Kane Sumabat: Training Is Not Just A Means To An End – It’s An End In Itself

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Kane SumabatA week ago I saw a brilliant movie about Kane Sumabat who is 46 years old and in amazing shape.

Kane Sumabat has been training for 35 years, and while he is not as strong as he was in his 20’s, he still keeps improving his physique each year.

I highly encourage you to watch the full 4 minute movie about Kane’s training philosophy on the link below:

The movie is so good that I have watched it at least 30 times over the past week.

There’s one quote in it that resonates better with me than anything else:

“For me, training’s not just a means to an end. It’s an “end” in itself. So, I don’t need that whole competition thing. I don’t need that validation.”

– Kane Sumabat

In other words, Kane doesn’t have a ripped physique because he FORCES himself to go to the gym or because he feels pressured to build a better physique than other guys in the gym.

He has a great physique because he LOVES training.

The workout in itself is what makes him happy – not the outcome of the workout.

I believe that this is the best training philosophy you can adopt, and this article will explain why.

From Gym-Rat to Cheerleader

At the end of 2012 I had been lifting heavy weights for a few years at the gym, and I was close to say “screw this, I’m sick and tired of this whole bodybuilding lifestyle. I’m putting in the hard work and getting nowhere.”

Oskar 1 Year Progress

From February 2010 to April 2012 I had gained hundreds of pounds on my compound lifts, and tried various bodybuilding diets with no success at all.

  • I tried bulking up and gained weight slowly, but I had a hard time making any strength gains.
  • I tried eating at maintenance and stayed at my natural bodyweight (200 pounds), and saw no changes in my physique.
  • I tried cutting down below 200 pounds, and I would lose the little strength and muscle I had gained during my bulks.

Then, one day in 2012 (end of 2nd year of training) I met a few cheerleaders while out partying with my undergraduate study program.

They told us (the guys) that we should come out and try cheerleading.

Most guys thought it was a joke, but I listened to what they had to say, and decided to give it a shot.

I went to my first cheerleading session with a friend of mine, and we had a great time.

Unlike what most people think, cheerleading is a very demanding sport.

Competitive cheerleading is different from what you see on TV – it’s not all about girls with pompoms – it’s about stunting, acrobatics and tumbling:

cheerleading extension

The training sessions we had in cheerleading were some of the hardest I’ve done in my entire life, and as a result I saw great changes in my physique.

When you train in a way that you enjoy, you push yourself more and even if that training program is not as good as other “proven” routines, it will produce better results since it will make you want to train all the time.

When I look back on my days as a competitive cheerleader, I get a smile on my face and think about all the fun times we had in my team.

The highlight of my day was the cheerleading practice where I was excited to test my strength, power, balance and muscular endurance.

In contrast, when I look back on my days where I trained with heavy barbells, I think of myself biking to the gym, dreading the training session that is to come.

In other words, when I switched my focus from heavy barbell training which I dreaded to cheerleading which I enjoyed, training became an end in itself rather than just a means to an end.

This switch in my training made me happier as a person, and over time gave me better results.

In the end, doing what you love is much more important than validation (and often produces better results since you want to do it all the time)… Instead of doing something for validation, you should do it because you enjoy it, and see the validation you get as a “nice bonus”.

Validation Alone Won’t Make You Happy

In my last article I wrote about how Mike Joplin’s amazing 1 year transformation was driven by his desire to attract the right kind of attention from women.

Mike was sick and tired of being called the skinny guy… He wanted validation from women, and he got it once he added size to his skinny physique.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting validation.

It’s a human need to want to feel important, so if you don’t get the validation you need because of your physique, then go ahead and use training as a means to an end.

However, once you start getting validation, it will feel good for a while… Until you get so used to getting compliments, that you become “immune”  to them.

The MORE validation you get, the less value you will feel from additional validation.

And this is exactly why seeking validation for your physique is not a good long-term strategy.

Instead, you want to rely on making your eating and training an enjoyable part of your day like I did as a cheerleader.

