Category Archives: Rough Strength Method

The Pulley System: The Best Thing That Happened to Calisthenics

The Pulley System: The Best Thing That Happened to CalisthenicsIt is the 100th post here on Rough Strength, so I decided to make it special. Not long time ago I managed to set up a pulley system at home destroying neither the walls, nor the ceiling (more on this later), and I am truly amazed with the results of my experimentation with it. I will go further and state that the pulley system invention is possibly the best thing that happened to heavy calisthenics. If you strive to learn advanced skills like Planche or One-Arm Chin-Up, then this can be your lucky ticket.

Why Is the Pulley System So Awesome?

First of all, why should you bother? Continue reading

What Equipment to Add to Your Training Arsenal

What Equipment to Add to Your Training Arsenal

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.

Without further ado, the Rough Strength chart of what is useful: Continue reading

How to Learn the Double Kettlebell Snatch

How to Learn the Double Kettlebell SnatchSo the Double Kettlebell Snatch, huh? “You love it, you hate it, you love to hate it.” It is the exercise that I consider the most technically demanding of all the kettlebell drills. This movement is a true test of strength and explosiveness when performed with heavy weights. It humbles a lot of people that consider themselves really strong. And finally, the Double Kettlebell Snatch is the exercise that brings results.

Let’s talk a bit about the drill itself.

[NOTE: by “Double”, I always mean “performed with two kettlebells”]

What Is the Double Kettlebell Snatch?

Here is a video from the one of my previous training sessions: Continue reading

Training an Exercise Only Once per Week for More Strength

Awesome Ring Dips

It seems that a lot of people get somewhat crazy with high-frequency training nowadays, and by “a lot of people” I mean me. Strength training is my drug, and I am afraid that the addiction to it cannot be cured. No amount of rehab can fix things, and it is too late for me to get back to “normal life”. I guess I am doomed for eternal searching for another dose of this narcotic…

With all seriousness, if you love something that much, it is quite hard to tame yourself and not to do it daily. There is nothing wrong with high-frequency training if it is done properly. You should remember that if training frequency is high, volume and intensity should be in check. Despite what you heard, you cannot train to failure in high volume every day. It just will not work. In this case, injuries, frustration, and lack of progress are the only possible results.

[Check out this article for more information on the relationship of volume, intensity, and frequency in strength training]

Anyway, let us get back to the theme. In addition to irresistible urge to train daily and several times per day, I like to train hard. I mean REALLY HARD. Low reps and eyeballs-out-of-their-sockets style. Again, most of the time I need to calm myself down, and often it takes huge effort not to fail a practice session.

You should probably know that recovery is the name of the game in strength training. If your recovery is not sufficient, then you will not be stronger. This is the law you cannot violate. Therefore, to make high-frequency training work for a guy with average genetics (me), I need to be VERY precise with training variables. If I do one or two reps or sets more than I should, then the program can fail badly. Oftentimes this fear of doing more takes the fun part out of the training, and it becomes a boring job.

What to do then? Cutting that frequency can be a viable option. Continue reading

Bodyweight Reverse Pyramid Training

Rough Strength Back Lever on RingsSo I have not been releasing new articles for quite some time. You may think: “Ah… He just gets drunk every night and is so hungover that cannot even type”. There is no fucking way for this to be true. I was busy with some useful things, which I will reveal at the end.

And now I would like to kick some ass with an article about the training approach that I consider the one of the most effective out there. Enter the Reverse Pyramid Training.

What Is Reverse Pyramid Training [RPT]?

It all started in my early training days. I experimented a bit with an approach  that everybody called “Reverse Pyramid Training”. There was no information on it, and I had no access to the internet at that time. It was a pure assumption that if you can ramp the weight up every set, you should be able to do it other way around. Due to the lack of expertise and  the moronic race to increase the working weight every session I was not able to get any meaningful results. As a consequence, I dropped the approach and considered it ineffective for some time.

Several years ago I was introduced to a reasonable version of Reverse Pyramid Training by this article. Martin Berkhan claimed it to be “the most successful” for him and his clients. The photos and videos proved his words. After that, I have seen lots of people all over the internet who used this approach with success.

So what is this Reverse Pyramid Training? Continue reading