Trip to Hawaii and Please Stop Pretending

Used the hotel fitness room. Not bad.
Bent over YTLWs
10lbs x 5 of each

1 Arm DB Snatch
50lbs for 3,2,1 each arm

Standing Arnold Press
50lbs for 10, 8

supersetted with

Wide OH grip Pull-down
10 reps
Neutral Grip Machine Row
10 reps

DB Lateral Raise Drop Set

Triceps Push-down Drop Set

DB Bicep Curl Drop Set

Stability Ball Plank and Roll Out Combo
20 sec, 10 reps, 10 sec

Hawaii Trip and Lone Survivor
Once you have children, it becomes increasingly difficult to watch movies that aren’t animated. In my case, my wife and I have watched Frozen reaching the double digits, which is about half as many times as my oldest daughter.

I had a 9+ hour flight to Hawaii on Thursday and bless the woman who switched me to an isle seat next to a tiny little woman. Delta lets you watch free movies so I watched Lone Survivor. In case you live under a rock, the movie is about 4 Navy Seals on a mission in Afghanistan to kill Taliban leader Ahmed Shah in 2005.

Now I am not a movie critic and I usually not a huge fan of the action genre but the buzz about the movie and the fact it is based on true events intrigued me.

Danny Dietz, “I got shot”
Mike Murphy, “Stop living in the past.”

Now I am not sure how accurate the details are from what really happened. And frankly, I don’t really care. But the fact that Marcus Lutrell himself was on set (even had a cameo), and this weekend I got the impression from some reliable sources about the accuracy of the movie, I am sold.

Regardless, for me, movies are about emotion, and this movie got deep in my heart. From the opening scene this movie got my heart racing with footage and brought me to tears at the end. It was probably a combination of my prior service and the purpose of my trip, this movie actually means more, now. I knew a little more of what they went through because of what I went through. That just means I can draw parallels. Doesn't mean I really know. I never had a day like that day. Not even close. This weekend got me a closer look and compounded and multiplied my respect.

If you want to train like a Navy Seal, first step, join the Navy.
- Dan John

Here’s what needs to stop; douche-bag trainers and fake hard-core “coaches” thinking their training in someway replicates what our armed service personnel do to defend our freedom. Now I am not talking about performing a workout in honor of a fallen serviceman. In the case of "Murph" on memorial day where people participate in a workout he used to do. Those people are simulating how he trained in honor of him. Not what he did for his job. I think anytime you can put on an event or competition to honor a hero who lost their lives in combat is outstanding. As long as the intention of the event is really to honor the fallen hero and not for the purpose of promoting your gym.

What I am talking about is when someone who has never served before, feels they are in someway deserving of recognition for wearing a weight vest or back back or a fucking gas mask (those people are ridiculous) while training. They couldn't tell you the physiological benefits of what they are doing but they will certainly change their facebook profile pic of them doing it.

The difference between you and the servicemen and women you are trying to "emulate" is that you get in your car, crank the AC and go back to your job or cushy apartment afterwards. The workout you are emulating is usually followed by the opposite.

Exercising is just that. Nothing more. Put a bunch of those together consistently and your life will change... physically.

Can you really train mental toughness in the weight room?
I love the inspirational articles and posts I have been seeing lately about how “doing that extra rep” will make you tougher in all other aspects in life. Now conversely, I think that physical exercise is the absolute best thing any young person can do to develop self-confidence and self-worth. But, this is not the same as mental toughness.

There are pictures going around on the internet with a young man at an SEC school “coached” into doing a wall sit with about 8 plates. Now, I try to refrain from criticizing other coaches on their methodologies, but I feel there are to many coaches who think it is about them. There are way more transactional coaches in the public eye now-a-days. Transformational coaches are usually the ones not making youtube videos and drumming for clients on social media. But, the one way you as a coach can impress other coaches is publicize the toughest training you can put together. Now I 100% agree that a group of individuals going through a struggle promotes a strong bound. And, if you ask any sport coach; this is the truest benefit of pre-season camps, conditioning drills, off-season workouts, etc. The thought that these young men and women are really “tougher” because the had to run 110s or push a prowler is up fro debate. I imagine there are people who will be able to handle the death of a sibling, forclosure on their house, or a divorce much better because they did an extra “finisher” at the end of their training session.

I agree the benefits of seeing your teammates work hard in the weight room adds a whole new level of respect for one another. Another reason why kids you train should still train with their teams no matter how shitty you think their training is. Jay Bilas had some great ideas in his book, Toughness. An example hwas making your bed everyday showed that you were a little bit tougher for example. He probably has much better examples I am forgetting, but you get the point. Question is, is it toughness or discipline? Maybe a kid trying an extra pull-up, adds 10lbs to his final set, or does one more suicide will enable him/her to make the goal-line tackle or winning free throw. Or maybe the type of kid who tries that extra pull-up, adds weight, or does another suicide has the personality, confidence and athletic ability to do those things anyway. Want tougher players? Recruit tougher players.

Boot Camps
This term irks me beyond belief, but it is a permanent fixture in the fitness industry. In fact anytime a trainer teaches a class before 9am, at a playground, or with any “cool” equipment like ropes and kettlebells; it’s a Boot Camp.

My time spend on Paris Island, SC would lead me to believe that nothing that you are dong in your yoga pants with your trainer on the monkey bars is anything close to my “boot camp” experience. Hashtagging how tired you are at the end of a workout while taking a selfie of how sweaty you are is not what the young men and women in recruit training across this country do during their time at “boot camp.”

Keep Calling yourself Coach
I think about how many hours I have spend working for free, how many people I have tried to learn from, how much money I spent on education, and how much time I have spent away from my family to call myself a coach. You see the word coach means more to me than most. I’m not talking about the person who volunteers to coach his son’s little league team or her daughter’s junior high basketball team. The word coach should be used to help young people associated it with positive attributes. Coach = mentor and positive role model.

I am talking about the trainers who take money from people to train them and call themselves Coach. If your trainers are called coaches in order to get more clients, well I guess that's your business plan. The term coach hasn't be trademarked... yet.

"Tonight vs Central, it's going to be a WAR!!!

No it's not, it's a game, played by kids or teenagers in most cases.

I get really cautious about using the words battle, war, or combat in any setting. Companies like Nike have a whole Pro Combat line high school team posters constantly have the military theme. These kids aren't soldiers, they're kids and nothing in any sport comes anywhere close to having as much valor, courage, or sacrifice as what some of our armed forces had to go through.

I hope this doesn't sound bitter, but there are certain populations I get very defensive about; the young men and women who gave me and still give me the freedom to post my opinion for one.

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