By Cavino Johnson Athletic Xtreme
Honestly, I have started this “article” several times, only to delete it, then try it, again. I was egg-shelling, really, which is something I really hate doing. Being that we live in a society that feels the need to defend some of the most absurd crap with no justification, I almost feared the backlash of what I am about to say. Then, I thought, it is my responsibility to be honest, even brutally honest. So, here we go. I’m throwing punches.
I see people in the gym, daily. Most are the same ones that I’ve seen every day for years, even. Whether they are trying to lose weight or they are just there wanting to “get big”, there is a reason why their progression is snail paced. It’s because they “workout”. Let me explain and then ask yourself, “Is this me?”
Get Serious, Not Social
It’s time to go to the gym. You’ve got your music and your fancy shoes and your little outfit picked out. You, non-chalantly, head out to the car, get in, check your phone for your Facebook updates, Instagram for your MCM’s, WCW’s, #fitfam posts, then you drive. You feel good. That’s great. You get to the gym. Go in. Go to the bathroom to check your self in the mirror, either your make up or, guys, do a pre-workout flex off in the mirror. You hit the gym floor and make your rounds to the “regulars”, making small talk about work or school, or how you alost didn’t make it to workout today because you’re so tired or how you had to come because of all the naughty food and drink consumption you had that weekend. Ok, now that that’s done, what should you do? Oh, I know. Let’s take a stroll on the treadmill. Nothing too strenuous. Ten minutes of strolling then 1 minute of a light jog.
The workout beg… 1 sec, #selfie
Whew. Ok. Almost broke a sweat. That heart rate elevated a little, huh? I guess we should go and use some weights. You start with the lighter dumbbells for curls, then this weird tricep thing you saw in a magazine once. Let’s make it heavier. Got it. Now, a water break. Oh wait… you gotta say hi to a few more people, then respond to that text message. Ok. Hmmm… Let’s do some lat pulldowns, some leg presses and that ab coaster thing. That feels good, doesn’t it? Lifting weights and stuff. One more go on the treadmill… on second thought, let’s use the recumbent bike. The tv is nicer and it has cool cup holders. There. Done. A couple selfies, post them with all the hashtags and how “beast mode” you got, and you’re out the door because you’re having lunch with friends at that new Mexican food restaurant that opened up and they have a beer special. You deserve the reward. You workout.
Now… Let’s look at the perspective of someone who trains. It’s about an hour and half to two hours before the pre-planned training, so you consume a nutrient dense meal. You go over in your head the muscles you are focusing on and your plan of attack. Thirty minutes until training and you begin your pre-training supplements (if you’re into that sort of thing), throw on shorts and a shirt you think may or may not be clean. Pack your gym bag with the necessities, next meal, included. You get in the car, find music to get you amped up for what’s to come, and you drive to the gym. You get there and take a few minutes to get out of the car. Sort of meditative. Visions of a superior physique flow through the mind, and a certain excitement takes over.
Be mentally prepared
You get out of the car and walk into the gym, brim low, blood pumping fire. You give a “what up?” nod to people you pass on the way in. Not the “what up” nod that invites conversation, but more of an invitation to leave you be. First set begins. By the end of it, you know this is going to be an epic training session. You finish the set with little rest time and move to the next. The weight is heavy and you are feeling strong. Every rep gives an envisioned version of what you want to become. You push harder. The body is screaming, growing tighter and tighter, but you keep going. You’re tired, but so what. This is what you do. You need it. You finish your training with very little energy left, but you are on a high from the adrenalin and intensity. You leave. Time to recover. Tomorrow, you get to do it again and you’re already preparing for it.
Which one are you?
Two different scenarios. Two different outcomes. Both getting exercise. One works out. The other trains. What’s the difference other than what I described above? Runners, strongmen/women, bodybuilders, physique competitors, all the way down to the regular guy/girl who comes in with every intention to grow muscle, train. They have a goal so specific, so articulate, that each minute in the gym is used to obtain that goal. A person that works out has the goal of showing up and just doing something, almost anything as a way to say “I went to the gym, today.” or “I worked out today and I’m a little sore.”. No, I’m not going to knock anyone for going to the gym, but what you do there (or don’t do) is what makes all the difference in what you accomplish, ultimately. You don’t have to train for an event or a competition or even a sport. But, instead, train for a better life, a healtier life, in and out of the gym. When a person goes into the gym, whimsical, there isn’t a certain goal they want to obtain. It’s always optional on whether or not to even be there. Workouts are mostly penciled in versus training which is almost always set in stone. A person who works out says, “Aw, man, I got so busy, I didn’t make it to the gym… I’ll go tomorrow.”, where as the one who trains says, “It’s time to train. No I can’t not reschedule. This is a part of my day and I am keeping my schedule. I’m working on something important to me.”
So, which are you? When you go to the gym, is it just to almost break a sweat? Almost get sore? Do you have a set goal in mind? Do you workout or do you train? I train. I train hard. I have many goals and I work towards them. Will you?