I started “working out” when I was 13.
For Christmas my parents got me a Barbell, some steel plates, and a book entitled, “Weight-lifting for Dummies.” I grew up as a Missionary Kid in Brazil…and yes, I can speak Portuguese, NOT Spanish. To say they opened Pandora’s Box would be an understatement. It was love at first sight. I can’t even describe in words how excited I was. By far the best gift I have ever gotten.
I immediately opened the book and started to read the entire thing in the course of 2 days. I would go on to re-read it hundreds of times. The only problem was I didn’t like their advice of only training 3 to 5 times a week. In my young mind, more was better and these people were writing for weaners and old lazy people who weren’t in shape like me, or as motivated as me…or so I thought.
Regardless, I started training like my life literally depended on it.
To say I was obsessed would be a huge understatement. My first workout, which at the time I was super proud of, was compiling every…yes every exercise that I could find in that book, that could be done with a barbell and doing 3 sets of 10 reps. To say I over trained would also be a huge understatement. These were daily marathon sessions that lasted about 2 ½ hours. To say I got sore and tired would be the third huge understatement.
They called it a, “Push/Pull split.” Day one, I was not impressed. I finished in an hour and felt like a cheated myself…but I had time to go play Salao (think 5 on 5 soccer) and, oh my gosh, have a social life.
Day two, I was still not impressed but I felt a lot stronger and moved a lot more weight.
Day three, I was scared stupid…they wanted me to take a day off. Are you kidding me! I will lose everything I worked so hard to gain! But I followed the advice and it almost killed me. Day four, I was rested, motivated, and eager. I destroyed the workout like was the Hulk on every performance enhancer known to man. I felt amazing.
Same thing on Day five. On day six I rested again, this time I wasn’t as scared but still fearful. I probably remeasured my biceps 3 – 5 times that day because the tape measure said they had grown ¼ of an inch since the beginning of the week. I thought, “How is that possible? I am working out less and getting better results.”
At this point in the story, I would love to say I finally, “got it.” But that would be a lie. I was a dumb and eager 13 year old kid. However, it was the beginning. It was my beginning to understand that recovery and rest is what gets you your results. It’s what you do after the workouts that matter most. If you are stressed, drained, depressed, or not having fun you won’t get the results you desire.
The amount you workout, the amount of time your workout lasts, is much less important than the intensity you put into it. Plus, resting is when your body recovers and grows.
Now go and be awesome and don’t act like a 13 year old!
KELLEN LAKE – I still love working out and workout books 🙂