Breaking the remedial
During my workout with Ian this morning the subject of “scaling” (scaling is another great trainer term for you can’t do it regular so we have to make it easier for your fat ass)came up, after a bit of work he told me to do an M-90 (30 burpees, 30 mountain climbers, 30 squat, squat jumps). When it came time to do the burpee I pulled the bench out to use as my assist platform, he looked at me and said you don’t need that anymore. I told him I might, he said no you don’t.
So he had me do burpees on the ground, it was hard as shit, but I could do them. He got excited and told me that we are past the remedial stages. We have to start training more like what I am becoming, and not what I was, it took a few minutes for the words to set in my mind, as much as I tried to chew on it I just couldn’t swallow the notion.
Until this last month much of the work I’ve been doing was a “remedial” version of the exercise I was supposed to do, it a simple result of my physical condition. Now as I pass the first number on the scale begins with “2” I am starting to do things better. In the last two days I’ve even done three exercises which I previously didn’t think I was capable of, jumping rope, regular burpees, and trunk twists in the leaned back position.
When I finished my session with Ian it really got me thinking about the correlation between mental conditioning, ability, and expectations. I’ve been conditioned over the past decade to believe that just about every physical action was beyond my abilities. It is hard to fathom that now that I have more movements capable of as opposed unable to perform, the memories of doing double takes as I passed by a window or mirror are still viscerally vivid in my consciousness. In fact I remember several times looking at my reflection and grabbing the side of my newly enlarged stomach as if to say is there really that much of me?
Presently the bar has been set so low for me; just getting up to go workout was an accomplishment. As I become fit and athletic I am going to have to first change my expectations, and then relearn what tolerances my body can handle making adjustments as I progress. I have to stop underestimating my ability; I need to be bold without being brazen or showing bravado which will ultimately get me hurt. I have to start carrying myself in a more confident manner and make a concerted effort to step over the present state of mental conditioning that exists when it comes to my physical development.
I was once told by someone that the secret to living a fulfilling life was attitude. That the attitude with which we choose to approach things will either bring us a great deal of success or a great deal of failure. In terms of this weight loss evolution I am experiencing attitude is everything. How I approach a workout session, what mindset I take with me to a meal, and even how I choose to respond to outside stressors have an impact on whether or not I will reach my goal weight. This emotional and mental state are the lynch pin between intensive pursuit and passive indifference.
It’s in this mindset, or paradigm shift I have to take the steps and recondition my mind to believe that I am capable of more than I am presently doing, and that when performing physical action that I am only limited by what’s between my ears.
I realize what I am posting is a bit muddled, but it’s hard for me to describe the feeling I am having, again I find that I am having to change my mindset but this time to a whole different place, a place I’ve never been before. I have to start thinking and acting more in conjunction with my present physical state and not the one I’ve carried for 10 years.
Perhaps this moment right now is the true difference between someone who has to lose 30-40 lbs, and someone who is going from Morbidly Obese to a healthy size. This second mental shift requires something completely different; I can’t start anything with limitations in my mind, or immediately thinking I need to have it scaled down to make it doable for my size. I can no longer have the performance parameters brought down to my level, but it’s time for me to start stepping up to achieve levels of excellence.
It’s time to start living the life I deserve, and being the person I’ve always wanted to be, “I” am the only person standing in my way. No more limitations, no more I can’t do it, no more avoiding situations, no more hiding from myself, no more living in shame, or feeling the eyes of the world on me, no more feelings of desperation, ultimately;
I am who I want to be…
7:00 AM Workout
My workout with Ian this morning was something I was looking forward to only slightly. I look forward to his sessions, because I learn something new each time, but I don’t enjoy them during the session. Once it gets started though, you don’t notice the time passing, each exercise and cycle of work requires intense concentration that time is no longer a factor.
We spent some time today working on enhancing my ability to squat, essentially working the areas of my core and legs which he e-mailed me about two weeks ago. I still have muscular deficiencies in specific areas probably a result of carrying so much weight; add my flexibility issues to the mix and we have fertile ground for Ian’s signature mayhem.
One of the reasons I like working with Ian so much is that he has a plan. Too many trainers and instructors just fly by the seat of their pants. He has specific areas he wants to target, and he wants to work on areas of my body which are clearly weaker than others, the goal being to make improvement, using each session towards an end product in mind.
