If you are just starting with your health and exercise routine, this post will give a peek a into the future and what to expect. And if you are a more experience trainee… well, this might act as nice reminder. So you’ll remember not to forget.
When down the track you feel disheartened remember that 99% of folks who start a fitness routine go through these same steps. It’s almost as common as the urge to fart after drinking milk. Yet nobody talks about it because it’s not cool. Unless you are part of the special lactose intolerance – circles (or SLIC for short).
…In the beginning
When you first start working out you most likely feel motivated and excited to hit the weights. You have a spring in your step, you are looking forward to winning and crushing each workout, thinking that you’ll never stop. Your social media is littered with #tabata, #smolov russian squat program and #carrots over beers for Friday night.
Well, that lasts for about four weeks, at most.
Everyone new to an exercise routine finds it exciting in the beginning. But once the initial excitement wears off it’s quite the opposite, it becomes a drag. You dread going to the gym and damn everything it represents. You start postponing sessions because of work, friends, life and whatnot. “Oh, I can’t train today… because… my bees… they need a new…. set of diapers”. You start coming up with reasons to not go. You might be going through this right now, and you don’t even have bees!
Because you might think that nobody else feels the same you condemn that you are not the fitness sort of type thing. You are ready to pull the plug because it’s not for you. But as I said in the beginning, this is completely normal. Well, putting diapers on bees is borderline weird. But the occasional moments and even longer periods of not giving a hoot about exercise is normal.
What I also want to tell you is that that the feeling of un-excitement, for the lack of better term, will too pass. And you’ll get excited again. Not quite to the level that you did in the beginning, but excited nevertheless. I also need to tell you that newly found excitement will pass too and training will again become a bit of a drag.
In fact, I am so sure of it that I even draw a diagram about it. See.
The shit gets easier over time
Here’s the good news. Once you are over the initial hump it gets easier and easier each time. The extremes will become less so and each up and down will become a smaller deviation from the norm.
It’s normal to have periods of un-motivation throughout your training life. Unless you are a robot without feelings, training isn’t always fun and exciting. Sometimes it’s just a thing you do because it’s good for you. And it’s ok to be as vague as that with your goals during those times. At the times of high motivation you can set bigger and more specific goals.
Bus bench and park bench training
Dan John talks a lot about bus-, and park bench workouts. Bus bench periods in training are usually short and intense with a specific goal of getting somewhere. Getting ready for a wedding or a beach holiday come to mind.
Park bench workouts are what happens most throughout the year. Most of the park bench workouts are about medium to low in intensity. They are still done to improve yourself, but without the rush of getting somewhere. And sometimes they are just done because they have to be done.
If all you’d ever do is park bench workouts with consistency, you’d still be healthier and fitter than majority of the people you know. Your joints would probably feel better too compared bus bench training.
What most fitness marketing wants you to believe is that training is all about the bus bench. That you should always train with the highest intensity, crush the weights while eating chalk for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Nobody wants to be told that it’s ok not being shredded 365 or just to train for general health. Yawn. Hardcore training is what sells, it’s sexy and usually sounds amazing and appealing: Neuroblasto Bicepo El’Massivo, Hail The Great Gluteus Maximus Manipulation XXXtreme, Shoulder Shredzoniac Mania 5500 v.2.0.
Not only do the names sound like they could be titles for Spanish erotic novels, but often the marketing could be used either way too.
I used to believe this hype too. I thought that if I wasn’t kicking ass and taking names each session it wasn’t worth training. Yet the unsexy secret is in showing up on most days and getting something done. Even if it’s a shitty training session you still came in to move. And your long-term health will thank you for it.