Remember, results in fitness do not happen over a few days or weeks.

The small results that you barely notice happen over months, and the BIG “visible” results happen over YEARS.

Therefore, staying consistent with a DECENT strategy throughout the whole year is 10 times better than doing an intense training routine and diet for 2 months at a time, and then slacking for 3-4 months because you’re sick and tired of eating dry chicken breast and doing a training routine you’re bored with.

How I Make My Own Training Enjoyable

I love to train 4-6 days a week for 2-3 hours.

When I train like that, I feel my best and look my best. Anything less and I start feeling depressed and losing size.

Also, I like to mix my training up throughout the year:

  • In the spring and summer when the weather is good, I don’t like going to the gym. I like to go out for a run and do calisthenics outside with my friends from Calisthenic Comrades. (A club in Copenhagen for people who do bodyweight exercises outside).
  • In contrast, when it’s fall and winter, I love going to the gym. When I train at the gym, I will usually start my training session with a few sets of muscle ups, handstand push ups or heavy military presses and then keep the rest of my training session light.

I don’t track my training and I don’t have a set training routine because it takes the enjoyment out of my training. 

(Keep in mind that tracking your training is BETTER as beginner until you build a solid foundation of strength and discipline).

With that said, I do track my bodyweight and measurements every Sunday morning, and I take monthly progress pictures.

If my measurements are not improving, I know I need to train more and harder.

In contrast, when they are improving, I just keep doing what is working until I get bored with it.

And, it works for me… In the 5th of training I’ve gained 15.4 pounds, over 3 inches on my shoulders, 5.5 inches around my chest and just 1.5 inch around my waist.

Those are better muscle gains than I made in my first year of training!

Develop A Training Ritual

Another thing that is crucial to make training enjoyable is to develop a training ritual.

My training ritual goes like this:

  • Cook healthy meal and eat it while watching inspirational videos on YouTube.
  • Meditate 15-20 minutes to clear my mind from the work I did in the morning.
  • Find nice music I like and put it on my headphones.
  • Prepare my gym bag and post workout shake with everything I need.
  • Clean myself and comb my hair – I train better when I’m clean and look my best.
  • Take the bus to the gym while visualising my training session.
  • Train my ass off for 2-3 hours as if it was my last training session and finish off with 5-10 minutes intense cardio until I’m dripping wet. (I listen to music I like throughout my entire training session).
  • Stretch for 20 minutes. (When I stretch I recover much faster from training, feel better and have better posture).
  • Eat a chocolate bar and drink my post workout shake. (I reward myself after every training session with a small snack).
  • Take a long shower in the gym.
  • Go to the grocery store and buy the food I desire for dinner, then go home, cook it, and eat it slowly while responding to comments, emails etc.

My gym ritual starts around 3-5 PM and ends around 11 PM where I’m so exhausted all I want to do is relax for a few hours, then sleep.

For some of you, that may sound like a lot of sacrifice, but you have to keep in mind that I didn’t start off like this.

I gradually built up my love for training… The more time you invest into the gym and the better results you get, the more you start enjoying training.

If someone told me that I wouldn’t make any more gains in my training, I would still keep going to the gym like I do now, because I’ve made my training into an end in itself rather than a means to an end:

And I want YOU to do the same thing: Develop such a strong love for your training that it becomes an end in itself rather than a means to an end.

It worked for Kane Sumabat, and it’s working for me… Do you believe it will work for YOU?

Be proud but stay hungry!

– Oskar Faarkrog

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Comments

  1. Squat, psoas, hamstring, shoulders. Check out my 2min video here

    http://youtu.be/9hIl0LJ2rbM

    On other days I add thoracic spine mobility on a tube roller

  2. Hi

    I just wanted to give some nuance to the choice between working out like a maniac (spending more than 7 hours a week on exercise related activities) and a schedule for somebody with other interests as well.

