Train like the Terminator

As I mentioned a while ago I have been meaning to write a post on mindset. It’s been a difficult few months to get anything down on paper because my wife has been in and out of hospital with our twins. Finding time for training has been challenging and some would say impossible. But, impossibility is really just a mindset. It is amazing what you can fit in and achieve if you just change the mindset a little.

I was listening to a podcast and one of the presenters mentioned Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography ‘Total Recall’. Which apparently is an excellent read and for some a blueprint on what it means to be driven to succeed. That reminded me of his famous role in the Terminator (Which scared the **** out of me as a kid).  Here is my favourite quote from the film:

Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever.

Reading this back, and having done some research on Arnie, I’m not sure how much he was actually a character and how much he was just being himself! (Probably minus the killing he wasn’t far from his own persona.) So what are the lessons we can take from the Terminator/Arnie? Here are a few I’ve thought about in my own training and life recently and here are a few thoughts I have gleaned from Total Recall…

1. There is no plan B (It absolutely will not stop, ever.)

In his book Total Recall Arnie attributes much of his success to having no plan B. In actual fact he encourages you to have no plan B! He set his goals and did not stop until he had what he wanted. Now, I understand that not everyone will make it to Mr Universe or a movie megastar, but if you set stretch goals and set out a plan there is nothing that can stop you achieving great things. this is true for your training and life. What’s that saying? If you reach for the sun, you’ll at least end up in the stars.

2. Leave your emotions at the door. (It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear.)

The terminator was a machine. You are not a machine. But in training, it can help to act like one. Emotions are powerful predictors of training success. Overcoming fear, and especially in my experience -  fear of failure is the only way you will achieve great things in your training. I’m not going into this too much as you can read this blog post on learning to love failure to get a deeper understanding of what it means. Leave emotion and ego at the door. Feeling happy, sad, etc are just feelings. They shouldn’t really affect your training and will not be an indicator of your training session success. The Success will be by simply turning up. Missed a session or fell off the waggon? – you don’t feel remorse. You simply carry on working toward your goal. When it comes to thinking about training – think like the Terminator.

3. Do not listen to saboteurs (It can’t be bargained with, or reasoned with)

I find saboteurs everywhere. They can be your closest loved ones, friends or family, even strangers online will try and sabotage you these days. Anyone not on board with your training needs to be ignored. If you have set your goal, be it weight loss, strength gain or elite performance, for example, you will have to leave the saboteurs behind. Most saboteurs (especially with nutrition) don’t even realise they are saboteurs!

‘Just have a glass of wine’

‘Missing one training session won’t hurt’

‘Forget the food prep – let’s go out tonight instead’

If you have set plan A (remember there is no plan B) then you simply cannot be bargained with or reasoned with. Now as we said before – You’re not a machine, so in order to avoid a saboteur, you must identify them before plan A is commenced. Sit down with partners, family, friends and explain to them why your goals are so important to you. In my experience, once the why has been fully explained most of the time you will get buy-in from everyone. If they don’t buy in you have two options as I see it: one – You ignore them (you can’t be bargained or reasoned with) two – you have a long hard look at your relationship. If you’re being unreasonable then maybe you need to reassess the PLAN but not the GOAL. However, in my experience, most people are not being unreasonable, and therefore perhaps you need to take a stronger look at the relationship you have with the saboteur. Cut those ties if necessary.

Thanks for reading guys, hope you can find some use for this. Please comment and share where you see fit. Send it to a friend perhaps?

Happy training and see you all soon.

I’ll be back.


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