Spend a minute clicking through the Hybrid site and you will come away with the impression that I am a runner. With all of the triathlon talk, you might also be thinking that I ran cross-country and track in high school or college. And, if not, maybe I was a swimmer – nope.
While it is easy to see why you might think that, truth is, you couldn’t be more wrong. In middle school I was an awkward fat kid – and let’s be honest, who wasn’t? Then, in high school I started playing football and found the weight room. Needless to say, I spent A LOT of time there. If being too big in middle school was a problem, when it came to playing football and trying to earn a college scholarship, I could not be big enough. Although I was able to earn that scholarship and play at the college level, getting bigger and stronger was my full-time job.
So, as it turns out I was never a runner. I was so concerned with how much I could bench, squat, and deadlift, that I wasn’t doing any cardio beyond a 100 yard sprint. But, in attempt to get bigger and stronger, I was doing a bunch of stupid sh*t.
While the list is longer than I can remember or would care to admit, it goes a little something like this…
I ate a STUPID amount of food
If my natural weight is 180, to get to and maintain 230lbs I had to eat about 5,000 calories every day. Since I was trying to gain muscle and not become an awkward fat kid – again – I had to eat relatively clean. A day in the life included;
Eight hardboiled eggs and two cups of oatmeal for breakfast
A gallon of whole milk throughout the day
Two foot long, double meat, Subway subs for lunch
Pre and post workout “snacks”
A massive, anything goes dinner, then two peanut butter sandwiches before bed
Looking at it now I laugh and then gag a little. That is a stupid amount of food. Sure, I got bigger, but there was a lot of damage done to my bank account and digestive system.
I took STUPID supplements
and by that I mean I took EVERY supplement. Think I spent a lot on food? That’s nothing compared to the money I was throwing at supplements. Pre-workout, post-workout, intra-workout, before bed, first thing in the morning – if I wasn’t eating or training I was mixing shakes or popping pills. Weight-gainer shakes with 600 + calories, energy supplements that made me nauseous and a protein shake at 4 am. Yeah, I set an alarm for the middle of the night to chug the protein shake waiting next to my bed. What the hell was I thinking?
I did STUPID sh*t in the gym
Unfortunately, some of the stupid things I did outside of the gym spilled over into my workouts. Having a lifting belt, wrist straps and knee wraps on hand for max effort lifts is one thing. But, using them for every set all of the time falls into the stupid sh*t category. There were however a few workouts I did not need all those accessories for; arms, forearms and calves. Entire workouts devoted to wrist curls and calf raises amount to an epic failure on my part! I guess that’s what I get for following a training plan from FLEX magazine, which I carried around the weight room with me, along with my gallon jug of water – I was that guy.
Even though my list is full of some pretty dumb things, I can’t be alone. What is the dumbest thing you have ever done in an attempt to achieve a fitness goal?
Joe is a writer, trainer and fitness entrepreneur who co-founded Hybrid Athlete LLC, Kettlebell Cardio™ and Race Day Domination. Currently building @fittinsider, a platform for founders, executives, & investors redefining fitness/wellness. Investing in health/fitness companies