Have I lost my mind?
You may think so by the title of this blog post.
I assure you I’m doing just fine.
Just taking a month off from lifting the barbell.
Since I started lifting weights almost two decades ago, I have never taken a month break from lifting.
What started out of necessity while on vacation, has turned into a new focus: bodyweight workouts.
For the upper body, I’ve been doing pullups, dips, pushups, trx pulls, handstand holds, rope climbs and monkey bars.
The upper body work has been a sufficient stimulus physically AND mentally.
For the lower body, it’s been much more challenging.
To begin with, I started a running program and ran into some knee problems. As I’ve adapted to that challenge and worked on overcoming it, I haven’t done a lot of lower body training.
This week I scaled back on the running and added in some leg training without weights.
My choices are: reverse lunges, single leg romanian deadlifts, pause squats.
Also included in leg training are cardio/conditioning exercises that I normally include each week: sled dragging, bike, stairs, hills and the jacob’s ladder.
Let me just say, I don’t enjoy this kind of training.
Pullups, dips are fine but I would much rather squat and deadlift and press big heavy weights all the time.
Which is another reason why this month is good for me.
It gets me out of my comfort zone.
Forces me to learn and grow. Not just in terms of muscle and strength, but in my mind. Every time we don’t want to do something, yet we know it’s good for us.. we need to do it anyway.
When we take action and overcome our inner friction, we gain strength.
Our brains are wired to keep us comfortable. Change is NEVER easy or comfortable.
That’s why so many of us resist it.
Even if you’ve overcome it in the past, there’s always a new challenge ahead.
Part of me was thinking “screw this, I’d rather just do the leg machines at the gym.. at least I can do more weight and it won’t look or feel so lame”…
Those are the kinds of thoughts we have to laugh at and overcome.
Yours may be different but the general idea is the same.. we have to fight these weak thoughts all the time.
They never go away completely.
For me, it’s thirty days of bodyweight training and working around some cranky knees as I work on getting my running up to where I want it to be.
It’s going to be interesting to see how I look and feel after this month is complete. Will I lose muscle mass? How will my joints feel?
I love these challenges even though I hate them too.
It’s a true love/hate relationship.
You don’t show up to the workout smiling and happy for the entire session… but you do enjoy the satisfaction of finishing your training and the results that come.
Keep getting after it.
If you find yourself getting TOO comfortable, change something up. Go do what you fear. Accept a new challenge.
You’ll be better for it in the long run.
I’m putting together a new program.
6 Weeks to the strongest version of you Strength Essentials style.
Let me know if you are interested- GO HERE