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Off-Topic Nostalgia and Training

Adam R Mundorf

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello StrongFirst,

My fitness journey has been somewhat unique because my first introduction to strength training was Pavel and DD back in 2011. It seems to me that the more I learned about training, the more distracted I became and the more diluted my results. Jumping from this to that, never following a program for too long. Buying a books and books but nothing really feels the same as it did before. Having a certain feeling of confidence in what I'm following and the feeling of being on the right path.

Do any of you also suffer from looking back with fondness but don't have the excitement or belief to make it happen again?

Thank you, Adam
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
Do any of you also suffer from looking back with fondness but don't have the excitement or belief to make it happen again?

Thank you, Adam
I don't know about you, but personally there are some lifts and workouts that will probably never happen again for me. Age and "issues" have probably put the kibosh on some them and that's fine. For example, I don't think I'll ever do SSST or squat 500lb+ again, but there are other KB snatch and barbell squatting goals that I'd like to get and those will be fulfilling enough.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Hello StrongFirst,

My fitness journey has been somewhat unique because my first introduction to strength training was Pavel and DD back in 2011. It seems to me that the more I learned about training, the more distracted I became and the more diluted my results. Jumping from this to that, never following a program for too long. Buying a books and books but nothing really feels the same as it did before. Having a certain feeling of confidence in what I'm following and the feeling of being on the right path.

Do any of you also suffer from looking back with fondness but don't have the excitement or belief to make it happen again?

Thank you, Adam
Honestly, no - I enjoy improving, and as the years go by, I'm getting better and that doesn't get old for me.

there are other KB snatch and barbell squatting goals that I'd like to get and those will be fulfilling enough.
Yup.

-S-
 

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
By now I have a pretty long training and athletic history.

It's been, and continues to be, a journey, a hobby/lifestyle, therapy, and scientific experiment (my experience is anecdotal to everyone else, but it's data to me).

I've done a lot of stupid stuff, taken a lot of detours, and done a lot that was fun, satisfying, and productive.

There are things I look back on fondly and things I look back on with regret, just like life in general.

What was the question again?
 

Anders

Level 6 Valued Member
I am 36 years old. I have trained since I was 15. Had I trained disciplined and followed a program until impressive goals had been achieved I would have been very strong and very muscular. I am not. I did some training according to programs, but I also did some program hopping.

My thoughts on this are:

1) If you are too invested in making a thing come true, you will mess up the process. The muscle is not going to get stronger just because you desperately want it to. The muscle will respond to the training, the nutrition and the rest.

2) So if you are lacking in trust in your own program or in the program of someone else you will always change things up, because you want to speed things up. You have to be patient.

3) I used to think: Those guys with big muscles and a good bench press, they have talent. I don't have talent. Maybe it is true. Maybe not. I think focusing on talent is a waste of time.

4) Even if I had been very disciplined and achieved SSST, a 48 kilo press etc etc, would life have been that much different ?

I am not a very disciplined man, but because I have gotten older I have become at a tiny bit more disciplined. I stick with the same program with the same exercise for a longer period of time. I like this new way of doing things. It feels more adult. That is also what Pavel Macek is writing: Repeat until strong. He does not say: Repeat until you are bored.

Right now my goal is to be able to lift 36-40 kilo in Kettlebell front squat. I am not sure this is the best goal there is. I am not sure I sleep enough. I am not sure my program is the best. And I am not sure if kettlebell Front Squat has any carryover effect for me. Anyway. I give it a chance. Maybe it is a bit like marrying someone...
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Do any of you also suffer from looking back with fondness but don't have the excitement or belief to make it happen again?
I look back with fondness to a time when I didn't have to worry about training around injuries and conditions. At this point in my life I have never had more confidence that what I'm doing will get results and my understanding of why. I don't even think of it as 'belief', I trust the process because I've seen it work time and again in myself.

Discipline creates conditions for success, success breeds confidence, confidence dispels doubt. Stick with a complete program and commit to it for at least 16 weeks. Don't guess, don't hop. Square up the diet and train like you expect results.

I have a slight sort of a nostalgia you describe from when I first got into martial arts, everything was possible, stacks of books on this tradition or that. Then I had a number of real life violent encounters, changed everything - as my first instructor said "a wakeup call". I became much better at practical application of the martial arts I'd learned, and changed how I looked at new information and concepts. My advice, try not to be sentimental for stuff like this. It stems from a lack of understanding. First step is to realize there is nothing mysterious happening here. I miss the excitement of new concepts and instruction, but I wouldn't trade it for experience.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Have you ever gotten distracted in training or have you just been a straight shooter throughout?
Adam, perhaps my background makes a difference here. As a musician, practicing and improving are the work of my life; I approach my lifting the same way.

