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 11, 2017
I would like to think I am a fairly modern man. I speak lightly and speak loud when someone gets in my face about something. Now of course, I maintain this mentality for the real world, not Facebook or other social media platforms because that sort of nonsense can feed the ego. I see plenty of people on my page that do that sort of crap on a regular basis, and it is rather sad and pitiful these people need to open themselves to such reaction for a few pathetic moments of popularity or infamy. Seriously, what is the freaking point? Either way, I stand on my own two feet if someone asks. In my work and in my life, I have to maintain this rhythm to my step because I can’t afford to walk lightly. When someone asks me if paying for some overpriced phone because it looks cool rather than the more basic and economical one that has similar features is the better bet, I’m gonna say go for the one that fits your needs and your budget. I mean, if you just need something basic and is dependable, do you really need the massive amounts of extras? I see knuckleheads putting thousands of dollars on their vehicles to show off and look cool. I mean, you are just driving from one place to the other…right? Or the guys that buy five-hundred dollar tires for their trucks…but would never use them for the intended purpose of off roading and such. Either way, I have to give people basic advice how to move forward with their life just about every day, and I have to sound confident even though deep down I am scared to death, knowing the words that are coming out of my mouth will affect someone else’s life. This was always the fear I had in me when I was an electrician, for I often had to utilize the destructive skills of construction to get things done (but do it in a way that can easily be hidden and not affect the rest of the area). Doing things with confidence is pretty evident in my life, for I have sustained a good trend in my life. I know weight lifting exercises I am really good at and what amount of weight would be good for me. This is a great power in my life, but this can also be construed as a major weakness.
I say this because you get comfortable. As you move forward in life, there are some times in your life where you have to stuff the ego and actually get something done with the help of other people. Like yesterday, I had to call my father to give me a little advice on a little electrical situation I was helping a friend out with. Fortunately he came and helped me out, reliving some our old days when we worked together and rapped back and forth like a married couple. It was fun to relive those moments of old. The confidence came back knowing I had some back-up, for potentially messing up an electrical panel is little different compared to costing someone ten bucks a month on their billing. My father would joke it was good to have someone around when you worked on electrical. “You’re gonna need someone to save you butt if you are electrocuting yourself.” Smart words to live by. Even in my job, you cannot be a complete loner. I had to get my supervisor involved when a guy was still waiting for his $200 in credits for the stupid Samsung Note 7 recall (thanks for making my life hell Samsung!!!). Twice other people didn’t do the leg work to get the problem fixed, and I ended up having my supervisor do a real time credit and hit my statistics. The previous reps passed the buck because they were afraid of the statistical hits, which isa foolish way to live because it just means someone down the line will have to deal with the incompetence. Well, I made sure they got some hell in return, as my supervisor also helped me file complaint forms about negligence. I had to do it on another rep as well, when he told a customer that we could waive a down payment on a device…when we could no way in hell do that! I sure as heck was not gonna take a tongue lashing from a customer sitting down! Anyway, four people got written up because of me yesterday. My co-workers called me “The Snitch,” but on the other hand, why should I take the fall? Part of standing up and being strong is doing the stuff you hate, especially when you are being urged by invisible (and often times real forces) to maintain the correct path. However, this also means not sitting down when other people are dropping the ball. This fits in nicely with my philosophy of fitness…that while doing your own thing under your own creation is good and all, you need to switch some stuff up from time to time.
Well, thanks to a lot of work I did the previous weekend at Jon and Christa’s house, I ended up with some training sessions. Since Jon has a pretty full schedule, he often gives some of the other trainers a crack at me. Since I am no longer in a building stage in my fitness journey, taking on different philosophies from time to time helps. There has been times where I assessed my fitness and realized I was extremely out of whack on my balance, and took the steps necessary. There was the time where I needed some advanced stretching, hence I joined yoga. Or maybe I needed to get more cardio in my life, and thus got killed daily like only an Air Force sergeant can induce. This time around, I get to work out with one of the senior trainers at Parsons, and John Shaver figures to be the next challenge for me. One thing John is quite adept at doing is creating Workouts of the Day, and in many cases these things are pretty brutal to the naked eye. Looking at them makes you wonder what is dwelling in the back of his mind. Either way, the new sessions I am taking on will be with John Shaver, and if the first session with him is an indication, it will be a long tough six weeks.
