I sometimes get asked about my training – how often do I train, what do I do, how heavy, how many reps etc. etc. I used to do my own program, but I find it much less stressful to let somebody else take care of it for me. I have little knowledge about how to address weakness and how to peak for comps, so it’s my best option really! I get a training programme sent to me each week (knowing the end of the training program at the beginning scares the hell out of me and puts negative thoughts into my head straight away). The program addresses my weak points, there is a lot of volume to start that decreases as the weight increases, all the usual stuff but done very cleverly by a very clever guy.
Then what happens is this - I follow the plan.
I’ve noticed this to be where most people struggle, there is no magic pill, and there are no short cuts. It’s damn hard work that’s all!
I’m not often ill, but when I am I do it with style, I was ill this week. I still trained as soon as I was able to. The plan was adjusted to take my health into account, I condensed the training down reducing the amount of assistance work. I trained squat first as it’s my weakest lift, and you know what, it really hurt but I did it. Next week, I will complete all the work that was due this week – see, the work still has to be done.
My point is this, if it was easy everybody would do it. Getting over the whole mental battle of going to train gets easier if you don’t allow yourself excuses – I, like many, don’t have time to go to the gym but the difference is I make time to go. When you arrive at the gym and you’re not feeling it, only you can make the session count, there’s no point mucking about because you’re not going to get the results you want.
I’m not after a medal or congratulation for being a martyr and putting the work in, I (mostly) love to train! But just know that the reason for my progress is mostly down to hard work, all programs work if you follow them consistently, but you already knew that didn’t you. ☺
Ok, my name is Martin Kerr and I’m a Tupperware user. It started highbrow with nice tubs and then as my reusable plastic tub needs grew, I descended in to madness, Asking my friends to keep old take away tubs for me with near euphoric glee, big, small, round or rectangle I didn’t care I just needed to have them! Phew, OK, I feel better for getting that off my chest.
For the most part I adore the whole food prep thing, I actually really enjoy the plastic tubs (perhaps not as much as I implied in the intro but still) in fact I just invested in a Sixpack bag and frankly I love it! (Unnecessary? Yeah, I can’t argue that but I can argue that it is awesome and I think it’s important to reward yourself every once and a while.) There is no greater feeling than getting to the end of the day and looking at those lovely precise meals all stacked up and ready to be consumed the next day. The process reminds me that I’m focused and driven about what I’m doing. After all diet is such a large part of changing your body (regardless of goal). There is almost a bizarre sense of achievement at the end of each day that says, ‘OK you have worked hard today now rest easy and smash it again tomorrow.’
However it’s not always a fun road to travel, I’ve found myself at a few social events lately and there is a range of responses that I have been met with. The majority of people just shoot you a weird look and I’m ok with that because its 2015 and the lunchbox has only just been invented, so I can understand their confusion.
Some meet me with misguided sympathy twinned with understanding and support, with lines like “oh, sorry you can eat what we are eating, but you’re doing great”. This is nice, as I say the sympathy part is a little misguided as I like cooking so none of food looks nor tastes like gravel. In fact at one of the social gatherings I had people asking how I had flavoured my mince as it “looks and smells incredible”.
The last response is the one that confuses me; it is one of unrelenting negativity. It tends to be an (usually) unfunny joke followed by desperate attempts to get you to indulge in food that doesn’t fit your plan with such informed lines as “well one (insert temptation here) won’t hurt”. Of course there are two courses of action here. One, ignore it. Two, explain that the food they have proposed doesn’t in fact meet you dietary requirements for the day and as your diet works based on putting the correct nutrients in your body at the correct time to most effectively use the fuel sources that the body is presented with. Of course option two is usually met with a glazed expression followed by “yeah but it’s just one (insert temptation here)”. I don’t tend to go into eateries or stop people on their lunch break and tell them that they shouldn’t eat what’s in front of them, as I would like to propose they eat something that is worse for them. When you say it like that it’s almost borderline insane!
