I joined a new gym last year because of a move to a different town. It was one of the brand name gyms, marketing itself as a “health club”, everything to all people. Somewhere for the family to go swimming, enthusiasts to train hard, couch potatoes to watch TV, they even had a Nintendo Wii console in the lobby. In short, it was comfortable. Now, there is nothing wrong with this level of training, indeed it is what inspires people who would otherwise do NO exercise, to get out and do some form of it.
But I noticed over the last year, a slow decline in the quality of my training (this, despite an increase in quantity). I can’t say for sure that this was purely the result of a gym with all the little luxuries, but it contributed to a mental attitude where I focused more on quantity, less on innovating, more on doing the minimum, and tricking myself into thinking I was getting the most out of myself. While I’m not an elite athlete, I still feel like I’ve cheated myself. Since realising this, I’ve been in the process of instituting a new, different path of training. While this process is essentially never-ending, the basics (to be discussed in a later post) will be defined, tuned and made as immune (as possible), to the laziness that can permeate an otherwise effective training regime.
See also, The Morning Routine.