Archive for the 'Inspirational' Category
Tara Scott is the epitome of exercise consistency and simplicity. I first learned of Tara after reading about an exercise streak of hers that spanned over two years. At the time, she was around 40 years old and had trained 766 consecutive days. Tara is now 46 years old and has extended that streak to an amazing 2700 days. For those who may not have a calculator handy, that’s over 7 years.
As for her approach to exercise, here is a quote taken from a previous entry:
Some days I go light, others heavy, and then others somewhere in between.
Tara describes her workouts as playouts. She subscribes to the philosophy that fun is fundamental. She enjoys the work so naturally looks forward to using her body each day. She often trains outside mixing calisthenics with tools such as kettlebells, sandbags, sledgehammers, and more. As for the results, you can see a brief sampling below.
First, you’ll see a casual pistol squat walk that she performs with ease.
She’s also clearly well developed throughout the upper body and core as evident below.
So in summary, we have a woman who is 46 years old with the strength, body control, and ability to humble many half her age. And what I enjoy even more than her ability is that her training is clearly rooted in simplicity. She thrives on the basics. She can turn any open space into a fully functional gym. Let’s also reiterate that Tara enjoys what she does. She is the perfect counter to anyone who suggests that workouts must feel miserable to be effective. If Tara felt miserable each day, there is no way she would continue for 2700 consecutive days.
When you enjoy what you do, you’ll be more eager to do it. And for those who still doubt the potential of a simplistic routine, Tara Scott is yet another example that proves otherwise.
Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. – Jim Rohn
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One of the participants on my forum recently posted the following video of himself. It’s a classic video that is well worth a minute of your time.
There are so many great things about this clip that I’m not sure where to begin. For starters, this individual weighs over 200 pounds yet has some of the most impressive pull-up strength I’ve ever seen. It is much more common to see bar displays of this level from smaller athletes.
What is equally impressive is his ability to hold the upright position with relative ease. Drinking a glass of milk from this position may appear comical, but doing so is actually quite difficult. He is essentially holding an extremely challenging isometric position with the control necessary to calmly drink a glass of milk. He maintains this position for almost 20 seconds. He also gets bonus points for casually strolling through the snow with bare feet and a t-shirt. This is real man strength from a real man.
I also enjoyed the title of his video. He’s named it One Arm Towel Pull-up Certification. I’m assuming (and hopeful) that this title is a dig against the fitness industry. Never before have there been so many bogus certifications. We’ve literally reached the point where you can become a certified professional after a few hour course that is provided over the weekend. You could essentially leave your job on Friday evening with no experience and start a business on Monday with piece of paper that says your are a professional.
In the past year alone, I have had several people ask if I provide ab wheel certification courses. Yes, you read that right. An ab wheel certification?! I wish I was joking. We’ve reached a point that is beyond pathetic.
Contrary to what the fitness marketers would like you to believe, real knowledge and strength are not acquired over the weekend. It takes years of consistency and effort. If you wish to perform feats such as that seen above, prepare to invest several years of your life towards hard and consistent work. There are no shortcuts.
When recently asked on my forum about his training, the man above responded with the following:
Pleased to manage new personal records after 18 years of training, somehow PRs feels better and better year after year.
He went on to say that he has trained grip strength specifically for 4 and a half years. He also spent over 8 years working hard, manual labor.
Let me remind you again, there are no shortcuts. That’s not my opinion. It is a fact.
For 37 years I’ve practiced fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius. – Pablo de Sarasate7 comments
Let me begin this entry by stating that I’m not easily impressed. I don’t mean that in a pompous way. I just have high expectations for myself and others. I’m not impressed by hard work. Yes, I respect it, but I also expect it. I believe we are all more capable than we may ever realize.
One person who may be an exception to that statement however is China’s Lei Liu. He has defied the odds and then some. At only 26 years old, he’s already done more than anyone could have ever imagined. As a young child, he contracted polio and was unable to walk. It’s safe to say that no one could have guessed that he’d become one of the strongest pound for pound bench pressers that we’ve ever seen.
Below you can see Lei bench 498 pounds. He did so at a bodyweight of 148 pounds with absolutely no leg drive.
I am beyond impressed.
It is performances like this that solidify my belief that it is up to the individual to determine how far he’ll go. Never ask someone how much you can achieve. No one knows. As a child, no one knew that Lei would eventually become a world record bench presser. It is impossible to predict what others will achieve. Technology may have come a long way, but crystal balls still don’t exist.
No one can predict the future. It hasn’t been written. It’s up to you to take out your own pen and decide for yourself.
There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. – Bruce Lee10 comments
Noah Galloway is a retired Army Sergeant who lost his left arm above the elbow and left leg above the knee in an IED attack while serving his country in Iraq. Following such a tragedy, it would have been understandable for Noah to excuse himself from any action. He had something else in mind however.
Noah Galloway now seems to be more active than ever before. A few of his hobbies since suffering the attack include completing multiple Tough Mudders, several Warrior Dash events, a few marathons, a Spartan race and a Barbarian Challenge. It appears that he’s just getting started with no intention of ever slowing down.
A video of Noah can be seen below.
I actually first learned of Noah after seeing him perform one arm rollouts with a barbell. You can see that video below via Facebook.
To say that I’m inspired by Noah Galloway is an understatement. Seeing him bounce back with such determination after suffering such an unimaginable tragedy is beyond inspiring. There’s no denying that we all experience trials and tribulations throughout life, but witnessing Noah in action helps to put our bumps and bruises into perspective. If he can wake up each day ready to exercise his body and mind, how can anyone make an excuse to do otherwise?
Get up, get moving, and cherish the gift of life while it lasts. It can come and go in an instant. To waste it without enjoying the benefits of health and vitality is perhaps the greatest tragedy of all.
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. – Benjamin Franklin2 comments
I recently shared a story of a 64 year old man who began exercising at age 55. In case you missed the original entry, I’ll share the video again.
As clearly evident, this great grandfather has changed his entire life. At age 64, his bodyweight exercise ability exceeds most healthy adults half his age.
A few days after posting that story, I was informed of another 64 year old man who began bodybuilding at age 48. The video below tells his story.
Following my recent rant about encouraging others to exercise rather than criticizing what they do, I couldn’t have asked for a better comparison. These two 64 year old men have followed entirely different paths. One thrives primarily on bodyweight exercise. The other follows a more traditional bodybuilding approach. Yet despite following different paths, both men are light years ahead of their peers.
While fitness gurus in today’s era battle it out over who is right and who is wrong, these two elderly men prove that there are many ways to skin a cat. How many of today’s gurus will perform at their level upon reaching 64? My guess is few and far between.
The take home lesson therefore is really quite simple. Almost anything works if the individual is consistent and diligent. There is no single, best course of action that all must follow. It is possible to become stronger and better conditioned with countless approaches. Often times the deciding factor is not the routine that is followed but rather how the individual approaches the routine. How much effort is he willing to give?
I may sound like a broken record, but it is worth repeating. How you do what you do matters more than what you do. Countless real world examples validate this simple, yet often overlooked fact. Don’t get lost in paralysis by analysis. Find something that you enjoy and pursue it with relentless passion. The results will follow.
All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.4 comments