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
June 1, 2017
As I get older, there is something quite fascinating with the idea of music these days. I got a little sidetracked tonight writing this particular blog after I noticed a rather bizarre trend on Youtube…song mash-ups. Ever wonder what “Crazy Train” would sound to the back drop of “Call Me Maybe?” https://youtu.be/iuE_L-SuUzA Well, there is a mash-up for that. How about “The Perfect Drug” by Nine Inch Nails mashed up with that horrible song “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift? https://youtu.be/DhvXST1Rc3g (which oddly kind of lines up since Swift sings about break-ups while NIN constantly harps about gloom and doom post break-up). And of course, there is Jon’s favorite of Slipknot and Justin Bieber. https://youtu.be/NPtJt4A7iOA Of course, a lot of these mash-ups are pretty horrible, but occasionally some of them are pretty funny, and the ones I just posted are really the only good ones I could find. Personally, I would rather keep the song the way it is rather than mix it up with a terrible song (ahem, the NIN nails song….seriously, The Perfect Drug is still one of the best songs of the 90s. Ugh). So while it is fun to see what people spend their time doing on the weekends, sometimes you get thrown into rabbit holes that you can never really get out of. You start seeing ridiculous sub genres that really make no sense and for ingrates like myself, still give standard blanket genres when I hear something. So I like electronic music, but can you really tell the difference between Lowercase, Extratone, Japanoise and Splittercore? I never even knew these things even existed until a few days ago. And then I stumbled into some fresh hell called Crunkcore, which may as well be known as torture for the uninitiated. Trust me, you don’t want to stumble onto the worst group you may have ever come across called brokenCYDE. Just believe me on this, it is unpleasant and makes you question everything you know about society. I mean, this stuff is considered popular? This music is so bad that maybe we should remove New Mexico from the United States for creating this abomination.
Anyway, distractions can be good in our lives, and music (and apparently Youtube videos) are my two primary sources of getting away from the world. But me for me, I really need to get laser focused on my fitness, which leads to my first entry…
FITNESS DISTRACTION: GOOD OR BAD?
When you go to any gym across America, you are going see a vast majority of people on their head phones. People are constantly plugged into something o their phone. They might be listening to their app telling them to follow somethings regards to the workout regimen, or listening to brokenCYDE (god forbid) or just using the convenience of headphones to keep men away from them (a common tactic from women that actually want to work out, not have the curling douche bags bother them). We got the usual assortment of people watching television while they run or while they watch some sporting event. This really worked for me when I watched the Copa America Final last year and found myself riding a bike for a good two and half hours! Heck, at a gym near my house, you can actually watch a movie on a giant screen with surround sound while you run or cycle. I watched the second half of Avatar once—you know the good half—only to be constantly disappointed when Jake Sully and his band of do-gooders doom Planet Earth (yup, I said it…) and win the final battle. Personally, I need distractions sometimes when it comes to my regular fitness, but this is where the issue about progressing with your fitness will come into play. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/fitness-apps-are-we-exercising-to-distraction-8732531.html
Now articles like this one kind of illustrate that having some kind of distraction while you workout is not a bad thing. We see it all the time in the fitness world. A lot of the newest and craziest boutique trends are centered around some sort of distraction, like an EDM style spin class (try riding to this Splittercore ditty https://youtu.be/AbmK7n0Koto) or maybe doing yoga while death metal is playing in the background. Personally, whatever you need to get you in the mood and keep you moving. However, where do we draw the line? Personally, this is where it needs to be placed. When doing a standard workout, like when something is preset and simple to follow (like a circuit style workout), getting lost in your head phones is a good idea. When you are doing spin or doing some running, needing that little escape is good for you. I’m pretty sure most people are aware that this doesn’t work for more aggressive and mind focused exercises. When trying to make sure I have my snatch in good form, having some distraction is not good for the development of the movement. First of all, you need someone to yell at you when you are not using your heels properly or when you kick the bar out too far in front of you. Second of all, if you are distracted with whatever is blaring into your ears, how are you really going to learn? That is pretty much the reason why I don’t listen to music while at Parsons, mainly because I still have stuff to lean and I really nee that concentration focused on my body rather than the lyrics to “Mr. Brightside.” Some people might be much better at cohabitation, but I am not one outhouse cool people. I am a tunnel vision kid of guy when it comes to my fitness. Either way, be careful my fiends.
TECHNOLOGY DISTRACTION: DEADLY OR A GOAL TO SHOOT FOR?
