If 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.
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.
Rough Strength is all about getting more with less – getting stronger with anything you have at hand, getting a good diet with less money investment, being smarter about your training and nutrition, etc. It is a minimalist approach that shows you how to become a better version of you starting right now, not in some distant future that depends on whether you will be able to attend a gym or not. It is excuse-proof and excuse-free. That is why I like it so much.
However, what to do if you have been implementing the Rough Strength Method for a decent period of time, have some extra money, and crave some equipment variety? It is not really necessary, but if you add right tools to your training arsenal, you can benefit big time. And the sweetest thing is that some of them will not cost you a lot of money.
So I created the Rough Strength chart of the possibly useful additional equipment. I am assuming that you are already familiar with the Rough Strength Triad: calisthenics, sandbags, and kettlebells. Still I will devote a couple of paragraphs to these bad boys. Furthermore, I have put the tools in a specific order. The more effective/versatile/cheap implements will be higher, the less effective/versatile/the more expensive – lower.
Recently I got lots of e-mails on programming. All of the people wanted me to analyze their programs and say what I think about them. Some of them even wanted me to try their program. I try to answer all of my e-mails. But I get really bored to write the same thing over and over again. So I decided to write another post on basics. Specifically on 5 x 5 strength template. I really like this approach and always amazed how it gets lost and returns, then again gets lost, then returns again etc. But first of all, let’s take a look at some history of this famous training template.
5 x 5 Strength Training Template in History and Its Variations
Well, I don’t really know whether old-timers used exactly 5 sets of 5 reps. I think, that they came up with something like this at some point. Continue reading →
Recently I received some e-mails from readers of RoughStrength.com with questions and I thought it might be useful to share the answers with all the audience. So here it is.
Rough Strength Questions and Answers:
So you believe in whole body programs over split routines yourself correct? I do not believe you can split bodyparts up period and I do not know who came up with them but in the old days that is all the old timers did and they were stronger, more powerful, better conditioned, and much more healthier back in those days then today?” Continue reading →
It seems that nobody likes to train legs nowadays. People in commercial gyms can do several things:
– work their biceps
– work their abz
– work their biceps from different angle
– work their abz some more with the faith to see them someday and etc.
It’s a HUGE mistake to neglect legs in your training. Legs are 60% of your body. Training legs is a fast track to getting big (remember 20-rep routines?). Anyway, who wants those toothpicks? Why not to have the entire package? Legs must be trained as hard as the rest of your body. It’s a no-brainer.
Look at the picture above. This is Tom Platz. He was possessor of the most impressive legs in bodybuilding (and by ‘bodybuilding’ I mean those times when it was a sport of masculinity, beauty and grace).
How did he manage to obtain such legs? He had one secret exercise in his arsenal. Continue reading →
You can often hear such phrases: “To get big you need to lift heavy!” or “Lift heavy stuff to get strong!”. Many personal coaches preach this approach nowadays. Arguments are hard to beat:
Heavy lifting strengthens tendons and ligaments
Heavy lifting ends with more muscle growth response
Heavy lifting even brings more metabolic cost
Heavy lifting is badass
Oldtimers lifted heavy
They say: “Bust your ass off in the gym!” or “Train heavy as hell!” You name it. It’s all cool but average trainee can become little confused. He starts to add weight every workout, he ‘busts his ass off’ every workout, he adds as much reps or sets as he can, he feels exhausted and beaten after every workout. And his progress stalls in matter of weeks. He tries new program but after couple of weeks he becomes even weaker. And on and on.