It’s not like I am scared of the situation, for I have worked through John’s Olympic Weightlifting classes that he holds every Tuesday. I have a good idea on his thought processes, for his detail to form and body movement is quite keen. He catches me doing stuff I never would have thought about…until I started thinking about it of course. Who would have guessed my hips are so weird. Anyway, having another person around to guide me in my workout journey is a good feeling, for it means I get to turn off my brain and just do stuff in the gym. Anyway, things started off just fine, where John had me do some advanced stretching. I witnessed how tight and off kilter I am with a couple of those exercises, which his no surprise to me considering how tight I have been from these last couple weeks due to all the sitting I have been doing. Anyway, after far too many lunges and high steps (which I am sure I looked rather funny while doing them), we finally got into the real stuff that defined the workout. The initial stretch work took up a good half hour of the workout, and I was kind of wondering when we were going to actually get this thing going. I mean, I don't have an issue with active stretching and dynamic stretching, but I was getting impatient. In all, this was in interesting tactic John was putting me through. You see, I’m starting to think a good Workout of the Day (WOD) needs some build-up. You need a little bit of anger to fuel the fire. Jenny kind of did the same thing when we started a our sessions with Olympic weight training, which then quickly morphed into a circuit train of death. What John had in store for me was far worse and far more tiresome.
Now it is always good to work out on a particular humid day (at least for Arizona). I have to say, the heat index in the gym was pretty out of whack, for I could feel the sweat coming out of my pores the very moment I walked in. John had a pretty ambitious set of exercises for me, and we really had to decide just what would be good for me in terms of weight. You see, he wanted me to do 10 power cleans, followed by 25 push-ups, 15 goblet squats with kettle bells, 10 bent over barbell rows, two minutes of jump roping and 10 corkscrews going in each direction. Now I am going to admit this from the get-go, this looked like a daunting task. John wanted me to gut out five sets of this masterpiece. He intentionally set up the second half of my workout to make this as hard as possible. So we decided on some basic weights….115 for the cleans, 135 for the rows and a 62-pound kettle bell for the goblets. Sound did easy enough, and boy did this prove to be a bad thought going through my head. The intention of the WOD was to simply go full out and see just how many sets could be done with in the half hour segment that was set up for me.
First and foremost, I did not do five full sets, but I did at least plow through four. It was not something that was meant to be taken slowly, at least that is what John wanted me to think. While the first set seemed easy enough, the fatigue and the sweat started getting to me starting on the second set. Now full disclosure, for I am pretty embarrassed about this…I actually don’t know how to jump rope. Fortunately John let me do a simulated version of the movement, which is tough in itself. Jumping up and down for two minutes is not exactly easy to begin with. Anyway, over the next few weeks I will have to start practicing with the jumprope so I will be able to actually do this silly exercise. Much like the revelations that my legs needed some work with their muscle and much like the fact I discovered my back is really inflexible, knowing you can’t do something that most kids can do is pretty disheartening. I will give you an update on how I start doing down the line.
Anyway, during the WOD, I was really getting into how the exercise really morphed into each other, adding on top of each other and making it difficult for the me with each round I took part in. I would lose some of my gas when I did the cleans, which require a pretty good amount of energy to do. My arms would be rather shaky, mainly because you have to utilize such a heavy surge to get the bar up, that pushing against your spaghetti-ized arms op the push-up was much tougher than a usual push-up. The other difficult part was the jumping. You forget how long two minutes really is when you have to really look at the clock to make sure you don’t go much longer than you need to. Since the key to this WOD was to go as fast and furious as you can, I felt I did a pretty good job even though I have not done this type of workout in quite a while. One thing John really mentioned to me is trying to get the five sets in a half hour, that when I do that is when you can try doing some heavier weights on the workout. One thing at a time I guess, for I will truly need to get the standard I have established.
I have a few more weeks to work with John, so this is going to be some interesting times for me as I move forward with the fitness. But it felt good to be able to just listen and do what someone else created. It harkens back to the original sentence I started this blog with. Never look away or deny some help when it comes to life and fitness. For me, this is giving me some good ideas for the future, as well as giving me an assessment on my own workouts. Needless to say, whenever I add something from other people into the list that is growing longer with each day in the back of my mind, it is nice to know that I have some good ideas.
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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.
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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.
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