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Intensity revisited


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I don't think it is said enough just how much it means to making progress by giving your workouts everything you've got. Maximum intensity is key to progress, but all too often, a lack of it gets blamed on a bad program, not taking the right supplements, etc. vs. simply accepting that we can all work harder in the gym. It has been on my mind lately as I've had to re-learn what it means to train with proper intensity in order to get my strength levels back up. Watching people lift at Gold's Gym tonight made me realize how little intensity people usually put into their strength training, and then they wonder why they're only adding a few lbs. to their core lifts every year.

 

I have made it a habit to get back into the mindset that every workout is war. All-out, 100% do-it-or-die-trying war. If you want to get bigger and/or stronger, lifting won't be fun most days. Rarely ever do I really look forward to beating myself up for 90 minutes before coming home feeling battered and broken, but I know it's the only way to get what I want. I look around me, and I see people half-assing their workouts everywhere I train. No focus, lots of chatter, more time spent reading magazines or watching TV between sets as if it's their main reason to be at the gym. Guys who should be moving mountains of weight end up spending countless sessions looking like they could be napping while training, they're so bored and lazy while they lift. Women who stick to the "10 lb. and under" DB section (if they even tread into the free weight area) who think that if they do a set of curls, they're going to have arms like Jay Cutler. Younger people who don't want to put in the time learning how to train, so the bounce from one machine to the next without any gameplan, and months later, they look exactly the same. I've seen this way too much over the years, and sadly, I was falling victim to that way of training until recently.

 

When I was put to the test for deadlifts last week, I had sufficient doubt in my mind that I was going to fail before I made it to the set rep count. I didn't WANT to fail, but because I'd been training less than with 100% intensity for so long, I'd forgotten how to push myself in a way that promotes true progression. Fortunately, I surprised myself (mostly because I didn't want to let my trainer down for failing to meet the goal for the week), and it re-ignited the fire that I needed to feel. Sometimes, all it takes is one session where your mind and body connect in just the right way to realize what needs to be done to keep pushing forward. Sadly, many people don't ever have that workout because they're programmed to only do what they THINK is hard work, when their definition of focus and intensity is half of the effort I put into my warm-ups. It's too bad that people think they need to leave the gym feeling only pumped, "refreshed", or mildly challenged, because they're not at all grasping that their own lack of effort is why they're stuck in place year after year. It makes me want to weep when I think about the fact that there are so many people who have never struggled with a max weight to know what it's like to feel that it might kill you to complete the final rep. You can't buy that feeling, it's something you need to earn by putting in what's necessary, and once you feel the victory that comes with it, you'll never be the same.

 

Tonight, I was the madman that everyone kept staring at. I was drenched in sweat after my 2nd set of rows, only 10 minutes into my workout. I was noisy, not intentionally, but I do grunt like an ape when I'm fighting to get that 20th rep when the previous week, I only managed 15 before I was spent. I didn't wander aimlessly or try to get into conversations when I had time between sets - that time was for mentally rehearsing the next set, which will inevitably be tougher than the previous one. I came to realize that being focused on your training and giving it everything you have (not what your mind tells you, but what your body is actually capable of), is pretty much a lost art except for a few who truly understand what a difference it makes. No magic supplement is a replacement for putting in hard work that makes you feel like you're going to fall over dead at the end of your set. No perfect routine is going to make you progress if you're training with weights so light, you can carry on a conversation while lifting without losing your breath. Nobody can call themselves a "hardgainer" and complain that they can't get bigger if they're doing less than they are truly capable of with every workout. You get the picture.

 

I know I rant about intensity and focus every time it gets mentioned, but it bears mentioning again. And again, and again. Next time you've had a bad spell with training, take a step back, think about what you've been doing with your time in the gym, and it might just slap you in the face once the realization sets in that you might not truly giving it everything you've got. Sometimes, there truly will be bad days, but there's no such thing as a bad year of training that you can't fix with some change for the better. But, we all need to learn this on our own - I forgot what it really meant for a few years, but now that the fire's back, it's only going to get better from here on out!

