“I want you to hit me as hard as you can.”
A wise man once told me “life is a tutorial.” That being said, I would add it’s also about building up a tolerance. You may ask what this has to do with a quote from Fight Club? Well, besides being a stellar film, Fight Club can be an analogy for training.
Improvement is doing. So, in light of that, if you want to be tough, you’re going to have to take some punches. Consequently, if you want to bring up your deadlift numbers, you’re going to have to deadlift until you start shaking. Common knowledge, right? However, what most trainers, gym rats and athletes don’t think about is what the training is doing to them as a person outside of the gym.
What does it feel like to pick up 135lbs after you just cranked out a few working sets with 275 — light, right? The same principle applies to daily life. Like the war veterans who have seen some sh*t but obviously on a less intense scale. When someone trains with intensity at least a few times per week, they become accustomed to pain and pushing their limits mentally as well as physically.
For example, when the time of the test comes, or work becomes chaotic because a coworker has swine flu, the regularly trained individual has a higher likelihood of keeping their cool than the sedentary loser who has never pushed himself in his life. All the more reason to add a few forced reps to your next routine.
Your Daily Dose of Science
A study conducted by Pat Monaghan and Mark Haussmann found the following: “A number of experimental studies have demonstrated that exposure to a mild form of a stressor in early life can mean that the response to stressors in adult life is more effective, a process termed hormesis.”
The key word being “mild” stressor. We’re not talking about doing several tours in Vietnam and then having the ability to work double shifts during Black Friday at Best Buy; rather, frequent, intense exercise would be considered a mild stressor. There is of course the ability to go too far on the stress scale; however, there’s a good chance none of your first-world problems will get you there.
In any case, the further you take your mental game, the better off you’ll be down the road.