Anger’s not a bad emotion to train with

Have you ever done that?  Been really angry at or about something and then gone to training?  As an adolescent growing up I practiced martial arts.  I definitely remember getting pissed off about something and then taking it out on the heavy bag.  Much better there than on my friends or family.

I was a little angry over the weekend.  It’s a sad but true fact of life that from time to time one will inevitably get angry at or with their partner.  I wasn’t alone in this.  Kirt was pretty angry at me too.

After several failed attempts at resolution the weekend seemed doomed to one of cold hostility and withdrawal.  Again it’s a shame, but it happens – two otherwise mature human beings stuck in a negative cycle neither wants to be in but doesn’t know how to get out of.

Anyway.  We’ve come out the other side and are all good.  Beside, relationships is not what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about how good it was to train angry.  I had a killer session, pushed waaaay harder than normal and actually walked out of the gym feeling much, much better.

So.  Why did I push harder?  I was thinking about this last night.  I think it was my goal.  My focus for that session was literally “How can I best smash myself?”.

I’ll let you know what I came up with shortly.  What’s your focus or goal when you turn up to a session?  I know that sometimes, my goal is survival.  I want to survive and get through the session.  I’m not going to do that anymore.  I don’t want to survive.  I want to test myself and find my old limits while setting new ones.  I want to walk out of the session knowing I left not one bit behind.  I want Tony to look forward to training me and not to have to ‘coax’ a session out of me.

Yesterday it took getting angry with the world to realise the benefits of that sort of training focus but I don’t have to be angry to decide that I want to perform the best, toughest, most intense workout I can on any given day.  The really wonderful thing about this focus was it left NO ROOM FOR THINKING.  I was not thinking about what mad me angry, what I should’ve said, how unfair it was, nothing.  Not about the other person or the situation.  I was focused on lifting the weight as well as I could, as many times as I could.  Pause and repeat.  So, what was the workout I did you ask?  I pondered several options and I’m going to attempt them all at some point.

First Option.

  • 21, 15, 9  (Squat cleans & dips)  AFAP – Timed.

Second Option – Naughty Forty (40 reps AFAP of each of the following)

  • Deadlifts
  • D’Bell Snatch
  • Push Press  (not sure of the weights but challenging, perhaps 70% of my 1 Rep Max).

Third Option (this is the one I did)

  • 3km Tempo Run (fast pace)
  • Squat Cleans into push press (45kg) – till failure
  • Squat Cleans (45kg) 3 x 8 reps
  • Increasing weight squat cleans, 3 reps at a time till failure to lift one rep.
  • 10 slooooow reps on Shoulder Press (machine) into push press till failure
  • Skull Crushers into seated press downs – till failure for 3 sets.
  • Fit ball jack knife, crunch, pike, press up, knee twist things.  Max reps x 3 sets.

It was the Squat cleans that blew out the cobwebs.  They’re soooo challenging for me that even on a light weight after about 8 reps I’m starting to get gassed.  Load the bar up a bit and I know I’m in for one hell of a hiding.

I’m looking forward to the gym this afternoon.  Not sure what I’ll do.  I should probably stick to the plan or run the risk of overlapping what’s Tony’s got in store for me tomorrow.

So my message for you is this.  If you find yourself angry.  Go and train.  It’ll probably be one of the best workouts you’ve done and what’s more.  You won’t feel so angry when you’re done.


2 thoughts on “Anger’s not a bad emotion to train with

  1. Great post. So true.
    I woke up late this morning and had my cranky pants firmly on for a variety of reasons, including waking up later than I wanted to which meant I was pushed for time to train and get to work on time. I could not accept “not training” as an option today and I knew it was the fastest way to get my cranky pants OFF! So I compromised – I gave myself 30mins to train fast & furious with some intervals around the block…. felt 110% better after that! I further compromised – packed a thermos of coffee because no time to stop for a takeaway as planned and I did my make up in the car! 😉 Traffic snag meant I was 30min late for work…. and a lovely colleague took my class until I got there, so I owe her a coffee for that. Don’t regret the workout one bit. So glad I compromised in a few ways. The traffic was going to be what it was – even if I skipped the workout I would have dragged my heels getting dressed and still left home at the same time, and been caught in the same traffic snag. Lesson for the day – run those cranky pants off + you never regret a workout, even if it is half the duration you planned!
    Keep the awesome posts coming!

    xx Ange

    • Thanks Ange. I love getting some feedback that these posts are resonating with someone. 🙂

      “Cranky pants” I love it! Funny how we can set ourselves up for a rubbish day so easily. I like the idea of running them off, I’ve found it works too. Hope the day turned out ok for you.


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