“Flow states turn the drudgery of practice into an autotelic activity-that is, one that can be enjoyed for its own sake, rather than as a means to an end or for attaining some external reward.”
I’m not certain if the above quote is actually from the book, Flow: the psychology of optimal experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi or merely a quote from an article about the book, which is where I came across the quote even though I do own the book. Regardless, flow is an amazing thing. Here is the definition of flow as taken from the book:
“flow-the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”
Going to the gym and training puts me into a flow state. The training isn’t always easy, and sometimes I feel weak, intimidated, frustrated, and challenged; however, I always enjoy doing it and I am willing to make sacrifices in order to continue training. (A flow state isn’t only attainable by physical pursuits, and I’d highly recommend reading the book.) I was reminded of the book and flow state today. My off-season training isn’t glamorous, but I still enjoy it for the simple fact that I get to do it!
1a. overhead squats, with a 2 second pause at the bottom
43 lbs x 6, 63 x 6, 63 x 6, 63 x 6
I decided to take the bar out of the rack, because I’m not comfortable trying to jerk it off of my back or snatch it overhead. In the emptiness of my living room though, I might be practicing with my dowel. Some new movements are more challenging for me to get the hang of, but I am nothing if not determined.
1b. Anderson squats, high bar
95 lbs x 5, 135 x 8, 135 x 3? + 4, 135 x 8, 145 x 8 PR
I ran into an issue with my torso being too upright on the third set, and I found myself unable to budge the bar.
1c. Swiss bar bench press, medium grip, touch and go
63 lbs x 10, 68 x 10, 73 x 10, 73 x 9
The 73 pounds shouldn’t have felt as tough as it did, but there did seem to be some issues with my left shoulder staying in position.
2a. quadruped single arm, single leg kettlebell rows
10kg x 10 each side, 12kg x 12 each side
This was my first time doing this row variation, and it was definitely challenging to stay balanced on one arm and leg on a bench while rowing. The second set was a bit easier, although my ability to remain well-balanced is usually limited.
2b. barbell split squats
95 lbs x 10 each side x 2 sets