We didn’t choose a name like The Warrior Family for nothing. Part of what makes us unique is that we all have a deep passion for fitness, fighting, and working hard to accomplish our goals. At one point in time, the both of my boys were involved in Mixed Martial Arts, and they would have three to four training sessions a week! Now, it’s my oldest son who has continued sharpening his skill in jiu-jitsu, and stand-up fighting, while my youngest son gives his best shot at Baseball.
On my free time, I enjoy spending hours conducting research, listening to podcasts, and watching videos that make me more knowledgeable in the strength and conditioning realm. One thing that I have learned from following amazing coaches like Zack Evan-Esh, is that the difference in performance from your young athlete comes from what happens after the game, and after those long practices.
In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that after each training session, my oldest son and I would discuss everything that happened on the mat. We would talk about what he did well, what he could have done better, and how his actions contributed to achieving his goals.
This was EXTREMELY helpful in developing my sons mental toughness, and made him more productive during his sparring sessions.
However, with both of my boys, there are two aspects that they are still lacking in their athletic ability – ferocity, and strength. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely normal, I mean…they’re kids, right? Maybe for normal kids, but not so much for mine.
Now that my boys are getting older, I am beginning to expose them to some of the harsh realities of life. One of those realities is that there are people in this world who will want to harm you, or the ones you love. Some will have material motives, some will be more complex; however, whatever the case may be, you should always be ready to take a stand, and protect what is yours. I owe them that type of honesty, they deserve it. It’s hard to explain to a kid why daddy got sent to war those three years, but if I can make them understand this, maybe they won’t hold it against me in the future.
I owe them that type of honesty, they deserve it
Our Sunday Fun-day
One of the reasons that I began following Strength and Conditioning Coach Zack Evan-Esh, is because he bases his training around a strong set of values – The Code. His belief is that in order to succeed, you have to work you a** off, and I completely agree. This past Sunday, my wife and I picked up a free-standing punching bag for our boys to get some additional training on. Now, I’m no Black Belt, but I know how to fight, and I know how to train. So, I decided to have some fun with the boys, test out our…I mean their new toy.
First and foremost, no shirts allowed…it was that kind of party. We each grabbed our gloves, kettle bells, laced up our shoes, and headed out back. Here’s the workout:
Using a timer app set to beep at every thirty seconds, the three of us would take turns either punching the bag, or conducting an exercise. We would do two complete rotations, adding up to three minutes of work (the typical length of a sparring match). In total, we did four sets, simulating four rounds of sparring, with a 60 second rest between each set. Here’s a breakdown of each round:
- Bag: Roundhouse Kick / Switch Kick (practicing both)
Exercise: Standing Kettle Bell High Pull(10lbs/40lbs)
- Bag: Jab/Cross combination, side-step, repeat
Exercise: Air Squat
- Bag: Push Kick (lead/trail leg alternating)
Exercise: Jumping Jacks
- Bag: 2x Rapid Jab/Cross combination (1,2/1,2)
When I offered them the opportunity to back down, the littlest one simply asked, “Which one is next, daddy”.
With the excitement of having the new bag, and the intensity from the workout, we all had a blast. Helping the boys push through mentally, and watching them REFUSE to quit made this experience amazing. When I offered them the opportunity to back down, the littlest one simply asked, “Which one is next, daddy”.
Since the boys worked so hard, and they wanted to do more, I decided to make things a little more fun. We took our kettle bells to a field just outside my house, and ran our water hose over the fence. I set a marker for the boys about 25 meters away from where we started, 100 meters for me, and turned the water on. The goal was to pick up the weight, run around the marker, come back through the “waterfall”, and cool off with the water hose until it’s your turn again. We didn’t keep count, but I know we did at least five sprints to the marker, and back. The last two were done without the weight so that we can feel like The Flash, as my youngest would call it. It was awesome seeing my boys have so much fun spraying each other down, encouraging each other, and really trying their best. At the end of our session, we cooled off with the water for a while, and had our post training talk.
“Do you want to feel powerless, like you can do nothing, or do you want to feel confident in knowing that, if you had to, you could do whats necessary protect mommy and brother?”
I went on to ask the boys if they knew why we train so hard in this family. My oldest said, “To get strong, and help other people”, which is consistent with our family values – kudos to you, Caleb. The youngest didn’t have an answer, so I explained it to him that we don’t do it for ourselves. We train for our family, their future children, and my future grandchildren. In the past, I used the example of an intruder breaking into our house to explain something to the boys. I asked them, “Do you want to feel powerless, like you can do nothing, or do you want to feel confident in knowing that, if you had to, you could do whats necessary protect mommy and brother?”
When I told my wife about that discussion, she seemed unhappy at first, but we can’t escape reality. I can spend my “fun” time with the boys playing video games, or watching movies, which we do on occasion; or, I can use that time to develop them into healthy, thoughtful young men by training with intensity, bringing out that ferocity that will help them succeed in life – and ending the session by engaging in deep conversation about life, family, and what it takes to be a good man.
Yeah, it was a good Sunday.
Here are some photos of our post workout fun!