Muscle Maven – 11 April 2016

Damian 'The Muscle Maven' Murray (photo by snhfoto)

Well. That’s it. I have become bored of the gym. It’s quite a confession. I have gone through so many different training programs/protocols that lately I have really struggled to find the motivation to train in a gym. Although I could blame many things (work, family, illness etc) the truth of it is in the past I have always had these problems and managed to find a way around it so I could still train.

So how do I explain this? I really don’t know. I wish it was something I could put my finger on but I can’t.

What am I going to do about it? First of all I am not going to stress about it (much – I have to be honest here, it does bother me more than I would like to admit). Second – I am going to go back to doing some of the things I have always enjoyed doing, running with my partner, squash, activities with my son etc. Third – I am going try some new things.

Now I have already made a start on point 3 and have tried something new…


Stop laughing.


Not far from where I live a friend has opened a CrossFit gym – and it is good, very good (if you are ever down this way you should check it out). It’s nothing like the videos we have all watched and laughed at. It is a good S and C facility that is using the CrossFit branding (clever business move).

Up to now I have been to around 4 WOD’s (aside from just training at the gym) and have found them great fun. The coaches have a strong S and C background and so nothing is simply ‘random’ – there is a structure and purpose to what you are doing. They are also tough. Very tough. Probably the closest I have ever been to being sick was during one of these WOD’s…and I loved it.

More than anything, it’s different. I am no longer thinking that today I am going to go in for X amount of sets x Y amount of reps for whatever exercises I have planned for that day. I like going into the unknown (you can login online to see what the workout is going to be but I prefer not to). I love simply walking in to see what the coaches have planned – and usually because it is lunchtime and quiet they will also join in (I like to see a coach going through his/her own workouts). If I am performing a lift incorrectly – the coach will help me to correct it, regardless of whether the clock is ticking down or not (I said it wasn’t a lift at all costs facility).

I am learning new lifts, new techniques and using new equipment. The change is interesting and is starting to re-invigorate my training. Best of all it is helping to bring back my interest in regular training again. I may lose some ‘gainz’ but I will keep my health – to me that is the most important thing throughout this whole journey. I am not fussed about having massive biceps (although I had my first ever messages from a ‘muscle worshiper’ the other day, I think he was disappointed when I told him I don’t look like the pics anymore) or a 6 pack (well, I do miss the 6 pack to be honest) but I am fussed about being fit and healthy.

If like me you are starting to get a little bored then go out and look for something new. Doesn’t have to be CrossFit. Mountain biking, rugby, lacrosse, tennis – something anything. If you love doing it you will want to do it more. This is what matters. Not hauling yourself to the gym for another session that you may well be dreading (or not for those that love the gym).

For those that may be reading this and are yet to start their journey into a healthier lifestyle the same message applies. Exercise does not start and end in a gym. Go for walks, zumba, swimming – whatever floats your boat. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Doing something may lead to doing more. It will probably lead to you realizing that eating better makes you feel better when you exercise – in turn this will then allow you to exercise more and perform/recover even better. I know this may sound simple but it really can be that simple. You just have to start – finding something to do that you will enjoy doing seems like a pretty good place to start to me. Certainly seems less threatening than walking into a gym to see a PT that will encourage you to make huge lifestyle changes within a couple of weeks so that you begin to resent everything you are doing and eating (disclaimer – this isn’t always the case but I think for most beginners a gym can seem a pretty threatening place)!


EE currently have a deal of unlimited texts/calls + 16GB data for £19.99 per month. If you go through e2save you can claim cashback that will bring the effective price down to £11.49 per month. If like me you are already with EE you can call to cancel your contract – you will need to port your number out and back again but it still allows you to take advantage of this deal. However the day after asking to cancel my contract I got a call from EE offering me unlimited texts/calls, 20GB data, doublespeed 4G and calls/texts in the EU for £19.99 per month with no expiry (the original deal expires after 12 months). I went with the second deal to save the hassle of messing around cancelling contracts etc (not very money saving but I value my time as well).


Aldi have their running gear in on Thursday. I usually find it decent quality. Pop in and have a look.

Ben and Jerry’s

Tuesday 12 April is free cone day. Go to the website, pop in your postcode and tick the ‘Participate Free Cone Day’ tick box, go in between 12 – 8pm and enjoy a free cone.

Damian Murray - Author