What’s Your Limit Break?

“We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.” – Archilochus

You’re riding the fastest, safest train ever built and your ride is going smoothly. All of a sudden, you go from reading the latest Dan Brown novel to being tossed around the cabin like nobody’s business.

Arf? What happened?

Welp, unbeknownst to you, the rail that you were riding was experiencing a technical engineering gap between conception and implementation, aka someone forgot to finish constructing it.

In this situation, it didn’t matter how awesome the train that you were riding was – it could’ve been powered by baby farts and unicorn magic for all I care – because you would have run into the same problem: lack of rail = the train stops moving forward (under it’s own power, at least).

This is your limit. Regardless of where you are in life, there is always something holding you back from moving forward, and until you can identify and correct it, progress will come to a screeching halt.

I had a conversation with someone recently who had no problem sticking to a diet during the week, but once the weekend hit all bets were off and the progress that they worked so hard to make over the last several days was completely wiped out.

What was my advice to him? Assemble all the resources that he could possibly muster to make it from Friday evening to Monday morning. If he can simply come up with strategies enabling himself to power through the wicked weekend, the bottleneck that he needs to pass through if he wants to make any real progress towards his goals, then it’s smooth sailing from that point on.

This is his limit break, and it applies to everything.

One of my favorite video games of all time, Final Fantasy 7, highlights this term perfectly. After taking enough damage, at a point where defeat seems inevitable, the character is able to perform a powerful attack of desperation which turns the tide of battle in his favor.

The best part is that we too can harness the power of limit breaks in our everyday life. The first step is to identify the point or points that always seem to trip us up, then do whatever it takes to keep our feet firmly planted into the ground in order to pass those points.

Need knowledge? Acquire it.

Need motivation? Find it.

Need help? Seek it.

What are your current limits and how do you plan to break through them? Leave a comment in the comments section and let’s see how we can help each other through to the other side.

Photo Credit: indy_slug

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  1. says

    My biggest limit right now is trying to spin too many plates at once, and by trying to do too many things at once I realize that I pretty much suck at all of them.

    My limit break is two fold:

    1) Restrict my multiple plate spinning activities to only 3 days per week.
    2) Spin less plates overall

    This way, not only will I reduce the number of overall commitments that I have over time, but I’ll also limit the days that I focus on trying to do so many things, giving me more days where I’m able to concentrate on 1 or 2 things instead of 5 or 6.

    Awesomeness will ensue.

  2. says

    Who’s this guy that has so much trouble sticking to his diet over the weekends? What a bum! lol. Glad I could contribute in some small way. 🙂

    Along with the weekend, I would say another sticking point for me is dinner. I definitely eat a lot of my calories at night. Yesterday I experimented with eating a bit more during the day, especially breakfast, and a smaller dinner. That felt good. I’m going to try that again today and throughout the rest of the week and see how that goes. Less food over the weekend, and during dinner, will take me a long way towards my goal.

    I tend to think of being overweight as the result of a series of bad habits, and we just have to break all those bad habits, one by one.

    • says

      Great point, Jordan. I should have touched on that more in my post.

      Being overweight is definitely a habit thing, and like you said breaking those habits down one at a time is a pretty good way to ensure that you’re actually addressing them for good instead of just for the time being.

      How do you eat an elephant? One huge ass bite at a time!

      • says

        I’d like to add something to this, as you’re discussing on diet, here.

        I practise leangains, but sometimes, like today, I feel light-headed. Blame it on sleeping too late and waking up too early!

        Anyway, I mopped and vacuumed the gym (I take the opening shift on weekdays), and then felt sooo dizzy. So, I made myself a packet of labrada’s lean body breakfast. It’s a meal replacement (anyone knows if it’s good for you?). Immediately, I felt better.

        All I’ll do later is cut 400kcal from my lunch. It’s not the end of the world, and fasting isn’t a magic bullet, either! It’s just a way of eating, just like 5-6 meals per day.

