The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between

Things I’ve Learned This Week ~ 12/17/10

1 – Sexy Item of the Week: Self-Discovery and a “New Beginning” ~ You see, I’ve come to realize that I’ve been way too serious with my work.  I have come to learn that most of my personality is very dichotomous (well, actually, I’ve known that for a very long time).  The problem isn’t that it’s been so dichotomous, but instead that there is almost NO overlapping.  I am either “fun” or “I care.”  It’s almost impossible for me to have fun with something I care about.  Some people know me as the “serious” John and others know me as the “fun” John.  The problem is that it’s almost impossible for me to “be” fun while working on something that I care about or spending time with people I care about in a non-party mode.

This epiphany came about while I was discussing why I would want to stay in this field and I realized that although I love fitness, I wasn’t having much fun.  The reason is that only part of my personality comes out, which makes me feel fake, and if there’s anything I truly despise, it’s in-authenticity.  If you don’t have the chutzpah to be yourself, then you’re selling yourself out each and every day.  I know, because that’s how I felt for the past couple of years.  In the upcoming weeks, I will be working this out, where I actually feel that everything will become aligned – and there will be posts to signify my progress with those changes.

Book of the Week: When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough by Harold Kushner- Although I’ve read this book over 5 times in the past 2 and a half years, I absolutely love it.  This is one of the few, if not only books, that talks about life and religion in a way that sounds like a conversation and not a pissing match.  I’ve always felt that conversations about religion, no matter what you believe, should be between 2 people.

Religion or God and what you believe should be your own individual choice.  That choice is one of the most important decisions or beliefs that you will ever have.  It lays a foundation for so much of the rest of your life.

God and Religion in general, when it is your individual choice, for yourself, made by yourself, is one of the best things you can have (even if your “religion” is evolution and science).  The problem is that once you move that belief out of the realm of your choice into evangelism with conversations of 3 or more people, you start to make it one of the worst things in the world.

Talking about religion is like talking about politics.  You and the person gets emotionally vested.  Some people though, don’t care about politics, but all people seem to care about “the bigger picture” or religion.  With that said, this became one of my favorite books when I found it in the community book shelf when I was in California and I’ll leave you with one of my favorite excerpts from it:
“A life without people, without the same people day after day, people who belong to us, people who will be there for us, people who need us and whom we need in return, may be very rich in other things, but in human terms, it is no life at all.
“I was sitting on a beach one summer day, watching two children, a boy and a girl, playing in the sand.  They were hard at work building an elaborate sand castle by the water’s edge, with gates and towers and moats and internal passages.  Just when they had nearly finished their project, a big wave came along and knocked it down, reducing it to a heap of wet sand.  I expected the children to burst into tears, devastated by what had happened to all their hard work.  But they surprised me.  Instead, they ran up the shore away from the water, laughing and holding hands, and sat down to build another castle.  I realized that they had taught me an important lesson.  All the things in our lives, all the complicated structures we spend so much time and energy creating, are built on sand.  Only our relationships to other people endure.  Sooner or later, the wave will come along and knock down what we have worked so hard to build up.  When that happens, only the person who has somebody’s hand to hold will be able to laugh.
“To be fully and authentically human, we have to be prepared to take off the armor we usually go around wearing to keep the world from hurting us.  We have to be prepared to accept pain, or else we will never dare to hope or to love.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty damn good advice, no matter what the hell you believe.

3 – This week, I completed my first week of Christian Thibaudeau’s workout program from T-Nation.  For years, I couldn’t really wrap my head around leg training.  I knew that my legs responded best to high amounts of training, that wasn’t included in “gym workouts” such as riding my bike up a steep incline, etc.  His explanation on eccentric-less training helped shed light on why the strength and the eccentric less training were so damn important when it came to gaining size with legs.

Also, for the past year or so, I’ve become much more interested in training for the nervous system.  In college or really any of the “main” certifications out there, they rarely talk about how to control the nervous system and the fatigue caused by the nervous system, which I think is a huge mistake.  If you want people to workout more, then they need to feel good – at least good enough to get back to the gym the next day.

Between activation exercises, potentiation warm-ups and neural enhancing workouts, I’ve been feeling great in the gym, but more importantly, I don’t feel like I’ve been run over by a damn truck the next day.  Although, I do believe that this is an advanced workout, I do believe almost anyone looking to gain appreciable size will be able to do so as long as they have good form and technique on the basic movements.

Between all of those aspects and the auto-regulation, I do feel like the “4-week fatigue wall” that I’ve been constantly fighting against for the past year will finally be overcome.

4 – I’ve always hated when people said that it’s all about Calories In, Calories Out.  The question is, is it true?  When I look at the human body and how the human body processes food, I just don’t see how it can be true, 100% of the time.  Sure, you have people losing weight or maintaining weight by simply watching their calories, but that doesn’t always seem to be the case.  So what gives?  Well, I do believe that for I would say 70% of the population, the calories in, calories out equation holds true.  The problem is that for the 30% of the population there’s more going on.  I think for this group of individuals, Calories in, Calories Out is just the beginning. This should be an individual post, that will be much longer, but for now, understand that it’s diet, exercise and your hormones that will effect the results you are getting from your efforts, for everyone, and that for 30% of the population, you must get all three right before you see the results you should.

5 – For the other 70% of the population, what the hell should you be eating?  One of the best answers I’ve seen, because it’s the way I eat most of the time, is by John Barban – Flexibility in maintaining weight loss.

6 – I always knew Reality TV sucked and although I’ve been sucked into a couple of shows, I now know why they never “stuck” with me.   Here’s the reason why. 

That’s all for now – Next Tuesday expect a new post on how to Get the Body You Want in 9 Steps

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