“The frame of the cave leads to the frame of man.” -Stephen Gardiner
Gymnasium. Fitness Center. Athletic Performance Complex. These are a few of the many names that refer to my most frequently visited location besides home & work. I personally prefer to call my training ground, the “Man Cave.” Living in the digital age, apart from manual labor, it’s the closest we come to our ancestral roots of running, jumping, lifting, and exploring. Although the “Man Caves” of today are more refined, its a place where you can come and relieve stress from being cooped up in the office or break away from the couch and TV. When I enter the domain of the “Man Cave” all is well with the world.
John Barban and myself recently got into the discussion of how different people conduct their workouts in the gym. Our brief chat prompted me to describe my experience of training and obstacles I’ve had to overcome.
First off… you should know there are all sorts of creatures in the “Man Cave” but no one wants to be the dreaded “Gym Guy.” I’m sure he lurks wherever there are dumbbells to be dropped on the ground and machine plates to crash together like cymbals.
I’d like to share with you three concepts from “Man Cave Etiquette” that will ensure you become “Golden” and not “Gym Guy.” Remember, the “Man Cave” is a training ground that offers a place of refuge and not chaos. A place where you can come to cast aside the cares of the world and focus on building a “Golden” you.
Three Concepts for proper “Man Cave” Etiquette
1. Preparation is never Lost Time
As I prepare for photoshoots or competitions it’s important to gameplan how I’m going to arrive at my ideal physique. This is often times done in reverse. Pre-Screening what workouts you will do for the week and then again the night before sets your mind on what you are trying to accomplish and brings you closer to achieving your goals.
You may have to adjust the order of the workouts to accomodate your schedule; which is fine, because the bottom line is that you complete them whether it was: good, bad, or ugly. This concept will save you time and keep you on track during the workout because you KNOW what’s coming next.
2. Situational Awareness
It doesn’t matter which “Man Cave” you enter, they all have similar characteristics, there is a place for: dumbbells, machines, and bench/squat stations. Upon entering, locate what equipment you will use for your workout that day. If there is a back-up on certain things needed you may have to adjust. If not, go ahead mark your territory in the “Man Cave” where you will train. Rather it be with a towel, bottle, or your paper copy of the workout. The AI workouts are designed to keep you in the same place for the duration of that particular module.
As for me, I purposely leave my FAT GRIPZ on dumbbells or bar that I’m training with when performing a ‘Super’ or ‘X’ Set. No one has ever taken them while I was briefly away; but it has peaked some interesting discussions…more on that later.
3. Staying the Course: Motivation to complete the workout
While desserts are typically not served in the “Man Cave” you can expect to find yourself eating some “Humble Pie” at any given workout. There have been times where I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and I need to rest in order to attack the weights with a renewed vigor.
I keep a couple go-to Power Songs in my music playlist when times get tough. Interestingly enough, despite all the grunting and groaning you hear in the “Man Cave” there is an alternative approach to getting past those sticking points and completing your workout.
I was eating some humble pie on a leg day and I noticed that the workout ended with the dreaded Bulgarian Split Squat. At that very moment I laughed and thought the workout was insane; I was ready to pack it up and call it a day. However, as soon as I laughed, I felt a wave, a rush of energy come over me that was enough motivation to finish the workout.
Since this time, I frequently laugh or chuckle to myself as a sort of power-up when I’m approaching a challenging part of the workout. I’m sure there are many therapeutic benefits of laughter but I’d encourage you to try this technique during your next workout.
The “Adonis Effect” is a powerful subconscious effect your physical presence can have on all other people around you. It appears most evident when your AI ratio is around 1.5 and up approaching a Golden 1.6. The shape and look of your body, coupled with the way you carry yourself, will immediately burn a lasting impression into the minds of everyone who encounters you on a daily basis.
At this point I fell it’s equally important to talk about momentum. This is a very powerful principle and a great compliment to the Adonis Effect. By following the AI workouts consistently, you are putting the law of momentum to work for you. Your training is focused and goal-oriented, which puts you in the elite category of “Man Cave” dwellers. Rest assured you will attract some attention. While the Adonis Effect is a flattering experience overall, you have to be careful that all of that extra attention doesn’t put the brakes on your momentum.
Case in point, the “Man Cave” is where you actually develop and cultivate the Adonis Effect. However, if you have distractions and interruptions at the source of your development then your momentum is hindered from the very beginning. You may be in the middle of your workout and someone may pay you a compliment or ask you a question.
Which brings me back to my comment earlier about FAT GRIPZ. While performing my AI workouts, several people ask me about them and what I’m doing…this simple “ice breaker” can lead into longer discussions. I’d love to to tell the story of Adonis Index and FAT GRIPZ, but it’s neither the time nor the place to chat during your workout. Its proper “Man Cave” etiquette to be polite and courteous to other individuals, however be careful not to enter a 5-minute conversation, for you risk losing your momentum.
In conclusion, these “Man Cave Etiquette” concepts will de-clutter the flow of your workouts and maximize your training efforts. Also, recognize that with great power comes great responsibility. The “Adonis Effect” is completely within your control to manipulate and harness to your total advantage. Remember to harness your momentum, always respect others and each visit to the “Man Cave” should be a memorable experience.