LOL – poor Andy.
On Tuesday, I went up to Thomasville, NC to visit my buddy Andy Hepler of Hepler Strength & Conditioning (http://www.heplerstrength.com, http://davidsoncountypersonaltrainer.com). We hung out for the day talking training, business, and a variety of other things.
At one point in the day, we ended up at a gym/sports performance facility owned by a buddy of his. When we first got there, the Crossfit coach (not Andy’s buddy) was there, and we were introduced. He kinda tried to give me the typical Crossfit spiel. I countered with a simple argument – “Crossfit has a complete and total lack of programming”.
Things just went downhill from there. LOL. I think the guy was a tad butt-hurt by the time I was done talking to him. Oh well.
Soon after, Andy’s buddy showed up and we all shot the shit for a little bit. This was my first time meeting him and he was cool as hell. He’s a former collegiate linebacker and sorta like most of us – what I call a ‘career meathead’.
Andy’s buddy also owns another business that buys and sells training equipment (almost anything you can think of) wholesale. We went over to his warehouse just to look around…I felt like a kid in a candy store.
While looking around, I came across a Football Bar.
Now, if you don’t know what a Football Bar is, it’s a a bar that has several sets of handles. The handles aren’t perpendicular to the bar itself, neither are they parallel to each other. Rather, they’re at an angle. Football Bars are great because they allow you to put your hands at a position that is easy on the wrists and the shoulders.
(There’s a pic of a Football Bar right there.^^)
I’d never seen a Football Bar in person, so you *know* I had to try it out. I slapped a 45 on each side and banged out a few Clean & Presses. Then a few Rows. Then a few Cleans. Then a few more Cleans & Presses.
As Joey Styles might say….Oh. My. GAAWWWWDDDD!!!!!
I was freakin’ hooked on this bar.
I loved just how it changed the movement pattern for Cleans – put a lot more upper back into it, and allows you to snap your hips with a lot more force. It really takes technique out of the movement. Presses were AWESOME. The positioning of the handles puts your wrists at ease, and even better, it forces your elbows to be pointed in front of you throughout the entire Range of Motion – which is *much* more healthy for the shoulder than having them pointed at your sides while pressing.
I could go on for a while – suffice it to say, I really liked this bar.
A few hours later, Andy and I had left, gotten lunch, and were on our way to pick up his daughter from school. We were talking marketing, and how to target specific markets, how to attract customers, whether hyped-up sales copy was ‘cool’, and other such topics of badassery.
At one point, I made the simple comment that “You know, I’m just a simple guy…”
Andy immediately retorts – fairly loudly, I might add – “I know you are – I had to listen to you talk about that damn Football Bar for 45 FUCKING MINUTES!!!”
Luckily for me, Andy is patient and never gave me the proper STFU I probably needed. LOL.
LMAO – what can I say? I was really impressed with the Football Bar. In fact, I told Andy I could probably develop any program for any goal and never need more than a Football Bar, a Trap Bar, plates, a station for doing chins and dips, and a T-Handle you could load to do swings with about 10 square feet of space. Wanna get fancy? Add some adjustable DB handles and weight plates and maybe an adjustable bench. Wanna really get sophisticated? Add a Prowler.
Tell me – is there anything you couldn’t do with just that stuff? Nope.
In fact, speaking personally, I’ve probably done 99.9% of my own personal workouts with nothing more than adjustable DBs, a medicine ball, a pair of KBs, bodyweight calisthenics, roardwork, and hill sprints for nearly 3 years.
What’s my point?
My point is this – too many people in the fitness industry are trying to over-complicate things and make them out to be more than they really are. You don’t have to be unnecessarily complicated. All you need to do are use basic principles and work your ass off.
Yeah…doesn’t sound real sexy, does it? Too bad – because that’s what works.
Take my own programs – do they work because of some sort of crazy formulas or complicated algorithms or insanely tweaked exercise progression? No way. They work because they apply basic principles in a certain way to achieve certain results.
For example, take the Championship Edition 2.0 MMA Workout. That takes principles of building strength and aerobic capacity, then concentrates on converting that strength to power, then adds in anaerobic conditioning, then uses a smart blend of the two (power and anaerobic conditioning) to simulate the conditioning needs of a professional MMA fight. Nothing overly complicated or ultra-complex exercises. Hell, you don’t even need fancy equipment – you can do the whole thing in your high school weight room.
But it works, because it’s simple.
Take Working Class Cardio. Many of y’all know the drill here – have great cardio without ever doing cardio. Utilize compound movements with explosive athletic exercises using relatively heavy weight, with moderate to high volume. Circuit the exercises together to give localized areas of your body rest, while the heart and lungs work like mofos the entire time.
Use DBs, a medicine ball, and bodyweight calisthenics only to make the workouts easy to perform in any location you want, as well as do many of the movements one limb at a time, which makes you do more work overall (making your heart and lungs work more) while giving your lower body more work and conditioning.
Again – simple concepts applied with a lot of intensity.
(You can see more about Working Class Cardio here.)
Or maybe think about Body Armor. The key to Body Armor is one simple set and rep scheme used with 4 main compound movements. You work at a weight heavy enough to develop strength, but not so heavy you can’t move fast. You move fast enough to develop power, but it’s not so light you won’t get stronger. And you have just enough volume to trigger muscle building, but not so much you can’t concentrate on strength or power. Upper body assistance is centered around strength work and getting bigger. Lower body assistance is centered around power and conditioning.
(You can see more about Body Armor here.)
Is there anything here that’s overly complicated?
These programs all work because they’re simple. I *routinely* get emails from people telling me that they are surprised there’s not more ‘to’ some of my programs, but when they actually do them, they can’t believe how effective they are. They love feeling like they’ve worked their ass off, but not to the point of injury or burnout. They love feeling like they’re hitting a new PR each time they train.
And this is all because the workouts are…well…simple.
And that’s exactly why they’re so damn effective.
Is your training effective? If not, maybe you should simplify.
Have a kickass weekend.
Posted in Cardio, Character/Motivation, Circuit Training, Fat Loss, MMA, Muscle Building, Strength Training | No Comments »