Introducing…. the smile technique

Wow!  It’s been nearly 12 hours since this mornings 2 on 1 training session and I’m only just starting to feel normal again.  I learned a few things this morning.

Simple does not mean easy.  Kirt and I had three stations set up.  Push ups, deadlifts, clean and snatch (or something like that).  The weights weren’t heavy.  You could quite easily do a set of 10.

The task.

In under 20 minutes we were to complete 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 reps of each station.  So 10 push ups, 10 deadies and 10 of those snatch/squat (torture) things.  Then 9 of each and so on.

Sounds simple right?


It was one of the toughest workouts I’ve yet to do and had me on the floor writhing in pain (discomfort) for several minutes post completion.

Flexibility is as important as strength and endurance.  I’m not flexible. That’s probably an understatement.  I’m really, really not flexible.  Never really been much of a problem for me though.  Nothing’s broken or strained and I’ve always been able to do what I need to.  So long as that’s not got much to do with my hamstrings.  Or hamironbars I should say.  One of the exercises today really requires good range of motion through hips, lower back, hammies etc in order to be done well.  As soon as you lean forward the weight you’re holding on your shoulders starts to exert pressure in a direction you don’t want it too.  Forward, not down.  This put soooo much pressure on my lower back to compensate that I was physically unable to complete the lift on several occasions and I was only lifting 12kg dumbbells.

The Smiling Technique is Most Effective When it’s Really Hard to Do. If you know Tony you probably know the smiling technique, even if you don’t know, you know it.  Ever heard him say “Smile at it”?  When an exercise is getting hard and your head is screaming at you to stop, and your muscles are burning that’s when you’ll often hear this little gem.  My variation today was “this is a good exercise to practice the smiling technique on”.  Boy was he right.  I’m not sure I actually managed to crack a smile, but I’m smiling as I write this.

Does that count I wonder?

Make Up Sessions Hurt.  This morning, in fact this whole week is going to be increased intensity to make up for the lethargic weekend I had.  In hindsight, I think it would have been easier to stick to the plan over the weekend.

I was tempted to lie about my weekend but decided that I was not just cheating myself if I did that (I could probably live with that as unpleasant as it would no doubt be) but I’d be cheating Tony too.  He invests a lot of himself into his clients and his business and would be genuinely concerned if I wasn’t getting results despite ‘sticking to the program’.  He’d then make changes to things based on inaccurate information which wouldn’t work either.  Also, there’s no reason not to tell him.  He is extremely non-judgemental.  Whatever you tell him, he accepts as it being real (for you at least) and then moves into ‘what can we do about it?’ mode.  This is a surprising quality for someone who has been in the industry for over 10 years and has no doubt heard just about every excuse under the sun.

What he chooses to listen to instead, is the client saying “I want to get fit, lose weight, look good for my wedding or feel fab at 40” and works towards that.

Ok.  This was useful.  I’m sufficiently motivated to drag myself to the pool for a recovery swim.

Your Challenge for the Day.

I’m going to try this too.  When a situation is getting you down, or is feeling challenging and difficult remember to just smile at it.  Here’s one to take with you if you can’t find your own.


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