Every time we step foot in the gym we maintain an inner dialogue. We ask ourselves what the routine should look like, what exercises we should do and in what order. But more specifically, and arguably more importantly, we're forced to determine when to stop? When do we stop adding weight and when do we stop the reps. At first glance, I'd look at it and say it's pretty simple because you only stop when you can't do anymore. You do as much weight as you can for as many reps as you can, and then you stop. However, we really plan this **** out. We go into a training session with a plan on doing so many exercises and sets per exercises, blah ****ing blah. We all imagine going into the gym and breaking through barriers. We wanna make progress; that's all we're in it for. That's what keeps us going.
What if the next time you walked into the gym you just said ?**** it?, and got rid of all the structure? No more counting reps, no more minimum or maximum numbers of sets. Maybe it's back day and all you want to do is deadlift. Is it wrong to do 10 sets of deads and walk out the door? Maybe it's just opposite and you feel like having a ****ing field day and doing 7 different exercises. Maybe a superset here or a drop set there. Just do whatever the **** you want. No rules. You go when you wanna go and you stop when you wanna stop. That is assuming you trust yourself to have the balls and the drive to never let it be anything less than sufficient.
You know what I think? I think you're ****ing scared. I think you need someone to tell you what you should do, what you should think and how you should feel. I think you take comfort in someone telling you to do x, y and z. The bottom line is you don't have the balls to trust yourself. If you want to stand half a chance in this game you better grow a set and learn to have the strength to stand by your convictions. How many times have you done something because someone else does it? Why? Why are you so quick to assume that someone else knows better than you? Damn, have some faith in yourself.
Have you ever felt like you cheated yourself because you were too rigid? You can't tell me that you've never stopped at four sets on one exercise even though deep down you felt like you were just getting into it. Instead of doing more, you moved on. In the same regard, I've seen guys stop at a certain number of reps. Why the **** would you do that? You could get 14 but you stopped at 12 because you read that the optimal rep range for muscle building is 8-12. C'mon man, get serious.
Instead of going into a training session with all of your exercises, sets and reps predetermined, why don't you do something different? How can you expect to break new ground and smash through barriers when you yourself are continuously putting up new barriers? Stop restricting yourself to certain types and volumes of exercises. Do as many sets of an exercise as you feel are appropriate. Also, if you are physically able to do another rep, you better ****ing do it.
In the 1973 movie ?Magnum Force,? Clint Eastwood stars as Dirty Harry Callahan, a hard-ass San Francisco police inspector. Harry encounters a lot of pressure from his superiors in response to his stop at nothing tactics, which are viewed as less than conventional, but never fail to get the job done. Harry and his superior, Lieutenant Briggs share the following dialogue:
Harry Callahan: Well, I just work for the city, Briggs.
Lieutenant Briggs: So do I, longer than you, and I never had to take my gun out of its holster once. I'm proud of that.
Harry Callahan: Well, you're a good man, Lieutenant. A good man always knows his limitations...
If you watch the scene, you will see that Harry's comment was a dig. What he was really saying was that the lieutenant never had the balls to do what was necessary to get the job done. It was evident by Harry's ruthless style and win at all costs mentality that he disregarded any thought of limitations.
My question to you is this: How can you ever expect to achieve **** when you've been saying from the start what you're not going to do? Know your limitations? To even consider it is to have two strikes against you. You can't expect to go further than everyone else when you set limits for yourself.
Centopani tells it how it is.. great piece!
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