I just finished watching The Dirt on Netflix about Motley Crue. One of my favorite 80s bands and I still blast Kickstart my Heart at the gym! However, I must say that I enjoyed the book way better, but its still a good flick. Then I remembered some of the lyrics to this song and thought it would be a good opener to my next blog post.
I mentioned on an earlier Instagram post that I would write a bit about change, and why I have embraced it in my journey. And as I start to write about it….I realize that it’s harder to tell you why than it was actually to do. And I’m not sure why that is. I guess I have always been like that, once I decide to do something, I just plow on ahead and do it. One person in another lifetime (so it seems) told me once that I was afraid of change. I think she was projecting her fear onto me now that I think about it. I’ve undergone a lot of change in my life: moving not only to different cities, but across the country, changing jobs, changing careers, changing schools. But change is all around us. And sometimes we can’t help but to accept it. And embrace it. But then again, sometimes it’s not for everyone.
So what is change? Apparently it’s both a verb and a noun. If it’s a verb it means make or become different. If it’s a noun it means the act or instance of making or becoming different. Well ok then…I guess I am doing both. I think the big question with change is why? Why do you or I seek change?
I did it as I needed a different mindset. I wasn’t happy with where I thought I wanted to be. I was struggling with my weight cut, I absolutely hated the beginning of 2019. I was burnt out from my programing and putting on weight. So I decided to embrace something different instead of stress about why something wasn’t working for me anymore. Since November I’ve been doing a ton of hypertrophy stuff. Actually longer than November, with only the odd 4 weeks of strength programed in. By the time March came, I was so burnt out on doing 40 some sets of, well everything. Now we know hypertrophy is great for when in a caloric deficit to help preserve your muscle mass, and great for in a caloric surplus to grow that muscle mass. I was maintaining with hopes of going into a caloric deficit. But also my goals changed. Ahhhhh here we go…goals…change…goals change. And that’s OK! You don’t have to be married to one set of goals. And giving yourself permission to accept that, and then to accept your fear of what may or may not happen, not know the effect of whatever you change, will make the transition easier. But it takes some soul searching, writing it out, and talking it out. Nice thing is, depending on what you change, you usually can go back. So here is what I thought about:
Goal 1) Aesthetics vs Strength. I mean common. Who doesn’t want to look good in a bikini? But I also had thoughts of competing in a figure competition. However once I examined my thinking, it just wasn’t making me happy whenever I thought about it. So I changed my goal to focus more on strength, and building power. Getting a 300 lbs deadlift. Just the thought of being functional at my fitness, having strength to lift heavy and maybe even go to a meet had me skipping to the gym. And we all know I am not a fan of cardio! So I changed from hypertrophy blocks to a 12 week powerlifting phase. I will do some accessory work within that, and after I will do a hypertrophy block, followed by another block of powerlifting and getting those PRs! Now I train 5x/week with powerlifting and one day a week with just fun stuff…strongman type of stuff. Sled pulls, tire flips, attempting rope climbs, kettlebells, battle ropes, atlas stones! So. Much. Fun!! And yes, the dreaded cardio needs to worked on too.
Goal 2) Back to that aesthetics and competition again. Now this is what I like to call a soft goal. Do I want it? Yup..just maybe not as much as my 300 lb deadlift. So my plan is to work on some more hypertrophy in fall, maybe go into a caloric surplus for a bit, then do a competition prep…for a physique competition in the Spring of 2020! Changing my focus from figure to physique and changing my time line. And that time line makes me happy. It’s a similar goal to what I have, I just changed it up a bit. And that’s all that was needed.
And change is scary. I still wake up at night wondering if I did the right decision. Am I going to lose my muscle mass (no I won’t), will I get smaller, what if I don’t like powerlifting? Did I waste my time…blah blah blah. But then I re-read all the reasons why I thought of changing in the 1st place and it reaffirms my belief that I did the right thing. And I am happy. I think that’s a great indicator that change is good.
Now the next thing I changed was my eating. Wow that was a big thing for me. From one type of tracking macros, where I never counted my ancillary macros, to counting everything that goes into my mouth. Now at first I bulked at the idea, as in previous times I have failed at this attempt. But what you need to remember, and I need to remember, is that the moment is never the same twice. And what didn’t work in the past, may now work in the present. And yup..that’s exactly what happened. It’s a more flexible way of eating, I am happier (see a theme here?) and I get to apply what I learned to my own personal lifestyle. It’s like taking the training wheels off. I still rely on input from very knowledgeable people at Hybrid Performance Method and Renaissance Periodization, but I apply my macros now to my life! And I love it. I mean I won’t when I loose carbs…but you get the point.
I also changed gyms. Well I still go to my beloved Anytime Fitness, but I decided to go to one that is more dedicated to powerlifting and turning out some incredible bodybuilders as well. You want to talk about scary. All of a sudden you don’t feel so confident, and strut around listening to your music, and just want to hide behind the nearest squat rack. I keep thinking people are staring and rolling their eyes as they see me lift…like whos the new chick? She doesn’t belong here, she can’t pull the numbers we do. Which is all horseshit of course, they are all lovely, encouraging, and knowledgeable people. But sometimes the brain doesn’t know what the heart does. But just being in that environment, with people who have similar goals, journeys, experience has me grinning everytime I think about it.! I can’t wait to see where this takes me!
Now change doesn’t mean it’s always comfortable…in fact I don’t think it’s supposed to be at 1st. That’s how we adapt. And it can be scary, but fun too. I’m not a psychologist so I’m not going to write about how to accept change, how to do it, know it’s right for you ect ect. All I can tell you is why I did it, and what I did change. It’s my journey, and thank you for being part of my change!