I probably deserved this

You can probably tell by my recent posts that I’ve not been in the best of mindsets lately, resulting in poor training attendance, slack food choices and general blahness all round.

I had a makeup session with Chris at Zenergy this morning and I was looking forward to it. I was resolved to go in and do a good session.  Dare I say, even punish myself for being so slack lately.  Well, punish we did.

It’s amazing how wrecked you can get in a 10 min As Many Reps as Possible (AMRAP) session.  We were using kettle bells which I enjoy and they were a little bit heavier than I’ve previously done so I knew it was going to hurt.  I’ve never really had tough hands but I wouldn’t call them girls hands either.  Well today they got smashed.  Not sure why, I was using chalk and it wasn’t like I hadn’t done these things before.  Maybe it was the ‘punishment’ mentality I took into the session, my body cooperated by making my hands soft or something.

Here, check it out.

I’m in the doldrums…

Do you know what I mean?  Doldrums is a colloquial term sailors use to describe being becalmed by the weather (I think it even more specifically refers to a location in an ocean where calm weather (no wind) is common.  This is obviously pre-power boat days when boats only had sails and therefore needed wind as a means of propulsion.  No wind = no going anywhere.  Here’s a pic.

Well, that’s me right now.  In pretty much all areas of my life unfortunately.  Work has stalled due to the recent State Gov’t election, funds are running low, I’m sick of living where I’m living, training has stalled, diet has gone to rubbish and I’m not very happy about all of this.  So I guess I need to take a leaf out of an ancient slavers book.  If there’s no wind.  Row.

My personal commitment is tonight to go and do some exercise.  Anything, but deep down I’d like it to be intense, soul-cleansing, distracting, empowering, enervating, vigorous and ultimately… fulfilling.  Am I asking too much?  Time will tell.

Strive or Settle?

I’ve been having a pretty ordinary week.  Ordinary on most fronts, well all of them really.  Training, work, food, everything.  It’s got me to wondering.  Which would I prefer?  To keep striving for something even though that in itself is tiring, or be grateful and learn to settle with what I am or what I have?

It’s a tough choice because there is merit in both approaches.  Learning to accept what we have and who we are and being grateful for the blessings we count is a very good thing to do.  To continually seek to improve, to earn more, do more, have more, be more can sometimes mask a distorted perception of what’s important.  Or it can stem from feelings of inadequacy, which is also not good.

Then on the other hand you have the value of seeking to do better at those things that are important.  Of persisting in the face of adversity, or putting one foot in front of the other in order to achieve goals.  That’s good too.

So can you see my dilemma?  At the moment I’m thinking those things about the same thing.  About my commitment to exercise and clean eating, to continually trying to reduce skin-folds.  Different aspects of my psyche can argue strongly for each side of the scale.

I’m hopeful that tomorrow’s Tough Mudder session with Kirt, Tony and the gang will jolt me out of my reverie and get me back on track.

Stay tuned.

 

The Devil is in the Details

Aint that the truth.  I got my measurements yesterday with Tony and I’m pretty happy about them.  Not happy as in ‘stoked! OMG’ kinda happy, but happy as in I’m not going to shoot myself happy.

I’ll post the numbers shortly but what I wanted to reflect on was the details in my fitness plan.  I’ve not really made it a massive goal focus on body fat etc but to be leaner is still very much in my sights.  I’m just choosing to focus on some other things and hopefully the fat will melt away.  The devilish detail for me is the food part of any training plan.  I’ve been rather sloppy with my food lately.  Not that I’ve been eating badly.  I’d probably say, poorly.  Not super strict on what goes on my plate, missing meals, eating portions that are too big, you know, that sort of thing.  I think it’s time I got on board with my food plan.  I’ve got a good one written down and when I’m on it, I feel good.  I’ve found before that sometimes a prompt, like new shoes, can inspire a surge of motivation.  I definitely know that a goal is a good source of motivation but I don’t really have one at the moment.  I mean I sort of do, but it’s vague and generalised.  I think I need to change that.  Tony?

A friend of mine owns and runs a sports nutrition and supplement store Mass Nutrition Chermside.  Here’s a link if you’re interested.  I’ve been meaning to pop in and say hi for sometime now and today I got my chance.  I walked away with a new toy, or rather product, to try.  I’m gonna give the Cyborg Bionic Pre-Workout Enhancer a try and I’ll let you know how I find it.