        I guess you’ve got to be smart about things and know that sometimes things don’t go to plan. But all you have to do is compensate for them.

  3. says

    My current has is proving to be not enough time, but I’m employing some time management ninja moves to counteract that venom. My favorite video game of all time is Atari River Raid (how’s that for showing age). And just for the record, baby farts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be – especially after table foods are introduced.

    • says

      Let’s chat via e-mail about your time management ninjary, post haste!

      You’re going way back in time with that River Raid reference – I had to straight up Google that one, so you get +2 points for historical accuracy.

      P.S. – Baby farts sure aren’t nice to inhale, but they pack one hell of a punch. I hear the U.S. government is looking to use it as a fuel source for space travel soon.

  4. says

    My current limits are the lengthy amount of time I have to wait for my A Level results, military service of 2 years and then university studies of another 3 years before I can step into the world of fitness and nutrition.

    I intend to break through them by using this time to connect with as many experts as possible and pick their brains and continue studying and get certified while in the army. And I’ll still be training hard, so that when I finally get to enter the industry, I’ll not only be able to talk the talk but also walk the walk.

    Your blog’s sexiness knows no bounds, my friend!

  5. Joakim says

    I’m a lean guy with abs who tries to walk the last mile.To get here it took me 20 months.Lots of mistakes, lots of failures, lots of lessons learned.

    When I feel like gorging I usually end up eating anything form 5000 to 20000 calories.

    Now this is going to sound stupid ( and probably is ) but my Limit Break diet-wise is alcohol!

    When I get ravenous I immediately call some friends or my girlfriend or whoever I can find and go out and hit the bar.

    3-4 drinks later I return home in a much better mood and a better person overall.

    P.S. I love your attitude towards life.

    P.S. Final Fantasy 7 is the best video game ever, but then 8 and 9 came along.I don’t know, I love everything FF.

    • says

      Hey man, as long those drinks keep you from overindulging from food and doesn’t turn you into the hulk of drunkenness, then you’re onto something there!

      You know what’s funny? FF7 is still tops for me, but FF 10 on the PS2 came in a close second as far as the series goes, even though I lot of people didn’t like it. I couldn’t get down the 9 though – the main character didn’t do it for me.

      • Joakim says

        Yes, that’s exactly the point, anything that keeps the “let’s eat everything in sight and then some” fury away is welcome.

        10 is nice, good story.I even liked 12, the whole new battle system was a welcome refresh to the series for me.I know most people bitched about it but…

        As for 9, yeah Zidane is not the coolest character ever but it’s the game with the most character depth ( take Vivi as an example ).

              • Joakim says

                Catch up with some house maintenance stuff and organize my home gym in a better way.

                I spent all my money on it (power rack, bars etc), it’s my 6th week on barbell training and I love it.

                I’m a software and web developer/designer, so I hope I’ll find something fast to do to make ends meet.

                I’m a resourceful and proactive person in general, so I don’t think I’ll have a big problem.

                You have anything in mind?What would you do?

  6. Nancy C. says

    My biggest limit is going out to eat, especially when I’ve planned a meal but plans change and we go out. At the places we go regularly, I’ve got a go-to meal I can count on but sometimes it winds up being some restaurant we haven’t gone to or at least not that often. I don’t have a go-to meal and then the towel gets thrown. Don’t have a strategy yet but I can work on it.

    • says

      True that. When in doubt, just look towards the lowest calorie options on the menu (such as chicken and veggies). Sometimes even that is hit or miss since places butter everything up, but it’s a nice rule of thumb.

  7. says

    I can certainly relate, staying motivated is sometimes more of a challenge than the task itself.
    Great post.
    And good job on the podcast it was thoroughly entertaining!

    • says

      So true, Carrie. And thanks for the props on the podcast! We both got hit with some sickness this week and I’ve completely lost my voice, but we’ll get back to it ASAP.

  8. says

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