3 weeks into my new Gym I am feeling confident about my progress so I enter with my usual fervour and energy waving and singing hellos to everyone I know. Mentally I am preparing myself for the gruelling Full Body workout today. I look at the WOD (Workout Of the Day) sheet and scream in happiness – what??? No Pullups, No Pushups. No hanging from anywhere. This is gonna be a cake walk
Bent over Rows
Sumo High Pullups
But wait, no number of Reps mentioned anywhere???
The twist – Max Reps of each in 30 seconds with min break and As many Rounds as Possible (AMRAP)!!! Also keep a track of your time.
It looks harmless so I start with my stop watch in place. I am exhausted but happy by the end of the 1st round. Total Time 18 min.. I am mighty pleased. Enter 2nd Round I push myself, increase 2-3 reps of some variations but 18 Min again. I am pretty exhausted cos all I can hear the Floor trainer screaming Faster Faster and my heart rate is touching the roof.
I think of giving up after the 2nd Round when the head trainer walks towards me to check on my progress. I screech with happiness & pride- 2 Rounds done. He looks at me, smiles and says go for the 3rd round. I am reluctant when he says just what I don’t want to hear – Oh C’mon People completed 4 Rounds of this in the earlier batch. Ouch!!I know I have to do this so I tell my friend – let’s go for it.. BAM 15 Min!!
I am very happy with my performance so now I walk with my diary to the head trainer and wait to hear his analysis. I am confident I have done great so I sanguinely ask him – Good na? He looks at me lukewarmly and says did you take too much rest in-between. I am like Nooo Hardly.
& he says – Then 30 sec , 10 variations – 300 sec is 6 min. You have taken 18 & 15 mins!!
Damn I never thought about that. Here I am thinking Excellent performance whereas it is pretty average. I feel disappointed. The trainer is quick to cheer me up & encourage me by saying you did good but do you see that you need to increase your speed & Intensity. You did not realise it when I was giving you a certain no. of Reps but since it was Time bound today you had to push yourself extra to complete it. This means Max intensity , Max speed , Min Rest. Only then are you pushing yourself beyond your limits. If you had taken 10 sec break in between each set you would have completed with 7 – 8 min. Right?? & Right he was so I knew I had to push myself harder next time.
What I want to say is that when we go to the Gym one has to completely focus all your energy / thoughts for that 1 hour into what you are doing. I see a lot of people going to the gym, doing at their own leisure, chit chatting after each set and then expecting to see results. The point is that the more rest you take, the more your body gets comfortable with it so it doesn’t get pushed enough. Make it hard, make it intense and work towards failure in each set. (yes this is the only time in life where you have to work towards failure. Ironically this will give you success)
What I also learnt is that keep a progress sheet , a diary of sorts and note down your performance for the day. Whatever way you are training – No. of reps, How much weight, how much time etc etc. This way you can track your progress. You are your own competition and that is who you need to compete with next time. The person next to you doesn’t matter cos everyone is built differently. What we need to focus on is – Are we getting better or are we still there??
So guys Go Hard or Go Home!!