The first time I stepped into a boxing ring, I fell in love with the sport. The training, the battle in the ring physically, and in your soul when you’re in the ring, makes any combat sport the purest form of competition there is.
The world’s best conditioned athletes are fighters. The following is a guest post from Eric Wong, a good friend of mine who trains UFC fighters for battle. Take these lessons to heart, and build a Legendary Body.
I fell in love with the sport of MMA when I was watching a VHS recording of some guy in a bath robe (Royce Gracie) beating up guys much bigger than him in a no-holds barred tournament.
I can’t remember how my friends and I got a hold of this tape, but we all gathered around and watched it with an unmatched level of excitement.
It was like seeing a real-life version of the movie Bloodsport. Without Jean-Claude van Damme or the monkey style guy, unfortunately.
Soon after, I signed up for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lessons at a local club in my home town of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I trained a few months but had to quit as I was off to get my Kinesiology degree from the University of Waterloo.
When I returned to my parent’s nest (a broke university grad), I got a job as a trainer in a local big box gym, then, after a few paycheques, signed up to train at the martial arts club again.
I remember walking into the ring for my first fight, I almost couldn’t breathe. The butterflies were unlike anything I’d ever experienced. And it wasn’t because of the likelihood of pain or that chance that I could get hurt, it was because of the notion that all of the hard work I’d put in preparing for this moment could be flushed down the drain with a loss. I was walking into the squared circle alone, in front of a couple hundred people, to fight another human being. It was nerve-racking.
That’s when the bell rings and those nerves flush from your system, your instincts and training kick in, and the battle begins.
There’s a brotherhood amongst fighters. It’s an aknowledgement that you’re – at the very least – tough enough to step in to the ring, the cage, or on to the mat, and fight. You didn’t wimp out. The rest of your life might be a different story, but in that moment you stood and fought like a man.
When I watch fights I usually watch them with one of two buddies – both former fighters. At the very least we shield one other from the meathead comments like, “I’d do a better job than this guy”, or “this is a boring fight”, or “these guys are wimps”.
We know that if we could do a better job, we’d be in there. That if these guys were wimps, they would have chosen a different profession. And that sometimes appreciating the strategy of a “boring fight” is just as exciting as a brawl between two guys who left caution in the locker room. Read the rest of this entry »
If you make yourself more than just a man. If you devote yourself to an ideal. And if they can’t stop you. Then you become something else entirely…
A Legend, Mr. Wayne.
The Legendary Man
The fight to become a Legendary Man is an arduous one. It’s multifaceted. There’s the physical and the physique, the mind, and the spirit. To be a complete man, we need to do our best to develop each. To be a Legend, we need a purpose in everything we do. We need something greater, a call, a mission, a dream that drive us, but we also need focus.
That call is something internal. It’s your purpose or mission in life. It’s what gives your strength, a sense of manliness and pride. It makes you a driven, ambitious man. We’ll talk about this in a future article.
Today, we’ll focus on one of those 3 ‘categories’ of being a Legendary Man: the physical.
The Legendary Body
A man – a successful one – takes care of his body. He does so for both selfish, and unselfish reasons. He wants to protect his family and loved ones. So he trains his body to be able to do so. He also wants to be confident. A good-looking and even better performing body gives him this confidence.
Above all else, a man simply wants to make the most out of his life. He understands that everyday is a gift, and one with an expiration date. Every skill and talent should be pushed to its capacity, and then some. He wants to walk into the pearly gates spent, exhausted, with nothing left to give.
So he trains his mind, body, and spirit. He takes care of himself in every way he possibly can. To be a Legendary Man is to adhere to this principle. To let nothing go to waste. To fight The Resistance. To kill laziness. To be at our best in every way we can. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s Sunday and watching football has kept me horizontal for the past three hours, rising only for the essentials: to drink water, to expel water, and to refill my bowl of ice cream (cheat day). Sunday is my lazy day. I did, however, still get up at 5 am and hit the ground running, but that run became a walk, then a full-fledged nap at around 9. Now, here I am, feeling like the most subdued human on the planet, and it’s time for me to hit the gym.
What to do?
How do we have a Legendary workout when we’re lazy as shit?
First, and most importantly, I can’t under-state the importance of routine. When a workout is simply a part of our routine, there’s less “getting up” for it. It’s just something that we do at this time of day, every week. It’s like waking up or eating lunch.
If you’ve ever read The Power of Full Engagement, by Tony Schwartz – great book – you’ll know that having a routine also programs our bodies to be ready for the next event. That is, if we write at 9 am everyday, our minds are programmed to be active and ready for that task. The same can be said for working out. If we train at the same time everyday, we know what’s coming, and we’re accustomed to mustering the energy and the focus to engage in the workout wholeheartedly.
Before we cover any of the other tactics, make a workout schedule, and make it firm.
Here’s one of the schedule’s we use in the PowerHowse Challenge - it separates the workouts and the recovery days as to allow your body to recover as much as possible before your next training session.
Training Days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.
Recovery Days: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday.
Set firm times for each of your training days. Have a look at your schedule and make sure you can keep this routine up every week, only making adjustments ahead of time, and if necessary - not because you’re too lazy to train. Read the rest of this entry »
Three Reasons to Back Away From the Barbell is a guest post by Anthony Mychal.
Building a body that matters means spending a lot of time in the gym among the clam and clatter of barbells and iron. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (big weights do build a big physique after all), a harsh dive into barbells often leads to training amnesia: we forget about other muscle building methods.
Training amnesia is common. The feel of the barbell becomes so familiar, we think it’s the only piece of equipment that spurs progress.
But, as I’m sure you know, this is a mirage. There are many other ways to train without stacking plates on the bar. Often times, these “other ways” can elicit adaptations and gains that barbells can’t offer.
Don’t believe me?
Here are three ways to become more athletic, get stronger in unimagined places, and “secretly” build more muscle. No barbell required.
GET YOUR PLAY BACK
Part of barbell amnesia is forgetting how to “play.” And, no, I don’t mean sports. I mean having fun outdoors without being confined by rest periods, sets, reps, or much of anything.
Late sprint coach Charlie Francis used to say, “Looks right, flies right,” in regards to athletic movement. But these days, most everyone looks for their athletic answers in some kind of weighted exercise, be it a squat, sandbag carry, snatch, or barbell complex.
Real athleticism, however, is about having fleet feet—something barbells can’t teach. Over time, we lose our childlike ability to absorb and output force. Read the rest of this entry »
Boxing, or any form of fighting, is life broken down into 3-minute rounds.
Life is truly lived when we experience both highs and lows, triumph and failure. Happiness isn’t as appreciated if we haven’t already experienced pain or sadness. Success isn’t as satisfying if it isn’t preceded by failure. In a fight, there are moments where you question if you have ‘it’, where you think about finding a way out, an easier path than the one you have chosen. Just like pain, suffering, and failure help us become better fighters, they also help us develop character and become better people.
Adversity is a part of fighting, and a part of life. Accepting it and appreciating it can lead to greatness in either realm.
Rocky Marciano was a fighter, he wasn’t just a boxer. He took a punch to land a punch. He walked forward when most would take a step back. As such, he will go down as one of the greatest Legends the fight game has ever seen.