Today I have a guest post from my amazing husband. As you may know, the Baltimore Ravens have made it to the Superbowl this year, and their Linebacker, Ray Lewis, will be joining them. The intensity of this man is amazing and, according to my husband, we can all learn a lesson or two from him. Enjoy!
Watch that video. After that, there is no way Ray Lewis is going to play without fire or step on the field and simply “go through the motions.”
For me, fitness has been a learning journey. First, I learned that it was okay to do something other than push ups, sit ups, and running. Lifting weights, I learned, was not going to make my body “too bulky” (JS- Yes, even men can be afraid of getting too “bulky”) or hinder my performance in daily tasks. It was the lesson that originally got me into the gym and picking up heavy weights.
Second, I learned about different ways to work out, different routines and methods that would garner different results. I started doing my own research online and talking with friends who were also fitness oriented to see what they knew.
Third, I started to learn just how important nutrition is for fitness, and when properly combined with the right fitness regimen, can produce fantastic results – regardless of your overall goal.
Those three lessons took years to learn and to solidify. Once I had them down, fitness became a lifestyle. I put on muscle and started to look better. My performance went up in my job. I was now known by others as a fitness guy. Going to the gym or eating well was not an event worthy of praise or even mentioning, it was just something I did as routine as getting up in the morning and going to the bathroom.
After years, in a way, this became stagnant. I still liked fitness for the benefits it produced, but it became so routine that it felt like every morning when I stepped into the gym I was just “going through the motions” (heavy, intense motions, but still routine).
It must have been a Monday morning after watching the Baltimore Ravens play. It dawned on me that I should pump myself up to train, just like Ray Lewis does before every game (well, not just like Ray Lewis). Ray Lewis is clearly one of the best linebackers to play the game, and part of the reason for that is the intensity he brings to the field. That intensity comes from – partly at least – to the mental and emotional preparation that occurs as he’s stepping on the field.
The amateur athlete can borrow this idea and apply it to get the most out of their individual training sessions. You don’t have to literally do the Ray Lewis dance in front of your gym before stepping in (please don’t). But listening to some pump-up music on the drive to gym or while you warm up while simultaneously (and this is most important) getting your mind and body pumped up for what you are about to do can lead to some serious gains – especially if you have already maxed out on those first three lessons. It’s just one more thing you can do to get a little bit more out of training.