Why Do You Even Train? My Training Manifesto

It was a lovely autumn day when admist the turmoil of several back to back strongman competitions and the ensuing fatigue I came across Jim Wendler's article about how everybody should write their own training manifesto. http://www.jimwendler.com/2012/09/habits-of-strong-lifters/ Think about this and write your own training manifesto, or a list of what you train for. Keep it to yourself if you want, but use it to hold yourself accountable and refer back to it when you find yourself slacking in the gym or facing a lack of motivation. After reading this I thought to myself that it was a mighty good point to be making and so I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the topic by writing out my own training manifesto.

First I would like to point out that this article is NOT FOR EVERYONE. If you like to come in to the gym to dilly dally on the treadmill or elliptical for an hour you might as well stop reading now. I'll let you show yourself to the big X or the back button in the top corner now.

For the rest of you, strap yourselves in and think for yourself about your own purpose for training.

Why the hell do you even train?

First off, don't do the disservice of calling it working out. It's TRAINING! You're not watching Tae Bo tapes in your parents basement to get teh ripped abz (right??)

Training serves a purpose. It means you're going to the gym and working your fucking ass off to reach your goal. - Tweet that Shit

  1. I train to be the best strongman I can possibly be. I got in to strongman because of the feeling I had after my first strongman competition. If you've ever heard of a flow state, well I found it in strongman competitions. The competition pushes you to the edge of your abilities both physically and mentally. If you aren't totally focused on the present moment, the weight could crush you or you could get injured. It was the most intense training session I could possibly experience and I was sore for a week after the first competition.  To me it is the purest form of brute strength in sports. It is also the most suitable for my body type and so I think I am naturally talented at most of the events.
  2. I train to be as physically strong as I possibly can.  This ties in to the last point about strongman, but I just like the idea of being as strong as I possibly can. Particularly in lifts that transfer over to real life, like overhead pressing, squats, and especially deadlifts.
  3. I train to protect my family and friends as best as I can in times of danger or emergencies. Nothing is a more powerful motivator to me than the thought that I might not be strong enough to protect the ones I love when their lives are in danger. This has a lot to do with the psychological trick of how punishments are often greater motivators than reinforcers at changing behaviours. If you want to be able to lift a heavy rock off of your brother who is stuck or carry your girlfriend to safety in a fire than you better damn well train to get stronger and improve your muscular endurance so that you can be the hero in those situations. I believe that this is a big part of what it means to be a man.
  4. I train because it makes me feel good and I enjoy it. Whether you've had a bad day, you feel kind of sick, or your job's pissing you off, the iron will always be there to fight you and to fight those frustrations out of you. The iron can take whatever hits you throw at it and will throw some back at you if you're not focused. You can go in to the gym and TRAIN half-assed, you have to be there 100%, but that's ok! Because if you're dedicated to your training than people already know not to disturb you when you're at the gym. Get in an pound away those frustrations you have and don't leave anything in the tank. You'll come out feeling much more relaxed and in a better mood.
  5. I train to stay healthy. Health is always something that is in the back of my mind. As a nutritionist and someone who wants to provide health care and education to others, I'm not trying to beat myself into the ground so badly that I can't recover. I don't want to be crippled when I'm older. I train so that I can always be strong and provide care for my family and friends. This is also related to nutrition, because what you eat is even more important than how hard you train as you get older. You have to make the right food choices in order to stay strong and vital.
  6. I train to be a superhero. I grew up as a fan of comic book superheroes, Arnold, and even WWF wrestling. What little kid doesn't want to look like the superheroes he idolizes? The Incredible Hulk is the most awesome superhero ever, but I've also started to develop more appreciation for Superman after getting addicted to watching Smallville lately. We all should have lofty goals that motivate us to keep pushing hard in training and to me Hulk epitomizes that. Find whatever stress you've been dealing with lately, get ANGRY, go to the gym and TRAIN LIKE A FUCKING BADASS! - Tweet This   Recently I got to actualize my dream of being a superhero to some extent when I got hired by Microsoft to be Master Chief for the Canada Fan Expo weekend. For those of you who don't know, Master Chief is the main character from the video game series Halo and is a cybernetically enhanced supersoldier and is basically the ultimate ass kicking one man army!

Train with intensity, train with a purpose, train like your life depends on it! - Click to Tweet

Until next time,

Train, Refuel, Rest, Repeat

Everybody has a different reason for training, what's yours?

Leave a comment below and tell me why you train!