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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

North Street Strength’s tips and tricks to kickstart your new gym obsession

This year is going to be better than any that came before. This year is going to be the big one, the one that blows all others completely out of the water. This year is going to make all the difference. How many of us have made promises like those to ourselves year after year? I bet you’ve made countless resolutions based on financial, emotional, professional, or physical goals. They’re easy to rattle off at midnight on the 1st of the year, but the trick is following through and turning them into reality. I’ll let you in on a little secret: accomplishing goals requires motivation, focus, and discipline for which you – and you alone – are solely responsible. Should any one of these attributes be lacking, feelings of frustration and discouragement are likely and failure is imminent. 

This year is going to be better than any that came before. This year is going to be the big one, the one that blows all others completely out of the water. This year is going to make all the difference.

The good news is that all three, motivation, focus, and discipline, can be learned, honed, and implemented in one place: the gym. In doing so, one simultaneously strengthens their overall character, emotional well-being, physical state, and so much more. Armed as such, no resolution or goal is too lofty in any facet of life. The hardest part is showing up, but if anyone can convince you to do it, it’s Tyler. 

North Street Strength

Your newest guru, Tyler, is one tough cookie. He’s been Straight Edge for more than half of his life, strength training since 2010, and started his own gym, North Street Strength, in 2015. He’s a loving husband, a father of 2 beautiful girls, and a fearless firefighter. When I asked for help in encouraging women to take on the gym, he didn’t hesitate in the slightest. Tyler believes that societal pressures weigh on everyone regardless of sex, but more than the fair share is put on women. This is all the more reason to embrace strong women.

you’re no less valuable, no less beautiful, and no less fabulous. Instead, BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU!

America is an amazing place, but it’s plagued with a constant pursuit of unattainable perfection. As a result, women mindlessly set out on a daily quest to be the most desirable in all the land; the definitions and criteria for which is provided by popular magazines, movies, television, social media, etc. The media and what they glorify will always be the same, and for them to be a purely positive outlet is a pipe dream. Pushing back against mainstream society has always been second nature to Tyler, and he would love to see more women adopt a similar ‘out of step’ mentality. If you have no desire to keep up with the Kardashians or adopt a ‘cookie-cutter’ personality, you’re no less valuable, no less beautiful, and no less fabulous. Instead, BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU!

Finding ways to be happy with yourself and your unique identity is the key to having others be naturally drawn to you. There is no better place to find the best version of yourself than the gym. The benefits of regularly attending the gym are endless: increased and improved motivation, focus, discipline, overall character, self-esteem, confidence, sense of self, overall health, happiness, and goal fulfillment. 

Tyler’s tips and tricks to kickstart your new gym obsession:

Partner Up

First and foremost,  if you’re able to get a training partner, do it. That’s the easiest way to get started because you will hold each other accountable. You may not train together forever, but until you’ve adopted the mentality to train on your own it’s a beneficial tool.

Show Up

Don’t let others in the gym discourage you from showing up and meeting your goals. There is a chance that others may approach you or look at you in manners akin to that of sexual harassment. There is also a chance that your mere presence as a newbie will annoy the routine based veterans. Keep in mind that everyone in the gym pays the same membership fee as you, and that at one point they were the new kid. Everyone has to start somewhere, and your sex or lack of experience doesn’t give anyone any more right to use the equipment. 


Research gyms in your area and look for ones that are geared towards strength training. Stay away from the $10.00 per month gyms to up the chances that you’ll be training at a place with like-minded people. The community of a ‘barbell gym’, whether it be powerlifting, CrossFit, strength lifting, or Olympic weight lifting, is a camaraderie like no other. Don’t be swindled by cheap monthly rates. A good gym is worth the money no matter what the price tag. Hell, you can do what Tyler did and build your own place if you have the space. Tyler told me he knows people who have rented out storage units or old warehouse buildings to house their own equipment in order to train by their own rules. For about $800 you could buy all of the equipment necessary to effectively train for YEARS in your garage or in your basement. If you grind and search Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, you could effectively cut that cost in half. At face value, it seems like a lot of money, but it’s significantly less than the iPhone you’re probably using to read this article right now.

