After returning from a great vacation, I shared a story with my kids to remind them just how good and easy they have it. And, many times I wonder, is this "easy life" hurting my kids and humans in general?
My Dad would take us on "vacations" that included canoeing or rafting. Another "vacation" was fossil hunting after my Dad saw an article in the newspaper about people finding old fossils, so off we went!
The Canoe trip was more of a death defying stunt than a "vacation". First off, I flipped the Canoe because I saw the rapids coming. My Dad "rented" the canoe from some random dude and I still recall my Dad paddling like hell as we approached a BIG waterfall as our trip was ending (OR our Lives ha ha)!
The guy who rented us the kayak didn't warn us, he just said Howdy as we drifted passed him.
How about, "Holy SHYT, You're about to take your kids down a waterfall! PADDLE!"
Here's another good one.....
We're in Pa. for vacation and my Dad rented a small cabin in the woods somewhere. He takes my brother and I fishing and my brother catches a BIG BASS!
He is so psyched, he bags it in water and brings it home to show our Mom with plans of releasing it back to the pond. My Mom pulls out a wooden hammer and beats the fish on it's head till it stops moving. 1 hour later, dinner was served as my brother and I cried over our "diner".
My kids go on vacation and they are eating sushi, steak and Falafel wraps. They have NO clue what our "fancy dinner" was in the 80s 🙂 In my heart I want the best for them until I realize that the tough times are often the very thing that builds TOUGH PEOPLE.
I'm 41 as I write this and I train usually 5 days a week on average.
Do you know how many parents of athletes tell me their child "needs a break" from training 2 or 3 x week?
When you're 80 The Doctor is gonna tell you to exercise every day!
This is why I train athletes HARD.
This is why I make sure the training is uncomfortable physically AND mentally.
This doesn't mean train stupid, ignore science and destroy yourself. No. It means that to build STRONG Humans ready for the ever increasingly craziness of the world, you MUST build MIND AND BODY.
I have said it many times before, "The Barbell is the King of the weight room".
And although this is true, I always train BEYOND the Barbell, for myself and for ALL the athletes I train.
I implement a lot of calisthenics and Bodyweight Bodybuilding training.
- Sandbags / Sandballs
- Kegs / Tires / Other Odd Objects
Added some tools of #STRENGTH to The @ruwrestling room 👊👊⚔️⚔️ / Prepare your body for the unexpected by training through different planes of motion, varied angles & all around odd objects. / Don't discriminate against the many methods & tools to improve your performance 👊👊⚔️⚔️ / #HammeRSquad #UndergroundStrengthGym / #STRONGLife #StrengthCoach / @undergroundstrengthgym @undergroundstrengthgym @ruwrestling @ruwrestling #WrestlingSTRONGA post shared by Zach Even - Esh (@zevenesh) on
- Thick Bars / Specialty Bars
You see, STRONG is STRONG.
Even when using Barbell lifts, I add and implement chains and sometimes bands. A recent training session had us benching with a swiss bar with kettlebells hanging from bands.
I did this to challenge the athletes, to improve joint integrity and to force the athletes to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
- Sometimes the chains hang from the barbell and other times hang from the neck or the torso during Deadlifts for a different effect.
If you're only strong with one variation of a lift, then you are a specialist and in my opinion, you're not TRULY Strong.
You're strong where and when it's comfortable for you. I tell the athletes all the time, "STRONG ALL Around!"
I train athletes, Military, LEO and these individuals need to be Strong whether they are comfortable or not.
- Deadlift with different barbells and with varied foot positions
- Squat with different barbells, varied foot positions, box / no box, pause / no pause, etc.
- Pull Ups and Bodyweight Rowing Motions with various grips. Use towels, ropes, tick handles, etc.
The varied implements and varied body positioning helps attack your weak areas and ultimately, LIMITS your weak areas.
Never discriminate against the many ways that you can develop your body and expand your capabilities of STRENGTH.
Being "STRONG" is an umbrella term.
To be Strong, you must be fast and explosive.
To become faster and more explosive, you must become STRONGER.
The process never ends and as a human, your body is ever evolving.
In turn, what works today may not be what worked for you before.
Open your mind.
Always be a White Belt.
Getting Stronger begins with you realizing and accepting that you must change to move forward.
If you're ready to be guided and want to be fired up to train, then join my online training team at Gladiator STRONG.
Yesterday, I was extremely sore, especially my legs and hamstrings in particular.
The Bodyweight workout for high reps I did on Sunday Night crushed me. I was on vacation for the week and didn't do any strength training that week which is a rarity for me (to take a week off).
As I was so sore from just a week off, I found myself wondering.....
Holy, how sore are the athletes gonna be at The D1 Level who slack on their training during the voluntary training period (which is approx 4 months)?
You get so sore that you can't move properly. You took 10 steps backwards and have to start all over again. That can't be a good thing, but believe it or not, even at The D1 Level, there are athletes who avoid the work when given the opportunity to live the easy life.
The bottom line here; I am 41 and can't afford to take a week off, the teenagers and athletes in their early 20s certainly don't need MONTHS off.
So before I hit any heavy work in yesterday's training, I started off with some high rep work with some tried and true bodybuilding work.
Leg Curls, Various Lat Pulldowns, Various Triceps Pushdowns, Leg Presses with varied foot stance and more.
You see, it ALL works when YOU do the work.
I worked reps in the 10-20 range on each exercise as a circuit, 4 or 5 sets of each as I mixed up the order of exercises.
Then I hit the weight room for:
- swiss bar floor presses + chains
- Kettlebell rowing
- Side Raises with chains
- Kettlebell Triceps Work
- Band Face Pulls
Your body will grow accustomed to your training and from as long as I can remember, reading those "old school" bodybuilding books, they always spoke about shocking your muscles.
I was buying books in my early teen years that you just don't see nowadays.
Back in the day, IronMan and Muscular Development had countless awesome training books. I read them countless times over until 1 AM often times......
Arnold had his old books that I read more than you can imagine.
Do people even read anymore??!! God forbid you can't swipe it every 5 seconds!
The info was Golden. You respected and cherished the information because you had to PAY for it, not just with money, but through riding your bike to the mall, searching every book store and putting in sweat equity!
Those guys lifted Heavy AND did rep work.
Hence why you see this blend of strength, athleticism and bodybuilding inspiration in my online training programs.
Listen, it builds Serious Strength, Functional muscle and you actually look like you train!
Many people who lift, unfortunately, you would never know they lift.
They don't eat properly, rest properly and, ultimately, don't train properly. Hence, little to no results and a "normal" physique that doesn't speak for itself.
Your body thrives off of variety AND consistency. Oh, Hard Work is a standard, do I need to even say that INTENSITY is important?
Lots of Squats, Presses, Rows and all the variations of them.
This is what the lifters did in the 70s and prior.
The bodybuilders WERE strong.
Hence why they were built like they were carved from stone.
And, they ate simple.
Eggs and Toast for breakfast. Put some butter on that bread, have some cottage cheese. Oh yea, whole milk. What the heck is even in our milk nowadays? Some of this shyt has an expiration date 3 weeks after you buy it?
THAT is scary!
Meat and Veggies the rest of the day.
Look at us now.
So f--in complicated that we don't even know what works anymore because really, we're trying to avoid the work.
Those of us who know, KNOW.
YOU Know it takes work.
When in doubt, work hard.
Hit the low and the high rep ranges.
The high reps are great for size and joint integrity.
The low reps build a dense type of muscle that shows that you ARE Truly STRONG.
Don't just talk about it, BE ABOUT IT.
Live The Code 365,