If you grew up in the 90’s like me, then the Dragon Ball saga was a big part of your childhood (both the original DB & DBZ). Not only did this awesome anime show made you wish that you were born with Saiyan blood but it also taught you values about strength & health without you even realizing it.
Below I have written 10 lessons that were taught & reinforced from watching this show, so I want you to sit back & enjoy the lessons! (And if you have never seen DB, then no worries, you will still learn from these powerful lessons)
#1 – You only grow stronger after you recover:
This was always highlighted by the Sayains since they became stronger after recovering from every battle. In one episode Vegeta asks Krillin to attack him just enough so he is borderline dead, so that he can then go with Dende in order to be healed since after his full recovery he would be stronger.
Now while you might not recover fast or fully at all from a near dead experience, this principle is true in the real world.
When you train your muscles get micro tears from the stress you inflicted on it. After you let your body recover with proper rest & nutrition your muscles get stronger in order to withstand this stress the next time you train. So you too like Vegeta grow strong after recovering from your training session, since growth occurs during your recovery process. So make sure that if your training hard, that you also rest enough to recover!
#2 – When you learn to connect your body & mind your ultimate power unleashes:
This is touched on several times in the saga is when Goku is learning new attacks. He is told by his masters that he must learn to connect mind & body as one in order to unleash his new powers. (although those might not the the exacts words they use, they imply do imply this to some degree)
While we may not have the ability to get Goku’s powers, when we do learn to use our mind when working out we become a lot more powerful. It’s kinda like a hidden power that we have since training is a lot more mental than physical.
You can clearly see this when you are doing something new or pushing your limits to new heights. For example I had to tap into more than just my physical strength the first time I lifted atlas stones, not only was it a new exercise for me so my body was not used to it but I struggled to even get one rep since my height was a disadvantage. I was tired and bruised after 5 or so reps, but I was determined to get at last get one rep…and at this point it was more of a mental battle than anything else.
It is hard to describe exactly what happened but my refusal to give up along my will to make it happen, made the tiredness disappear and let me get one rep after failing several times before.
Many times when you push yourself to the point where you don’t know if you can get one more rep, or push yourself to finish a conditioning workout, you kinda enter a zone where you can clearly divide your mind from your body and are able to talk to yourself from an outside perspective…You start to have self conversations and see what you are really made off.
This is not something that you can just think and realize, but if you have pushed yourself to the limits before then you know what I am talking about…It is a zone where you not only strengthen your body by pushing it harder, but strengthen the mind by overcoming the resistance and thus making you mentally stronger.
#3 – Training will make you HUNGRY so fuel up with good nutrition to grow stronger
In the episode below Goku throws away a can of beer in exchange for a sports drink after training under 100xGravity, and then makes a funny comment about it.
Although the importance of a good nutrition is not always verbally highlighted in the show, you can clearly see that healthy food was emphasized as being good fuel for the body since is mostly shown trough the show (meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, noodles, rice, etc)
The characters never had an exact eating plan, you kinda just see them eating A LOT of healthy & delicious look food after hard training & battles. This is certainly one way of eating that you can use if you train hard & don’t wanna worry too much about specific times when you gotta eat (although if you trying to reach a specific goal such as getting down to 10% BF then being more specific with your meals might be better)
So the big take away is that if you are training hard you will need to eat a lot of strong & healthy food in order to get stronger & healthier.
And very importantly don’t deprive your body of food if you are hungry, if you are training hard you will use a lot of energy so supply your body with some good fuel.
#4 – Use your environment to train – rocks, trees, hills, water, etc
When Goku was young he didn’t train at a gym or anything like that instead he trained outdoors using his environments: Pushing & throwing rocks, swimming along sharks, climbing trees to get fruits, fighting dinosaurs, etc.
Even when Goku & Krillin started training with Master Roshi he made them, sprint, deliver milk all around the city, running up mountains, swim with sharks & work in the field in order for them to gain endurance, strength & discipline.
While the conditions they trained under were extremist, we too can use our environment to train: throwing, lifting and carrying heavy rocks or logs, swimming & sprinting at the beach, hiking mountains, farmer walking buckets of sand, sprinting at the park, pushing your car, climbing and doing pull ups on trees, etc…
We can always use our environment to train, as all we need is our bodyweight & something heavy to supply resistance. So if you think you need a gym in order to train, then think again.
#5 – There will always be someone stronger than you out there, so keep training!
This was part of the reason why Goku always wanted to get stronger, so he could fight & against stronger enemies. In your own training this might also be part of the reason why you seek more strength. And although you won’t be fighting against monsters you will face sport challenges where you gotta be stronger than your competition in order to win.
