A couple of years ago I quit drinking coffee.
*SHOCK! HORROR! GASP!*
I know, why in the wide-wide-world of sports would I ever do
such a thing?
Quite simply – I was an addict.
I was up to a pot-and-a-half a day.
It wasn’t necessarily the psychological addiction that was
getting me –
It was the physical one.
It was interfering with my workouts.
Well this is something I NEVER see anyone discuss in our
And very few people consider it or discuss it in the “regular”
Yet it’s the one thing, other than actually doing the work
which will determine your results.
More on that in a minute…
First, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that you only have a
limited amount of energy.
Work, spouse, work, kids, after school activities, extra
There are only so many hours in a day.
Bills to be paid.
So how then are you supposed to add in “hardcore” and
“killer” workouts when you barely have enough energy
to get out of bed in the morning without your Pot o’ Joe?
The answer lies not within your kettlebell workouts but
Sounds like some kind of Zen riddle, yes?
That gets us back to that thing that no one talks about.
What is it?
You can’t adapt (get results) if you can’t recover from
And nothing prevents you from recovering like stress.
Which means nothing prevents you from getting results
Back to the coffee…
As much as I love the taste and the “amped up” effect
it gave me – it started to interfere with my sleep.
And my sleep was precious enough – my son was 7
months old at the time – so I wasn’t getting enough sleep
as it was.
So what was supposed to give me more energy, ended
up taking energy from me.
I couldn’t recover from my workouts.
It was becoming more of a stressor – adding stress to an
already fully stressed out life.
As a result, I had to switch to decaf and actually cut
back on my workouts, which of course is counter-intuitive
to what the world around us tells us to do.
See, many of us who are stressed out do something that
We look for the hardest workout to achieve our goals
then try to cram that into our busy, hectic, overwhelmed
Because that’s what the “hardcore” people do – the
“achievers” and “go-getters.” And heaven forbid we should
be anything less.
We get through maybe one or two workouts, wake up
feeling sore and more exhausted then we were to start
with and then –
It’s too – Bloody – Hard.
We can’t seem to make it work.
So we give up, exhausted, postponing our desires for
getting in shape – getting the body we want and know we
For some, this may be a near-daily or weekly occurrence.
For others, it may be monthly or every couple of months.
On. Off. On. Off.
Kind of like trying to walk up a gravel hill –
The illusion of progress.
There may be some perceived forward movement, but the
majority is downhill.
Don’t let this happen to you anymore.
Here’s how you overcome it:
1. Decide how much time you can reasonably afford to
workout each week.
Be realistic here. There are 168 hours in the week. Most
people can “find” 2 hours by simply cutting out some of
the “fat” in their schedules – like TV in the evening.
2. Pick one goal and stick to it until you’ve reached that
Too many times we bounce around with our goals – lose
fat, get strong, whatever…
Pick one. Stick to it.
3. COMMIT to a long-term PROCESS.
This is one many of us fail to do and stick to.
You didn’t get fat and out of shape over night, and very few
people ever get lean and back in shape over night.
Those transformation programs are costly –
– Lots of energy
– Lots of focus
– Lots more stress
In my experience, it’s better to be like the tortoise from
the fable about the tortoise and the hare –
Slow and steady wins the race.
4. Plan for LONG TERM success.
Couple things here –
1) You actually need a PLAN.
Don’t wing this thing. Otherwise you’ll continue to fail.
Plan ahead. Something as simple as deciding to train 3
days a week from 530pm to 6pm will suffice as a start.
Write it down. Get it on your calendar.
2) Most people rarely think about the long term – they
stunt their vision to the here and now.
Hopefully you plan on living a long, long time and continue
contributing to your world.
How’re you going to do that if your fat, weak, and sick?
The answer is: You won’t.
You’ll be a taker and a burden to those around you.
So plan on getting “better” every day and be strong when
3) Plan for success.
The “F” word.
Most of us use it – many of us hate it.
Of course I’m talking about “failure”.
(You thought something else?)
Here’s the thing:
Most of have forgotten that part of success is failure.
In order to ride a bike, you most likely fell. And probably
quite a bit at first.
But, like the “hardcore” “go-getter” mentality so prevalent
in America and the West, we have been trained to despise
We see it as an event that defines us – instead of a learning
Thomas Edison was asked how he felt about failing to
make a lightbulb 1000 times.
His response was that he hadn’t failed – he now knew 1000
ways that didn’t work.
Learn from your past failures.
Know you absolutely can’t work out in the morning?
Then stop fooling yourself into thinking you can. Plan on
a lunchtime or evening workout.
Can’t work out for more than 30 minutes at a pop?
Then stop thinking that new KB workout with the horrendous
number of sets will work “this time.”
It’s ok to have limitations as long as you understand that
in many cases they’re temporary, act as guide rails keeping
you on track, and don’t define yourself by them.
Speaking of limitations – I need to go get some more decaf.
Makes me feel like I’m drinking the real thing without tapping
out my adrenal glands. Plus, the taste is almost the same
P.S. If you’ve been struggling to stay consistent with your
KB workouts – don’t worry. I have a solution for you.
How do you know if you’ve been struggling or not or are
Look at your progress.
If you can look back over the last year, or two, or three and
say, “Yup, I’m leaner, stronger, and in better shape than I
was” – then congrats! You’re making progress.
If not – no worries. You soon will be.