Stay Ready: it’s important to Stay Ready all the time
“Stay ready” what does this mean? Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am extremely interested in all aspects of the fitness world. I appreciate high levels of competition. From Tetris Championships to Marathons in the woods, I like to stay ready for a wide range of competitive endeavors. I don’t always agree with the resulting heath quotients from pursuing various endeavors. Still I hesitate to criticize any subset of the fitness world willing to do what it takes to achieve the highest level on the fitness spectrum. That is why this weekend, when one of my colleagues told me he was competing in a body building competition, I decided to check it out.
I didn’t realize is this competition was held at a convention center that played host to other fitness events including MMA, jiu jitsu, Cross-Fit and an Epic Series strength course. I hadn’t planned on doing anything physical this day. I came as a spectator because I was very curious what a bodybuilding contest is like. Recently I watched “Generation Iron.” I strongly recommend this movie. It is a follow up of sorts to the original “Pumping Iron”, featuring the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Similar to the original film, the contemporary” documentary focus several men vying for the title of Mr. Olympia. The movie gives you a glance inside of a few contrasting contest prep approaches. Check out the trailer here. Fascinating stuff.
For the majority of my career I have largely dismissed the body building endeavor as archaic and relatively unhealthy. Now I am intriqued by the competitions because of my interest in a deep understanding of advanced nutrition strategies. That is not to say that I am convinced this is good for the competitors. I don’t aspire to have that kind of physique. Nevertheless, the work and attention to detail required is commendable. Also, any display of human fascinates to me. At times I have been tempted to take on a physique contest. I have not because the training contrasts with my primary fitness goals and lifestyle preferences.
While waiting for the contest, my Fiance Colleen, my friend Dave, and I were wondering around checking out the event. We came across an odd looking course in the middle of the concourse. There were all sorts of weird apparatus and implements including an atlas stone, a sled, railroad tracks with handles, a giant barbell with chains attached to it and a few more. They had me at Atlas stone.
I came as a spectator and sans workout clothes. How could I pass up this opportunity to test my fitness impromptu style? One of my philosophies in life is to stay ready. I believe this concept has been adopted by Cross-fit and other fitness movements. There primary goal is be prepared for whatever the unknown workout provided is. Anytime any place. Hence, “stay ready”. What this means for me is at the drop of the dime, I want to be ready for whatever life may throw at me. More importantly, whatever I may be challenged to do. The way I structure my training ensures that in any given moment I can beat the majority of people in a mile run, a short sprint, a pull up contest, push up contest and maybe even a starvation contest. The bottom line is I structure my life in a weird way to ensure I can be confident to take on any challenge. A course is a challenge and I wouldn’t be beaten by it. That is why I rolled up my jeans, jumped in and crushed it! Check out this video of me of me knocking it out.
This test of physical fitness was a little harder than I expected. I quickly became parched and short of breath. My goal was to beat the best time that day of 3:30. I fell way short at 5:05. The 135 pound push press and 95 pound atlas stone crushed me. I still felt happy about my performance. More importantly my body held up, I recovered quickly and was able to carry on with the rest of my day.
This just shows me that my training has me in a “stay ready” state. I probably couldn’t have jumped into the cross-fit challenge or the body building competition, but those are not what I aspire to do. That’s not my “stay ready”
We all have our own expectation of what we need to be ready for. Yours may be different than mine. Your “stay ready” might be to be able to bend over and pick up your kid without pulling your back. Your “stay ready” might be to not get out of breath walking up the stairs. Your “stay ready” might be to step up to a physique contest and win at any given moment. No matter what your “stay ready” is, test it and make an honest assessment of where you are in relation to your personal ideal. Use this as a litmus to draw from to shape your training. Even if that means simply getting back in the gym or going outside to get some movement in. Hopefully as you get back into it your stay ready increases to greater demands.
Thanks for reading and of course