By Josh Bryant & Adam benShea, PHD
So, what does it mean to be gas station ready?
It’s 3 AM. You pull into a gas station to fill up your tank. As you approach the pump, a wild-eyed degenerate stumbles over. He smells of cheap whiskey and walks with the false bravado that comes from years of chemical abuse. When he comes within striking distance, he demands your money, your ride, your lady…Are you ready?
#GASSTATIONREADY does not begin when you take that exit off the interstate and follow the signs directing you to a filling station.
To be #GASSTATIONREADY means that you are prepared for the above scenario, equipped to protect your life and what’s yours.
#GASSTATIONREADY starts in the early morning and late night training sessions.
#GASSTATIONREADY means that you train, continually, for the unexpected.
#GASSTATIONREADY training is not MMA training.
In MMA, you have an eight-week camp that prepares you for a fight with specific rules against a specific opponent. During this time you are checking out his YouTube clips and developing a tactical strategy that prepares you best for victory.
If you plan your camp correctly, you develop a type of stamina that is a specific to the demands of MMA match which could last up to 15-25 minutes. In particular, mixed martial arts is characterized by short, intense bursts of dynamic movement followed by longer periods of moderate energy output. As a consequence, you need to train for a quick release and continuous endurance.
Moreover, on the day of competition, there is the luxury of mental and physical preparation. In the hours leading up to the fight you get to warm-up and psych up. You could even consult a life coach to gauge and improve your emotional equilibrium.
Unfortunately, there is not a life coach at the gas station at 3 AM. In fact, you do not know who is waiting for and what the rules will be when you meet him. Your attacker may brandish a nasty right hand from his childhood days when his father made him fight grown men in the basement or a broken whiskey bottle with your name on it. In the words of the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, the encounter will be “nasty, brutish, and short.” Your training should be in preparation for this reality.
Rather than hitting the elliptical or a step class for cardio, focus exclusively on the type of training that will serve you in this self-perseveration scenario. You will need a program that is short and dynamic. This type of training will equip you with the physical and emotional means to go from pumping gas to defending your life and stopping some perp from jacking your ride.
A short, intense interval workout will arm you with the necessary skill set. There is no better way to do this than with a Tabata circuit. With this program, perform each of the movements described as hard as possible and fast as possible for 20 seconds straight, then rest 10 seconds and move to the next movement. The circuit consists of four separate movements to be repeated twice.
Not only will Tabata intervals keep you #GASSTATIONREADY, numerous studies exclaim their superiority for fat loss. Furthermore, this routine will only take four minutes. And the specific movements that you execute offer direct transference to the nature of a self-defense encounter in the predawn hours,
#GASSTATIONREADY Tabata Workout
Round 1: Squat Thrust with Knees
Description: Start standing, squat and kick back your legs until you are in a push-up position. Then bring back your legs, return to standing, and alternate raising one knee at a time.
Benefit: This mimics the movement of defending a takedown and it also teaches your body to quickly return to standing after hitting the floor (unless you are looking to get boot stomped, you do not want to spend any time on the ground in this scenario). Raising your knees imitates knee strikes and strengthens the core.
Round 2: Jumping Lunges
Description: Lower into a lunge and explosively jump into a lunge on the alternate side.
Benefit: This movement has direct transference to the process of lowering your body to evade a strike and exploding upward when you are looking to deliver an effective punch through your hips.
Round 3: Knuckle Push-ups
Description: Complete as many push-ups as possible on your knuckles, with as much speed as possible.
Benefit: When done explosively, this is a functional exercise for training you to throw as many punches as possible in the short window of time usually found in a self-defense situation.
Round 4: Squat Kicks
Description: Perform a squat, return to standing and throw a kick. Perform another squat, return to standing and throw a kick with the opposite leg.
Benefit: While it is not generally a good idea to throw a kick above your waist in a gas station scenario, more powerful kicks can prove to be a valuable tool in your arsenal.
As your conditioning improves, you may complete the circuit more than once.
Remember that training regularly will prepare you for whatever you encounter in your life. Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready. Stay #GASSTATIONREADY
Join the #GASSTATIONREADY movement by proudly displaying your shirt and using the hashtag. I recommend buying one size larger than normal.
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