Indian Clubs and Elbows
Whacked Out Wednesday Number 40

Lessons from the Dragon

Bruce-lee-glovesAs a martial artist for the majority of my life (over four decades) I have a few opinions about training... really, just a few!  First and foremost you have to train, train, train the basics.  Kick, punch, throw, lock - over and over again. Then, when you think you know what you're doing - start all over again from the beginning. Second, and almost as important as the first point, is don't be in a hurry to learn the next skill.  I see it time and time again: speed being used to mask poor technique or lack of technique altogether. Remember the old adage: "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast". Third, you don't need to learn a thousand techniques; you just need to learn how to apply a handful of techniques in every environment, know how to get in and out of them smoothly and efficiently, and above all make them devastating and effective. Finally, train hard but don't train so hard that you get hurt.  Sparring, or training so hard that you get hurt, takes you out of the equation until you heal and slows the  learning process.  In short: train at a level that you can readily recover from, learn consistently, and maintain your skills throughout your lifetime.

So, what does this have to do with CrossFit or Russian Kettlebells?  Everything!  If you want to become good at CrossFit or Kettlebells you need to learn the basics at a very high level.  I don't mean watching a YouTube video or a quick review before a workout - you need to STUDY them and learn as much as you can about them.  Getting an excellent education in the basics will also help you fight "Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS)".  What is SOS?  It's trying every new fitness toy or class that pops up in the hope that it will get your closer to your fitness goals?  If your training is too intense (you're puking or getting injured) you are going to be hard pressed to make strength gains.  Every WOD (Workout of the Day) should be scalable so that you can train the skills and the intensity that you need to continually make progress.  Getting destroyed each and every workout is going to do more harm than good in the long run and is going to drastically shorten your career as an athlete.

So... those are my thoughts on Bruce Lee and how his martial training philosophy has influenced my training philosophy in the gym.  A friend of mine, Master RKC Andrew Read, has his own thoughts on the how "The Dragon" can influence your training as well.  To get the full story check out my buddy Andrew Read's post on the Breaking Muscle website.  The following is from the article:

The Four Take Away Lessons From Bruce Lee’s Training Are:

  • Split your sessions into smaller chunks so you can better focus on improving skill
  • Strength train, but keep your main focus on your art. Look to find the simplest exercises you can and milk the most you can from them
  • Don’t neglect roadwork and other endurance work as these form a key role in overall fitness, health, and body composition
  • Targeted abdominal work links the whole thing together and allows better power production as well as forming a protective shield during fighting.


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