    I’ve been going to the gym for 30 years (I’m 43). I mainly go because I like it, but contrary to your regime, I exercise as LITTLE as possible. Currently I work out every second day, but will probably soon cut back to 3 days a week from 3 1/2.

    RESTING at least both the day before and the day after a gym session is what keeps it FUN in the long run for me.

    In addition, I would never train as if it was my LAST session. Quite the opposite – I train as if it is the FIRST session of 3 days a week for the rest of my life.

    When I was 15, I was 1.84 m tall, weighing 54 kg and benchpressing about my BW. Now, aged 43, I’m 1.82, weighing 91kg and have pressed 140kg. In between I have regularly clocked 70 hour office workweeks and countless binge drinking sessions.

    Also, I don’t have a pre workout routine, my weight lifting sessions takes ‘only’ around ONE HOUR, my “cardio” consists of 5-10 minutes on the tread mill as warm-up (so approximately 20 minutes/week), and my stretching is limited to 5 minutes every fourth day; less than 10 minutes per week.

    My regime seems to be working for me. I’m no Kane of course, but my output/input ratio says something about my effectiveness: http://mikaelsyding.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/pre-op-kopia.jpg?189db0

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Great insights, physique and results, especially given your age and that you drank a lot.

      Have you posted your stretching routine anywhere? I’ve always had bad posture and still working on it.

      Also, great bench press! I can do around 100 kg, although I started at 30 kg, and don’t train it. My chest grows too much on the lower part when I do it.

  3. Never heard of that guy, but he looks insanely ripped….

  4. Dakil Karru says:

    Hey Oskar ! I am 13 years old,skinny fat and weak . I am 57kg and 164cm with a bf around 20% (big belly,fat boobs,love handles,big butt (fat ) and fat legs/tighs ) . I want to ask you what I should I do about diet ? Cut or bulk ? Use the 10 rules that you said to lose fat ( I will not use 1 one rule because I can’t eat the same foods everyday ). ? Or another things ? What should I do ?
    And about training,is bodyweight enough ? I don’t have acces to the gym so it’s the only alternative. So what u say ? I am very weak can’t do 10 push ups or 1 chin up ! Are push ups,negative chin ups and pull ups,inverted rows,squats and sprints enough ?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Cut until 10-12% bodyfat.

      Bodyweight is enough, and you can build a great physique with it. Just google lazar novovic, frank medrano and hit richards (all 3 use bodyweight only).

      To get your first pull up, get my free ebook, it explains how to get it. For push ups, just build up slowly. If you can’t do 1 push up, start with knee push ups. Baby steps add up over time. I started at 0 pull ups, 0 push ups and can now do 20 pulls ups. If I can do it, so can you, especially if you start this early (the earlier the better)!

      Yes, those exercises are great. It’s all you need at this point. Here’s a good training routine for you that many of my readers have used with success: http://skinnyfattransformation.com/bodyweight-training-skinny-fat/

      By the way, I’m happy you get started so early. At your age I didn’t even know you could naturally build a great physique. I thought it was only something that could be done by athletes with elite genetics and bodybuilders on steroids.

      • Dakil Karru says:

        Oskar, I have another question .
        If I follow your 10 tips to lose fat, I will not stun my growth and get too skinny like a skeleton ? Because it’s 2nd attempt to weight loss. My 1st I lost 5kg (153cm 60kg to 155cm 50kg but I lost a lot of muscle ) . I am afraid of stunting my growth will it happen ?

        • Dakil Karru says:

          And also will I get too underweight ? Or not ?

          • Dakil Karru says:

            And another :P If I do push ups everyday 4 sets to failure slow and controlled repetition will I increase my max number of push ups ?

            • Oskar Faarkrog says:

              Don’t focus too much on slow reps in the beginning. Focus on adding reps while using full range of motion (chest to floor, arms extended). Also, don’t go to failure. When you know you can’t complete the next rep, stop the set. By doing that you won’t burn out fast and avoid injuries. Finally, I would recommend you to do push ups 4 days a week in the beginning for 2-4 sets (depending on feel) then gradually add days.

