These are my Goals

I want to update you with some of my goals moving forward and some thoughts that I have been having during this COVID-19 time. Such a strange time, right?

First off, I hope everyone is safe and healthy. It’s hard to know what’s to come out of this time with the media and professionals always going back and forth. Information constantly changing.

Honestly, I just know enough to make smart decisions and then the rest goes one in and out the other.

Secondly, I feel for all the people who are currently without a job. Especially small businesses, who are affected the most during these times. I hope you all can come together and support each other if you are in a position to do so.

There is nothing worse than seeing a business shut down due to something they can’t control in a situation with an unknown deadline. Buy some goodies, give them a shoutout, whatever it is, it helps!


Choose Not To Live In Fear

I want you all to choose NOT to live in fear.

Fear will paralyze you from making decisions and finding the good in each situation you are presented with. Fear is what keeps you from pushing forward and getting to your goals. It’s okay to acknowledge the fear and understand where it’s coming from. But once you understand it, learn how to overcome it.

I’m afraid just like you. I’m afraid of what will happen to my business, employees, my finances if someone gets sick in my family, my health, and the list goes on and on.

However, I accept there is nothing I can do about these external circumstances and all I can do is control what I can. I will do the best with the cards that I’m dealt with and will fight till there is no fight left!

In my sick twisted mind, I really enjoy these times because it’s what is keeping us uncomfortable.

It’s forcing us to choose between two options:

  • Run-away and crumble
  • Run to adapt and overcome

We are Forced To Make Decisions

Option #1 is easy, it’s what most people do because it requires ZERO effort. But where is the growth in that? There is none.

Option #2 is tough; it requires you to go against the grain. To actually put forth an effort and stretch yourself. But just like building muscle it takes the stress and works to get the results you want. In these times it’s more than just a physical challenge, it’s a mental one too. We don’t like it because we enjoy being comfortable.

We are forced to constantly be making decisions between option #1 and #2. If you are reading this and apart of becoming your strongest version, strive to pick option #2 as much as you can. STOP living in the fear.

Many of us have not been put through isolation to this degree. What I have noticed is during the first couple of days nothing seemed any different… life was normal and kind of fun, it felt like a vacation.

Then as the first week past, I was over it. That was my personal limit. I was ready to get out and get back to life!

After 1 week I started to really have to take a deep dive into myself. Now sitting with more free time than ever to just assess my thoughts and goals. Lots of existential thoughts flooding into my mind. I quickly learned that happiness comes from within and to be grateful for all that I have. I never missed people in my gym so bad. Sometimes I would get frustrated over the stupid little things but now I would kill to have a packed gym and those little “issues” don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.

Joey Szatmary Fitness Myths Squatting

The Thoughts Just Grew Deeper and Deeper

As some of you may or may not know I was supposed to compete in a competition to qualify me for Arnold 2021 as a 105-pro strongman (prep coach is Alan Thrall).

That is what I have been training towards the last 12 weeks.

I didn’t really talk much about it but over the last several months I just wasn’t enjoying training. I still showed up for all my scheduled workouts, but there just wasn’t any passion or happiness associated with it.

I wasn’t even happy in the gym period. (weird right?)

But I had set a goal and I wanted to see it through.

Then COVID-19 decided to come in hot and cause a sh*t storm worldwide. Once this happened my life and the majority of everyone else’s soon flipped upside down and here we are!

Getting Deep. I Didn’t Know The Answers

I was checking to see if the show was postponed or canceled due to Corona, but it wasn’t.

This was tough because I was getting so stressed out not knowing if I was still competing or not. I was also training with Dr. Mike Israetel (@rpdrmike) and Charley (@Carleton_banks) a few times a week leading up to this.

It was just to switch it up and get me out of the gym for some mental clarity as well as learn from him. We did hypertrophy style workouts and I noticed how much fun I was having and natural it felt to be training this way.

I was excited every time I showed up, and couldn’t wait to get after it.

