Thursday, September 29, 2011

Functional Strength

I recently listened to Episode 750 of the Survival Podcast.  It was an interview with Bryan Black from ITS Tactical and it covered the top 10 tactical skills for the common man.

It was a great episode with a lot of great information and ideas.  My ears perked on #3, fitness.  Bryan mentioned something that I'd never heard of before - functional strength.  It led me to look through ITS's site a little more for some additional information on what functional strength is. I came across the article Can You Physically Save Yourself? which really got me thinking.  Can I?

The answer...probably...maybe?  I can do some pull-ups, push-ups, and have decent core strength, but overall, I'm pretty out of shape.  I've been struggling over the last few months about wanting to start working out again, but I just haven't managed to get over the bump.  I'm not going to join a gym because I don't want to spend the money, but I also think it's completely possible to get/be in shape without belonging to a gym.  Alternatively, I also don't want to spend $200+ to buy weights or workout equipment nor do we have the room for anything in our tiny little rental house.  I can't run any significant distance because I have a bad hip, and while I can cycle, I feel like I would have to make available, a significant amount of time in order to ride the 30ish miles or more to make the effort worth it.

There you go.  All my excuses in one paragraph.  It's time to find solutions to those excuses.

We're going to borrower P90X from a co-worker and give that a solid and honest try.  I don't think it will really, specifically address my idea of what "functional strength" actually is, but it'll at least put us both at an awesome baseline to build from.  Even with a bad hip, I think it's feasible for me to think about trying to at least run a mile.  I'm not going to dedicate to that for sure because it'll depend on how my body (hip) reacts to that.  I feel like the ability to run a mile and not feel like death afterwards is a significant thing to be prepared to do.  Alternatively, I plan to get back on my bike.  I don't think I'll get many longer rides in with what remains of decent weather this year, but when it's relatively nice, I'm going to try to do some high intensity hill sprints at the big hill that is just down the road from us.  I think it'll do a good job of building some leg fitness and endurance.

All in all, it's just a matter of finding what will motivate me enough to push me out of my comfort zone for a month in order to build that habit.  While, I've never considered myself at any point to be in awesome shape, there was a time that I was much more fit than I am now.  No longer do I seem to be motivated by just the thought of feeling or looking better.  Though I know I felt and looked much healthier when I was working out.  I'm now feeling extremely motivated by the idea that if push come to shove I want to be as prepared as possible for anything life might throw at us.  It's not going to be easy, nor is it going to show quick results, but just like anything else, it's a matter of building the habit and being stubborn about sticking to it!  Time to get my game face on!



This time, I feel like it's for real.  Hopefully, by putting it on here, I'll have yet another place to stay accountable to.

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