One second between Fear and Greatness

They say everything you want is on the other side of fear.  This picture was that precise moment for me this morning. With yesterday being Father’s Day, I chose to not go to the gym to train legs, and instead decided to go to the gym before work Monday morning, around 6 am.  It was leg day and we have just started a new training program that includes heavy leg presses.  These are something I have loved and have always been able to really load up the weight on.  However a few years back I had a slight pain, maybe more than slight pain, which I eventually learned was due to a very tight TFL and IT band and launched me into the world of self myo-fascial release techniques and self care.  I healed but that experience definitely left it’s mark with me mentally.   Around the same time as the injury, we had switched gyms, which opened up a great deal of exercise variety and options.  Pete and I have used the leg press for several programs after that and I have had no further issues.  However, getting back to heavy leg presses, does stick in the back of my mind.

Getting back to this morning….Pete wasn’t there and I was training alone.  I had the thoughts and questions of how to handle the leg press today – do I go all out and load up the weight I wanted, or do I back off and switch it up since Pete wasn’t there and I wouldn’t have peace of mind having him there.  It took some rational and honest evaluation of the situation.   I did this weight last week.  When the sled is loaded up, the safeties on the machine are in place for a reason, if something goes wrong. Plus, there really isn’t much Pete or I could do for the other as far as pushing the sled with that much weight on it.  So it came down to me.  I knew I had eaten well all week, slept well, warmed up and stretched properly. There was no reason not to go for it all.  I wanted to do more than last week.  I wanted to move forward and be better than before.

And with that it was time to work or move on.  Thus the picture.  In that moment, the sled is loaded up, but not yet in motion. It sits securely on the pins.  It only takes one decision and action to conquer the fears, the unknowns, and to crossover into the world of action, reality, and success.  Everything is in place and ready.  All I need to do is push the sled and move the sled to start the set. One action. With a confident and focused mind, I put my goals into action and powered through every set of leg presses.  I got more reps than I had last week in each set and every rep was full and deep.  Each set drove me on to the next set.  By the last set, I was focused on “daring to fail.”  I wanted to see how far I could go until either the weight no longer would move and I would fail on a rep, or until the form broke.  It is a very powerful feeling to conquer a challenge.

The rest of the workout had that same intensity and determination.  Overall it was a great workout, and my legs will pay the price for success for the next few days.

I share this story as an example.  We all have that moment between fear and action.  Do or do not.  There is something that we must answer for ourselves each day – whether to take the risk and move closer to accomplishing goals and dreams, or delay them for another day.  The challenge is not relegated to the gym.  It could be a phone call we need to make, a conversation that must be had, questions to be asked when we fear the answers but need to know.  It may be fitness, sport, or nutrition related.

The fear is only in our mind.  It is often the fear of the unknown that keeps us frozen and from taking action.  But here is the challenge I have for you, and one that I use over and over -just as I did this morning in the gym.  If it is our thoughts that create the fearful scenario, why can’t we change the thoughts and create a more positive outcome and scenario?  For me, it was switching my mindset from a fear of the unknown to telling and visualizing myself doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish in that workout.

So I challenge you.  Instead of creating fear in your mind, change your mindset and create, visualize, and act on creating success and action that brings those thoughts into the realm of reality.

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3 weeks Post Competition

69-frank-17-of-30This past week I increased my macros and continued training with the superset program.  I had one day that was a higher and somewhat looser re-feed.  It was still not an all out free for all with eating everything under the sun.  Instead it was just being a bit more free with my choices and mostly increasing serving sizes of foods I was already going to eat.   Then on my 3 lifting days I had increased my macros, while on the 3 remaining days, I kept those macros where they were from the previous week.

My goals is to increase size and strength in the gym, consume more calories, keep my metabolism burning the extra intake efficiently while keeping the increase in bodyfat down.  I have been using the scale and mirror once a week to judge my progress as well as taking notes of my clothes and how my strength and energy levels are in the gym and throughout the day.

As of this week, again my weight has remained unchanged from the previous weeks, even though I am increasing calories.  In the gym, the weights and or reps are increasing on every exercise and I feel good in there.  The weights themselves are lighter but the intensity is there with the supersets and we are making the most of every rep and set.

Again this week I kept my cardio session down to one 20 minute jump rope session.  The routine I have been doing is a bit more intense than just jumping straight for 20 minutes and involves a variety of jumps including double unders.

In this week’s evaluation, my conditioning is still there; the striations, definition and vascularity.  My strength levels have gone up, as evidenced in the workouts.  A few weeks before Worlds I had to add a notch to my belts to better keep my pants up as I was leaning out.  At the moment, I am still using those same notches.

All in all I am happy with the progress of this reverse.  I have been changing up meals, using a variety of foods to meet my nutrition goals each day.  My energy levels are good and consistent and the training is right on track.

This coming week is Thanksgiving and my birthday in the same day.  I will use that as my high refeed day so I can enjoy all of the foods I want.  I will keep my lifting macros the same and perhaps a bit higher, while keeping the 3 off days at the lower levels this week. Cardio will remain the same this week too, with just one cardio session.

After this week, it will be time to increase macros again depending on how this week goes and also I will end the superset program and write up the next workout program to start building muscle and making improvements.

 

Gratitude

Today is Thanksgiving in the US and when it comes to this I have so much to be thankful for.  First, I am so appreciative of each and every one of you that have somehow found this page and made the choice to like and follow it.  There are so many pages out there and I never take for granted that people find value in my posts, articles, and information I share on here.  Through this page I have been given the opportunity to connect and interact with people from around the world.  I cannot tell you how uplifting and inspiring your stories and pursuits are and how much I enjoy interacting with you.  There have been many pages and people who have contributed to the growth and success of this page by interacting, sharing posts, and even promoting this page.  I thank each of you. 

I have recently read that the only way to repay a gratitude bestowed upon us is to “pay it forward” by bestowing gratitude onto others.  On this Thanksgiving I want each of you to know I am extremely grateful for each of you on here and for your continued support as we move forward in pursuit of our goals.  I will continue to bring the best of myself in each post and aim to provide honest and real thoughts and information as I have been.  As always, if there are certain topics or information you would like to see, don’t hesitate to ask and I will do my best to cover each topic.

I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  I thank you all for your interactions, continued support and I am looking forward to our journey together.  Train hard.  Make it count. – Frank