Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Got a Minute? Let's talk about timing and your training...

No, I'm not writing an article about how he got so big, especially since he hasn't told anyone how he did it...
For the readers who have seen both, "The Dark Knight," and the, "The Dark Knight Rises," I've got a question for you:  which of these movies was longer?  As a die-hard fan of anything that Christopher Nolan directs, I eagerly anticipated, and thoroughly adored, both movies.  However, I was baffled by one, common criticism of the last one:  the movie felt too long.  That question was a little bit of a trick question.  The Dark Knight Rises is only about ten minutes longer.  Christopher Nolan simply manipulated the timeline of events in the Dark Knight much more than the Dark Knight Rises.  So, since the story line wasn't being told in order, it seemed shorter than it really was. 

Christopher Nolan is widely regarded as a pioneer in movie making for his ability for juggling multiple timelines on film, making him a master at manipulating the feeling of time in movies.  That's a skill so few who try to build their bodies (rather than movies) seem good at. 

If anything, the sense of timing in training is totally screwed up.  People seem to have no idea when to rush and when to wait.  Patience is horribly mis-applied.  This poorly-manipulated use of rushing and patience is something that I see frequently screwing up routines in the short term and goals over a longer period of time.  While I will throw an Atlas stone at any reader who dares call me an expert, I think I've got my sense of timing down when it comes to my training.  I think it's about time someone sort this all out. 

Time Between Sets
This should be pretty simple but people love sticking their faces in the mud, opening their eyes, and looking for an answer:  rest as much as you need to and no more than that.  Maybe it's because people try to oversimplify, trying to find a rest period that's good for all movements.  The news flash for these people is that there isn't one.  You'll need more rest between maximum effort lifts. You'll use less for conditioning routines. You'll want to be a bit more generous on new movements so you can learn them rather than build strength out of them.  The less technical a movement usually requires less rest. 

Whatever you're doing or what you're looking to achieve out of it, just get enough rest out of the time between sets so you can do your next set.  No more than that.  If you need more than five minutes between sets you're either doing something that is far beyond your physical capabilities or you're just plain, fucking wasting your time by being lazy or unfocused.  Feelings of passing out and vomiting, or trying to make a joint work right after you did too much, are as much of a waste of time as chatting with other gym lazy-asses (like yourself) while posting selfies that nobody cares about to Instagram.  You're in the gym to move.  So, do whatever you can to keep yourself moving.  When you look to move as much as possible, you'll need some rest.  Take it since it's needed to keep yourself going.  Then go. 

Time to Reach Your Goals
In a short period of time, you're likely to hear an interview I did where I stress the overwhelming significance of being patient when reaching strength and fitness goals.  While I generally walk around my gym pushing millenials to get their asses moving and, you know, maybe exercise once every five minutes, I can't stand it when people are in a huge rush to become 500 lbs deadlifters, first place strongmen-competitors, or get 18" arms.  I agree that the majority of fitness and strength rules are pretty bendable.  One that I firmly believe isn't is that anything worthwhile transformation with your body will take time.  By time, I mean months and years.  Everything from fat loss to muscle and strength gain has to be done with the same amount of time you'll do in jail if you commit a felony. 

When I tried to gain some muscle mass seven years ago, it took me 9 months to put on 27 lbs of muscle.  I did it again this year and it took me six months to put on 15 lbs.  When I wanted to start bent pressing back in 2009, I started out with a 35 lbs kettlebell.  After five years, I'm started bent pressing a 150 lbs sandbag.  I had to wait nearly one year after I got it in my head to do my first strongman competition. 

If you look at the majority of the people who are telling  you that you can get results fast are either trying to sell you something or sell you on the notion that they are so much more awesome than you are.  Both are equally full of shit.  In between exercises, life is going on.  That alone is going to divert attention away from your goals.  You need time to learn how to do things right.  You need rest that you may not always get.  Then, there's the fact that a body will come up with reasons to resist changes in its current state.  You'll have to force yourself through all that. 

So, the takeaway from this is all pretty simple.  Make haste with your workouts and patiently wait for the results. 

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