Today, we take a look at your fitness empire, compare it to the fitness trend of the ancient Romans and see if you are on a similar path.
The rise and fall of the Roman Empire is studied in history with many theories as to how it went from such a powerful rise to such a terrible decline. However, the real reason the Roman Empire fell was… FITNESS!!, and if you let complacency or laziness take you over, you will fall too.
Are you on the same path as the Romans?
From hero…to zero…
Phase 1: Expansion and Conquest, The Rise
The Roman Empire was on their “A-game” during the conquest and expansion phase. The Roman Army was turning out some pretty well-qualified soldiers capable of many physical feats. However, it was not just the Army that was in good shape, the society as a whole was very physically fit and at their peak around the conquest and expansion phase. Common training consisted of activities such as:
- Jumping (long and high jumps)
- Discus and javelin throwing
- Carrying a heavy pack
Even during the summer months Roman Soldiers had to march 30K in five hours or less. They were also good swimmers. If their camp was near the sea, a lake or river, every recruit in the Roman Army had to swim.
Getting in shape for “something” was not necessarily the case for the Roman Empire. Romans took the approach of being ready for anything, or, general physical preparedness. During expansion and conquest the Roman Empire had a military draft that ranged from males that were 17 years old all the way to 60 years old.
This resulted in extremely well conditioned, strong and fit people that conquered a majority of the Western World.
Maybe you have already reached your conquest and expansion phase, or perhaps you are in it right now.
Basically, your conquest and expansion phase is the “Alright, I’m getting in shape” mentality. So, what do you do? You get in shape! You…
- …and everything else fitness related that you can to achieve the maximum fitness level.
You are becoming a better human, you are defeating poor health and building your empire of fitness. You are open to new exercise routines and you are learning new ways to go about nutrition. You have a schedule and you finally feel like you know what you are doing.
You develop a way of life that seems sustainable and you are at the peak of the best physical condition you have ever been in, like I said, this could be happening now, maybe it happened when you were in high school or maybe it happened when you were in the military, etc.. If you feel it has never happened…please contact me!
Once you got in really good shape you reaped the benefits. Going to the doctor was never a concern of your because you knew you were in good shape and not really scared of “what they may find”. You also notice walking up stairs and running is easier. Like the Romans, you are in a good state of general physical preparedness and you enjoy it.
All of this results in you being an extremely well-conditioned, strong and fit individual who is confident and ready to conquer life’s goals one by one.
Phase 2: Complacency, The Fall
However, the fitness levels of the general Roman population declined as individuals became enamored with wealth and entertainment, such as the gladiator battles. Materialistic acquisition and excess became higher priorities than physical condition. The lavish lifestyle and physical decay eventually took its toll as the Roman civilization fell to the physically superior Barbarian tribes from Northern Europe.
However, the fitness levels of your well-established fitness empire declined as you became enamored with TV, the couch and overall entertainment, such as Monday Night Football. Materialistic acquisition and excess became higher priorities than physical condition. The lavish lifestyle and physical decay will eventually take its toll as your well-established fitness empire falls to the lure of complacency, laziness and overall comfort.
Don’t do as the Romans did…
Don’t let your fitness empire fall!
- Set HIGH goals (It’s never good enough)
The Romans had a lofty goal…take over the world. While I do not think you should set your sights that high, I do think that you should set your sights as high as you can. Then once you get there, set it even higher. The Romans became satisfied with what they were and what they had accomplished which, ultimately, lead to their demise. Never think what you have done is good enough. Be proud of your accomplishments, but always know you could be better.
- Get a workout partner
There is power in numbers and there is power in competition. Right now I train remotely with a friend, but it is the best training of my life. We do all the same workouts, but I know at the end of the day I will find out his results from the workout and he will find out mine. Both of us never want to be number two. It is friendly competition that keeps us both working extremely hard. This also proves that you don’t need someone physically there to push you.
Fight for your time!
- Get organized
You have 24 hours in a day, just like everyone else. Time is your most valuable asset in life. What you decide to do with your 24 hours says a lot about you as an individual and what you find to be important. Considering you only need about ¾ of one of your 24 hours to maintain good physical condition does not mean it is hard to find time to workout…it means you don’t value fitness.
What will you do to make sure your fitness empire never falls??