The story of Milo of Croton

13 05 2009

In my last post, I explained the definition of “functional training.”  It’s important to understand that as an athlete, your workouts must be focused and defined in order to reach a particular goal.  Today I am going to tell you the story of Milo of Croton, an ancient Greek wrestler, and how his story can relate to your training.
Milo of Croton was a wrestler with several ancient Olympic titles under his belt.  He is most widely known for his incredible feats of strength.  Milo once carried a 4-year-old bull around the Greek Coliseum and then later slaughtered, roasted and devoured it in one day.  While this sounds like complete mythological mumbo jumbo, Milo began to carry this bull when it was just a calf.  This is where the story relates to you, the athlete.  Everyone has to start somewhere and they must continue to work hard to progress.  Milo had to start somewhere small and he continually worked every day, walking around with a calf on his shoulders, until one day he’s carrying a large bull on his shoulders in the Olympics (just to show off his strength).

Another lesson can be taken from this as well.  I’m sure that the bull did not grow by several pounds a day, so as the bull grew, Milo’s strength grew slowly and progressively.  I’m sure the bull looked the same to him every day, but he consistently put it on his shoulders and walked into town with it.  There were probably days were the bull felt heavy, or when Milo didn’t really want to do it, but he stayed consistent and continued to work at it and now he’s embedded in Greek Mythology.  How’s that for a payoff?

Here’s the moral of the story…  First, you’re not going to walk into a weightroom and come out strong in a day, a week or really even a month.  You need to be consistent and smart with your training, and you need to have patience.  I cannot tell you how many athletes I see who want to lift the gym their first month into a workout.  Your workouts should be progressive, meaning, you get stronger with each workout and change your workout around your weakest points in order to continually get stronger.  A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.  Second, plan correctly to peak at the right time.  Notice that Milo carried a 4-yr-old bull around the Coliseum.  He picked a bull that would coincide with the Olympics.  No human can stay in peak condition all year, so you need to plan your training towards a certain date, whether it is the beginning of your season, the playoffs or the biggest meet of the year.

As always, please feel free to email me with any questions you have, and if you’d like to know what workouts we’re doing at Total Performance visit  Take care!


Total Performance Sports & Fitness




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