Vanquishing Vampires – a ramble

Vanquishing Vampires – a ramble

Jan 12, 2013

Can overtraining only come from too much volume? How about just overtaxing your system in the gym?


While overtraining is a symptom of an overzealous training program, it is also affected by diet, stress, and sleep. For instance, if you are continuously stressed by problems at home or work, how do you feel when you are in they gym?

From the point of stress or worry – these can be considered ‘energy’ or ’emotional’ vampires. In many cases you can avoid vampires by eliminating negative people from your circle of friends. Other energy thefts may come from job, finances, family and other sources that are not so easy to eliminate, but can be corrected.

I, for one, do not easily compromise in many things, less so as I get older. Why? I have found that constant compromise or giving in to the ‘easy way out,’ generally causes greater stress. Even avoiding some conflict can generate energy-sapping stress.

How do you slay these vampires? Mostly by making positive choices. There are times when those choices can be as daunting as a 1000lb squat, but the consequences of not making the choice can result in effects that support vampirism.

Ah, yes, cause and effect is not just a term from science – it is something that we must consider in all things. Even Elyahu Goldratt noted in business, and life, you have cause and effect relationships in everything. TV commercials, experience, you name it – there is a cause and effect relationship to most things. Of course, for you other science geeks (like me), you have the ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.’

So, if you choose to do something negative, create a negative environment, cause hurt or pain in those around you, generate strained relationships – you reap the rewards of your universe by bringing those around you down with you.

There is also a scientific law to be considered here – entropy. This is the fact where order wants to tend towards chaos. What this means to us is that positive, orderly, planned training is something that we have to do with effort, whereas being dragged into negative, disorderly, unplanned life is something that is done with no effort – it is the state of ‘rest.’

When you go out and have a positive attitude, that attitude will be mirrored in others that also have the tendency towards a positive attitude. However, there are still many who, no matter what, will have a negative attitude. There is nothing you can do about them without their negative attitude wearing away at the walls of your positive fortress. Eventually, the siege will wear through. Avoid them if you want to be successful!

I’m not talking about the people who don’t quite understand what we do for our sport. You know the ones: “don’t lift too heavy;” “won’t that hurt your knees;” basically, the ones who have been inundated with media misrepresentation of strength sports. Often they can be re-educated, or not, so long as they are supportive. No, I am talking about those who put forth the effort to put down your hard work, to try to aggressively convince you that what you are doing is pointless, the ones, when you get right down to it, drift along with life. They have no purpose, no cause, other than to bitch and moan about how things don’t change, yet don’t make an effort; or, worse, they generate problems that do not need to exist in order to put forth the appearance of effort, then sit back and let the ‘doers’ clean up the mess.

These are the vampires.

How do you ‘slay’ the emotional and energy vampires assaulting you?

It is no coincidence that like people attract. Yes, it is against the ‘opposites attract’ phenomenon – actually falsehood – driven via the ‘romance’ media. In reality, while it might be briefly exciting to be with the bad boy, or girl, or the highly motivated with the couch potato, things will begin to wear away the attraction relatively quickly. There has to be a like-mindedness. Otherwise, one or the other personality will force the other in the direction of their way of thinking with the end result of resentment and other negative thoughts. Unfortunately, it is normally the motivated individual who takes the fall towards entropy and lethargy.

That is why you often see a ‘brotherhood’ or ‘sisterhood’ in our sport. While those on the outside do not understand our motivation and willpower to “pick things up and put them down” – another negative media campaign to feed on the unmotivated – we do understand each other and that ‘sameness,’ or love of our sport, generates a tight bond between most. It’s easy for a CEO, a PhD, a truck driver, a hair stylist, a housewife, a computer geek, to all be in the room and have something in common, even a common language, that would not be found between these individuals in any other environment. To bond, to learn from each other, to strengthen each other, to freely give and receive advice, to support and build. Not to tear down. The result is a stronger group of individuals both in the gym and out who are able to ‘share’ energy versus the vampire personality who sucks it all in while not giving anything in return.

Put a vampire in their midst, and what do you think happens? They do not last long, although it will still drain our ‘heroes’ down a bit, a strongly bonded team bounces back fairly quickly.

What are some of your experiences dealing with vampires? What have you done to eliminate the negativity from your environment?

**Updates and this week’s training**

We are presently working on Part 3 of the Women in Powerlifting, Fitness and Strength Sports series that should be published within the next several weeks. Interviews are being set up with a number of the athletes.

This week I changed commercial gyms in order to support those close to me who want to participate in fitness and strength. Basically, I was the only one able to consistently go to the other gym – which meant once per week for accessory lifting – and most of my training time is with Team Stone at a different gym. I’ll have to report on it soon.

Definitely need a tighter shirt before the Illinois State APF/AAPF meet! In the meantime, I have started breaking in my Ace Squatter and King Deadlifter suits. As has been pointed out – I have an ‘unusual’ shaped body… working on that. The results, however, have been nothing short of fun!


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