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Dream Reps by Justin Manning

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"If you don't use it, you lose it".

And it's easy to "lose it" in the Winter.

Because of this, winter weather is god's gift and curse to the gym rats. 

Gym rats view the gym as a sanctuary; a testament to  better ourselves. No matter the weather condition; the gym is home to enhancing muscles, perserverance , steel, and of course, bigger dreams. 

The gym is ours.

But, now it's 2016. And the New Year begins....

"New Years" people flock to the gym in droves. And each year, "New Years" people come with their amateur habits. They often fail to re-stack their weights, skip set rotations, and forget to wipe their sweat off the bench. 

It's a catastrophe!

And it's entertaining to watch them curl in a squat rack. No seriously, go to YouTube and search "Gym Fails". I dare you not to laugh. 

Personally, I go early in the morning(5am) at least 3 times a week to avoid that gym crowd. Why? Because It is quiet. Us gym rats are left to a conversation with our barbells and treadmills. 

If I'm between sets, I don't mind assisting "New Years" people who struggle with chest extensions or a squat rack. Sometimes I'll offer advice for free. And that's what I love about the gym most: Coaching. 

In a weird way, the "New Years" people have made me into a better coach. I've grown more patient, improved my technique, and I have built great relationships.

But not everyone is coach-able. And without proper training, people eventually quit.

Everyone has dreams, but achieving these dreams require physical and mental consistency for the changes we desire. We simply must practice our dreams daily.

I call this process, "Dream Reps".

In the gym, our muscles must be used to grow! Every rep counts. Different angles, grips, and exercises ensure that we exceed our plateaus. On the contrary, once we lose that muscle both laziness and complacency make a return to the gym undesirable. And worse, you've lost gains.

I believe the same applies to our dreams.

Try to workout and seek assistance to stay focused on that weight management goal. Without proper assistance the dream becomes derailed. And a dream without action becomes little more than a wish....

In the beginning, I hadn't had any training. I learned by watching and overhearing conversation from the gym rats. And these guys were intimidating! But these "guys-with-no-lives" knew what they were doing. The fact is: they earned their results. So, I asked questions, I watched, I learned. And I wasn't afraid to make mistakes. But I was hardheaded and learned humility the hard way.

I started with Tri-cep extensions at fifty (50) pounds. Couldn't do it. Dream deferred.

Let's try back extensions at 100 pounds. 1 rep. Dream discouraged.

Let's try the treadmill. Stopped the treadmill at 5 minutes. Dream destroyed.

But every-time when I wanted to give up, something told me to keep at it. Maybe I was motivated when I started seeing muscle growth, or maybe because I knew I was cheating myself. So I kept going.... Dream reps.

3 years later, my dream reps have begun to payoff. My muscle size has grown. I am inspiring others to pursue a healthy lifestyle. I have led classes. And in hindsight I am glad that I continued to "dream rep".

Tri-cep extensions have exceeded 100 pounds(on a good day).

My Back extension weight has doubled.

And the treadmill? Let's just say that I completed my first half-marathon in 2:02:18. 

Never stop dreaming. Build your dream reps.

FOLLOW JUSTIN 

@MEDALADDICT

@BROOKLYNIT3

Watch Stereotype Co's very own athlete on BRIC TV

This video is from BRIC TV- the first 24/7 television channel created by, for, and about Brooklyn. It is the borough's source for local news, Brooklyn culture, civic affairs, music, arts, sports, and technology. BRIC TV features programming produced and curated by BRIC, an arts and media nonprofit located in Downtown Brooklyn, NYC.