Once upon a time, I was a lean mean fighting machine, serving first in the Army then in the Air Force as an aircrew survival instructor. While I was not able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound and I was never faster that a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive I could move stealthy through the jungle with full gear, jump out of airplanes and spend hours in ocean waters.
Lean and mean in 1979!
Fast forward to 2015, I was 70 pounds over my military weight with high blood pressure, bad lipids and close to being pre-diabetic. I knew that I needed a wholesale revamp of my workout routine and nutritional habits but I also realized that if I was going to be successful that I needed to re-capture the same mindset that made me elite some 30 years ago. Mindset, how can I best describe mindset? I remembered having an unstoppable mindset but I could not quite feel it. I knew that it would take an extreme change in attitude to transform my fitness level and then once I got to where I needed to be, that I could never go back and would have to train to sustain. I also knew that that this transformation would take a few years, it would be a long hall.
2015 in Rome with my daughter (all 220 pounds of me).
My workout routine had become machine based, one exercise per body part 3 times a week and lots of slow steady state cardio. Cleary this was not working, I knew that I had to get back to my roots so I ditched the machines and ventured out to the free weight area of the gym. I was weak and awkward and felt totally out of place. There were quite a few laughs at my expense as I relearned the basic compound movements but I never gave up and simply just kept going. Nutrition wise, I stopped eating out everyday and I cut down on processed food.
Slowly, the elite mindset that I used to have started to return. There’s something about doing 260 pound deadlifts and going from not be able to do a single pull up to being able to do 30 pull ups that increase your confidence. I no longer get laughed at, now I’m one of the guys, lol.
Today, I’m 10 weeks out from a natural bodybuilding contest. I plan to compete in the Classic Physique 40+ event if I can get lean enough by then. If not, I will try a fall event. I’m not really interested in being a bodybuilder, for me it’s an external event that provides internal motivation. Other motivation factors are simply that I feel great, my lipids are good, my blood pressure is 113/65 and my resting heart rate 62 and my blood sugar is normal.
Today I feel like an elite athlete and best of all, my unstoppable mindset is back! Please join me on my 10 week contest prep, I will be blogging often.