Have Belt, Will Travel

Welcome to the blog and the first posting of it. I am a teacher and researcher at an American university. I compete in powerlifting, strongman, and various other strength sports. I thoroughly enjoy strength and physical culture and have been incredibly fortunately to work with and learn from a large variety of strength and conditioning professionals. I’ll talk about myself more and more with these posts, so I won’t go in to incredible detail about myself for now.

Over the years I have gone to a variety of gyms and training facilities and had the fortune to train alongside a number of quality people and learn from them. Finding great gyms and great people when on the road has been a rather easy thing for me to do. During this time I adopted a basic philosophy towards learning and journeying and that is simply:

Have belt, will travel. 

The basics of the philosophy of “Have belt, will travel” is that you need to get out and experience new places. Be exposed to different types of thinking and training. Break from the easy routine of always training in the same garage, gym, or wherever you throw down, but be open to the ideas and new experiences you can find when going to new places. Also there is grounding in the idea of “have belt”, in that you have your basic tools of your sport. For me strength sports a weight belt is something just about everyone will use at some point. So I have the basic tools of the trade, but I am interested in experiencing new tools or new applications of them. Furthermore, the idea of that coming to these places you will not just be an observer, but a participant. Whether that means trying some new exercises, hopping in with a training crew, or having to spar against another person, you aren’t afraid of having to get in the action. Not that I’m the biggest proponent of transcendentalism, but you can get way more out of action that just standing there thinking. Experience the different training and you will at the least learn something about yourself, at best gain some knowledge that you can apply to make yourself and those you work with even better. 

This philosophy can be applied to any physical endeavor you choose to take part in. Luckily we live in a time and era where the internet gives us quick access to finding gyms wherever life may take us and allow us to learn about great training environments online. My experience has shown more often than not any gym or place you want to train has a phone number of email address to contact and they will get back to you. Key is to call at least two weeks out to let folks know you will be coming by to train. When you get there just be nice and keep your mind open to new ideas and experiences you can have. A bonus point here is to dress plainly and avoid any shirts that have statements like: “Your workout is our warm up”. That stuff doesn’t work when you’re training with someone who can lift 1.5x your max.

Journal about all of your experiences that you have there and reread your information upon your return to apply some of those experiences to your current training. Finding one or two technique, programming, or lifestyle pointers that can add one percent to your training returns can make a huge impact over time.

Thanks for taking a moment out of your day to give this a read. Hopefully this will be varying levels of entertaining, insightful, and inspiring. Goal is to update about once a week until I get tired of talking to myself, or things change to increase the amount of posts. Please leave comments about anything you’d like me to write about.

Thanks again,

Mike

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