It hit me. Hard.
The other day as I was doing my workout, I had an eye-opening experience.
It was early evening and I was about halfway through the session, scheduled to go out for dinner with my brother and my beautiful girl right after.
And then between deep breaths waiting on my next set, it hit me.. I realized this is exactly the life I want to live.
This is exactly where I want to be and who I want to be.
During these sets. Grinding. Building myself. This is where I find peace.
Don’t get me wrong. I love being with the kids of our foundation here, with my family and friends, I love going out to eat, relax and unwind with the people close to me.
But work ALWAYS comes before pleasure.
Luckily for me, my work gives me tremendous pleasure. More than that the work allows me to truly enjoy the pleasure.
I am a free man. A happy man. A blessed man.
But make no mistake. The training brought me here. My nutrition regimen brought me here. My daily conduct brought me here.
At this point, I’ve been training consistently for 20 years. And I realize, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if it weren’t for the training. Not even close.
Here are a couple thoughts I have on the subject. You might wanna incline your ear because this could very well change your life too.
Train With Uncle Vic
We got training so wrong.
We think our workouts have to be complex. Scientifically validated. Periodized. Changing every couple weeks to “keep the muscles guessing”.
Thinking there’s something to be gained from the complexity. Thinking an expert’s seal of approval will expedite our results.
In fact, I believe most people’s workout programs suffer from a bad case of overthinking. When in reality your training should be so stupid simple a demented monkey would get it.
Life’s complicated enough as it is. Training should help you break free from the complexity, from the monotony, from the things you cannot control.
Training should be an outlet. Not another source of confusion.
Keep your workouts simple. Nothing fancy. Nothing sciency. Nothing you couldn’t explain to a toddler.
Pick an exercise or two and start moving.
Start light ‘n easy. Gradually increase the intensity as you go. Add another exercise or two if you feel like it.
Don’t get carried away with the numbers. Instead, focus exclusively on the set at hand.
Shut out everything around you and set your mind on doing the exercise properly. Focus on improving your form. Focus on working the muscles.
Learn to push yourself HARD without running yourself into the ground. Walk the line.
You should still be able to take on 2 crackheads between your sets, not curling into the fetal position on the floor gasping for air.
Effort and Consistency
Over time this will come naturally. You don’t need science to teach you that. You don’t need another cookie-cutter program to teach you that.
You need practice. You need to do it consistently, you need to do it A LOT.
Your body will tell you precisely how much it can handle. How far you can push it. How much volume you should do on a given day. Over time you’ll develop a natural rhythm, knowing exactly what to do in the gym and how to do it.
But for now, stick with the basics.
Here’s how I train after 20 years in the game:
I pick anywhere between 2-4 basic exercises per session with 3-8 sets each. I start light and I pick up steam as I go.
3, 4, 5 or more sets to get the blood pumping followed by 2-3 hard sets taken close to technical failure. I take my sweet time between sets, making sure I recover sufficiently to perform at my best during the next set.
I don’t rush my workouts. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll simply cut down the total volume for the day.
Never sacrifice your performance for the clock. Take your time. But when you enter your next set, be prepared for battle. This is where you earn your results.
Speaking of results.. I log ALL my workouts so I’m not just spinning my wheels but actually moving forward in my training.
This is key.
My main exercises are closely monitored, looking at monthly trends (“How many handstand push-ups am I able to do today vs. two months ago?”). If the numbers don’t go up consistently, I modify my workouts and take a closer look at my diet and my daily routine.
Bottom line: You gotta train hard and you gotta train often. But take the complexity out of it. There’s nothing to be gained by overcomplicating your workouts.
It’ll only take the focus off of what really matters… effort and consistency.
Get down on the floor and do the work.
After 20 years in the game, that’s all you need to know about training, as far as I’m concerned.
See you at the gym
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