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This week on Barbell Shrugged we are honored to chat with Mark Divine, retired Navy SEAL Commander and founder of SEALFIT and U.S. Crossfit.
Surprise, surprise, this show will leave you reconsidering your training, the true effort you’re applying in the gym, and the direction you’re heading. In short, its just what you need to hear.
For those who don’t know, SEALFIT is somewhat like Crossfit, only it’s more…Way more. Quite literally, this is what your whiteboard should say if the goal of the day is to prepare Navy SEALS for the rigors and chaos of military conflict. It’s also the sort of thing we should all experience from time to time if we want to be fully prepared for the rigors of civilian life. These lessons, to one degree or another, are for special forces bad asses and civilian warriors alike.
Mark’s training philosophy centers around the so-called “5 Mountains” of personal development. First, there’s the stuff any crossfitter, strength athlete or serious fitness enthusiast would recognize. The mountain of physical preparation includes strength, stamina, endurance, work capacity and durability. For the most part this is exactly what most expect out of a good strength and conditioning program. On the flip-side, this is usually all most would expect. Four mountains remain largely unchartered.
Full personal development and the realization of one’s true potential is impossible, until there’s awareness and an acknowledgment of what remains to be explored and cultivated. Incidentally, this act of discovery is also the first of the remaining mountains. The others are emotional control, intuition, and last but most important, Kokoro, which is the warrior’s unconquerable spirit.
Consider what your training might be lacking. Right now, be honest. When was the last time you ventured outside of the gym and trained in an intentionally hostile and challenging environment? Something like isolated woods, or perhaps rocky and bone chilling surf? Do you practice spiritually renewing activities like Yoga on a regular basis? Do you put the same amount of effort and intent into into breathing and meditation exercises as you do your snatch or back squat? If not, you should. After all, what good is a strong body if the seat of emotional and physical control is undisciplined and prone to failure? What exactly are you capable of if quitting is simply not an option? If there’s really nothing out there to fear?
We all need the barbell. We need to train with proven methods in order to develop ourselves physically. But those remaining mountains must be explored. These methods – as new and foreign and painful as they might be – must be included in the DAILY training plan. The warrior is strong, spiritually healthy, and as we also learned duringepisode 116 with Joe De Sena, has experienced, embraced, and disarmed suffering. Indeed, that’s what turns the common athlete into a true warrior.
To learn more about Mark Divine and his methods, make sure to check out 8 Weeks to SEALFIT, Unbeatable Mind and The Way of the Seal. They are simply amazing books. Also, if you are interested in becoming fully aware and experiencing the SEALFIT experience for yourself, you should definitely check out some of Mark’s live training events. Just know ahead of time that this will most likely be the most difficult challenge of your life, but hell, you’re after the profound personal transformation and empowerment, right? …Right, so you know there’s a cost.
You’re capable of paying that price. Go ahead, do it, just start with the 20X Challenge, which is a one-day course designed to take your training and leadership skills to the next level. From there you can consider the SEALFIT Kokoro Camp, which is an intense fifty-hour experience modeled after US Navy SEAL Hell Week. And if you’re still hungry for more, there’s always the SEALFIT Immersion Academy, a highly formidable and extremely comprehensive 3-week course designed to install the core skills and traits of elite Navy SEALS.
Go on, what are you waiting for? Get up the mountain. Go find out just what you’re really capable of.
P.S. During the break make sure to check out the latest episode of TechniqueWOD on squat fundamentals. After all, we want to be tough as SEAL warriors, but we still want huge squats, right?