The last few weeks I have been struggling very seriously with my motivation, as in to the point where I told Aiden 3 weeks ago I wasn’t going to do another squat, lunge or deadlift and I didn’t want to even see the squat rack for at least a week. We needed to do something completely different because I wasn’t enjoying training, it had become more like a job – or that chore that you dread doing but it just won’t go away. I am my own harshest critic and if I perceive a lack of progress then I start finding other things that I’m not happy about, I lose focus, motivation and start to question why I’m doing something – when that happens and I can’t come up with a good enough reason why, then fun goes out of whatever I’m doing, and it becomes a downhill slide often to the point where I quit completely.
Legs day has been bugging me for ages now, because I just can’t seem to make any gains, my elbow is just not getting better so I’m still not training arms and I’ve definitely gone backwards on the shoulder press in the last few weeks. So its all started to become just a lot of pointlessly hard work – a few weeks ago I even stopped half way through a set of walking lunges, put the dumbbells on the floor and asked myself why the hell I was doing this. I then had to talk myself into picking the dumbbells up again and carrying on – you can imagine how the rest of the session panned out after that!
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about climbing Mt Aconcagua…
Mindset of a champion? I don’t think so!
So I’ve lost my training mojo and I’ve been trying to get it back by changing things – I’ve added in some high intensity stuff – beach sprints, hill sprints, step sprints – anything that is not inside, is not weights but is hard work and challenging. It has helped to an extent, but I still wasn’t quite back in the zone…
until last Saturday.
Saturday, I went to Vicki’s Posing Class at Spartans Gym – it was brilliant!
There were about 25 people in various stages of comp readiness and a good mix of experience from complete newbies to experienced competitors. Mostly it was figure and physique competitors, but Vicki had ‘persuaded’ 2 guys who turned up for their first ever posing lesson. J
No time was wasted in getting down to business – there was a quick run through of how the session was going to work – we would do each of the compulsory poses, then we would be doing a mock show – schweet!
So it was on with the shoes and straight into our relaxed pose. No pretending here – no just standing there looking like you’re doing the pose, Vicki made sure there was no slacking – this was going to be the real deal, she went round to everyone tweaking, checking – moving a foot slightly this way or that way, move arms a touch forward, backward, in or out…and drop the traps!
Please note folks: Do not take your trapezius muscles to posing class – Vicki does not like them…not one little bit!
Leave your traps at home.
Within a few seconds the smiles began to get that forced look to them, as out of practice muscles started wake up and wonder what was going on – but we were not allowed to let it go…oh no, this is how it would be on stage, so this is how it was going to be in posing class..and woe betide anyone who tried to slack off – Vicki has waaay too much teaching experience and has eyes everywhere..she can see you…yes even you at the back!
After a few minutes, (with a lot of sighs of relief) we were allowed to relax out of the relaxed pose…but not for long, it was onto the symmetry poses. Again Vicki went up and down the lines, placing arms, shoulders, twisting torso’s, showing people how to flare their lats and soften their elbows – sometimes trying to move a rigid arm into the right shape became a more of a tug of war than gentle coaxing as the concept of ‘relaxed from the elbow down’ hadn’t quite been understood, but it was all done with good humour and a bit of a joke.
It was only when Vicki was happy with all of us, were we then allowed to relax and move on to the next pose – it was hard work! Pretty soon my legs and feet were telling me that they were not happy about this unexpected overtime they were doing…and I wasn’t the only one, a quick break before the compulsory poses had everyone stretching backs, legs, arms and chatting about how they’d forgotten how hard posing was.
So it was on to the compulsory poses and the front bicep straightaway had Vicki’s eyes out on stalks and open mouthed in (mock) horror…
Get rid of them!
It looked so much nicer once everyone had a neck again! 🙂
The rest of the compulsory poses followed and where the Physique ladies and the guys had their extra poses to practice, the rest of us had to hold our current pose for as long as it took to get through the bodybuilding poses – that strained more than a few smiles!
Phew – we were only half way through and it had already been a workout! Now we were going to do the show. This was the bit I was looking forward to and I was selected in the first group. It was quite exciting to pin a number to my leggings, and line up as if we were going on stage for real. We were all helped onto ‘stage’ by our lovely escort (Vicki), accompanied by wild applause from the ‘crowd’.
Standing on ‘stage’ in a lineup in front of the ‘crowd’ performing each pose as called by our esteemed head judge (Vicki!) , my competitiveness came charging back – THIS is what I have missed so much, THIS is what I’ve been hanging out for!
I was going to pose everyone off stage!
I made it to the ‘callout’! Woohoo!
Just a front double bicep and an abs and thighs and we were done…
we all won! 🙂
Then it was the turn of the next figure group and finally the physique ladies and the guys got their turn on stage.
The mock show really brought the class to life especially for the ladies who were completely new to this. It was a bit of fun, brought back fond memories and snapped me right back into the zone…I got my ‘why’ back in a big way.
I was buzzing after we were finished, all of a sudden I couldn’t wait to get to the gym – I’ve got work to do, weaknesses to fix, injuries to knock on the head. I’ve got a body to build, posing to practice, and a routine to create – things to do! No time to lose!
I can’t wait to get shredded and see what the last 6 months of training has created and the next 6 – October can’t come soon enough!
Focus is back, motivation is back…
And the Squat rack has a shiny new Olympic bar that needs someone to show it who’s boss – Smashed out a Deadlift PB today
Welcome back mojo!