Strongman: Kaizen Training

samuraiWhat is the Kaizen Principle?  Simply put, it’s a Japanese term referring to the pursuit of continual improvement in all areas of life.  It has been taught in regards to business efficiency and profitability for a while, but it has its roots in Samurai culture, and their pursuit of excellence, efficiency, and efficacy with every weapon, movement, armor appearance, knowledge, cunning, etc.  How does this apply to Strongman training?  Glad you/I asked 🙂

Right now I am experiencing quick growth and constant PR’s as I improve.  Why?  I’m a novice – I have technique issues that, once addressed, unlock the physical ability I already possess.  In other words, I didn’t get 50 lbs stronger on my deadlift in two weeks, although my 1-rep max did exactly that.  What happened was a matter of technique, slow intelligent progression, and “working smart.”  On my slam-ball toss, I improved from a measly 12 feet to a much-improved 17 feet in about 10 days.  No, I didn’t get 40% stronger – I learned to leverage my long arms, transfer power from the hip, and grip the ball differently.

Here’s why I’m rambling about this stuff: I’m already slowing down in my progress.  And I’ll continue slowing down.  I’m not going to add 50 lbs to my deadlift this month, although I hope to add 15-20.  If my focus is on getting in the gym, blasting the heaviest weights I can, and failing, I will undoubtedly get frustrated, injured, or worse.  BUT…

…if I can add one more rep, or the smallest plate to the bar each week, I can attain great progress over time.

DeAngelisJoeStrongman3I want my technique to be superior.  I want to see improvement in strength, power, speed, mobility, agility, etc. over time.

So, if I can’t lift 1 more rep, I can hone my technique and hit my moves cleaner, faster, more explosive, etc.  I can add a 2.5 lb plate to each side and make progress that way.  I can improve my diet.  I can improve my mental focus.  I can make steady progress in SOME area each week.  And I plan on doing just that.  When March 1st, 2014 rolls around, I’ll get to test my physical abilities in an 8-hour event with 6 of the hardest moves I’ve ever attempted, in the company of some of the strongest men around.  But that’s not my finish line.

There is no finish line for personal growth.


…What Kaizen-style small improvements have YOU made lately?  Post below, yo!

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