Bob Takano is one of the most influential coaches in the history of Olympic Weightlifting. His influence over the sport has been enormous, and he’s had a profound impact on many lifters’ lives. He was born in New York City, but grew up in California where he trained under Arnold Schwarzenegger at Westside Barbell Club. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in Exercise Science, he moved to San Francisco where he worked as a personal trainer. He then decided to pursue coaching full time and opened his own training facility called “The Powerhouse” in San Francisco.
Takano’s first major project was creating the world record for the bench press (905 lbs) which was broken by Mark Twight in 1997. Since then, he’s continued to break records. In 2000, he set the world record for the deadlift (1065 lbs), breaking a mark previously held by Frank Shorter.
He’s also coached some of the best powerlifters in history including Ronnie Coleman, Mike Mentzer and Ryan Kennelly.
In 2002, he became the first person to win two consecutive Mr Olympia titles when he won both competitions again in 2003 and 2004 respectively. He became the first person to win three Mr. Olympia titles in 2005 and is currently the only person to ever win 4 Mr.Olympia titles.
He then won his 5th Mr.Olympia title in 2007, becoming the oldest person to ever win the Mr.Olympia competition. Lastly, he won his sixth Mr.Olympia title in 2008, breaking his own record (set in 2005) as the oldest person to ever win the Mr.Olympia competition.
As of now, at age 65, he’s still continues to train and compete in powerlifting. To put this into perspective, the current Mr.Olympia Phil Heath is 40 years old.
If Bob was in his prime today, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’d smoke everyone and become the best bodybuilder in the world (even at age 65). The man is a living legend and one of the greatest weightlifters of all time.
He’s extremely dedicated to weightlifting, and he’s still actively involved with the sport. It’s funny because even now, he’s continued to break his own world records. He might be one of very few people in history who are over 60 years old and still competing at an elite level.
Bob has made me a better coach, human being, and most importantly, a better athlete. I feel truly blessed to have had the chance to learn from one of the all time greats.
The fact that I’ve had the opportunity to meet, learn from and befriend him has been a blessing. It’s very rare for someone in our industry to meet their idols, let alone get the chance to befriend them. It just goes to show you that anything is possible with hard work and determination.
So if you’ve got a weightlifting coach, don’t take them for granted. They’re there to help you achieve your goals in the long term and they certainly deserve your respect.
Bob is a great coach and I’m happy to call him my friend.
Here are some lessons that I’ve learned from Bob Takano:
1. Be Mentally Strong
Bob’s biggest strength is his mental strength. He’s one of the most mentally strong people I’ve ever met, especially for his age. Bob has an incredible ability to block out pain.
He’s able to set his mind to a certain goal, and achieve that goal no matter what. As a coach, he teaches his clients to be mentally strong as well.
When you’re in the gym, there’s always going to be distractions. Someone is going to be talking, or there’s going to be loud music, or the gym might be crowded, etc. These are distractions that can break your focus and keep you from lifting heavier weights.
Bob has taught me to block out these distractions when I’m lifting and stay focused.
Bob is a great communicator and he’s skilled at teaching others how to be mentally strong as well. For example, if one of his clients is having an off day, then Bob will have a conversation with that person on how to pick himself up. If another client isn’t training hard enough, Bob will also have a talk with that person on how to get his/her head in the game.
Bob is a master at drilling mental toughness into his clients, and for that I’m truly grateful.
2. Consistency Is Paramount
Bob has been training for over 30 years and he’s still going strong. Bob’s workouts have always been consistent. He hasn’t changed his routine in years.
Why fix something that isn’t broken?
Bob is a firm believer in this statement, and it’s definitely worked in his favor.
As I’ve said many times in the past, if something isn’t broken, then why fix it?
Bob is a perfect example of this. If you look at his training over the years, it’s pretty consistent. He focuses on the basics and he’s always prioritized proper form before adding weight.
Because he knows that if your form is sloppy, then you can get hurt.
Bob also pays very close attention to his recovery methods. He’s always doing something to help his body recover from training. Whether it’s getting massages, taking ice baths or just drinking a ton of milk, Bob is aware of the fact that if your body isn’t recovering, then you’re going to get hurt and your performance will suffer.
Bob’s consistency has been a major factor in his success. If you want to be successful in anything, whether it’s business or sports, you have to be consistent. There are going to be times where you’re not going to feel like training, but if you want to achieve your goals, then you have to force yourself to do it.
Now this doesn’t mean you should be obsessive about working out. Everything needs to be in moderation. But if you’re consistently working out 3-4 times a week for 1-2 hours a day, then great things will start to happen.
3. Hard Work Pays Off
This one is kind of obvious, but it needs to be said. Bob has worked his butt off in the gym and it’s paid off tremendously. He’s transformed his body and accomplished goals that most people wouldn’t even dare to think about doing.
No matter who you are, you’re going to have to work hard to achieve your fitness goals. I know for a fact that some of you aren’t working hard enough in the gym. If you make fitness a priority in your life, then amazing things will start to happen.
