Monday, February 18, 2013
So last week was a tough week....nothing really bad, but I was under the weather with some crazy rhino-virus that messed with my head. It wasn't enough to knock me out, but it slowed me down just enough to make simple things difficult. That and I just kept sneezing and blowing my nose all week.
I felt OK doing cardio, but skipped 2 days of ST mostly because my brain wasn't in it. I relaxed most of this weekend and took a leisurely bike ride Sunday.
Skipping 2 days of ST last week made going in to today's heavy legs & back day even tougher. I knew it was going to be a struggle....and I didn't feel like struggling....I was looking for a reason not to go, looking for reasons to ease up and not make it so tough. I wasn't sure I could push through it.
Well push I did and let me tell you....I probably had the best heavy legs & back day I have had in a long, long time!
I set a couple of PRs on squats & deadlifts (300 lbs on the deads!) and as for my arch-nemesis, pullups & chinups, I did 3 sets of 4 pullups (overhand grip), followed by 3 sets of 5 chin-ups (underhand grip)!
At the end of the day, I was still going pretty strong, but petering out a little. My Stasi trained trainer decided to end the day with bicep curls, but instead of going with heavy weights, he took a plate off for the last 2 sets and said, "just keep going to failure"
I really, really hate this guy when he says "just keep going to failure". When he says "just keep going to failure", there is no numerical goal to shoot for, there's no relief thinking that just one or 2 more reps will end the agony. No, there is just white hot pain as I pull and tighten and keep going until he says, "that's good you're done"
Yeah, he'll assist with the bar, providing some leverage to help me get past a stall, but I'll be damned if I'll stop before he makes the "that's good you're done" call. He's good, he knows his business. He'll provide just the bare minimum of assistance to keep the bar moving, but he won't let me slack off either. And somehow, his definition of muscle failure is always just 1 or 2 levels of pain higher than I think I can withstand.
And that is the biggest realization I have made about strength training.....yeah it can be tough, but our bodies are capable of much, much more than our minds can tolerate. It is a challenging exercise regimen, but the rewards are commensurate with the work. Today, I like what I see in the mirror before I get in the shower. I like walking by a mirror and realizing that I've got a flat belly without having to suck it in.
I am constantly amazed at the improvements I have made by not giving in just because I am tired or under strain. I realized again today to not fear the struggle, to accept it, to just keep going, and to trust that muscle pain is temporary even when my brain just wants it all to stop.
And I like to be able to end night's like tonight saying, "Man, that wasn't easy, but man was that worth it!"
Have a great night Spark friends!