Never Forget the Fight

Posted: July 5, 2011 in Our Philosophy

This last while has been immensely awkward. Exam study, unsure of future location so gym membership seemed pointless, not enough cash for membership come time – everything seemed against me getting some exercise into my life. Of course, that’s never the case. If you have legs, you can jog, sprint…you can always do press-ups, you can hold planks, you can find a bar for pull-ups, you can mix them all up and create a challenging circuit…there are variations of every exercise you can imagine, bodyweight or not.

When it comes to maximal lifting, well, that’s just not the case. You’re unlikely to find a 200kg downed tree to Deadlift, there are no racks in nature and rarely a spotter…in short, true maximal STRENGTH training is hard to do out-with a gym setting. Unless of course you go entirely old school (or you have a pretty absurd base-level of strength) and start moving cars, big stones, etc, etc, but that raises the issue of specificity.

At this moment in time (now certainly not until Friday) I do not know what my future holds. I do not know where I need to be, so gym memberships are an annoying simple complexity at the moment. What is a boy to do in the mean time? Old gains may be slipping, I can’t even know for sure. The answer is simple:

Never stop challenging yourself.
Regardless of the situation, whatever the sport you’ve ever been involved in, you must ensure that you never go “soft”. Any athlete who has ever had an injury knows the importance of staying active – not just for recovery of the injury, but to prevent the onset of a sluggish, lazy mind. It’s all too easy to think “impossible” or “I have no choice” and to become idle.

What’s important here is the mental game. You’re trying to prevent the decay of the “never say die” approach of successful athletes…earned through years of agony, lost in a brief moment of self-sympathy. Of course, you’re also trying to prevent your body from physically becoming accustomed to rest which can take as little as a week.

My personal method was that regardless of the training effect, I would never stop trying to gut myself with exercise. Running sprints, suffocating circuits, whatever, I set out to reach a point where I wanted to quit, solely to resist that self-pity and feel that unparalleled emotion that courses through your body after denying yourself peace, embracing the battle and winning the war.

The opportunities are all around you…
We’ve been moving flats recently and did it in 2 phases, which basically meant that we had to pack, lift, throw, run and heave our lives’ contents up and down an unforgiving amount of stairs 4 times over two days. We turned the whole thing into exercise and all of a sudden, a boring and monotonous activity became a thriller with seemingly no end. We were sprinting up and down sets of stairs with various amounts of resistance (varied object shapes/weights) which meant no two lifts were the same. It was awkward, exhausting and, as we’d hoped, challenging…plus, it was fun/functional, we were getting shit done!

To conclude, what I’m trying to get at here is that whatever your situation, never forget the fight. Tussle with adversity as often as you can, resist freedom, do not allow yourself an ounce of pity and realise, finally, that gains are made when you truly push yourself beyond your own limit. In the end, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing if what you’re doing isn’t the best you can.

This applies to any facet of your life…work, study, relationships, they all require you to resist giving up for a perceived benefit…before you judge your company or your equipment, first judge yourself. Deliberately call yourself out…if you offend yourself, you’ll find out exactly what it is you’re not doing that needs done, plus you’ll discover something about your day to day motivations in the process.

————

Some recent interests:

– Dave Tate’s opinion on goal-setting (you may think by the title he’s about to talk baloney, read on)
Martin Rooney’s rebellion against pussified gym rats
– Pat Barry/Cheick Kongo going to war in an unforgettable 1-rounder.
No ejaculations for 7 days leads to a serum testosterone increase of 45.7% 

Happy Training!

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