The Huge Benefit of Getting in a Flow State / in the Zone When Training

I did my first sprint training session in years 2 days ago. Easing myself in, I did some warm ups and then went in to about 60m sprints. It looked like this:

Warm ups
75% x 1
90% x 1
95% x 1
100% x 4

4 repeats at full speed. Doesn’t sound like very much…

In hindsight, it was too much. I am SORE and I don’t ever get beyond a tiny amount of soreness from training. My calves are agony. I can hardly walk, they stiffen up every time I sit down and I hobble and stumble around a few steps before they start somewhat working.

Anyway, today in spite of this, I started a new squat program. One of my principles for life: Turn up every damn day.

Today looked like this:

squat program

Very easy workout in theory. I usually squat 4-6 times a week and I used a conservative max 10kg below my absolute max to work the percentages out for back squats…

It was AGONY. The very bottom of the squat is where your calves really kick in and give you the first bit of power.

Anyway, long story short, I unracked 112 for a supposed set of 6. Very easy weight I could do for 20+ reps if I had sufficient fingers to count that far.

I actually would not have been able to do it today. Not even for 1 rep. I put it on my back and just had nothing. Too much soreness overriding any semblance of power.

I re-racked the weight and trotted off to the changing rooms to get my headphones. I didn’t get angry, dissappointed or piss and moan about being sore, because I knew what would get me through the workout.

I came back, put my gym flow music on (skrillex) and immediately felt pumped. I felt the adrenaline surge through my body and my focus become one with the bar. Now I can do it.

I grabbed the bar aggressively and did a sloppy but comfortable set of 6. Followed that up with the next set of back squats and 4 sets of front squats, then did some weighted dips.

 

Body Over Mind?

Your mind is weak. You can override it. When you learn how to train with intensity, you must override it.

It tells you to stop when it starts to hurt. It is weak, but you are not.

It is these moments, the decision to dig deep and push through when it hurts, that make you strong. Physically and mentally.

You build discipline, perseverance and teach yourself that you can accomplish things, even when the voice in your head is telling you that you cannot.

You can change your state and tap in to resources you didn’t know you had. The gym is a great place to learn this, but it can be applied anywhere. Imagine how being able to get yourself in a flow state on demand will affect you; when you have a deadline, before public speaking, whenever you need to get shit done and the odds are against you.

Through practise it can be triggered instantly with a simple stimulus (Skrillex in this case).

I’m going to talk about flow state more in the future and teach you how to get in to it. In the mean time check out the book and this post from one of my favourite websites for a starting point.

 

 

 

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