The other day, I ran in to a neighbor while checking my mail. He lives directly across the street, so whenever I do a garage workout he can see exactly what I’m doing. Generally, if I’m doing a garage workout, it’s something crossfit-esque like pullups, pushups, squats, squat thrusters, light deadlifts, clean & jerk, snatch, kettlebell swings, and so on. So when my neighbor saw me, he asked what I was training for.
That’s a good question.
I’m not an athlete, nor am I training for an event like a Tough Mudder, nor am I currently pursuing a job that requires a base level of physical fitness. I’m not trying to enter the Crossfit Games or prepare myself for a master’s (read:old guy) bodybuilding competition – which I would be miles away from anyway.
A couple of things that I’ve come across guide my training philosophy:
- Strong people are harder to kill.
- Your training should fuel/enhance the things you enjoy.
Strong people are harder to kill. This is scientific fact. I’m not aware of any current or imminent threats to me or my family’s safety, but the truth is, I don’t know when a critical incident might occur that will require me to push through to survive it. This could be an accident, a crime, a fire, or a serious illness. The more I prepare myself through eating well, managing stress, prioritizing quality sleep, and mentally and physically training, the better off I’ll be if a critical incident happens. Even if I never trained physically, I’d still be better off by working on the other 4 factors. Do something to strengthen yourself, even if you never push a weight.
Your training should fuel/enhance the things you enjoy. Do you like to play pickup games of basketball? Stop using the elliptical machine (a movement you simply don’t do in real life anyway) and practice sprints and plyometrics. Do you enjoy backpacking? Build your core strength with deadlifts and squats. Do you enjoy surfing? Improve your ability to pop up on the board by doing burpees. Do you enjoy playing with your kids (in my case, grandson number one is on the way!)? Working on things that improve flexibility and endurance are likely to help.
To answer my neighbor’s question, I’m training to be reasonably strong and keep myself at a level of fitness and flexibility that allows me to do the things I like to do without risking injury.
What are you training for?