Find Your Sweet Spot

The most important aspect of physical training is happiness. If cardio and light weights make you happy, then run it! However, if you’re restricting your exercises and staying out of the weight room because it’s traditionally boys only, then the pros don’t outweigh the cons. The myth that women shouldn’t lift heavy is only perpetuated by women who fear work and men who fear women. The reality is that barbells do not recognize a race, creed, age or gender. Strength training is a physical war waged against only gravity, and that has held true since the dawn of strength culture. The problem with the mentality of “barbells are only for men” is you’re already comparing yourself to others. STOP THAT. Do not compare your lifts, your strength, or your body to others. Only compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Training your mind to be happy with who you are is the hardest feat, but Tyler believes that it all starts with a barbel

Keep Motivated

Be sure to check out the book, app, and YouTube channel Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe; all of it will change your life. He will take you through the  5 quintessential compound movements for building strength: the squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, and bent over row. You’ll learn how to appropriately execute the movements and apply them to training. It’s an extremely effective and simple format of 3 days a week for an hour or less each. 

Start Slow

Don’t get too focused on eating habits right out of the gate. Tyler’s rule is to try to eat a little bit better than you did the day before. That is to say, if one day you cheat and have fast food, don’t do that the next day. Be conscious of your intake, but don’t go crazy. There is plenty of time to learn better eating habits gradually. Don’t take on an overwhelming amount of changes all at once. You’re more likely to get frustrated that way. Do better every day, and take change one day at a time. It’s a perpetual cycle of constant improvement.

Stop Worrying

Stop worrying about body weight!! The scale is the greatest liar. Fuck societal pressures. Strong people look good by accident. That is, their primary intent usually isn’t to up their sexy facor; they show up to push themselves further, rack more weight, or release stress and overtime, and the secondary side effect is an improved physical appearance. Make your primary focus be getting healthier and stronger rather than making the scale move. If you start at 130 pounds and in 6 months you still weigh 130 but have gone down 4 pant sizes, what good is that scale even doing? 

Don’t Worry About Bulk

Strength training won’t make you look like a bulky guy. In fact, you probably can’t achieve the look you may be wary of even if you tried. You really think you’ll accidentally end up looking like the men and women who have dedicated decades of time and discipline to sculpting their physique? That’s ludicrous. It takes like altering dedication and 99% of the time and a lot of drugs to achieve ‘too masculine’. 

Seek Inspiration

Find a reason to inspire and motivate you to consistently show up. Tyler is physically driven because it is important to him as a father of 2 girls to be a strong father figure. HE doesn’t want to be seen being lazy around the house or not being constructive in some manner. He feels he must be active and on a constant pursuit to be better. When his kids see him train, it shows them that things can be difficult or challenging, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth doing or trying to perfect. He uses it to lead by example.

Embrace Your Edge

Embrace and elevate your Xs. The gym goes hand-in-hand with the Straight Edge and PMA communities. Most people who strength train at Tyler and I’s age look at it as ‘mosh retirement’. In Tyler’s words, the release you feel when doing a front flip off of a PA speaker is the same as the one you get when a heavy-loaded barbell on your back is trying to crush you out of existence while you’re listening to Earth Crisis.  Further, Tyler says, “I don’t know anyone from our scene who has tried it and not loved it. As far as Positive Mental Attitude goes, I have yet to find anything that rivals hitting a new personal record under a barbell; there’s just nothing like it.”

I know, I know: you’re looking forward to implementing all of Tyler’s Grade A advice, and you want to learn more. Tyler’s gym, North Street Strength, is a privately owned strength enthusiast training facility located in Massachusetts, but it’s more than just a physical place; it’s a lifestyle. The gym Instagram is @Northstreetstrength and you can check it out for Tyler’s training advice, training examples, product reviews, program reviews, DIY advice, motivation, inspiration, and more. Even better, if you ever have ANY questions, Tyler encourages you to DM him, promising that if he can’t answer, he’ll point you in the direction of someone who can. Tyler believes that true strength is forged in life, but the unspoken lessons you learn from a barbell are what prepares you for such. In 2020, be like Tyler.

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  1. ” Only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.”

    Awesome quote! I love it ??


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