Hey guys, I know I haven’t posted in a while and I honestly don’t have a good excuse. The school year just started and I have a bunch of stuff going on, blah, blah, blah. I’ve realized recently that this blog has turned into an outlet for me to write my thoughts and musings down. I know that I need to get back to posting more things about fitness rather than the route that I’ve been going recently, but right now these are the topics that I feel like writing about.
Today I want to relate a lesson I’ve learned from fitness to real life, which shouldn’t come as a surprise because it’s all I’ve been doing recently. In your strength career there is a time to test and a time to build, and it doesn’t change week to week. The same could be said for life but in a different way, there’s a time to invest and a time to spend. You don’t go for a one rep max every workout, at least you shouldn’t, but you use weights that you can handle to build up strength and confidence. After you accumulate enough of these workouts then you can demonstrate the strength that you’ve built up over the past few weeks/months. However, if you always go as heavy as possible then you’ll quickly run out of real estate to work with, which will cause you to over train or get hurt pretty quickly.
Think about a workout as drop of water and you only get 2-5 drops (workouts) a week. Everybody has a different sized vessel that they need to fill up based upon their goal. The person who wants to add 50 pounds to their squat or lose 50 pounds of bodyweight will need a bigger vessel than someone who wants to add 10 pounds to their squat or lose 10 pounds of bodyweight. To take this a step further let’s assume that you can empty this bucket whenever you want, so it’s up to you to decide when you’ve accumulated enough to drops to empty the bucket. The bigger your goal in fitness the more drops you need, therefore the more patience it will require in regards to using those drops. Now you can certainly try to accumulate drops faster or use a drop as soon as you get it, but the faster you get there the easier it is to lose.
To explain this I want to use a water cut as an example of weight loss. Any one can use a water cut and lose ten to fifteen pounds in a week, but it’s not a long-term solution to the problem at hand. Going into a competition I will do a water cut to drop down to the next weight class without losing a ton strength, but after weigh-ins I put most of the water weight back on. While you can strategically use a water cut to speed up a process it’s not a good solution if your goal is to be leaner.
Time to relate this to real life, let’s talk about compound interest in regards to retirement funds. Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world because of the way it accumulates, which can seem like magic. Assume that you are forty years old and you invest $10,000 in an account that earns 7%, and every year you put another $5000 in the account. If you want to retire at 65 years old you won’ be able to do it on this account because it will only have $393,000 in it. Now assume that you’re a 25 year old who has a solid job a couple years out of college, if you open the same account and can manage to set aside $5000 a year into this account you will have $1.5 million. This number is without the initial $10000 investment. I picked these numbers arbitrarily, but it proves my point that if you do the right things for an extended period of time it adds up. The earlier you start and the longer you can keep up the pace the more you will have at the end of the day.
I know that it can seem crazy to think about life a drop at a time, but that’s the way that it is. However, don’t get discouraged by the lack of immediate gratification in life, rather enjoy the process of becoming better day by day. There are many lessons that I’ve learned from lifting that apply equally as well to real life. Hopefully this post has helped some of you, please feel free to comment below I would love to know what you have to say!