When I train, I want the perfect training method. I want the ideal balance of strength, conditioning, mobility, everything. I want it to be just intense enough to make me a fitness diety while being fun enough that I don’t actually care.
The question is, does such a training methodology actually exist?
When you talk about physical training for HEMA, I can see some people start to roll their eyes. After all, HEMA isn’t real life, right? I mean, it’s not like people are going to jump you with longswords and rondel daggers any time soon.
But HEMA has its roots in manuals of sword fighting that was used by the aristocracy, the knightly class and above. While longsword and spear may not be applicable today, the physical training of the knights of long ago, the typical HEMA practitioner, and the modern Barbarian aren’t all that different.
After all, it’s all about being ready for a combat sport.
Recently, a friend suggested I start talking a little bit about HEMA. It’s really to be expected, what with the whole Barbarian thing going on here.
My initial reaction was to reject it. After all, while I use the imagery of a barbarian here, I want to focus on real-world applicable activities. But I decided to delve a little deeper and see if there were any applications we could use in our modern world.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “HEMA,” it stands for Historical European Martial Arts. Generally, it’s thought of as a whole set of historical sword fighting methods, though it also incorporates unarmed techniques like pugilism and wrestling.
A while back, on one of Joe Rogan’s podcasts, he had an MMA trainer on the show. I don’t remember the guy’s name, but I remember the trainer commenting that something he does with his guys is that their everyday training is kept around 70 percent. The reason for that is so they can train every day.
He went on to criticize Crossfit for overtraining people by pushing for a maximal effort in each and every workout, which sparked Crossfitters on YouTube to lash out and a whole bunch of things like that.
But the comment itself stuck with me. It stuck with me because I thought about what I already knew about the evolution of man and some stuff I wrote about some time back.
The reason it stuck with me is that I think the guy is right and most of us have been and still are training incorrectly.
I sat down to write and I took a different tact than what I normally do. You see, I normally know pretty much what I’m going to write about. I don’t know precisely what words I’ll use, but I at least know the topic.
Today, though, as I write this, I don’t. Not a clue.
Mostly, my mind is kind of focused on the hurricane still and trying to make sure my family isn’t as screwed as we were this time. I can’t afford to run out of town every time we have a storm, but I can’t afford to just wait patiently for power to be restored. After all, I work on the internet. I need that.
But I’m also thinking more about conditioning. It came in handy the other day, but there was also a pretty good parallel between my training and what was asked of me. Dragging a sled and dragging massive tree limbs aren’t all that far apart on the spectrum of conditioning types.
Part of what got me into thinking about this was readingÂ The Juggernaut Method 2.0 and author Chad Wesley Smith commented that when it comes to being conditioned, it mattersÂ what you’re conditioned for. He comments that a marathon runner has the completely wrong conditioning to compete in a strongman competition and vice versa.
Today, I was back at the training. It was my first real day of lifting since this time last week, and I was eager to get after it today. Especially since I now have a whole new respect for the need to embrace strength and conditioning.
There are no real wrong answers to the question, “Why do you train?” However, there are some I consider a bit nobler than others. One example of that is being able to handle anything life throws at you, including a hurricane, being now right up near the top.
The fact that I, a middle-aged fat guy was able to outwork my 17-year-old son despite the relatively limited nature of my conditioning training is particularly telling.
So today, I hit the weights with a renewed focus and a strong desire to make myself even more than I did before.
As noted yesterday, I figured a couple of things out about my training and I needed to start figuring out a few more things.
What follows is my attempt to prioritize my goals and adjust my training accordingly. Warning: This post may include some rambling as this is literally me trying to figure some stuff out, but what the hell, right?
The thing is, by the end, I should have a plan for tomorrow and for moving forward.