the joy of strength training


November 10th, 2007 at 5:05 pm

Do your workouts scare you?

Mine do! I was thinking about this today as I was on my way to the gym to make another attempt on Ross Training’s 100 burpee challenge (that’s burpees with press-ups, of course). I know that it’s going to hurt, I know that it’s going to make me feel nauseous and I know that it’s going to make me look like a nutter in the gym. I get butterflies in my stomach knowing that I’m going to do this but I can’t wait to get started. It’s always better once you’re up and running.

I used to train in the advanced group at British Military Fitness (I was always at the back!) and I would get really nervous before a session, knowing the pain and effort that was coming in the next hour. I sometimes get nervous before a heavy weights session, especially if I’m not feeling at my best.

But this is how progress is made. The key to training, whether it is strength or conditioning, is regular progression – and progression means getting to somewhere you’ve never been before. Whether it is 5kg on your max deadlift or knocking 30 seconds off your 100 burpee time, you are taking a leap into the unknown and it is somewhat scary. You don’t know how your body is going to react, you don’t know how it’s going to feel. But you have to overcome this fear in order to make progress. And deep down, you have to believe that you can.

Your brain will always try to stop you before your body actually gives out. It’s a built-in safety mechanism. This is why it really helps to have someone else to push you, and why I was grateful for being shouted at by ex-soldiers and forced to run up hills when all I wanted to do was lie in the dirt and cry.

If you want to make serious progress you simply must be prepared to push yourself past the point at which you want to stop. You might not necessarily enjoy it while it lasts, but you will be incredibly psyched once it’s over and really happy that you got a new personal best.

So if your workouts don’t scare you….maybe you need to make them harder!

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  • 1

    Steve Justa speaks of a similar topic in the book
    ‘Rock, Iron, Steel’.
    He talks about taking yourself into completely
    uncharted territory from time to time in an
    attempt to push past your limits…Both physical
    and mental.
    He can be a bit “off the wall” at times, but the
    man says a lot of things that make a ton of sense.

    MonkeyMan on November 10th, 2007
  • 2

    I’ll look him up!

    gubernatrix on November 11th, 2007
  • 3

    It’s tough to find much on him when you do a
    Google search, unfortunately. I’ve tried before
    and the results were minimal.
    I finally bought the book from Amazon and love it.
    As I said, some of his ideas are a bit crazy, but
    some aren’t and the guy is one strong son of a

    MonkeyMan on November 15th, 2007


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