What is Toughness – Are You Considered Tough?

The following is one Mike Gillette’s (former Bodyguard and former SWAT commander) Secrets from his Savage Strength Training Program.

Savage Strength


Now a key point which needs to be brought up right now, at the beginning, is this… strength training… really hard, teeth-grinding strength training builds something in you that goes beyond just strength development alone. That quality is physical toughness. What do I mean by toughness? Let’s go back to Webster’s, where toughness is defined like this…

Toughness: “capable of enduring strain or hardship ,
marked by an absence of softness” Being tough is a big deal.

Mostly because there aren’t a lot of tough people around anymore. Toughness has become an endangered resource. When I was young I used to hear people use the phrase; “be a man.” Now nobody ever said to you “be a man” because they were telling you to
compromise, or to make someone else feel good about doing a half-a@#ed
job at something.

Toughen Up!

They were telling you to toughen up. Meaning… suck it up, stop whining and take care of the problem. But here’s the good news; you can get start cultivating toughness today,
by building toughness into your strength training program. The toughness I’m referring to here is the ability to withstand uncomfortable stimulus, which is a fancy way of saying pain.
Sometimes strength training can hurt a little bit. But a little temporary pain is actually a good thing because you need to know that you can take it.

I’m not talking about anything that’s abusive or damaging to the structure of
your body. There’s a big difference between a little temporary pain and an actual injury. But a little discomfort, which can simply be the result of compressing some rest periods or doing some intense interval work after finishing some heavy lifting, that kind of discomfort is beneficial. Again, just to show yourself that you can do it. It is a discipline-builder.
Sometimes you should train outdoors when it is very hot.

You need to be smart about it and hydrate accordingly, but this is something
that people don’t normally do. People navigate towards what’s comfortable and comfort does not build toughness.

Train Smart

Conversely, in the wintertime go outside and work out. Train smart, but go outside and push
yourself. Break past what your mind tells you is doable and forge new goals based on what
you want to do and not what other people tell you can do. Am I saying you should train like this all the time?The answer is “No.” But periodically shocking the system to prove to yourself that you can do things you didn’t think you could do before is extremely beneficial. The discipline that this develops can propel your training farther than anything else. This is the benefit of developing mental toughness, which is the real barometer of your potential success.

Be Mentally Tough

It’s simple… mentally tough people get stronger than people who are not mentally tough.
This may sound self-evident but it’s absolutely true. When we’re talking about strength training, we’re talking about transcending genetics, vanity and even our own ideas about what is reasonable or even possible.

Remember, the mind navigates the body… so make them both as tough and as strong as you can. And here is where we reach the point where people start to get a little freaked out. They think “Mike is extreme. I’m not sure I can do what he’s saying. It sounds
too hard… maybe I’m too old… maybe Mike is just crazy…” Well guess what… you’re not too skinny, too old or anything else. If you want to be strong, you can be. Strength is an aspect of physical development which can be improved upon at any point throughout your entire life.

Numerous studies have been conducted with senior citizens who had been placed on resistance training programs. And even at their advanced ages, these test subjects improved not only their strength but connective tissue resilience and even bone density. So we’re not talking about anything that someone has to stop doing simply because they’re approaching middle age or even beyond. This should be a lifelong pursuit.

You can read more Training Secrets with The Savage Strength Training System Here.

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