What I Learned: Training At The World’s Best Gym
I travelled halfway around the world, trained harder than ever before, and learned some life skills. Here are my top 5 lessons from RealMOVEMENT’s 4-Day intensive at Mike’s Gym.
I recently spent 5 days at Mike’s Gym, in Spain, and then some time travelling through Europe. Mike’s is Disneyland for fitness buffs; it has everything from an obstacle course to a boxing ring, a full commercial gym setup, and every climbing, throwing and strongman implement you can dream of. Here are the top 5 things I learned.
5 Lessons From Mike’s
1. Push the limit of your MRV
Maximal Recoverable Volume (or MRV) is the amount of training volume that an athlete can effectively recover from. Previously to Mike’s, my standard week was gym workouts most days and one or two conditioning sessions per week. Very low in volume compared to the long, tough sessions we went through multiple times per day.
Training 16 times in 4 days pushed me… and almost broke me. The sessions were tough. They were long (most of them over two hours) and included more total sets and cardiovascular work that I’ve done since… well, ever.
BUT! I survived. I now know I’m capable of more than I’d ever proven to myself before. I have a new bench-mark to compare all future training sessions and weeks to. This recalibration of what HARD is changes the game.
As you increase your work capacity and increase volume over months and even years, your MRV will increase. If you want to increase yours, which you should, take it slowly. Listen to your body and plan rest some de-load or rest periods after high volume weeks.
I had some travel planned around Europe after Mike’s, which I knew would be the perfect opportunity to eat and recover from the big week.
2. Minimize Decisions
The easiest way to stick to a new eating or training plan is to make it as simple as possible – the less decisions, the better. At Mike’s, the only real decisions revolved around trivial things, such as “should I reapply sunscreen?” And, “should I should have 4 or 5 eggs in my omelet today?”
All of the meals, workouts and recovery times were arranged. All I had to do was roll out of bed and literally walk 10 meters from my bed to the gym.
When you’re trying to gain muscle or lose fat, you want things to be simple. Routine is the name of the game here, and choice can become the enemy. Too many choices can drain you of mental energy and indecisiveness. To minimise your decisions, think about hiring a trainer, delegating your cooking, or following an online program. RealMOVEMENT_U is our solution to this problem. It covers your training, nutrition and self-development and it connects you to a community of people that are working towards the same goals.
3. Cardio Doesn’t Suck
Aerobic training has been demonised by the fitness industry. Everyone (myself included) claimed it was overrated. Who needs to run for thirty minutes when you’re performing big lifts and working hard, right? And why perform any cardio if it will make you look like an emaciated distance runner?
Sadly, we took the anti-cardio argument too far. The idea that running or performing cardio is detrimental to your gains is stupid.
Humans are literally designed to run! Not to mention, the ‘meathead-who-moves-like-garbage and bashes cardio’ is a pretty tiresome cliché in 2016.
Reasons To Include Cardio:
- Increase your MRV
- Injury prevention
- Increased coordination
- Increase bone and soft tissue health
- Decrease the chances of Mike smashing you on the course next year – he left us all for dead.
‘Cardio’ doesn’t have to be a long, slow running session. Alternate between sprints, longer strongman sessions, and even swimming and become a more complete athlete.
The Beep Test is one of the RealMOVEMENT Targets that encourages members to get to level 11 as a minimum and with level 15 as the level 3 target.
4. Travel More
If you have the opportunity to travel, take it! Travelling half way around the world to train at Mike’s might seem like an overkill, but it was well worth it. After Mike’s, I travelled solo through Barcelona, Croatia and Rome. I experienced new cultures, ate some amazing food, and visited some beautiful places. RealMOVEMENT was born out of Keegan’s years spent backpacking and learning languages is one of the skills that we develop in the RealMOVEMENT Tribe.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
5. Grow Your Tribe
I remember reading the quote, “you become who you hang around,” over ten years ago. My career in fitness had just begun, and I dove head first into every personal development books and course I could. The theme of COMMUNITY was the common trait among the different programs.
Spending time with other coaches, trainers and business owners in Spain reminded me of this quote. It’s true that your inner circle – the people you spend the majority of your time with – WILL determine your success in health, business and personal goals.
Over these 4-days we shared a lot about who we are and where we’re going. The chance to speak and be heard among peers cannot be under-estimated. This experience created a connection that meant when I facilitated business development sessions we were already buzzing, the collective energy that anything is possible is where life-changing decisions are made.
The challenge is for me and the rest of the RealMOVEMENT MENTORSHIP to keep this energy going to continue to open new facilities, launch new online coaching programs, lift more and be more to create the legacy we’re here to create.
Most of you reading this probably think WOW! I’d love to. BUT there’s no way I’ll ever find the TIME, MONEY, PARTNER that will let me do this. That’s what all these guys thought too! But at some stage we all made a decision to become part of this community and when you make strong decisions new possibilities open. The stories of all the people at this camp were mind blowing. The challenge to get to this point was huge. We’ll always share the bond of this experience and I know that another level of success was unlocked during these 4-days.
If you know this is the experience you need make the decision. The details will work themselves out.
Travelling to Spain, and training at Mike’s with RealMOVEMENT coaches was life changing. Build a community of amazing people around you and commit to going places and having experiences with them! Time will pass; experiences and your tribe are what you will treasure most!