To get my hamstrings stronger I spent quite a bit of time doing squats, and butt raises from various positions. Butt raises are actually called something else but it’s when you are in the position of a sit-up, with your feet on the floor and you just push your hips up by driving your hamstrings.
During the workout, brief Metcon sections were added so I ended up doing an M-90, and an M-60, these heart rate intensive sections would be followed by more strength training. When we got to the end of the session and worked on Core he had me do one exercise were I use my knees to get on a resistance ball, and I have to balance my body using only my torso. The first time I did this two weeks ago I could barely stay on, you can see for yourself below.
Insert Mild Trashing Talking Here:
After my workout with Ian I took my dog for a 3 mile walk doing errands during the entire walk. I got back home and knew I had to eat and get rested for my noon Crossfit Session.
I went to an actual Crossfit Class for the first time today. I was intimidated. As I stretched waiting for the class to start I kept waiting for someone to walk through that was older, or in worse shape than me. It didn’t happen because the people who did walk in who were older were in great shape. I was the lone FNG (Fucking New Guy for the uniformed).
The warm-up started with 5 minutes of jumping rope. It was supposed to be double-unders (getting two passes below your feet), but I only did singles. I would like to say I jumped rope for all five minutes but the reality of it was that I probably did 2-3 minutes total combined jumping. I’m still trying to get the rhythm down, and the ropes they have at Potomac Crossfit are made of a black nylon wire and blend into the rubber floor, so there are no visual cues.
We proceeded into the next part of the warm-up which involved doing 4 Power Cleans, 10 seconds of something called a frog hold, which involves getting into a ball and rolling onto your hands, and alternating between 4 push-ups and 4 ring rows. This was done for 10 minutes. I didn’t keep track of how many repetitions but I’m sure I finished at least 10 cycles.
The actual meat of the work involved heavy lifting. We had to do 4 sets of 3 reps of push presses, and 4 sets of 4 pull-ups. This was my first time using weight to do push presses. I started with 95 lbs and worked up to 125 lbs. Pull-ups are the one exercise that I still need to scale, there is just too much body mass, and I’m not strong enough to pull up this body. So I had to do ring rows instead of pull-ups, I was okay because Bryan the coach gave me a goal he told me that if I can get to the point of doing 25 ring rows from the lowest position I should probably be able to move to regular pull-ups.
The hour finished with a 5 minute AMRAP, which stands for As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible, it only involved two exercises 10 Ground to Overheads, and 10 push-ups. I was able to get 5 rounds in, but after the second round my chest was done so I had to do push-ups from my knees.
I loved the hour, it was intense, it forced you to stay focused on each rep, and each moment that you were involved in, I also found the energy there great, everyone seems to encourage one another. It’s more of a comradery then a support group I would say.
After Crossfit I went home had lunch, and then proceed to take an hour long Bermuda Stretch (passed out in a lounged position). I cleaned up and did some more errands and then moved onto my 4:00 PM with Ali.
4:00 PM Ali Training Session
If not for the nap, I don’t think I would have been able to handle this session. When I got to the gym, Ali looked at me and said ready to sweat?
I never like it when he says that, we boxed. We boxed, we kicked, and we boxed. To break up the constant punching in between boxing stints he threw in a three sets of burnout exercises. The first was a shoulder press, starting with 15lbs dumbbells I would press to the ceiling, and then move down to 12 lbs, 10 lbs, 8 lbs, 5 lbs, and 3 lbs. The second one was a punching motion, where I used the same sequence of weights. The final set of burnout involved doing bicep curls, again starting from 15 lbs moving down to 3 lbs.
My Van 5 Tribute:
During the final phase of boxing he really pushed me hard. It took every ounce of energy to focus on the little white spot on his gloves. I would have to take extra time between combinations to get reset because my feet started to lose their strength. When I start pushing hard again even when I am exhausted Ali starts to smile like a little kid, and gets excited. The harder I punch in this state and the louder I hit the target the more he laughs and pushes me.
We ended up finishing with doing some heavy back exercises which I desperately sought, it just so happens he felt that’s what I needed too.
By the close of the day I was exhausted. This has to be one of the best Wednesdays I’ve had since I’ve been home. I felt great all day, and was proud of how quickly I recovered and was able to start it up again.
So much for needing rest…