Category Archives: Original Strong

Value and not Vanity! Here at Strength and Honor functionality is at the top of our list of warrior values. We look back into our warrior roots to explore the Original Strong warrior.

Why Every Man Should Be Strong.

Why Every Man Should Be Strong.

 

It can not be understated how important the role of strength was in ancient times, especially since it was the core of a universal code of manhood. Strength forms the nucleus on manliness, as it truly makes all other manly virtues possible.

Strength may not seem very important in today’s world where most men sit behind desks at work all day. But being strong is never a disadvantage. Strength forms the backbone of the code of manhood, and the ethos of Strength and Honor.

1. Building strength boosts your physical and mental health.

2. Physical strength is practical and prepares you for any emergency.

3. Building Physical strength teaches life lessons.

4. Strength acts as the backbone to our virtue.

5. Strength secures our virtue onto us.

6. Strength-building honors your ancestors.

7. Strength fells awesome.

 

Before modernity, a man had to be physically strong in order to survive and reproduce. Whether battling the elements or other men, our ancestors had to rely only on their cunning and physical strength to come off as the conqueror. The men who tried to prove themselves in battles or hunts, dared to do great things, and had the physical strength to surmount any obstacle were the ones who were able to father children and pass on their genes. The ones who did not take the gamble, or did not have the strength and prowess of their peers, died childless, and their hapless genes died with them.

What this means is that we are all descendants from the strongest, fastest, smartest, bravest men of the past-the world’s alpha males.

When we train to be physically strong, we show reverence and honor for the men who came before us that had to be physically strong so that we might exist and enjoy the comforts we have today.

Vires et honestas. Strength and honor.

CaveManFit and Functional Exercise!

CaveManFit and Functional Exercise!

Are you Caveman Fit?

Most times when I pass by a modern gym I peer into the window only to see shredded abs and super-sized muscles.  I think to myself are these guys really strong? I suppose they’re strong in one dimension, like a 2X4 is strong from one angle, but relatively easy to break in half from its opposite angle. Andre ArlovskiWhen the shit hits the fan how would their bodies adapt to a combat situation? I mean how in the world did the bench press become the marker from which one is judged as strong and not strong? It’s baffling when we observe the actual exercise and wonder how it can be applied in the real world.  Who is stronger, the guy who can bench-press 500 pounds or the guy who can do 100 push-ups non stop?

We’re pragmatists at Strength and Honor in the the sense that we take what works and leave behind what doesn’t.  The concept behind functional training is not a new one, it’s basically what man has been doing to survive since the beginning.

For most of human history, work has been a physically demanding activity.  Our cavemen ancestors chased down mastodons and hurled spears into their tough, but tasty flesh, American homesteaders tamed the wilderness into productive farms with nothing but grit and sweat, and just 60 years ago, the majority of men in America flexed their muscles on factory floors or construction sites.

Fast forward to today: It’s all about Vanity and not Value!

Physical education a hundred years ago was about developing physical competency for real life. Now fitness is degraded to padded machines and artificial movements patterns that are all about building vanity. It’s all about building “show” muscles instead of ‘go’ muscles.

Most fitness facilities have a variety of weight training machines which target and isolate specific muscles. As a result the movements do not necessarily bear any relationship to the movements people make in their regular activities or sports. So while you might look great in a V-neck T-shirt, you probably couldn’t carry your grandma out of a burning building. No offense grandma. We’re not trying to knock gym goers here, but this is a blog about functional strength and ability.

Most modern fitness programs focus on muscle-isolation and cardio-conditioning. But the body is not used in isolation. Even when there’s no saber-tooth tiger or woolly mammoth to hunt down, the goal of a functional work out should be to perform practical tasks, physical actions that you would perform in the real world, both in-day to-day and challenging situations.

To be healthy, you need to move frequently and ideally, you need a variety of movement patterns, like we do when we are young children. The more varied the movements, the better for health, fitness and resiliency.

Here are some basic tips from the guys at Strength and Honor to get you started.

1) Lift heavy things – rocks, firewood, bags of sand whatever. Not only will you be able to build lean muscle, but you will also get your hormones going for optimal fat loss and muscle building. Keep the weight heavy and the reps low (between 5-10).

2) Sprint often and walk a lot. We have all seem evidence that short bursts of high intensity can lead to more fat loss. It also releases the hormones needed to free up more fatty acids from our fat stores to be burned up.

3) Mix it up. Play, run and jump. Your body is designed to move. Find something you like doing that just so happens to get your heart rate up. Dance, take up a martial art, chase your dog, wax your car as fast as you can…just do something.

