lizbar

    Ha ha, I needed this this morning! Shutting up now and locating trainers!

    • Hahah

    • Donna Martey

      You can do it yourself with Michael’s help, most likely even faster. A lot of personal trainers are extremely expensive and don’t give step-by-step instruction and detailed explanations for why certain methods are effective and other aren’t. I work at Goodlife Fitness in Canada and to get your personal training certification you only have to take a 3 month course and have some sort of post-secondary education in any field. Also — the world of personal training is very sales driven, trainers will tell you what you want to here so you sign contracts with them. Once you’re locked in a contract the reality is that regardless of the consistency and quality of their service to their clientele they are still getting paid. Why should they put in extra time and dedication to go over the top? If you’re doing your own research for yourself and building your own training and diet regimens you’ll be able to create a program for yourself that will give you optimal results. I’m bringing all of this up because I almost spent $10,000 for a year of sessions with a personal trainer but I didn’t because I just couldn’t afford it. I was upset about it but then I found Muscle for Life. From taking all the information Michael has written up on this site, his books and my newly ignited passion for lifting and getting stronger I am seeing results way faster than I honestly can guarantee I would have gotten with a trainer. It’s so much fun working on form and adding weight and looking up supplements for yourself, you’re working on yourself and you get to fine tune everything to your liking, adjust your exercises, find alternate ones if you’re bored of certain ones.. it’s so much fun, I wouldn’t want a trainer to take the best part of training away from me, which would be creating the program and I am going to execute. Anyway. Rambling to this one year old post. Just hope you didn’t get a trainer and bought Thinner Leaner Stronger instead 😛

  • AFamiliar Stranger

    Sinceriously, I think this is the best article you have ever written. My favorite is about the gift wrapped chunk of time. It’s true though. I always expect my workout time to be perfect and it never will. Thanks for this. I’ve been flip flopping back and forth the last week. I seem to be perpetually stuck in the ‘I’ll start tomorrow stage’

  • Around this time of year, I need a kick in the pants to get out of the lazy holiday mindset. Thanks for this article, Mike.

  • Jason

    I need this so bad some days I saved the article right on my home screen. My biggest hold back is I’m a bigger guy and am self conscious of my looks when being the FAT GUY at the gym. I mentally picture my self when I was a kid and other students poking fun of me. Not realizing now we’re all adults here. So I find myself feeling good and want to work out, then I drive by anytime fitness and…. There are cars there…. So I get intimidated and keep on driving. So I usually only go when no one is there which is maybe once or twice a week.

    • I hear you, Jason! You just gotta focus on your goals which are what matter and ignore everyone else.

      Everyone at the gym is there for the same reason–self-improvement of some kind,

      If there are any, ignore the haters and train. 🙂

    • LWinfrey

      I can totally relate Jason! I started my journey at 301lbs and roughly 40% bodyfat. You just have to suck it up and get on with it. You will find that people will actually respect the hell out of you for getting in there. No one walks into a gym built like a greek god. We all start either too small and puny or too big and fluffy. Greek god only comes through blood, sweat, and tears and not giving a damn about what anyone says or thinks about your effort! I was intimidated when I started going to the gym. I was embarassed by the fact that at 6’1″ I couldn’t even bench 100lbs for 6 reps. But I got under that bar and started lifting. I don’t have anything impressive in weights yet but I am stronger today than I was 6 months ago and in 6 months I will be stronger still. You just have to do it!

  • Snyder-Overrated

    Training is easy. Can’t live without it.

    Getting work done? That’s a whole nother story!

  • Andrew

    I am not a beginner by any means. Been lifting for 5 years. However my strength levels are quite embarrassing (probably due to all the bro workouts). Would you recommend BLS or BBLS?

    • Steve Castellanos

      Ive been doing the BLS program for about 2 months now, and I have seem tremendous results. I have been only lifting for about a year now. Up to starting BLS, I had seen results but not as much as I have seen with just 2 months of BLS. If you follow your nutrition, follow your macros, sleep enough, and kick butt in the gym, you will see great results. Highly recommend!

    • I hear you, Andrew. You should start with BLS. I don’t recommend BBLS until people have hit the follow strength benchmarks:

      Squat: 1.75 x body weight for a 1RM
      Deadlift: 1.75 x body weight for a 1RM
      Bench Press: 1.35 x body weight for a 1RM
      Seated Military Press: 1 x body weight for a 1RM

  • Hailey

    you, my friend, are pretty cool!!! Shredded af and a good writer? This blog post was enough motivation just because of that, the words were just icing on the cake

    • Haha thanks Hailey! I appreciate the support 🙂

      LMK if I can ever help with anything or if you have any questions.

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