Friday, September 18, 2015

My Personal Theory of The Zone


Today was one of “those” days. I was running late, I wasn't feeling great, and I was planning on getting to the gym, mailing it in and making up for it next time. It’s ok to do that as long as you get to the gym and keep the schedule, get in as much as you can and accept the limitations of being soft. Of course as I have said just about every time this has happened to me, I never mail it in. Yes as usual I had an artery busting, muscle ripping workout where I topped out all my weights and didn't fudge on a single rep, and I think I may finally have a better reason for this than I have in the past.

When you feel like crap, and behind the eight ball on time, then there is probably a mind-set that it can’t get any worse. There is also probably the mental clarity that you are feeling better while you are working out and you just want to stay in that zone instead of walking back into the feeling nasty and crunched for time zone. Even on a day like today when I walked in a half hour late, I only left there about 15 minutes late. Once I am in the zone my body seems to add just enough “touch” to the pace to fill in a lot of the "late" time that I missed out in the beginning. Again it is a zone of some sort because I don’t realize I have hit it until about half way through the workout, and by that time I just don’t care if other things go by the wayside, because I am kicking total ass.

I should be able to tell by the end of the first three sets really (on this day it would have been wide grip pull downs, narrow grip pull downs and seated rows) because I have done 5 complete sets, and by complete I mean the full 12 reps. For me it was a jaw dropping 240 top out on each too. I am at this point feeling good about the burst and the burn and ignoring the remorse I was previously feeling for running late. I start charging into the next exercise, but not recklessly, just confidently. If you have never felt this zone, then I just want you to understand that this zone is out there, unfortunately it only seems to be “out there” after you have made a daily commitment to the gym for an extended period of time.

I think this is why a lot of people just flat out fail at working out. Some people hit the gym once in a while, and either feel good about it or unfulfilled by it and that is the end of that, they'll get back when they feel like it, and it probably won't be tomorrow. Others of us have made the daily commitment day after day year after year, and the zone overtakes us when we need a little extra, because our bodies and our minds are in tune with each other and sometimes one or the other has to pick up the slack. I don’t know this for sure but it makes sense. It makes more sense than just assuming I am the bull, and not facing the bull anymore.

I almost never have the ability to get across to the average gym groupie that the commitment to the gym or to a healthy lifestyle doesn't even start to feel right until you have racked up three solid months. Now your body is ready to stay in the zone.You don’t actually qualify as “healthy” until you can do the basics, (10 parallel bar dips, 10 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 10 leg lifts) and you don’t actually qualify as a gym rat until your excuses to go take more precedent than your excuses not to go. I do know this, and again it is impossible to get across to anyone. Hell I can’t even get it across to people I see at the gym frequently much less the people I rarely see at the gym. Being sick or pressed for time is no excuse to miss a workout. It may be the only thing that will make you feel better.