I have been reading and rereading a lot lately a book by Derren Brown called Happy. It is a lot about what makes us happy and how to be happy. I must confess I am not much of a reader and since getting it around about this time last year I have still not finished it. But I do come back to it and reread it and Continue to use it as inspiration and guidance in my life. It talks a lot about philosophy and psychology. The reason why I bring it up and am righting about it just now is because some of it is directly applicable to training and coaching people. In the persuit to get yourself and others fitter, stronger and healthier there is much that can inspire and apply that you might not think would relate to strength and fitness.
The concept is by a man called Daniel Kahneman and it is the story of our two selves. He describes the two selves that resides within us the experiencing self and the remembering self. When we look back over the years it will be the remembering self that will judge whether we took happiness from these years. Some of those decisions we made over the years may not have made our experiencing selves happy but in the end would have made our remembering self happy or to put a better way would benefit our future self.
Lets put this into context now. Its Sunday night some of us may have had a few shandies Friday and maybe even Saturday night. Feeling a little fragile today? or maybe just a touch of the Sunday Fear. Our commitments to the gym possibly at 6am on Monday morning or even after work at 5.30pm will be painful maybe for the experiencing self, but it will be something that when we get done our future self or remembering self will benefit from. We have done some strength training, getting our muscles stronger, improving our fitness and helping us lose weight if we need to.
Lets take another example the person, who is currently inactive, you work 9-5 and exercise or even going to the gym is just not on the agenda, maybe your overweight, maybe you need to get stronger or fitter for an event or maybe you just had that wake up call one day showing you that you weren’t as fit as you thought you were or just not fit at all or just realised that your in a bad situation putting on weight, alcohol consumption is fairly high, eating is bad, and their is no exercise routine. When you are faced with that amount of uphill struggle the experiencing self will have a big pull after work or even before work, so trying to change habits like what you eat and how much or just getting up early enough for the gym or making sure you go to the gym after work and not go home and sit on the couch drink beer, eat chips and watch the tv is hard to be frank. But if we think about the benefits to our future selves or think about our remembering self. Changing our habits and working through the pain of new and different things like eating differently, exercising regularly, doing regular strength work, and cardiovascular work then the benefits to our future self is massive we just have to remember this when it comes to the time when we have to do something painful like, get up at 5am, or go to the gym after work, or cut down our drinking, or not overeat or doing burpees, or doing a 2k row.
Another example would be making sure to not neglect your conditioning. A lot of times we can get focused on strength work and forget about balance, we need structure and periodization to our strength training but if we are training for all round strength and fitness and to look good as well then we must not forget the breathing component to finishing our workout, not always but at least 1 out of 3 days and it could be argued that if done right you could do a small amount of cv work at the end of every workout most times. That’s not forgetting the other three sessions we have on our training program at #bobsgarage the gymjones session which is in its nature about higher reps, sweating and getting out of breath in a threshold style workout often including weights, or bodyweight or machines or a mixture and in different workout formats. Or our bodyweight cv and core workout which is a combination of press-ups and pullups then some interval training then some core work. Last but not least our FYF session or as it stands for the Fuck you Friday session a fun team based format session that is all about getting out of breath, sweating and raising that heart rate. You see we are either a cardio bunny or a strong weight lifter, what you sometimes see is the fast ones the ones that run all the time or do lots of cv work will tend to avoid heavy weight training because it is a struggle or because it is not in their tool box or because they just don’t enjoy it or you have the other person who is able to lift weights really well and to a high level but doesn’t do much cv because quite frankly it hurts, when you don’t have a high aerobic and anerobic capacity the feeling of the oxygen being sucked out of you is torture but this is why we must constantly keep in touch with our CV work so that it is not neglected.
So next time you are struggling with a new habit or challenge or getting to the gym be it after work or in the morning or just struggling to get your ass in gear to get in contact with me to get started think about your future self and the benefits you will give them and happiness from doing the stuff you really didn’t want to do but would benefit you later on in your life.