Rants & Raves: Destroy and Rebuild

So my arms are burning right now…burning. My biceps are straining to work normally. No gain, no pain…right? Isn’t that how it goes? I have gone on a binge of sorts and told myself I will be dedicated to the gym come hell or high water! And to my credit I have been pretty consistent with my schedule of three times a week. My trainer Nikki constantly complements me on my improvements and progress each week. I, on the other hand, don’t really see what she is getting at. You see, after six weeks of push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, lunges, squats and a bunch of other tiring exercises with weights I imagine I would be in pretty good shape by now. I would be able to finish the training without dying, without wanting to bend over and cough out my burning lung. But that hasn’t happened yet. And oddly enough my trainer informed me that it most likely won’t. And that if it does it means she is not doing her job.


Apparently the body is very smart, smarter than we give it credit for. Any kind of workout or routine gets logged somewhere so that the body can compute it into autopilot and exert the least amount of energy doing it. Man wasn’t riding a bike difficult? Balance, concentration, vision all had to come into play! But once you learned….once the brain said “I got it”…well….riding a bike is as easy now as… riding a bike. Could you imagine if getting on a ten-speed was as difficult as it was the first time? Jesus!

The body is always trying to make itself at ease. To make sure it is in a relaxed state. If it isn’t it will send signals to your brain to “fix this” so we can continue BAU (business as usual).

It seems as if the gym is no different. If you have ever gone to the gym consistently and not seen results even though you have…

1. Run 45 minutes every day

2. Done bench press

3. Done curls

It might be because you are doing the same thing…the same routine….your body isn’t stupid and will adjust so that weight becomes easy and isn’t strenuous anymore…..it won’t burn…..

And you can’t build muscle if you don’t destroy it! YUP! Another little jewel I learned from my personal trainer. She says every class we are burning our muscles….turning the small fibers to shred until we can’t raise our arms or stand properly. Why? ‘Cause that is the only way they grow.”

You have to destroy your muscles because when they rebuild themselves they rebuilt at a high level than they were before. If you do this more and more…well the level will increase, naturally.

So to get stronger…to get in shape…you have to constantly be in a state of discomfort. And if you ever become comfortable you need to go where you can burn out that “normalcy” so you can come back stronger……interesting stuff huh?

But I also wonder…..if going through adversity is the determining factor of success….that your success is measured in how well you can endure being uncomfortable…what about Bill Gates? Huh? 50 cent is rich…but doesn’t have Bill Gates money. Jay-Z is rich…but doesn’t have Bill Gates money…

Has Bill Gates gone through some pain that we don’t know about that has made him stronger? To my knowledge, he came from a white-collar family, mother and father were in his life…went to Harvard….etc etc….now one of the richest men in the world.

50 cent’s mother was murdered when he was 11 and he has never known his father, he sold crack in Queens for a number of years and has been shot nine times. I don’t get it. Just doesn’t match.

Then I thought about it….and I wonder….if either man had everything dashed tomorrow? Became dead broke and had to start over….who would be “strong” enough to deal with it? And who might just jump off a bridge in a deep depression? Hmmmmm……..just a thought…

– Khalid Sumner


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