For the past few years I’ve been compiling a top things I learned list and we’re back by popular demand! This year I broke up my top forty list into four categories that I’m extremely passionate about and they all start with the letter M: muscle, manhood, marriage and money.
As you can see, I’m not ashamed or hesitant to share what I’m all about and I hope that my learning will be insightful for you.
Looking forward to your comments afterwards… which one stood out to you? What did you learn in 2010?
Top 10 Things I Learned About Muscle:
1.Muscle is built in spurts, it’s not a non-stop process. The best results come from “kicking the life” out of your body for 3-weeks and then taking an easy week before repeating the process. This formula can be repeated all year round.
2. My muscle building formula for success: Take massive action, analyze your results and readjust your approach until you get the results you want. Repeat.
3. My joints love me since I started mega dosing with fish oils. In fact, I recommend most people start with 20-30 grams of fish oil for the first 1-4 weeks to reduce inflammation and then bring your dosage down to 10-20 grams a day for maintenance.
4. Intermittent fast days, Sunday 6pm until Monday 6pm, at least 1-2 times a month has become a staple of my bodybuilding lifestyle. I’ve documented increased sleep quality, increased energy, no loss in muscle, a tighter midsection and greater appreciation for food.
5. Joel Marion’s 25-Day Extreme Fat Loss Diet is by far the most intense, aggressive and effective way to get super ripped in a short period of time. I recommend only using it once or twice a year though.
6. Extreme Rush from www.BlueStarNutritionals.com is officially my favorite pre workout supplement and has replaced my pre workout double espresso. The focus and intensity I get from this stuff has become addicting and I don’t like to train without it.
7. Hire a trainer, at least once in your life. Just recently I hired the toughest trainer at my gym that has been introducing me to 1-2 hour workouts at 110% intensity – I now drive to the gym in fear of what he has in store for me. Here’s how he greets me, “I’m kicking the piss out of you today.”
8. Creating “Team Del Monte” is helping me blow beyond my genetic potential, for a third time, as I’m climbing to 230 pounds for January 1st. I’ve hired a trainer, massage therapist, ART therapist and a personal nutrition coach (for the first time in my life). You don’t know what you don’t know and each piece of my team is contributing to greater improvement. I’ve found that to get to new levels, you probably won’t be able to do it alone.
9. Hot Yoga has become my new secret weapon. After 3-months of regular hot yoga (2-3x a week), I’m finally experiencing improved range of motion, flexibility, alignment, muscular endurance, isometric strength, faster recovery, muscle stability and muscle recruitment. The only thing I regret about hot yoga is not starting it 10 years ago.
10. There is no definitive answer to anything. Everyone is different and it’s your responsibility to figure out what works best for your body and what doesn’t. Text books and programs and coaches are only a starting point. You’ll only learn the truth about your body by taking action, documenting your results and readjusting your approach.
Top 10 Things I Learned About Manhood:
11. Character is more important than reputation. Character is who you are when no one is looking.
12. If you are good at something, let people find out on their own. No one appreciates the man who is always talking about his accomplishments. Also, while confidence is a good thing, being cocky is not. I’m still learning the difference 🙂
13. A man should aspire to be successful, but success should never come at the expense of others or at the expense of compromising one’s standards. I’ve been challenged with this being a young and very ambitious entrepreneur.
14. Don’t do life alone. Forming a band of brothers and coming along side each other in good times and bad times is what being a man is all about. Being a man your buddies can count on is one of the greatest satisfactions in the world.
15. Successful people study the lives of other successful people. Likewise, to obtain true masculinity, study the lives of real men. Please don’t emulate the lives of the guys from Jersey Shore. You were meant for way more.
16. A real man puts his family and friends first – before his technology. Blackberry’s and iPhones are not going to visit you at your funeral. (When Flavia and I go on date night, I no longer bring a 3rd wheel… i.e. my Blackberry. Guys… if you’re on a date with your lady… leave the phone at home… at least try it once 🙂 )
17. If you don’t stand for something then you’ll fall for everything. I learned this one from my pops.
18. A real man cares about his physical health and understands that improving his body benefits more than just himself- it inspires his friends, co workers, kids and ensures his wife keeps her hands where they should be – all over him 🙂
19. Your wife (or future wife) wants you to LEAD HER (at least I think most women want this). Step up and take charge and show that you’re a man with the plan. Take responsibility for the growth (or lack of growth) in your relationship.
20. Don’t expect people to just like you for who you are. Give them reasons to like you.
Top 10 Things I Learned About Marriage:
21. Marriage is like a full frontal mirror! Everything about you is exposed and you are given an awesome opportunity to address your issues. Try to view every issue as a way to grow and mature.
22. Don’t sweep any issues under the rug. Initially you can walk around them but eventually the rug will become so high that it’s going to get addressed. Avoiding issues is not better than addressing them right away.
23. Learn how to say, “I’m sorry Dear. I was wrong, you were right. Will you forgive me?” 🙂
24. It’s about “Team Del Monte,” not “Team Vince.” Working as partners, side by side is where it’s at.
25. Get ready to swallow your pride and remain humble, especially when arguing about silly things. Having a prideful heart will steer you right into a dead end, or a night on the couch!
26. If it bothers her, then listen up. Marriage has pushed me to be more sensitive and understanding of Flavia’s “buttons.” Even if it doesn’t make sense, I’m doing my best to respect my wife’s wishes.
27. Distance yourself from couples who complain about their spouses and have unhealthy relationships. Hang out with couples who are real, in love with each other and have a relationship that you look up to.
28. Continue to do life together. Flavia and I regularly go to the movies together, workout together, cook together and get dressed up for each other for “hot dates!” Basically we continue to do the same things that we did that lead us into marriage.
29. Communication is key! Always make time to talk about the day and what things were encountered, any new goals or disappointments.
30. Never use the word DIVORCE. No matter what, you always know you are in it FOREVER….the D word isn’t an option.
Top 10 Things I Learned About Money:
31. Weddings are not cheap! WOW! I highly recommend you don’t go into debt to pay for one.
32. The more people you serve the more you make.
33. It’s best to pay yourself first. I continue to set aside my “monthly saving goal” before I pay my bills. I don’t let my bills bully me around. I would rather collect a tad of interest rather than hit my personal saving goals.
34. Hang out with friends who make more money than you – if improving your financial situation is important to you. Hanging out with broke people will only lead you to becoming broke.
35. I shouldn’t and don’t feel guilty going on nice trips or splurging on dinners (that’s my thing). I work my freaking butt off.
36. The more problems and the bigger problems you solve in the world, the more money you make. Focus on solving a big problem or even a small problem in the world and the moola will follow.
37. Money is a great tool to motivate you to take action. Dropping a few grand on my trainer has really inspired me to dial in my nutrition.
38. Hanging out with people who’s lives revolve around excess and more more more can be just as dangerous as hanging out with people who are broke.
39. Working harder and longer is not necessarily better but at some point of your success it’ll probably be necessary for a short period of time. If you only work harder and longer, you’re addicted to work.
40. Recognize you are blessed- whatever your current situation. There are tragedies all over the world and a good percentage of people are living in a hellish nightmare right now. Remember that everything you have is a gift from above and that it can be taken away just as quickly as it was given to you. Maximize and LIVE LARGE with what you have been given.
I hope you enjoyed that…. My thoughts were a little heavier and deeper than last year. I have been doing that every year since 2006 and it’s a very reflective time for me. I would love to hear which one stood out to you and what you learned in 2010. Leave your comments below.
Vince Del Monte
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