What Can We Learn From Ross Edgley?
If you haven’t seen the hype over the last few weeks then where have you been? World records have been smashed and after 5 months at sea, 157 days to be exact, Ross Edgley has become the first person to swim around Great Britain!
Ross swam a gruelling timetable of 6 hours on / 6 hours off for 157 whole days. Imagine that, swimming 12 hours a day for 5 months and we are not talking about a nice clean, warm swimming pool! He tackled cold seas, choppy waves, pollution and whirlpools! He also saw sharks, minke whales and lots of dolphins and seals.
Ross is known well for his crazy adventures and pushing his body to the limit. He has run a marathon pulling a mini, climbed a rope over and over until he reached the height of Everest and has been around the world to study fitness training. He has done everything from joining mountain cowboys in Ecuador to joining the Russian wrestling champions and being subjected to those beasts throwing him around on the mat! All in the name of research into strength and conditioning!
So what can we learn from this guy? Why would I write a blog post about him?
Well, not only is he inspiring, he is challenging us to think about our limitations. Who decides the height of the ceiling? Why would we say ‘we can’t’, ‘I could never do that’ or ‘It’s not possible’? With the right training and a dedicated plan, Ross has proven that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it and work. Dogged determination and consistent hard work will allow you to achieve that goal, that dream!
Ross keeps fitness training simple, he talks about the five laws of fitness. I have summarised these laws below, they provide the backbone to any training plan and allow you to identify your goal and structure your training towards it.
The Law of Body Basics
The first law of fitness Ross describes is based on the Soviet principle of General Physical Preparedness. General conditioning used to improve strength, speed, endurance, flexibility and skill.
The Law of Progressive Overload
The second law of fitness Ross describes is progressive overload and the need to gradually increase weight, volume, intensity, frequency or time to make an improvement. You need to keep adapting progressively, creating stress for adaptation to occur.
The Law of Specific Skill
In the intro I didn’t include one of the other crazy challenges Ross completed, a tree-athlon. Yep that is a triathlon as we know it but carrying a tree! Pulling it in the swim, riding with it on the bike leg and running with a tree on his shoulder to finish the trio of disciplines! The law of specific skill identifies the need to be specific! If you want to be better at tennis, play tennis! If you want to be a better cyclist, ride your bike! For Ross training for his tree-athlon, that meant training with the tree, swimming with it, running with it and riding with his tree so he was ready to take on the worlds first tree-athlon!
The Law of Recovery
Yes, all you athletes out there you read that correctly! We need to allow our body the time to recover and adapt to the training stresses we put it under. Ross explains how training is a stress on the body and athletes training hard can also be susceptible to immune system attacks. We are pushing our bodies exhaustion so we need to allow them time to recover!
The Law of More
Work capacity! Hard work, dogged determination and the total amount of training you can complete (and recover from) and adapt positively to. Sure it is hard to find the sweet spot and many of us have been in the situation where we have pushed too far, but this final law Ross focuses on looks at how you can train harder for longer whilst avoiding the exhaustion phase and rarely overtrain.
Interesting hey! I think so, I love the foundations, I admire the simplicity and I appreciate the solid focus and structure required to plan out and start working towards those goals!
Ross does not only talk the talk he for sure walks the walk. That is why he is such an inspiration to follow and learn from. To find out more about his swim go to this website. If you want to read more about Ross and all his challenges then you can go to his website. Finally, to read more about the Laws of Fitness you can buy Ross’s book - The Worlds Fittest Book! I can highly recommend it!