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Well said!

 

Sometimes we need to take a very close look what we are really doing, almost getting outside of ourselves to see if we are being intense enough. I had a wresting coach in high school that really drilled the concept of "intensity" into us...

 

We knew we were going to be "dead" when we entered the locker room on any given day (usually about 2 per week) and he had a red flag hanging from the top of the door.

 

That meant "red flag day", which basically translated into - no one would be left standing at the end of the practice. That coach had the right idea. It is easy to forget over the years...

 

Recently, I started the "Insanity" program, and it kicks butt similar to what I was used to in those wrestling workouts. I am seeing great gains once again.

 

Maximum intensity training cannot be stressed enough. I know what you mean by the "casual fitness" buffs in the gym; They are lucky if they add 10 - 20 lb. to their lifts in a year.

 

>>> I have made it a habit to get back into the mindset that every workout is war. All-out, 100% do-it-or-die-trying war. If you want to get bigger and/or stronger, lifting won't be fun most days. <<<

 

That is a great line - I will start using it as my sig., if you don't mind!

 

Thanks very for this post. It is very inspiring and definitely a timely one.

 

Rock on,

katz

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If you want to get bigger and/or stronger, lifting won't be fun most days. Rarely ever do I really look forward to beating myself up for 90 minutes before coming home feeling battered and broken, but I know it's the only way to get what I want.

 

This is what separates the champion from the mediocre.

 

Back when I was training in a commercial gym I ended up ditching all but one of my training buddies due to inconsistency and bullshit excuses for doing light days.

 

In my mind there are no light days, only heavy or brutally heavy

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You are 100% right... for you! There are many forms of "intensity". For a year straight all I did was fight the logbook. Every single day I went in to that gym I had to beat the log book with either a couple more reps of the same weight as last time or add weight and get the same amount of reps as last time. If I couldn't I FAILED. Well after a year of this "heavy only" way of lifting I did put on mass but am I happy with the results? NO. So I took a step back just as you mentioned some people should do.. and I realized that my version of "intensity" wasn't working for me. I want to look like a bodybuilder, not a power lifter which is what my physique is starting to resemble. The thickness is there but no shape. So what if I deadlift 450lbs for 7 reps or rack pull 500+ lbs at a weight of 190lbs? All I was focusing on was the fact that I needed to lift heavy and super heavy every single time. I am very strong for my size but guess what? I have friends who out weigh me by over 40lbs who look like bodybuilders with wide cannon ball shoulders, 21" arms, and backs wider than hell who can't lift as much. When I really took a hard look at these comparisons I took a goooood look at my training. In my blog on here I just mentioned how I have started a completely different style of training and for those first couple weeks yes the intensity dropped but only because I'm now realizing other things that are just as important. That has now changed and again there will be nothing left each session. To me INTENSITY is leaving nothing on the table. That much I agree 100% with you. If I can walk out that gym and say to myself "I could have done more" then I did not have a worthwhile session... however that doesn't mean it was bad because I didn't add weight to the bar.

 

The body truly does adapt!!! I was so stubborn until now that I actually believed I could just keep doing the same damn thing... "just add weight" and I would keep getting good results. It just doesn't work like that.. it's PROVEN! THE BODY ADAAAAPTS! A lot of people say that you shouldn't listen to what a pro bodybuilder does because they're just on a million grams of test/deca/insulin/gh/igf-1/blah/blah/blah, but what's sad is their versions of intensity and progress stand true. Ask 50 true bodybuilders that have great physiques how they train and you will get 50 different answers!!! The one common link is they leave nothing on the table! THAT'S IT! You have to change it up and the heavy shit, the light shit, the moderate shit, the drop sets, rest-pause, supersets, giant sets, etc.. IT WORKS! And if I had listened to the big guys from the beginning I would look a whole lot better right now.

