Lessons from the Gym

The Time When Gyms Were CoolIf you read this post, then you should be aware that I simplified my training as much as I could lately. I lift conventional weights. You know, barbells, dumbbells, etc. I still do calisthenics, but way less than before. This is the path of endurable resistance for me at the moment of writing this article.

So, what have I been able to learn (or relearn) during this time. Well, lots of things. Let me share some of them with you.

Conclusion #1: Simple Exercises Are Better for Building Muscle

It may be hard to accept, but the simplest exercises are the best for muscle-building. Barbell bench presses are superior to one-arm or planche push-ups. Barbell squats are superior to pistols.

Let me be an example. Continue reading

Perseverance

Perseverance Rough Strength

I bet you dreamed about another “5 Ways to Build Bigger Arms” or “7 Foods You Need to Avoid” piece, but I’m not going to indulge you. Instead, I’ll tell you a story about what really makes a difference in your life. I’ll expose the biggest secret that distinguishes weak always-whining people from badass mofos you adore. And this secret is called “perseverance”.

Get Up

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The Fat Loss and Strength Gain Magic Bullet Problem

So, I received an e-mail the other day from a guy called Pete Anthony. He shared his experience with intermittent fasting and strength training. His article was quite good, so I asked if he wanted to write a guest post for Rough Strength. Here is the result. Enjoy.


Fat loss and muscle gain. When it comes to health & fitness, those are essentially the two things that people want. They are essentially the two ingredients that when combined together yield looking good in the mirror.

The truth is that getting either is really simple. You lose fat by expending more calories than you take in over time. You gain muscle by consistently doing progressive overload, forcing your body to adapt to the recurring stressor.

Despite how bone-headedly simple either of these tasks are, it seems that most people just can’t seem to figure either out. Why? Why are these exceedingly simple tasks so apparently complicated for 9 out of 10 people who want to “get fit?”

We’re smart enough to get PhD’s, split atoms, build silicon microprocessors, and put a man on the moon, yet the vast majority of 1st world individuals can’t figure out how to get at least lean & healthy enough to get their doctors off their ass? What gives? Continue reading

Simplify


The Barbell

The simplest solution is the best one in 95% of cases according to the National Solution Research Association.

Alright, the part about NSRA is made up. However, as my experience shows, simple is always the best, almost magically. These words should be carved in your brain. And they should pop up and block any new modern fad pseudo-sophisticated bullshit clever marketers are trying to feed you with. Any time you find yourself bombarded with “brand new” and “ultra-intricate”, just walk away. All that crap won’t endure long. On the other hand, simplicity is a time-tested concept that works.

Additionally, simple is your biggest friend in tough times. It is that loyal pillar you can lean on unconditionally. It will always be by your side if you can embrace it.

What does this have to do with training and nutrition? When times get rough, you need to simplify. You must simplify. Otherwise, you are doomed to fail.

Let me explain what I mean.

My Routine

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Lifestyle Dieting

So, if you are attentive enough, you may be wondering: “What’s wrong with that Rough Strength dude? Where the fuck are new articles?” I have only two words for you: “They are coming”. And the trick here is that there were three words, not two.

As you can see, I seem to be back with my good old idiosyncratic stuff (whatever this means). Anyway, the article below wasn’t born in my sick imagination. It was written by this guy who calls himself Trent McCloskey. He is straight-to-the-point and the information he provides is simple and effective.

Read, enjoy, and apply this finally.


Lifestyle Dieting by Trent McCloskey

Lifestyle DietingIf you have ever tried dieting and wound up right where you started, do you even know why? Why is it that if you follow the “right” ways, you see little to no results?

Well, that could be from a number of things, such as:

Maybe you have been following a crash diet for way too long and literally crashed and ate yourself right back to the starting point. Maybe you keep jumping to every new fad diet that makes its way onto your Facebook timeline. There are countless reasons to why you are not seeing results. But I think the main reason is that you and your body HATE dieting! So, let’s get on with the few lessons to make this whole dieting thing a breeze. You’ll see what I mean in a few minutes.

Lesson 1: Introduction

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So, Should You Do That Cardio Thing?

Bear and SkateboardYou may not understand it yet or even deny it, but traditional cardio is the most boring physical activity associated with strength training and physique enhancement (check out how I upgraded my skill in making up fancy names). Well, at least for me. Seriously, anytime I think about running, I get lethargic. Additionally, when you understand that it is way more effective to eat less than to exercise more, that little candle inside you that represented your desire to devote your precious time to such tedious activity as cardio goes out.

“So, you’re saying we don’t need that cardio shit, bro?” Not so fast. There are two points I want to discuss in this article:

1. When is it appropriate to use cardio?

2. Should cardio always be boring?

OK, enough of this silly little intro. Let’s dive into the cool stuff.

Why Does Cardio Suck?

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The Secret of East European Strength

The Secret of East-European StrengthAs far as I know, a lot of people to the West believe that we have secret training methodologies here in Eastern Europe. It is understandable. “The Iron Curtain” provoked this type of thinking and it was successfully sustained by clever marketers. Sometimes it seems that western people think that trainees here can gain strength and build muscle with the power of their sheer thought (how awesome would that be?).

Well, I don’t want to disappoint you, but most of the stuff you hear or read that is tagged “Soviet” and “Top Secret” is just a hype. All the info you need to succeed in your strength training quest is already out there. I am sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no East European training conspiracy. It may seem that people here guard all kinds of secrets, but the reality is WAY simpler. If you still do not believe me, let’s take a look at where these “secrets” can possibly be applied. Continue reading