POWER WORKOUT! Get Rid of The EGO!
EGO Will Kill You Every Time
This is part two of my how to “power workout from beginning to advanced” series. People new to working out, no matter how old, are more than just a aware of spectators. They suddenly become star athletes and performers simply because they sense someone else is watching them – it’s almost like there’s a requirement that we must do better, more, faster, heavier, longer, you name it, because someone (usually someone we don’t even know who doesn’t give a rats ass about us and who won’t ever be seeing us again) is watching. So we run 2 miles per hour faster, stand up straighter, breath through our noses instead of our mouth while we’re gasping for air, blacking out, and listening in terror to our heart knock so hard that we’re certain we’re doing irreparable harm to our ticker. Ok? So EGO OUT! Get rid of it. Bow your head in humility, ignore the other people, they don’t count, you do. Only you. Only the animal which is your body.
With that you’re also not concerned how much weight “that guy over there” is lifting or whether your biceps are as big as “the dude on the other side of the gym” or whether the person on the other side of the road is running faster than you.
When I was in the army I ran 20 miles a day wearing arm weights. I ran at a pace I could keep up for 2 hours (that’s right, around a track it took me 2 hours to run 20 miles in combat boots, that’s 80 laps with arm weights and combat boots). I could also jump rope for two hours with arm weights on days I didn’t feel like running. That said, my training was always a solitary spiritual experience. For two hours I would see dozens of men come to the track, run (faster than me), pack up and go home. But I kept going. So if you see someone on the other side of the road running faster – don’t try to keep up because you can’t measure what you’re doing based upon what he’s doing. He may be running a quick quarter mile. You don’t know. Do what you’re doing and ignore everyone else.
Marathons Are Measured in Miles
What? Is he crazy? Run but don’t think about how fast or how far?
Time and Heart Rate
KILLING THE EGO often means being real to the point of only caring about results coming naturally over time as they will, without regard to what others think of how you’re looking while you progress.
The “Hand Stand Pushups” I added into this video beneath are a great example of lack of ego. They are pathetic looking, barely moving down and up an inch or two and definitely not full handstand pushups. But the lessons are that it’s not how you look but that you begin somewhere, that you continue trying, and that your body will make progress naturally over time to the point where you could be doing handstand pushups between chairs where you’re dipping down so low that your shoulders are striking the chairs before you push yourself entirely back up to a hand-stand position.
If you concentrate on how far or how fast you’re running you’ll injure yourself. The way I’m teaching you to run involves measuring your heart rate and concentrating on your breathing. The engine that is your body relies upon oxygen for aerobic exercise (we’ll get into anaerobic respiration later, which are what your body uses for sprinting and other rapid energy use power activities). The main improvements to overall fitness are seen with aerobics, so we’re going to always focus on them as the base. Explosive exercises like one handed jumping chest slapping pushups will come in time – but only after you’re able to work up to about 50 one handed pushups per arm, and they start with lots of repetitions in the realm of aerobics so you can build capillaries (small blood vessels) and then mass. So besides the running with the heart-rate and time of the run in mind as the goal, your beginning workouts (if you’re really new to this) will be in steps: Step 1 – Build some muscle (strength), Step 2 – Build capillaries (endurance), Step 3 – Build power (explosive force). These three phases are the initial conditioning phases for those who aren’t in the least bit fit. With Step 1 you’ll see some improvement right away with muscle mass and tone. With Step 2 you’ll lower the resistance and push to more of a max number of repetitions without resting, and then with Step 3 you’ll be able to work into the handstand pushups between chairs, the one handed handstand pushups against a wall, the one handed pullups and the jumping one armed chest slapping pushups.
Runs can take a similar approach, but if you don’t have six story buildings to run upstairs or escalators to practice long uphill sprints running up, or large steep hills you can use you’ll likely have to rely on standard sprints which aren’t nearly as intense because you run out of resistance increasing options. Herschel Walker’s Basic Training book actually has some good ideas there, but they entail filling a tire with bricks and sprinting with the tire tied to your waist with a rope attached. A great idea as long as it doesn’t get caught on something and jerk you to a halt (that happened to me once when I was pushing an oak door down a road shoveling it free of snow after a storm, it got jammed in a crack in asphalt and nearly knocked the wind out of me). I know I said to get rid of the EGO and you may be thinking some of this is my own EGO coming out but it’s just explaining what can and will happen to your level of fitness if you move from point A to point infinity without measuring any points along the way.
Your Heart Rate Remains Constant
Over time you’ll move from running at a heart rate of 120 beats per minute to 130 beats per minute to 140 beats per minute as your heart grows stronger over time (and depending upon your current age). This level will always remain the same with your workouts, but your muscles will begin to grow stronger and stronger, gain endurance as you push the amount of minutes you run from day to day, and eventually the cells in your body which are performing the most work (whatever kind of workout is right for you will determine that) will increase the number of mitochondria in them from one to two or even three.
Next Article: The Power of the Cell