Saturday, September 17, 2011

Training into Perspective

(This is Cooper) Nice snarl huh?

Put your training into perspective. Here is another expert from "Winning Ways: How to succeed in the gym and out"

Self-Cancelling combinations.

"I want to get huge, shredded, strong- I want it all." It's a familiar refrain, and it would seem that with a little creativity and a lot of effort, it's possible to pull it off. As you know, however, appearances can be deceiving. As much as you might like to believe you can have everything, you can't. In fact, the best way to get nowhere is to try to get everywhere at once.

It is important to have a goal, and focus on that goal. Don't try to do everything at once and don't feel you have to. 

I know so many people who want to get into the gym and do this: lose fat, build strength, pack on muscle. Those three are really, really difficult to accomplish all at once. Now you can get stronger and lose fat, but it's harder to accomplish the combination, mostly because this will involve a really regimented diet.

To be successful, I would recommend writing down your goals and then researching to find a trainer who appreciates your goals, has the knowledge to help you and will work closely with you to reach them.  Ask them if your goals are realistic, have a conversation about it. You need to respect and like this person, treat them like the professional they are. If you cannot do that, you have picked the wrong trainer. 

If you cannot afford a trainer, then write down your goals and go easy at first. Results do not occur overnight, or even in a couple weeks. It took years to get fat, don't expect it to go away overnight.  Don't set too many goals, shoot for one. Perhaps something like lose 5 pounds in one month by weight training. Don't give yourself the goal of losing 5 pounds in one month and adding two inches on your biceps. 

It's like the harried housewife who has small children running all around the house, she is trying to cook gourmet meals, keep the house neat and tidy, maintain a beautiful garden and be a super star Figure Competitor. 

She cannot do everything at once.

I hear from women quite often "How do you do it?" "How do you fit it all in?" They feel like failures, and they should not. First, no one should ever compare themselves to anyone else (Competitions aside- those are an event specifically to compare individual physiques). We all live very different lives and there is no way any one of us can do, or should feel that they had to do the same thing anyone else does.

I started to work out before my son was born, so we are talking over 17 years ago now, and I continued through my pregnancy. As soon a he was old enough (6 weeks I think), I left him in the gym daycare as I trained. I was not serious then, but I was devoted. I wanted to be lean and look good. I worked a full time job and had a new born, but made it to the gym at least 5 days a week.

I went through one career with an hour long commute each way, there wasn't much time for the gym in those days. I really didn't get serious until my son was much older, when he was no longer an infant. I believe he was 9 or 10, then I started to devote more and more time to my hobby. It took me years to get where I am now. I never gave up though. Sure I got discouraged, but I learned to stop doing the things that took up time that I could instead spend in the gym. It was a choice I eventually made.

This blog is twofold.

One is be kind to yourself and understand that sometimes we cannot have everything we want, when we want it. Perhaps the kids need to grow a bit, just do what you can, and be proud of yourself. Know that you have honestly stopped doing the things that prevent you from getting to the gym (like watching TV....) and you have made efforts to improve. Start eating better. Respect your body the way you should.  Eventually you can spend more time in pursuit of your craft.

The other, is when you are in the gym, always have a specific goal. Don't go in with the self-cancelling combination "I want it all", you are only setting yourself up for failure. Have a goal that is reachable, then another and another, it's a transformation and at the same time, a change in your life habits.

I really enjoyed the book by Dr. Randall J. Strossen, Winning Ways: How to Succeed in the Gym and Out. I am a firm believer that our lives are determined by our minds and attitudes, Dr. Strossen seems to feel the same way.