The Mental Thought Process of Training and Getting Healthy During the Pandemic
Earlier today as I sipped my coffee and looked out at the remaining yardwork that will just have to be put off tomorrow, I found myself in a quandry about what to write about.
So I go to the Boonton Facebook group since my personal training studio is in Boonton and I ask for ideas about what to write about. Pretty much immediately I got 2 responses both of which I’ll attempt to address in this article.
I’ll start with the second one about the mental thought process and how to keep on going, because it seems that it also relates to the first one anyway.
Years ago I was offered an opportunity that would change my life forever. I was going through a difficult time in my life and New Jersey’s Superman the late, great Greg Matonick offered to coach me in the ways of bending steel and possibly become a modern-day performing strongman.
If you’ve never heard of that before or seen me in action, here is my demo video to give you a quick idea of what I’m talking about.
And though he taught me body positioning, technique and that sort of thing, he also spent an extraordinary part teaching and guiding me through the mental end of things.
Here’s the thing, with anything you want to achieve whether it’s dropping 3 dress sizes or working up to being able to run a marathon it starts in the head. Greg used to tell me “Set your mind…focus on what you want to achieve”
One of the keys to staying positive in the face of adversity is having the right spark that sets the blaze that can push you through the discomfort that comes from training.
One of the types of clients that can be a lot of fun to work with are brides. Having a wedding date bearing down on you knowing that you are going to be standing in front of all of your loved ones, staring into the eyes of “the one” and immortalized in the photographs in the wedding album can light a spark that can fuel even the laziest people to push through exhaustion. The key is having that deadline baring down on you. That deadline can’t be too far away either.
One of my influences Dan John has this concept of bus bench and park bench programs. I like to call them “burst programs” as in you burst in and power through all guns blazing for anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to get to where you want to go. The motivation can power you through for 6 to 12 weeks of intense burst program style training before you run out of willpower and burn out.
The Amazing 12 Body Transformation Program is a prime example of one of the “burst programs” that I offer in my personal training studio. It’s an intense program that involves training twice a day for 5 days per week for 12 weeks and is known to produce insane results.
During the training sessions themselves, you’ll notice there is a sort of mental chatter. You can almost hear it when you talk yourself out of a lift, or when in the middle of an intense cardiovascular session you tell yourself “this is hard, this sucks, I’m tired…where is all the oxygen?”
A big thing I learned working with Greg is pushing through the mental chatter. It’s a piece of steel…and yeah it’s hard…but that’s all it is.
Hard, but not impossible.
On the other end of things are what I like to call “sustain programs”. These are the programs you basically live on and takes a longer-term approach. Get in there, if you feel an energetic push on, if you’re a bit tired that day, back off a little bit. You just keep consistent and get the training sessions in and make steady progress over time, building them into healthy habits as you go.
It’s more sustainable because it’s less stressful. Your only commitment there is to simply show up. When you show up, you’ll train. If you don’t hit the numbers you want to hit, no big deal…you’ll get it.
I know, all this is all fun and good and everything but how does this apply to you, your training and your health?
Well for the first suggestion about what to do during the quarantine. One is just picking an easy healthy habit to implement and stick with it. It could be something as simple as drinking more water, committing to walking in the morning, trying out fasting, or keeping a food journal. With all the bigger gyms still closed, now may not be the best time for a “burst type program” but there is always something you can do. Work with what you have, pick one thing, and put it into your schedule to dedicate some time to it….consistently. When it becomes a habit, pick another thing and repeat the process. Just ask yourself “What is something easy I can consistently do starting today that will eventually help me get to my goal?”
Here are additional tips for what to do during the pandemic.
As for the other one regarding mindset, awareness brings clarity. Make note of the mental chatter so that when it comes you recognize it for what it is and learn to tune it out. That is something that you get better at with practice.
Here’s a bit more about the mindset of training.
And yeah, here comes the self-serving part. 1 on 1 personal training is currently allowed during the pandemic. It’s easier to stay positive when you have someone to guide you and cheer for you and it’s easier to stay consistent when you make an appointment with someone that will hold you accountable to your own goals.
If this is of interest to you I offer a 1-week free trial membership. Since it’s 1 on 1 personal training only it is limited by my availability. Simply call or text me at 973 476 5328 to get started. I prefer text because I’m not always able to pick up the phone (I have a 3-year old and an 11-month-old neither of whom believe in social distancing when I’m on the phone), but I can usually return a text reasonably quickly.
In the meantime, stay happy, stay healthy, stay strong and be safe everyone.
Eric Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.