In the first post, Part 1, I describe the recent shift in my training.
I have had a change in context in how I view successful training sessions, allowing me to reduce anxiety, and continually leave the gym feeling refreshed and with a sense of accomplishment.
Something had to change because I am a firm believer that training should be fun. However, due to my tendencies as an anxious person, I have often turned training into a life and death match.
Here is a part of an article Dan wrote about his “Rule of Five”, taken from T-Nation. This has has a big impact on my mindset towards training.
“In a group of five workouts, I tend to have one great workout: the kind of workout that makes me think that in just a few weeks I could be an Olympic champion and Mr. Olympia. Then, I have one workout that’s so awful that the mere fact I continue to exist as a somewhat higher form of life is a miracle. Then, the other three workouts are the “punch the clock” workouts: I go in, work out, and walk out. Most people experience this.”
While I am woefully aware that not every session will be my best, I still got in the habit of expecting the best out of myself during every work out. Sometimes it just takes the right person, saying something the right way, at the right time, for it to click in your head, despite the information not being ground breaking.
With how I have now adjusted my training described in Part 1, I am able to leave the gym every single time knowing I did something to better myself.
My new goals are based on total reps at a given weight. If the exercise calls for 2×5, my goal is 10 reps. The ideal is to get the weight in 2×5, but if I don’t, no worries. I simply get the 10 reps in however many sets it takes and come back next week and get better at that weight by completing more reps per set, to a point of ideally 2×5.
For the most part I only increase weight when I have attained the overall goal mark for the weight (2×5 in this case). Occasionally, I will increase the weight early if I am really feeling like superman that week.
When I do increase the weight, I increase by 5-10lbs depending upon upper body vs. lower body.
When I am changing the rep scheme, I will add or subtract about 15 pounds depending on if I am going for more or less reps.
So that is the nuts and bolt of the direction of my training and an eye into how I have begun to make an evolution away from the mindset that every session must be a grinder of setting a new 1-5rm.
As I said previously, training should be fun. The entire training process is an emotional high for me. I simply love the connection I feel between my body and soul when I am at the gym. From here on out, making sure that I never disrupt that connection, will be a central part of what dictates my training goals and direction.