With that being said, it’s up to you how hard you want to work. You can choose to cruise and just do the minimum or you can turn your workout sessions into a mental battle. Choose the later.
If fitness is a priority in your life, then it won’t be a chore. It’ll be something that you actually look forward to. For me, I love the feeling after I finish a kick-butt workout.
It’s like I’m on cloud nine and nothing can bring me down. When you have that type of feeling after working out, you know you’re on the right path.
Bob’s work ethic has definitely inspired me to step my own game up. I’m going to start making the gym a priority instead of just going whenever I have time to. If fitness is a priority, then there’s no way you can fail.
Everyone always asks me how I have so much energy every day. This is mainly because I make fitness a priority in my life. Fitness isn’t just about looking good, it’s about feeling good too.
When you have energy, it affects your whole day in a positive way.
So I encourage you to make fitness a priority as well. If you do, then there’s no reason why you can’t achieve your goals.
2. You Don’t Need To Be Super Lean To Be Strong
Bob is far from being “ripped”. In fact, a lot of people would probably say he’s “chubby” or even “fat”. You often hear people say that you need to have low body fat levels in order to be strong.
This is completely false.
Again, I know that I’ve beat this topic to death, but it really can not be stressed enough. Having a high level of body fat doesn’t decrease your strength.
How Do You Get Ripped Anyways?
Most people think that in order to get “ripped”, you have to perform a lot of high intensity cardio, stay up late at night sweating, doing sit-ups and what not. This is completely false as well.
Getting super lean comes down to one simple factor: calories In vs Calories Out (remember this equation from above?
). There is no secret. There is no mystery.
If you’re like Bob and you have a lot of fat to lose, then you’re going to have to cut down on your calorie intake and exercise regularly (you should be doing this anyways). The amount of cardio that you’ll have to do in order to burn off a pound of fat would blow most people out of the water. This is why having a high level of body fat doesn’t mean that you’re out of shape or weak.
Bob has managed to keep up the same level of fitness even though his body fat went up. He’s still strong as an ox and can outlift people half his age.
If this isn’t motivation to let you know that gaining weight doesn’t make you weak then I don’t know what is.
3. You Can Get Ripped Eating Healthy Food
So this one is pretty obvious, but a lot of people don’t really think about it. You don’t need to live off of chicken, rice cakes and diet soda in order to get ripped. You just need to watch what you eat and exercise.
I can’t tell you the number of times people have told me that they don’t want to go through the process of getting ripped because they love food way too much. Way too many people think that in order to get ripped, they have cut all the joy out of their lives. This simply isn’t true.
I’ve always said that I’d rather be strong AND healthy than weak and sick. If getting ripped means that I have to sacrifice my health in order to do it, then it’s not really worth it. I can get ripped just by making a few adjustments to my diet.
Now some of you might be thinking, “What about your metabolism?
Your metabolism is going to slow down since you’re eating less and less each day!” Again, this isn’t true. As I stated way back in Tip #3, if you keep your muscles, then your metabolism won’t slow down as much as you might think.
You can be strong AND ripped. It’s all about making the right choices!
4. You Can Still Do The Things You Love
Getting ripped isn’t about cutting joy out of your life and living like a monk. That’s not fun and that’s not going to get you anywhere.
I’ve already addressed that in Tip #3, but I think this deserves its own point because it can’t be overstated.
There are a lot of activities that you can do that are fun and don’t involve eating unhealthily or dangerously overworking your body.
If you like playing basketball, go play basketball. If you like riding bicycles, go for a ride. If you like swimming, go swimming.
You can do these things and get ripped. It isn’t all or nothing.
So you’ve been eating poorly and haven’t been exercising as much as you should?
No worries, just start taking steps in the right direction and you’ll reach your goals eventually.
5. It’s Okay To Accept Help
Part of the reason why I think a lot people have such a hard time getting into shape is because they try to go at it alone. They try to motivate themselves and fail. They try to motivate their friends and fail.
Then when the going gets tough, they start to lose hope and give up altogether because they feel like it’s a losing battle.
Well I’m here to tell you that you’re not in this alone. There are great tools out there nowadays to help you reach your goals. If you don’t have any money, then no problem.
Most of these things are either free or very cheap.
You have the resources around you and the ability within you to succeed. Now all you need to do is make that all important decision to do something about it.
If you need help, ask for it. If you need information, seek it out. You can’t say that you’ve done everything you can if you haven’t tried these things.
I’ve posted links in this article for you to find out more information on how to get started on your path to health and fitness.
So those are my five tips on how to get ripped. Getting ripped isn’t easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible. It’s all about making the right choices and taking things one day at a time most of the time.
Of course, if you need help or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll try to help you in any way that I can!
Also, if you’ve gotten ripped before and have any tips or advice of your own, please post them as well! The more information we can get out there on this subject, the better.
Good luck and most importantly, congratulations on taking the first step towards a healthier and better life!
You look like you’re stuck in a hole and can’t get out. I don’t know exactly what’s going on in your life, but I do know that you can turn things around if you really want to.
