331: Tommy Baker: Quit Playing Small, Crush Your Excuses, and Get in the Arena

Tommy Baker is a highly credited athlete, coach, and entrepreneur who lives to inspire and serve others by helping them achieve their fitness and personal goals.

He is also the founder of the Resist Average Academy Podcast where he interviews inspiring individuals and industry experts to help bring holistic and mainstream health advice to the modern man.

Favorite Success Quote

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat” ~Theodore Roosevelt

Key Points

1. Get in the Arena and Off Your Ass

In life, there are two kinds of men and only two.

There are the spectators and the men in the arena.

The spectator is the man who is complacent, who is comfortable, who sits back on the sidelines and watches others on their paths to greatness, all the while doing nothing himself.

He criticizes, complains, and makes damn sure that every single person within a 300 ft radius know his opinion on any given topic, but he never adds anything, he never gives any value.

He simply watches and takes.

And then you have the man who in the arena.

This is the man who has decided to leave the sidelines and take his life into his own hands.

This is the man who quits his secure job to pursue his dreams, who drops out of college to travel the world, who learns how to meet and date beautiful women, who goes through the pain of sculpting his body, and who truly challenges himself to live up to his potential in every area of life.

Which kind of man are you?

2. Commit to Your Craft. Never Dabble

While there are only two types of men in this world, for a brief period of time, many of those men will fall into a third category, if only for a brief moment.

This man is known as the dabbler.

This is the man who was sitting on the sidelines, and instead decides to stand up and put one foot into the arena.

But whenever the competition edges closer to him and he sees the faces of his adversaries and smells the blood on the sand, he backs down, afraid to commit to his new way of life.

This is the type of man who starts a business but never builds it, who begins a novel but never finishes it, who invests in coaching but never takes action, and who listens to all of the dating programs but never gets his ass to a venue to ask a woman out.

Don’t be that man.

If you want something, then commit.

Don’t waffle on the sidelines, unable to make a decision.

You either say this is it! This is my f*cking time to be who I want to be or you back down gracefully.

There is no in between.

3. Invest in Yourself First 

So many men who start down their paths to greatness hit a sinister trap called a plateau. They have been striving and striving for so long whether it is in their business or their relationships, but all of the sudden, they realize that they cannot progress anymore.

Many men think it must be something is wrong with the vehicle that they are in so they abandon the relationship, start a new company, or quit the training program they were using.

But what the true achievers realize whenever they are faced with these periods of stagnation is that all outward growth is a direct result of inward investment.

If your workout program isn’t working (and it is accredited and proven), odds are that you are really the one who is not working.

If your business is not growing, then chances are good that you not growing.

If your relationships are failing, then the likely culprit is staring right back at you in the mirror.

And the only way that you can overcome challenges and times like this is to invest in yourself.

To achieve your outward goals, you must become the strong, grounded, powerful man on the inside first.

Whether you need to start reading more books, listening to podcasts, investing in seminars, or hiring a coach, do whatever you believe is necessary to elevate your growth and start achieving on a level that you never thought possible.

4. Start Your Days with Positive Habits

Almost everyone in the fitness and self-help world follows or prescribes some form of morning routine.

And while many of these experts convolute the power of this habit by recommending an excessive number of practices or specific ways that you have to do things, the truth of the matter is much simpler.

Every morning when you wake up, your goal should be to focus your mind and your heart on all of the good in your life.

Think about how grateful you are for the people and the opportunities that you have in your life.

Write a thank you note to a colleague.

Tell your wife or girlfriend that you love her.

Because once you have done something that puts you into this state of being, the rest of the day will flow naturally.

When you are grateful for your health, you don’t take it for granted.

When you are grateful for a spouse you don’t start the morning by arguing.

When you are thankful for all of the opportunities in your life, you are unlikely to waste them and more likely to chase the day down with a fire and intensity that is rare is most modern men.

5. Be  Willing to Suffer for Your Goals 

Here is a simple truth that most ‘gurus’ will not tell you.

Success sucks.

Because there is no way to achieve success without some level of suffering.

No matter what you want, you are goig to have to go through some pain and some heart ache to achieve it.

Whether you want a chiseled body, a full bank account, a loving relationship, or a deep spiritual connection, you will have to go through some pain to get it.

And at the end of the day, you need to remember that behind every great deeds are thousands of hours of painful deeds that go unnoticed.

However, if you are willing to face the pain, the rewards on the other side are worth it.

Influential Books

1. The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

2. Mindset by Carol Dweck

3. Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson


Connect with Tommy Baker


The Times Have Changed. This is the Way Forward in 2024.

Here’s how I can help in my new FREE training on becoming a stronger Grounded Man:

1. The new path for men that creates a purpose driven life and doesn’t require you to lose your personal power, put women on a pedestal or sacrifice your goals.

2. Why men consistently settle and ignore the most important areas of life like the quality of their intimate relationships, social life and happiness and how to optimize all three without sacrificing professional growth.

3. The biggest mistake 97% of men make that breeds loneliness, breakups and emasculation that is absolutely reversible with this counter intuitive strategy.