Is there a life-force to Fitness?

Are the areas of mindset, nutrition and training linked?


I remember many times where my training and nutrition was perfect. Then knocked off track by a tiny detail.


For example, during my first year of university I was fixated on becoming a professional rugby player.


The study of sports science, the research on strength and conditioning I was doing, it was all very selfishly for my own gain!


I had my meal plans mapped out and printed, stuck to a corkboard in my tiny student accommodation.


I'd priced up lists of foods to go buy from tesco or aldi or asda, depending on the cheapest - so I could afford MORE food, not necessarily keep the price down.


Supplementation; creatine, fish-oil and whey protein powder were diligently ordered and rationed daily.


Hell, I even did the washing up straight after eating (deffo lost that good habit now!).


Training-wise, I ran sprints on Monday mornings alone on the rugby fields, rugby training Monday nights, lifted weights Tuesdays, played on Wednesdays, inevitable hangover day Thursday, lifted again on Friday. Weekends were spent shopping for food and resting up.


Then something happened that crushed my discipline.


I'll get to it in a little while but let's re-focus on the problem for a second.....


I believe that we are all capable of epic levels of organisation and consistency.


I wasn't necessarily on the best nutrition or training plan back then.


But I bloody well did my plan 100% of the time.


That tends to be the difference-maker in fitness: The DOING of the thing.


Even today I'm writing this with some pride, but also envious of my past focus and discipline (gonna get me fired up though and I'll put some systems in play this week, could be good things to write about!).


Why the hell do we all fall off the wagon so easily?


Back to the story.....


So there I am, New Years resolution time 2007....


"I will not drink alcohol all year."




Bet we've all tried that one.


Yet I did it for almost 3 months, and my training got better.


[Side note: Quitting alcohol gave me a strange, clarity of mind and energy that I can't explain and I've never had since.]


So I'd been almost biblically disciplined for 6 months....


Then I went and had a fucking beer.


It was one of those days where all your friends gang up on you to peer pressure you into a night out.


I can even remember getting out my training journal and drawing a big black X through my planned workout for that day.


I got drunk.


Super drunk.


Like, LEVEL 5 'wanting to steal cars' drunk.


Did I get back on track the next day?


The next week maybe?




I relaxed. Lost my edge. Drank every week.


I kept training and eating clean, for sure.


But missed a few training sessions. Stopped taking some of my supplements. After all, it made no difference to my playing ability.


Then.....I got a HUGE shoulder injury. Ripping my rotator cuff and my AC joint apart.


9 months of no playing.


Then I tore my achilles tendon that summer (being stupid and trying to do back flips to impress girls....*sigh*).


It kind of gets me upset when I look back and wonder what I could have achieved.


Even though I'm 99% sure I was too small, weak and slow to play pro-rugby, and I LOVE coaching now, hell, it's nice to dream!




So on a grander scale, if we look at LIFE and everything in it.


Why does a single night out have the power to stop you going to the gym?


Arguably training and drinking alcohol are two different things.


But they are linked somehow.


Losing integrity in one area chips away at the focus you have in another area.


Is it ok to have a cheat day once per week?


I don't know.


For some people it may be a helpful recharging of the batteries.


For others, it could be the beginning of a self-destructive slide.


They'll have a cheat day then skip a few workouts.


I know, I've been there.


So just food for thought today....


Does increasing discipline around nutrition improve training consistency?


Does better recovery (massage, sauna, yoga) and abstaining from alcohol improve focus and mental intensity?


And the big question:


Does laziness in one area creep into all the others?


What do you think?


Train hard.




Raw Strength Gym


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