TL;DR

I gave up on my first college major, classical guitar performance, because I sensed that I didn't have the kind of fine motor coordination I needed to play world-class repertoire at a world-class level. But I discovered that playing easier repertoire allowed me to continue to improve in all aspects of classical guitar playing. I also discovered that I enjoyed learning to play new instruments, and spent my 20's and my 30's learning to play the piano well enough to be a serviceable musician on that instrument. And my 50's and 60's have been filled with learning the trumpet, the French Horn, the double bass, the cello and the organ, and I've become that serviceable musician on the double bass, the piano, and the organ. I think the take-away point is that I love learning and I love being a student.

For me, lifting fits right in with all the above. I continue to find ways to improve, and I continue to enjoy the journey. I'm actually a lot happier, knowing what I know now and with the 20 years of lifting experience I have, than I was when I started and it was all new to me.

I know a lot of people describe the reason they exercise with phrases like "stay in shape" or "lose weight" or to help another sport they love, but those aren't my reasons. I don't need to lose weight, and I don't have another sport. I was "in shape" when I hit a 2x bodyweight deadlift in 2003 and, as Pavel reminded us at the first US barbell certification, the standard of a 2x bodyweight deadlift doesn't mean you're strong, it just means you're not weak. So for me, the journey continues. Add to this the fact that the instrument I play as a classical guitarist doesn't change, but the "instrument" of my body presents new challenges as I approach my 67th birthday. I don't see myself ever tiring of being on this path any more than I'll get tired of playing music.

/TL;DR

-S-
 

BrianCF

Level 6 Valued Member
I agree with Boris and Steve W. here. I've accepted the fact that I'm never going to pass the ROP. I've been using bells since 2009.

I don't often set goals anymore with kettlebells. My goals are finishing programs and I finish programs 95% of the time. Completion and switching to new programs keeps me fresh and invigorated.
 

LukeV

Level 6 Valued Member
My advice, try not to be sentimental for stuff like this. It stems from a lack of understanding. First step is to realize there is nothing mysterious happening here.
This forum (and others like it) is designed for over-thinkers (like me). Strength and hypertrophy are simple concepts. While we don’t know everything about them, we know more than enough. In fact, if you just want to get stronger and build muscle, everything you need to know fits in under one A4 page. The reason why entire books are written on the subject and countless hours spent in discussion and experimentation is primarily because it’s an area of passion in humans. For people like us it’s not enough to just get stronger and build muscle, we want to do it quicker, differently and, most importantly, better than the other guy. But here’s the thing, if you stand outside your gym and look at the people entering, you can’t actually conclude their training approach from their physique or, likewise, from staring at their PBs on a whiteboard. Just from looking at them or reading their stats, you can’t say “that dude is doing low reps with long rest periods” or “that chick trains five days per week with dumbbells“. I’m not saying everyone can achieve everything in every way but for most of us it’s actually pretty close to the truth. Yet we forget that, because we’re over-thinkers, and that’s the reason why we become fixated on method and process and disappointed by what we come to see as ”lost time”.
 

Mike Torres

Level 6 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
The best way for me to avoid distraction is to actually build it into my annual plan. I always have 2-3 months/year when I'm not on a program and I can experiment with other things (clubs, mace, Bulgarian Bag, more bodyweight, more barbell, etc.) When I commit to a program, it's typically for 8-16 weeks at a time. Then I take a short detour, play around a little, and then commit to my next program. I think it's important for me to have some spontaneity in my training over the course of a long enough time horizon... but at the end of the day, "continuity of the training process" drives the bulk of my training.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
Thank you all for the responses. I guess my issues are that I forgot what I believe in? There are many roads to Rome but I guess it's important to stick on one road or else you'll be going in circles never moving any closer.

When You Don't Know What You Believe... | StrongFirst

Is it a matter of belief??

I think the roads to Rome is a good analogy. Some people stick to one main road all the way. Some people enjoy a change of scenery every now and then. Some roads have different speed limits, and on the highway you have to go accordingly.

The key to changing roads is to continue each new path up to the next intersection, so that you're getting closer, just a different route. Going on different roads just to turn back after a couple of weeks is the problem.
 
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