The Snot Test - Encore

The Snot Test

I stumbled across a news article this week about ‘transformation shots’, aka before and after photos; a phenomenon synonymous with the fitness and diet “industries”. Clearly the public are getting sceptical, as this has made the BBC News website.
I’m sure you’ve seen similar articles or videos floating around online…
A few hundred press ups, shave your chest, a bit of spray tan, get in the perfect position under a spotlight, and TENSE! It’s a bit different for us boys though.
The article’s here if you want a look:
Anyway, where was I?
Ah! The fitness test I mentioned yesterday…
I saw a ‘gym quote’ the other day, you know- the sort of thing that adorns motivational posters or the back of a t-shirt. It read: “Judge Only Effort.” Which I think is great, because as long as you’re giving 100%, then what more can your coach ask for?
Which leads me into the concept of training hard being a state of mind. “The Mindset’s the Threat” I think someone once said.
The Test:
Picture the scene:
You’re doing a set of squats with the barbell on your back. The gym is busy. You’re training alone, but on the station next to you are two members of the opposite sex. They‘re not particularly ugly.
You’re doing sets of ten. On your eighth rep it’s getting heavy, but you’ve definitely got enough juice in the tank to finish the set, just. You exhale (with some force) as you get to the end of the eighth rep…
A large bogey shoots out of your nose and is resting somewhere between your nostril and your lip.
Do you
  1. Rack the bar as quickly as possible and deal with the situation?
  2. Rest with the bar on your back, letting go with one arm and attending to a ‘sudden mystery itch’ before finishing your set?
  3. Finish your set and let the intensity drop for a single second?
Does your answer define you as a person, or does it define your workout mindset? Are there days where you’d choose one answer and other days where you’d choose the opposite? Different times of the year?
Or does your Mindset evolve along with the length of time you’ve been training ?
Could your mental approach to training have it’s own before and after photo?
I think most of us can relate to that. Our inner couch-potato vs our inner wrecking-machine. What you used to be like before you ever started training vs you at your physical peak.
Not what you looked like… What your outlook was like.
For some people, their physical and mental peak will be their current state of mind. For others, they may have to look back to a different point in their lives to find that mindset. Others might still be on the path to where they want to go.
I could go on, but I’ll cut to the chase:
Your mental attitude: Does your ‘after’ photo have a spray tan? Or is it a sweat drenched bogey smeared mess that you’re well and truly proud of?
On that bombshell,
I’m out.
Alex “no mirrors on the squat rack” Backhouse


Being in the fitness industry for over 12 years, I've seen it all. The fads, the hype and the stuff that really works. I've seen my own body and training have to adapt to family life as my kids have come along and turned my world upside down in the best possible way, and I've done my best to stay at the top of my game throughout.

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