Ironcult » Training » Motivation from the sport of Boxing: Part 2

Motivation from the sport of Boxing: Part 2

Let us take the discussion further. To some of your intriguing minds, a question regarding who is the better athlete among different sporting events might have occurred. Of course, I have had the same question popping up in my mind. I have always felt that each sporting event has its own difficulties to overcome. ”Toughness is event specific” rightly says the coauthors, Dan John and Pavel Tsastouline, of the book titled Easy Strength.

Dan and Pavel have discussed the above argument with sound reasoning. They say that there are different kinds of toughness. For example, who is better among a power lifter, a fighter, or a marathon runner? They say, “The one who is better at overcoming his body’s unwillingness to keep going? And who would that be? The fighter usually comes to mind—pushing his body through crazy concentrations of lactic acid and all that. But what about the marathoner? He keeps overcoming himself for over 2 hours—even longer if he is less than elite. Now ask the runner to beat up a heavy bag, however inexpertly, for 3 minutes, and he will get completely gassed. The fighter will not look so pretty running 26 miles, either.

What about the powerlifter? Endurance athletes like to smugly badmouth (behind his back, of course) the big, strong dude who cannot climb two flights of stairs without huffing and puffing. Now consider this: A 700-pound deadlift requires an insane amount of willpower, fearlessness, and pain tolerance. An endurance athlete would not stand the chance of a snowball in hell of generating this level of mental intensity—not to mention of lifting half that weight.

And for the record, the powerlifts require a special type of endurance neural drive endurance, the ability to keep up the nerve force for the duration of the attempt, which sometimes takes awhile. Steve Silver, a friend of former Coach IPF Powerlifting Team USA Mark Reifkind, once took 15 seconds to lock out a 733-pound deadlift. If toughness means not giving up, this lifter exemplifies this quality. Such an extraordinary effort would have fried the brain of a mere mortal—or of any endurance athlete.”

Phew! A long quotation indeed. However, I didn’t want to jumble the message provided by the authors. You can now discern that toughness is indeed event specific. An athlete representing his sport will blurt that his activity is the toughest. Well, this kind of argument is farther from the truth.

I believe for the above reasons, it is useful to us if we could participate in local competitions. For example, many of us from Ironcult competed in the recently held 10 kilometer running race. Each one of us who competed will definitely know how hard it is to run long distances. Right after the event your perspective towards an endurance event would have changed. In all likelihood, your respect towards a marathoner would have doubled. The same will apply to other sporting events. The moment you compete in some local event, doesn’t matter if you fare better or not, your respect towards that sport will change for the better.

So who do you think is better? An endurance athlete, a powerlifter, or a fighter? Without a doubt– everyone.

PS: I watched the recently held Olympics. I was spell bounded when I saw elite marathoners complete the 42 kilometer race a little more than 2 hours. Likewise, I was amazed and thought it to be inhuman when I heard from Sujay, who is making great strides in powerflifting, that he squatted 250 kilograms raw, without any supporting gear. If you ask me who is a better athlete? I will say that both are super humans.

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