Sweat Bank by Emily Drew Mash

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Sweat Bank

Training is a journey. Sometimes it’s easy to get 5 or 6 training sessions in per day, eat all your macros, sleep 8 hours, and recover properly. I’ve been in this flow before and it is amazing. Gaining strength, losing fat, setting PRs, training in a strong mental state, mentally pushing past barriers, being “all in”, when life allows you to create this environment….take full advantage of it. Do it; do all of it. Don’t be lazy, don’t waste it. If you can, DO.

Because sometimes life does not allow for these things to be a priority. Both Travis and myself have our own set of circumstances that do not allow for us to be at the top of our game…for a season. Travis is recovering from a torn triceps and I am nursing an infant, figuring our life with two kids, taking care of a husband with one good arm, and spending time growing a business with my art.

Travis and I met in the gym, so training and eating healthy have been our unquestioned way of life for a decade. Our lives have revolved around competitions and training cycles. We used to make our schedule around training and have dates at the gym. But not right now. Doctor’s orders for Travis is to keep his arm as immobile as possible. He works out what he can, but you can imagine, it’s no where near the level at which he was training before his injury. Last year at this time, I was training to compete in powerlifting and doing everything I could to get stronger and leaner. I was seeing awesome gains; I squatted 325lbs. and found out the next week that I was pregnant with our second child.

Needless to say, my competitive training came to a halt. I didn’t lift more that 75% of my maxes during pregnancy. Now, our little Behr Bradley is four months old. I still have about 15lbs to lose and lots of gains to make to train like I was before. I wouldn’t give anything for my little boys, but it is disheartening trying to make the same gains and lose the same weight AGAIN. Sometimes, I have to make the decision to give my kids a bath or go to the gym. Right now it’s challenging to get to the gym and train hard consistently. I have started the same powerlifting program about 3 times over since Behr was born. Somedays I really wonder if it’s worth going to the gym at all. The last few weeks I have only been to the gym 1 or 2 days a week and I found myself NOT EVEN WANTING TO GO.

This was a huge moment for me. I had hit the point where I was so out of routine and not following a plan consistently that I didn’t even want to go. Not that it was a challenge to get there with two kids, but I just didn’t want to. Well, the moment I realized that I put on my tennis shoes, loaded the kids in the car and drove straight to the gym. There is a lot that I CAN DO right now that will put me in a good starting place once I can train 5-6 days a week hard with full mental awareness. I am committed to eating well, following a macro plan from Rebekah (mashelite.com/eatwhatyouwant), training as often as I can, and getting my cardio in walking around our neighborhood. I won’t be nursing an infant forever, so for now, I’m committed to doing my best and not beat myself up or lose heart. Travis is with me. He has committed to follow a macro plan from Rebekah, move as much as he can while his arm heals from surgery.

When you don’t want to is when you need to the most. I needed to go and sweat and feel some weight in my hand. And it was awesome. I did my standard “minimum” workout: squat some, bench some, work on pullups, row, and curl. Then I finished with intervals on the rower. And I felt great. I was sore for a couple days after, which rekindled my fire. (My minimum workout is the one I always do when I don’t know what to do, don’t want to do anything, think I’m too tired to train, or don’t have a planned workout for any other reason.)

The same principle applies to nutrition. When you find yourself in a rut of eating off your plan so much that you don’t even care or want to eat healthy, that’s the moment you need to eat a healthy balanced on-track meal. Get back on track.

Jon (or maybe Jess) North once said something about your “sweat bank”. Even if your workout is short, bad, inconsistent, or un programmed, any workout is still a deposit in your “sweat bank.” Just by moving, you are increasing blood flow, sweating toxins out of your body, making your heart healthier, and all the other awesome things that exercise does for your body.

So, for those of you reading this who have the time, energy, and ability to go all in with your training and nutrition, DO IT. Don’t waste this opportunity. For those of you in a situation like Travis and I are in, DON’T QUIT. Do whatever you can until you do have the chance to go all in again.

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