Functional Hand Strength

Functional Hand Strength

John Wood's Blog of hard training and unusual strength development



Who Was The Toughest President?

"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far"

Leadership has many qualities, and toughness should be one of the most important. --You cant be tough if you arent in shape.

A man who is 'fit to lead' should be just that - fit. Since today is Presidents day, I am going to tell you about such a man:

He was born on October 27, 1858. During his early years, frequent bouts of asthma prevented him from running or playing like most children and left him small, frail and weak.

Despite his weakness, his mind was strong and when he turned eleven, his father offered him a challenge.

"You have the mind, but you have not the body, and without the help of the body, the mind cannot go as far as it should. You must make your body."

And so it begun - an open air piazza was converted into a gym and he started devoting his time to increasing his physical strength.

When he was thirteen, he was unable to defend himself when he was bullied by two boys while on a trip.

He understandably did not want that to happen again and took up boxing lessons. He eventually became good enough to become a member of the Harvard University boxing team. During his Junior year, he competed as a lightweight, and went all the way to the final round of the lightweight boxing championship.

He would go on to become the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, and he never stopped training when he took office.

Even while he lived at the White House, he never stopped leading an active lifestyle; boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu (he reached brown belt level), tennis, swimming, horse riding...

With this attention to physical fitness in mind, its no surprise that he would go on to found the first U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, soon popularly known as the 'Rough Riders.'

A regiment, consisting of over 1,250 men, from all over the United States who could ride, shoot and were in shape, and thus could be ready for war with little training.

Speaking of training, I would imagine that the type of training that Theodore Roosevelt did was very simple.

Plenty of bodyweight calisthenics, dumbbell work, running, swimming,
rope jumping, bag work, pushups, breathing exercises, rope climbing and just practicing wrestling, boxing and martial arts. - which can get you in pretty good shape by themselves.

When speaking to a group of school childrenTheodore Roosevelt once famously said:
"There are two things that I want you to make up your minds to: first, that you are going to have a good time as long as you live - I have no use for the sour-faced man - and next, that you are going to do something worthwhile, that you are going to work hard and do the things you set out to do."
... which is a good lesson to keep in mind in training and in life.

Train hard,
John Wood

Labels: , , , , , ,

Functional Hand Strength Functional Hand Strength