I was going to call this “The Beast Awakens” but I feel like that’s been taken already. Also, once you read all the way through you might scratch your head and say “what beast is he talking about? What’s he stirring? Why am I still reading this dude’s blog?”
It’s time once again to return to a topic close to my cardiac muscle. I’m talking about what I’m currently doing in the gym. OK, I don’t actually go to a gym. I work out at home. I used to belong to a gym that was open 24 hours a day and provided fitness. I don’t like to mention actual names lest I get sued. I used to think how cool it would be being able to work out at 3AM when the rest of the world sleeps. I can’t even imagine the joy in my heart as I’d get out of bed all bleary-eyed, put on my gym shorts backwards and upside down in the dark, and drive off to the gym in a semi-conscious state resembling intoxication only to drop heavy weights on my foot.
Who thought up this concept?
Also, I don’t like gyms. Lots of fit people there. I’m nothing if not easily shamed.
A few months ago I took on a personal challenge in the form of a workout called Insanity Max:30. Well, over the course of two months (and then an additional month where I simply continued the program because I didn’t have anything else to do) I shed some serious bodyfat. I didn’t really add any muscle which was one of my hopes but I was pleased with the results. I’ve learned to try focusing on whether I feel good about my progress. If I focused on externals, I would be miserable. I’m the one who never sees progress in myself and always believes that the super-fit people of the world are only condescending to me when they offer their compliments. Kind of like: “Good boy! You’re not nearly as fat as you used to be! So proud.” Yes, I’m sensitive to that kind of thing. I’m also not likely to believe I can actually achieve the real goals I have in mind so I want to underestimate my results.
All that aside, I have moved on to the newest program from the same people. This one is called BodyBeast. The stated goal is to help you get huge. I’m torn on this. I’ve always wanted to be bigger and yet smaller at the same time. Maybe I’m schizophrenic. What I mean is I’d love more solid muscle and less non-solid composition. This workout is performed using weights (dumbbells) and is done at home. I borrowed dumbbells from a friend who wasn’t using his anymore. By the way, it seems to be true that most men at some point in their 20’s will invest in a set of weights. It’s almost part of the man code. Whether you ever use them or not, you must buy them and make sure they’re prominently displayed in your garage. “Look at me! I do muscle stuff.” I myself once had an entire set complete with bench and all. I even used them at one point. The thing is, I never knew if I was lifting effectively or even the right way. Could explain why I failed to reach the goals I had in the past.
Oh… this program also calls for a bench. They’re kind of pricey so I opted for something called an anti-burst stability ball. Buying this made me laugh.
I have not seen results yet but it’s only been a week. Also, you might remember that I said I don’t ever see results and I tend not to believe those who tell me that they see results. But I will tell you two things about this program I’ve noticed already.
First, the diet is intense. Far from feeling hungry and eating things I dislike in abundance I have to take in about 3400 calories a day. The problem is that they come from “clean” sources. I could easily do that many calories by sucking down fast food and I’d probably enjoy myself too. This program, however, insists I get 3400 calories from an enormous amount of food that seems to lack calories to begin with. I’m struggling to get the calories but eating way more than I ever used to. This may be a problem. Also, I have an innate fear that eating this much will undo whatever results I saw from the previous routine.
Second, the workouts are insane. Six nights a week I stream videos from my laptop featuring an Israeli trainer named Sagi (sah-GEE) who, though pleasant and inspiring, also uses a healthy dose of insult to motivate. “You want to get big?” he says while pointing at the screen with an arm that can barely be raised above his waist for sheer size, “then do this movement right or I will come into your home and crush you.” Perhaps I exaggerate a bit but you get the point. Again, I have the constant notion that I’m not lifting properly or lifting heavy enough weights and then my insecurity takes over and I wonder if the next 12 weeks will produce any results at all. At best I might look like a somewhat less-soft version of myself. At worst, I’ll get huge in completely the wrong way. But, I’ve made a commitment. No matter what else, I take my commitments seriously. Even if I know it’s not getting me anywhere, I stick with it because that’s who I am.
So, in twelve weeks I’ll come back at you and let you know how this has gone. You can be assured that I will have completed it. I may have also gone out of my mind and chucked a dumbbell at Sagi but I will finish what I start.
Meanwhile if any of you lovely readers have suggestions or similar stories about your own fitness routines I’d love to hear them. Share away.