The Joy from Dedication
It started like a normal leg day, but I did not know I was about to set a new personal record for squatting at the gym. This moment took three and a half years of dieting and extreme perseverance. This was the moment I was able to admit to my self that the hard work was paying off!
I took my carefully calculated pre-workout meal of two and half cups of milk mixed with one scoop of whey protein and a banana. After chugging the mixture that contains 46 grams of protein and 50 carbohydrates I knew that my body would be adequately fueled for the next 2-3 hours of an intense leg work out. After fifteen minutes of preparation for the workout which included herding my dog into his kennel, I made my second liquid concoction this would drastically increase the amount of oxygen in my blood stream and send me flying into workout mode. I quickly placed two scoops of USP labs JACK3D into a cup filled the cup with water and watched the powder dissolve, my anticipation for the work out growing as I realize that it is almost here. I place the bitter beverage to my lips and gulp it down, maybe out of placebo effect my mind starts racing and my body tightens up. Almost instinctually my body knows that it is time to be placed under extreme amounts pressure and strain, and it can’t wait; I sprint to my truck so I can be in the gym that three seconds faster than I would be if I walked.
Driving to the gym my music won’t go louder, my truck won’t go faster and people just seem to part out of my way, they seem to know that I am on a mission today and nothing will hold me back. After doing forty in a fifteen mile per hour zone I return momentarily to a world based on logic and slow down to the speed limit. Not out of fear for the ticket, but for how long the ticket would take to be issued and the effect that waiting for that period of time would have on my pump.
Arriving at the gym and spending far longer than I would have liked to get a parking spot I walk up to the desk nodding an acknowledgment to the front desk clerk whom I know by name and vica versa. They know me well enough to know that it is not disrespect that causes me not to make small talk but how serious I take my time at the gym.
Since it is mid-day the gym is fairly deserted, only the most dedicated members are here at this time. This is one of my most favorite times to attend the faculties. All of these factors are piecing together in my mind which tells me that today will be a good workout. I can’t help by smile to myself as I walk into the weight room, I cant wait to start. I see five members all whom I know by name, all regulars, I don’t say hi to any of them yet. I have to start working out. I have to take advantage of this massive pump coursing through my veins.
I finish my stretches and do my warm up set of squats. At the time I had recently read an article by a famous power lifter and amateur body builder who instructed that three sets of heavy leg extensions were necessary in order to perform record breaking squats. I head across the gym once again to the machines, an area I normally look down upon but today it would be a necessary activity. After pumping out three sets with the maximum amount of weight possible I realize the potential that today has. I head over to the squat rack. Once again I catch my self smiling in anticipation for the great things to come.
I keep through forty five pound weights on and I keep doing more and more sets with relative ease. After doing four hundred and five for ten clean reps I decide now is when I will max out. I throw twenty five pound weights onto the frame increasing the total to four hundred and fifty five; I take a few steps back and look at the weight, side to side, up and down. Making the executive decision that if I can do four hundred and fifty five pounds what’s ten more? I throw ten more pounds on bringing the grand total to four sixty five. Whew. I take out my headphones finally and shout over to a friend of mine.
“I’m scared” saying it as a joke; soon after I say it I realize that I am pretty scared to lift two and a half times my body weight! But that isn’t going to stop me, not for one second. The adrenaline is pumping and I can’t get enough. “Will you spot me” I enquire already knowing that answer to be yes.
“Yea, For sure, I ain’t spotting this by myself though!” we walk over to another mutual friend and he follows us back to the squat rack…upon seeing the weight he utters a profanity and grins at me. We set up the video camera on my cell phone and clip play.
Taking many deep breathes; I fasten my weight lifting belt tight. I step under the weight align my spine and hips and lift it off the rack. Thinking to myself how freaking heavy this is, I lock my head back and lower my hips making for a great feeling squat. My quads now parallel to the ground I heave back up, I let out an audible grunt.
“One more!” I yell. Once more, head up, hips down, quads parallel and now up! Slowly but surely fighting gravity every inch I lock my hips out on top. My spotters guide the weight forward and it has been done. I just made an earth shattering personal record; it was just three years ago I could barley do one hundred and thirty five lbs twice! I throw off my headphones and remove my belt and collapse on the stool.
We turn off the video camera on my cell phone and all huddle around and watch the lift, three times total. “Ahh you had one more in you!” one friend instructs me. “Great depth another” another one says impressed. I wrap up the rest of my workout and walk out of the gym my legs almost collapsing under me every step of the way from exhaustion and I couldn’t be any happier.