“Be the person that when your feet touch the floor in the morning the devil says, ‘aww shit.. they’re up.’” – Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

When I hear people say, “I don’t have the time.” I think of Josh Dunn.

When I hear people say, “I haven’t been to the gym.” I think of Josh Dunn

When I hear people say, “I wish I could get motivated.” I think of Josh Dunn.

So the question is, “Who the hell is Josh Dunn?” I asked the same question. In fact I asked it of Josh Dunn. Fundamentally he’s a child of the 80’s born in backwoods Alabama. His gene pool is deeply invested in the Irish Pikey strain. From a young age, two things were a nearly a daily companion. Hard work and boxing gloves. In fact he had a pair of gloves before he had a bike. Things like chopping and stacking wood, following along with his Dad doing push ups, pull ups and sit ups were consistent rather than infrequent activities. With an early life like this, the movement towards martial arts seemed natural. That movement was towards Bruce Lee’s martial art of Jeet Kune Do, backed up with kickboxing, no gi grappling and weight training. It’s a passage many of us are familiar with. Physical training in combat led him into bike racing, Parkour and even Highland Games. Training provided a temple in which other activities fought for second place. This philosophy may be, sometimes, a necessary path, but hopefully a temporary one. With maturity, school, relationship and gainful employment, adaptation is necessary. In Josh’s case in was a bit revolutionary.

While most training or physical activity seems to be judged on records broken, Josh’s training shifted to showing up and getting the minimum effective dose. When you are not born with huge muscular size, unlimited endurance, bulletproof connective tissue or speed, there can be only one tool. Toughness. Simply being more game. The ability to continue moving forward despite overwhelming odds. Showing up. CONSISTENCY. Fall down seven times get up eight. When questioned further, Josh said this:

 “About the only “gift” I feel like I have is consistency.  Good training, the kind that takes the long view and stands the test of time, is going to be boring a lot of the time.  It involves showing up even when you don’t want to.  Real progress is built in the base miles. That consistency isn’t for everyone and for some strange reason I have it.”

The reader may be thinking, “That’s all fine, but it’s easy for him.” Well let’s run through what Josh does besides, “train”.

  • Husband

  • Father of a young son

  • Former EMT/Firefighter on 24/48 schedule

  • Currently ER EMT on Third Shift

  • In Nursing School

  • Member of Air National Guard. One weekend per month + Two Weeks a Year

  • Practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and competes

  • Practices Kettlebell Sport [Girevoy Sport] and competes

  • Wood worker and writer

 During the week Josh also babysits his son while falling a multi phasic sleep schedule. This means over 4 days he may get 10 hours sleep.

 If you wonder about some magical solution, there is none. Protein at one gram per pound of bodyweight, veggies, fruits and occasionally some whiskey or beer for its restorative effect. With the kettlebell sport training, a small amount of running, stretching and bodyweight calisthenics [Armor Building] Josh maintains low bodyfat, a resting pulse of 45-50 bpm and BP of 110/60.

 The “base miles” Josh speaks of contain a lot of kettlebell lifting, alone and in a small area. The lift he practices is the, “Long Cycle Clean & Jerk”. Over days, weeks, months and years he’s moved from 16 kilogram ‘bells to 32 kilogram ‘bells. These are lifted for TEN straight minutes in competition. Moving from traditional bodybuilding style training to Girevoy sport shifted mass to his legs, shoulders and back. His weight, blood pressure and resting pulse dropped as well.

 For those who find this behavior and lifestyle very foreign, I asked Josh what his motivation was. His answer is very concise:

“Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be superhuman.  As I have gotten older, I realized that being superhuman in your 20’s is easy.  Testosterone and inexperience can power you through some monumental things.   It’s the older guys that I see that keep showing up and consistently working.  Maintaining that strength and wellness throughout my son’s childhood and possibly into my grandchildren’s lives, that is one hell of a goal.  Seeing my son watching me as I lift and workout, that is all the motivation I need.  The founder of parkour Georges Hebert once said:  “Be strong to be useful.” Pretty decent words to live by, in my opinion.”

 With results such as this, in circumstances that can be considered as not optimal, it begs for a summary of the training approach. This is what Josh said:

“The notion of “hitting a daily norm” has become my motto.  I think that being able to consistently work in the 50-75% range and slowly inch that forward is the key to long term training goals.  Thus far it has served me well in terms of recovery and consistency.  Also with my return to grappling, I have found that it is a lot easier for me to keep the throttle dialed back since there is a lot more risk for injury there if I don’t keep the ego in check.”

 That is quite a mouthful. Not the only approach. Not necessarily the best approach. But certainly an effective approach. It kind of quiets the critics with, “not enough, time/motivation/equipment” argument. If Josh Dunn can do it. I’m sure you can. #trainforlife

 “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

– Heraclitus

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