There are many publications about how to lift weights, but few good ones that really lay out the truth about strength(I'll share my favorites soon enough). Unfortunately only a few of those talk about the SIDE EFFECTS of getting strong....
Its been a few really good weeks of my strength training program and I have started noticing some changes. No, these changes were not noticed in the mirror. Those truly focused on strength gains turn into normal people, or flubbles(kind of the equivalent to muggles in Harry Potter, but for non lifters) when looking into the mirror. Its nice to look in the mirror just to check if something is in my teeth or how my hat hair looks. It really is quite liberating to not worry about physique for the first time in a while. The changes I have noticed have come in some very interesting ways.
When reading strength novels they don't tell you about the side effect of mental strength. After having a brutal squat session that included atlas stone shouldering(pictured above with a 180lbs stone) and some heavy kettlebell rack carries I have this overwhelming feeling I can pick up anything and carry it for as long as I want. I couldn't help but hope to see a salt truck stuck in the snow and I would heroically go pick it up and carry it back to the road. Looking back today I know that is highly unlikely, mainly because its rare to see a salt truck in West Side Cinci, but after a session that boosted my confidence to new levels I felt I could shoulder the world(I assume that's why they are called atlas stones).
The next side effect that was noticed is the addiction. I broke my body down and I could feel a good pain storm blowing in, but when I got home and found my 90lbs kettlebell still lounging in my living room I was overtaken with one thought. I felt like a prowling tiger and the bell was dinner, a very heavy dinner although. My body and mind longed to pick it up and swing it around for an hour just to show off my new strength confidence. Luckily, the reasonable part of my brain took over and convinced me to sit down, eat, and recover. I'm thanking myself today because the previous workouts were enough to take a toll on my body.
The most noticeable side effect of all was the sore. This was not a normal sore. This is not the same sore you get from doing lunges for hours or from doing 100s of crunches(or insert any other normal gym-goer exercise). This is a deep sore, a motivating sore. My muscles hurt to the bone, not just the superficial muscle that many can barely break down. This sore just enhanced my motivation to hit new areas of my body I may not have been using before. Thanks to Pavel's books Power to the People and The Naked Warrior I have revisited muscle activation and have tapped into some new recruitment to develop a newly felt strength. I have awaken the deep muscles that have longed for a while to be used, to make me stronger.
I want to help everyone achieve new levels of strength, but take this journal as a warning: THERE ARE SIDE EFFECTS. Some people may not be able to handle these side effects. Some people have experienced this and played it off without noticing them self changing. I notice it. I desire it. I can't wait to change even more for the better.
First step to new side effects: Today's pressing workout. Here I come.