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  • Writer's pictureJulian Molteno


When Hugh Lofting was dreaming up his characters for the Doctor DoLittle series of children’s books I like to imagine that he had in mind the folly of wasted time and energy of many gym trainees when he came up with the Pushmi-Pullyu. 

As you can see from the illustration above the pushmi-pullyu was a gazelle-like animal which had two heads (one of each) at opposite ends of its body. We can well imagine how much energy and effort the poor creature expended staggering forwards and back as each end of him tried to make some positive progress. 

I see this problem with many of my gym clients. They do many positive things in the gym, train hard and regularly, eat with control and generally have a good attitude. Then.......along comes the weekend and it all goes to hell! Despite promising me on Friday that they will be good boys and girls over the weekend, come Monday morning they come in to gym with their heads hanging in shame and their bellies hanging over their belts!!

Progressing in the gym requires a consistent effort. My feeling is that it takes the same amount of time to regain the momentum that is lost by a bad weekend. In other words not only do you lose the Saturday and Sunday, it then takes Monday and Tuesday to get you back on an even keel. That’s four days lost, leaving only three to actually make any progress. 

So, to progress physically we need to have (within ourselves) a commonality of purpose. We need all the different aspects of our training lives (weights, nutrition, cardio and sleep) to all be in sync and to all be moving forwards in the same direction. 

Doctor’s Orders!

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