Thursday, April 20, 2017

Modern Times

I read a lot of books. Sometimes I have three or four books going at once. They vary in subject, content, genre. Most are survival stories or war stories involving people facing seemingly impossible situations and the struggles that they face and then overcome with will and determination and heart. Stories where one can see the that the body and mind are capable to achieve so much more than we think. World War II books of POW, Vietnam War books, lost in the wild books.

Sometimes I read books that would be described as Self Help but they are usually about how to shut off distractions and get what you have defined as your priorities done first in the day,  helping you identify what is important , things like that. And inevitably the message in most of the books is that you can have all of the plans in the world , the best plans, the perfect plans, but the key to all of it is action, taking the step to move.  I really believe that the action that you take may even be wrong, but you are moving, not talking about it, or thinking about it, or looking it up on the computer, but putting some movement into the whole thing.

Which brings us to training.  I have gone to a public gym a few times recently and what I have noticed is that most folks don't do a damn thing. It's freaking amazing. Here is what I figured out is essential these days to modern gym life:

Set up a camera to record everything that you do in the gym. Because unless you record it, you really didn't do it.

Warm up with bands all tied around you, stretching yourself , hanging, and of course, filming yourself doing all of this.

Look at your phone, take selfies, text , take more pics, mix some protein/BCAA/Preworkout. Sip on drink while rolling on knobby thing that looks like a foam roller but has bumps all over it. I'm out of the loop on that one, for sure.

Set out all of your wraps, straps, belt with name on it, (or even better- a Velcro belt) to prepare for WAR (at least that what your t-shirt reads). Comparing training to war is a little far fetched.

Take picture of wraps, straps, belt.

Walk outside with phone to ear, covering other ear with hand because of loudness of music that people think is hardcore but is really just metal that is Pantera influenced but never as good as the real thing.  Damn, singers try so hard to be like Phil Anselmo from the old days. Let it go. Or the music is talking and rhyming without anyone playing instruments. Anyway.

I have thought for years now that one should be able to walk into any gym without anything, well, maybe something that fits into your pockets, wrist wraps maybe, or one pair of straps, but not that you have to say, "Oh no! I forgot my____ !" So that you have to turn the car around to get said crutch.

Just walk in, grab the dumbbells and start benching. Is that the first set or your warm up? It is my first set, its always the first set because I just did a set and I don't want to think that I haven't really started yet so hell, we count everything.  Look over  at that guy smiling while he looks at his phone and adjusts his tripod. Just like Draper in the 60's training in the Dungeon.  Use him at as motivation to finish workout before he even starts, taking short rests, chasing the pump. His multi color tights match his cutoff shirt that reads , "SAVAGE". Savagely killing that camera and that smoothie.  Lord.

So the take action advice may get misunderstood by many. It doesn't mean just going to the gym, it actually means that ya gotta do something.

But maybe it's just me, archaic and not hip to the new world. Maybe it is best to analyze your gait in the mirror before you begin, to make sure your pre workout is timed just right or it won't allow for maximum recovery, to write everything down from your feelings about the weather to the perceived exertion of your warm up.  Probably the way to go, wouldn't want to not analyze every damn thing.  

Isn't all that stuff boring? Because while you are doing all that, the weights are just sitting there, longing to be used.

And then you finally do a little something and adjust the camera for just the right angle and do some crunches and drink something for post workout loading and then you tell all your buddies that you just had LEG DAY and you can barely walk as you down just one Michelob Ultra because its doesn't fit your macro's on your carb cycling/IIFYM diet. Then break out the Tupperware with the chicken and rice measured out just right. You have it all figured out.

I reckon that we are getting as far away from doing Viking/Greatest Generation/Highlander/Depression Era/70's Steeler's stuff as can be. Far away from just doing squats and pounding the Budweiser. Away from Old School Metal and cutoff sweats. Away from flannel shirts and Levi Garret. Away from a lone canvas heavy bag in the middle of the gym. Away from the owner's Rottweiler roaming the gym.

Out to pasture I go. And I ain't taking a camera with me.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.