          • Oskar Faarkrog says:

            Weight doesn’t matter.

            Your bone structure and level of muscle mass determines your weight.

            Imagine two people who have the exact same height, but one has very thick bones, wide shoulders and a lot of muscle mass while the other has thin ankles, wrists, narrow shoulders and no muscle. Both can be at the same weight, but the thick boned guy would carry less fat since his bones and muscle take up more of his weight.

            My point is that you shouldn’t look at weight, but at body composition: How much muscle mass and how much fat do you have? If you have too much fat, lose that first, and then build up your muscle mass afterwards.

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          If you carry excess bodyfat it’s more important to get rid of it than to think of eating a lot. As long as you eat healthy and don’t starve yourself your growth won’t be stunted.

          • Dakil Karru says:

            By doing that I will increase my max number of push ups right ? And also,I should follow the 10 tips to lose fat ? 3 meals a day (eat healthy food until full) and the other tips ? I will not follow the step ” eat the same foods everyday ” because my mom cooks the food and everyday eat different food there .Is there any problem if I can’t follow that rule ?

            • Oskar Faarkrog says:

              Hey Dakil, you got it right. Just ask your mom to cook healthy meals and you will be set. No problem as long as your meals are clean.

              • Dakil Karru says:

                But still,your answer confused me a bit .I need to keep eating 3 meals a day ? Or should I eat only when I am hungry and until I am not hungry ?

                • Dakil Karru says:

                  But still,your answer confused me a bit .I need to keep eating 3 meals a day ? Or should I eat only when I am hungry and until I am not hungry ? (Number of meals don’t matter ) ?

                  • Dakil Karru says:

                    And also,this is the last question .
                    So I can only sleep when I am tired/sore. But usually when I workout I don’t get very tired/sore. This is my workout:
                    Half chin ups 5 reps followed by 5 negatives
                    20 bad form push ups (elbow flared out)
                    30 squat jumps/normal squats
                    What should I do about my workout to start getting tired/sore. I want to my workout make me sored and tired because if it doesn’t,I will not sleep well and not feel well because I only feel well when I can sleep and I feel tired and sore because this way I feel that I am having results .

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      And also (sry for spamming,I just don’t know a lot of things ) will trying to lean down make my wrists smaller and weaker (they are very small and very weak I want to make them bigger and tronger ) and my arms too ? Will they get weaker and smallr ? I don’t want that to happn because they are to skinny.
                      There is also one thing .
                      When I eat I feel fat and I think to cutt
                      When I am hungry I feel skinny and I think to bulk
                      Is that normal ? :P

                    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                      Your wrists are bone and bones don’t shrink.

                      Your arms may decrease in size if you have fat on them.

                      Yes, it is normal and most skinny-fat guys suffer from that. Here’s the solution: Get lean once in your life, then make it a goal to never increase your waist with more than 2 inches. When you do a bulking cycle, do it until your waist increases with 2 inches. After that, cut back.

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      Hey bro ?

                    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                      Soreness doesn’t mean anything in regards to building muscle, but if you really want to feel tired, just do some cardio everyday. Go do sports, go for a run or ride a bike until you are drenched in sweat. Problem solved.

                • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                  3 meals a day until you feel full.

                  • Dakil Karru says:

                    This is the really last question.
                    I don’t knnow how to schedule my meals .
                    So I hav breakfast at 8 o’clock,then 2nd meal at 12:30 and the 3rd meal I don’t know when to schedule my 3rd meal . Can you help me with this pls ? (I workout at 17 o’clock-18 o’clock )

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      And also my arms/wrists are skinnier that yours when you still were skinny fat

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      My wrists and arms are so skinny that you could put a ring until my shoulder

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      And also if I try to lean down,will I get stronger if I do bodyweight exercises ?

                    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                      If you train properly you will gain some strength, and by reducing your bodyweight you will make the bodyweight exercises easier, thus adding reps to the exercises.

