Thursday, July 23, 2009

Defeating the Four Demons

I figured I'd restart a blog and see if I can't keep up with it. The first post is something my friend Greg posted a long time ago that I love.

The first Demon that one typically meets along their path is the DEMON OF TIRED. The DEMON of tired is most apt to strike when other events during your day have caused you stress or you are preoccupied with something else. Sitting on your shoulder he quietly whispers to you that you've had a long day and it's OK not to train balls out or better yet not to train at all. I am amazed at the number of people that succumb to this DEMON and justify their actions by stating "I don't want to overtrain". Understanding that the body is capable of dealing with massive amounts of physical stress helps you differentiate from being actually burned out a bit and overtrained and under-rested as opposed to looking for an excuse to be lazy.

The Second DEMON that you are destined to meet is the DEMON OF PAIN. This DEMON manifests itself right towards the end of a set. Of course he always appears during your perceived moment of failure rather than your actual moment of failure. We've all seen this demon at work in the gym. You watch somebody doing a set of bench presses and they just "STOP" for no apparent reason other than the fact that the set started to become uncomfortable. "Fatigue makes cowards of us all", this has been proven by Pavlov and a whole slew of scientists. However, where the DEMON OF PAIN is concerned, with a lot of people "The thought of fatigue makes cowards of many" Actually taking a set to true failure is a foreign idea to most because it is HIGHLY PAINFUL and UNCOMFORTABLE. They have already surrendered to the DEMON OF TIRED before hand. "Bending over" if you will, before even trying to fight back. Most people who do this also seem to confuse the idea of being injured with the idea of being in pain. They are not one and the same. If one is injured, they often experience pain, however if one is experiencing pain this does not necessarily mean they are injured. The DEMON OF PAIN blurs the line between injury and pain so that you can rid yourself of any guilt for training like a b***h.

The third DEMON is the DEMON OF CONCENTRATION. There is a famous story of a martial arts instructor and one of his students that I would like to share because it applies equally to bodybuilding. A martial arts instructor welcomes a new student into his dojo. This student was very excited and very eager to learn, so after the first class he approached the instructor and said "Sensei, how long will it take for me to be your top student?" To this the Master replied "10 years!". Disappointed, the student then asked: "What if I train every day and never miss a class?" To this the Master replied "15 years!". Further let down, the student quickly responded: "Well what if I train twice day for 8 hours a day and never miss a class?" To this the Master replied: "20 years". Finally the student asked: "Sensei, I do not understand. Why is it that every time I tell you I will train longer and harder, the longer it will take me to be the best student?" To this the master quietly responded: "With only one eye on the path and one eye on your goal of being my best student, you will never find your way." In simple terms, this means that you cannot partially concentrate on what you are doing in any given moment and expect to get to your maximum potential.

The final DEMON is the most powerful and most difficult. It is the DEMON OF CONTINUE. Day in and day out you will be faced with the afore mentioned 3 demons only to realize that you have to get up and face them all over again. This realization is the DEMON OF CONTINUE. Here is where the "I'll train tomorrow's" and the "I'll eat good tomorrow's" start playing in your mind. Anyone can stay structured and focused for one month, even three months or six months. But can you stay focused and on your path and face the DEMONS everyday for the REST OF YOUR LIFE? That is the question. This is where you can gain ground on those that are seemingly so far ahead of you now. They won't be able to beat the DEMON OF CONTINUE. But trust me if you do, you will surpass them very quickly.

An excerpt from "Beyond Failure Training" by Trevor Smith

1 comment:

JocelynD said...

Test - tried to fix settings so peeps could comment