This particular blog is a huge step for me, on my physical fitness journey. I’ve always been a highly motivated and energetic person, despite being extremely shy and embarrassed about my body. I wouldn’t even go to a pool, despite being a good swimmer, until I was in my mid-thirties.
Growing up and being called “skinny, tiny, and a stick figure,” used to bother me more than people realized. However, as I grew older–and more experienced in the gym–I learned how to harness that energy (negativity). This is not about me manning up or demonstrating my masculinity, nor is it seeking validation. In fact, this demonstrates that we “man up” by using negativity as a motivator and fuel to harness our potential. In other words, we battle the bad stuff with a more productive attitude.
My train of thought did not serve me and if anything, it held me back because I was focused on proving other people not wrong and not proving anything to myself. This is my body and mind, not theirs. If I can flip my thought process, you can too. I want to thank my beautiful wife for being the best influencer, in my life. We don’t always train together. But when we do, it strengthens our goals and our relationship.
Age is just a number:
The above picture is proof that age (40) is just a number and should never be a contributing factor during your fitness journey. You are never too old or young to start something. Make no mistake though, we are always a work in progress but you’ve got what it takes.
Ironically, I feel better at age forty than what I did at age twenty-five. This is because unlike when I was younger, I now have life experience to use as a reference. When I was younger, I did not understand what I was doing. I was just like everyone else when it came to trying new training programs. When you’re younger, you don’t realize what works for other people might not necessarily work for you. You have to understand your own body and respect what it likes and what it doesn’t like. Plus, your priorities will shift, as you get older. For me, I am not exactly running five to seven miles a day, like I did in my twenties.
“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.” – Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
How often do I train?
For a few years, I have used a six day training plan. It looks like this:
- Monday = Train
- Tuesday = Rest
- Wednesday = Train
- Thursday = Train
- Friday = Train
- Saturday = Train
- Sunday = Train
Sometimes, I swap my day off with Wednesday. It all depends on how I’m feeling. I listen to my body.
“You know your body better than anyone else.”
Not listening to your body can be the number one contributing factor in you not reaching your fitness goal (or any goal). Injuries do not move the ball any closer to the finish line.
Training six days a week can be very challenging. As I’m getting older, my body likes to remind me that I’m not twenty-five years old. There are a lot of days that I find myself fighting off an internal battle called: self-doubt. It doesn’t matter if you train, play a sport, work in sales, or make music for a living. At some point, you will encounter self-doubt.
Self-doubt is the voice of fear, anxiety, and indecision. When you’re not sure about the future, due to the current path you’re on, your mind will take over and try to talk you out of it.
“Forget it, this is too difficult. You don’t have what it takes.”
This is how your mind convinces you to stay within your comfort zone. If you give in to self-doubt, is it a guarantee you won’t reach your goal or destination. Your confirmation bias will get the satisfaction of placing a ✔ next to the win column. You don’t want this because once again, you have what it takes.
There have been several days when I just wanted to throw my hands up in the air and quit. “Forget it, I don’t have the genetics for this,” I would think to myself. Are genetics important? A little. They shouldn’t be my excuse, though. Plus, the weights don’t care how tall I am, how much I weigh, how strong I am, or how I’m feeling on the particular day. 225 pounds on the barbell are still 225 pounds, regardless of my measurements and emotions.
Instead, I always reviewed my notes and figured out what I needed to change.
- Training focus
- Healthy eating
If you don’t ever self evaluate, in a healthy approach, how do you ever expect to get better?
What I’ve learned:
At the end of the day, physical fitness is on an ongoing process. I used to get very discouraged about my progress because I was never seeing the results I expected. The problem was, my grade card was random pictures of fitness experts, body builders, or fit guys in general. I was looking at their results without respecting the fact that just like me, they had to start from scratch, too. Both men and women do this. We look up random pictures of someone and automatically assume we should look like them. This is not a healthy way to process information because it never offers the benefit of being satisfied; there will always be someone that looks better.
For me, I had to shut down my negative thinking and remind myself, “This isn’t about everyone else’s journey, this is about my journey.” Once I was able to do that, I stopped looking for the things I didn’t like when looking in the mirror and started respecting my results. I can never be perfect, no matter how hard I try. Besides, if I was perfect, why even bother working out? At that point, what’s the objective?