Getting Your Mind Right for Training with Chicago Trainer Liu Gross

(Editor’s note: This is the first post from Chicago trainer, Liu Gross. With over a decade of training experience and a trophy case full of recognitions, we know he’ll have some inspirational ways to look at training.)

asweatlife chicago trainer Liu Gross

Hey aSweatLife, in an effort to share different training thoughts and techniques with you I figured it important for you first know where my head is when it comes to fitness and training. My name is Liu Gross and this quote describes my mindset on training extraordinarily well.

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.” – Og Mandino

It’s been said I have a relentless attitude toward training … I like that. I think it has served both my clients and me well over the decade and change that I’ve been doing this.

Some people workout to maintain what they have while others train to improve. Just like the quote, I lean heavily toward the train-to-improve side. I understand that this mindset is not going to connect with everyone and that is, of course, completely OK, but before you go writing this off as the rambling of some workout meathead join me in taking a second look at what the quote is actually saying. Indulge me.

The first portion speaks of having a “purpose” and in fitness terms it relates to your “why.” “Why” are you doing heavy squats and deadlifts? “Why” are you up at 5 or 6 in the morning taking that class or braving the Chicago elements to go for that badly needed run? “Why” after a long day of taking care of kids, friends, bosses, significant others and even people you don’t like do you take it to the gym and go H.A.M. in that group training class?

Your “why” will be different and distinctly unique to you, but make no mistake, everyone has a “why.” If you don’t already know what it is, discovering your “why” could be deeply introspective and time consuming, but very worth it. Without your “why” you have no real fitness purpose and without your fitness purpose you are just going to classes for the sake of going to classes, hoping progress is being made.

I could be wrong, but I’m fairly sure none of you pay what you pay to take these classes with your “why” being uncertain. You don’t run at 13 mph on treadmills, slam a Dynamax Ball through the ground or do burpees until you and the floor are like totes BFF without a reason. Again, I could be wrong. But I’m probably not, right?

The second portion of the quote – “Henceforth will I apply all my efforts …” speaks to what it takes to achieve your aforementioned “why.” Webster, aka Mr. Know-It-All, defines effort as “a serious attempt to do something”… that’s it. I love it because it’s so simple! Not a lukewarm attempt. Not an I’m-not-feeling-it-today-so-I’ll-grab-these-suspect-lighter-weights attempt. Webster is talking about leaving it all on the floor in your class.

Alright, we’ve come all this way so and it’s time we put a bow on this on this pretty little package. If we tie those two parts together it reads something like this:

“Make a serious attempt to accomplish your purpose.”

That is essentially all you need to do to accomplish your fitness goals. It’s not advanced chemistry or rocket science, but it is making a very conscious attempt at putting your best foot forward each and every time you set foot in your gym or group training class. Training is mental because few things can make you change your thought process like fatigue. Like Mama Gross use to say way too often … “you’d better get your mind right.”

I challenge you to find your “why” and to make the next time you train the first serious step you take in crushing your fitness goals. Remember Asweatlife, hard work pays off for your fitness and your happiness.

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About Liu Gross

Liu Gross has been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Chicago for over a decade. His youthful exuberance, creative programming and never-quit attitude are what his clients enjoy about him the most. When he is not working to be a part of his client success stories, he enjoys pushing his own boundaries. With a GoRuck under his belt, Liu is an avid obstacle course racer and continues to compete to challenge his own fitness and mental fortitude. He is also a Nike Training Club (NTC) Trainer, which allows him a chance to work with Nike Chicago's top athletes and goal setters. Liu has been acknowledged by many publications and websites including,, as well as being named one of Chicago's Hottest Trainers by Time Out Magazine. Liu is passionate about improvement and helps his clients pursue their goals with excitement and intensity. Liu knows when it comes to our personal fitness you don't get what you want, you get what you work for. Liu's fitness mantra is HARD WORK PAYS OFF!!!