It’s been a hot minute since I’ve updated this blog, and I’ve been slack on keeping up on the Instagram stories, Mostly I haven’t been posting every work out on instagram because I figured people would get bored of the repetitive stuff, plus training has had a few ups n downs lately. but we’l get into that.
As far as actual lifting shit goes, I’ve been lately more focusing on specific areas to strenghen other than just going for max weight on deadlifts as often as possible, so instead I’l do Deads for reps and form and throw in heaps of other exercises like rack pulls / heaps of hamstring exercises and a lot of leg work. but overall the theory being, make the parts and up to the sum that should be able to pull my goal weight of 230kg / 507lbs. That’s my target for a couple reasons, its just over double my body weight so that’s a nice target. Also its 20kg more than I have ever lifted, my PB is currently 210kg so adding 20 on that might not sound like heaps but its a pretty reasonable goal in the shorter term. I took a while of heavy pulls as I thought I’d given myself a hernia from a heavy legpress day trying to get 400kg ( which I got woot) but at what cost? – this meant basically 6 weeks of nothing pushing near max weights, but that did give me time to focus which was good. Which brings me to my next point.
I was shooting the shit with Zane one of the PT’s at the gym, just about how people are very good at making excuses about joining the gym; I think we were talking about their current marketing as we’d be seeing some new faces show up lately. I too was making excuses before I joined, I waited 3 weeks from getting a confirmation from my mate that we were joining to saying ” fuck this I’m just going by my self” , this was when I started down in Tauranga. This time around I actually started last year for only a few visits, I went with a friend who was on a super lazy buzz and I was not about that. But I was reluctant to go alone. I’m really not sure why, maybe it was to train with someone for the motivation? but it was an excuse. and so many excuses come up I’ve heard from people that have said ” oh i’ll come join up with you” – newsflash, none of them have. The ultimate conclusion we came to was. Training long term is a lifestyle you make time to go, in some cases plan around it, if it means that much to you, which for many of us, it does. Realistically there are so many options out there to train, F45 gyms are popping up all over the place and seem to be very well recieved, its not my jam but if it gets the ball rolling then that can’t be a bad thing while your finding what you want to do. For me the time that my motivation to get to the gym Skyrocketed ( which ultimately got me into the zone I’ve been riding for the last couple months ) was when I started seeing and feeling results. I noticed my arms getting more shape, my belly shrinking but more than that; i felt better. So often we focus on the wrong things, ego kicks in and we feel like bigger numbers are important. in most cases, they aren’t. For example, If I’m doing a rep day I’ll do my squats from 60kgs to 120kgs, I know I can squat 160kg easy. But why? technique is so much more important than throwing weight around. We’ve all seen the guys standing doing the barbell curl, using their entire body to curl maybe mid 20 kilos. the technique is shit and what that translates to is less muscle isolation and end of that story is less progress. so drop the ego, drop the weight – focus on range of motion and muscle isolating and you’l get better results. Train smarter not harder. If you’re unsure and you see someone that looks like they are doing it right, hit them up. Say Hi and ask questions 9 times out of 10 they will be more than happy to share some advice or tips. Speaking of tips and then BAM you’ve got a new friend and that worry about training alone was just mitiaged. But speaking of tips. Something to consider when approaching someone – there are times that you most definately don’t want to do this. paramount time not to approach someone is mid set. That might seem obvious but I’ve had people start conversation when I’m pushing heavy with my head phones cranked, but I’m an asshole so I would ignore it and keep going. Understand that when someone is pushing heavy its as much a mental game as anything else so do not approach, dont even take weights off the rack they are in. give them a wide berth. A habit I’ve started for some reason is pacing after a heavy set. there is no point trying to talk to me during this time. Wait for someone to be talking shit with other people, putting weights away, checking their phone things like that.
Then in a story dripping in irony or hypocrisy having come off the reps over weight.
I was planning on doing a generic “back for reps” day and I bumped into my mate westie ( the one who loaned me the deadlift straps ), who came to join me for some rack pulls, I said at the start ” lets not go too heavy I’m doing reps, lets head for 180kg”. well… the thing with training with other people is pushing each other to do more and better. so we were by the end of it repping 220kg ( repping is a stretch for me) but damn it felt good. I now know what it feels like to lift 220kg ( from the rack of course). I think once I can pull 6 reps at 230kg from the rack I think about loading up the deadlift bar, In theory my legs should be plenty strong enough pushing as much as I can on the leg press? but its the sum of the moving parts that matters for that so, we shall see! Its worth noting that for the first few months of going to the gym I basically talked to no one, I assumed it was my resting bitch face matched with a want to not turn it into a social occasion like my old gym down in tauranga where time was split evenly between doing actual work and sitting in the sauna talking shit. I wanted to be more focused this time around, which meant an attitude of ” im not here to make friends” and just get in and train hard. I have obviously met a few people on the same buzz, and other buzzes. It’s a pretty small gym so a lot of the same faces week in and week out. A few of the lads doing the same or similar to me I’ll have a chat with or go set for set with. But i’ll tap out in favour of doing what I was there to do over hanging out with the boys.
In terms of training outside of that, I still don’t really have a direction I’m heading for, not interested in any sort of competitions, but I’ve got a few mates that train at other gyms pushing around the same kinda weight that I wana go train with for the fun of it. I’ve still been doing next to no cardio, right now I’m going very little off numbers or regiment and focusing on how I feel. For example if chest is still sore i’ll do back, if back is sore i’ll do legs etc. Basically train what feels least spent which seems to be working well. In the instance that I’m sore all over ( which has been a thing of late) I’ll still head to the gym and maybe do some cardio on machines, but that really doesn’t happen that often. Usually its a time thing for me. If I have half an hour or so left in my mentally allocated 2 hour session then i’ll go do a run or a stair climber to get a sweat on.
My downtime from heavy stuff did open up an unexpected avenue for learning different things, different exercises, mindsets; all of it. Which tied in nicely with the gym getting some new equipment. This multigrip bar has been a barrel of fun to play with. The main thing it gets used for is chest day, i’ll use it for close grip flat bench chest press, the closer grips works the inner chest far more than starting / staying wide, and being a bar can get loaded up with a heap more weight. I think the bar itself weighs 19kg from what I was told – Unfortunately it doesn’t fit in either of our racks so its a freeweight bar which can be funny when you over extend yourself. Which harks back to Training with a friend, they can spot you!
The other thing I like that bar for is its the closest thing we have to a log press. Those of you that have been reading these will know I follow a lot of the worlds strongest men on YouTube and have been somewhat training in their style. The likes of Hafthor Bjornsson and Eddie Hall have been really good for me in terms of figuring out what I want to do, the IFBB stuff never appealed to me at all. But for those that don’t know I’ll link a video below, ultimately the major differece with this bar and a proper log is that you can’t roll it up your chest. So for me its more a deadlift to a jerk to a press, which is fun enough and works many of the same things. The only real setback is with the different technique it can’t be loaded up as heavy but for me right now that isn’t really a problem.
Also, how rad would it be to be pushing weight with a crew like that supporting each other and going a bit mental, that seems awesome to me!
Get Started, Get motivated. GET IT DONE!