Archive for January, 2012
This guy just fucking GETS IT.
I’ve been trading a number of emails with my good friend James as of late. James and I met when I was a teenager back in a high school weight training class. James was a couple years older than me, as well as bigger and stronger than I am. But there was one thing that we had in common – while everybody else was in the class to slack off and get an easy ‘A’ (varsity football players, I’m looking at you here), James and I used to kick ass and get shit done. There were usually just two guys in the class that ever got stronger – that was James and I.
Fast forward damn near 20 years (holy shit, has it really been that long? Jeez, I’m getting old!), and James and I have since reconnected via Facebook. Thank you Al Gore for creating the interwebz.
Not much has changed – we’re both still working out, we’re both still kicking ass, we’re both still out to get better, and he’s still bigger and stronger than I am. Jerk. lol!
Anyway, we reconnected a number of months back, and since he’s always on the lookout for kickass new workouts, he was one of the first ones to pick up WCC 2 – FTW when it came out. Smart man. He’s since completed WCC2 with outstanding success, loving every minute of it.
(If you’re on my newsletter list, you might remember me telling y’all about his progress along the way a couple times.)
Well, it’s time to start something new, so both he and his girlfriend have just started MMA Blast 2.
Over the past week or so, we’ve traded a number of emails about the program – how to implement it, tweaks that should be made for his girlfriend, how to approach lower body training with a nasty knee injury he had a number of years back, etc. Well, it wasn’t long before the conversation drifted more away from training, and more into philosophy.
Yeah…I know. From workouts into philosophy? How the fuck did THAT happen?
It’s simple, really – because as we’ve both gotten older, we’ve both realized that we both kick ass in the gym for the same reasons. And it’s not for the workouts.
See, I could give a shit about being a gym rat, meat-head, muscle bunny, or whatever other funky name you wanna call somebody who’s like revolves around the gym. Instead, I take almost a sports-based approach to my workouts.
Yeah, I like to train – and believe everybody should train – like an athlete. (Don’t worry – getting some vanity work in there so you ‘look good nekkid’ is totally cool by me…and something you should do, IMO.) But it’s more than that, though. See, for an athlete, going to the gym isn’t the goal. Getting strong isn’t the goal. Having good cardio isn’t the goal. A ripped set of abs isn’t the goal.
The goal is to be a better fucking athlete. Duh.
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret – while some athletes really dig working out, most could really give two shits about their bench press 1RM or how high of a box they can jump on. Yeah, they might like to swing their dicks around in the gym while they’re there, and they prolly wanna look good for the opposite sex when they’re out of the gym (after all, Sports Illustrated isn’t putting fatties on the cover), but when push comes to shove, all that really matters is how they perform on the field, court, diamond, mat, etc.
Because let’s be honest – if I told a running back that I could show him how to increase his squat, but it wouldn’t get him any more yards next season, think he’d really give a damn? Or if I told the volleyball player how I could show her how to get stronger and turn that strength into explosive power, but it wouldn’t help her jump any higher at the net, would she show up to the gym and bust her ass three days/week?
Nope. Not a chance in hell. Workouts are there to augment and make them better at their sport.
Well, I take the same basic approach. Now, I’m not a competitive athlete, so I’m not training for a sport. Rather, my sport is life. I want my workouts to augment my life as a whole.
I want to look better (being nekkid is optional – lol).
I want to feel good.
I want to be healthy and injury free.
I want to have plenty of energy.
I want to be able to do whatever activity I want, whenever I want.
I want to have that feeling of ‘badassery’ every time I walk out the door, because I know I can do shit in the gym you can’t. (And I have the muscle to prove it.)
In short, my workouts are there to augment my life. My life isn’t there to augment my workouts.
I didn’t always used to be that way. When I was younger, I was ALL ABOUT the gym and working out. All I wanted to do was train, train, and train some more. I used to totally dig it when my biceps were so pumped I couldn’t lift my post-workout protein shake. Or when my chest was so sore I could barely put my coat on. And walking for two after a hard squat workout? HA! As if…
But the older I get, the more I say FUCK THAT. Who the hell wants to bust their ass in the gym if they look like a gimpy dipshit out of it? What if that hot chick you’ve had your eye on asked you to go on a hike with her? You gonna tell her you would, but you’re too sore from heavy squats?
What if you have kids? I can imagine my little girl asking me to do something with her, but having to say, “Sorry kiddo – daddy would, but he’s seriously overtrained right now.”
I guess I was too young to know any better back when I thought like this, but damn if I ever would think this way now!
That’s the kinda conversation James and I were having. He’s a dad, too. Plus he works nights. And he and his girlfriend like to go do cool shit out in nature. (They still live in Central Oregon where I grew up – stuff like biking, running nature trails, snow shoeing, etc is all common and fun activity for them.)
Yeah, he still wants to be big and strong and look good and all that. But what good does any of it do if he’s too tired to work all night or go out snow shoeing to take advantage of the latest Oregon snowstorm?
And that’s my point – when you’re doing your workouts, you want to maximize your performance in the gym. That’s no question. There’s no point being in there if you’re just gonna pussyfoot around and not ever get any better.
But if your whole point in life is to get better at being in the gym, no matter how it affects the rest of your life, then you need some perspective.
As James put in his last email – “I quit overthinking shit, just find a good weight, lift that shit w/power and enjoy life.”
If you want a workout that’s going to seriously augment your own life, I highly recommend:
Have a kickass weekend.
Train Hard, Rest Hard, Play Hard-
Matt “Wiggy” Wiggins
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