 I’m going to unleash the bionic version of me at tomorrows (Sat) Tough Mudder Group Conditioning Session, lovingly prepared by Tony.  For more info check out their Facebook page here.

For the record this session is a very rewarding and very challenging conditioning session run once a week on Saturday mornings at the very civilised, sleep-in enabling, later than normal Friday night shenanigans possible, 8:30am.  Nice.

It’s all in your head!

I don’t know about you but Ive found that much of what I can and can’t do in the gym (and life generally) is all in my head.  If I think I can’t do something…. I’m usually right.  That’s not to say that just thinking I can do it is the antidote, but it’s certainly the precursor to it.  One think I particularly love about 1on1 PT is that surrender of your consciousness.  No, it’s not as esoteric as I’m making it sound.  I’m talking about the inner dialogue in our heads that say’s things like… “Ouch, that’s heavy” or “I can only do one more”, or “If I don’t pace myself I won’t make it.”  For the most part when I’m training with Tony that bit of my brain gets turned off.  I just listen and do what he tells me and it’s amazing what we manage to get through.  All I need to do now is learn how to turn that voice off when I’m training by myself.  Any tips that have worked for you?

 

25 chins a’int as scary as it used to be….

I never thought I’d hear myself say this but it’s true.  25 chins ups is no longer as incredibly daunting as it used to be.  Now I know that with consistent training over time I will improve (all things being equal) but chins for me were a real barrier.  No matter how often I did them, whether I added some negative reps on the end or started off doing some weighted chins to build strength, they always seemed bloody difficult.

Well, the other day in the process of introducing a mate to the wonders of high intensity training I had an epiphany.  We were doing Spartan 300.  On our own.  Not because a trainer made me…  I know, crazy stuff and what was I doing putting my mate through that on his third workout.  he he he.  Evil Sean was out to play.  My justification was that we needed a baseline to see how much he had improved in a months time.

Anyway, we started off with our 25 chins.  I smashed it!!  Not 25 straight and certainly not super-strict but I still smashed them.  The total time I posted was not a pb but it was still solid and some of the weights were a little heavier than last time but all good.  I’m not complaining at all.  In fact I’m pretty happy about it really.

I’m actually looking forward to the next time we do it.  Not sure my mate is though.  It really broke him and showed just how far he’d let himself go over the years.  But, he’s on the right track and I think he’s got good genes so expect a post in the not-too-distant future with me complaining about his rapid results.

Night

 

Sometimes it’s not so bad to compare

It just depends on who you are comparing yourself too.

I know that when I want to get stronger, fitter, faster or leaner I look towards someone inspirational (see previous post for more on that).  And while I acknowledge thats a good thing, in fact probably an essential thing… it’s not the only thing.

In the book Shantaram the author finds himself living in a large slum in Bombay, India.  Despite the squalor and filth, he is surprised to find a strong sense of order, of community and hierarchy.  When talking to one of the residents who’s job it is to sweep the porches of the shops surrounding the slums.  I use the term ‘shops’ loosely here too.  More like small, ramshackle tin sheds with the occupants selling a range of reused, recycled things for mere rupees, the author comments “How can you always be smiling?”.  “You have so little and work so hard for virtually nothing when so many people around you have more?”  The little Indian man responds (with a smile on his face “Ahhh… that’s the problem with you Westerners.  You’re always comparing yourselves to the people above you or on TV.  Me, I compare myself to the man with no legs and no home begging for scraps while pushing himself around on an old skateboard.”.

I get this.  He’s talking about gratitude versus envy.  I’d much rather be grateful than envious but beware.  Our consumerist society programs us to envy those with more, fitter bodies, more money, brighter smiles and better lives.  Take time out to compare yourself with those less fortunate than you are.  It won’t be hard to find them.  You’ve got more to be grateful for than perhaps you realise.  :-)

So anyway, I trained with a mate of mine who hasn’t trained in a while.  My goal was to make him spew (he said he wanted to go hard) and I reckon I came pretty damn close. he he.  So my reflection was that even though I might not have achieved all my fitness goals (yet) I had certainly come along way from where I was and where he was currently at.

Have a great day.