So, I had now accepted I was not fully prepared physically or mentally for the rigors of western mountain hunting, but what was I to do? I still had years of research and practical experience telling me that extended cardio sessions only serve to break-down muscle tissue, that total body strength was better than balancing on a ball while holding a 5 lb. dumbbell in a strange pose, and the simple fact that I like being strong and didn’t want to go back to being lanky and weak (what can I say, my wife is now very attached to my big, squatting butt). Well, as is often the case, it seems the answer lies somewhere in the middle. I didn’t need to swear-off barbells and start running marathons, but I also didn’t need to just keep pushing for new PRs all the time.
As a man, if someone tells you that you are too weak (especially too weak to simply hold your skeleton together) it drives you to change. I immediately began researching strength training programs, got a gym membership, and got to work! Now, if you've ever perused the internet for fitness advice, you're surely aware that there are more opinions than there are brands of overly priced yoga pants (what is LuLu Lemon, anyway?!). Not only that, all the opinions contradict each other. Muscle confusion, hypertrophy, sets of 5 or 8 or 10 or 30, cardio is awesome, cardio will kill you, squats are the best, squats will kill you...it's a nightmare!!! Eventually, all that advice becomes overwhelming, you fart around the gym for a couple months, progress and motivation stall, and you quit working out but keep paying for the gym promising yourself you'll go back next Monday. Ever been there?