Stay tuned to the Strength and Honor team for the next installment, ” Cardio Cronicitis.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train Like an Ancient Hindu Warrior:

 

Train Like an Ancient Hindu Warrior:

The Steel Mace Workout

Guest Post

The Great Gama: undefeated wrestler, owner of a heroic mustache, and mace trainer.

Holding an Indian Mace

Holding an Indian Mace

Looking for a new workout? How about one that was used by Hindu warriors over 2,000 years ago and still used by Pehlwani wrestlers today?

The gada, or heavy mace, was the weapon of choice of Hindu soldiers as well as the Hindu deity Hanuman, an anthropomorphic monkey who can lift mountains with a single hand. According to the book Encyclopedia of Indian Physical Culture, warriors during the Puranic age would engage in mace training early in the morning along with wrestling, archery, and swordsmanship. Besides dueling one another with gadas, warriors would swing heavier versions — usually made with a bamboo stick with a heavy stone at one end — behind their backs in order to strengthen their backs, chests, shoulders, forearms, and fingers. Because of their rigorous physical and tactical training, Hindu warriors were some of the fiercest of the ancient world.

Today, the gada is used primarily by Pehlwani wrestlers in northern India and southern Pakistan. The most famous gada afficionado was the Great Gama (pictured above), the only undefeated Pehlwani wrestler in history. By the looks of it, his mustache also trained with a gada. That thing is a beast!

While the Indian Club enjoyed popular use among Western exercise enthusiasts as early as the 19th century, gada training for some reason didn’t catch on until very recently. Mixed martial artists in the West have taken up heavy mace training as a way to strengthen the muscles involved with throwing opponents to the mat. Functional fitness and natural movement practitioners have also taken to mace training because it provides such an amazing full-body workout.

If you’re ready to harness your inner Hindu warrior, read on. Below, Mr. Know Your Lifts showcases six different exercises that you can perform with a heavy mace.

Mace Grip Basics

 

Mace Grips

 

To make an exercise harder, grip both hands near the end of the handle. To make exercises easier, move at least one hand closer to the weighted end.

360

360

 

The 360 has been used by Hindu warriors and Pehlwani wrestlers for ages. It works the shoulders, chest, back, and forearms. Begin by holding the mace directly in front of you with your hands gripped closely together at the end of the handle. If your left hand is above your right hand, you’re going to push the mace ball over your right shoulder. The mace ball should swing behind your back. When it reaches your left shoulder, pull the mace over your left shoulder so that the mace is once again directly in front of you. Repeat several times. Switch up your hands so that your right hand is above your left, and push the mace ball over your left shoulder. Repeat swinging the mace in this direction several times.

To see this exercise in action, check out this video of Diesel Crew’s Jedd Johnson performing the 360.

Barbarian Squat

BarbarianSquat

 

The Barbarian Squat is a great full-body exercise. You’re working your upper as well as your lower body in a single movement. Begin in a standing position with the mace behind your neck. Start lowering your body into a squatting position while simultaneously bringing the mace to the front. You’ve successfully completed the exercise if you’re in a full squat and the mace is in front of you. Return to your starting position by standing while simultaneously bringing the mace back to its original position. Repeat.

Dynamic Curl

DynamicCurl

 

The Dynamic Curl works the forearms and biceps.

Hold the mace with a mixed grip — one hand overhand and one underhand — with the hand near the mace ball-end holding the handle with an underhand grip. Lift the ball end with the hand closest to the mace ball. When the ball reaches the middle of the arc, switch your hands up by sliding the hand that was near the ball down towards the end of the handle and bringing the hand that was near the handle up closer to the ball end. When you’ve finished, the ball end should be on your other side and your mixed grip should be reversed — the hand that was originally overhand should be underhand; the hand that was originally underhand should now be overhand. Swing the mace back and forth like this for several repetitions.

Spear Stab

SpearStab

 

Hold the mace like you would a spear. Thrust as if you were an ancient Pauravaian warrior stabbing an a member of Alexander the Great’s Macedonian army in the Battle of the Hydaspes River. The closer both hands are to the handle, the more difficult this exercise will be. Switch up your hands and your stance to work the other side of your body.

Grave Digger

SpearStab

It’s time to bury all those imaginary Macedonian soldiers you just killed. Hold the mace like you would a shovel and pretend like you’re digging a hole in the ground with the mace ball. Repeat for several repetitions. Switch up your hands to work the other side of your body.

Splitting Wood

SplittingWood

 

You’ll need a tire for this one. Just pretend like you’re splitting wood like a lumberjack. Start off with your non-dominant hand near the butt of the handle and your dominant hand placed near the mace’s head. Bring the mace head above your head. Swing down. As you swing, slide your dominant hand down the shaft of the mace for extra power. Switch up your hand placement to work the different sides of your body.