I got asked a question recently on one of those “Ask me a question” Instagram stories that I never got around to answering because the day got away from me and I had better shit to do than stop my day to focus on taking a selfie video for a Q&A time.
The question made me think and I doubt if I could summarize the answer in a short clip.
“Now that you own your own facility, do you find that motivation to train has increased or decreased?”
Years ago I was chatting with Robb Wolf about something and he said to me, “the worst thing I ever did for my fitness was open a gym.”
I have heard similar sentiments from other gym owners as the stress and hours of owning and operating a gym like we have takes precedence over their own goals. That is expected and that is what has to be done, but it doesn’t mean you eschew your goals, it means you reorganize and recalibrate them.
Unfortunately for many of us, the fear of a new business and the stress of one can wreak havoc on your sleep, eating habits, and training schedule. I can only speak for what works for me, so I will lay out exactly how the fuck I make this work.
Eat boring and predictable
5 days a week I have a breakfast of oatmeal, peanut butter, and 4 eggs. I feel better when eating oats and I have no damn idea why. I feel as if my training is more intense, my gut feels better, and they satisfy me.
For lunch and dinner I select from a combination of ingredients that include: 93% lean turkey or beef, black beans or chickpea pasta, tomatoes or peppers, potatoes or rice, bone broth or chicken broth.
I have one scoop of protein during the day to fill the extra protein hole along with a scoop of Garden of Life fiber and collagen peptides.
Everything I eat is already known with measurements, weight, and cooking time. I am like a motherfucking machine with this and I add extra veg at nighttime for my last meal of the day.
2 days a week when my schedule is less hectic are simple:
Saturday I eat a normal breakfast and then whatever the hell I want the rest of the day to give my mind a small break from the regimented structure.
Sunday I fast the majority of the day because I want to.
I train with a focused intent
What you see above is the exact template I use to do my own workouts. I have a solid structure in place for every main lift. I follow my own Behemoth program and superset it with ring pull-ups until I reach 30 pull-ups. I add extra back work on upper body days because if you think you can overtrain back – you are dumb.
For the rest of the day, I do whatever the hell I want to since my goals are essentially to be stronger, be better, move well, look goddamn good, and perform well.
Sandbags – yep. KB – yep. Timed sets – yep. Anything you can think of short of gymnastics and Olympic Lifting (minus power versions of lifts), I will throw in there as long as it fits the template.
Plus, I always train arms, because well built arms look good.
The bodyweight test standards are lifted straight out of Jim Wendler’s 531 Forever book. I use them as timed tests to keep myself honest with programming. Being barbell strong is cool as shit, but if you can’t actually move your body through space in a competent way, you are useless to nature.
My cardio is using an Airdyne three to four days a week with a varying degree of intensities. Some days I will do HIIT, some days Zone 2 work, and sometimes Zone 3. I don’t force it if I ain’t feeling it. I get the work in and that’s what counts.
I avoid social media scrolling while training
This is obvious. Social media can be a black hole of shit. It is distracting, it is filled with drama, echo chambers, unneeded information, and it’s addictive. In order to ensure I give my training the proper focus it is erased from my head during that session.
Most of you, and me, could use a hell of a lot less of it in our lives, but that is a story for another day.
I try to sleep 8-10 hours a night on days I don’t have to get up early. On days I am up at 5am, I will take a nap after morning sessions.
Sleep is the most underrated training and recovery tool around. The whole “I will sleep when I am dead” bullshit is just that, bullshit. Keep that up and tell me how well you feel after a few months.
This is my basic plan to keep my training goals on point and it works.
I am a walking billboard. I am 44 years old, 6’2″ and 235 pounds. I take care of myself, I look like a guy who has thrown some iron around for a while, I am lean enough, and I walk the walk.
Not a single member in my gym can say “my owners don’t practice what they preach”, because we do, and I ensure I do.
So what is my motivation?
Because I want to and I fucking love training.
Check out the SECOND AND BRAND NEW Ashman Strength System e-book.
Join the Ashman Strength Facebook Page.
Check out Pump, Dump, and Hump; a fitness group based around health, lifting, and sexuality run by my wife and myself.
To inquire about training, contact us for more information or to set up a call about remote coaching.
If you are local to Kansas City and wish to kickass at my gym, visit us at Kansas City Barbell for the ultimate training experience.