Why can’t we be more like vikings? Urban vikings!
I read a Men’s Health article about them recently. Yes, I read Men’s Health because they don’t tell you can get abs in a 15 minute workout. I read about a rowing challenge where you try to row 2000 m in 7 minutes. Yeeeouch. I’m still working on it.
So. Vikings. They could run, fight and carry any time of the day. They propped themselves upright when they sat down. They didn’t use a machine to work sole body parts. They attained their figure and mobility through running, fetching water, chopping wood, hiking and fighting for their lives.
I use them to describe how I like to train (this is the why). My training philosophy is to lift and lead you out of your comfort zone, so you can live the life you crave. This past weekend was the perfect byproduct of what it means to lift, live and lead.
I went to Seattle on a whim. I felt like a total urban viking. Man, I was on fire at the airport with these suitcase farmer carries. I knocked out a 7.5 mile hike on Bearhead Mountain 12 hours post arrival. At the top, I practiced a frog/I have no idea what my legs are doing/crow handstand (shown above). We squeezed some kayaking in, too.
Strength and stamina will take you places.
As my homepage says: Training for life, not the mirror, yes? It took me to Seattle spontaneously.
Energy is stored in your muscles
The point of this story is: I think you need to take a hard look at how you train. Do you lift to live and have more freedom? Are you discovering how far and wide your mental and physical threshold runs?
The best kind of strength comes from places less visible than a six pack.
I do throw in the occasional bicep curl in my training routine. I mean, who doesn’t like a few minutes of pumping your arms? It wouldn’t have been dubbed “ornaments on a Christmas tree” if bicep curls sucked.
Train with intention for that crazy idea or book that trip you’ve been wanting to take. I usually recommend to start with what Dan John taught me:
Stretch what feels tight
Shift focus to how you function, not look, and a number of positive things will happen (and you will still look attractive. Actually, probably even more attractive, because energy is not wasted on fretting over how to get these calves or traps “pop out” more.)
To list a few:
- Less limitations: I was able to hike 7.5 miles without worrying about my performance, and be able to walk around downtown after the hike. I was running late for my flight home so a few unwelcome sprints occurred. If you’re not injured, how is sitting down on a machine to do chest flys and eliminating your core strength going to help you carry your suitcases?
- Indulge: I was able to enjoy fried chicken and waffles without stressing about ruining my progress. Muscle increases your fat metabolism.
- Spontaneity: I had the confidence and energy to do a last minute trip. Most people think things will fall apart if they skipped town for a few days or they wouldn’t be able to handle it. You manage your energy flow more efficently with a strong and functional body.
Integrating life opportunities, like a spontaneous trip to the west coast for the weekend, was easy because of my commitment to living. The backdrop and activity for the weekend was the epitome of the idea of lifting to live and lead. The fitness allowed so much to happen, including my mentality to handle a spur-of-the-moment trip.
So I dare you to ask yourself: Are you training for the mirror or the life you want? Let’s talk.