I usually don’t get into the world of fitness models on Instagram or any of the other du jour social media apps. Personally, I think it is kind of dumb and presents a bad message. We look good, so give us likes and money! Okay! Either way, many other people on the posts are not the kind of people I necessarily want to become. First of all, I don’t want to be a super skinny woman with a thigh gap. Second, I don’t want to devour four or five thousand calories and workout for two plus hours a day to become super huge. I got a job right now that wrecks my body and I am nowhere near looking like the du jour vegan bodybuilder John Venus (which all the vegan women swoon over). So I stay away for a simple reason…I don’t want my already fragile self esteem to take more hits. To the third wave feminists of the world, yes men do suffer through body image issues much to your dismay, and it is a legitimate issue. The difference between body image issues with men is society never addresses it, and men like me that actually speak very openly about their disgust for their body are often cast aside and get words like male privilege and patriarchy thrown at us along with a simple notion of “sack up.” And then we have to deal with the rest of society that keeps feeding us the lie that we don’t need to have a good body…which is part of my conspiracy theory by society at large to keep men unhealthy and continue the revenue flow for certain industries that heavily rely on the typical unhealthy male (but that is another blog someday). Now, I have a real eating problem that I am constantly battling these days, so I have to deal with my personal problems as well. I do take a it in the self esteem department when the vegan women of the world post “Real Men Don’t Eat Meat” memes with guys that are muscled up enough to bench press a Smart Car. Either that or guys that are literally models who may or may not be vegan. Either way, this is the reason why I try to stay off social media more these days (though I fail miserably). I will admit…it gets to me because what exactly is the definition of a real man?
Before I rabbit hole off into that subject, another fitness blogger pointed this very same concern that I have. http://people.com/bodies/stacey-lee-photoshop-self-esteem/ Stacey Lee is a pretty interesting figure within the fitness industry for she is very much like the magician who used to reveal all of the secrets of some of the world’s biggest magicians (as for David Blaine….the magic of television has aided his bizarre career). As psychologist in addition to a fitness buff, she also believes in the mantra of staying away from these fitness people that like to show off dramatic “before and after” photos that really give you hope. If they can do it, so can I! Well, as she pointed out, much of the time these people are fakes, and the true power of photoshop can not only make your expectations unreasonable, the lies can also infiltrate your mind and make you none the wiser. So much like Ms. Lee, why would you put yourself through such potential manipulation? Fortunately for me I tend to follow other normal fitness people, seeing some of the things they eat an some of the things they do. I also follow a whole bunch of dog Instagrams. Yup, I am a sucker for that stuff. Either way, the question will boil down to this…do you have reasonable expectations for yourself? You have to remember in the manipulated world of fitness, it is very hard to really understand the truth. Much like the altered reality of CGI laden comic book movies, my eyes have been conditioned to not accept the “reality” of the constant destruction in these films. Should I let this falsehood also dictate how I feel toward myself and how my fitness journey is coming along? No. Mainly because I just keep running into snags and such. I will conquer my problems, but it will not be through the help of fake social media posts. Just be weary of this stuff my friends.
LIFE DISTRACTIONS: ARE THE EXCUSES LEGITIMATE?
Okay, I am sure you have heard me say this a lot. My lifestyle right now has been odd the last couple months and in a lot of ways, I keep suffering setbacks with fitness and my eating. While there are days I really control my calorie intake, it has been a rather stressful time for me at work. Things are changing for the worse, and to make matters worse this was one of the worst weeks on the job I have ever had. Glitches within our system has been aggravating, and the biggest problem for me is the self esteem hit I get from it. I want to be good at what I do, and I want faceless people to have faith in me when they call us up. But when you cannot even do your job properly due to these problems, not only does it seem like you are trying to make excuses for your performance to the customer, it stresses you the hell out when you cannot even do your job. Of course, your bonuses are being affected by the glitches, so it also seems like the system is intentionally robbing you. Anyway, it feels good let that out, and I have also been stress eating this week…a lot. I’ve hit Chipotle three times. I made home made french fries twice. I cleared a tin of Pik Nik Sticks. I hate admitting this and I hate the fact that I was so stressed out, that not even walking the dogs could really help me. My achilles and legs felt so tight that I didn’t run either, but the main fact behind that is the idea that I ate too much and felt bloated and full. Like if I started running, then I would definitely puke somewhere on the path. It has been a wretched week for me ands I am glad it is is over. I will simply reset and try to get back on the program next week my friends, but I just need to let you know how rough it was this week. Like I mentioned earlier, I hate admitting the fact that I have a weakness in my life, and there are still times where I lose that battle. Personally, I also let go this week, letting myself lose to these stress problems. I don’t want to say that it is okay to let this happen, but you cannot let yourself get beaten up over it. I will be better, I promise. This week I will have to mark as a setback, but there is always next week.
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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.