“Cash that piggy bank in,” 1st Week with a Newborn Baby | Am I Losing All My Gains?! Alan Thrall

Alan Thrall is quickly rising to the top of my evidence-based favorites list. His content is continuing to evolve and discuss new topics, his message is becoming more inclusive (and is less obviously exclusive), and I enjoy his sense of humor. This video shows the first week of him balancing his training with being a dad to a newborn. It’s an important topic, and I love that he’s showing how he’s fitting things in, doing something, when he can’t, as he says, “fit in a 3 hour (!!!) strongman workout.”

We see him demonstrate several strategies to do something. This includes:

  • 10 minutes of bodyweight work when he can fit it in
  • Myo reps (Including myo rep squats, no less! I’d need a safety bar set up for that one!)
  • Taking walks
  • Going for a run
  • Setting an alarm to do something (20 push-ups) every hour on the hour
  • Teaching a strongman class (guessing this option isn’t in there for most of us)

I love that Alan talks about the importance of mindset–his analogy of putting a few pennies in the piggy bank and cashing it in whenever he can get back to regular training–and is honest about not always being able to do something. I talk a lot about mindset here, and I think it’s a piece of the puzzle that the super self-motivated, high self-efficacy, evidence-based crowd tends to discount. Maybe a lot of these content creators simply don’t need to talk themselves into lifting and doing the thing all that often? Maybe they just have a whole shit-ton of privilege and rarely need to learn new ways of getting the job done. Or maybe they just don’t like to talk about their challenges and difficulties because it’s seen as weak, undesirable and anti-masculine. I don’t really know, but I appreciate Alan’s willingness to have these conversations with his audience, to show the challenges and to address what keeps people from doing the work at whatever level they can for right now.

Speaking of being masculine, what’s your take on Alan’s discussion of “needing to be the rock” and not a “blubbering cry baby” when things get tough at home? I can totally relate to the idea that keeping a schedule and being tough physically can contribute to my sense of personal toughness and emotional control. AND part of me wants to tell Alan that everyone gets to sometimes be the crying person who isn’t in control, that vulnerability isn’t the same thing as weakness. The descriptor of “blubbering cry baby” also rubs me the wrong way, as I grew up around men who regularly discounted the importance or validity of emotions and emotional expression. But I’m willing to grant him some grace. We all get to be a bit spicy when we’re sleep deprived and under a lot of stress.

If you give the video a watch, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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