It’s always hard to start again.
I have been horribly, horribly slacking off on my fitness for the last five months. It has been terrible to realize how much everything – strength, power, endurance, etc. – has degraded. My strength endurance numbers, for example, have dropped from ten handstand push-ups cold to barely three all warmed up. It’s so bad that it feels like starting over again.
It feels like I’ve hit rock bottom, and that’s something I’ve been experiencing all too much lately.
But there’s also something vaguely encouraging about the realization of where you used to be, because it tells you how much you can rise again.
Perhaps it’s partially because I can look at it like a fairly experienced trainer: I already know the road map back to where I was, down to the number of reps per workout I would need to rebuild certain aspects. It’s almost a fun little puzzle, trying to recreate the path you once took while integrating everything you’ve learned since. This process creates a program that is even more personalized than the first run through, so to speak: you know how you will react to certain things and when and how to switch them in or out as necessary. There is less randomness, less uncertainty.
Of course, on the flip side, you know exactly how much it’s going to suck. It’s like every single time you strap into a Concept2 for another 500m row (which I just found out Michael Blevins refused to do for something like 9 years after his first one – that is kind of the same thing I want to do): you know you’re going to wind up sucking oxygen like a nearly-drowned man, and part of your brain is screaming at you to give up before you even begin. For me, the thought of rebuilding my foundation is more discouraging than exciting, precisely because you know exactly how much work has to go into it.
But it ties into how much you expect of yourself. As I’ve told many of my students/clients, you could just decide that you don’t give a single shit. But if you were willing to do that, you wouldn’t have gone to a trainer in the first place. Similarly, if I could decide to not care, it wouldn’t bother me so much that I have so much to do.
That, perhaps, is the nature of the reboot: you wouldn’t bother if you weren’t expecting more out of something, especially if that something is yourself.
30x 4-way JJ
10x KBS @ 24/28/32kg
10x TRX Row
2x Clean Pull @ 65kg per 30s for 5min
2x Power Clean @ 60kg per 30s for 5min
Kettlebell Swing @ 55#
5min stretching to cool down
- Power cleans and the attached accessory lifts (clean pulls, high pulls, hang cleans, etc.) have become my go-to for developing hip power. This is probably a little late – someone like Mark Rippetoe might have argued for their inclusion in an earlier phase – but I find that I’m mentally more prepared to take the move on nowadays.
- Originally the ladder was meant to be a more compound build including TRX push-ups. However, my shoulders haven’t recovered from yesterday’s bench pressing. Be honest with yourself when it comes to what you can and cannot do in the moment.