9/22/14

What Your Dog Can Teach You About Training

Dogs are synonymous with a lot of things. Loyalty, playfulness, and butt sniffing to name a few. Our furry quadrupeds can teach us a lot about life, but they can also teach us about training.

Meet Gideon, my canine compadre. I’ve seen him run head first at pit bulls without the slightest thought of hesitation. I’ve also seen him carry off bones as big as he is. He is 7 pounds of blind fury sprinting through this world. As I’ve watched him live his life, I realized that we can all learn 3 things from our dogs.


Obedience
When I say sit, my dog sits. I doubt he understands why putting his butt on the ground is worth a reward, but he does it anyway. He consistently sticks to what he is told. He doesn’t whine, he just wags his tail waiting patiently for his reward. If you’re coach says to do a certain exercise you better do it. Don’t whine about how heavy it is or how hard it will be. Wag your tail and wait for the reward. You may not understand why you’re doing 50 front squats, but by-golly you better grind those out.

Intensity
Have you ever seen a puppy not go 100%? Dogs live their life with ferocity that follows the same path as a volcano; speed and destruction. When my dog and I play catch he runs until he gets thirsty, gets a drink, and then he starts running all over again. It’s a vicious cycle that he puts himself through, and he loves it. Sometimes our training becomes this monotonous cycle of reps and sets. Your miles become steps, and your circuits just become minutes. That’s not how training should be. Every now and again we need to attack our training like my dog attacks shadows.

Fearlessness
One morning I woke up to let my dog out. The only things in my backyard was the morning sun and a 75 pound bear-dog. Initially, I worried that the behemoth would lunge towards Gideon and me. Instead, he took all 7 pounds of his puppy muscle and chased the bear-dog away. Sometimes, the only thing keeping you from a PR is fear.

There’s this thing called beginners luck. Have you heard of it? Well, it’s not really luck. When someone has never done something before, they don’t know that it’s supposed to be hard - this is the guy who out-squats you his first day at the box – Their brain doesn’t psych them out of achieving big things. I like to think that dogs live their whole lives in this beginners luck mentality.

Your dog may pee in the house, rub his butt on your carpet, and wake you up at 5 a.m. with the most atrocious puppy breathe you’ve ever smelled but he still knows how to live his life. If you pay enough attention he may teach you to ramp up your training.

Just don’t start smelling people’s butts.


That’s gross. 

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.