Accountability. It’s not really something I had considered until recently.
I had always assumed that because I showed up, was consistent with my workouts and was perceived as a role model by others I was doing everything “right.”
Beginning with my trip to St. Petersburg, Florida last fall, I started taking greater involvement in the apparatus my mentor, Elliott Hulse, has set up. I took advantage of the forum he and Mike Westerdal established with their Lean Hybrid Muscle-Reloaded product.
At first I just started by posting my workouts. That generated some traffic from friends on the site and their positive feedback drew me in further. Hey, everyone loves praise.
Over the past two weeks I took it up a notch. Instead of writing out my workouts like I do in my exercise journal (you have one of these, right?) I started taking video. I’ve gotten pretty good at streamlining the process and using a video editor to cut down the workout into a viewable four or five minute clip.
At first I was hesitant to do this. I thought, “Geez, how narcissistic.” Which is funny because that’s not how I see the videos my colleagues, produce but there you have it. And as you can tell from the video above–not so much.
Video has a great way of exposing your weaknesses and it is for this reason I find it so valuable. First in the editing I can see mistakes I never would have otherwise known I was making. Then by posting to the forum I get feedback. Yeah, most of it is praise. We’re all really good at supporting each other. But there’s also the opportunity for constructive criticism. I’ve received really helpful advice on everything from my deadlift, to bench press to squat jumps. It’s all done in the spirit of support and it’s tremendously helpful.
There’s one aspect of this accountability, however, that took me completely by surprise. I realized, all of a sudden one day, I’m sore. Really sore. Like sore in ways I haven’t been in a long time. Then it hit me. I have an audience now. People are watching me and subconsciously I’ve stepped up my game so as not to let them down or perhaps not let myself down. No one wants to be seen slacking when they know they have an audience.
Over the years I’d let myself slip into complacency and didn’t even realize it. Training partners are hard for me to find. Human nature being what it is, I stopped pushing myself as hard as I should. But given how my chest and quads feel, I don’t think that’s too much of a problem anymore.