31 Jan #145 – Training IRL: How Training Habits Change With Life
Matt and Scott take a moment to reflect on how their lives have changed after the whirlwind year that was 2018, and how their training has evolved along with them. For even the most dedicated among us, training takes a backseat to life sometimes, and that’s OK. As we age, gather experiences and grow, our priorities change, and training changes to reflect that.
For Scott, that meant taking off a large portion of training during the fall of 2018 while he worked through the sale of his business, Data Storage, Inc. He trained when he could, which sometimes meant only once per week. Under intense stress, he eschewed his normal training program and simply tried to get under the bar and do a few exercises. Now that the sale has closed and he’s back to a more normal schedule, Scott has been running a basic LP as he climbs back to heavier loads on the main lifts. As mentioned in previous episodes, LP is a useful tool even for a lifter who has been training for years. It’s an excellent way to regain strength after a prolonged layoff. For Scott, the LP will only last a few weeks, and he will make much larger weight increases each workout than a novice trainee undergoing his first LP. So far it’s paying off, as Scott has set some volume PR’s on his pressing movements.
Matt has remained fairly consistent with his training despite the fast-paced growth of his company Starting Strength Online Coaching. Caring for his ailing father, however, has shifted his priorities from strength training to health and longevity. To that end Matt has sought to lose weight and reduce his waistline while dieting in a way that fits his busy lifestyle, which includes frequent travel and restaurant dinners. He has found that intermittent fasting works well for him, allowing him to manage his calories throughout the day without worrying how many calories he is eating at dinner. His ability to train in the morning is diminished somewhat, but he has enjoyed the clarity of mind that comes in the fasted state. Most importantly, he feels good, is losing weight, and still continues to train — all in a manner that fits his personality and lifestyle.
Barbell Logic will always be about training and the myriad benefits it has on our lives, but even training is sometimes about… well, not training. In other words, life detrains us over time: as we age, as major events take over our time, as our priorities change. These moments serve as opportunities for us to re-evaluate our goals and change our methods, if needed. Through it all, the barbell is constant. To quote from Henry Rollins’ classic article Iron and the Soul,
The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.
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