Becoming Untrained

In 2013, I had a lot of success but also a lot of undue stress, and part of that stress over the past 18 months (quitting my FT job to go it alone at Driveline Baseball, my son’s slow development, health issues with my wife and I, etc) was part of the reason I stopped training. Training had always been there for me in the past – I loved to lift, take batting practice, throw long toss, etc. Ever since I stepped on a baseball field and was terrible seven years ago, I wanted nothing more than to become a better version of me in that realm, and I would say I was largely successful, becoming one of the better power hitters in our league. (Big fish, small pond etc, but it wasn’t about that – it was about finding myself.)

Dan John said it best – self-control is like a can of shaving cream. Every time you need to exercise some self-control, you have to use the can. Kid whining about using an iPad and you need to talk him down? Press the button. Clients bitching over email that their orders are late because of a USPS screwup? Press the button. Website is crashing? Press the button. Launching a new line of products? Press the button. Get in a car accident that herniates your L4-L5 discs and requires extensive self-therapy to fix the shooting sciatic pain you live with for months? Press the button.

At the end of it all, you need to eat, and a salad and protein shake would cost you self-control when you’d rather just eat something easy.

And that’s how you end up going from a 455 squat and 245 bench to being happy you can squat 185 for a couple sets without any pain.

But those are excuses, and while not poor ones, they are excuses nonetheless. So I decided some time ago that I’d start training again once the schedule clears up, and that happens to be January.

The basic outline looks like this:

Back Squat: 3×5 linear progression, 3x/week, Starting Strength progression – modifications: high-bar placement, no belt, no knee sleeves. Superset 10 swings 1 pood KB for back health between all warm-up and working sets.
Tabata Effort: 8 rounds, 3x/week – Concept2 Rower
Glute-Ham Raise: 3×8, 3x/week
Baseball Stuff: On-ramping TAP weighted ball series, prioritizing arm strength/endurance for 6 weeks (details unnecessary)
Other Accessory Work: Rows, Chins (surprised I can even do a dead-hang full ROM one, but I can), Push-Up variants, Unilateral KB stuff, etc

I also have a standing treadmill desk where I walk at 1 MPH while typing/writing and alternate that with standing there, which has definitely done wonders for my posture. It’s not that hard to get used to, and I really like it. It’s a treat to sit in my Aeron chair at work, but I feel a lot more productive with a walking desk.

Anyway, best of luck to you all. My goals are to stick to this for four months and see where I’m at as the baseball season begins for my HS kids and myself. In a fantasy world, I’m touching 80-81 MPH and squatting 3 plates with ease for sets across while running a easy 7 minute mile, but who knows. All I can control is the effort, and that’s what I plan to do.

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