“Strength” provides endless worthy challenges
Last Friday I found myself with a little bit of free time during the middle of the day. I say “free” as in it doesn’t cost me money, but time is the most valuable commodity.
Knowing that I was running low on steel and was running low on unique ideas for things to do for my Feats of Strength Friday Youtube series I made a quick run to my steel distributor so I could add some classic steel scrolls into the mix. I figure I bend a couple of them, and it’ll be a neat way to fill up the empty space near the clock in my personal training studio as well as stay consistent with my upload schedule.
The steel scrolls won’t really be visible from Main Street but could be a fun thing to look at for my personal training clients when they are checking the time to see how much more of my antics they have to deal with.
My distributor is well aware of what I do, at least when things aren’t shut down so he had asked me if I’m doing any shows.
I had some big ones fall through, but hey maybe next year we can resume.
And with public gatherings not being a thing at the moment, schools still figuring out what’s going on, and companies not willing to risk it, and my personal training studio being extremely busy I’ve put doing full shows on the back burner at the moment.
So I tell him I’m using the down time between shows to just get as strong as I possibly can, so that when I take the stage again, I’ll be the strongest version of myself to date.
He thinks about it a moment, and he asks “Can you get stronger?”
A couple years back I set a world record in bending steel reinforcing bars on the bridge of my nose. I had figured I could do 5, optimistically 7 and packed 8 just in case. That was all I had in stock.
As I finished off the 8th bar, I looked at my feeder (the person handing me the rebar) and wondered where my next bar was. She said “that was all of them” and the state of mind I was in couldn’t process it. I just blinked at her confused.
I had gone to a special place where I was totally focused on utilizing my potential that I literally had no idea what was going on.
Later on, as I chatted with my strongman coach Chris Rider as he’s congratulating me on a job well done, he told me I was just knocking on the door of my potential.
Note, I said “knocking” not walking all the way through. Optimistically maybe I had a foot in the door.
And as I often end my motivational speeches, I say that
“I could still feel that there was some part of me holding myself back…and it makes me wonder, how much more is there? What am I truly capable of? I owe it to myself to find out. We all owe it to ourselves to find out what we are truly capable of”Eric Moss
So can I get stronger? Yes, there is always more. Should I get stronger?
Well for me yes. In strength-oriented sports/activities like powerlifting, strongman competitions, or strongman shows, where everything is dependent on strength the answer will always be yes.
In life and standard sports, strength helps but can also get to a point of diminishing returns. In sports, the goal of strength is to help support the sport, not become about chasing higher numbers past a certain point.
I use a mixture of the strength standards by Dan John, Pavel Tsatsouline, Mike Boyle, and other good strength and conditioning coaches as something to work towards and maintain. While strength and conditioning can help, the sport you are involved with is the thing that you should strive to improve. At least if you have a sport and that is your thing.
Everybody needs a thing, even if the thing is as simple as being able to toss your kid up in the air or show up at your doctor’s office with all of your biomarkers of health (waist circumference, body fat%, blood pressure, cholesterol etc.) in healthy ranges.
For people who don’t have something specific to train for, many times they are looking for something. That’s why I think CrossFit became so popular was because it gave people something to work towards.
And strength in itself provides endless challenges to strive towards. Pick something and see how far you can take it.
Paul McIlroy (founder of the Amazing 12 Body Transformation system) set a goal to single-arm overhead press half his body weight 40 times for his 40th birthday and is striving to press his body weight with one hand.
Bud Jeffries wanted to see how far he could take the kettlebell swing and ended up taking a 24kg kettlebell (around 53lbs) and doing around 2,350 of them in an hour. Working up to that he dropped 120lbs of body fat in the process. I’m not really sure what he’s working on now or what he’ll be after next.
For some of my new personal training clients, they are working towards achieving their first pull up while dropping body fat. One of my more seasoned personal training clients is working towards doing a chin up with 60lbs in addition to her bodyweight while in her 50’s…something I helped her achieve a year ago. She wants to do it again, just to do it.
For me, I’m working at bending harder and harder things and coming up with new feats. Right now bending crowbars are in my sights and it is just a matter of time before I get it and add it into my strongman shows for corporate entertainment.
Set a goal, put a plan of achievement into action, and achieve it. Repeat with a new goal. You might transform yourself into the best version of yourself in the process. You owe it to yourself to find out what you are capable of.
If you need my help with this, send me a text at 973 476 5328. I have a 1-week free trial membership of my personal training program so you can see if you think it’s for you.
Eric Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.