The Principle of Balance in Life
The Virtues of Strength was created out of a desire for a complete definition for what it means to be truly strong. It has been noted in training that the body thrives on balanced strength meaning that relatively balanced strength across all the fundamental human movements provides the best performance and keeps injury to a minimum. The same can be said for mobility, it has been proven that if an athlete presents with a mobility asymmetry they are significantly more likely to be injured. Clearly balance is an important principle in physical training. However, this principle relates to more than just physical training at Virtue.
Life outside of training thrives on balance too. Think about the times that you have been happiest. Odds are that things were going well for you professionally, your family life was stable, you were fulfilled spiritually, and growing and expanding as an individual. Looking back in my personal life, some of the times that I have been the most miserable were when life was thrown out of balance.
Five Reasons Why Diets Fail
If you have ever tried to lose weight and failed, you are not alone. In fact, you are not the minority! All it takes is a trip to your local bookstore to understand why most people fail at their weight-loss attempts. There are so many different dietary approaches that people have to choose from it can be overwhelming and confusing. Even when you find a diet among the endless sea of diets you may still be doomed to fail at your weight-loss goal. Here are the top five reasons why diets fail and how to counter them.
Five Principles of Effective Training
There are many great methods for gaining muscle, getting stronger, and losing fat. There have been volumes written on specific methods for accomplishing these various goals but, little has been written about the underlying principles that make these methods work.
Virtue Training is principle based first. There are many methods that can be used to accomplish a goal but, the underlying principles are what make a training program effective.
Physical Strength Standards
Other than nutrition the biggest obstacle that keeps people from accomplishing their physical strength and physique goals is gaps in strength and lack of balance in the body. Strength is foundation for every other athletic quality which includes gaining and keeping muscle mass. This is why there must be standards of strength that we must strive for in training to ensure proper progression.
The following strength standards are the goals for those training under Virtues of Strength programming. Some of these may be more of a check in the box but, others may be extremely challenging. The goal for achieving and maintaining these standards is to ensure that the body stays strong, balanced, and injury free, as well as lean and muscular. Understand that these standards are something to strive for. One can spend an entire life time training and never achieve some of them and that is OKAY! Strength training is about the journey not necessarily the destination. Assess any gaps in these strength standards and spend some time addressing them. You will not be disappointed.
Bodyweight Training: Progressive Gains without the Barbell
In the winter of 2012, I made some of the biggest gains in relative strength that I have ever made in the span of my training career. The crazy part is that I was living in a mud hut in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with eight Afghan Police officers and a squad of Marine Infantrymen. Conditions were less than hospitable for any type of strength training goals. In fact, I only had a make shift pull up bar made out of a tent pole and some two by fours, a TRX Force suspension trainer, and sand bags that served the dual purpose of fortification as well as providing some extra resistance. I also had two tow chains that were originally used for recovering vehicles that had been stuck in the mud to add to my bodyweight once I got strong enough. This season of life really taught me the value of bodyweight training and how to find ways to make your bodyweight all that is necessary to provide the all the resistance that you need to keep progressing toward your fitness goals. You don’t have to be a forward deployed Marine to reap the benefits of training with your bodyweight.