You might be wondering what the heck the title is all about. Well, truth be told, I went skiing with my girlfriend this past weekend in a vacation home near Woodstock, NY. The wind chill was negative 14 degrees. So that is where the sub-zero comes in. And well, the rest of the title, as usual my idea was ‘inspired’ by something I was doing and it all kind of fell into place.
I am on a mission to be in the best shape of my life (you have to practice what you preach, right!) and I knew that no gym would be in the area of where we were staying, so I decided to bring two 20 pound dumbbells with me. Now most people would say, “Why bother? You are on a getaway weekend, just take it easy.” Nope sorry, not for me, as I said, I have goals and nothing will get in my way (remember that for later). I had to decide how to get the most bang for my buck with my bodyweight and 40 pounds worth of weights. I knew that for what my focus is (conditioning) and minimal space, I wanted to tax a maximal amount of muscle, thus creating a large oxygen debt (work that fat off, don’t starve it off).
So, I chose five full body, explosive exercises and performed 10×10 (ten sets of ten repetitions, one exercise right after the other, no rest) with 400 pushups tacked on (maximal amount after each complex). For those of you thinking that you can’t do much without all these fancy machines and 20,000 square feet of gym space, think again. The total volume of my workout was 20,000 pounds (5 exercises x 10 reps x 10 sets)! And that is without the pushups factored in! This took me all of 40 minutes so my power output was enough to power a small city (work/time). Are you starting to get the picture? Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the capital I built up while doing my pushups. I knew I had to average 40 in a row after each complex so the sets went like this: 45, 40, 41, 42, 45, 45, 40, 35, 40 and 27. It clicked that if I busted my butt on each set, I would be able to coast through the last sets with my body gasping for oxygen. I built up capital which helped me later. Each workout you complete, every healthy meal you eat and each cup of water you drink are building your ‘health capital’. Be a body-millionaire!
Remember back at the beginning when I talked about goals? Here is a just a quick story, take it for what you want. When Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner asked a roomful of Olympic hopefuls if they had a list of written goals, everyone raised their hands. When he asked how many of them had that list with them right that moment, only one person raised their hands. That person was Dan O’Brien. And it was Dan O’Brien who went on to win the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Don’t underestimate the power of setting goals and constantly reviewing them (from the Success Principles, by Jack Canfield). We can literally do almost anything we put our minds to. Yes, it takes a lot of work, but if you are willing to forgo momentary pleasures and plow through setbacks and road blocks, you will amaze yourself. Go for it!