Monday, February 25, 2013

Cardio and Abs Are Muscles of Will

    I went for a run the other night... It had been after a long shift at the fire house, I also had ate bad early that day for lunch. I was feeling down as far as going for a 3 mile run, I definitely felt more like sitting home and jamming out on the guitar, or calling my buddy back in NYC to catch up. But I knew it was time to run, so I left the house, within 1 minute I said to myself... "F--k.... I'm not gonna be able to do a 3 mile run tonight." I was planning on alternating sprints into it as well. My legs were tired, I was breathing like I had already ran the 3 miles, and my mind was not in the right place.... But then... like many times in the gym and training, when I realized my body alone could not do it, I brought my mind in to help.

     I started thinking about the runs I have been on, from running the beaches of Mozambique in Africa to running to pass the Police Academy in 2003. I thought about being in my high school days how I never cared if I missed the bus because I knew damn well I could catch up easily to the city vehicle by running. I thought about playing sports, particularly soccer, I thought about cardio, and the idea that training the heart will make it live longer. I thought about the life I would lead without cardio, if I had become overweight what would happen to every achievement in the gym, I thought about the health risks of being out of shape, I thought about a life without the gym... And before I knew it, I was 1.5 miles in on the trail!!! But better yet, I was no longer tired. I eliminated the bad feelings by mentally overcoming it. I ended up doing an extra mile for the hell of it at the end.

     When you squat, or bench press, and fail on the last rep. You have failed. Maybe you can do better next set, but once you need someone to lift that weight off your chest, or someone to help you stand up with the weight under the squat rack, your set is done. But cardio and abs are different. One of the programs I have advised people for advanced ab training, is while doing an exercise like roman chair sit ups, or weighted crunches, or even machine crunches, "When you are sure you have completely failed, and can't do anymore reps, DO 25 MORE REPS". And it almost never fails. Because many people are able to break the mental block that they are too tired. Just as in running, if you are running to lose weight, get cut, do a 5k, assuming you don't have heart problems, and aren't going to pass out, you can always run a bit further. You just need to take a breath and use your will power to break that mental plateau. By breaking the mental plateau with cardio and abs, you will not only strengthen your ability and six pack, you will strengthen your whole body, because your core muscles, and your heart, are the gateway to everything else in the gym.

Have a great training day.


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Consult a doctor or medical professional before beginning any fitness, diet, or weight training program.

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