Full disclosure: it’s gonna take some time.
When you work out, work out like it’s your job.
That doesn’t mean work out all day every day. It means do it as though your livelihood depends on it.
How would you do that?
By making sure that you *practice*, NOT “work yourself out” – so that you could do the same thing again the next day if you needed to (not unlike professional performers have to do).
Why would you want to do that?
For the simple reason that it will sustain you far better – and far longer – than all the borderline crippling workouts that seem so popular today.
How do I know? Because people who DO/HAVE trained for a living don’t push their limits any more often than every once in a very great while, and they seek to leave their sessions better and stronger, not merely sweatier and more tired.
Case in point: I read a very interesting article recently about two brothers who have been Cirque Du Soleil performers for over 10 years with a mind-boggling ***4,500*** performances under their belt in that time. Guess what they don’t do? If you guessed “random workouts with random exercises in a random order to be completed as fast as possible”, then you hit the nail on the head.
They do what all great performers and professional strongmen from today and bygone eras did:
1) They have a daily restorative routine.
2) They take their recovery as seriously as they take their training
3) They train with purpose and focus
4) They listen to their bodies and surge forth when they can and step back when they have to
5) They train hard enough to challenge themselves, but easy enough to be able to recover and improve themselves.
A cursory look at any old-time circus strongman or professional performer with a physically demanding job will show you that they have this and other things in common.
If all you want to do is do Insanity or P90X until your heart explodes, be my guest. But keep in mind that these are 60-90 day programs, and there are 365 days in a year – not to mention tens of thousands more ahead of you for the rest of your life. If you’re looking for a program to get you in shape for life (and not merely to make you sweaty for a few minutes and sore for a few days) start by infusing the above principles in your training and fill in the gaps from there.
The progress will be slow and steady, but it will always be forthcoming, and it will transform you not for 3 months, but for life.
Pictured above is Pyotr Kryloff – a Russian circus performer who often performed between 12 and 15 times a DAY, and performed late into his 70s lifting preposterous amounts of weight, snapping chains in half, and breaking rocks with his bare hands (not to mention juggling kettlebells)