Friday, October 10, 2008

Feeling strong is so much easier.

Despite all the odds I had a very strong Bikrams class yesterday. There's nothing better for me( other than training with my love) that makes me stronger than my normal, slow, stable, sedate, built- around- my- training life. What a suprise. Not that I didn't know that, but the chaotic life that I have been leading for the last 6 months or so, where I travled more than I have in the last 6 years really showed me that for real.I now completely understand how virtually impossible it is for anyone to make real training progress with a life without any semblance of routine.
For me, progress is built upon the delicate balance of training stress and active and passive recovery as well as the regularity of proper nutrition and meals. The body thrives on regularity, at least in regards to recovering from training stress.
Even a simple thing as having enough "down time" to properly visualize the coming workout is crucial for me. I spent years and years mentally rehearsing the coming training, especially in gymnastics, but in all my other pursuits as well and it makes a monster difference for me.
This is also really true for my yoga practice where it was enough of a challenge to even remember the correct sequence much less mentally practice it for real before each class.
THinking of what my mistakes were the last practice, figuring out what I wanted to accomplish the next one and psychically preparing for a strong effort makes it so much easier to push when the real thing is happening.
Yesterday was strong and strong is SO much easier than weak. What do I mean by that? I mean it's so much less taxing of one, mentally and physically to push oneself when all systems are go.Just like it's so much easier to go in the gym and train hard when you have a good nights sleep, you ate well, you prepared mentally, your life is calm, etc. Its WAY hard to do it when you have none of those things going for you, which has been case for a long time it seems.
It's said that obstacles in life don't create character they reveal it and I beleive that. It's easy to train hard when things are good. It's tough to keep pushing as hard as you can that day when things are tough but just when you think you'll never have a strong day again - you do. I got 65 sets of 8 on Wednesday STRONG, then one of my strongest yoga classes in recent memory.
I KNOW it's because I am gaining momentum again, training momentum, psychic momentum, rest momentum, recovery momentum etc.THat makes it so much easier.
Why so many people can't be consistent on any level even when there are no apparent obstacles to that goal is beyond me. Its SO HARD to train in fits and starts. Grueling. Torturous.
That's why I protect my stable life so diligently when I can because it just feels SO good to get that momentum and actually go forwards with training instead of just going backwards slowly.
Or not so slowly.
ANother week of six days a week of training and I'm just getting started.
Strong is good and strength IS a choice.

datsit. My one training day off today!


Jon said...

I couldn't agree more on the consistency. People make comments to me like 'you must work out all the time', etc etc. No, I've just done 'something' 3-5 times a week to improve my physical health for the last 20 years. Never missed more than a couple weeks. Might be walking around the block, might be spending three days being tortured by a 50 y/o guy at the RKC but I'm breaking a sweat on a consistent basis and always looking for a challenge. It's a lifestyle. Thanks for the inspiration Rif! Jon

mc said...

i just like the title of this post, Rif, and am happy for you :)


papatom said...

Great post, Rif. I'm Matt Schinabeck's dad and have been reading your posts daily since I started using KB's almost 2 years ago. Although I'm 17 years older than you I find that our 'philosophies' are always in sync. I hope that you will keep pounding them out on these pages far into the future. Hell- I think I'll crank up the heat in the house and try a few yoga moves!

Mark Reifkind said...


your comment made my day! thanks for reading my blog and so happy to hear it's been helpful in some way.please comment as much as you like and you should definitely try yoga! bikrams!

Mark Reifkind said...


thanks mc good to hear from you.

Mark Reifkind said...


great point, if it isn't a lifestyle or it doesnt usually get done for very long. consistency trumps intensity ever time imho.

Franklin said...

Dead on! Its so much easier to recognize when at too close to the edge and need to back off to train another day. I'm not doing six a week but for the 1st time in awhile I have been sustaining solid training with out injury or burnout .. and of course getting stronger too.

I have every intention of swinging a bell right down to the day I'm fitted for a wooden suit.

mdpach said...

Nice blog and great advice! Check out this fitness blog.

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