‘Working out’

So I think I’ll start my first post under Fitness as a little bit of a reflection of my training mentality over the last 1.5-2 years and how it has progressed.

It all began early 2012.  My mate and I decided it’s time to get serious about ‘working out’, and he had a nice sized garage not being used for much else so we just went about buying bits of gym equipment over time.  Our first?  A pull up tower, the ones with a bar for chin ups, pull ups and dips.  To be honest if this wasn’t our first piece of equipment I may not have ended up sticking to it.

Why?  Because the first day I could not for the life of me complete 1 single pull up.  It grabbed my ego, uppercutted it and threw it in the gutter.  My friend and I were amazed at how incredibly difficult it was.  But the great thing was from that very moment I promised myself I would dominate this tower.  I didn’t set any time frame, I just said I will not give up until I make pull ups look easy.  And, within 1 year, I went from less than 1 to  over 10, and can do 1 rep with +25kg’s.  The point I’m trying to make here is that I feel working out requires purpose.  What is your reason for working out and what do you wish to achieve?

The great thing is your goal is constantly moving forward.  At first my overall goal was to put on mass, because at 6’10 and 65kg’s I was borderline anorexic.   I’m now getting above 75kg’s, and while I personally feel pretty small still it’s not important any more.  I’ve moved my goal, and I’m currently working on advanced calisthenics.  I’ll probably go into more detail in another post and provide some links.  But I guess what I’m trying to say is always train with purpose, even if that purpose changes.  Make it your drive to succeed.  And you will always succeed if you are working towards it.

Now I mentioned my ego before because I feel there is far too much ego involved at commercial gyms.  Training is always relative to your own strength.  And ‘competition’ is good in so far as you stick to what you can lift and increase progressively.  To paint it, my friend and I have two other mates who work out else where.  Every now and then they’d come to our home gym to train.  And my mate would always say ‘okay man we gotta bring our A game and lift more than them!’ kind of thing.  Personally, I don’t care for this.  Working out is not a sport (not including competitive lifting or, dare I say it, crossfit), and thus competition should not become a part of you training.  Of course there’s nothing wrong with seeing who can do the most, but when you go and jack up your weight to try matching somebody else, that’s in it’s basic form, an attempt to instant gratification and a crash course to injury.

I hear people all the time, and you probably do to or even say the same things: I don’t have time to work out, I couldn’t be bothered, I don’t need to work out, I have more important things to do etc etc etc.  These people do not have a purpose for training, or their purpose is not a strong one (I’ll post about this another time), and no amount of motivation can help them.  This is because they don’t want to make time, they will find the tiniest reason not to train.  Oh I’m a little tired today I’ll go tomorrow.  (Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with skipping a day here and there when called for).  And so maybe these people start on a ‘new me’ phase, and get motivated to work out.  They feel so good at first, put up motivational Facebook statuses and what not.  But it doesn’t take long for them to stop.  They miss a workout, then 2, then 3, and then all of a sudden they just stop.

So next time you’re going to the gym, think about your purpose for going.  And devote every single workout to achieving this purpose.  Be it achieving a 2x bodyweight deadlift or 1 armed chin ups (a goal of mine), use it to drive you every day.  I guarantee keeping this motivating force you will never ‘not have enough time’.

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