Saturday I walked down the stairs from the locker room at Gold's, my dip belt in my hand, heading straight for one particular power rack. I see Steve and his training partner there, doing pulls ups, just what I had planned on doing.
One reason why I try to get to the gym first thing is to claim my space- see I need this cage for about 30 minutes. Sure I can share, sharing's not a problem for me, but it's also nice to have it on my terms the whole time, my rest periods are timed so I have only enough rest to recover and no more. I was about 10 minutes late today.
The guys looked up, big smiles on their faces and waved and said hi. They either knew what I wanted, read my blog, watch me on Saturdays....or I may have just looked like I was on a mission.
I asked if they would be there long and Steve said they only had one more set then the would move to another cage, they were going to use this to do bent over rows, but they don't have to. This is the only one with the different pull up bars, the rest are strictly squat cages. Bent over rows can be done at any of the cages.
I really appreciated their willingness to move and thanked them, and started stretching.
I told Steve I was up to 61 chin ups, but can't get past 7 at a time. Not bad, really, not bad at all. He asked if I was adding weight and I said "Yes, 9 1/2 pounds". He nodded his head. I told him that I am not sure if I should add reps or add weight, I can't just do chin ups all day and I need to change something! It takes me almost 30 minutes just for that one exercise.
He said "If you are looking for size, add weight" so I did. I threw on a 10 pound plate and started into my sets.
5, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 5, 5, 5
I realized I had mad a mistake, but I kept going. See last week my total weight (belt and plates) was 9 1/2 pounds. This week I had neglected to add (in my head) the belt, so by throwing the 10 pound plate on, I actually had 12 1/2 pounds added!
So....I did one chin up more than the previous week, BUT, I had 3 pounds more added, the entire time!
The power of the mind! All I needed was Steve to tell me to add more weight and I did, not realizing that I added quite a bit more. If I hadn't talked to him, I would probably have plodded along doing the same weight, and maybe one set more. I never would have thought I could add another three pounds!
Our minds can convince us that tasks are too difficult, or our diet is too strict, our training too hard. It's important to remember this, that our bodies are designed to lift, push, pull, run, jump and generally be active. Our own minds can often be our worst enemies when it comes to training.
There is just no going back now, I mean, Saturday when I go in again, I certainly cannot lower the weight, I must add the 10 pound plate again, and do more reps, you see, I have already established that I can do it, and I will.