I don’t care about training like I used to
I shut the car door, hands shivering slightly as I turned the ignition and then the heaters to full blast. As the layer of ice on the windshield slowly began to thin, I shut my eyes for a few seconds, considering whether I wanted to do this.
It was 1am. The past 20 hours had been a frantic mix of manual labour, paperwork and last-minute breathlessness to get the project finished. And I’d have to be back here in roughly 6 hours to do it again.
I should probably get some sleep, I told myself. Rest, eat, get ready for the next day. A no-brainer.
But that day was also Wednesday, and that meant it was a gym day.
I had to go.
And I actually went.
Yeah look at me, I’m so hardcore, is NOT the reaction I’m trying to elicit. Going to workout at that time was at best counter-productive, at worst pretty dumb and potentially unsafe.
It wasn’t the only time, but it was probably the most ‘extreme’ time I still stuck to my training protocol.
I’d love to tell you it was because I’ve got a rock solid discipline and an unparalleled work ethic.
The reality was I went because I truly believed that missing sessions, not training for 48 hours or not eating enough was going to severely set me back.
Did I have a lot of different coloured powders in much cupboards?
Did I bring them with me to consume at precise moments before and after the gym?
Did I squat until I couldn’t walk properly for a few days after?
Did I order double portions of food even if I wasn’t really hungry but it had been 3 hours since my last meal?
I did all of this because every muscle or fitness magazine, company or internet site told me to, and that they were all essential parts to ensure that you reached your potential, got massively strong/big etc etc.
I wasn’t competing for anything but when I do something, I like to do it properly. I was learning how to train back then. I was looking for the routine, the supplement, the mentality to be as good as I could be.
As a result I really CARED about training, to the point that I was still gritting my teeth and doing sessions at 1 am after a 20 hour workday.
I don’t really do regrets, but what a waste of energy and money.
It’s not that I don’t care about training now (in some ways I care more about it, like analysing it with this blog) it’s just that now I know that most of these gym slogans and rules are just marketing hype to sell product.
I’ve been training hard and consistent now for 10 years. I’m decently strong and muscular. It’s probably obvious that I’ve never taken PEDs (i.e. I’m skinny by YouTube standards). What has been the deciding factor in getting me here?
It is simply time, effort and consistency.
I don’t do powdered drinks now. I don’t make myself go to the gym if I’m extremely tired or had a very long day. I eat normal sized portions of food. I don’t kill myself for that last rep.
I’m actually stronger and bigger now then when I did all those things. But if you look at how much effort goes into training now, from a lifestyle perspective, it’s a lot less.
How does that work?
It’s actually not less effort, it’s less effort spent on bullshit products and training ‘truths’ (eat big, get big, all you have to do is visualise, the last rep counts etc.) which actually add up to the sum total of jackshit if you’re truly a natural trainer.
If you’re going to stay and train natural, and want good results, of course you have to train hard, eat properly and rest enough. Do this long enough and you will get results.
But that is pretty much the ‘secret’. Contrary to what the industry wants you to believe ‘wanting it more’ isn’t really a thing.
If you’re on drugs it’s like you’ve taken off the speed limiter in a car: if you’re brave enough to push that pedal as hard as you can you will definitely go faster, albeit at a greater risk to your health.
For us regular joe’s our cars don’t go past 50 mph. We haven’t got the juice. You can stomp the pedal till you’re blue in the face, but you won’t go faster than that limit.
Which is why I don’t care about training as much as I used to. I’m happy with trying to creep up to my limit through consistency, and know that I’m making small progressions, but progressions none the less.
If you’re starting out with training, or still training with the supplements, thinking about anabolic windows and how many meals you’re eating then please try this for me: stop caring so much about all that and just focus on doing the heavy stuff with good form three times a week.
I guarantee that you won’t feel any different, except maybe that you enjoy your life more, as well as have more money in your pocket.
It took me a long time to realise this. Save yourself some time and money and don’t make the same mistakes.