In one long forgotten world there was one guy(ME 🙂 ) who was thin as a rail and this boy loved to play basketball even though he was not the best or the strongest.
But my dream when playing basketball was to jump higher so I can dunk the basketball.
I started looking for new and interesting ways to do that. I started reading a lot about fitness, weight lifting, lurking in the basketball forums.
And after reading one of the most influential books in my life(don’t remember the name though) I came to the conclusion that if I want to start doing the program listed in the book I have to start going to the gym.
Sigh… The one place that I feel even more different then I normally do.
I continued reading more and more about building muscle and recovering. I started buying Men’s Health(seemed cool to me at that point in my life). Seems odd how we men are attracted to magazines with naked muscle boys and naked ladies(I’m talking about you Hugh)… anyway.
I started going to the gym and in the first few months the difference was significant which was normal, because my body was used to playing basketball and siting in a chair(playing video games – my teenage years 🙂 ).
But after a year or two I had to stop going to the gym because I started socializing(clubbing) and I didn’t have money for gym. I had to figure a way to challenge my body in a new way.
And that’s the point where I had(!) to start doing body weight workouts.
I knew a lot about different exercises at this point, but I started reading on how to get the best of my workouts.
To be honest though at first I was very skeptical about this type of workout because I was a spoiled little gym rat, who got used to the free weights and gloves.
In the beginning when I started doing only body weight exercises I used gloves to prevent my hands of becoming manly, but it never gets so bad as you think.
I continued my search for information and I came close to one book(can’t remember again sorry, don’t kill me please) that taught me how to work out properly and I met two of my role models in working out(virtually… through YouTube).
Enter Greg Plitt and Elliott Hulse
After watching few of their videos, I figured the one thing that I didn’t do which was give my all, give everything I have or whatever motivational cliche you wanna call it.
What I’m talking about is the last rep/s.
I’ve heard it from friends who had experience in weight lifting, who told me stuff like “Hey the most important thing in your workout is stepping out of your boundaries!”.
For example, you are doing push ups- you are feeling good, feeling your muscles pumping, listening to the birds singing and stuff and at one point you start to feel that it gets harder, the next rep is even harder and the last(!) rep is even harder so you say “fuck it, I have another set”.
After watching their videos I came to the conclusion “is not just the body that’s at work” like Elliott says.
Which means at the end of the day it does not matter who has the biggest arms(believe it or not), or who can do more pull ups or push ups, no no it goes way deeper then that.
At the end of the workout the most important thing is if you gave everything you had at the workout or not.
Click on Elliott’s chest to see what I’m talking about!
“There is threshold that you have to cross in order to access the power of the mind and the spirit in your training…”
Pff that’s easy
Right now you are thinking that’s easy right. Perfect that means you have never experienced it. Don’t worry virgin baby step it!
Start small and build on it. What do you mean Lubo?
It’s simple, for example you are doing your second set of push ups(you already did the first remember?) and you reach the “end” or the “last” rep.
For a second there acknowledge the thoughts that go through your mind at that point:
“Common man, let’s leave it here. Leave it for the other set man, it’s ok. I think we are finished. That’s all.”
Instead tell yourself “let’s see what happens if I do one more rep” and lo and behold, you fucking did it, Congratulations!
Guess what you are still on the ground but with a big smile now repeat the same thing that I told you “let’s see what happens if I do one more rep!”.
Just do it out of curiosity.
Especially with an exercises like the push ups all you can do is bump your chest on the ground and here is the thing… are you ready… you will not die from it.
With the pull ups you can hang until you can hold yourself with your hands.
Just don’t use this philosophy when you are doing exercises that there is a high chance of you hitting your head!(Read my disclaimer!)
The Gut Check
That’s what Greg Plitt used to say.
The gut check is the test you have to do in order for you to be worthy of the success that waits for you after the test.
If you don’t go past the gut check you will be some mediocre athlete who relies only on his/her talent.
But in the gut check your talents don’t matter at all, because it’s a battle between you and you!
And if you loose this is the one place where you should feel sorry for yourself. And you should.
Because if you win, if you go over your limits, you will be proud of yourself and you have the chance to be proud again right after a minute on the next set or the next day you workout.
What happens in the long run, you become Mr. Olympia, well technically yes you can. But small improvements in the long run matter most then one big improvement(liposuction… ugh).
Let’s say after today’s workout you improve yourself by 1%(mentally and physically), 3 workouts per week, that’s 152%(thank you Windows calculator, life saver).
That will be completely different YOU!
The only people who know this are the professional athletes and maybe 5-10% of the amateurs.
Most of the people we see in the gym or in the park are mediocre.
People who come and go, people who bruised their hands from the pull up bar or some other excuse that Ron Swanson would not approve.
Who would you rather be?
The workout is over?
Nope it’s never over.
This philosophy applies to life too.
You get used to facing that little voice in your head that doubts you.
You can start using that same philosophy whenever you hear the pathetic noises, called excuses, jumping from nowhere in your head.