David Kingsbury
5 min readAug 7, 2022


I started lifting weights in my early thirties and immediately fell in love with it. It felt primal, pure, and rewarding.

When you first start lifting, progress comes easy. Newbie gains, they call it. Those rapid results were satisfying and encouraged me to keep going. I soon formed a habit and trained consistently on a set schedule, week in and week out.

I quickly noticed a clear correlation between the effort I put in and the progress I made. It seemed like a direct linear relationship — more so than any other activity I can think of.

The three fundamental traits of success

Reflecting on this, I realized there were three core components to my progress:

  1. Having a good lifting program (aka working on the right things or working smart)
  2. Working with intensity (i.e. pushing myself to my limits and aiming for max output every session)
  3. Consistency (showing up regularly at the gym and never skipping sessions or exercises)

As long as I ticked all three boxes, my progress took care of itself.

As I got deeper into lifting, I broke past the newbie gain stage. Progress still came, but it was more hard-won. That was fine — by now, I was in a well-greased groove.

I tracked my progress with targets for lifting ever-increasing weight and was starting to dial in details like diet, rest, and recovery. I was counting calories, tracking macros, and optimizing my sleep patterns.



David Kingsbury

Ex-coach turned Copywriter | Words in Start It Up, Mind Cafe, The Ascent, P.S. I Love You + more | Want me to write your emails or web content? DM me here/on X