Hybrid Athlete: The Best Of Both Worlds
Guest Post by Adam J Mobley
My fitness journey began in high school. I had military science classes that I was able to take that emphasized running quickly, doing a lot of pushups, and throwing basketballs as far as possible as a test of strength. My freshman year I went from 125lbs. to 150lbs., and while part of it was a growth spurt, the other part was putting some muscle on my very skinny body. I started to see definition in my arms. I learned to love both cardio and strength exercises.
Flashing forward to the present, there seems to be a conflict between those who enjoy having their heart pumping as fast as possible, and those who pump up their muscles. My question though is: why can’t we have both? I am not going to say you can win gold medals in powerlifting and in running at the same Olympics, but I am saying you can be strong and fast. You can be that guy or gal who lifts heavy and then runs a 6:00 mile. You won’t be the fastest or strongest, but in my humble opinion you will be the fittest.
There are attempts at combining cardio and strength training with Crossfit and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), but the best examples of hybrid athletes I’ve seen have a military background. These are the people that are given orders and then carry them out, no matter what the task it. They run long and lift heavy all because they know that their level of fitness is what keeps them sharp and ready for whatever will come. How great would it be if we regular civilians could keep ourselves sharp and ready? Mindset is everything. If you train like your life depends on it, you will see results.
How do we train like our life depends on it? Do NOT get into fitness plans where you can tell me that the same workout you had today will be the same one you’re doing three months from now. Our bodies are amazing but need to be challenged, just like our minds. As much as I hated math in school I appreciated that I wasn’t always stuck doing addition and subtraction. Challenge your muscles, make them work harder and try new workouts. If you need to start simple that’s fine, but every two weeks start changing up your workouts. There is not only one way to work out your biceps there are at least thirty. You don’t have to run at the same pace for thirty minutes, do intervals, hill training, and sprints around a track, bleachers! Swim, ride a bike, go mountain climbing, challenge your body and treat it like a tool that can do more than one thing. You’re not just a hammer, you’re one of those awesome Swiss Army Knives that Macgyver wish he had that can do anything.
My main hope for you is that you don’t limit yourself. Your body will thank you after it is done being exhausted. If you keep challenging yourself this way, it will make it easier for you to grow in other aspects of your life.