Monday, April 1, 2013

Standing Up

Failure is a b*tch.

It's not about being a sore loser. That's the not the kind of failure I'm talking about. You guys know what I'm referring to. That feeling of knowing you tried your hardest, did your best, left it all on the mat and still, still you were found wanting. The kind of painful, visceral defeat that you can feel in your f*cking bones. It happens to all of us. Inevitably you're going to be left feeling like today you just weren't good enough.

What about tomorrow?

Every time you fall you can learn something from it. Every time. Maybe your preparation wasn't on point. Maybe you picked the wrong opportunity or the wrong time. Those are the easy ones. You see where you could've been better and you improve. Unfortunately there's also going to be a time where you did every single thing perfectly. You had every variable and every facet of your plan calculated out and it still didn't go your way. There's a lesson there too; maybe the hardest one.

You failed, but you aren't broken. You're human. Failure is a part of who we are. What matters is what you do with it. Every loss is a chance to learn and change as long as we're willing to take a magnifying glass to ourselves. We all think we're self aware but I've got news for you.

A lot of you probably don't know yourselves as well as you think.

Just for the sake of relevance I'm going to tie in the principal of specificity here. Any real training program needs to have a specific goal. I'm not talking about "I want to look like (insert jacked/ripped/insanely hot celebrity here," or, "I want a six pack." It's not because I don't think you're allowed to want that sh*t (you are) it's because in terms of progress and making a plan those are incredibly hard to quantify.

If your goal is sheer weight loss, plain and simple, it's pretty straightforward. It's just math. You can use this  to calculate your daily calorie needs (BMR + Activity) and this to calculate your calorie intake. 1 lb of fat = 3500 calories. From here it's all PEMDAS, baby. You want to lose 10 lbs? thats 35,000 calories. If you can create a calorie deficit of 500 calories/ day it'll take you about 70 days. If you can create a deficit of 1,000 calories/day you chop that number in half. See how easy that is? Yay, math.

If your goal is to significantly alter the appearance of your body, pick numerical, measurable benchmarks rather than physical ones. Trying to get your squat numbers to a certain value or running a mile in under a certain time is something you can train for. If there's a specific body type you want to emulate, figure out what that person does and do the f*ck out of it. It's hard to get a dancer's body without dancing and almost impossible to get the physique of a fighter without taking a few shots to the face.

Even within this, focus on the activity and steadily improving your ability rather than the physical pay off at the end. You can measure the number of routines you've gone through and the number of punches you've thrown and chip away at making yourself better. Six pack abs may or may not ever happen, but if you focus on the activity and making steady, measurable progress it's a hell of a lot more likely. It'll also give you something quantifiable to focus on if it doesn't work. It's hard to fix a problem when you can't pinpoint where it started.

If you want to seriously improve your level of fitness you need to have a plan. If you're getting started, sometimes just having a plan is more important than the specifics. If you're trying to take it to the next level, you need to be honest and laser focused about what your goals are to set yourself up to succeed. If you're not getting where you want, maybe you need to go back to the drawing board.

That's one of the best things about failure. Every time it happens you get a chance to start over, free and clear. Failing forces you to go back, throws you down at the drawing board's feet and says, "ok buddy, what now?" The answer is pretty simple.

Stand up. Keep moving. Becoming Invincible isn't about never failing. It's about never staying down.

Besides, everyone loves a come back.

Good luck, good training and happy spring, everyone.


Today's workout:
Dynamic Warm-up - 10-15 min.

FRAN (because I haven't in a while.)
95 lb Thruster (front squat into a push press)
Pull Up
For Time

Power Cleans:
3x Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM) 6 minutes

Front Squat

My legs are going to hate me tomorrow.

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