Things I’ve Learned in 2012

New Year PresentSo the 2012 year is over and gone forever. It was pretty tough. But a lot of good things happened either. The first thing I’ve learned (or just been reminded) is that there is no limit to human stupidity and naivety. There are apocalypses and different ends of the world almost every year. Sometimes several times per year. Why do all those sheepeople still believe that crap? I think, it’s because people are too lazy to think. Do you really believe that end of the world will come in one day or one hour? If you analyze that “prophecy” you’ll find out that the end of the world should have come due to displacement of the Earth’s axis (well, according to the “prophecy” I know). Think about it a bit. Do you really believe that such HUGE process is possible in one day? The Earth evolved during 4.54 billions of years. So that all is crap. And you shouldn’t believe it. I digress. Let’s get back to my theme for today.

Progressive Resistance

I wrote lots of articles on this theme. It’s one of the main principles you need to understand. And it works not only for training or nutrition. You can use it anywhere. Examples? Let’s take business for example. You build your base one client at a time. You open new branches only after the first one is working good. When you can’t do everything by yourself you hire new employees to make more. You provide new services only when your first one is working well etc. It’s progressive resistance. If you want to learn new skill you need progressive resistance. If you want to learn guitar you need to learn hand placement first. You need to develop coordination. You need to learn how to play right. Then you can develop your skill further. If you want to learn how to play chess good you need to know how the pieces move, what are the rules etc. Then you need to learn basic rules of opening, middlegame and endgame. Then you can progress further. You got the idea. Progressive resistance is probably the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. Be wise. Use it. There is nothing impossible if you understand the principle of progressive resistance.

Protein and Diet

Another big theme for me. Many people say: “Protein is not that important”. They can be right partly. I found out that protein is the most powerful macronutrient out there. At least for me (and probably for you too). Let me put it another way. High-protein diet + intermittent fasting = optimal nutritional approach for me (and for all the people with average-to-slow metabolisms). This is what works. Everything else fails. 5-6 meals per day – fail. High-carb – fail. High-fat – fail. Eating throughout the day – fail. But again, this is what works for me and probably will work for people with average-to-slow metabolisms. If you have fast metabolism and fail to gain size then forget about intermittent fasting and you will probably need much more carbs.

Regarding diet there are only 2 factors that matter most. Yepp, only 2. Calories and macronutrient ratios. Everything else matters much, MUCH less. Calories and macros should be your primary concern. If these bad boys are in check you WILL get results. If not it doesn’t matter whether you drink water from plastic or not, no matter you drink diary or not, nothing matters much and you will probably fail.

Another topic is sugar. This mofo should be eliminated from the face of the Earth forever. Stop eating it.


If you sleep less than 8 hours then you are in suboptimal state. You ARE losing possible gains.


I like the principle of Occam’s razor. Cut all secondary to get to the primary. This principle helps me to see what is necessary and stay sane in this age of information overflow. Simple stuff works. Basics work. Learn the basics and then progress to more complex and advanced stuff but with simplicity in mind. Training programs and diet plans shouldn’t be overcomplicated to work. Remember this.

Time and Discipline

Too many people don’t understand such simple concepts. Besides hard work you need to put in time to get results. You need to be patient and disciplined. Work hard consistently and when it’s time you’ll get anything you worked so hard for. Be patient.


Fuck them. Stay away from them. Never look for excuses. They make you weak.

Closing Thoughts

All this is simple stuff but it needs to be reminded. As for me, in 2012 I took my handstand training to another (much higher) level. I reached straight handstand and several different handbalancing tricks. Also my planche and planche push-ups improved big time. I learned 2/3 one-arm chin-up, reached claw fingertip push-ups and much more. The closer I get to my training goals the harder training becomes. There were lots of plateaus in 2012. Much more than before. But I know one thing – the harder you work for something the more you appreciate it when you get it. My training quest is far from over. It’s 2013 and there are big things that wait. Let this year be better than previous ones. Thanks for reading and support. If you need help don’t be afraid to ask.

Play rough in 2013!


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6 thoughts on “Things I’ve Learned in 2012

  1. greg

    Hi Alex. Just found your website and I’m enjoying your posts. Totally agree with this post. There’s nothing complicated about training, there’s no need for it to be anything other than simple. I’ve been training for the last 18 months (I’m now 35 and was lazy for way too long) and I’ve just managed my first 1 arm push ups and handstand (feet on a wall) push ups in the last few weeks. I managed to get pistols within 6 months of training. It has been simple but it was anything but easy to get there. I followed a logical progression of exercises (thanks convict conditioning 1 and 2 / you are your own gym / never gymless) incrementally increasing in difficulty and using progressive over load (more reps until they become too easy, then progress to the next exercise). As Paul Wade (does this man exist? ) advises get the most from each exercise. Also, and I think is extremely important, keep a diary. Keep it with you when training, right down every set, rep, exercise and notes where needed. Otherwise you’ll have no idea what you need to achieve next workout to progress.
    In 2013 my goals are taking my pull ups to 20 my 1 arm push / handstand push ups to a minimum of 15 reps in 1 set. I’ll be striving to make breakthroughs in muscle ups, front and back levers, increase my time to 30 secs in an L-Sit, 2 sets of 20 in hanging leg raises. I’m even contemplating visiting a gym to see what I can do in the squat, bench and dead lift. Bring it on 2013!!

  2. bill

    Hey Alex by referring to high protein diet, do you mean like a paleo diet with high fat, moderate fat approach?

    1. Alex Zinchenko

      Bill, I mean diet where at least 30% of calories is protein (35-37% is better for me). Carb and fat ratios are individual. I like 35-40% carbs on training days and no more than 10% carbs on rest days.

      But that’s my experience. Find out what works for you.

      – Alex

  3. Devon


    I have just recently discovered your website and blogs. I have been implementing your methods and I have already seen and felt improvements. I never thought I could gain this kind of size with calisthenics. I am 6’3 and 200lbs as of this morning. When I started I was 190. Granted with the surplus of calories I am sure I have gained some fat too…. Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying your methods work, the information you provide is delivered in a way that makes sense, and I appreciate you.

    Thank you


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