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Off-Topic Nostalgia and Training

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North Coast Miller

Level 8 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

Have a goal. It doesn't have to be a destination, and part of it can involve tinkering around the edges if that's what you want to learn. But sit down and "what direction do I want to go?"

Don't believe in anything, become agnostic. Believe in cause and effect. Follow a program. If you have to ask how to construct a program, then you aren't ready. It can be Pavel, Dan John, Wendler, Maxwell, etc - take a hard look at the program and how it works, and then follow it.

Things only become mysterious when you get down into the nitty gritty of very specific mode-driven approaches and sport specific strategies, but if you start from a macro view and slowly zoom in a great deal of it will make a lot more sense.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
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Sinister
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 find it's an interesting balance between 1) the excitement of newness and 2) the discipline of routine.

I tend to gravitate towards 2). Routine serves me well. As long as I'm headed in the right direction, just staying on the path and keeping after it, one step or one day at a time takes me where I want to go. Usually this is enough to keep me satisfied and sustain my progress, but occasionally I recognize that things are getting stale and it's time to look for something new.

When I was 37 years old, in 2005, I finally discovered how to follow 1). I bought a kayak and started paddling. I got excited about it. I wanted to learn more, take lessons, read books/magazines/online articles, do it more often, progress what I was doing. I paid attention to that feeling for one of the first times in my life -- certainly the first time for anything resembling exercise -- and let it carry me deep into the new activity. I got pretty good at paddling and really enjoyed it! In 2008, the same thing happened for cycling (biking), and I followed that feeling again. In 2010, yoga. In 2014, kettlebells. In 2017, barbell strength. In 2019, barbell weightlifting. I'm still on that path and still have that feeling. The cool thing is that I still have most of these, but they don't consume much of my mental attention. I still do a group bike ride every weekend, but I don't spend hours thinking about it during the week like I did in the beginning -- planning equipment upgrades, purchasing accessories, reading articles. I just go ride and enjoy the company and the activity and get the benefits. Same for kayaking, once or twice a month.

I wish I could describe how to attain that healthy balance between 1) and 2), but I don't know how my brain does it. It just seems to work that way, and once I finally discovered (relatively late in life) how to follow 1), I felt like I had what I needed. Maybe people with exercise ADHD only have 1) and haven't found the satisfaction and fulfillment from 2).

I have this life motto of "Ride the Wave" which encompasses many things, but in this context, 1) is catching the wave, and 2) committing to it, getting the most out of it, riding it in as far as it will take you, and enjoying the ride. While you're riding one wave, don't be trying to catch another one. Stay with the one you chose. And when you have gone as far as you can go, you get back out in the water and find another wave to ride.

Follow a program.
Yes.... Or hire an experienced coach who has a defined programming approach and can articulate how they can help you progress in your training.
 
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marvinthemartian

Level 5 Valued Member
Two things I learned in the last year and a half since I started exercising using S&S:
1.) I don't enjoy the exercises and training in itself all that much.
2.) Even though S&S does what the books says my life is so sedentary that I don't really notice many of the benefits in my daily life.

Looking back to my teens/start of my 20s the physical activities I really enjoyed were Shotokan, being a youth volunteer fire fighter, cross country skiing and preparing for mandatory military service and going through it.

Comparing what I liked about those physical activities to S&S now I would say the biggest differences to "back in the day" were:
1.) Being around like minded.
2.) Carry over to other things in my life.