 

So to sum up... There is a place for heavy and only focusing on linear progression if that's what suits YOU. I just don't agree that intensity is about adding weight. Hell one of my buddies is 260lbs with abs. He is so damn wide!!! He hasn't gone up in his bench in probably 2 years yet his chest still improves!!! His intensity is very high but not always the weight

 

If treating the gym like a warzone is what works for you that's fucking awesome because it sounds bad ass! haha but some people can get just as much work done and truly enjoy it! I LOOOOVE doing a drop set on back squats starting at 315lbs and getting down to 135lbs for 20 more reps without more than a 5 second rest in between taking plates off. Tell me that won't put something on your legs! You just gotta remember to eat after you throw up Hell some people in the gym think I'm nuts because I'll do something like that and smile. Everyone has to find what works for them. We're all the same yet we are all different. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

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I appreciate the reply - one thing that you probably haven't seen yet being newer is that I do preach the fact that we're all different whenever people try to pigeonhole us as all responding the same, so I think you may have misread what I was getting at.

 

Constant linear progression according to a fixed program of simply "add more weight" isn't necessarily intensity, because training doesn't always work out that way for being successful. Nobody can simply slap 5 lbs. on to a lift week after week and never slow down, not going to disagree with that point at all. Anyone who reads my log will see that my workouts rarely are the same, both before when I did strongman and now that I'm starting fresh in a rebuilding process. Some days are higher rep/moderate weight, some days I'll go in and just bang out a bunch of singles with near max weight. Both types can be done with great intensity, but one tends to take a greater toll on me than the other and requires a different approach.

 

To me INTENSITY is leaving nothing on the table. That much I agree 100% with you. If I can walk out that gym and say to myself "I could have done more" then I did not have a worthwhile session... however that doesn't mean it was bad because I didn't add weight to the bar.

 

This is more along the lines of what I was trying to get across. I don't load on more weight every time - sometimes, doing the same thing I did last time can be the most intense workout if it's comparing a day of great progress to a day where I could barely pull myself out of bed to go lift. Everyone's own optimal intensity will be different, my point being that most people haven't bothered to ever explore what their true maximum intensity is, then they wonder why they barely make progress. My point being, if you don't push yourself beyond the bounds of your comfort/pain levels, you'll never really know your true potential.

 

Ask 50 true bodybuilders that have great physiques how they train and you will get 50 different answers!!! The one common link is they leave nothing on the table! THAT'S IT! You have to change it up and the heavy shit, the light shit, the moderate shit, the drop sets, rest-pause, supersets, giant sets, etc.. IT WORKS!

 

Not at all disagreeing with that. I've had some seriously intense training sessions done with far-from-max weight by pushing myself to see what the most volume I could get with it would be. My best work for body recomposition came with increasing workload volume via lighter weights, but my problem being, I did it for so long, I lost that spark for remembering what it meant to really have to fight a heavy weight again. If one can keep balance between different training phases and not lose that mindset of being ready for war again, that's perfect. I just had a mental block that got in the way, hence my feeling great that I've re-learned what was important for me to reach my goals.

 

Everyone has to find what works for them. We're all the same yet we are all different. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

 

Seems we're more in agreement than you may have thought

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Ryan, what's up with you? Did someone feed your gremlin after midnight? (Okay, mogwai, you nerds.)

 

All-out, 100% do-it-or-die-trying war. If you want to get bigger and/or stronger, lifting won't be fun most days.

Are you serious? I mean, really? Hell lifting is ALWAYS fun! If it ever stops being fun, I do something else for a day or two to cross train, then come back to it. It's my juice, man. I keep the juice delicious!

 

Rarely ever do I really look forward to beating myself up for 90 minutes before coming home feeling battered and broken, but I know it's the only way to get what I want.

