I have recently been going gym again and it has been progressing at a fair pace. These last couple of months, I have felt good but wanted to go to the next level. So I started looking for sources of inspiration or something to motivate me to train harder for better results. I’m not sure whether it was the recent mention of the Dragon Ball Super series or something else but my mind drifted to Dragonball Z. The training regimes the Saiyans (Goku & co) put themselves through were a big part of the anime.
Every time they were faced with new, powerful foes, they would always look for ways to get stronger. And it was never purely down to hard work but the approaches they took to training and the creative methods they used to push their bodies to new heights. So after a little trip down memory lane, I came up with some tips on how to be a real life Super Saiyan. Hopefully I take on board my own advice while also inspiring you too.
Get Stronger, not bigger.
Saiyans don’t “bulk” or “get hench”. They get stronger. They were constantly conditioning themselves for battle. They didn’t pop into their local gym to spend an hour on the bench press, do a few bicep curls then go home. They focused on endurance – ie Goku doing 10,000 pull ups in the Gravity Chamber on his way to Planet Namek – as much as strength.
And thus this resulted in a body like this:
If you want a body like this, you need to incorporate other things besides lifting really heavy weights. Consider higher number of reps until your muscles fatigue and more full body exercises that uses multiple muscles – like push-ups. Goku loved push-ups. If you can get this right, your strength will eventually materialise physically.
Find your Piccolo (or King Kai)
Some would have said that Goku must have picked the worst person to look after his kid. But we eventually learned that Piccolo was the best person to train Gohan. The thing about personal trainers are, they are expensive especially when you can just Google fitness advice online. But nothing makes up for the motivation they provide. Firstly, the financial costs mean you want to get your money’s worth. And their constant presence will push you to train harder, every single time.
Find yourself a personal trainer to kick your ass until you are able to kick theirs. They will push you over and beyond even when you are not “feeling up to it”. Also they are there to stop you from developing bad habits such as bad form. If you really want to make a difference maybe it is time you put your money where your mouth is and invest in a trainer even if it’s a short period of time.
Find your Goku to your Vegeta
Who knew when Goku and Vegeta first encountered each other that their rivalry would be key to them finding their inner greatness? Goku pushed himself to learn King Kai’s Kaio-ken technique and the Genki Dama because of Vegeta. Vegeta became obsessed with beating Goku when he learned he had turned into a Super Saiyan. This rivalry was one of the most captivating in anime history.
Gym buddies are not only good for spotting you on the bench press. They are also good competition. Whoever is the weaker one actually benefits the most if they can embrace the rivalry before them. So don’t just look for someone to have a friendly chat between your sets. Find someone who you want to beat.
And say in the case you don’t have a gym buddy. Next time you go, look around for a familiar face. That guy that comes in, the same days as you and is physically at a point where you want to be. Now imagine he is Broly and think to yourself “I’m coming for you, motherf&%*ker*”… then search for someone to do the Saiyan Fusion Dance with….
Find your Intensity
It seems pretty straight forward right? No pain no gain but you would be surprised how easily people hit a brick wall and stop progressing. But now “High Intensity Interval Training” has become mainstream, thanks to the popularity of the Insanity Workout.
“High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. For example, running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute”
There are two benefits to this kind of exercise routine:
• Normal cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, but studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow preservation of their hard-earned muscles while ensuring fat loss
• It’s time efficient, so you can do this kind of thing within your busy schedule
With a mixture of resistance training and HIIT, you are bound to finish your workout in agony. More pain, more gain.
Find some time to Sleep
These guys don’t play around when it comes to sleep. You shouldn’t either. There’s enough science to support this notion, especially if you’re working out. The main benefits are:
• You produce most of your growth hormone when you sleep aka muscle growth
• Hinders bad eating habits – a tired body tends to indulge in sugary treats to keep up energy levels
• It supports your immune system and it keeps your organs operating smoothly
The last point tends to go over people’s head because it sounds generic and vague. So I’ll explain why your immune system needs to be in top condition for you to get the results you want. Firstly, your metabolism needs to do its job of burning fat. Then there’s muscle allocation and repairing. If your body is too exhausted, it’ll do a piss poor job of building mass in the right places and regulating muscle fibres. Worst case scenario, you’ll have big arms, skinny legs with a pop belly. Don’t be that guy.
Find your appetite
When I say eat, I don’t mean drink protein shakes. Eat real food! Protein supplements are convenient but don’t hold any advantages over whole food protein. You have to be wary of the marketing behind these protein supplement brands who add sugars and other unnatural substances to their products. You can’t go wrong with actually food. Time is money but if you can, learn to prepare food in advance. Where I am from, it is common practice to prepare your weekly supply of protein foods at the start of the week and store them in plastic containers. Doing something similar will make your life easier.
Hopefully you picked up some useful tips and while reminiscing the good old times of this iconic anime. So get the shirt and start your journey towards becoming a Super Saiyan.
Thanks for reading.