I have abandoned the ARX in favour of a move that I remember vividly as giving me an extremely strong core, the Turkish Get Up. I am a big fan of the TGU and believe that it was the move that was responsible for giving me a set of recognizable abs for only the second time in my life. Since the first time I had to put in several months of painful crunches and denigrating moves laying in aerobics class as a University student I will take the TGU way any time! It’s not that Ab Ripper X isn’t good, in fact it is, but I find that most if not all laying / sitting ab work leaves my back sore and that is something I am not about to mess with. As I have done for the last 3 weeks, I took Thursday off since the amount of cardio stress I put on my body coaching the bootcamp is ridiculous. As an example, the only time I have been over 5.0 on the Training Effect in Firstbeat Athlete is during bootcamp. The only time I have burned more than 1000 calories, is at bootcamp and the only time my heart rate gets over 170 is during the bootcamp as I try to talk and work at the same time. So my affair with the TGU will have to wait until tonight, and even then, maybe it will get bumped to tomorrow if I opt to work out at gym tonight. I didn’t enjoy last week just doing abs so I will have to see what I can come up wit for today. I am thinking maybe 4 stations including a thruster station, dips, chin ups and push ups.
My parents are here on Monday for 2 weeks, that means probably sporadic updates at best. So I will leave you with a tidbit to think about.
Fear is a chemical reaction. It’s a systematic response to something that starts deep in your brain, floods your body and mind with chemicals and prepares you to react to your fears. It’s the basis of the fight or flight response. In order to survive, your brain will tell you to fight or escape, and your body will react instantly to that decision. But think about that logically for a second. Your body and mind get to a state of readiness without you thinking about it. But that state of readiness isn’t just an evasive reaction to fear, half of that reaction is to stand up to the fear. Your entire being stands to alert in preparation as much to fight as to run. It’s sad, then, that our own immediate reaction to fear is a socially conditioned response to flee immediately with no consideration to the thought of fighting. I face this problem on a daily basis, not only with my own fitness journey, but mostly with my athletes at the gym whose response to scary situations is almost always to quit. They may not be mature enough to understand the mechanisms but they are human and are genetically engineered to balance fear with aggression, to measure out the degree of danger they perceive and to escalate their resolve and determination to overcome that obstacle. It’s what thousands of years of survival of the fittest has brought them.
They stand there, the absolute pinnacle of human achievement, the most advanced and feared animal on the planet, the most recent, most improved and most genetically perfected organism we as humans represent and yet, they squash their killer instinct with ignorance. There is no other word for it. They are unaware of their potential, not their individual talent potential but their organic, human potential to use their base instinct to overcome their fear. It’s a fact that we as humans are designed to fight, to kill and to rise above the challenges we face. However our societal morals have taught us that those things are not acceptable behaviour and that we need to use our empathy and intelligence to measure our reactions. That’s great in the outside world, but it doesn’t translate to training, and it sure as hell doesn’t translate to that voice inside your head who tells you that “you can’t do it”.
Physical activity, high intensity compound movement physical activity requires the benefit of that systematic response to work. It relies on your fight or flight response to cause the cascade of chemicals to flood your brain and focus your mind to the task you face. Without it, you will fail. Without it, you will reinforce your conditioned response that you aren’t good enough, strong enough or skilled enough. Without it, you are no better than that person you see in the gym endlessly lifting 5lb weights, 30 reps at a time in the hope something will happen, or the person running on the treadmill trying to escape their biological need for battle one pathetic step at a time.
It’s simple to turn it all around. Some people call it aggression, some call it a competitive nature, others an A type personality. It’s not really any of those, it’s just a desire to be better today than you were yesterday. It has to come from a place of honesty and integrity but if you hold on to the idea that you will commit to improving yourself then you will discover that you will face adversity with a passion and an aggression that is appropriate and rewarding. Aggression in the physical realm is not only a benefit, it’s a requirement, and the sooner you use your aggression to squash your fear, the sooner you will discover just how much you can really achieve.
Feel the fear, face the fear and crush the fear.