Seriously? Who did you learn masochism from? Well, I guess that'll make shopping for your Christmas present easier...Let's see, something with whips and chains....

 

I look around me, and I see people half-assing their workouts everywhere I train. No focus, lots of chatter, more time spent reading magazines or watching TV between sets as if it's their main reason to be at the gym.

How do you know what their main reason to be at the gym is? I've known guys who hang out at the gym a little longer each day to help get off alcohol and drugs. It wasn't about the lifting, not until later. It was about distracting themselves from something horrible and focusing on something better a little more each day until they felt strong enough to tackle it in a new way.

 

And I've met women who were afraid to go home because their partners abused them. The longer they hung out at the gym, relaxed, talked to friends, got their courage up and their internal balance back, the better able they were to deal rationally with whatever came next that night. Still others had rage issues and used the gym to relax before they went home to their spouses. The elusive culprit lurking under a lot of people's skin was depression, which sapped their strength and sliced their will to live.

 

I've met people unlearning anorexia, recovering from colitis, and adjusting to a new city, a new lifestyle, or suddenly learning to be single again. Some had injuries that were obvious and some had injuries they didn't want to talk about. Some were scared to try the weights and preferred to watch others and learn gradually at their own pace. Many were taking it slow and deciding whether or not they even liked the gym--maybe they would go back to just jogging or playing with their kids next week. A good number didn't really want to lift weights, they just knew they wanted to feel better, and they were banging around, trying all sorts of things until something clicked for them. Only a few of us can make dramatic change last, the rest of us are better off doing the gradual shift.

 

Some of these people I never saw again but some stuck around and got hooked on lifting. Either way, I believe gymnasiums are for the whole body--including the brain and the heart, if you know what I mean--and they were designed that way in ancient Greece: some came for the exercise and massage, some just for the hot soak in the mineral bath afterward. It was all for the health.

 

If you can get your groove on with just the exercises, then fantastic. I go for that and the camaraderie of my regular set of buddies in the weight room. In fact, I get supremely pumped when I am surrounded by my guys! We all agree that our workouts are better when we are together, whether we are chatting it up or not. It's the group energy, man. It's good.

 

But I'm an extrovert. Introverts get pumped in different ways and just because they are reading does not mean they aren't doing what's necessary for their health. Maybe they need a distraction to come down and focus before they pick up a dumbbell. I don't use music (I actually wear earplugs to drown it out so I can hear my own breathing and heartbeat, instead) but I don't deny the folks who do. It's their way.

 

And one more thing about these people who look to you like they aren't working out and aren't making headway: do you know for sure how far they've come already? I mean, I never smirk at an obese person jogging. Who knows, they might have been immobile last year and now they've gotten to a place where they can run for the first time in their life. That's AWESOME! A fit person lifting five more pounds is commendable but an unhealthy person drumming up the courage to go to the gym and try one more time, that deserves a frickin' medal!

 

Sadly, many people don't ever have that workout because they're programmed to only do what they THINK is hard work, when their definition of focus and intensity is half of the effort I put into my warm-ups.

Are you meaning to be sanctimonious here, dude? That's sure how it's coming across. I mean, how do you know how focused and intense a person is, especially if everybody is different? One man's marathon is another man's afternoon jog. And why worry about what other people are up to, anyway? It's exhausting.

 

It's too bad that people think they need to leave the gym feeling only pumped, "refreshed", or mildly challenged, because they're not at all grasping that their own lack of effort is why they're stuck in place year after year.

Hmm...I leave the gym feeling "only pumped" and it's awesome. I leave the gym refreshed and it's spiritual. Sometimes, I leave the gym mildly challenged and I don't beat myself up over it. Yet, I'm bumping my weights up every month. So, I guess all it takes for some is the mildly challenging refreshment of getting pumped--? Does that mean I don't deserve my success, that I haven't earned it?

 

It makes me want to weep when I think about the fact that there are so many people who have never struggled with a max weight to know what it's like to feel that it might kill you to complete the final rep.

