As 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 →
So you are serious about this calisthenics thing. You’ve seen lots of videos on YouTube. You’ve read some articles. Maybe you even read some books (!). But nothing helps. YouTube guys mostly lightweight, articles are rarely well-written and books often lack proper guidance (programming is bad or progression steps are too wide from each other). Most importantly they don’t teach you how to progressin bodyweight exercises effectively. Why? Majority doesn’t have the proper knowledge (we can see this often in street workout and crossfit movements). Others have the knowledge, but not willing to give it away for free. I understand those guys. You spend lots of time studying and experimenting on yourself and your clients. You put literally tons of effort and hard work in. It’s tempting not to give away the knowledge. But although strength training and nutrition are not rocket science (as everybody loves to say), they require individual approach. So there is no point in hiding the data. There’s simply no recipe that works for all. Everybody is different. My current program and diet probably won’t work for you. As well as something that guy in a gym does might not give you the same results as he got (of course, unless it’s steroids (and even if yes, same results are not guaranteed)). Everybody has different goals. For somebody it’s important to have less fat, for somebody – more muscle, for somebody – rough strength. Everybody needs different programming, but the principles remain the same. So it all comes to greed of particular so-called “guru” regarding not sharing these principles. But I digress. Let’s take a look at some common methods of progressing in bodyweight exercises. Continue reading →
Recently I found that there are a lot of search queries in form of questions that lead to RoughStrength.com. So I decided to go further and actually answer those queries. So here they are.
Do BarStarzz lift weights?
No. You can check out my interview with Edward Checo of BarStarzz here. He stated there loud and clear that they workout strictly through calisthenics. Check out the whole interview for details. Also there’s BarStarzz DVD coming out soon. Check it out.
Look at this man. This is Edward. He is founder of the Barstarzz. I was lucky enough to interview him this morning (actually, it was deep evening in New York City). He trains exclusively with his own bodyweight. He is strong as he looks. He performs amazing feats of strength, agility, balance etc. How this man was able to build such an amazing physique exclusively with his bodyweight? Because calisthenics work. And he’s not the only one. Look at other BarStarzz’s athletes. They look AND perform totally awesome. It’s not genetics. It’s consistency and perseverance. These things build such great strength and such great bodies. I’m really sick and tired of people that say something like “Oh! I need gym membership to become strong and fit” or “Oh! I don’t have time to train”. Seriously? Forget your excuses and go train! How can you train with your own bodyweight, get superstrong and achieve such amazing body? Read on. 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.
As you know the goal of Rough Strength is to help people reach their health and fitness goals rough. The problem here is that people nowadays don’t believe that they need very little in their training. People are so obsessed with gym memberships, latest supplements, fancy machines and brand new clothes that they forget what training is all about. Training is about gaining primal rough strength at first place not about pumping up or toning the rear delt or outer thigh or endless crunches and curls. So I decided that people need to know who were the strongest people of the past, what were their stats and how did they train. And the first post I decided to dedicate to one of my all-time favorite old school strongmen Pyotr Kryloff. Read on and discover how was built one of the most impressive bodies of the beginning of XX century. Continue reading →