Turning Point


Thursday 22nd May
Tacfit Firefighter First Alarm
Cycle 5 – Day 18 of 28

I am writing this to share a major turning point in my training. Or more accurately in the perception and growth of my training knowledge and confidence.

I started Tacfit Fire Fighter First Alarm on the 23rd April with two cycles of recovery. I displaced my Tacfit26 Level 2 program and like a kid in a candy store dove into the world of intelligent Fire Fighter fitness.

The journey thus far has been………………..amazing. The same excitement that I had when I started is even stronger. There have been some challenges in the short period of time that I have been doing the program and a major cock-up on my part! Laughing.

The Challenges

1. An old shoulder injury from overdoing tricep dips in the gym in 2011 has reared its ugly head. I believe this is due to the volume of Quad Presses that I have been doing (and/or my mistake with the pull-up exercise; details below). Where the anterior delt muscle attachment joins the arm (level with the bicep) is the location of the old injury. It completely disappears during the workouts but comes and says 'hello' periodically during the day. The RPD (Rate of Perceived Discomfort) is low and I know my body will adapt and deal with it. How do I know it will be ok? Last year, I overdid pull-up training and the same thing happened. After a week of specific mobility my shoulder was stronger than ever and the injury completely disappeared. I am confident this will repeat itself as I am focusing even more on recovery with open and closed chain shoulder mobility. I am trusting my intuition here 

2. I made the following quote on the 1st May:

By doing 7 cycles at Recruit Level I can let my body fully recover from my previous training (which got quite intense) and also get to understand the program fully before attacking it at my current level (Proby).

This was arrogant or naive! The decision to start at Recruit was absolutely the right one, but the perception that it was going to be easy was misguided. It has been challenging and I have loved every second of it.

3. There has been a mental challenge all along the way. This is one thing I LOVE about Tacfit and Tacfit Fire Fighter. I want to remain level headed during a crisis and this type of training provides that opportunity in abundance.


The 'Cock-up!'

I wrote extensively about this yesterday in my article 'I don't believe it' but to quickly recap I was doing a regression to the pull-up exercise and got it completely wrong. Instead of jumping up and yielding with zero pulling motion I was jumping up, pulling and then yielding. This made the exercise way beyond Recruit Level and affected my scores. It was 100% my fault and I am grateful for the error. I learned a lot from it.

Now before I join the Hari Krishnas and go all happy-clappy down the road with my positivity to potential negatives, there has been a real tough part to all this. 

For the last week I have emotionally felt like cr*p. I have been doubting my ability and questioning my performance. I have also been constantly sore. Tacfit Fire Fighter correctly highlighted weaknesses in my performance and I rose to the challenge. My stubborn nature made me persevere. Just because I was having emotional doubts did not mean that stopping or anything remotely close to stopping was going to happen. Absolutely not. It just meant that I had a burden to get over/around/under or through.

The Turning Point

I went into my Moderate Intensity day with a big cloud looming over me. I was always going to be doing my workout of the day but because of this intense feeling I decided to really dial it back. Go super-light on moderate intensity. I also had my new heart rate monitor, which I am loving and I wanted to test it out. It worked beautifully on the Low Day and I wanted to see how well it would perform on the Mod Day.

I took this 'performance goal' of dialing intensity back and…………had the best Moderate Day workout to date. Period. I didn't go super-light on intensity. What I did was completely nail moderate intensity. It was beautiful. What also helped was my new heart rate monitor. It was completely spot on and glancing at it during the workout boosted my confidence. I still take my pulse mechanically during the rest periods but the monitor was like the coach I never had.

Fast-forward to today (High Intensity) and I nailed it again with an exceptionally consistent high intensity workout. Looming clouds? What looming clouds? I now feel on top of the world again with a greater understanding of intensity and ME!

Were my feelings of poop to do with my body trying to give me a message? Maybe. I don't know. I now know that I was pushing too much during the Moderate days and not fully understanding the High days but my ego/desire to get the reps in were hiding this fact from me! This 'over-doing it' contributed to my soreness. The dip into the negative was the catalyst that catapulted me into the positive.

Personal Conclusion

There has to be a healthy balance between the mental, emotional and physical before one can move forward in certain aspects of life and training. I didn’t have it for the last week or so and it had a detrimental affect until I used it to positive effect. Yesterday myself (or my body telling me) found it again. To be dramatic, I feel like I have exploded to a higher level within my training (and possibly in my life) Phoenix from the flames, Baby!

Training is a constant 'battle' to maintain this healthy balance and rightly so. There is minimal growth in 'easy'. Things have to be 'difficult' to adapt. The highs and lows are a part of the pathway. Be grateful for the highs and love the lows. The lows keep us honest and remind us what a true high is like.

Some people will say 'I already know', others will ridicule. I don't care. It is my belief and is working for me. As an aside I also think this balance of the Trinity (mental, emotional, physical) is a huge factor in fat loss but that's a chat for another day.  

I'm very much a believer that there is gold in rubbish and this experience has highlighted it for me yet again.