So, I train with three bunches of people. One group are the powerlifters - chalk everywhere, heavy metal blaring and tiny ranges of motion everywhere.
Next are the triathletes - gritted teeth, quotes from David Goggins and the inevitable "hey man, wanna do a marathon this weekend?"
Then the last group, ah the last group - the gymnasts. Always moving with grace, with flexibility even a yoga instructor would be jealous of, and the most tremendous strength.
I love combining the disciplines, but one thing I've noticed is how much stronger the gymnasts are compared to the other groups I train with.
You take a powerlifter and you put him/her on rings and they never do well. Its the inevitable shaking like their on an overdose, quickfire remark at the size of the gymnast's legs and then usually finishing with "ah, well at least I can bench a lot".
You take the gymnast and put him on the bench press and the results speak for themselves. Without fail, the gymnast will be close to a 1.5x bodyweight bench, without ever benching. They have no leg drive, no crazy arch, just pure, raw strength.
The only issue with gymnasts is their leg strength, they will buckle under a squat, they think having smaller legs will make them better at gymnastics and they hate cardio - usually. (remember these are all from my experience and are sweeping generalisations, take it with a pinch of salt).
So, if you're training to be the best in a sport and go to the Olympics - fire away, specialise and triple down on your sport.
But for most of us and I'm sure for you dear reader, you just want to be fit, healthy and strong all while feeling great and having fun along the way.
So why are we all segregated into these "groups" that we define ourselves by. I'm not a gymnast, triathlete, powerlifter, QiGong enthusiast, meditator, I'm Ollie Chick and I'm here to train and master my body, all the while using myself as a guinea pig so that you can get better results from my experience.
My philosophy is, don't look down on other training techniques, look at them with curious eyes and ask yourself "how can I take the best aspects of their training and use it in mine"?
Use gymnastics to build incredible upper body and core strength, while developing steel tendons and contortionist flexibility.
Use powerlifting to build unparalleled leg strength, along with bodybuilding to develop muscle mass throughout the body to aid in overall strength.
Use triathlon to build your cardiovascular system, while having a great time and learn some incredible new skills that can show you parts of yourself you never knew where there.
And don't even get me started on the other half of the equation, the yin to the yang - QiGong, meditation, philosophy, yoga, cold immersion, breathing techniques.
It's time to stop segregating our beliefs and specialising because we're too afraid to try other techniques.
Use the best of every training protocol, philosophy and belief system to make your body the best it can be.
Now I know, combining all of these protocols is extremely overwhelming, and that's where I come in. After training thousands of people in calisthenics, powerlifting and endurance, I've come to understand the overlaps in the sports and can help you to develop your very own specialised training program like nothing you've ever tried before. If you're interested give me an email at email@example.com, I'll be more than happy to help you out.