Great physiques are the privilege of great athletes.
Strength is said to be made in the gym.
Definition is said to be made in the kitchen.
But composition the advancement of either lies on the field.
It has been a long-held philosophy in the Next level that our ancestors had it "right": you need athleticism to develop your physique. It is a cornerstone capacity for the body. Yet too many strength lifters and bodybuilders only pay minimal attention tot he athletic capacities of their body and the incredible benefits athleticism can provide. The typical excuse is that, with their lifting and dieting schedule demands, they just don't have time. But the thing thy often over look is that the maintenance of athletic ability will actually reduce time demands in the long run. The committed athlete gets more out of his work over time than the guy who just sticks only to one set of practices that he likes.
Ironically, though, athleticism for it's own sake is not the solution, either. This sort of "be an athlete regardless of goals" philosophy is currently a "hot trend" in our contemporary world. Yet we believe that attitude is actually counter-productive. Athletic ability only becomes useful when it becomes relevant. it is the employment of skills that makes skills vital, not merely the possession of those skills. Trying to be a jock just so you can "own that identity" is a lot of time spent on the ego. Surely, if you believe yourself to have such amazing capacities, that athleticism you so aggressively covet could be employed towards far more amazing tasks than just making your head feel proud?
This is not to say that everyone who enjoys exercising hard must be a bodybuilder, or even must compete in a sport. Just that you should have goals for this hard work. The athleticism you create can do more than just make you feel things. It can be used to spread ideas, shed light, and create benevolent things in the world. And, of course, it can also kick ass and inspire others to their own compassionate attitudes.
Bringing the athletes obsessed with lifting and bodybuilding towards a concept of athleticism is a key component in our work. How can we claim to create leaders who will influence their world if we allow them to only maintain tunnel vision? So the use of fields, turf, stadiums and the great outdoors is a key to the development of the athleticism that will help these athletes excel.
The Next Level's Fall 2015 Team had their first taste of assembling drills and pushing their base capacities the other day, working together as a team along with members of DarkLion (Spring 2015 Team). The enthusiasm and humor was high (and of course the occasional thrill of showing off great work).
It's always exciting to see athletes adopt basic principles to expand their more complex goal work. This may only marginally build strengthm size and cuts, but what it does build will create far more efficiency towards those goals down the road. And then more efficiency towards the bigger goals these athletes have which rely on successes in their passion.