Military Core Values and How
I Apply Them to My Training
By Bill Boylan, Home Bodies trainer to
Maine and Southern NH
“Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all that we do.” These are the words that myself, as well as every other U.S. Air Force Trainee has been taught during their time in the military. Now I know you all are thinking “C’mon Bill, what does this have to do with training?” Ahh, I know I know, you can’t see the connection now, but you will. Like with everything else, stick with me, I’ll show you the light.
Training and living a healthy lifestyle is not just about what you eat and what movements you do in the gym. No, no, no, it is much more than that grasshopper. But I know that all of you who have ever worked out with me know that exercise is much more than just simply going through the motions. There is pleasure, there is pain, but above all there is that tremendous sense of well being and accomplishment, coupled with the never ending call of the iron. Yes, I know you hear it too. Late at night when you’ve had a hard day’s work and all you can think about is going to bed. It’s that little voice that beckons you to change into your gym clothes, dig out the iPod, scrape the ice off the windshield and trek out to the gym for a quick 45 min total body blast before it closes. I feel your pain, I’m afflicted as well. Thankfully the consequences of slipping on an icy New England driveway are much less harmful than those that accompany spending every night elbow deep in a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. But I digress. What the core values of the Air Force represent to me are being honest, doing what you need to do when you need to do it, and simply being the best that you can be.
How many of us act as though the entire world were watching us in all of our actions? I strive to live as though the entire world had access to my life via a TV show. Anyone ever seen EDTV? I challenge you to do the same. If you own a business, speak about your customers as if they were in the room, even when they are not. If you teach, pretend that all of your students are in front of you to hear what you are saying when you aren’t at work. I speak about clients and my own business in exactly the same way. Live your life proudly, and in such a manner that others would be proud of you. This also applies to fitness very easily. To me integrity means honestly following through with your actions. If you set a goal to go to the gym three times a week and you don’t follow through, no one will know right? Wrong. You will know, and you will be acting dishonestly towards yourself. Hold yourself accountable and have integrity first and do what you say you will do.
“Service before self.” In the military this means putting your job and your duty before your own personal needs or wants. I apply it to my training in a similar fashion. I need to train my clients and myself so that we can be healthy and live long productive lives, so I think of is as “Service for self.” The service or duty is exercising and eating right, and this comes before any desires for other unhealthy activities. I may want to stay in bed all day, but by living by the above statement my commitment and service to myself always comes first.
“Excellence in all that we do.” In the Military it doesn’t matter whether you are folding a T-shirt or you are in charge of security for an entire base, you will do your job to the utmost of your abilities. There is no room to do anything half way. The old adage, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing it the right way” is something we can all embrace in our training as well. I have observed countless trainees in my years at the gym who put their all into the “mirror” muscles like chest and biceps, but when it comes to training their core or their rotator cuff they couldn’t be bothered. I challenge all who read this to raise their hand if they have ever sacrificed exercise form in order to lift more weight (note: if you didn’t raise your hand you are being dishonest or you injured yourself using poor form and can’t get your arm over your head!) My point is, make an effort to do things the right way. Be the excellent person that you know you can be. Be an example of excellent form and technique no matter what you are doing.
As a Homebodies client you are receiving the best instruction from the most qualified trainers that money can buy. Do us all proud when you workout at the gym, and bring a smile to your trainer’s face by doing the same during your sessions!