My Fitness Journey: Nick Puente III

Hello fitness community

I am writing this article to speak out to the people who are beginning or struggling their own fitness journey. If you are someone who is on the fence about starting your own fitness journey and looking for a life change, then keep reading. My name is Nick Puente III and I started at Torque Strength & Conditioning in December of 2016.  I started my own fitness quest to make a better me, but I had trouble with knowing what I was doing. With those struggles I decided to reach out and seek help, that lead me to Torque Strength & Conditioning. Going into it I already lost 48lbs and thinking hey I’m in shape. My first 2 weeks I was just doing body weight exercises like pushups, jump roping, burpees, etc. After just doing those movements I realized I was still not in the best shape.  From there on I asked myself “What do I have to lose,” so I continued my journey at TSC.  From there I lost another 30lbs and gain 12lbs of muscle in a year and I’m not the youngest of the members and I’m not the oldest member but the coaching staff have help me overcome any doubts of my capabilities.

Not only has Torque Strength & Conditioning help me lose weight and gain muscle but I have made a new family.  Without my CrossFit family I would not be where I am today.  Fitness should be fun not a downer and you don’t have to be the strongest to get in shape.  All you need to do is your best and give everything you got.  It does not matter whether it’s once a week or seven days a week anything is better than sitting on the couch letting life pass you by. For those of you out there wondering if this fake or real I’m putting myself out there and I have always been a big guy and now fitness is my life.  I love working out pushing myself to the limits.  I always wanted to be a hero and after starting and fitness journey, I know I have become just that, to my friends and family. Now it’s time to work towards something even greater; I want to become a Legend; you may ask why?  Well that’s because Legends never die. My story is a simple one of hard work and overcoming major obstacles in my life.  Love yourself and never give up.

For you non-believers here is a pic of my fitness journey over the years. Stay Strong My Friends.

 

 

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Humbleness in your Training

            Something that I notice when I look at a great deal of boxes training is that there is some sort of emphasis.  If the box owner likes is an Olympic Weightlifter you can see a great deal of that in the programming when they are getting ready to focus on a competition.  Similar to a runner in which they don’t emphasize strength quite as much but have longer timed METCONs multiple days per week.  What does this mean for you as a coaches and athletes?

            It means that you need to start being humble in your training.  There are many sports including CrossFit, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Strongman have all created a system that is documented to create great results.  However, we often times tend to specialize in one area of the spectrum or the other.  Most training programs veer away from General Physical Preparedness and assistance work. They continue to focus on just the specific movements that pertain to competition.  Being humble in your training means finding a balance between different and complex areas to balance.  We must find a balance in our programming.  There needs to be variations in the movements that you are doing but they need to be repeated enough that your athletes know how to perform the movement correctly.  The second thing that you need to attempt to balance which I think is often misinterpreted is that you must find balance in the central nervous system.  Most CrossFit workouts are usually 5 minutes to 20 minutes long.  Weightlifters do primarily compound barbell movements draining the sympathetic nervous system. Very few gyms also incorporate bodybuilding, or GPP on a regular basis. Remember you must create a suit of armor; this is done by having balance in your training so that you can continue to grow. First we need structure, then stabilization, then specialization is possible. We normally think that “Elite athletes” can specialize, or your “average joes,” just need simple movements.  I argue this isn’t the case.  Yes, specialization is key for an elitist, but there is a time for stepping back and working on widening the base so that we avoid injury, and so that elitists can continue to grow their performance.  Yes, average joe’s can literally improve off of simple stimulus for a long time, but if we widen the base from the beginning with GPP and other simple movements besides just the barbell and gymnastics we can avoid injury and work on imbalances. 

            You have to be humble enough to identify that you cannot do all the things you like to do and we must do that things that we NEED to do.  As coaches we must do what’s best for our athletes and sometimes that’s not a popular decision, we must have an understanding of what our principles are as a gym and coach, not follow trends, because trends die and so will your business.  My last bit of advice is to attempt to seek out experts in fields that you may not be as knowledgeable in.  Taking bits and pieces from these experts and their training principles that are more “Movement Specific,” and putting them into your workouts can be a great attribute to your programming.  You have to constantly educate yourself so your members can keep growing and progressing to reach their goals in all areas of fitness. 

What is Your Goal?

What is Your Goal?

Often times when we talk about our training we know that there is multiple ways to get to your goal.  However, we often are trying to figure out the most efficient way to produce results.  We want to figure out the least amount of time to produce the most gains without creating injuries.  With all the methods that can be trained, at times we attempt to try and get better at everything at once.  We choose multiple specific goals because we want to be “more fit” which is a noble goal.  But the hardest thing about trying to multitask is that you cannot become better at what you need to work on the most.  This is why setting a goal and gearing your training around that specific goal is so important. 

                When you set a goal for a specific result and your training revolves around these specific goals you can make much greater leaps in progress in areas of weakness.  There are a couple different schools of thought on how to train your weaknesses.  This can be done by attacking them with a great deal of volume or hypertrophy type sets to make them grow.  This can also be done with certain emphasis on eccentrics and static holds that can benefit certain weaknesses of lifts.  Another simple thing to do is to work on a skill every day in order to get better whether it is a gymnastics movement, or just simply your start on a snatch. 

                The most frustrating part about training for your goals and weaknesses is that often times these are the things that we suck at and therefore don’t want to do.  When you hit a static point in your training where the PR’s don’t come quite as often one thing I tell people is to attempt to focus on one or two skills that they can do as “Accessory Work” or homework assignments.  This does 2 things. 

1.        Gives them something to focus on as a weakness. 

2.       Teaches them to commit to virtuosity and the process as opposed to just new numbers and strength gains. 

Often times we overlook the process of training that is the daily grind, you must find those simple and consistent victories. We want things to happen so fast that when we don’t we lose all sense of purpose in our training.  With establishing goals and trying to conquer them one or two at a time we begin to commit to the process.  This doesn’t mean you should lose all focus of your strengths either.  This also means to stick to your programming, but just make minor adjustments so you can add in your skill work or adjust for a specific technique flaw in your training. Pick a weakness and add some accessory work with the help from your coach that targets that specifically.  Find a movement you are not good at and do an extra 100 repetitions per week or work on it for 30 minutes that week.  Sometimes you may be surprised as to what “weaknesses” may turn into strengths later on.   Remember, training is a journey, so enjoy the process and earn a win daily!