Physical Training Design 1: Growing or Dying and a Confession
Nothing on this earth is standing still. It's either growing or it's dying. No matter if it's a tree or a human being.
"Maintaining" your current physique is a trap and a lie. I'll be honest: with everything on my plate in March and April, I was afraid to give it my all at the gym. Why? I believed the energy expended in the gym would negatively affect my school and work obligations. Now realizing what actually kept my energy level down was my lack of routines, solid fuel plan, and my sh*tty mindset, it's a terrible feeling I didn't do more to improve in the gym.
There was a time not too long ago that my life consisted of getting up, going to the gym, and going to work (bartending). It was really easy to focus in the gym in that case. I had stopped tracking my sets and reps (what?) I know. Just kinda guessing at what I was eating. Some days didn't really care. It was about surviving honestly. Grad school is incredibly stressful. Someone else's opinion determines your whole future in essence. More on this in a later post. It wasn't until that weight was lifted that I saw just how lazy I had become in the gym. I was going 3-4 days a week. Still counts right? No. You're either growing or you're dying and I'll explain why.
The gym for me has gone from doing the sets and reps that my friends were doing in undergrad (we literally did the same 6 to 7 things every time) to an excuse to get out of the clubhouse in New York and hang with my friends, to a personal journey of self-improvement. It's been an escape when I thought I had failed in life. This part of my life I could control. I could control the rush I felt as the pre-workout coursed through my body. I could control my thoughts on the drive to Lifetime. I could control what lifts I did and the cardio finisher. I could control the sense of accomplishment I had after I was done sitting in the sauna or at the pool. I did not go through the pain of breaking down muscle and getting stronger so I could "coast" or "maintain" when sh*t got tougher. Yeah grad school was and is stressful. Yes it is time consuming being a number 3 in a startup. Hell yes starting your own business is a swirling microcosm of unknown obstacles. As one of my modern mentors Gary Vaynerchuk would say: And? There are no excuses for not going all out.
I share this because I hope you see either in the gym or an area in your life where you are just maintaining or fulfilling the status-quo. It's very easy to give ourselves the excuses or the "realities" of our current situations. This is why reading biographies and autobiographies is so important. There are people who have continued to push themselves to their extremes who had it much worse than you. I got caught in a stress vortex the past two months. I know that's an excuse though. My goal is to not make that same mistake again. Mistakes are just lessons learned. Look out for a future post on failures and micro failures and their place in the success of an individual.