                    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                      Schedule it after your workout so you don’t go hungry to bed.

                  • Dakil Karru says:

                    So I should do bodyweight training and eat 3 meals a day until I am full to lose fat and get stronger with 13 years,57kg,167cm and 16-18% bf right ?
                    I will not stunt my growth right ? and I will not get weaker ? (weaker in terms of strength and wrists and joints because my wrists and fingers/hand don’t have fat/muscle at all,only bones and are very skinny and weak)

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      There is one things that make me feels bad and weak,and that is because my hand are very lean (bones are showing almost) and also my wrist has a ball that shows . Did you have the same thing when you started your transformation ?

                    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                      Dakil, you are focusing too much on small details because you spend too much time looking at yourself in the mirror. I can almost guarantee nobody notices the bones on your hands.

                      My suggestion is you start focusing on the big picture: LOSING FAT and GETTING STRONGER while keeping your mind occupied with other things than the look of your physique. Over time you will be a better version of yourself if you focus on the important things.

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      Ok.
                      But those objectives :leaning down and getting stronger (I am very weak I can’t carry products from grocery stroe becaus I am very weak),will come only if I train with bodyweight exercises and follow these 10 rules of dieting right ?

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      Man,don’t if you can,but could you resume all questions that I asked (I will list thm here again) and some others that I have?
                      If I have 3 meals a day until I am full trying to lose fat will it stunt my growth ?
                      I have already small arms and wrists (weak too),will they get bigger ?
                      What type of cardio should I do ? Running,jump rope or burpees or another thing ?
                      What workout should I do at home when there is no chin up bar ?
                      Will I get stronger ? I really need to get stronger and bigger because at school there are guys that bully me because I am too weak and too small (not in height,but muscles and width) .I really need to get stronger ?
                      If I am hungry can I add 4th meal trough the day?
                      (I want to get a body like Lazar novovic bar brothers and a very high athletic capability)

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      And also,I will get lean right ? It’s healthy to do that at my age ? I want to get a beach body/athletic body .
                      And how can I improve my athletic performance ?
                      I do bjj and everyone laughs at me,how can I get stronger for this too and leaner ? (I already mentioned somewhat alike question but answer both please)

                    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                      Dakil,

                      First of all, don’t ask me about whether one specific method will make you lose fat or gain muscle. There’s no way I can know since everyone is DIFFERENT. Just try something and see if it works. If not, move on to the next thing and try that. No amount of reading forums and websites can replace taking ACTION and gaining EXPERIENCE.

                      Second, I’m very busy, therefore ask me ONE question at a time! List your most important question, and if that’s not enough, get a personal trainer. You’re asking me to structure a workout plan + diet specifically for you and answer questions everyday. Have you considered how much time that would take for me?

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      Btw I am now 167cm,59-60kg and 16-20 % bodyfat

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      And also I get a bit bullied because of various reasons: I am too weak,not big,because I am a bit fat and other reasons.
                      They troll my parents and me.
                      What should I do in this case ?

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      ps: my objective is getting leaner,musclar,athletic,stronger with bodyweight training like Lazar Novovic(ripped,muscular ,athletic and strong with bodyweight training) or major part of militars (in almost all the world ) (ripped,muscular ,athletic and strong with bodyweight training)

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      Ok man no need to answer all those questions but just answet thse 3 please .
                      If I focus on getting lean and doing calisthenics,will I get lean,athletic and stronger so others stop bullying me and stronger for bjj ?
                      Will I get more confident,less scaried and make others stop bullie me if I get lean and get stronger ?
                      What cardio should I do and what exercises should I do at home if I don’t have chin up bars at home (my parents don’t want to buy me one ) ?
                      I am now 167cm,59-60kg and 16-20 % bodyfatmy objective is getting leaner,musclar,athletic,stronger with bodyweight training like Lazar Novovic(ripped,muscular ,athletic and strong with bodyweight training) or major part of militars (in almost all the world ) (ripped,muscular ,athletic and strong with bodyweight training)
                      Pls answer only this and I will stop spamming you

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      Forgot one question,if I eat 3 meals a day until I am full looking to get leaner and lose bodyfat,will it stun my growth ?

