Monday, March 25, 2013

Embrace the Suck

Ripped hands. Bloody shins. Hundreds of pounds. Handstand pushups.

Those were the highlights of my workout yesterday.

I don't really talk about my workouts with people in detail because I can't. It's not so much that people don't understand the mechanics or the exercises. They don't understand the drive. Why the hell would you put 350 lbs on your back? Why would you run, jump, twist, and stretch in every possible direction until you're nauseous and lightheaded? Why would you bring yourself to the point of breaking every time just so you can be sore and exhausted for the rest of the day and then wake up and do it all over again?

Simple. Because I f*cking love it.

We all workout for different reasons. Health, vanity and some type of functionality seem to be the three most common threads. Do I enjoy the way working out makes me look? Yes, of course. Do I appreciate the things that my workouts then enable me to do? Totally. Do I take note of my health compared to other people my age with similar lifestyles? All the time.

But those things alone just don't do it.

I love the pain. I love the hurt. I love the way it feels when my legs are shaking and my head is pounding and it feels like my body is going to give out before I can get the bar back on the rack. I love leaving the gym drenched in sweat, shaking and smiling.

Some of it's simply visceral. Intense workouts set off a cascade of chemicals coursing through your veins waking you up and making you feel high on existence. Adrenaline is a hell of a drug and combined with testosterone and growth hormone you've got a potent cocktail of all natural happy juice.

That... doesn't sound quite right...

Moving on. Some of it is mental and quantitative. I did this much of this exercise last week and today I crushed that record. I've been stuck on this weight for this many weeks and today I smashed through that wall. Steady, demonstrable progress is an easy way to feel accomplished on an almost daily basis. It's empowering in a way very few things are.

That, for me, is the last and maybe most essential part. Feeling empowered. The first time I picked up a weight when I was in high school my goal was very simple and totally ridiculous. I wanted to be superhuman. I wanted to run faster, jump higher, throw further and hit harder than anyone else. I was a little too jacked up on Superman and Batman comics to acknowledge that on my 5'10" frame it's unlikely I'll ever be the biggest, strongest or fastest guy around but I didn't think that way then and I still don't care now. I'm not competing with anyone but myself. Which is good, because I can be a bit of a sore loser. That being said, after I crush a workout that involves lifting literally several hundred pounds, I feel like a god damn superhero even if I skipped out on the neon spandex. ( depends on the day really.)

I have a fair number of clients all in varying states of fitness. At this point they've all been with me for multiple years and I genuinely like all of them for different reasons. One thing I would say that still frustrates the hell out of me about a certain group is their seemingly complete inability to shut up and embrace the suck.

Embrace it. Learn to love it. If you can't love the hurt, chances are you're never going to get quite where you want to be.

We all have goals, or, well, we all should. We want things, things that we don't have. To get where we're not requires action and change. It will never cease to blow my mind how many people think they should be able to achieve a significant change in their life without...actually...changing anything. On what planet does that make sense?

Well I'd like to go from this to this in six weeks. Did I mention I hate pain, pushing myself and eating healthy? Oh and i need to take 5 breaks an hour and drink 2 bottles of vitamin water every 30 minutes. What do you mean it's bad for me? It has vitamins!

F*cking really?

You're probably reading this acknowledging how ludicrous these statements are but be real with yourself for a minute. Have you ever quit before you finished what you meant to? Have you ever given up on a workout because it hurt and you were uncomfortable? I'm not up on a pedestal. I've done it too.

And I hated it every single time.

Look, it happens. It's ok. What matters is what comes next. What matters is what you do when you get back up. Embracing the suck is not about ignoring pain and being a stone cold BAMF. It's about not stopping. It's about not quitting. It's about never, ever staying down for the count. Embracing the suck is about acknowledging that what you're doing is going to be difficult and awful and at times your'e going to want to stop but you won't. Revel in the fact that you're doing something difficult and you're not going to let it beat you.

Oh, and for the record? Half-assing your way through a "run" on the elliptical for 30 min. 3x a week is not embracing the suck. I sincerely applaud you for doing something but no one ever achieved an entirely new physique while leisurely reading the latest issue of cosmo. Well, not outside of a surgeons office anyway.

That's my rant for today. A little longer than expected but I think it gets the point across. The truth is this: So you want something, huh? How badly do you want it? What are you willing to give up for it? Still going to try? Well, all right my friend. Time to embrace the suck. Cheers.

Oh right. The good stuff:

Sundays Workout:
15 min dynamic warm-up
Jump rope
Leg swings - hip flex+ext, adduction/IR+abduction/ER 10x
Air Squats 10x
Alternating Lunges 10x ea.
Bird Dogs 10x each side
Bridges 10x - Single leg 5x each side
Scorpion Tails 10x each side
Shoulder flex/scaption/abduction/d1 flex/d2 flex 5x ea. exercise ea. arm

Oly/Power Lifting:
Power Cleans 3/135-3/145-2/155-2/165-2/175-1/185-1/190-1/195-1/205(attempted. f*cker still eludes me...)

Back Squat:
W/u - 3/225,2/245,1/265,1/275,1/295,1/315
Work Sets - 3x5 285

Parallel Grip Chest to Bar Chin-Ups/Handstand Push-Ups Superset
5x5 ea. for time.

Mondays Workout: (Modified CrossFit WOD from 130323)
10 Kettle Bell swings (52.5 lb)
20 Toes-to-bar
Run 400m

3 rounds for time.

At some point I'll get to posting my diet. Today is not that day...

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