A few months back I suggested you have a goal in mind for your training. Over 20+ years of teaching martial arts and 10+ of teaching strength, I’ve found that students with specific goals always make the best progress. This is not earth shattering information, but even though it’s plainly evident I often find that students need to be encouraged to have a goal. At my gym now, one student wants to break 500 with his dead lift. Another will be competing in a triathlon soon. As luck would have it, because I am constantly on the rest of them to have a goal, they all have one even if it’s just improved general fitness. Naturally, I prefer goals to be more specific, but I’ll take something vague if need be.
The next question is after some time, how is your training helping your goal? Have you noticed improvements? Can you specifically name them or is it just a feeling?
My focus in the gym is taming the beast: pressing, pistoling and doing a pull up with the 48k bell. Outside the gym my goal is bow hunting (with a longbow because hunting in general just wasn’t hard enough for me…). Due to a recent (and luckily minor) rib injury I was a bit sidelined from my beast tamer training. now that it’s better I can get back on that track, but for those of you with any outdoor hunting experience, the next question is obvious: How does my goal in the gym overlap with my goal in the field? One is a massive strength goal, the other due to hiking miles a day (often uphill) is more about “legs and lungs.”
Well, the name of the organization is StrongFirst. Strength is our base attribute from which everything else grows. But taming the beast is more than just a baseline strength. It’s extreme. Especially for a guy who weighs around 180 and will be 51 in November. The joke is that the organization’s name isn’t “StrongOnly.” And if you’re aware of Pavel’s constant search for better and safer training methods, you are probably aware of his course StrongEndurance which dives into “anti-glycolytic” training in an effort to deliver better power production and conditioning without leaving you unable to defend yourself should the need arise. So I’ve done the only obvious thing that a guy who crosstrained six different martial arts with Guro Dan Inosanto for nearly twenty years and taught at his school for many of them: I do both! StrongEndurance and beast tamer training done in the same program. Balancing the volume of conditioning with the volume and intensity of the strength work is key, but I am confident it will be a net gain for every undertaking I have in mind.
This past weekend I went wild pig hunting and it was obvious that I was just coming off of an injury because I was more gassed hiking uphill than I thought I would be. Now that I know my conditioning is a bit behind my strength I can adjust my programming and move forward in a more direct line.
What about you? How is your performance relative to your training goals?
Stay strong, my friends!