First Things First

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The More We Discover


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Here we are amid another 24-hour period and I have your attention for five minutes, scattered and chased as it may be. Some of you are at work squeezing in a personal read to ease the day between important messages. Others are at home between projects, browsing the web freely and killing time.

We invent ways to make life at once interesting and effectual; thatís what we do... most of the time. A ton of work, an ounce of profit, a slab of business, a slice of play: Weíre a patchwork of this and that. We piece together what we want to do with what we must do, the good, the bad and the ridiculous. And with every day and every deed we do the best we can do... most of the time.

Some days we donít want to do a thing. Another day, we say without gratefulness; another opportunity, we note without enthusiasm. Who cares? Why bother? Weíre burned out. The job is boring and the pay ainít so good. Fun is bothersome and our companions are as dull as decaf. We watch the latest news to divert our attention (yikes). We down a can of tuna and a slug of water to indulge the appetite (ugh). We put on our baggies and head to the gym to lift our mood (groan). We get caught in traffic, a favorite diversion (honk).

Sheís goin down and he ainít lookiní so good.

You made the right decision, by hook or by crook, by rack or by stack. Youíre going to the mounds of metal and the stacks of steel to chomp on the iron and chew on the hard stuff. Nothing like a dose of solids and heavy minerals to lighten the load. Not bad for building muscle and might either.

Did I mention character?

You see, the gym is a hotspot for action and a cool setting for focus and thought. Once you step over the threshold and enter its boundaries, you and the space come alive. The noise is a wall to the outside world, the effort put forth a sword against lifeís pressure, the routine you choose a highway to triumph, the pain you endure a relief from the blues. The gym straightens the winding road, brightens the dismal way and adds purpose to a pointless day.

There are times when a slow training session with precise and deliberate movement is preferred to match existing power and energy, desirable to accommodate the mood and most effective for muscle development. Not all our workouts need to be knock-down, drag-out sessions. Lighten up.

A slip ín slow full-body workout means light on the legs with a few select basic movements to bombard the upper torso without concentration on any particular area. I did say bombard, didnít I? We canít resist.

Routines of this sort are best devised in the car on the way to the gym. Of course, some of you train at home, in which case you need to drive around the block a few times. Just kiddin.í

Foregoing a drive around the block, seated on the end of the bench will do. Lots of thinking is done on the end of the bench press. These are last-minute designs built on the latest sensitive input.

Zip, zip. Zoom, zoom.

The more we do this stuff, the more we discover and clarify the be-here-now moment of performance. Muscle building is about what you do, and no less about how you do it. Total attention to the muscle action is essential, and form is ideal when it matches the performer, the mood, needs and ability.

One rep in a million, attend it as if it is the first and last. Nothing else matters. The movement is well-worn, yet as new as a pair of birthday socks. Control to maintain the track and speed of descent of each consecutive rep adds to the exertion of muscle without threatening the bodyís health. The burn and pump and volume of breathing should be maximized, and exercise fulfillment satisfied and the body spared of injury.

Each rep is a hard-earned nugget and should not be spent foolishly. Dig in. Weíll blast it another time, count on it.

The Bomber

*****

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