Ever feel like anything and everything that can go wrong….will go wrong?? Well, that’s Murphy’s law and it swarms the pessimistic mind.
How does this apply to fitness? I have taken some of Murphy’s Laws of War, tweaked them a little and applied them to fitness. Hopefully a few of these laws will resonate with you and help you push yourself a little bit more.
Let’s jump right in!
You are not Superman.
You may watch people on TV, YouTube or at your gym, do really cool things…but you aren’t that them. You are not invincible, you are not exempt from serious injury or burnout. Fitness is a journey, a quest or a marathon (no pun intended).
Take your time, learn slowly and correctly.
No perfectly-ready person succeeds in a workout.
The person who needs the right socks, the mandatory pre-workout drink, the lucky shirt, the perfectly-placed barbell and equipment is the person who is most likely to skip workouts, or the person to perform them poorly.
It’s all in your mind. If you start doing poorly in a workout, you will immediately start thinking of “the excuse”…oh I didn’t do X before my workout. Now you are doing even worse than before because you are busy thinking about a time that is not the present.
Focus! You are as ready as you will ever be.
The person with the fanciest clothes and equipment proves they have… money, that’s it.
If you are really into the most awesome fitness gear and equipment, that’s great! But don’t get caught up in it. Similar to the above. You do not need the new shoe to perform, you just need you.
For those who can’t afford the best. You don’t need it. Last I checked, a tree branch pull-up will work the same exact muscles as a $1,200 pull-up rig pull-up.
If you are short of breath, you’re working out.
What’s my heart rate? Am I in the fat burning zone? Are these reps building endurance or strength?
Who cares!? Elevate your heart rate, work up a sweat, make breathing more difficult and lift something heavy. That is working out.
When you are convinced you are about to lose, or that you can’t perform, you’re right.
Pretty self-explanatory; you are in the fight till the very end. Never sell yourself short, never think it’s over, always 100%.
The important things are simple.
The important things like creating a workout schedule, deciding on a specific workout program or diet, are all pretty simple things to accomplish. All it takes is a decision and you are on your way. The important parts of fitness are easily decided.
The simple things are very hard.
Actually putting the right food in your mouth i.e. bringing your hand close to your face and consuming a healthy object (food)…simple, but extremely hard for some reason. Moving your body off the couch or out of bed to workout i.e. activating your muscles to stand and walk to a specific spot…simple, but extremely hard for some reason.
Realize that what you are dreading so badly is hard, but sooo simple.
No plan survives the first contact intact.
You can plan our your strategy, your reps and sets, your intensity level…You can plan it all. But for some reason when your heart is pounding, you are short of breath and your muscles burn…those plans never stick.
Occasionally a lack of a plan is the best plan.
If it’s stupid but works, it’s not stupid.
Whatever motivates you, whatever gets you through a workout, whatever makes you run faster or stick to a program IS NOT stupid. If you have to pretend like zombies are chasing you to run faster, or that your life depends on a workout, it’s not stupid, it’s effective.
Tell yourself whatever you have to, create whatever ritual is necessary and know that none of it is stupid…if it works.
If your workout is going really well, you aren’t trying hard enough.
Let’s start with a simple example for this one. Say, you started running, and last week you ran 3 miles at an 8 min pace, and it was tough. Later in your training you run 3 miles at an 8 minute pace and you feel good, it was great, easy. Well your body has adapted to the stimulus you have created, so now you have to work harder for further adaption…A.K.A fitness.
Don’t settle. Don’t be mediocre.
That “energy reserve” you plan to use later, is now.
Being that I use CrossFit for conditioning I see people do this all the time. They claim, before the workout starts, that they are going to start easy and really hit it hard towards the end. Well, no plan survives first contact, right? What happens is they do end up pushing themselves at the end but it is generally only for the last 20 seconds of the workout or the last 5 reps, and normally for those 20 seconds and or 5 reps they appear to be superhuman. They are moving faster and going harder than you have ever seen, but why did they wait so long??
Don’t get me wrong, I think you should strategically use your energy reserves, and train intelligently. But use your energy for an overall more intense workout, then dig deep at the end. Don’t skimp at the beginning and think you are a hero at the end.
This is why a lot of people plateau or regress in intense workout programs. They aren’t truly reaching intensity.
The only thing that is truly controlled in a workout is yourself.
You may feel like there are a lot of things within your control every time you step to the bar, but you don’t control much. You can manipulate a barbell or a kettlebell, change its positioning, pitch and angle…but you don’t fully control it. Just ask the guys who have had a barbell sleeve pop off when they had 500 lb. on their back. You control how much you push yourself and you control how you react to the workout (attitude), and that’s about it. Think about it.
The easy way generally means no results.
Working out is cheap; your life isn’t.
In the grand scheme of things, working out is a tiny investment of time and money that will lead to a happier, healthier and longer life.
Now get out there and get some fitness!