Every day is upper body day… ???

3 01 2013

I know you have seen those guys at the gym, and I know you know what im talking about, if not… here is something to show you what Im referring to.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 22.06.53

So yes, there are those guys in every gym in the world.  They work their arms, backs, shoulders, and (oh my god they are worse then woman and boobs), their chests.  The strut their stuff huffing and puffing with the biggest weights they can pump.  Weights so big they cant even carry them from the rack, they have to roll them along the ground with their feet to their benches.  They pump and pump and pose in front of the mirror, checking their form, of course.  Which is commendable I guess, they are putting the work in to get the healthy strong bodies they crave, except… yes except one little thing.  They have tiny butts and the skinniest legs ever.  You also see them parading through sandton city and in the ‘see and be seen’ bars wearing brand shirts that barely contain their bulging bi ceps, and  size 30 pants.  These are the “everydayisupperbodyday’ guys and they drive me nuts, and always have.

Yesterday I was at my Virgin Active doing lateral pull downs and watching two such guys, wonder why the hell they do this.  Suddenly an epiphany hit me square between the eyes.  Im one of those guys, I am an “everydayisupperbodyday’ guy.  Well, yes sure not literally, but figuratively.  I go to gym and work out my upper and lower body, BUT I only do the exercises I’m comfortable with doing, the ones that my muscle memory can handle and I never make my self work on the parts of me that requires exercises I dont like.  Just like them,  I’m sticking to my comfort zones in the gym, and then I complain that I’m not seeing any change on my stomach and my ass.  I pointed this out to my girlfriend, and she just smiled as if to say , “yes dear”.

I choose to no longer be an ‘everydayisupperbodyday’ guy.

Today at gym I tackled the two things I hate the most, cardio and core.  And surprise, surprise, I managed only 30mins of gym instead of my usual 1h30mins.  I did 10mins on the treadmill, immediately followed by 10 min on the bike, immediately followed 5 min on the Xtrainer.  I tried for 10min on the Xtrainer, but i just couldn’t anymore, I was exhausted.   I had pushed my self hard, harder than I might ever have before, but damn, it felt good.  I took a decent break (about 5-10mins, keeping warm though) and did some core work with kettle-bells.

Breaking out of my workout comfort zone left me with such excitement, exhilaration and inspiration.  I have found a my work out ‘next level’, and may very well have transcended the biggest wall I have in the gym.  This is a very real and tangible step towards actually changing myself for life.  So no more pumping weights that my body can easily handle, and definitely no more skipping abs and core because my stomach is too big and sit ups make me uncomfortable.  No more skipping cardio because I think it will hurt my knees.  From now on every day is cardio day, every day is core and abs day, and some days will be low weight and high repetition weight training days, only once Ive done all my cardio and core with left over energy of course, but I dont think that will be for a long time yet.  Then, of course there is always swimming laps in Virgin Active Victory Park’s new 25m pool to reward myself for working hard, followed by sauna to make sure Im not too stiff to come back tomorrow and do it all again.

So here’s to a new year of breaking comfort zones, and being honest with myself.

Live Strong, Live Healthy, Keep the Faith

Lizz

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2 responses

3 01 2013
laurenbarkume

Good for you on pushing yourself out of the comfort zone!

8 07 2013
Nomar

I interviewed a random group of 40 male gym members at a poplar chain gym. I’m still working on a formal writeup with supporting statistical analysis but the early conclusions are hardly surprising to anyone. Most of these guys not only avoid leg exercises, they don’t really care about them since its felt that its just the upper body that the general public sees the most. This is why you see many guys wearing long shorts in the gym and at the beach. It is easier to cover them up than it is to bulk them up.

According to the results it was only 9 of the 40 guys who indicated an active interest in leg development but even then it was it was mostly front thigh work. Of the guys that did do leg work they felt that it was “pointless” to do calf exercises because they felt that calf size is “genetically determined”. One of the guys was considering calf implants. Only one guy out of 40 felt that doing hamstring work was “worth it”.

In terms of abs and cardio most guys want a six-pack but value “big guns” and chest over that feeling that a large upper body has the most “impact” on others. 50% of the group felt that cardio was necessary though it was only 22% that regularly engaged in it. Most of the guys said that they “try to get in some cardio” but feel that it compromises their bulking efforts so it is down on the list in terms of priorities. Age has some influence in these results but many of the things I’ve reported here apply across the range.

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