Deceptive Strength

There is a certain allure and glamour that comes with the huge muscles, but anyone who doesn’t have the muscles but has great strength seems to be doing everything fake. Metal bending feats are doctored, phonebook rips are cheated, nothing that a small person with strength does seems to hold merit.

But this was not always the case; there were as many 160-170 lbs strongmen as there were 200+ lbs strongmen. Maxick, credited as one of the best muscle controllers to have ever lived, weighed a measly 143 lbs soaking wet, but he could hold Tromp Van Diggelen in his outstretched palm, a man who was 215 lbs at the time. Of course, some people have in fact cheated with what are meant to be incredible strength feats, which raises the antenna of skeptics the world over. But there is a certain allure that comes with someone who holds immense strength in a small body.

Muscles are a symbol of strength, and every magazine you see that advocates strength training or exercise shows men with humongous muscles on their bodies. But is such muscle functional, or strong? Sig Klein was credited with saying, “Train for shape, the strength will come”. This was intended for the people who trained arms and upper body with little regard for other body parts. Nevertheless, some people who train every muscle in the body for aesthetics never realize the true strength that they can achieve.

Bruce Lee is a great example of deceptive strength; the power to kick 300 lbs punching bags to the ceiling in a 145 lbs body is admirable. This is true deceptive strength that can’t be faked, and this is the strength that most old time strongmen held; they didn’t need to have extravagant muscle to have stellar strength, and in some cases they were hindered by having too much muscle. Gymnasts are incredibly strong and powerful people, but they don’t have the kind of physiques one might expect them to have with their strength. That’s because there are more components to strength than muscle size, and the old time strongmen knew this. They trained tendons, ligaments, muscle control, and things that people today didn’t know were trainable. Their methods aren’t secrets, but they are buried under the vanity of industry.

Deceptive strength is what strength trainers should aim for as a training ideal; train for strength and function, and your physique will develop on its own. Dedicate yourself to the methods that these old time strongmen had; their lack of science or technology is a not a lack of knowledge, and their strength feats are a testament to that. Even if you observe the sculpture Farnese Hercules, you see that the ancient cultures who revered strength didn’t imbue Hercules with muscles fit for a cloud, but he nevertheless exuded strength in each ounce of his being. Deceptive strength is the way of the ancients, and is the image of true strength.

Kettlebell Workout

The weight of the kettlebell is offset from the handle, making it a challenge to use. This makes you have to work harder from you grip to your core to perfrom some kettlebell moves. This added effort is not a characteristic of dumbbells and adds to the usefullness of the kettlebell in workouts. A dumbell can be picked up and moved about with ease, but a kettlebell has to be manipulated and gripped right to use. This added effort is a great bonus to any fitness buffs routine. Once you figure out the way to handle a kettlebell, the workout majic really starts to begin.

From arms to shoulders, from backs to legs, and from hearts metabolism, a kettlebell workout can be used to perform so many different exercises. They can be used to perform squats, curls, pressess and more. By adding an explosive lift to any of the moves with a kettlebell, you can seriously increase your instantaneous power. Any power lifter would benefit greatly from a routine with kettlebells. The cardio workout that is obtained by swinging, lifting, and jerking around one of these handled cannonballs, will have your heart pumping in no time. You will be able to run harder and longer, exert more effort for longer, and be all around a fitter person by adding some kettlebell moves to your routine. There are also full on kettlebell prgrams that you can utilize to completely change up your workout.

I know that you can get a good workout from standard workout programs, but a kettlebell program can be a way to make that workout great. By changing all of your normal weight training exercises over to a kettlebell exercise, you can jump start a new surge of muscle building and toning. Getting you off of that plateau you may be stuck on, and getting back to getting the body that you have always wanted. If you want to get results, you have to try a kettlebell workout. Once you do, you will be hooked, and they will stay a major part of your routine. Keep working hard, and don’t give up!

Digital Nomads

There’s nothing that I would do to replace this mobile lifestyle, but one thing that’s not emphasised in lifestyle design literature is how unhealthy it can become (if you let it). Not to mention the difficulty with sometimes finding healthy food (I’ll mention this in another post), but also how hard it can be in finding a decent gym close to you, without you having to cross physical, sociocultural and language barriers to finally get there. But there’s no real excuse for at least putting effort into keeping fit when travelling.

Well, I got a solution for you constant travellers! And no, it’s not another piece of useless gym equipment that you’re going to throw away in mum’s garage and let it gather cob webs. It’s your own body. That’s right, I said it – you’re own body. If you’ve heard of the term callisthenics then you’ll be familiar with what I’m talking about. This is a basically a fancy way of utilising bodyweight resistance exercises, replacing those unwieldy and cumbersome dumbbells that we’re all to familiar with.

Examples of calisthenic exercises include:

Tricep dips

Most of you will be familiar with these ones, especially if you’ve got recurring nightmares of high school Physical Education classes… But we won’t get into that…

OK, so you’re probably asking at this point, “what’s a good routine that I can do in minimal time?” – very lifehacker type of question. Here it is below:

1) 20 push-ups
2) 20 squats
3) 20 tricep dips
4) 20 lunges

Do this set 3 times, 3 days per week and that’ll keep you set for keeping fit enough to be generally accepted by society. Also watch your diet folks. Diet is 80 percent of the battle, and the more you exercise, the more crucial a good diet is to feeding your body what it needs to perform and function at it’s best.

As a motivational tool – I recommend doing this routine with a training partner, i.e. your fellow traveller in most cases. Time who can finish first to make it more fun. You’ll be surprised how competitive you can be as you both go for glory. In no time, you’ll get that six pack that attracts the opposite sex and makes you the envy of everyone else.

Bodyweight Training

I thought how hard could it be? First time I did it I managed 60 of these bodybuilders and thought about never doing them again. But, there was no way that was going to happen I was on my own mission to do 100 in 10 minutes and accomplished it.

What made me want to know more about these and the fact that the author of the book left out the feared 8 counts out of the workout section because how brutal they are. I liked that. If he left it out because he hated them I wanted to do them.

It’s been many years and I still do them and it is still a feat to accomplish 100 in under 10 minutes. My best was 600 in 1 hour and 100 in under 15 minutes wearing a 40 lb weight vest.

These are tough workouts and the exercise will work your body pretty complete. I have combined 8 counts with bodyweight squats and also used a combo using bodybuilders and a jump rope, both are amazing fat burning and strength building workouts.

If you just managed 50 of these beast the average man would not be average anyone who is a little skeptical drop down for some right now and see how many you can get in 1 minute or 2 minutes I think you will be surprised.

The only down fall is that most people will never do them as a regular part of their workout, and the reason is they are very demanding. You can be like everyone else and do everyone else s workouts; you know the workouts designed by the average man for the average man.