How do you go about balancing your training with your sport? In college it was easy. The coaches forced you to lift weights and work on sprint mechanics. Plus, if you had any dreams of getting on the field, you needed to do those things to beat out your competition. In powerlifting, bodybuilding, weight lifting, figure, strongman, bikini, etc. etc. it’s easy because your training is your sport. But what if it’s just a recreational sport? A sport that doesn’t require you to compete for the starting job? What if it’s something simple like running 5k’s and 10k’s, mountain biking, swimming? Then what? You don’t have a coach breathing down your neck; so how do you force yourself to supplement your sport training with your gym training?
This is something I’m struggling with right now. When I have the choice of going to the gym because I have to or going to the climbing gym because I want to, I will almost always choose climbing.
However, I’ve gotten to the point where my body is telling me, through aches, pains, inflexibility, and other sensations, that I’m becoming muscularly imbalanced. (Is “muscularly” a word? It is today.)
The mirror is telling me that it’s time to get back in the gym too. I’m more lean now than any other time that I was a gym rat, so that’s not the issue. The issue is that my non-climbing muscles are noticeably atrophied. I remember writing about that here about a year ago. But now it’s to the point that I actually care about my appearance.
My once noticeable upper traps are nearly gone, making my neck and shoulders form a 90 degree angle. My never impressive chest is now even more less impressive. Biceps – shrinking. Shoulders – no more. Horseshoe-shaped triceps? Still there…but smaller. I used to have 23.5″ thighs. I’m afraid to measure them right now. Though, smaller thighs makes it easier to buy jeans, and I don’t really need them too much for climbing, but I would like a little bit of them back, pls. I think my gf would secretly want some of these features back too.
Despite all of those things, or maybe because of all of those things, my climbing has gotten better. And since climbing is the sport I want to get better at, I still choose climbing.
So, tell me, friends of the internets, how do you balance your gym training with your sport training when gym training doesn’t really interest you? I mean, I’d love to be as skilled of a climber as Adam Ondra, but I most certainly do NOT want to look like him. Pass.