Train Like A Pro?

train like a warrior. a navy SEAL. a spartan

train like a linebacker. like a fireman. like a professional.

train like your life depends on it.

the thing i notice most about the individuals who write such things is how rarely any of them are actually professionals – and how few professionals they actually train.

what i am trying to say is that you probably shouldn’t train like a professional – and if you are actually a professional than i assume you are also well versed at identifying internet advice that you would be better off ignoring.

i have said it a million times – training is nothing but a nudge in a direction, it is a step – think of it like directions on a map: your goal is located 134 miles north/northwest. training is the path you take to get there. rarely do any of us take the straight path, and depending on the “terrain” that might not even be the fastest or easiest way to get there. the point of this thought process is to always remember that while someone else’s training can teach you how to approach an obstacle, blindly following directions without understanding the differences in starting place and goals will probably just get you lost, maybe worse.

true professionals are at the sharp end. they have put in the work and (in most cases) physical improvements are becoming incredibly specific and expensive. for the few actual professionals i have trained the gym has a different purpose than most – they are here to be better students for their other coaches. they are here to stay off the injured list, to balance out the side effects of all their technical practice. they are here for fine adjustments, for sand paper – not sledge hammers.

being an amateur is a stage, not a judgement. in general it means that coarse tools are still useful and that the timeline isn’t so demanding – that you can afford to take a winding path, to explore and enjoy the process. as an amateur the benefit of wandering off a path, of trying something new is often worth the time and energy expended. a perpetual amateur is simply someone who is focused more on the journey then the destination – someone who would rather explore a bunch of foothills than summit a single peak. and for those who’s goal is to be the best one day – to reach that summit: recognizing and acting on the fact that you are an amateur will actually be the quickest way to not be an amateur anymore.

being a professional is just a reference of how important the outcome is. if your life or livelihood is dependent on your physical fitness then i am not very concerned with how much you enjoy the training. you can be happy on the podium. look cool at the finish line. you get to come home alive. as an amateur the goal is to learn and to explore. to make mistakes and to find out if this is even the correct path. sure, the goal is to improve – but generally the main goal is to improve in a realm only tangentially related to the task at hand. it is the difference between an intern and a mercenary, and should be approached accordingly.