Billy Gunn compares how he used to hustle in his prime wrestling years to be successful… and how age has changed that mentality.
Billy Gunn is back on The Mike O’Hearn Show – this time to speak more insightfully about his experience grinding for success in wrestling. Specifically, he compares the mentality and energy of hustling during his younger years compared to his regimen today. In order to maintain longevity not just in health but in success, it’s important to always push boundaries to stay ahead of the pack. But when age kicks in and your body reacts differently, how do you cope? Generation Iron and Barbend present – in this week’s episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show, Billy Gunn explains how his schedule, training, and sleep has changed over the years to remain successful.
Billy Gunn has been a mainstay in professional wrestling for quite some time – several decades in fact. Many have wondered why he hasn’t retired – and even more have left negative comments demanding he is a has-been that needs to drop out of the ring for good. But Gunn doesn’t care about those messages. He’s doing what he loves and still feels great doing it.
However, time does change all things. Billy Gunn is no longer the young hungry wrestler looking to make a name for himself. He’s also not biologically naturally energetic as we all are during youth.
That’s why Mike O’Hearn sits down with Billy Gunn to discuss in detail the realities of aging – for those who are over-achievers. Both Gunn and O’Hearn have achieved great success. They did so by stepping above the mold and demanding more of themselves than any “average” person would.
However, now that they are older, certain sacrifices are harder to make. Not because they don’t want to – but because their bodies have changed. How does one maintain a hustle mentality for greatness while also coping with the natural changes of age? Let’s jump into it.
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The balance of trading off certain health guidelines for achieving greatness
Mike O’Hearn has always been open about his focus on longevity. He wanted to be the best – but on his terms. Part of those terms was to not burn out in his 30s. He wanted to maintain a level of excellence, and health, well into older age. He’s achieved much of that as of today. Whether you think he is natty or not – nearly all who know O’Hearn agree he still maintains an insanely rigorous and consistent fitness regimen. O’Hearn can still look and lift like he’s in his late 20s.
However, Mike O’Hearn admits that during his younger years he sacrificed certain things in order to push the limits of his body and become a successful athlete. Specifically, he would be willing to sacrifice sleep in order to keep his nutrition and training on point. There’s only so many hours in a day after all.
Billy Gunn agrees. He would much rather cut back on sleep in order to still give his all in the gym or keep on point with his nutrition. Both Gunn and O’Hearn also very much understand the importance of sleep as well. Recovery is what allows for better muscle growth, better energy during the day, and better focus in order to succeed.
Neither one of these athletes would suggest you cut out on your sleep as a planned tactic. However, life is never as simple or controllable as you may want it. Nothing can be perfect. Sacrifices must be made. That’s the hard part about achieving greatness. If it wasn’t hard then everyone would be an “uber-man.”
How you sacrifice and how you optimize your younger years is essential. Mike O’Hearn always had his eye on longevity. But he also knew if he wanted to be a successful strength athlete (and actor on top of it), he would have to sacrifice something. Sleep was that thing for him.
This is typical for aspiring young people – but knowing how to strike a balance is important. If you cut back too much on one thing, like sleep for instance, it starts to have the opposite affect and cut away from your success.
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How to maintain excellence as your body changes as you age
Speaking of sleep, Mike O’Hearn also admits that he cannot make that sort of sacrifice today like he did in his youth. He recently was on a stretch of intense dieting for a combination of events and acting roles. This involved a lot of prep, travel, and scheduling. After a month or so of this rigorous schedule – he found himself in absolute need of a reset.
He could no longer hustle in the same intense way he did in his youth. That’s not to say he doesn’t push himself. He just has to push himself differently. Billy Gunn also agrees with this sentiment. But he also sees a positive trade off with the physical limitations of aging.
Billy Gunn understands that he has more limits than he did in his youth. However, he also has more wisdom to get more out of his training, his diet, and his schedule. That wisdom, in essence, gives him more “bang for his buck” as he trains. Things are more optimized now. Less time can be spent and still yield incredible results.
This is what allows him to remain successful in wrestling to this day. So long as he has the personal passion for wrestling, training, and fitness – he will always find a way to push himself within the ever-changing limitations of aging.
The ability to inspire someone else to achieve greatness is challenging – and Billy Gunn understands why. When we push ourselves towards greatness, the sacrifice is only something we can as of ourselves. We demand it in others. Only passion will drive someone to go above and beyond. That can’t be taught.
This is why Billy Gunn doesn’t focus on the advice or comments by detractors online. It is why he will always find a way to push himself within the new limitations of older age. It’s the passion. If that stopped one day – perhaps that’s when he will settle down.
Until then, the insight that both Billy Gunn and Mike O’Hear provide here is truly helpful on functional terms. Perhaps they cannot teach you how to have a passion – but they can best prepare you for how to optimize yourself in young age and how to best adapt as you get older.
You can watch Billy Gunn’s full comments in the latest episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show above. Don’t forget to check back every Friday for new episodes only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.