“just go play”
If I was a professional athlete or got paid to lift weights (well, that would be cool) I’d probably approach working out a bit differently.
Every rep of every exercise would be 100% about improvement. What needs to improve most? What’s holding me back? Where am I wasting time and effort?
I would be way more pragmatic.
Now, of course, yeah, I already do take a fairly pragmatic approach to how I train and eat. My own goals are always top of mind — to the point I rarely have to think of them (much less drone on and on about them).
They’re just there, influencing everything from dietary choices to how hard I work.
But there’s still daylight between the weights and my bank account.
Which… honestly, I see as a blessing, because it affords me the space to experiment and just have fun!
I can try a new speciality barbell and slap chains on it. Why not?
Yeah, I know it overloads the triceps and is more “old guy friendly” so it makes sense for me and my goals, but the point is there’s always a bit of playful freelancing.
Go really light on plates and heavy on chains? Maybe next week go light on chains and narrow on grip? Sure.
It doesn’t just keep things fresh — it keeps things fun.
For me it’s like playtime all over again, except I’m approaching 50, not 5. (Not that, in the context of this particular discussion, age matters if you’re having this much fun.)
There’s obviously a wrinkle, though.
While I don’t get paid to lift, I do get paid to help people with their lifting (amongst other things that help make you healthy, lean, and strong).
So everything I try and tweak gets stored in the overflowing toolbox (toy box?) between my ears. Just waiting for the right opportunity, the right problem that needs the right tool, at the right time.
And sometimes the right tool is to just have fun.
It’s like what jazz legend Charlie Parker said:
Master your instrument.
Master the music.
Then forget all that bullshit and just go play.