So now I’m training hypertrophy on top of prepping for a competition, I’m clearly confused about what’s going on and somewhat losing my mind. I even talked to Mike and Charley about my goals and future and they asked me some thought-provoking questions that I really didn’t know the answers to…

Why do you want to go to the Arnold?

What will going to the Arnold do for you personally? Financially?

Will the weight cut be worth it?

What are you trying to accomplish with your brand and vision?

Do you enjoy strongman training?

The questions went on and on… and my brain was spinning…

joey Szatmary Wagon Wheels Strongman Training

Self Discovery. The Process is Part of The Journey.

Finally, I check the Facebook page for my strongman competition and the event I postponed until sometime late summer. I immediately felt this relief I haven’t felt in a while (which is something to take note of).

As I was sitting in my house, I started to think about those questions asked.

Why did I want to do the Arnold? Was it something I wanted to do, or something I felt would get me respect in the strongman world?

Why am I dreading training? Am I actually even excited to compete, or has this just become my identity I feel the need to fulfill?

I realized I was doing things for other people’s respect and approval over what I wanted to do that would make me happy and enjoy the journey. I was looking for the end goal (Arnold) to be my happiness versus just being happy during the process.

I came to a lot of self-discoveries about myself.

One of them was I always start off loving something and being passionate about it which keeps it fun. Then I get competitive and after some time that competitive drive turns into wanting to prove myself to others and get accolades for respect. When this switch happens it no longer makes me happy and turns what I started off loving into stress and struggle to continue on with.

I came to the conclusion that going to the Arnold wouldn’t really do much for me internally. It was more to impress others and say that I was a strongman who went to the Arnold blah blah blah.

I’ve also known for a while my weight to compete as a 105kg was not the best weight for my performance and I have pretty much maxed out my weight that I’m currently at performance-wise.

So, What Does This Mean?

After talking with Dr. Mike and Charley I’ve decided that I’m going to switch things up during this time and start a full-on hypertrophy training program (strongman 1x a week).

This will take place over the course of 8-12 weeks where I will be cutting my weight down to the lowest bodyfat % I’ve ever been at. This is not for performance by any means, it’s to establish a new base for when I add on mass over the next 1-2 years carefully and precisely. I would like to get around 265lbs and fill out my 6’2 frame while being strong and athletic.

I will still compete in strongman but only 1-2 shows a year that I’m truly interested and passionate about training for. I have some goals in terms of numbers for lifts I want to hit and I know I need to increase my body weight and muscle mass to do so.

This also will allow me to be at my most optimal weight for competing in strongman heavyweight division. I have been tracking my nutrition using RP Strength APP, which has made it so simple and easy to get to my goals and track everything! (if interested use “Mufasa” to get a discount).

Step up and Be Insanely Productive

I feel good about this decision and overall, just happy! Training has been enjoyable I don’t feel the pressure that I felt before and I’m okay with just competing because I love the sport and training. Not the be the world’s best HW strongman!

I’m excited to document the journey and process to show you guys how I’m doing along the way and if you can take anything away from it, awesome!

You can use this time we have to be negative or you can step up and be productive, insanely productive. I have used this time to be insanely productive working on projects I’ve put off for months, and working on myself.

I’ve looked at this time as a blessing rather than a curse to put into perspective what really matters to me in life. I’m not saying you have to do this, but I encourage you to just give it a try. Take this time to work on yourself, do some deep diving. Help others when you can, and pick what is hard over what is easy.

If you have gotten this far, thank you for taking the time to read my personal diary entry ha!

But I hope you found some value in this post and maybe it opened up some doorways in our brain to reshape the way you are thinking. We are in this together and I’m sending you love, health, and happiness!

Stay strong and rage against the dying of the light!

Coach J


Joey Szatmary

Joey Szatmary

Founder of Szat Strength and current Overall 2019 National Heavy Weight Strongman Champion.