Who Do You Want To Be?

The General used to train at a gym used by one of the local professional football teams (soccer, if you’re one of our readers in the USA). These guys used to come in every week and perform a few half hearted squats before moving on to the main focus of their workouts…yes, you’ve guessed it – chest and arms.

The results?

They looked great when they took their shirts off on the pitch after every defeat they suffered in yet another relegation season.


Simply put, they weren’t training their bodies for what they had to do, they were training for how they – or more likely how society – told them it should look.

(As an interesting foot note to that story, Sparta later acquired a power rack from this same football club’s gym – they were getting rid of it because their new Strength & Conditioning Coach didn’t believe in lifting heavy weights! There’s a whole blog coming on that one soon, which you probably won’t want to read if you’re a fan of ‘kettlercise’)

But back to our point:

Forget what society tells you.

What do I mean by society? I mean the BS magazines like Heat, Chat, Men’s Health etc (yes, I did just group those three rags together).

What’s my problem with these magazines?

I’m glad you asked.

Firstly, the posed pictures you see in these publications are almost always heavily photoshopped. Even the ‘celebrities’ in the pics don’t actually look like their pictures, so there’s no point using those computer generated images as a goal.

Secondly, the route to looking and feeling fitter and healthier is NOT the route they tell you to follow. I had the misfortune of flicking through a magazine aimed at women’s health the other day. Two articles on following pages contradicted eachother completely about how to train – how on earth are the poor readers meant to know what to do?

Here’s the truth:

You’re a girl and you want to look like Jessica Ennis…you think Jess looks like that from using the glute machine, the ab crunch machine, and the power plate?

Of course not, so why do you think it will work for you? What most people fail to realise is that how she looks is an accident of how she trains… it’s a by-product of training, not the focus of her training.

So how do you look like you want to look?

Sprint, jump, move heavy weights around dynamically (let’s call that a kettlebell swing or snatch, shall we?) – there’s no machine to do these things for you.

You are the only machine you need.

Ditch your powerplates and your tricep kickbacks using weights that are lighter than your last mid-morning snack, and start performing some functional, explosive movements.

Move around, raise your heart rate, lift free weights that challenge you not bore you.

And most importantly, stop idolising celebrities who just want publicity and a way to sell you their latest workout DVD.

Your only idol should be you.

The best you that you can be.

So go and become that person.

General Out

The General -

Who I am doesn’t matter.
Who you are doesn’t matter.
What we know doesn’t matter.
All that matters is what we do…
Because we become what we do.

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