Your life is not just physical battles but emotional & spiritual ones as well, so training to be physically strong is not only helpful in athletics but also dealing with challenges in your life, whether it be: a race or competition, financial trouble, breaking a bone, bad relationship, etc.. you gotta learn to fight trough the hardship and conquer it (you don’t just train to get stronger physically but mentally as well)
#6 – Aesthetics show up when you train hard, sleep right & eat god food
Throughout the whole DB show training & fighting always occurred, so the characters always naturally developed a strong, muscular and powerful look. But while it is a fictional show this is true in real life: If you traing hard, eat right & get proper rest you will develop a strong & aesthetically pleasing body – it’s just the look you get from being an athlete
So if you wanna sport a badass look then train hard & take care of yourself, it is bound to happen overtime if you stay committed…I mean just look at the physiques of ancient warrior (Vikings, Spartans, Knights, etc) all they did was train, eat & kill & they had these rugged & strong physiques that not only looked strong but were damn strong.
So don’t just pump out a few sets of dumbbell curls at the gym, get under the bar & do heavy squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench, farmer walks, rows, etc. Use heavy movements that will require your whole body to work as a unit as well as lots of calisthenics in order to get stronger & build a body that doesn’t just look strong but is also strong.
#7 – Always be a student & learn from your mentors
Goku was alway eager & humble to learn from his stronger & wiser masters & mentors. Sometimes he didn’t fully understand what they were teaching him but he remained humble and open minded so he could receive their teachings.
You gotta be the same in your life & training. You gotta put your ego aside & know that there is always so much more to learn from others, always keep investing in your education & seek personal growth + it’s always good to see somebody else’s perspective on training & life.
Even if you think you know enough about strength & health, always remain student & be open to learn from others so you can become even wiser & stronger like Master Roshi
#8 – Train with weighted calisthenics
Whether it be from heavy clothes or training under 150 x gravity, training with weighted calisthenics is bound to make you stronger.
Its unlike training with dumbbells and barbels as you are moving an outside force…with BW the extra weight becomes part of you and every part of your body needs to work in order to move it, so you strengthen your whole body as a unit: static strength, endurance, tension, explosiveness, etc all is being worked in 1 motion so add some weight to your calisthenics (you will be glad with the results + makes everything a lot harder so you can’t say that training with bodyweight exercises is easy, ha!)
#9 – Do as much bodyweight as possible: handstands, pull ups, push ups, etc
This is always demonstrated throughout all the characters training besides polishing their fighting skills. But its not just because BW is effective but because practicing calisthenics will make you move better & more efficiently which transfer to everything from having better form when lifting heavy weights to having more energy in your body since you have better range of motion and less muscle imbalances.
In the end movement is life, and if you can’t move properly then this is taking away your energy & life force. So doing bodyweight training is not just to remain athletic but to increase your vitality as well. Not too mention that you can do these exercises anywhere so you have no excuses to not do them!
#10 – Keep a positive attitude, have fun & stay optimistic
This was always Goku’s way of looking at things: he never saw anything as impossible & neither should you.
In your training you always gotta know that you can do whatever you set yourself out to do, it might require weeks or months of practice but it will happen if you stay committed. At the same time you must keep the mindset of a child who sees everything as an adventure & no limits onto what is possible. You gotta learn to enjoy the pain you will endure and the obstacles you will face, because if you are dedicating that much time to training, then what’s the point of doing it if you won’t enjoy it?
To some is just the excitement to see how much more weight they can lift this tie, or how much better they have gotten at an advanced bodyweight skill… to others it is the high and feeling of accomplishment after every workout that makes it enjoyable or maybe the fact that you are in control of what happens – sure you might have a workout plan, but in the end you are the one doing the exercises, you are in full control of the outcome… whatever it is, you gotta know this is and be able to use it during your training.
Working out can be a burden and a serious thing, but at the same time if you let it, it can be an adventure full of obstacles that you are exited to face. Heck even to some just the feeling of being sore the next day makes them feel happy and accomplished because they overcame a grueling workout.
To me training just takes me back to being a kid, it’s a big game where I gotta win, and if I don’t win this time I will for sure will the next!
Whatever your reason for training is, find the joy in it & keep a positive attitude when training – if you stay commuted to your plan you will reach your goals even if some days things don’t go so well, just keep moving forward.
So those are 10 big lessons that I learned from watching Dragon Ball, you might have not taught that watching a simple anime show had so many lessons in working out, but it does. And if you have never seen the original DB or DBZ, then you are missing out BIG TIME!
If you have any more lessons that I can add to the list, let me know in the comments below! Can’t wait to hear them!
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