That being said: I don't train for nostalgia reasons (even though I compare myself now to "back in the day")and sticking to my plan is much more about scheduling and making time to get the training done, to eat right and to go to bed in time. :D
 
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Period

Level 7 Valued Member
When I was 37 years old, in 2005, I finally discovered how to follow 1). I bought a kayak and started paddling. I got excited about it. I wanted to learn more, take lessons, read books/magazines/online articles, do it more often, progress what I was doing. I paid attention to that feeling for one of the first times in my life -- certainly the first time for anything resembling exercise -- and let it carry me deep into the new activity. I got pretty good at paddling and really enjoyed it! In 2008, the same thing happened for cycling (biking), and I followed that feeling again. In 2010, yoga. In 2014, kettlebells. In 2017, barbell strength. In 2019, barbell weightlifting. I'm still on that path and still have that feeling. The cool thing is that I still have most of these, but they don't consume much of my mental attention. I still do a group bike ride every weekend, but I don't spend hours thinking about it during the week like I did in the beginning -- planning equipment upgrades, purchasing accessories, reading articles. I just go ride and enjoy the company and the activity and get the benefits. Same for kayaking, once or twice a month.
"Excitement" and "routine" are good points. When it comes to exercising, I'd say people do it out of three basic reasons (or a combination thereof):
1. they're excited about exercising itself (the acitivty they do, or the rush / satisfaction they get from it)
2. they do it to achieve something else they want/are excited about
3. out of routine

Each has its pros and cons. "Excitement" can be fleeting and change quickly (even into frustration), while "wanting" may not be a strong enough incitement, degrade into "whishing" or be confused with it in the first place (to quote Dan Netherland: "Do or don't do, but don't wish. Wishing is the cancer of the will."). And routine can be aimless or unproductive and lead to stagnation. I think that in general, the key to success (in the sense of improvement) in any physical activity is "Discipline your dedication" (I can't honestly remember where I first heard that one).

With regard to the initial question, we can say that 3. is currently ruled out. That leaves 1. and 2. The thread starter has stated he thinks "he forgot what he believes in"; I'd say he needs to mainly figure out what he wants from an exercise program, and that is something that can - usually will - change over time. Once you know what you want and are willing to do for it, figuring out how you can get there isn't that difficult usually, unless the goal is extremely advanced or dependant on factors that you cannot control (although it isn't neccessarily easy or - in some cases - humanly possible to get there).
 

Torin

Level 4 Valued Member
3. out of routine
I agree that it's important to discover which factors are influencing your motivation.

I'm predominantly a number 3 myself. Like Adam [or perhaps unlike Adam?], I find that too much information or expectation ruins the contentment, internal accord, and joy of following an exercise program ("omne ignotum pro magnifico" and all that).
 

Gypsyplumber

Level 6 Valued Member
I look back to the days where I used to be able to wakeboard 3x a week and completely abuse my body without worrying about getting up for work to provide for my family. But I don’t miss it necessarily…now a days I’m enjoying the process of trying to un-do the damage I did in my teens and early 20s lol. There’s times I wish I had been more disciplined in training but there’s no use in worrying about the past. The way I view training now, it’s a necessary thing that I have to do in order to try and be here for my family as long as possible…and I just happen to enjoy it.
 

Period

Level 7 Valued Member
I agree that it's important to discover which factors are influencing your motivation.

I'm predominantly a number 3 myself. Like Adam [or perhaps unlike Adam?], I find that too much information or expectation ruins the contentment, internal accord, and joy of following an exercise program ("omne ignotum pro magnifico" and all that).
Personally, I have shifted back and forth between the three. When I was competing (= for the most part of my training career), I was mostly left with number 2 as far as lifting etc. were concerned, though thankfully there was usually some number 1 involved. Now that that is not a factor anymore, I mostly focus on number 1 and number 3 (although I've found that I have a hard time sticking to a routine if it doesn't give me satisfaction, I'm pretty sure that is true for the vast majority of people).
I'd say there is a real possibility of over-information or rather "paralysis by analysis", since people are often enough seduced to focus on what they wish for rather than what they need to do currently to get to the next level. It seems to occur mostly for people training alone and writing their own programs, though, since a coach's job is partially to remedy that imho. But then again, it can also happen to people who have coaches and would rather ask the internet for advice about their programming, I've seen that often enough, especially in combat sports ;)
 
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