When I get the negative response I have to resist the urge to be rude. Instead I politely chuckle at the unfunny joke and say something to the effect of “oh no, I’m OK but thanks”, usually through slightly gritted teeth. I remind myself of how hard I have worked, and remind myself that I didn’t get up at 7am to get breakfast done then go to bed at 11:30 to allow time to prep all of meals for the following day. I didn’t do my morning cardio until my lungs burnt and my afternoon weights till my arms couldn’t lift anymore for nothing. I’m on a road that they just clearly don’t understand. A road that allows me to become better, healthier, stronger, leaner and happier. Those little red tubs filled with my prepped food at the end of the day are the constant reminder that I am driven and achieving the things I want to. I’ve worked hard day in and day out with highs and lows, sweat and aching muscles and frankly I don’t think that one (insert temptation here) is worth it.
So once again my name is Martin Kerr, I’m a Tupperware user, and I would not change that for the world.
It may seem painfully obvious that this question is important. But even with that being said, what’s the point?
Unless you happen to know me personally, it is your interest in (or trying to get knowledge about) fitness, training or nutrition that brought you here. So you could be a seasoned body building vet with trophies galore or a strong man able to lift things that most people look at and think ‘we need to get a crane to move that’. Of course the list of incredible, awe inspiring things that people can achieve is near endless, however, regardless of whether or not you can run at the speed of sound and leap tall buildings in a single bound, or whether you get out of breath watching the football, the question is ‘what is the point?’
The level of dedication, hard work and focus required in taking a handle on your diet and exercise is almost inconceivable. Tens of hours a week spent in the gym (or chosen place of sport/fitness activity) and the same again prepping food! This is on top of keeping in the good books at work, keeping partners happy, and in some cases evening being a parent!
It is a dizzying cycle of serving sizes, supersets and supplements that for the most part is challenging, engaging and in a bizarre way, I’d even dare say enjoyable. I’m not writing a particular article to talk about the highs as such, though the highs in themselves can be a good reason to face a bad day. I want to know what the point is.
On the rare day when the energy is low, the mind is tired, and the body aches, what is it that gets you to dig your heels in and push for that extra rep or minute of cardio? When you are on the brink of saying “You know what? Ordering a pizza and ignoring all of this is the easy way! I’m going to stick to that”, and that internal voice screams the reason to keep going and avoid the easy and usually quite tasty choice, what does it say?
For me it is probably similar to a lot of people, I am currently hugely overweight (not as much as when I started but there is still a long road to travel) sure I want to change that and I’m not going to lie a part of that is that I just don’t want to look like this anymore. I am bored of having to order t-shirts from the internet due to a lack of sizes stocked in high street stores. I want to look like I believed I could when I was a kid watching wrestling with my family, being slack jawed and excitement filled by these insane looking, strong and athletically gifted demi-super-heroes of the wrestling world (plus no one ever described a near 21 stone (when I started) 5”5 guy as ‘the heartbreak kid’). Are these reasons the main reason? No of course not, but I would be lying if I didn’t address the fact that part of it is to appease my ego slightly to the point where I can simply to feel happier in my own skin.
The number one reason for most is their health and this is true for me also, but the reason behind me wanting to improve my health is that I am very fortunate to have a wife that loves me greatly, and to be frank I would like a longer life with her. So when its crunch time and I feel that ache and fatigue so much so that I can hardly bare to lift my arms to throw in the towel, that is what brings me back in. I remember how much I have put in and how much I will get out. When I think about the potential health complications and the fact that I have a chance to change that now, it hits me harder than Venom smelling salts. That’s what makes me dig my heels in, grit my teeth and not give up.
So that is what it is for me, but I would love to hear what it is for you. So you lovely lot whether you having been doing this for years, or if like me you are a bit of a fitness new kid, I ask you once more….
What is the point?
- Martin Kerr