Can we all agree on one simple fact? The fact that Swiss Army Knives are freaking awesome!
I mean they can do anything and everything. Need to cut yourself free from a net, there’s a blade for that. Need to tighten up the bolts on your car, there’s a tool for that. Need to pick a piece of food out of your teeth, there’s a toothpick for that.
So how many tools do you have in your fitness toolbox? How many DO you want/need? Well, it all depends on how skilled you want to be. First, let’s cover the three enduring truths to training to be like a Swiss Army Knife, then we can talk about how to do it.
The First Truth of Training to be Like a Swiss Army Knife
Strength training is the base to any well-rounded fitness program.
Whether you like it or not, strength training is NOT optional. Think of strength training as your blade on the Swiss Army Knife; it is the workhorse and it will get things done. To have a Swiss Army Knife without a blade makes no sense.
To have a fitness program without strength training…makes no sense. Guess what happens when you take a marathon runner, who only runs, and add strength training to their routine…They get faster. Swimmers will swim faster. Jumpers will jump higher. Women and men looking to lose weight will burn more calories and lose more weight with the addition of strength training.
Strength training is a must.
The Second Truth of Training to be Like a Swiss Army Knife
EVERYONE has a toothpick.
Did you know there is an actual toothpick in most Swiss Army Knives? Yep! It is a small little insert at the tip of the knife, but here is the thing…The toothpick is not used that often, it gets lost easily and no one really focuses on the fact that this amazing tool also has a tiny little toothpick…but there will be a time when that little toothpick will come in handy.
How does this apply to your fitness? What is your toothpick, or your biggest weakness? Sure, it is way more fun to focus on the big, shiny and retractable tools within the knife…But it is also very easy to completely neglect the toothpick.
The Third Truth of Training to be Like a Swiss Army Knife
Mobility and Flexibility is more important than you think.
Every Swiss Army Knife also has a pair of scissors, and the scissors are tricky, at first. You have to hold it a certain way to make it work properly and it is a bit delicate, but the better you get at using the scissors the more you realize how ridiculously useful they are.
Things you thought would only be cut with the big blade, you are now using scissors for. You will run into situation after situation where the scissors save the day, and you will start to think it is just as valuable as the blade.
This is your mobility and flexibility.
The more and more you work on your mobility and flexibility, the more you will realize getting better at MOST things can be reduced down to simple mobility. Getting a better squat, doing all sorts of different body weight movements and even getting stronger can all be attributed to better mobility. You may not think about it or see it as much, but it is there and it is incredibly important in fitness.
Which knife are you?
Now, which Swiss Army Knife you want to be is up to you…Don’t get me wrong, being any Swiss Army Knife, in fitness, is an a great accomplishment, but where do you stand?
You can be the ‘Classic SD’ – Good strength and mobility base and occasional work on the weaknesses. Not a lot of skills down, but has the important basics.
You can be ‘The Spartan’ – Good strength, conditioning and mobility base and frequent work on the weaknesses. Some pretty impressive skills, has all of the basics down and likes to train/try new things occasionally.
Lastly, you can be the ‘Swiss Champ’ – The beast! Great strength, conditioning and endurance base. Constantly identifying weaknesses and working on them. Skills are astounding and leaves you wondering…“What can’t this person do?”. Likes to try new things and is pretty good at them first try, simply because they already have so many tools in their toolbox; it all carries over somehow.
Tips for moving up in the ranks
Train Strength – Train strength frequently and vary your training. Lift heavy things, get a good program and STICK TO IT! Then switch to a new program and STICK TO THAT ONE! Mix it up, lift it up and get stronger.
Train Mobility – Make this a part of your weekly training routine. Start by taking 10 minutes on your off days to train mobility. Get flexible and mobile!
Work Weaknesses – Do not avoid your weaknesses! Whether it is strength or endurance, don’t stay in your comfort zone. Devote one day a week to training completely against, or outside of, your comfort zone.
Add Skill Work to training sessions – Add a 10 minute session to the end of your workouts a few times a week where you try a new skill and work on it for JUST 10 minutes. Maybe it is L-Sits, double-unders, overhead squats, etc. Whatever is skill based – work on it frequently.
Try something new (add new tools) – Try new things! Don’t ever swim? Get in the water this month! Don’t ever run? Try a few miles next week! Don’t ever play sports? Get a group of friends together to play a game of football. Try things you don’t regularly, or ever, do and see what happens!
Well, how about it? Which knife are you?
Add it to the comments!