Tame Your Weakness
by Dino Brunetti,
365 Days of Health and Fitness
"Four more reps....three...two...ah screw it no one is looking or keeping track of how many reps I did and besides this bar is getting heavy". Have you ever found yourself giving in to this training philosophy? This is one of the most cancerous mindsets a person can have. It may occasionally rear its ugly head during a heavy set of squats and then before long its right there with you while doing push ups and lastly its telling you to cut your conditioning/cardio short because...well because it sucks.
Don't get me wrong. I understand we all have our moments of weakness. For me its finding the closest parking space, eating those last three slices of pizza, telling myself that a pot of coffee counts towards my daily water intake, etc... I try to take proactive steps to decrease or avoid these momentary lapse of reason. Although I really am terrible with the whole pizza thing but I'll save that for another time.
When and if I get tempted to cut out a rep or two then I know its time to think way outside the box and rid myself of these thoughts that are trying to weaken me. The first place I start is home. I look for ways to make an exercise out of everyday activities. When I pick up the laundry basket I do so as if I'm doing a conventional dead lift or a stiff legged dead lift and I make myself recognize the muscles I'm using the same way I would at the gym. When I climb the stairs I do it with authority. One stair at a time just won't cut it. I almost always take two and I almost never use my toes. Heels through the floor just like I'm doing a squat. Forcing that whole posterior chain to do the work for me.
I work in construction which is both a blessing and a curse. While it does grant me the opportunity to work out all day it also robs me of energy and sometimes leaves me spent before I can make it to the gym, but no matter how physically demanding my task is I will never let it weaken my mind. I challenge myself all day and if I feel like I'm getting close to that wall of death I just remind myself to make that mind to muscle connection and recognize that at that moment in time I'm actually getting paid to train.
I could go on about how neurotic I am about my daily activities but I'll spare you from that. My point is that anyone can conquer that weakness that creeps up on us all. Some do so by drawing a definitive line in the sand and train themselves not to cross it while another's line me look like something drawn by a blind person on an etch-a-sketch. Grab hold of your weakness and tame it. Let it know that its only job is to let you know when you're too sick to train.