Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to Survive an Ass-Kickin'!

"Run fast! Run away from the man with the machete!" 

Those were the infamous words spoken by my good friend, colleague, elite trainer and strength coach, Luka Hocevar, CSCS - owner of Hocevar Performance, during one of the group orientations for about 15 boot camp newbies.

In subliminal terms, what he was actually saying was "you better amp it up and kick ass in the process....or get your ass kicked!"

And no....I'm not talkin' donkeys either!

Little did these newbies know what they were getting into upon showing up for their first boot camp workout session. A few had somewhat of an idea as they sat there and watched one of our regular boot camp sessions beforehand. People were sweating, screaming, hootin' & hollerin' - the energy was definitely on red alert status and people were feeling awesome!

Everyone was 'kickin' ass'!

I've always been a fan of quick, effective, high-intensity workouts. Notice I didn't say "easy", as in "quick & easy", which really makes no sense if you ask me. Especially if you're looking to elevate your game to the next level. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone say, "Today I'm gonna do some sandbag slams or some heavy rope slams....but I'm going to take it easy! Tomorrow, I'm gonna hit the Prowler....but I plan to take it easy as well."

What the....? How does what work?

What should be said is everything above but instead of "taking it easy", "I'm gonna kick ass doing it!"

Just think of the mental shift that takes place when you say those words! It takes you to a whole new dimension when it comes to training and putting in work - work that elevates your ground game thus resulting in better gains, increases in strength, speed, agility, quickness, power, etc.

Getting your ass-kicked in the process is a rite of passage - just like earning your stripes, which simply means that you do something to prove that you have the skills or ability for a particular job or rank. It doesn't signify fear nor intimidation if used in this context. Rather it says that you've gone through the depths of trials and tribulations to overcome all obstacles that stood in your way!

Many times I've told my myself that I was going to do such & such and kick my own ass! What that really translates to is that my workout would be brutal, it would be tough - but I looked forward to the challenge. A challenge of sorts that would break me down in order to build me up!

Makes sense, right?

Take weight training for example. Ever had a moment when you lifted so much that you were sore for a couple of days? Of course you have! We all have. As the soreness subsided and you started to get more consistent workouts under your belt, chances are you noticed your resistance go up. Not only that, but you were also getting stronger, leaner and your muscle soreness would do away or wouldn't be as persistent as it was when you first started training.

Then you try something new - different movement patterns, increased work loads & time under tension, faster tempo, activation of smaller stabilizer muscles, etc. Before you know it....BAM!!

Muscle soreness!

*Side note - Now, let's be smart about this. If you're sore, you don't just want to sit back and not do anything! That's the worst thing you can do. The trick is to move around - stretch, foam roll, go for a walk, etc.

In the midst of knowing that this soreness was a result from "getting your ass kicked", I'm going to share with you some tips on how to survive an ass-kickin' and live to tell about it!

Some ass-kickin' survival manuals may sound something like this:
  • First - Come to realize that the ass-kickin' you are about to get is not your fault!
  • Second - Get mentally focused on what to expect - or at least try to because chances are the ass-kickin' you'll be getting is something that you won't expect! "Man, I didn't see that coming!" (Yes you did! Don't try & deny it!)
  • Third - Dress for the occasion - it doesn't matter what you really wear because it's all going to get sweaty, smelly & nasty anyway! Just make sure your laces are nice & tight! 
  • Fourth - Put in some work! Remember, ideal work is NOT doing 2-3 partial push-ups and calling it a day. If that's the case, you may as well follow it up with 2-3 partial squats and 2-3 half bicep curls inside the squat rack and call it good!
Don't believe any of the crap mentioned above! 

In all honesty, here's how to really survive an ass-kickin! 
  • Stay consistent
  • Know your limitations
  • Train hard, put forth an all-out effort and don't cheat yourself short
  • Make steady progress as challenges come your way
  • Improve 1% each day - 1 more rep, 1 sec. more, 1 lb. more than the previous load, etc.
  • Always learn something new each day - this not only applies to the gym, but life in general
  • Seek opportunities to improve - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually
  • Remove negativity from your life - things that hold you back or bring you down (yes, this includes people who are always bashing you and are a bad influence - get them out of your life!)
  • Eat right - you can't mess around with your nutrition, especially when it comes to getting kick-ass results!
  • Recovery - this is just as important as training - get 6-8 hours of sleep, get a massage, foam roll, take care of your soft tissue
  • Be good to yourself - reward yourself for a job well done and for doing the things above!
  • Keep kicking ass in all that you do! 
The evolution of an ancient ass-kickin'! Not much has changed!
As long as you follow the steps above, no matter how hard of an ass-kickin' is handed to you on a platter, you will survive and live to tell about it! The key is to stay positive, become consistent with your workouts, constantly challenge yourself and overcome those obstacles when it comes to your training programs, eat right, & get optimal recovery. Do this and I can honestly say that you will improve & get better! 

I guarantee it!

Never fear an ass-kickin'! It could be one of the best things to happen to you!

I know it is for me!


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