Steve and I agreed that since he had personal things to attend to this weekend and his time was limited that I would go through the blog and "re-cycle" and old blog. It was very interesting reading through them and it was difficult deciding which blog to choose.
However, since this blog is ultimately about transformation I thought it fitting that we go back three years, to when Steve was just beginning his journey.
In the fitness industry we use many different tools to measure progress or lack thereof. While most people are focussed on weight, at Parsons Training we rarely, if ever, use weight as an indicator of progress. A tape measure will tell us much more than a scale. We also use performance measures as an indicator of improvement or digression. Here are some of Steve's personal bests from three years ago compared to now.
For many of you these are merely numbers with words that you don't understand or recognize. But what we all can understand, respect, and appreciate is that they represent how far Steve has come on his journey of transformation. No short cuts, no magic pills, no excuses.
Here is a glimpse into how Steve was feeling 3 years ago.
Dr. Jon Parsons
"May 11, 2012
Appreciating something is a lot easier to do when you’re away for a few days. After my first session, which was all of 35 minutes, I wondered if I had the gusto to even make it for a full hour. And so I arrived with the intent of pushing it for a full hour, no ifs ands or buts.
Whether it was lifting weights or doing an incline walk at 3.3 miles per hour, the second session proved to be more to my liking than the first. Since I’m already a pretty big guy, doing some weight lifting probably suited me more than cardio, but eventually, I want that mentality to change. I was pretty confident the lifting would be a piece of cake….WRONG!
The toughest exercise for me was repeatedly lifting weights over my head. It sounds easier than it looks, but I was hurting near the end of each set of reps that Jon put me through, especially the final set where I was lifting 30-pound weights. My confidence was a little wobbly but I pushed through and came out pretty well. The fact I kept going was the most surprising aspect for me. Maybe it was motivation, or maybe it was the fact I was the only client there. There were no prying eyes, no possibility of looking weak in front of other people. I guess this is another obstacle I have to overcome: pride. I kind of think a lot of people like myself become discouraged with working out when they see other people doing seemingly superhuman feats of strength, like staying on a stair master for an hour or running a mile at six minutes or less. Thoughts get stuck in your head, thoughts that shouldn’t reside in your mind when you’re trying to make a drastic change in your life. I always let it get the best of me, but most typically in one area.
When I used to go to the University of Arizona gym, I did very little weight work. I would grab some 20-pound dumbbells and lift and swing them around for 15 minutes or so or do some light work on the machines. But most of the time, I stayed away from the free weights. I was always impressed when I saw people do 250 pounds and more on the bench press. I believe the best I ever got was 140, but I would never tout such a number around anyone because I felt it to be substandard, even when I was still floating around in the 220s. My father got a weight set in the late 90s, which I occasionally used. But over time, it got dusty and unused, simply because I lost interest.
Anyway, today was particularly exciting because for the first time in roughly 14 years, I was gonna bench press. It was quite funny at first, especially since I had no idea about technique, hand placement or even proper breathing. Today I got up to a measly 120 pounds, doing ten reps. It doesn’t sound like much, but one has to start from somewhere. I don’t really have a goal for the moment, but I at least want to show marketed improvement. I’m not looking to bench 300 pounds someday, but that would be pretty crazy to see that happen.
Either way, Jon pushed me the entire time. I think my total break time was for about 10 or 12 minutes throughout the entire session, which is pretty good since Jon kept upping the ante on the weights, forcing me to go harder as the weight went up. The only downside I experienced today was how much weaker my less dominant left arm is compared to my right. That’s something that is going to have to change.
And so my second day was over, and I felt pretty good about stepping up to a hurdle that presented itself during this first week. First and foremost, I didn’t eat a single smidgen of dairy in the previous two days and change since my last cheese sandwich. It took a lot of willpower, but the real test was coming this weekend. Let me tell you about my weekends.
I always regard the weekend as a food free for all, whether I go to Mr. Ks and get the 3-Meat Meal complete with fries and a family order of their incredible macaroni and cheese, or order and eat two or three pizzas or eat the Taco Bell taco 12-pack for a “light” snack. There was no work to get in the way, so vegging out and napping was pretty easy after I would load up on whatever I ate. So my first true challenge is fast approaching, and I’m ready to take on my demons. Roughly 90 hours until my next session. Let’s see what happens."
By Steve Sharpton
About Parsons Training
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.