I begin my strength workouts with deadlifts and pull up, 3 sets of the first, 5 of the second. By the time I'm finished with those movements, I am wide awake.

I don't use belts or straps, unlike in my youth. I firmly believe you are only as strong as your weakest link. A belt compresses your core. The increased internal pressure takes load off the back, making the deadlift easier. Likewise, straps relieve hands of the need to grip the bar as tightly. This decreases load on hands and forearms. What good are strong legs without a midsection capable of lifting what the legs did? What good are strong bicep and lats without the grip to move the object they pull?

Holistic training must leave behind no weak spots. Deadlifts and pull up are my most mentally demanding movements. Leading off with them, particularly at 04:15, is particularly difficult for me. My mind rebels against the exertion. This is a weakness. Mind or body, you are only as strong as your weakest link.

I slowed my rep tempo this morning and lost about a third of my reps. Jerking the weight and kipping cheat your muscles of the work. There is a place for plyometric training. But too often, those techniques degenerate to being a means of squeezing out more showy reps for bragging rights. I do not train for others. In the end, the only voice inside your head is your own. It is weakness if you need the deceived opinions of others to prop you up when you are alone inside your head with that one voice.

Mind, body, the link between them: train everything. Train for life.