THE PHILOSOPHY OF SO
Hey guys, as you might have noticed, I haven’t blogged in quite a while. I could give you excuse after excuse, like “I built a deck, I built a Pergola, I built a posing room, I built a place to run my T-Shirt business, I built a new hip (okay…I didn’t build a hip but I did have my second hip replacement), and on and on. Y’know, sometimes life gets in the way, and it definitely got in my way, but it’s all good now. I’m going to be writing new blogs as I’ve got a lot stored up and a lot to say. But this blog is one I wrote back in 2009 – in fact, I wrote a series of blogs titled “The Philosophy of SO. The original ‘paper’ (a word us old people used before the internet words ‘article’ and ‘blog’ was coined) was written by my workout partner and chiropractor, Jeff “Brahma Bull” Kahrs, who gave me permission to rewrite it for my competition team back then. That one paper ended up becoming 10 blogs. Check back often as I’ll be posting the other 9 blogs – one each day. With that said, let’s get to the first one. Enjoy…
The Philosophy of SO: Part I – Understanding The Basics
The philosophy of SO is an ancient and intricate series of justifications developed by the unknown mystic sage, SO WATT. Do not bother looking for him in the history books – you will not find him, nor will you be able to google him, as his identity and location are so secret that only a select few know of him. I am one. SO WATT is credited with incorporating the concepts and applications of Soism, along with being the first to use the phrase “Watevah,” which was SO’s response to what was believed to be an idiotic statement, usually by a male, as the female species was more intelligent (and still are) back then. Females so appreciated SO’s snappy comeback that they stole it, and it is in use by nearly every female past puberty today, only now it comes with a round-the-world head-bob thing and a hand in your face.
SO developed this philosophy to assist in the training of SO’s minions and help them achieve their highest potential without the use of excuses, which severely hindered their progress. Although SO’s philosophy was originally intended to clarify the position of a task in relation to the natural framework of existence, its message could also be extrapolated to the thousands of athletes and fitness enthusiasts today who regularly train in hopes of achieving their goals (Did you get all that?). This writer will attempt to bring SO’s message of ultimate sacrifice through a humorous yet scientific, fact-filled series of articles targeted specifically towards the Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Physique, and Bikini community. Hope you enjoy it!
Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts do not realize the vagueness associated with the preparation of goals; therefore they proceed with at best an inadequate and unreliable plan from which to achieve their stated goals. Usually this type of attack is destined for failure. At that point they succumb to the inevitable and resort to finding a way to retreat from their current predicament (i.e., quit or give up). So before we get into the Soism of SO, let’s take a serious look at goal-setting and its processes.
DEFINITION: According to Locke and his colleagues, a goal is defined as “Attaining a specific standard of proficiency on a task, usually within a specified time limit.” In other words, when a goal is defined, and a time constraint placed upon the individual to achieve the goal, research shows that this consistently facilitates performance. Let’s break this down a bit further…
APPLICATION OF GOAL-SETTING TO WEIGHT TRAINING
1. Specific goals direct activity more effectively and reliably than vague or general goals. Rather than set a goal of “I want to drop a few pounds, get in shape, etc.,” be specific. Set performance goals, such as “I’d like to lose 15 lbs. of bodyfat and/or gain 7 lbs. of muscle in a 90 day period.” In the competitive community, it would be something like, “I have 20 weeks to prepare for the Emerald Cup, and 30 lbs of fat to lose, and I want to gain 4 lbs of muscle.”
2. Difficult or challenging goals produce better performance than moderate or easy goals; the higher the goal, the higher the performance. As long as your goal is realistic and attainable, make it as difficult and challenging as you can handle. The easier the goal, the less focused you are to attain it. Challenging goals push you, they keep you on track. You know the end result – the question is, are you willing to put forth the effort to attain your goal?
3. Short-term goals can be used as a means of attaining long-range goals. Breaking your E-Cup 30 lb. fat loss into monthly goals of roughly 6 lbs. per month places less stress on you to achieve your long-term goal. Further breaking the monthly goals into weekly goals of about 1.5 lbs. per week now becomes realistic and attainable. You can apply the same concept to gaining muscle mass. A quote I used in a previous blog comes to mind…”If you do each day what you’re supposed to do, the week takes care of itself. If you do each week what you’re supposed to do, the month takes care of itself. If you do each month what you’re supposed to do, the contest takes care of itself!” Now all that’s needed is the work. We’ll get to that later…
4. Goal-setting only works if there is timely feedback showing performance or progress in relation to the goal. Your coach or trainer should provide you with positive, constructive feedback as quickly as possible to facilitate success. If this is during a workout then it needs to be provided not only after each set, exercise, or workout but literally during each working set. Form breaks should be corrected DURING the set, not at the end, and definitely not at the end of the workout. And here’s a little tip to the trainers out there – don’t just say, “Good job!” at the end of a set. Tell your pupil WHAT he or she did good OR bad, and what they need to do to correct it if it was bad. Use a goal-setting feedback chart which plots performance across time.
5. Goals must be accepted in order to be effective. Remember, this is YOUR goal, no one else’s. It doesn’t make sense for your coach or trainer to set a goal that you do not agree with, yet you go along with. Once the goal is set, make sure you know what’s expected of you, and that you readily accept the challenge. Actively participate in the goal-setting process. Usually two things will happen when you initially start setting goals; either you’ll set the goal too high (unattainable), or you’ll underestimate your own potential. Listen to your trainer/instructor – he or she will help you set good goals.
6. Goal attainment is facilitated by a plan of action or strategy. Know what you want to accomplish each day you enter the facility. Your bodyparts should already have been chosen, the workout order is known, the time spent training has been established, and your weights have been tentatively selected. There’s one rule that everyone preparing for a contest needs to understand, and that is to train as intensely as possible each and every workout. Use your workout card to keep you on track. There’s no way you can remember your exact workouts 2-3 months ago, but if you’ve got them recorded, then it’s easy to see if progress is being made.
SO realized this important criterion centuries ago, and theorized that how individuals set goals largely depended upon the awareness of the individuals in relation to their goals. Few people have actually had the privilege of reading the original manuscripts of SO WATT. They therefore are not truly versed in the many variations of the theme that SO tried to introduce into the philosophy of Soism. The purpose of this series of blogs is to help clarify the powerful and somewhat elusive nature of the reasoning behind some of our own excuses for not fulfilling our greatest genetic potential (Don’t worry – it gets easier…). End of part I…see ya tomorrow…peace!