Monday, July 9, 2018

Thoughts and Stuff

I read some books. Some fiction, mostly nonfiction, some self help. Not too many books written by people who haven't played sports, been in the military, or haven't been punched in the face. I mean, I'd rather read a book by Cowboy Cerrone than by some guy who never bit down on his mouthpiece, literally and figuratively. Maybe that is shallow of me, but I can't help it. Just like its tough to call yourself a powerlifter if you haven't competed. Who has been in the arena? Hemingway? Yes. Donald Ray Pollock? Yes. Frank Bill? Yes. It's like the Bob Costas thing.  Who did he play for in college? Skip Bayless? C'mon.  Like my college coach used to say, "He couldn't play dead in a cowboy movie."  Non athletes who are announcing and criticizing.  Who are those guys on ESPN spouting their opinions? Stuff doesn't come from a book. It's the playing, the doing. That's what I think.

Been doing some public gym stuff. Cell phones, useless exercises, talking, talking, talking. Everybody looks the same day after day. Killing that 135 on everything. Not frustrated by any of it, just looking for some battle ropes and a foam roller.  Man yelling at his young son as his son does exercises that will herniate discs in the long run. You are the man. Make him hate it for your gratification. A lady who is on her phone, but has an assortment of dumbbells at her feet. Yep, it's your gym, nobody needs those dumbbells. I asked a guy if I could "work in" on the piece of equipment that he was lounging on and he looked at me like I had two heads. In the old days, everybody 'worked in." It's not your freaking machine. Learn the old school etiquette, the gym etiquette, dammit. So I am like, are you using it, or just sitting on it? Oh, he's using it, he says, but he got up. And then he sat back down after I was done. So I asked him to move again. You are wasting your time. Go get the kid who works at the front desk with his hood up (I guess that its cold in the gym or he is showing just how gangster he really is) who holds his arms out like he has Ronnie Coleman lats to make you a smoothie.  Get a protein packed energy smoothie.

I have learned a few things over the years of training. One is that when it comes to building the muscle, that the mind muscle connection is real. If you really (let's say you are curling) focus on that biceps, see that muscle working, actually close your eyes when performing the movement, you will make more gains than haphazardly throwing weights around. Another is to use great form to really work the muscle and not the ego.

 I slung the weights around,  did it for years. All I got was good case of tendonitis in both arms and my progress was halted. 

You can train forever without all the joint and tendon issues and make progress. I am not talking about competing in powerlifting here. For that, you have to challenge the weights and sometimes you may use questionable, even risky form to get a max weight up. That's just the way it is. But when training for hypertrophy, you can slow it down, focus on the execution of the exercise. Check out Ben Pakulski's MI40 program. He is the guy who really knows what he is talking about in bodybuilding. He focus on the anatomy and how the muscle should move and focuses on the positive aspect of the movement and the negative and what he says makes perfect sense to me. And you don't use momentum to lift, you use the muscle. I can't recommend his stuff highly enough. He has a bunch of stuff free on YouTube but I buy his programs . I figure if anyone puts out stuff that helps me that much, I'll spend my money on it instead of just freeloading. I mean, his stuff is so well done that you can tell that he puts his whole self into the product. I like his Hypertrophy Max program the best.

Also, if you have been lifting for awhile and haven't realized it yet, diet plays a huge part in everything that you do, but especially when you are lifting weights. I mean, it's a huge part of the ball game. Throw out the freaks who can eat Big Mac's and look like a bodybuilder. Most likely, that ain't you.  If you are any type of athlete, get right with the eating. Get your protein and veggies and sweet potatoes and lots of water ( I like watered down BCAA's. Hate water plain.), and do it consistently. Set a timer if you can't remember, but get 4 meals in that equal over your bodyweight in grams of protein. Do it for 3 weeks and be dedicated and you will notice the difference. 

What else have I realized? So form matters, eating is huge, and consistency is king. What else?

Throw away the excuses. Listen, you do have the time to train. What you do not have is the WILL to train. You have the time to text, party, surf social media, eat, call friends on the godforsaken phone with talk that just wastes words, but you can't find time for a 30 minute workout? Of course you can, you just don't want to. The "I am busy" thing is an excuse that makes me want to hurl. Just say that it's not important to you, but do not bitch when you are still deadlifting the same weights and looking the same year after year. It's a choice on what is important to you. Do not go to the gym until you really commit. Keep telling everyone that you "just did a 2 hour workout" and fool yourself but nobody else. 

C'mon, go ahead and commit right now! Stop going to the gym and wasting your time. Do a real workout! Train hard. Eat right. Get it done. Get out of bed and knock out 20 pushups while you are still half asleep. Then get a huge mug of coffee that you had ready from the night before, write down your physical goals for the day (I will bench, press and work my triceps today. 15 sets total. I will be supremely focused for 30 minutes and will not bring my phone into the gym.) and stick to it. Now get that gym bag and go to the gym or your garage and get started. Grab the bar and just go. Start light and work up. Do as many warmups as needed but get started. After the warmup, do you feel good? No? Don't worry about it. How you feel is a lie. It's your weakness trying to get a vote.

 Do NOT let it have a vote. Your body is moving and you will let it keep moving. The body knows best today, and you will let it be in charge. Grab it, go up and down and then change the weight. Pump the music, pull your hat down low, no eye contact with the guy who is watching you creepily and move , move, move. And now you break a sweat and all feels right and you are thinking, damn, I can do this! Why not me? Yes, Why not you? And you are training and huffing and puffing and you know, you just know, that this is the start of something great for you. And guess what? You WILL do it again the next day and the next day and be happy going to the store and getting pounds of meat and bags of frozen green beans, because you have some goals, and you don't want to talk about it, you are just doing, and doing is what really matters. And after a few weeks you start to see the difference, you feel the difference and your life, your whole life, has changed. 

Why not you?

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.