Your body can be persuaded to bend to your will.
I’m gonna start off this post with one of Aesop’s Fables. Yes, I’m serious. I love that guy.
“The north wind and the sun were disputing which was the stronger, and agreed to acknowledge as the victor whichever of them could strip a traveler of his clothing.
The wind tried first. But its violent gusts only made the man hold his clothes tightly around him, and when it blew harder still the cold made him so uncomfortable that he put on an extra wrap.
Eventually the wind got tired of it and handed him over to the sun. The sun shone first with a moderate warmth, which made the man take off his topcoat. Then it blazed fiercely, till, unable to stand the heat, he stripped and went off to bathe in a nearby river.
The moral of the story?
Persuasion is more effective than force.”
“What in the actual F*&k does this have to do with my training?” you might be asking.
It’s like this.
Your body doesn’t just hand out a chiseled, powerful, Oh-sorry-I-mistook-you-for-a-Greek-god physique just because you threaten it with a trifecta consisting of a 30 day program, some pre-workout, and the latest sugary protein-shake whose marketing promises to “add stacks of muscle in no time!!!11!!1!!”. Transformation takes time, and your body will meet force with force. Rather than blowing your energy by pushing, shoving, flexing, and screaming, learn to persuade your body to do what you want, especially if you’re starting from almost nothing.
Start your training sessions well below your ability levels and as the weeks and months pass, wave the load (i.e. vary the amount of work you do in each session between light, medium, and hard) and record the results. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll gain without beating your head through a wall.
Just as you’ve gotta learn to walk before you run, you’ve gotta learn to nudge before you shove. Once you understand the value of this you can set aside 6-12 week periods where you go balls to the wall. Knowing how to work smart will help you to later work hard.
As for exercise selection, I’d recommend the Dan John special: push, pull, hinge, squat, and loaded carry. Some examples would include:Push
: pushups, dips, military press
: row, pullup
: deadlift, swing
: goblet squat, back squat, front squat
: pick up literally anything heavy and carry it.
3-5 sets of 3-5 reps 3-5 days a week of the above done consistently and without pump up speeches done in front of a mirror and before you know it you’ll have more muscle, less fat, and a body that doesn’t punish you with aches and pains in places you didn’t know existed. Seems too easy to work, but the hard part is simply sticking to it, being emotionless about it, and enjoying the process. Far harder to do that over several months than kill yourself in 45 minutes, but light years more effective in the long run.
I’ll leave you with the words of Master SFG Mark “The Man, The Rif, The Legend” Riefkind:
“In order to control nature, you must obey nature.”
Go forth and take command of your nature, so that it may obey your commands.