“The secret is the power exists in all people, the struggle is the Sifu if you learn to let it teach you.”
-Stic of Dead Prez
Why do you train? Hopefully it is for more than just competition or post-workout Facebook and Instagram selfies. Training is not a 12 week before and after contest. Training is about getting a little better every day. It is about self cultivation and self realization. Adopting a holistic training practice and committing to it for life is the best way to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit.
Training is not about going to war and being a Spartan. If you want to be a warrior, raise your hand and enlist in the armed forces instead of pretending to be a badass online because you hit the gym everyday. Training really is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. Through training every day you can harden the body and sharpen the mind.
Look at the early days of physical culture, men like Eugene Sandow, George Hackenschmidt, and Arthur Saxon were interested in both strength and health. Physical culture was a lifestyle.
|Photo from www.oldschooltraining.net.|
What about the Shaolin monks? They are some of the best examples of cultivating the mind, body, and spirit. They meditate, practice kung fu and qigong, and put their bodies through grueling exercise day in and day out. There is no “off day”, there is just training. Every minute of every day is a chance to become better. This is why I love the traditional martial arts.
|Photo from www.thespiritscience.net.|
My mentor Louie Simmons told me he trains multiple times every day. He’s 68 years old and has more than run his body through the ringer from an incredibly successful powerlifting career, and he still trains multiple times daily. He showed me a torso exercise he likes to do on the lat machine and when I asked him about sets and reps he told me, “I just do it for 10-20 minutes or so, it’s just meditation.” That is awesome!
Training every day doesn’t mean going balls out and running yourself into the ground. Daily training needs to be restorative as well, particularly as we get older. You might only be able to handle 2 or 3 extreme workouts a week, but you can do various conditioning, stretching, mobility, repetition exercises, martial arts practice, etc. daily. Don’t be afraid to push yourself but don’t be an idiot either. Training smart is just as, if not more, important than training hard.
“What you know about the running, the stretching
The katas, the weapons
The path, the journey
The jewels, the learning
The fear, the focus
The aches, the pains
The contact sparrin', the breaks, the sprains
The trial and error, the ranks, and belts
The spiritual growth, the science of breath
The tests, the techniques
The forms, the stances
The flow, the rhythm, the internal answers
The herbs, the healing, the quiet meditation
The truths revealed through daily dedication
The love for the art, the sweat on your shirt
The mind, the body, and the spirit that work….”
-Way of Life-
by, Dead Prez
Stay Strong AND Healthy!