Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
December 4, 2017
Every day, I have to mentally prepare myself roughly 40 times a day. It’s not that I am prepping for some kind of physical activity, but I am getting myself ready for whatever is about to come over the phone for me. During my day, I could merely pay out a phone and give someone suggestions for their next upgrade, handle a transfer, disconnect a line or something as benign… “sorry you called the wrong number.” And then you get those doozies, the one that has not been fixed through four or five people and the customer is demanding money and to speak with your supervisor. You never really prepare yourself for those jarring calls, and even though talking and trying your best to quell the rage fire that is trickling through your cheap headphones becomes easier over time, you still want to break and yell at these people. Seriously, some of the people you talk to are so damn stupid or becoming so hysterical for such a small reason, you feel like telling them that there is a much bigger world out there for them to enjoy. But you can’t. You have to swallow that pride and listen to their stream of thought weirdness. Anyway, that is how it goes at my job most days, and some days I have some good days and others I feel like quitting. But being able to manage my life is important and staying in a good pattern is a welcome sign. Regardless of what you do in any walk of life, creating that mental stability for adjustment and change is something that a lot of people in this country really need. Seriously, you cannot go nuts every time something changes or is slightly altered. You have to take on that change with aplomb and a long view, or you will constantly be angry and yelling at someone like me merely because you do not know how to read your own bill. Fitness is no different when you put it into context.
When you start that workout for the umpteenth time, you have to have yourself in the right frame of mind to actually do the work. I always look at it this way….if I had a really bad day, I do more speed and rep related stuff. I mainly do this because the more oxygen you suck in, the more euphoric you will feel. Your mood elevates, and thus the bad day can really dissipate rather quickly. On good days where I am not too fatigued, I will focus on heavy weights or work on my Olympic weight lifting. Now, you might ask why I might go with this particular method? Think of your mental faculty after a really long and rough day at work or at school or just at home. If you mind has been mentally rung out, you might be better suited to go with something that is familiar as your mental faculty might be compromised. Now of course, I will not say this is the end all for everyone, but that is kind of how my mind works. When I need my full mental capacity, that is when I do the heavy stuff and the olympic movements. I need my mind to be fully operational and I want t build up the technique with a rested and ready mind. You could also work the exact opposite in comparison to me. You might want to go heavy on bad days and reps on the easy days. It’s up to you. It’s all subjective.
Now I will admit, this is a really difficult subject to write on. The method of my madness may be much different than yours, and that is why it is essential you build consistency either way. I do the more technical stuff on my rested days because I feel my mind will retain information much better, and the key to what I am doing is training my body to manage the technique of whatever it is I am doing. Whichever direction you decide to go, the true key is repetition whether it be in school learning or athletic endeavors. http://www.readingbrightstart.org/articles-for-parents/lets-repetition-important-learning/ You will never truly get something right unless you thoroughly practice what you are seeking to excel in. Think about the movements on a football offense. The best teams have the best understanding in their blocking, route running and adjustments when seeing a certain type of defense. It’s a complicated ballet to most, but it is something that is born in practice and tape room work. Just like when you see the olympic weight lifters, the reason they seemingly have perfect form on just about every one of their lifts is because they have trained their body to manage the movement without even thinking about it. Muscle memory is key for this reason, for when your mind might not be totally fixated or is being fluttered with exterior distractions, having that memory is key to performing whatever move you need to accomplish. This is the reason why Jon and the rest of the staff at Parsons Training really works with you when it comes to your movements. When you do something right for a long period of time, you will know right away when you are doing it wrong. This would typically result due to having too much weight or maybe compensating for a sore muscle or injured body part. For me, when I started my journey with the olympic weight lifting, I had to work on my overhead squats for months. Why you might ask? Well, it is essential just getting used to the grip, the way the bar feels over your shoulders and of course, keeping your feet flat. Nowadays I can regularly go 125 on the snatch…..I know, it is might be time for me to try a personal best again soon.
While all of the things I mentioned about mental preparation are based on your mind and muscle memory, the final step is really inside of you. I hate to sound like a dopey fortunate cookie, but you have to have confidence in whether you can do something or not. Here are some good elements you might need in your every day fitness life to really succeed with your workouts and athletic competitions. http://www.sportpsychologytoday.com/youth-sports-psychology/five-components-of-mental-preparation/ The most important piece of advice in my opinion is the confidence in what you can do. If you are going for that personal best, you need to believe you can actually do it. And of course, you have the opposite reaction as well….if you fail, it is not the end of the world. Truth be told, that may very well be the most important aspect in the mental game. There are going to be days like I mentioned above, where your mind might not be ready for some heavy days or personal best days. I know when I am ready to tackle my top weight on the dead lift, and when it might be a good day to do 50 reps on the deadlift at 245 pounds or so. When you make these concessions, it is not necessarily a bad thing when you decide to go this particular directions. One other thing the aforementioned article mentioned is to have a plan with what you need to do. If you know certain factors are going to force you into a certain type of fitness lifestyle, then so be it. Don’t feel bad if you have to alter your course, because no course is really straight.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.