Milo lived in southern Italy over 2000 years ago. As a boy and then a man, he was an Olympic wrestling champion 6 times in ancient Greece. He also won at the Pythian Games 7 times, at the Isthmian Games 10 times and at the Nemean Games 9 times.
Milo’s strength was legendary. A new calf was born near Milo’s home. He decided to place the calf on his shoulders and take it for a walk. Some versions of this legend have Milo carrying the calf up a mountain. He continued to do this the next day and the day thereafter. For 4 years, Milo continued this practice. The calf had grown each day and had become a bull. Milo hardly noticed the daily gradual growth of the calf since his own strength was also growing.
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STRENGTH TRAINING PRINCIPLES FROM MILO
Strength training can be unnecessarily complicated. There is much value in sticking with the fundamentals. These are:
- Start light. Even too light. Focus on correct form and build a foundation for later growth capacity.
- Be consistent. Don’t look for excuses to skip workouts. Stay with a comfortable resistance level in the beginning and thereafter, until the weight seems too easy.
- Add resistance very gradually. Don’t hurry the process. Avoid injuries and burnout.
This is the essence of progressive weight training. Follow these principles and you will be very encouraged by the changes in your body. One caveat: it is far more productive to work the same muscle group every other day. One day to challenge the muscles and break down muscle fiber, the next day to rest and allow them to grow. One exception is that abdominal muscles can be effectively worked every day (from everything I have read or otherwise gleaned over the years). I do cardio and abdominals every day. I also do an upper body workout every day, but without engaging the same muscles on consecutive days. My workouts are relatively very short. Otherwise I would take a total rest between workouts.
Bottom line: develop a reasonable program. Stick with it. You may be astonished by your results!
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