Feeling like I'm being killed is something I get enough of the rest of the day--like today after 35 minutes with Ebay customer service....AAAAAAAAARRRRGH! I'll bet more people than you might think know how to get to their happy place in the gym; not all roads lead to maxing until you shit your pants. (Ooo, there's an image!)

 

You can't buy that feeling, it's something you need to earn by putting in what's necessary, and once you feel the victory that comes with it, you'll never be the same.

Something I need to earn...? Hmm, that implies that I don't deserve it right now. Of course I deserve it, I am awesome. There's nothing I have to prove, there's nobody I have to be. I don't earn my muscles, I make them. It's just a matter of putting a different shape on an already awesome body, a body that was awesome when I was six, twenty-six, thirty-six, and will be just as awesome when I'm ninety-six, no matter what I'm doing. Most of my life is the journey, so I make sure the journey is fun, relaxing, and invigorating as hell. But I don't believe I need to earn any of it, I just need to choose it.

 

Just my $0.02. I love ya, Ryan, but don't forget to smile, dude.

 

Baby Herc

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Are you meaning to be sanctimonious here, dude? That's sure how it's coming across. I mean, how do you know how focused and intense a person is, especially if everybody is different? One man's marathon is another man's afternoon jog. And why worry about what other people are up to, anyway? It's exhausting.

 

Didn't mean to come off that way, Herc. A new gym to train at and listening in to the conversations and attitudes kind of set me off a bit for this tirade. Overhearing people talking about how they haven't made progress in a year because they think they "need to take more NOExplode to break the plateau" or something similar has hit a bit of a nerve with me when I see these same people taking 8 minutes between sets that they're not even struggling on. They've got plenty of time to kvetch between sets and look like they're ready to hit the club when they walk out the door, yet they complain the whole time that things could be better. Humanity's excuse-making side tends to irk me from time to time, this just happened to be one of them

 

Hmm...I leave the gym feeling "only pumped" and it's awesome. I leave the gym refreshed and it's spiritual. Sometimes, I leave the gym mildly challenged and I don't beat myself up over it. Yet, I'm bumping my weights up every month. So, I guess all it takes for some is the mildly challenging refreshment of getting pumped--? Does that mean I don't deserve my success, that I haven't earned it?

 

Not at all, Herc, not at all. I guess I didn't really convey my message as well as I'd hoped, left too much up to interpretation. My point being, people who are continually DISSATISFIED with their progress but keep giving sub-maximal effort are what troubles me. A lack of introspection into one's true capabilities, and scapegoating stalled progress on everything but the lack of effort given to workouts is something I frown upon. Comparitively, if I find that I'm not getting much done at the office while spending my time posting here all day instead of working, then the answer is pretty clear as to what needs to be fixed in order to get ahead. Same goes for the gym, where I hear people talking about how they're not happy with progress, but look everywhere aside from the most obvious answer as to why they stall out over and over again. Hence the purpose of this rant - if someone is fully content with their progress, then I can't fault them on anything. BUT, when I hear people blaming everyone but themselves when they're obviously not giving it the best effort possible, I feel the need to blow off some steam about it, such as in this case.

 

Feeling like I'm being killed is something I get enough of the rest of the day--like today after 35 minutes with Ebay customer service....AAAAAAAAARRRRGH! I'll bet more people than you might think know how to get to their happy place in the gym; not all roads lead to maxing until you shit your pants. (Ooo, there's an image!)

 

Again, I didn't take the time to note that much of what I wrote is relevant in respect to certain goals, not that it's intended to be one big blanket statement. Not everyone needs to know the feel of having your entire head turn beet-red when trying to lock out a new squat PR, but then again, nobody should feel that once something becomes uncomfortable, it means that it's time to stop and pack it in. Again, if someone is content with their progress and all they do is curl a soup can for their workouts, more power to them. It is those that complain and put the blame in the wrong place because it's difficult to examine our own flaws closely and honestly to find that we sometimes hold ourselves back more than we've realized.

