My Secret Laboratory *Part 2

If you haven’t yet read Part 1. Please do so here. Even if you have read it….read it again as a refresher.

Lets just be honest. The holidays are rough! I think most of us let our guards down in our fight for fitness and in the end maybe packed on some pancakes, drank too much, exercised little and likely had a pretty good time. December was pretty much a blur with all the social activity & family time that we breathed a huge sigh of relief when were able to get back to some sort of a routine.

I know for me I was pretty excited to get back to frosty New England after spending a week in coastal South Carolina.  I  think I had just hit the wall with nutrition and lack of exercise and was really realizing how important those things are to be a functional human being. A few years ago I remember watching a TV clip on Oprah of Lionel Ritchie discussing his daughter Nicole’s then heroin addiction. He said he really couldn’t help her until she hit rock bottom. I think that’s true for most things. You gotta want it! And as we returned from the South, both Karen and I made a pact to really ramp up our attention to our diets, our training, having fun outside the gym and most importantly training you.  So here we are with the second installment of the  Secret Laboratory rant… perfect timing with the new year and all.

What I lost in fitness and health during our week down south, I made up for on the intellectual front.  Contrary to what some of you might believe, running the gym keeps us really busy. We rarely have time to sit down and study, movements, methodologies etc. Having the week away was a luxury as far as time was concerned because I was able to read 2 books on training and all the knowledge articles (83 of them) on the Gym Jones website. I took notes on much of the information and wanted to share a few paragraphs that Mark Twight wrote that really pertain to what we are looking for out of each and everyone of you.

“Start thinking about your training: why you do it, where you began, where you are now, what the objective is, how you might do it in the future, how long you are willing to continue, what limitations you have unconsciously imposed on yourself, how much work you have actually done and if your assessment of your own effort and attention is accurate, etc. To us the most serious task and the most useful tool are one and the same: the ruthless self-assessment. Take inventory. Be realistic. Be critical. Be honest. Who are you? What do you want? How much will you do? Learn something new. Do something different. Test yourself. Confront your true capacities. Instill dedication by threatening yourself with a penalty for failure.

As a society we don’t test because we don’t want to know. We put the ball on a tee to be certain of a hit. Participation earns a trophy. Podiums have five steps. There is no penalty for losing. This, when virtually every coach and player and thinker agree that losing teaches the lessons; while winning results from having learned (and applied) those lessons. Without tests or boundaries how is one supposed to grow? When everyone is a winner who is left to learn the lessons? Conscious rejection of objective measuring sticks and periodic tests suggests the decline and fall of mankind. Today we’re a species of pretenders, and wanna-bes, and (in this country) obesity.

Without such a test it’s easy to pretend. Without consequence there’s no penalty for pretense. Without a penalty for being dishonest one develops the habit of “getting away with it” and wakes up each day counting on it. Some are never compelled to truly wake up.”
Text Copyright of Mark Twight/ Gym Jones LLC.

What do you think about that? Where do fit in? It was funny to me when I wrote the 1st secret lab piece how many people approached me to ask if I was talking about them specifically. Truth be told, there are some nights when I come home pissed off because member X, Y, & Z were giving and always give a half-assed effort rife with excuses. Conversation during workouts for them was commonplace. As I root around the house trying to scheme up workouts where half-assed approaches are unlikely (i.e team efforts), Karen always talks me off the cliff of frustration with the same sentence….”Jon, we need to figure out what their goals are? Maybe their not at CFCA for the same reason as you”  BING!…. and that’s what spurred me to write that first piece. In retrospect I’m pretty stoked that a lot of the content on the Gym Jones site has a lot of similarities to the topics I covered in My Secret Laboratory. Where are you now?  where do you want to be?  what can you sacrifice?  how much will you suffer? etc, etc.

photo copy
Goals sheet 2013 – Fill ‘m out!

So here we are.  January 2013.  We’re more motivated than we’ve ever been.  And in an effort to serve you guys better we have come up with a goals sheet to force you to do a little introspection/ self diagnosis and to give us an idea of how best to help you get to where you want to be.  So fill them out honestly.  Check them over.  On the strengths to weakness scale notice where you put # 1, 2, & 3. Devise a plan to work on them based on you specifically with this in mind… where do you want to be?, what can you sacrifice?, how much will you suffer? etc.

When we think about goals for you guys in the most generalized fashion they would be something like this…

1. Exercise Daily… especially if your super sore and especially if you have trouble maintaining high intensity.

2. Create the ability to turn a positive OR negative performance in the gym into a Motivating Factor.

3. Challenge Yourself.  Give your best effort when you show up to CFCA. Choose the hardest possible variation that is within your current capacity that day or just above it.

4. Systematically assess your weaknesses and work on them, including nutrition!

5. Be active outside of the gym… use your fitness to branch out, play new sports or with your kids, enhance freedom & growth.

6. Have Fun with the process.

My phones lock screen. A daily reminder to grow my beard out!

 Other tips that are good to think about.

1. Come to CFCA in the AM if possible 
I find that exercise in the morning sets a positive tone for the day with mental health and nutrition.  Secondly I have a theory that exercise fosters exercise. If I train in the morning, I am more apt to do something active again in the it a trail run, swim, even a recovery dog walk. (There is plenty of room at the 6:45Am class…Slackers!)

2. Reminders
Put pictures that inspire you in places where you see them multiple times a day. Check out my lock screen. When I saw that picture I was like…”I want to be that guy!”  So that’s what I’m trying to do.  

3. Training partner
Do you come to a regular class time? Are the same folks always there too? Become someones training partner and keep each other accountable by coordinating class times to attend and texting each other when you miss sessions.  Accountability and Camaraderie can take you farther than you will go on your own. 

4. Mini Paleo Challenge
Likewise if your a gambling (wo) man. Hash out a little paleo challenge of your own with a few friends.  Obviously stakes aren’t as high but the results can be. Take pictures of each other and threaten to post them on the old FB if they don’t stay the course. Have consequences!

5. Set Goals
I know we say it all the time but if you have no goal, you have no purpose.

So I guess that brings Part 2 to a close. Hope you enjoyed reading and maybe it has motivated you to get on the horse and make things happen for 2013. Cheers looking forward to much fun and progression.

oh and you have any excuses you can watch this…

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