I do apologise but I may have peaked too soon, there is no other article I could write that is going to top that title… A goal of mine is to be the Conor McGregor of the fitness industry, run my mouth off at everyone and hopefully I get the win.
As largely competitive as I am, when I feel the health of my joints or muscles are at risk, hands down I’ll stop early every time…… nowadays anyway…
This is partly a result of a long learning process, but also from observing older successful trainers and athletes: they don’t really do all the dumb shit they used to do as much. It’s not that they’ve got boring or lost strength, far from it in fact.
They’ve got smart.
So…. I’m saying don’t have fun?
Not at all!
I am the first to push people into trying new things and pushing themselves, but we have to remember everything has a shelf life. If you’re going to punish your body every day for the sake of gains you better make sure you’re doing it at a pace you can recover from with training partners you can work with.
If I wanted to pursue a more powerlifting side of training, it would be ridiculously stupid of me to go to a steroid infused gym and try to compete with those guys day in day out! I wouldn’t recover from the workouts and would eventually break, and what for? To not bruise my ego?
If you can’t train at that level, you don’t, simple.
Going at your own pace is so important. The benefits of group training is a motivational environment and also that little push – and that’s great, but if you’re going to start whipping out the “big lad” act when you’re having a bad day and someone else is having an awesome day you’re going to come up short.
Knowing when you need to take a step back is the main thing. Obviously, this is not just an excuse when you can’t be bothered, it’s a genuine, if you feel you’re going to hurt yourself, stop. If you’re training too often, when it comes to having a bit of fun competition you’re going to be wrecked.
What about long term?
If you think you’re going to have the same strength and recovery in your 40’s and 50’s as you do now… I’ve some bad new for you!
Right now where I’m at, throwing heavy weights around and doing a bajillion pull ups for time is ok for me now physically, and so I am going to enjoy it for a few more years yet. When I feel like I can’t keep up the intensity I will start to take more rest days so my body will recover, or even scale weights if needs be.
I’m really enjoying CrossFit training at the moment. This is partly because I can actually do all the movements now without getting hurt, but also I’m loving the extra drive and effort I’m putting it at the right times… plus my gym is the best gym and I’ve amazing training partners.
I’ll never worry about trying to keep up with younger athletes in their prime, who do I need to prove anything to? As long as I am doing my best and getting better at other things I will always be happy. What will I move on to when I can no longer keep up with constant high intensity work? I’m not quite sure, but a more intense hand balancing practice is quite appealing to me!
The great thing about having a long training career is that you’ll ALWAYS have something you’re better at than someone else. Maybe it’s fancy gymnastics moves or something as simple as your deadlift and kettlebell technique being better than most people’s – your EXPERIENCE will always be something you can fall back on. For instance, I’m not really that great at anything BUT, I am quite good at a lot of things making me cooler. And thats what training for longevity is all about. Gathering as much experience as possible over a long period of time whilst having fun.
Holding on to trying to compete with other people when you’re just not feeling it is silly. I will have no issues changing from a competitive athlete to a recreational one when I feel I want (or need) to, I’ll still do CrossFit and still do the classes and want to get better times, but I’ll be doing MY CrossFit for ME, not anybody else.
So if you’re going to whip out your swamp monster, make sure you have a peek in the showers first before comparing. Always remember, size doesn’t matter, your dongle is your dongle and that’s the only one you should focus on.