 

Something I need to earn...? Hmm, that implies that I don't deserve it right now. Of course I deserve it, I am awesome. There's nothing I have to prove, there's nobody I have to be. I don't earn my muscles, I make them. It's just a matter of putting a different shape on an already awesome body, a body that was awesome when I was six, twenty-six, thirty-six, and will be just as awesome when I'm ninety-six, no matter what I'm doing. Most of my life is the journey, so I make sure the journey is fun, relaxing, and invigorating as hell. But I don't believe I need to earn any of it, I just need to choose it.

 

Just my $0.02. I love ya, Ryan, but don't forget to smile, dude.

 

Baby Herc

 

Oh, Herc, you took this all too personally, and again, my apologies if I didn't make things too clear from the get-go. You obviously know what you're doing and what's right for you, nothing was meant to be a criticism of that. I will be much more careful next time to do less of a rant that would be taken from a powerlifting forum and clarify to a greater degree so that I don't step on too many toes when my intentions were much more harmless than some thought.

 

So, in conclusion, the original post was intended to state two things:

 

1. That I'd lost my spark for a long time and had to rediscover that without maximum intensity, my workouts were far from ideal, and

 

2. People that bitch and moan about not making progress need to take a long, hard look in the mirror about how they're training before coming to the conclusion that it MUST be their diet/supplement regimen/training program etc. that's holding them back. It ain't pretty to have to admit that sometimes, we're giving far less than we're capable of, and most often, the simplest explanation is the correct one.

 

Maybe I should just pull the whole thing down and leave those two points up. Might save me from worrying that anyone else is going to feel I'm attacking the way they're doing things

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Naw, leave it up, Ryan, it spoke to a lot of people on a lot of different levels. (Plus, I had fun responding to it. It helped me come down from my Ebay rage--Ha, ha!)

 

I guess my emotional hot button is the No Pain, No Gain attitude from the 70's that lingers into today's workouts. I know all about pain--screaming, exploding, take-me-now-God pain--and believe me, it's not the rewarding badge of honor we've all been force fed into believing it is. You can get there from here and actually enjoy the ride. Really, you can.

 

But I feel ya. I get where you were coming from--yeah, I totally agree about the scapegoating of externals for the lack of one's progress. Hell, we all do that from time to time. Trick I'm learning is not to beat myself up over it when I notice myself doing it and just get back in the game.

 

And by the way, I have also overhead some shocking ignorance in the gym: I once heard a guy bragging to his buddy about how he pleasures his girlfriend with his beard and it was so obvious to us girls standing around him that he had zero knowledge of female anatomy that we all started to smile. He thought we were getting turned on when we were actually trying hard not to laugh. Sorry, dude, but thanks for playing! Ha, ha!

 

Baby Herc

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Seems we're more in agreement than you may have thought

 

 

YES I didn't mean to try and argue with you I just have seen too many people go off on how intensity specifically means adding weight or going heavy only. For some that may be true, but not everyone. You're right though we do mainly agree on the end result! Nothing gets left on the table!

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We should start a thread about "what ridiculous crap did you hear in the gym today?"

 

Hmmmmm

 

OK, it's not something that I heard, just something that I saw. I switched to mornings last fall at my gym to avoid the line at the dumbbells in the post-lunch crowd, so I sort of lost touch with my regular set of guys. Yesterday, I was running late, so I just bit the bullet and went in at 2 PM. Sure enough, one of my buds was there but boy, what a change!

 

I used to call this guy Mr. Suave because his form was so smooth and perfect, he was like a machine. But now, not only is he out of shape, he's benching way too much and only dipping the bar to about six inches off his chest, then back up again for a range of motion of maybe a foot. I joked with him good-naturedly and made him go down to just plates on each side to get his form back but he couldn't even do that. He had no injuries or anything; I think he's just been slacking off.

