Adapt. Overcome. Conquer. - The thought arose during an intense German Volume Training session last week. I had just finished my second set of decline dumbbell bench presses when a gentleman approached me and asked how much longer I had on the bench. For any of you familiar with GVT, you are well aware of the program’s extensive volume structure- I had a ways to go. “Seven sets”, I replied in exhaustion. The gym goer raised his brow in frustration and sat in an adjacent rack for my next six sets. SIX SETS! Bewildered, my training partner and I continued on, alternating back and forth between the decline bench and the pull up bar. Was this guy really going to wait twenty minutes for our bench? I pondered over potential exercise substitutions during my rest periods. I visualized a widespread list of options that, if up to me, would more than suffice for lower chest fiber recruitment. From selectorized, cable, and plate-loaded modes, to slightly modified free-weight variations, the on looking member had plenty of opportunities to adapt, but he didn’t. While on my way back to the bench for my tenth and final set, I noticed that the man had disappeared. Game over; he had called it quits.
Circumstances are never ideal. From training equipment unavailability to work-related time restrictions, there will always be an excuse to quit. In any case, your will power will dictate your success. Regardless of the situation, options do exist. How badly do you want whatever it is that you are working towards? Do your six pack desires outweigh your French fry cravings? If so, then you will find a way to cope. You will go above and beyond to adapt to adversity, persevere and overcome your most challenging obstacles, and diligently conquer your goals. Where there is a will, there is a way.
To the best of my training knowledge, nobody aims to look worse. To improve your fitness, you must continually progress in some way. Your success requires a certain effort level, and the journey is not always pretty. We have all seen the popular Instagram gym meme titled, “Success”. The meme is split into two separate metaphorical images. The image on the left, captioned, “This is what people think success looks like”, is a straight line with an arrow pointing endlessly in one direction (ideality). The picture on the right, labeled, “This is what success actually looks like”, is a squiggly ink blob (reality). The difference? YOU. Turn your squiggly, blob-like fitness journey into something much greater. Adapt, overcome, and conquer adversity to unleash your greatest potential. When times toughen, work harder AND smarter. Put on your thinking cap, strap on your grimy hard working boots, and surmount all resistance separating you from your ultimate destination- the finish line. Even if your improvement requires additional effort, the results are well worth the sacrifice. As many fitness enthusiasts say, “always improvise, never compromise”.
Your fitness journey pinned you against yourself, not you against the world. You chose to wake up at 5am before work to run five miles. You chose sobriety on a Friday night when you and your friends were out having a good time. You chose to prepare and eat chicken and broccoli day in and day out, and neglect the foods that once comforted you from your physical demise. You chose a new life, with new goals, and a new destination. Excuses became non-existent in your efforts to overcome adversity on the road to the new you. Your sacrifices strengthened your will to succeed. Your commitment to the struggle shaped your success. Look at you now. Your six pack is your reminder that anything is possible. Your toned arms and firm legs give you the confidence that you have always longed for. Your physical strength, stamina, and well-being now define you and give you peace of mind in knowing that you can accomplish anything and everything you set your mind to.
Adapt. Overcome. Conquer- The principle applies to life. Expand your horizons and implement it in everything that you do. Leave your excuses behind and take control of your future. After all, you are at the center of your own success. Abolish all self-made limitations and strive for betterment in every life aspect. A little bit of will power will go a long way. Turn adversity into triumph and create your greatest you.