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Getting physical

Workout 101 � Part Three of Six
The Big Reveal – a Post Pride Update

Ross von Metzke | 04 August, 2006

OK folks, I did it.

I jumped into the deep end, I took a flying leap off the bridge of life � I walked around pride without my shirt on, small peanuts for most, but for me, a first (OK make that second ... there were the twink years, which I try desperately to forget sometimes). But for the first time in my life, I wasn�t strategically placing bags or arms or cocktails in front of my gut to keep people from noticing I hadn�t quite achieved my goals.

Nevermind that I haven�t quite achieved my goals – I�m closer than I�ve ever been before, and with the help of a mystic tan, not eating that morning and the fact that half the people walking around the festival were going on 3 hours sleep, I looked damn good.

Of course, that�s not quite the final result I was going for. I don�t want to rely on good shading and the sleep deprivation of others to have the guts to walk around shirtless. But it was a definite step in the right direction.

Of course, after two days of fried chicken, Vodka Mojitos and no pit stops at the gym in between, I�m not exactly back at square one, but I certainly have some making up to do. And I know this is the point where my trainer David Rich would step in and say, bad Ross, you cheated, but I never claimed I�d be able to go cold turkey into this workout craze. And frankly, I think if I did, every last one of my friends would drop off the face of the earth – I�d be intolerable to work with.

Still, back from Pride and in the gym, the work begins again. Now that we�re on to pyramiding and continuation sets and pushing our bodies to the absolute limit in search of some sort of physical result, I�ve noticed a few things.

1. I don�t push myself to the limit. Hardly ever. Sure, there are times I�m tired and worn out after a workout, but as I�m lifting weights or doing crunches, I�m constantly saying to myself, �You�ve done good today, Ross. You don�t have to do that last set.� Or, �Take it easy on the weight today Ross. You�ve got a long night ahead of you.� I don�t mean to imply I don�t work when I go to the gym, but I don�t work my body to its limit, which is what you need to do to get ahead in the gym.

2. I would probably benefit from going to the gym with someone. You see, in all my time of working out, I�ve always been so embarrassed by how little I might be able to lift or how pathetic it is that unless I run at intervals on the treadmill (2 minutes at 7 mph and 1 minute at 4 mph) I�m practically useless. I�ve never been the strongest runner, and that�s always been a bit embarrassing for me. But now that I�m doing better at the cardio and lifting some actual weight on the bench, I think it�s gotten to the point where if I want to get to that next level, I need someone to lift the weight off my chest if I max out and damn near drop the fucking thing.

3. I might want to look into checking out a new gym. Convenient as the 24 Hour Fitness chain has been for me over the past several years, I think it�s time I attempt to get my ass into a gym that doesn�t have a half hour wait for a treadmill or three people asking if they can work into the leg press with you. I�m supposed to wait 90 seconds between sets (orders from David Rich) and I either have some guy tapping on his watch because I�m holding him up or I�m standing there 3 minutes while a workout pair take turns setting and resetting the machine for their height, weight and skill level.

4. I used to laugh at the guy next to me who berated himself as he did crunches and lifted weights. 'Come on fat ass, you can do it,' he'd grunt. 'One more lardo,' I'd hear him yell. Nevermind that everyone around him staring thought he looked like a fool, it was his way of working out with his all until the bitter end.

And while I doubt I'll be screaming obscenities at myself in the mirror as I go for that final incline bench press, I have come to the conclusion that visualizing Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Ryan Phillippe in 54 and then pushing myself to look like that makes the final rep of any set a whole lot easier to crank out. And, to be frank, staring at these pictures of David Rich (above and right) as I write about my workout woes reminds me to do just a little better next time.

So I�ve made myself a promise. This month, I will focus on working until I can barely stand and then pushing it a bit harder. Not to the point of winding up in the emergency room, mind you – just to the point where I feel like I have offered my body a real challenge. I am going to scrounge up one of my friends who�s as serious about doing this as I am and make him tag along to the gym at least two days a week. And then, once I have both of those ducks in a row, I�m going to see about upgrading to a gym that might actually get me in and out in my allotted 55 minutes.

Oh, and Brad will spend much of the next month on pause on TiVo.

So those of you who have been busting your butts to keep up with this routine, keep at it. In a couple weeks, we�ll be checking back in on you guys, so I want reports. If you�ve checked out, what workout are you doing? What are your highs, what are your lows? What do you excel at and what kicks your ass every time? We want to know.

And until next time.

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Workout 101 – Part Two of Six


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