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      I forgot another question…Are oats and milk good foods ? Should I eat them ?

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      I don’t remember all questions … But here is the last,what you recommend doing for abs ? (I want to get visible abs but also hard abs,so when someone hits me it doesn’t hurt so much

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      Ok…Ok,I understand.
                      Jokes apart,this the last question it’s about push ups.
                      How should I do push ups ?
                      Elbows bend in or out ?

                    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                      Elbows in.

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      Hey man,please answer me only this
                      3 meals a day,should I eat each meal a lot ?Until I am full ?
                      I startd my transformation on monday and my mom said even I make 3 meals a day,each meal I eat a lot (today lunch I ate half of a chicken and 100-200g of rice+ cabbage salad (cabage+olive oil+onion+salt and black pepper)

                    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                      Eat until you start getting thirsty. (When you start getting thirsty it’s a sign you’re full).

                    • Dakil Karru says:

                      There isn’t other sign ? Because I always drink and eat both at the same time :P Or I drink right before eating

                    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

                      Stay hydrated throughout the day, and eat without drinking. Drink after your meal.

  5. i wish i could train this frequent but im still getting to know myself cause i still seem to get “mini injuries” that would hinder me for at least 3 to 5 days, the way you see training is pretty much how i see it, also, i don’t do what some ppl would call “auxiliary” exercises, cuase from the way i see it, you would only and truly benefit from heavy exercises that demand everything of you, not from mini exercises, its like if you try to bring down a wall, you use one single big heavy hammer and not a variety of mini hammers, doing different exercises scatters all your energy and focus, thats why i no longer believe in isolation

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hey Pedro,

      You wanna build it up gradually and test your own limits. Some people may only be able to train 4 days a week for 45 minutes. Others may be able to train 7 days a week for 3 hours. It’s all about finding YOUR limit.

      I disagree about isolation training. Isolation training is great to build up lacking muscle groups and to add pounds to your heavy lifts. For example, if you have trouble with the final part of the overhead press, strengthening the triceps through isolations can add 10 pounds to that lifts pretty much overnight.

  6. Inspirational video…thumbs up to kane and u 2

  7. Hi Oskar,

    I came across your website and I have to say, very interesting. What strikes me a bit is that you excercise 2-3 hours a day. I am so exhausted after 50-55 minutes, (I am a skinny fat beginner, age 36, 90kg, 190cm, 25% fat). How can you excercise for so long, I read everywhere that less is more…

    Thanks,

    Boris

  8. Hi Oskar,
    This is your best article ever.thanks

  9. Nico Collu says:

    Excellent stuff Oskar!

    What hit me most was the talk about how training basically NEEDS to be fun for it to be beneficial in the long run!

    I’ve never heard of an excellent athlete who hates what he does… There will come times where we are tired of it but with the correct knowledge, you can get out of it, maybe all you need is a break.

    Anyways, that’s a long talk in itself.

    Thanks for the article and see you for Calisthenics training!

    / Nico Collu

  10. This article (and video) makes want to go to the gym. And I already went today, feeling sore right now. :)

  11. Great article Oskar and thanks a bunch for the video!!! I’m in the process of writing an article on the same subject and this video comes really in handy :D

  12. Mike Joplin says:

    Oskar,

    Excellent article. I’ve watched Kane’s video probably ten times at least. It’s really inspiring. He’s amazing!

    I totally agree with your following comment: “When you train in a way that you enjoy, you push yourself more and even if that training program is not as good as other “proven” routines, it will produce better results since it will make you want to train all the time.”

    And you also state in your article that you “visualize your training on the way to the gym.” I do the same thing. I have a small home gym, and I go through each workout in my mind before I actually do it. And when I actually do my training, it’s like I’ve already been there. I’m much more focused and productive.

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