The PR-Less Trainer Womans Up

I was loading up the olympic bar to get ready for hip thrusts this morning, and really hadn’t planned this workout to be anything spectacular. In fact, I had been dreading it because some days I need an actual rest interval to recover from just the set up. Today felt like one of those days. I hefted the 45lb plates over, one by one. The big, solid plates at my gym don’t have the nice wide spokes to grab between, and resemble wheels on The Flintstone’s prehistoric ped-powered vehicle. As usual, it took a lot of grip strength to wrangle them off the rack and onto the bar – lifting the 45lb bar with the left hand while maneuvering the 45lb dino-plate on-board with the right. I then slid on a 25lb plate to each side. 45 + 45 + 45 + 25 + 25 = 185lb.

chandelierThat is where I landed a few months ago after discovering just how helpful the aerobic step is for this move (previously I had been thrusting on flat benches, which were just too high, and ultimately limited my leverage and kept me from progressing). This small change allowed me to add 50lb to my lift immediately, but that was in the summer. By this time, most of the new had worn off that chandelier. I knew it and the chandelier knew it too. We just chose not to talk about it.

That is until today. Just 15 minutes earlier I had finished with a client with whom I’d had a passionate “get outta your own way” kind of conversation. She had realized that so many of her obstacles had taken up long-term residence in her brain, and she was determined to get out of her comfort zone to evict them once and for all. She gave me her word that she would stick to her new plan, and I know that she will.

I derive a great deal of inspiration from my clients every day. It’s why I do what I do. But today was different. As I re-racked her barbell and begun mental preparation for my own workout, it hit me. I was in a big rut – mired in my OWN comfort zone – and that had been the case ever since I started working as a personal trainer. “It is so easy to de-priortize yourself“, I always preach. “You have to continually push the envelope to see progress…” yada yada yada. Classic example of the cobbler and his shoeless children. I had become the PR-less trainer.

But that recordless trainer spoke up today. “Why is it that you keep upping and downing this load? You add 5 or 10 pounds one day, then slide back to status quo other days.” I thought about what a fellow trainer had reminded me of a few days before when I’d asked him about training me, “You can always do more than you think you can do. You just have to get out of your own head.” And despite all my gumption for bringing up the rear, that’s just where my own obstacle-tentants had recently started unpacking. The big, clanky chandelier on the floor must have sensed that and spoke up too.

clown noseSo I womaned up. What was the worst that could happen? I could chase my ever-elusive 225lb dream and literally bust my butt not budging an inch? Well, that one’s happened before. I am the biggest clown in the gym because I will try anything. Cue the clown.

So I worked up my courage and loaded the last set at 225. I expected to only eek out a few reps, but to my surprise, I’d evicted the naysaying dream blockers in just 10 repetitions. With a spontaneous, yet beautiful hold on the last one, I might add.

Next stop: 315.

What’s the plan to shine up YOUR chandelier (and maybe even swing from it a little)?