Don’t take yourself too seriously.
I grinned inwardly at the new recruits standing before me in the gym. Some of them looked pathetic, either too skinny or too fat. They all wore toques. It kept more heat in the body, got you sweating more than you would normally. Some of them wore “Property of Roc Wieler” TShirts in an attempt at leniancy by appealing to my vanity. You could tell they were new.
“Alright ladies, you may be pod pilots now, but you’re certainly not Renegades; not yet anyway. We’re going to start by learning how keeping your body in shape will benefit your mind and soul.” I began, my voice booming with authority and intolerance. I was their drill sergeant for this orientation, my mission to show them how physical and mental excellence would aid them in enduring the hardships of real piloting.
One of the recruits snickered at my comment about mind and soul. “You find something funny recruit?” I asked, my voice stern as I got directly in the face of the offender. “Sir, no sir!” The recruit yelled back in perfect military form. I wasn’t in the mood for any insubordination.
“You’re dismissed.” I said dryly. The pilot’s eyes opened wide, wondering if he had misheard me, or if I was serious. I was always serious. “Did I stutter?” I screamed at the pilot, a spot of phlegm spitting from my mouth as I spoke. The recruit quickly turned and headed for the change room. “See how easy life can be?” I said sarcastically. “You either do, or you don’t. There’s consequences either way. I won’t cut you any slack in the Renegades because out there, our enemy won’t cut us any. If you want this, I’m going to break you. If you don’t want this, get out of my sight now.” Three more recruits left the gym. I paused for a few moments, letting any other doubters come to terms with themselves and leave if they so chose. Nobody else did; good.
“I’m sure you’ve all been to the gym. I’m sure some of you even think you’re in shape. You’re not. I’m not. Your clone isn’t either. It’s a whole new lifestyle now, ladies; and you have to train your mind before you can train your body.”
I grabbed two dumbells and thrusted them into the arms of one of the beefier recruits. “Arm curls. Go.” The meaty recruit bent his knees slightly, shoulder width apart, which was a good start, and then proceeded to use his back to create momentum for his arms to use in curling the weight. I stopped him quickly.
“Form is the most important thing. If you’re not going to do something right, don’t do it at all. We’re not here to be muscleheads, we’re here to be pilots. My pilots perform at peak efficiency; that is your objective. Let me demonstrate.”
I proceeded to go over various common exercises with them, nothing out of the ordinary, illustrating proper form for each routine. I encouraged them to try, which they did, some doing better than others, but it gave me a sense of where each individual was at.
“Nutrition is 90% of getting in shape, or something like that. 54% of all statistics are made up on the spot anyway.” Not a single recruit laughed. This was good. “Cut out the cheeses, the fatty foods, the salty snacks, the sauces on everything you eat. It’s bad for the body. No more Quafe, no more cafs, you’re all going to be eating healthy now.” I remember how hard it had been for myself at first giving up the foods and drinks I enjoyed, but after a few months I realized I couldn’t enjoy my food any other way. Things started tasting better, cleaner, and the results had spoken for themselves.
“Open one of your hands. That’s how big a single meal portion should be. Never eat more than you can hold with one hand.” They gazed down at their palms, some of them beginning to wonder at the accuracy of my methodology. Truth be told, it wouldn’t work for all of them. It was worked for me. Still, the general guidelines were sound, and the astute ones would realize these were core principles, not a holy book of working out.
“You’ll eat six times per day to keep your metabolism active. And you’ll work out twice per day, as your schedules allow. Now, onto the workout routine.”
I moved over to the treadmill. “First thing is ten minutes of cardio before every workout. Doesn’t matter to me how you accomplish that, but you need to make it high impact cardio. By high impact I don’t mean wreck your knees, I mean keep your heart rate up; make yourself feel like you’re going to collapse. Got it?” They all nodded their understanding.
I moved over to the chest press. “I don’t care what you exercise on a given day, in fact I encourage you to mix it up, keep it fresh and exciting for your muscles. Don’t let them get used to your routine. If they do that, they’ll stop developing.” I grabbed the bar, then instructed them on what we would be doing.
“I call these ‘Active Pyramid Drops’. For me, they’ve been gold. They’ll work for you too.” I laid it out for them plainly.
- Three sets with ‘Active Rest’ in between sets. Active Rest being high end cardio to keep your heart rate accelerated. You could run on the spot, jump rope, climb stairs, do bench hops, whatever you wanted, but the key was to keep the heart rate up, at least 85 beats per minute.
- For your first set, use 90% of your maximum weight and do 12 repetitions.
- Second set, is 100% of your maximum weight, 8 repetitions.
- Third set is the magic. Do 110% of your maximum weight, 6 repetitions, then immediately do your second set without rest, then your first set without rest.
- Do this for four different muscle groups per workout, a group example being arms, which includes biceps and triceps.
- Do four different exercises for each muscle within a group following the above technique.
For the next hour and a bit, I oversaw their progress. It was always interesting to me to observe others. I could tell which would make the final cut already, and which were the quitters. Still, if I could change even a few of their lifestyles, inspire any of them to start taking care of their body and mind and not rely on a fresh clone should they die, then I knew I would be adding value to their lives.
I couldn’t wait to share with them what my daily breakfast was, or my own little exercise I called “The Panty Remover”.