Friday, August 12, 2011

What Professional Wrestling Has Taught Me

Growing up I was a huge fan of WWF wrestling.  I remember my dad taking me to see Wrestlemania II on Closed Circuit TV (this was before pay per view) broadcast at the Palmer Auditorium in Davenport.  I loved the WWF, AWA, and NWA organizations all equally.  Back in those days, professional wrestling told a story.  Each individual match was either a chapter in a story or an entire story within itself.  There was an introduction, where the wrestlers gave a promo where they talked about how much they hated their opponent and what they were going to do to them.  Then there were chapters written in the ring or wherever else they might fight.  Some matches would take a while, some would be quick, some involved outside interference, but they all told a story if you really watched.  Then there was a conclusion that either consisted of another promo after their match or one of wrestlers would simply move on to another feud.

In fitness, there is a similar story.  There is an introduction, chapters to the story, and a conclusion.  The introduction usually consists of your motivation to start exercise.  It could be to lose weight, to increase your performance, to look better naked, whatever.  Similar to the wrestling promo, this is where you identify what it is you are fighting.

Then the story begins.  Whether it's at the gym, park, bike path, pool, or field, you start your fitness regimen.  But just like in wrestling where two wrestlers can't just jump into a ring and expect to have a great match with no planning, you must have a plan, a script so to speak.  Whether it's your periodization cycle, a workout log, or simply just mapping out what parts of the body you want to focus on, you must have a plan.  If you don't, you will wind up wondering through your workouts with no success.  This is the fight.  Wrestlers plan out there fights.  Sure, some of it can be improvised but for the most part the moves are planned so that the wrestlers don't kill themselves.  And if you don't plan your workouts correctly, you too will risk the possibility of hurting yourself.

Next comes the conclusion, the finale.  In wrestling it's when the wrestler hits his finishing move or cuts a great promo after the match is over.  Then he moves onto another feud.  In fitness it's the goal you are training for.  Whether it's a 5k race, a triathlon, Warrior Dash, trying out for a team, whatever.  That's your conclusion.  You have to have a goal.  Just like every wrestling match has a purpose, so must your fitness routines.  If you don't have a specific goal in mind or an end result you are training for, you have no way of knowing how successful you are in your efforts.  And once you complete your feud, you will move on to the next opponent.  One goal has been met, another goal will be set.

So go out this weekend and tap into your inner Macho Man Randy Savage (RIP) or team up with your own version of The Four Horsemen and write your own story.  I know I will be at my bootcamp on Saturday.

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