 

So, I gave him crap and told him the next time I see him, he'd better be back to Mr. Suave or I'll kick his ass. (What's funny about this is he has about a foot on me.) He gave me a hug when he left and sort of patted me on the head condescendingly--Ha, ha! If he keeps slacking off like this, by Christmas I really will be able to kick his ass. (sigh)

 

Baby Herc

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How do you know what their main reason to be at the gym is? I've known guys who hang out at the gym a little longer each day to help get off alcohol and drugs. It wasn't about the lifting, not until later. It was about distracting themselves from something horrible and focusing on something better a little more each day until they felt strong enough to tackle it in a new way.

 

+1

 

A story, if you will, of my beginnings of my fitness insanity when I began this year:

 

Back in March, I came home after several days of rain with the intention of grabbing some stuff and getting back in the car to go to a friend's house. My neighbor stopped me. "You better check your basement," he told me. "Several people's basements on our streets have flooded and I'm pumping out mine now with a friend."

 

Now when people think basement, they think storage. Mine had carpet. An elliptical. TV, VCR, DVD player. A shit load of books on shelves. Washer and dryer. And I had a ton of papers on the floor I was trying to reorganize before the weather insanity occurred.

 

So I ran down there, and discovered the water was past my ankles. The carpet was rippling cause water had gotten underneath. Given its size we're talking a LOT of water. After shutting off the circuit breaker for the electricity down there and washer and dryer, I stopped and stared at my brand new Slim in 6 DVDs and resistance band. I had just started the program two days ago, had made a space down there to work out and everything.

 

Then I began to calculate how much the damage would undoubtedly cost me. Given my savings account had already been burnt out during my unemployment the previous year and could already barely afford my bills, you can imagine how my mental state was at that point.

 

I figured at that point given the severity of the situation, I had one of two options:

 

1) Indulge in a pint of Soy Delicious' awesome chocolate drenched in Santa Cruz chocolate syrup, nicely heated in the microwave, and wash it down in a bottle of wine.

 

2) Bring the exercise stuff upstairs, buy a mat from Whole Foods and a tv from Best Buy, and work my ass off.

 

#2 was what won out. I am almost done paying off that tv, and believe me when I tell you during my worst moments of depression from various things in my personal life and stress due to finances, exercise was what kept me going. I sincerely do not know what I would've done without it. Every time I hear from people undergoing some sort of personal struggle or trauma I advise them to get physically active, work it out in exercise, and it's a win-win scenario: you get to fit into all your old clothes and at the end of it you feel vaguely sane.

 

Anyhow, sorry for the tl;dr...but I just wanted to chime in and say yeah, that situation's more common than you may think. And if anyone would like to see what I did with my basement after most of my life, including yearbooks, first edition books, magazines, and what-not were tossed away, I will gladly show you. It's now my exercise room and it looks pretty damned good!

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I liked your post Ryan, I didn't feel you were talking to the people who were not that serious with their training, only those who are complaining about not getting results. Obviously, someone who is more relaxed about their training and results isn't going to worry too much or put in as much effort. But those who think they are trying, but actually wasting time and not getting results, then moaning about other things holding them back, you are right, and many people do fall into that trap, of not realising what they are capable of.

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Every time I hear from people undergoing some sort of personal struggle or trauma I advise them to get physically active, work it out in exercise, and it's a win-win scenario: you get to fit into all your old clothes and at the end of it you feel vaguely sane.

 

Damn right, all my pants fall of now that I lost that toned big butt of mine.

 

Seriously, I lost a lot of weight. Some lose and some gain after a struggle, but either way both will most likely feel good after getting themselves involved in some regular physical exercise.

 

Ryan, I loved your text. Would have so much to ask, but too tired to think so I'll just leave it like this. Your rant was very enlightening to me and made me want to try and work even harder next time.

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