What are the major differences between traditional training methods and the military-inspired approach?
Basically, there are no serious differences between already known training methods and the military-inspired approach in a practical sense. The aim is not to set new movement patterns, exercises and muscle stimuli or even to “invent” them from scratch. I think there are enough new trends in the world of sports that often don’t really make sense and aren’t effective. Animal Moves, HILIT (High Intensity Low Impact Training) or Hyrox are just a few trends whose intention to set training goals is not really clear to me personally. The marketing benefit often comes before the athlete’s actual benefit. And that is not good!
The military-inspired approach is not about developing an ultimate new training methodology – rather the focus is on the winning combination of mental and physical strength. Based on my many years of experience as a military instructor and professional trainer, I am firmly convinced that thoughts and our positive attitude determine the path to the goal and determine whether, when and how this goal is achieved. That sounds simple, but unfortunately it is often forgotten and consequently not applied. Discipline and honestly dealing with one’s own strengths and weaknesses play a decisive role and will decide between victory and defeat. This is the first major hurdle that some are unwilling to take at the beginning of the journey. Where am I now and what is preventing me from taking a successful path? Only you can stand in your way.
How can military principles help not only athletes but also the average person to achieve their goals?
Basically, military principles are nothing new in the world of sports. Qualities such as discipline, perseverance, honesty, and strength are often associated with successful athletes, but also apply to soldiers. It’s not about the classic military “drill”, but about working on your goals or – if you want to call it that – on your mission in a focused manner and with a clear strategy.
If you look at successful people and their life stories, they all have one thing in common: routine and hard work!
I’ll tell you this in all honesty and I’m going against the trend that is often widespread in the fitness industry. You will not achieve your big goals overnight. I don’t want to discourage you in any way. On the contrary. I will show you an honest and consistent path that really each of us can walk if you are willing to work every day with passion and discipline for your goals and desires. You can’t expect to be successful at half strength – at least not consistently. Be clear about your goals and what you are willing to do to achieve them. That’s the basic motivation you need. Daily routine and thus the discipline that is always lived will help you and give you security in your actions.
Honesty and camaraderie also play an important role. Are you honest with yourself when it comes to your desires and goals? Are you really willing to give everything to be successful? Create a solid, friendly environment for people who think and act positively. It’s better to have five people with you who you can trust through the fire than a “company” of people who will run at the first shot. Stay true to yourself and your friends and family and be prepared to go through thick and thin for these people too.
What are the mental aspects of military principles that can help improve performance in sports?
An important aspect of achieving your goals is to set yourself very clear and well-defined goals. These must be achievable in the short, medium and long term. Therefore, choose your goals realistically on the one hand, but on the other hand in such a way that you literally have to cross borders. You will only get better mentally and physically if you are willing to go where it gets uncomfortable. We grow with our challenges!
I basically structure the training and the cooperation with my athletes, executives or military special units around the world on the basis of constantly changing requirements and new challenges. There are always exercises that are mentally and physically demanding. There are always challenges that require respect and courage. Don’t take the easy route if you want to grow. I am firmly convinced that there must be tests, hurdles and limits at regular intervals that at first glance may seem unattainable and difficult to overcome.
As a coach, my job is primarily to make the people behind the athletes better, and secondly, the athletes. This requires a challenge on a mental and physical level. When you think you’ve reached your performance limit, you’re usually only at 40% of your actual capacity. The key to success is to activate the missing 60%. And this happens mostly in your head, because when the task is always done first in your head and not in your muscles.
Are there any specific exercises or training routines that you have adopted from your military experience that are particularly effective?
Yes there is. Make! Make! Make! Work on yourself on good days and especially on bad days. Everyone can train when the sun is shining outside and the birds are singing. But are you willing to work on your goals with the same passion in winter when it’s cold and wet? Most fail here.
Do you already get up at four in the morning and do something for yourself before going to work in the office or taking care of your children? Or in the evening after a demanding shift in the hospital? Many fail here too. But that is exactly what makes the difference. This is where you can make a difference.
At this point, I don’t want to list any specific exercises that will make you more athletic. This may be a topic for a later post. No, you must first lay a foundation for your personal development. And you create this basis with your own personal commitment and commitment to you. Make your bed correctly and properly in the morning. Sounds trite, but if you can’t even complete this first task, how are you going to complete all of the other challenges of the day?
Can these military training principles be applied to other areas of life to encourage discipline and determination?
Absolutely yes! As a soldier, for example, it is crucial to take responsibility for your actions at all times. This affects every situation from the micro to the meta level. Only if all actions are carried out with firm conviction and determination do they also leave a lasting impression. This can be positive, but sometimes also negative. However, it is and remains crucial to stand by your decisions and to assume full responsibility for them.
If the result does not correspond to the desired goal, it is always necessary to look for the corrections yourself and not blame other people and circumstances for the failure. Unfortunately, today’s society often tends not to relate the causes of negative results to itself, but to look for the mistakes elsewhere. Always (!) start with yourself. What can I do better? Have I possibly not clearly communicated my goals to my employees? Is my appearance too non-transparent? Constantly question yourself like an athlete who wants to achieve the next goals: What can I do better to improve my team and myself? Transform negative feelings and thoughts into positive actions, even if it is sometimes difficult. You will realize that if you push those limits too, it will lead to many positive decisions and actions that will benefit everyone. Your employees, your team, your family and above all yourself.