Balanced life is everything/hold your horses.
Our gym and many other gyms in the UK have been back to being open for nearly two weeks and here comes a little reflexion and I also wanted to put out a couple basic things that people should bear in their mind moving forward.
Right, consistency is the key. Whatever you do, as long as you stay consistent day in, day out, you will eventually get to where you want to be. You aren’t weak because you didn’t know, you didn’t put on weight because you didn’t know. Your habits and behaviour are responsible for the outcomes. Yes, there are many factors affecting our individual states which then impact our behaviours, but I will talk about it in a bit more generalised concept for the purpose of this blog. Someone strong has put the work in, day in, day out. Surely, life happens. Deal with it. Being consistent is different to being obsessed. If you are being fairly consistent, missing or moving one session because something comes up/because life happens, won’t ruin the process. On the other hand, what can have a negative impact is freaking out because you will miss one session. Nothing will change, and you better of accepting it at that time. Because you did train yesterday, or the day before and you will most likely be back tomorrow or later in the week. The worse scenario would be if you are being lazy and you skip once, twice, then you miss a week, come in then don’t come in for some time again etc. That is being inconsistent. And I don’t blame you for that. It is on us to create those habits and stick to them. This, however, requires some degree of discipline. And discipline can be taught having the right guidance.
Remember where you stand and remember to only focus on yourself because everyone around you has different fitness backgrounds and probably a very different life too. I know it’s very exciting to be back in the gym, but it doesn’t mean that now you should go and hit it as hard as possible. It would be almost like trying to squeeze all the sessions you’ve missed in the last 4 months into 2 weeks. If you go to a gym and follow your program/the given program, you should definitely stick to it and trust the process. What would you pay for fitness if you don’t believe it will make you better? If you are new, listen to the advice and don’t compare and compete with someone who is way more experienced or fitter. You don’t know what everyone’s been up to in lockdown, but you certainly know what you’ve been doing. Building the capacity and accumulating the volume, these are the key elements of our programs at the moment. And it should be for most people who did not stay quite active neither managed to lift weights in previous months. I know it can be difficult to admit that you don’t have the engine you used to have. But long term, starting off too high won’t be sustainable and you just wouldn’t be able to cope with the amount of training. Even though many may feel like you have more left in tank and you didn’t go as hard as you maybe could, trust me, it’s good. If you’d be pushing it, you would eventually find yourself at a position where you can’t keep up. So once again, trust the process.
People train for various purposes, whether it’s because they enjoy it or competition purposes, it’s great to have goals they are trying to achieve. We at MSC pride ourselves in performance, getting people stronger and alongside that the body composition changes over time. Exercise is closely related to stress and to mental health, hence should be treated with certain regulations, which are still missing in the fitness industry. I was talking about this topic more in my last block ‘Stop the shambles…’ so I won’t be going back to it now. Anyway, being very performance driven I know a vast majority of people care about their physique. I just want to say, that if you think that being at certain body fat percentage or having a certain muscle mass is going to make you happy, because being happy and satisfied with your quality of life and the way of living is very important, and this bounces back to the mental health, I think you would be very disappointed. Having sixpack doesn’t guarantee you being happy. Don’t assume that everyone maintaining a lean physique is happy. Being in a calorie deficit for a long time and being very cautious about training and food often leads towards people being a bit more miserable (quite a lot but I don’t want to generalise it). A couple of examples from people being on high deficit diets: low sex drive, negative relationship with food, low energy levels. Conversely, many athletes use the food to fuel their body for the exercise and workouts with high demands, who seem to be more jacked and fuller of energy (Crossfit:D). What I am trying to say is that if you want to live happily, you need to find the right balance and find what works the best for you.
Take care of the big things and the small things will almost take care of themselves. For instance, control your calorie intake and keep an eye on your protein levels. Again, not the only way forward but one of many. Do your big lifts and implement the accessory work you really like to do. Surely, ‘doing things outside your comfort zone’ still applies because just by showing up means you’re stepping outside your comfort zone when you could have stayed in a bed.
I am very glad to have you all back, being back, and we march forward.