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Do you hate weight training? This blog is for you; Vacation announcement.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

October
19
2011

In the 26+ weeks since my last cut ended I’ve gained a decent amount of strength. My weight training workouts have been a combination of high volume very intense workouts and low volume very heavy workouts. Sometimes I combine those two general styles into one workout, and other times I divide them up and will focus on one thing or the other for the entire workout.

Something else I’ve been doing since my cut ended is making my workouts less structured than usual. By that I mean I’m not locking myself into a workout because “that’s what was planned”. When I walk into the gym I almost always have a general idea of what I’m going to do (at a minimum), and sometimes I even have the entire workout planned out, but I won’t hesitate to change my plans in the middle of the workout if I feel like it.

Even though I love lifting, over the years there have been many times that I had to force myself to train. I think working out when you don’t feel like it is an extremely positive thing to do. In life there are many times we don’t feel like doing something that needs to be done, and training when you don’t particularly want to helps condition you to accomplish tasks whether or not you want to do them.

Kettlebells

Kettlebells

That said, if you dread working out and don’t enjoy lifting the majority of the time, you will give it up eventually–guaranteed. So that’s why I think it’s really important to find a training style (or styles!) that you truly enjoy.

So many people feel locked into this notion that they won’t get results if they don’t follow a strict weight training plan, and that’s nonsense. While strict plans have their place, for the vast majority of people they are not only not necessary, they are counterproductive. Why? Again, you’ll eventually stop training completely if you hate what you’re doing.

Have fun with your training, and don’t be afraid to seek out new and non-traditional ways to work your muscles. Go flip tractor tires, try Crossfit, work with Kettlebells, experiment with body weight workouts–the sky is the limit. For me it was simply a matter of giving myself the freedom to change things around in the gym on a whim. Once I started doing that I found myself looking forward to my weight training workouts 95% of the time.

Another thing that changed the way I think about my weight training workouts is knowing that I’m lifting for a “greater” purpose: to improve my abilities on the bike. In other words, when you play sports that you enjoy, training to improve your abilities in those sports becomes much more enjoyable. Most people find that lifting just because “you’re supposed to” can get pretty boring.

OK, I was supposed to be on vacation this week, but I postponed it because the weather was looking pretty bad. That was the right call, as the weather has not been too nice this week. Today a cold front is blowing in, and things are looking mighty fine for the weekend. Early predictions for next week look good, too. So I am taking next week off from work and this blog. This Friday will be my final blog until I return from my vacation on Monday, October 31, 2011.

John Stone Fitness Comments

6 Responses to “Do you hate weight training? This blog is for you; Vacation announcement.”
  1. Correct me if I’m wrong John, but, I believe (especially when starting out) that following a rigid plan is much more efficient, at least in terms of results. I don’t see how anyone can get good muscle gains if they are constantly flipping programs and training styles. Seems like this would be counter-productive to achieving progressive overload on a week-to-week basis and keeping track of the big lifts. I feel that lots of variety with training styles is great for someone not trying to gain any more muscle, but just trying to maintain and “keep the fire alive”, so to speak.

    That being said, I agree with you that we have to find something we enjoy doing and something that is accessible to us. I have a friend who is very much into bodyweight workouts and he is built like an absolute beast using predominantly calisthenic-based workouts. Limitations are primarily in the mind.

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    • In the blog I said, “…strict plans have their place…”, but you’re right–I absolutely should have elaborated on that point. I agree with you that for trainees focused on a specific short-term goal like body re-comp (or individuals such as powerlifers and bodybuilders), following a strict plan makes a lot of sense.

      I thought the blog sort of implied on its own that I was speaking to those who have trouble staying motivated to train with weights on a regular basis (long-term), but I should have been more clear on that, too.

      One area I think we may disagree on is that I firmly believe people can in fact add muscle without adhering to one particular training style.

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  2. I 100% agree.

    Furthermore, people new (and old) to weight lifting tend to gloss over diet in favor of some impressive, strict workout plan; as you’ve said time and time again, the opposite is true. Diet is King.

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