Bomb Squad Confirms Earthshaking Discovery
Life is not perfect.
Ever get a slump in your pump or suffer depressing bench pressing? Are you slipping in your dipping? Is your chinning less than winning, and do you hurl when you curl? When you squat, would you rather not; that is to say, your squattin’ is rotten? Is your deadlift adrift? Your bent-over row, has it lost its flow?
Remarkably, when these things happen in the gym, their equivalent happens on the street, at the job and in the home. The gym is a barometer of life, a measuring device, a gauge. Things are good at the gym, things are good everywhere. Order in sets and reps, a tight pump, fine form, heavy weights, abundant energy, sharp focus, training finesse and enthusiasm correspond with high spirits, a robust attitude, clear thinking and smart decisions beyond the gym walls.
Low barometric readings and life is a bummer. High digits and life is a dream. Simple. But I don’t know which comes first. In other words, do bad workouts beget bad days or do bad days beget bad workouts? Which is responsible for which? Some afternoons you can catch me sitting in a corner staring at the wall in search of the answer. Such answers unlock the secrets of the universe and solve problems like where we come from and what we’re doing here...how do we build mondo arms?
Life outside the gym more or less happens. Oops, here comes a Greyhound bus heading my way in the fast lane. We have limited control, we exert our influence, we express our preferences, we try hard, but there are too many variables, and life takes over. I mostly sit and wait for things to occur, random forces pushing and pulling as I lean to and fro. But in the gym, a contained universe, we have our hands directly on the immediate tasks and the implements and forces that affect them: squats, supersets, barbells. That’s not exactly control, but it is straightforward exertion. I can start when I please, select the bar, choose the weight, determine the exercise, affect the groove, arrange the pace, decide the intensity and stop anytime I want or need.
Always seeking control, I take this awareness and ability and apply my personal training formula: Maximum exertion per set multiplied by total sets and reps performed per exercise plus time on the gym floor equals maximum goal achievable minus injury, disappointment or loss of blood.
I’m out of control when trying to make things happen that cannot. It’s good to be positive—I can if I think I can and all that stuff—but the dogface of reality must be recognized sooner or later. Bad days in the gym visit us when we insist on lifting more than we can lift and exceeding our limits: too many exercises, sets and reps.
If reps are missed or the weights are too heavy or our groove resembles the cart missing a wheel on a dilapidated roller-coaster, the gauges pop their springs. Lost control—bad day at the gym. Oops! Shoulda used lighter weights and sought fewer reps, which would have assured righteous form and delivered a satisfying workout.
Control is the key. Take control.
Top Secret: There is more than one key, Bomb Squad. Among them: maturity, commitment, purpose, consistency, knowledge and understanding, confidence, determination, persistence, commonsense, intuition, Bomber Blend, courage, desire, hope, Super Spectrim vitamins, encouragement.…
Now, to define control as it applies to the mastery of our workouts. It is the aptitude to determine our daily training capability and wisely regulate and apply it to serve our needs and reach our objectives.
I should be able to juggle those balls after all the years I’ve spent doodling in a gym. I know my parameters: Do the best I can to develop and preserve muscle and might with what resources I have at this stage of my life (just made that up). Within a set or two of any particular exercise I can determine my blasting power for the day—firecrackers and sparklers, snap crackle pop.
Taking control: This is where the rational mind comes into play. (Good luck.) A bad day is registered only if a crappy barometric reading—a less than terrific workout—is not accepted. It must be accepted because it’s real—it is what it is. If it is not accepted, the lousy workout exits the gym with you, a miserable companion, and you have a bad day in life as well. It’s often worse for others than it is for you. You’re on the verge of being a jerk.