One of the frequent questions that we are asked here at Milo is, “Who is Milo and why is your company named after him?”
As you may know, our mission is to get more people moving, healthy, and strong. We believe that there is no magic pill for health/fitness; being fit requires consistent, deliberate effort. Milo embodied this concept as an athlete, but it was his philosophies that make him truly legendary.
Milo of Croton was a brilliant wrestler in ancient Greece who was known for his incredible feats of strength. He was crowned victor of countless athletic events and was one of the most decorated Olympic athletes of ancient times with 6 Olympic victories. He even went on to lead the citizens of Croton in military combat, defeating the neighboring city of Sybaris in 510 BC.
He was known as a ‘People’s Champion’ and was revered for ability to will his way to victory. Milo’s competitive wrestling career spanned nearly 24 years. He attributed his athletic accolades to the foundation of physical strength and endurance that he developed through his unorthodox training regimen. Milo was truly a larger-than-life character.
The Legend of Milo
Milo didn’t start out as the tremendous athlete he is remembered for. He worked diligently to attain his physical prowess and as he became a dominant athlete, his legend grew.
As the story goes, Milo lived on a small farm outside of the city of Croton. He and his family had livestock and eventually a new calf was born. As Milo grew more interested in strengthening his body, he decided to try something that had never been done.
One day, Milo picked up the calf, secured the animal around his shoulders and ascended the mountain near his family’s land. Because the calf was so young and small, Milo was able to reach the top of the mountain with relative ease. Knowing that the calf would surely grow with time, Milo committed to carrying the animal up the mountain every single day.
Indeed, the calf grew. As the calf matured, Milo bore more and more weight on his ascents up the mountain. Milo grew stronger each day that he trained. He also found that his new strength transferred well to the sport of wrestling. As months passed, Milo saw his body transform before his eyes.
After two years, the calf had fully grown and was now a bull. As the legend goes, one day, Milo led the bull by tether into the town square. Milo was a charismatic fellow who drew attention wherever he went – soon he had a crowd around him. He crawled underneath the bull, braced his shoulders into its stomach, and proceeded to stand. People cheered at Milo’s unbelievable display of absolute strength. His legend continued to grow throughout the country and, in time, he was remembered as one of the greatest athletes in history.
Principles That Stand the Test of Time
However much of the legend is truth, one thing is certain: Milo believed in several fundamental training principles that still apply to health and exercise thousands of years later. Yes, the concepts below correlate with health and fitness. However, they also pertain to personal development, business, relationships, etc. Here are the takeaway:
Milo carried the calf up the mountain every single day. While we are not all training to be Olympic wrestlers, the principle remains the same; consistent actions accumulate to a form an aggregate effect. Just like any machine, our bodies require maintenance. We must take care of our bodies and our daily routines should reflect that. Not all of us will ascend a mountain each day, but we should build time in our schedule for caloric expenditure and strength training numerous times throughout our week. This is true of almost any aspect of your life you wish to improve.
One thing about Milo can certainly be said: He knew how to push his physical capacity to his limit. In the strength and conditioning world, we have a term called ‘Progressive Overload.’ This is a term we use to describe the incremental increases in the demand we place on our bodies in order to elicit an adaptation.
Example: If I squat 100 kg for 10 reps one week, the next week I may attempt 11 reps or try increasing the load a bit.
Progressive overload is a method of always pushing oneself in order to advance. In Milo’s case, the calf grew each day, forcing Milo to carry a heavier and heavier load up the mountain. If you simply remain static in your training, you will not improve to reach your true potential.
Be Comfortable With The Uncomfortable
I think this is one of the most important lessons, not only with regard to health, but life in general. Milo’s unconventional training put him in an uncomfortable state. Imagine carrying a live animal, squirming and wriggling, up a trail of various terrains to reach a mountain peak. Talk about uncomfortable! However, his methods required both physical and mental fortitude. When exercise and training your body seem difficult, remember that feeling of discomfort is what will cause the adaptation you desire. Encourage your clients, your friends, and loved ones to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
The Milo Universe
Milo isn’t simply a company for us. It is our vehicle to improve people’s lives through health, fitness, and strength training. The story of Milo has many parallels with health, business, and life in general. Hopefully this article has give you some insight on why Milo has been so influential for us.
Whether you are a fitness professional, a wellness coordinator, a mother looking to get fit, or anyone else who values their health, we invite you to join us in our mission: To get more people moving, healthy, and strong.