So Fitnessgrad asked me a question about how I manage fitness with my life, and I’ve gotten this question before so I decided I might as well make a post on it. If you guys haven’t given her blog a look then you should head over there and see what she has to say! She has a lot of good information and reading her blog is quite a bit of fun, anyways on to the topic at hand.
Balancing my strength training with regular life isn’t that easy considering that many things people do would be contradictory to my goals. Therefore, in order to maintain relationships with people close to me I have to be very careful about how I go about deciding what I want to do that day/evening. For example, I have a few friends in college who like to drink a lot because drinking is fun as hell! I’m not going to sit here and lie to you by saying I don’t like drinking because that just wouldn’t be true. Drinking and partying is fun and it’s an important part of social life in college, but I can’t do it very often if I want to make any progress in my strength or muscle size. This means that I have to choose my fun carefully by placing it relatively far away from hard training days like deadlifts. The issue with this is that you want to be rested for heavy training days, so knowing this I normally deadlift on a Friday/Saturday. Just so you know this doesn’t mean I drink heavily every weekend, at the most I drink moderate amounts every 2-3 months, by moderate I mean north of 5 shots. However, I’ve gotten to the point that my friends know that I don’t participate in a lot of the things they do, so I’ll still get invited but I just won’t drink or smoke with them most of the time.
I’m going to be brutally honest with you guys, if you want to get strong/lean/awesome there are going to be a lot of fun nights you’ll have to say no to. I’ve lost track of the nights I’ve said no to events that sound like a lot of fun because I want to perform at a high level, and I don’t regret missing these events at all. To be honest with you guys I get annoyed that they sprang the ideas on at after 10pm in the first place. I’m an old man let me sleep you jerk-wads… If you aren’t willing to sacrifice getting fucked up to make progress then it’s possible that sports of any sort aren’t for you, well besides competitive drinking games. I’m not saying this to be mean but you need to be realistic about how what you do affects your performance in the gym/on the field. You aren’t 18 anymore so you need to stop acting like you are, all those mimosas at brunch won’t wear off in time for you to perform well at lunch. If you don’t care and you just like to mess around then that’s awesome and probably healthy for you, but for the people out there like me here are a few things you can do to balance the fitness and fun lifestyle:
- Have a Calendar- Seriously, find an app that allows you to plan out your week and use it religiously. Every family event, training session, hang-out, cook-out, etc. needs to go on this damn thing. If it’s going to impede training and it’s not on the calendar the day before you aren’t doing it tomorrow unless you ABSOLUTELY have to. This means that if your friends call you at 11 and want to go drinking your ass should be in bed and saying no. If you’re serious and competing then they’ll understand and start calling you a couple days in advance. Set boundaries and respect them.
- Put Your Hardest Training Days on Your Low Stress Days- For me deadlifts go on Fridays/Saturdays because I can chill out the rest of the day after my workout. If your friends want to come over and drink some beer and watch football or whatever then the day after your hardest training day is the day to do it, why? If you actually trained hard your ass ain’t training the day after. What this means for you is that you need to put your hardest training day the day before your friends like to hang out and do dumb shit.
- Family Matters- Unless you are a couple weeks out from a competition you need to spend time with your loved ones. If my family comes to Dallas to see me you can bet your ass I’m spending as much time with them as possible because I love them. If you don’t have a competition on the horizon then please spend time with your family, lifting isn’t forever but family is. Also once you spend some time with your family you’ll be even more motivated to smash the weights, at least I am. On a super morbid note you also don’t know when the last time you’ll see a family member is, so call your Mom/Grandma/Dad/Grandpa and ask about their day. It may seem annoying to you but it will make her day so quit being a dick okay? She/he misses you I promise, if you’ve love a parent/grandparent then you know how important this is. I call my Mom at least twice a week, so yes I’m a Mama’s boy but I’ll kick your butt if you say anything mean about her.
- Tell Your Ride or Dies (Best Friends, Family) You Love Them Everytime You Leave- This kind of ties into family matters but it’s a little different and I’ll explain why. When I was in 8th grade I had one of my best friends commit suicide and I saw him two days before he killed himself. I didn’t tell him that I loved him and I regret it to this day, once again you don’t know how this feels unless it has happened to you. How does this apply to training? Everytime you make a sacrifice to go to the gym you may never see that person again, I’m not saying you train so hard you’re going to die but you never know what is going to happen. If you tell your people you love them everytime you leave then you can go balls out everytime you train, you can live life uninhibited because everyone important to you knows you care about them and you know they care about you. I felt abandoned by my friend and I was angry at him and myself. Angry with him because he left me and angry with myself because he never knew how important he was to me. I don’t need that anger or regret in my life so I make sure that it has no reason to be there. This reduces stress and lets you live without fear. Give it a shot and tell me this doesn’t work. Yes your guy friends will call you a fag/gay/sissy but they’ll say it back, it’ll sound something like this, “Love you too you bitch ass.” That’s real love and don’t doubt it for a second.
- Don’t be a Vegan About Your Fitness- I’m going to leave with this point because it’s funny and very true. I don’t want to group all vegans into this because I know some very nice vegans, but damn some of these people want the whole freaking world to know they’re a vegan! “Would you like to try our Steak Tartare, it’s our most popular dish,” says the waiter. “Ummm no I’m a vegan I can’t believe this restaurant serves beef!” responds the annoying ass vegan. If your friends offer you a beer don’t be the person who says, “How dare you tempt me with that hoppy deliciousness, don’t you know I have a contest coming up?” Instead try this, “No thanks man, I’m not drinking tonight I’m DD for my friends.” This probably won’t be a lie either. The point I’m trying to make here is that your friends were your friends before this fitness thing started. They care about you and won’t judge you for being healthy if they’re actually your friends, so why would you be a dick to them for enjoying life their way? Respect them and they’ll respect you, if they don’t then get rid of them.
Okie-doke Shaylon I hope this post was everything you wanted and more! Haha, but seriously guys she has a great blog so please go check it out, and no she’s not paying me to say this! She, honest to god, puts out great content and has supported me every step of the way through my blog journey, and we’ve never met! You won’t regret giving her page a shot because you’ll laugh and learn your way through every post.
Until Next Time,
Drink Beer, Enjoy Life and Tell Your Friends and Family You Love Them