For the past couple of years, my training at The Cave has brought on some great challenges. And though the lack of equipment, occasional lack of consistent access, and general distractions are quite formidable, none are tougher than being at the mercy of nature. From the bitter cold of February to the melting heat of July, my body has seen it all.
Working out this winter hasn’t been too tough, since it’s been quite mild compared to recent years. On especially cold nights, I start out with a sweatshirt, hoodie, and scarf, and shed the layers as I progress through my routine. Warming-up goes from a 2-minute, half-hearted ritual to a 5-10 minute necessity. Personal best weight drops across all exercises. It’s very difficult to get started in the cold, as opposed to the difficulty of finishing in the heat.
It’s hard to decide which is worse, the cold or the heat. With the cold, blood flow is slowed and muscles are much less eager to perform the way you ask them to. In the heat, sweat pours out of you like the daily South Louisiana summer rain, and fatigue will drag both body and spirit down. Our solutions to these challenges are hardly enough, consisting of a small space heater during the winter and two window unit AC’s that do their best to stand up to the heat in the summer. Weightlifting in such raw conditions is the true test of dedication, as well as a great endurance builder.