You might be reading this and thinking that I don’t know what I’m talking about because you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked for you. While I won’t deny that you may have very real obstacles in your way, it still amazes me how many people just give up without trying one last thing before they call it quits.
Let me ask you this: If you were digging a hole with a shovel and you were stuck, would you keep digging or would you give up and just lay down in the hole to die?
I think that analogy kind of sums it up pretty well…
The point is, if you’ve tried everything you can think of and you’ve honestly done everything you can to get your life back on track, then by all means, you may be right. But on the other hand, you may just be making an excuse as to why you’re not going to try one more thing before you give up.
If that’s the case then you might want to ask yourself “Why?”
Why are you making excuses? Is it because you’re really tired and just don’t feel like trying anymore? Is it because you’ve accepted your life as it is and are happy with it? Is it because you’re just lazy?
I’m not going to judge you in any way. We’ve all been there at some point or another. The important thing is that YOU realize what the problem is and that you take the necessary steps to correct it.
You can do this by asking yourself some simple questions and being honest with yourself when you answer them:
1. Do you really want to change?
2. What reasons do you have for changing?
Are they important enough that you’ll try something, no matter how small the chance of it working may be?
If the answers to those questions are “yes” and “yes”, then you’re ready to move on to the next step.
The next step is to assess the situation and set some realistic goals that you can achieve. Let’s start by listing the obstacles that are in your way:
Obstacle #1: Lack of exercise time
Solution #1: Make time
There are 168 hours in each week. There are also 52 weeks in a year. Realistically, you should be able to find at least 30 minutes a week to work out.
The key is to prioritize your goals and your fitness routine ahead of other non-important activities.
Let’s say you watch an average of 4 hours of TV per day. That’s 2,080 hours each year. If you cut that down to just 2 hours a day and used that time to exercise, you would increase your available time by 1,080 hours!
That’s almost 2 years worth of time each year!
Another common obstacle people have is that they don’t have any equipment or they’ve blown their money on something else. That’s no excuse either. The Internet is full of free workouts.
You could do squats with canned goods in your kitchen. You could do push-ups and sit-ups. There are countless things you can do without spending a dime.
You really have no excuses.
Obstacle #2: Lack of Knowledge
Solution #2: Find a workout plan you like and stick with it.
This is the most critical step in the process. You have to actually do the work. The above solutions are just to get you started.
You need a workout plan that you’re going to enjoy. Something that you’re going to be able to stick with even when times get tough.
For example, let’s say you’ve picked running as your main exercise. You’ve bought a pair of running shoes and a song comes on the radio that you love and you decide to take a break and enjoy the music instead of continuing to run. If running is really something you dislike and don’t want to do, then that one song is going to be enough to make you stop running more times than you’ll care to admit.
Does this mean that you’re a horrible person?
No, it just means that running isn’t the right exercise for you. You need to find something else that you’ll be able to stick with even when times get tough.
Now, I’m no expert, but from what I can tell the best exercise is one that uses your entire body. It also needs to be fun and something that you’re going to enjoy enough that you won’t ever feel like it’s “work” to do it.
It’s also important to set short term goals and give yourself rewards for accomplishing them. For example, let’s say you want to be able to run a 5K. You can break that down into shorter distances and set incremental rewards for achieving those goals:
1 mile – 1 mile
½ mile – listen to favorite song
¼ mile – buy new album
Toe – run the ½ mile
There are countless ways you can set goals. The key is to keep them short, realistic and fun. You can also give yourself a larger reward once you reach your final 5K goal.
Finally, find a buddy to work out with on a regular basis and stay committed. If you make the workout a social event, you’ll be much less likely to skip it. You also have someone there to help push you when you don’t feel like working out or if you hit a rough patch in your training.
Remember, as with most things in life the hardest part is just getting started. The first few times you work out are going to be the toughest, but once your body gets accustomed to it, it’s going to get a lot easier. Eventually, it will even become something that you look forward to.
Once you start reaping the benefits of your new healthy lifestyle, you’re not going to want to turn back. You’ll have more energy and feel better about yourself. You’re also going to look better and the added confidence is going to make your life a lot easier as well.
You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking care of your body. Give it some TLC and I think you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel, not to mention looking.
Obstacle #3: Not Enough Money
Solution #3: Find the best deals and cheapest places to do everything.
The biggest problem that most people have is that they don’t have enough money. They want to save money, but they end up spending all of it. This won’t happen to you if you take a little time to learn where to get the best deals on things and how to pay less for them.
For example, did you know most grocery stores have newsletters that they mail out to customers?
These newsletters usually come out weekly and they contain all of the store’s advertisements. Typically, there will be a lot of coupons in these newsletters that will allow you to get money off of your grocery bill or even free products. All you have to do is cut out the coupons and take them with you to the store.
Sources & references used in this article:
Algorithms, implementation, and studies on eating with a shared control robot arm by LV Herlant – 2018 – kilthub.cmu.edu
How to Prevent Fear of Heights From Throwing You Off Balance by R Handsfield – breakingmuscle.com
Video games have always been queer by B Ruberg – 2019 – books.google.com