Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Animalize Your Exercise

 What do a tiger, a gorilla, a spider and a kangaroo all have in common? Every one of them is super S-T-R-O-N-G. Do you see a gym anywhere in the wild, no and so how do these animals stay fit and powerful? Simple answer because they have to be for survival and to take down what their food is for the next few days. They scratch, claw, climb, maneuver and have super strong tendons to boot. If there’s anything we should imitate it’s the strength of a wild animal.

 Am I saying weights aren't worth it, of course not they have their place but unless you have a truck, I highly doubt you’ll be able to travel with heavy equipment. Animal training is the type of fitness that can be done just about anywhere at any time. To get the best out your training, start where you’re at even if it’s taking little steps, you learn to progress. Once something becomes easier, challenge it at that level. People talk about doing 30 minutes of cardio and an hour of weights 3x a week and maybe throw in some of that aerobics crap that has god awful club music in the background.

 Want to know how many hours a week I train for the things I do, it’s not 10 hours, not 6, def not 4, it’s less than 2 hours and this goes on all week long. Training with this type of duration gives you rest, plenty of time to recover and still be able to do things you love to do, isn't it fun to gain than the average person?

 Kids today have it worse than when I was a kid. Back in the 90’s, there were issues like heart disease and such but obesity wasn't at a high level of concern, once I left high school, that’s when the obesity generation blossomed, it’s not on adults anymore, more and more children and teenagers develop bad habits. When I graduated high school almost a decade ago, Ipods barely were getting off the ground, ipads didn't exist, Myspace was the top social network and texting wasn't that big yet, today these kids have way too many privileges and don’t have the right sense of earning those privileges.

One of my biggest concerns for these kids is the way they socialize, half the time they’re texting friends but when their sitting next to them, they get bullied on Facebook and deal with pressures of having the newest cool gadget while trying to look cool for their peers. Damn sad if you ask me. Teaching the kids how to exercise not for punishment but for fun and learning how to push yourself productively and safely.

One of my mentors Matt Furey let his song Frank watch Winnie The Pooh but Frank had to earn that privilege so Matt tells him “Do your exercises first, pick ones you want to do an how many reps and when you’re done you can watch your movie.” Frank was hesitant at first but he did it and was proud of himself and was so excited to finally put on the movie. That to me is wicked cool because you’re not punishing your kid or forcing him to do it but if he/she wants something bad enough, sometimes they’ll have to earn it but encourage them to choose what they can do. It teaches how to accomplish something, it sets boundaries, rules and structure without making it look like you’re in hell.

 A child is already fit when it’s born, it’s very flexible and is learning on it’s own to strengthen themselves. As we get older, we lose sight of how we can stay fit and healthy; you start eating too much junk food, not enough exercise, no play time and rarely socialize anything with a pulse. Teaching the Way Of The Animal at a young age can set the tone for what they can develop, better brain power, strengthen muscles, define motor skills, productive competition, learning a sense of accomplishment, bring up self-esteem if you’re depressed, more relaxed if you’re hyper and create a better physical, emotional and spiritual state.

 Another component of training like a wild is something we've all striven to find, freedom. You’re out in the open and free to move and have fun while building your body to its natural state of muscular development and breathing deeply for a higher form of super endorphins. There are many ways to train like an animal, you can play tag, roll a dye, treat them as cartoons, train for 5 minutes or 1 hour it’s up to you that are true freedom. A key to freedom is to not analyze the workout hell don’t call it a workout call it going out and play, pick the way you want to do it and run with it, don’t worry how bad you are or if the other guy is better, just have fun and imagine yourself in the wild.

One of the beauties of being human is that we have a certain set of hormones. Men have Testosterone, Women have Estrogen and we learn how to balance these hormones for optimal results. As we get older, our hormones begin to go down by as much 5% a year by age 30, I still think its 25 but I could be wrong. In order to keep a balanced hormone levels we train according to our levels some people train hard and fast, others train mostly with for form and endurance but the principles still applies and because of Animal Training, it helps build those hormones we need to keep looking naturally young, have a spring in their step, live with confidence and happiness and if you’re looking to keep that spark with your significant other, it’s not a bad idea to train like an animal and fool around like an animal.

A lot of people look at exercise as a punishment or something they feel they have to or just don’t do it all. This type of thinking is why people hate to exercise and feel they won’t get results. Instead of thinking this way, shift gears a little just a little. Start with what you can do, instead of going through the motions like a robot, think as if you were that animal, you’re either running from a predator or catching your prey, picture as if you’re a gorilla defending your community, an ibex climbing the highest of mountains with ease, feeling graceful like a heron and one of my favorites a Mandrill just looking it was carved from granite with powerful washboard abs and the strength to break a man’s wrist if you grabbed it. Imagination is a beautiful thing to practice and using it with animalized training makes it that much more fun and exciting.

Last but not least about the great benefits of moving like an animal is that it’s very simple, just imitate as if you saw a wild animal at the zoo or on TV. Granted there are moves far beyond our limits but the ones we can use can give us strength that the average human can’t fathom. Never need to over analyze how you should move and which arm or leg goes where and if you can only move either straight or sideways, just do go with it, you’re learning to use muscles you normally don’t know that are there. Simple is better period. Give it a chance. Train with kids if you have them because whether they know it or not they crave structure and want to learn how to be better people and this can help that in ways that I can never explain. Have fun, be yourself and get your ass happy because nothing is more sacred than being happy.

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