What can you do ?
What has always been a privilege about the position I find myself in at World Gym Challenge is witnessing and sharing some of the most incredible feats of human endurance and determination. Now endurance is often thought of as longer form of sport such as Triathlon or a marathon, technically it’s not it borders between anaerobic and aerobic bouts of performance, either for a long period of time or a short period of time, equally as hard as each other.
On Sunday a friend of mine Steve barber agreed to be the first person to try the first Strength Endurance Challenge at Advanced level and what makes this unique is its universally achievable at any gym. Most Strength Endurance challenges are singular to the gym they were created at - a personal trainer will devise a challenge and a few friends will have a go. Good, but can you get a balance of achievement? And the question is answered , no you can’t.
Strength Endurance at WGC is about lactic build up and the body’s tolerance of it, so reps are high and the weight low. Most endurance challenges are completed at 50% of 1RM or along those lines and that’s perfect for a personal challenge - switch to a global challenge and lets look at the human body and its lactic tolerance levels based on ME (Muscular Endurance) Eight exercises competed back to back covering every body part - 60 second recovery and then let’s do it again.
This challenge will have its critics, there will be someone who finds fault in it - who says it’s not strength , its not endurance, it’s not this , or its not that . Those are the ones who will not attempt it - sit on the sidelines and criticise those that actually do it (remember Nike slogan - Just do it) .
Personally for me, the Advanced is too tough. I enjoy the Intermediate level of challenge, but I look at those who go the one step beyond and what I wittinesed on Sunday 8th Jan with Steve Barber was a truly humbling experience.
Steve is a body builder, I have known him for over 20 years and we have ended up at the same gym. Always a smile and passion behind his training and the type of guy who is the perfect training partner. He will not let you down. So take Steve out of his comfort zone and push him in another direction and what do you think he will say? Of course he’s up for anything.
Steve pushed, pulled, lifted, gritted, puffed and fell back exhausted in between bouts of doubting his will to go on. His demons were seriously messing with his mind - you see it’s very much like hitting the wall in the marathon - at advanced level there are spells of a piece of comfort zone training, but in the back of your mind is always the thought of the last 20 deadlift power press’s and that can seriously mess with anybody’s mind and focus - they are bad enough at the end of the first session, and then to have to go back to them? Only those with John Wayne ‘True Grit’ need to go on.
It is here where I find my absolute pleasure in finding those at the gym who through their passion for training get exposed into the personal achievement they thought would never be possible - it is here where I find the shared experience of overcoming the demons and being triumphant in accomplishing a finish time in one of the hardest gym challenges known to man - The Strength Endurance Challenge #1. And Steve Barber completed this challenge stating “That was one of the best experiences and challenging moments I have ever experienced” You can’t , or rather you can - but you have to experience what the sense of achievement is all about to understand just what Steve meant.
Any gym can provide the experience to any gym member based on the three levels of competence - train for it and it will provide you one the most exhilarating experiences in Strength Endurance, but make sure your train or attempt the level of competence that you are at , you will otherwise injure yourself and WGC will accept nothing but the simple fact, we told you to train for it and we accept absolutely no responsibility for the actions thereafter. The choice is now simple -Do I or don’t I ?