10 Basic Attitudes Of A Warrior


I am always learning from others, hunting for ways to improve my knowledge and share it with Team Underground, apply it to my own training and to share with you. While away in upstate NY, I had LOTS of time to think deeply about life & lifting. I feel that all of us should get away every few months to "quiet the mind" & soul search.

I used to be OVERLY influenced by others to a point where I couldn't decide what / how to do things fully on my own. Unfortunately, I see this still today, the man who is too weak to decide for himself & always needs to see what & how everyone else is doing / living before he decides how to act for himself.

This is why we see so much copying on the internet. There are not enough self thinkers. If your mind is always filled with noise, you'll end up being the creation of everyone else, which is NOT what you were put on earth for. Food for thought.....

It was extremely quiet this time of year on the lake, so I was extremely focused and aggressively working on my book AND on myself. My mind was calm yet aggressive, as I was able to think deeply about where the evolution of Underground Strength Nation will be moving in.

I read a lot about training AND the mind while away, had a few conversations with some friends to chat about life and spent time chatting with Louie Simmons, which is always enlightening, even after all these years of speaking with Louie, he never ceases to inspire and educate.

I was also lucky enough to come across these quotes from Cal Dietz, The Strength & Conditioning Coach at The University of Minnesota, that I feel are important to share with you.

From the comments section below, thanks to Keith for his insights:

The first 9 of the 10 Warrior’s basic attitudes come from 'The Book of Five Rings' by Miyamoto Musashi. Musashi was a reknown Samurai and an Artist. He fought and defeated 60 opponents in individual combat by the time he turned 30. After that he turned his life to contemplation of the arts in general and his own martial art specifically.

He wrote The Book of Five Rings just before he died.

I found these words to be inspiring, and, ironically, they relate to ALL the things I speak about in the video below.

10 of The Warrior's Basic Attitudes

1) Think honestly within yourself in your dealings with all men.

2) Constant training is the only way to learn strategy.

3) Become familiar with every art you come across.

4) Understand the way of other disciplines.

5) Know the difference between right and wrong in the matters of men.

6) Strive for inner judgment and an understanding of everything.

7) See that which cannot be seen.

8 ) Overlook nothing, regardless of its insignificance.

9) Do not waste time idling or thinking after you have set your goals.

10) Civilize the mind but make savage the body

And, a bonus quote with some food for thought....

"You Were Born Small & Weak....But Nobody Said You Have To Stay That Way."

[youtube width="640" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfpYNESrt08[/youtube]

I came across MANY powerful "things" the past few days.

The gist is that there are MANY methods to achieve things in all areas of life. But with the fast pace of life and the ability to connect, little is emphasized with regards to commitment, belief, sticking to a plan and being in it for the LONG haul. No one wants to DIG deep enough for the answer, although often times, that answer lies in your own backyard, just like the story of "Acres of Diamonds", the same rings true in your life.

Please drop a comment / question below & share with your friends.

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21 Responses

  1. keith fleming says:

    Hey Zach,
    Thanks for all that you do. I thought you’d be interested to know that the first 9 of the 10 Warrior’s basic attitudes come from The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. Musashi was a reknown samurai and an artist. He fought and defeated 60 opponents in individual combat by the time he turned 30. After that he turned his life to contemplation of the arts in general and his own martial art specifically. He wrote The Book of Five Rings just before he died. Here is a quote from the introduction: “Musashi, who was the ultimate combatant on the field, reveals his techniques for defeating one’s opponents through spirit, awareness and discipline. For him, the only goal is victory: there is no other point to combat, whether in one-on-one confrontations or on the battlefield for his lord. What is gained along the Way of this discipline, however, is a grasp of all the other arts…” (trans. William Scott Wilson). Kokoro spirit all the way. If you haven’t read it yet then add it to the list!

    1. Damn! I didn’t know! I saw this on Cal Dietz’s FB page. You’re the man and YES, I heard of this book but now it’s a MUST read!

      I will clarify and give the added credit on the blog, MUCH respect!

  2. Johnathan Jones says:

    Zach, you never cease to inspire and enlighten. Thanks for all you do. Going through a divorce dealing with a lot. Its gut check time. Homie. I ll have to follow the 10 codes, live the code and get real comfortable with being uncomfortable. Thanks again. Peace

    1. Johnathan, hey bro, I am sorry for your tough times but I am sure these tough times will make U a stronger, better man!!

      The mind is extremely powerful and this is THE time to focus on strengthening yourself in mind, body & spirit.

      Be an ass kicker, brutha!!

  3. Yo Zach this shit is deep it really touched me fam!!!! i’m putting this shit on my blackberry post!1

  4. Hello Zach, I saw somewere on yuor site that you have a kettlebell and bodyweight book to, is this for sale and were can I get it?
    I am a martial artist and I like combining kettlebells with bodyweight like pull-ups, dips and push-ups.
    Or do you maybay have a example off such a workout that will build up strength and maybay even stamina?
    True a knee injurie I cant run to much anymore so I have to siurch for other things.
    Hope you can help me out here.
    And do you think martial artist have to use heavy weights to like deadlift etc.?
    Because I am so confused about all these workouts witch you can find on INternet with these great names like The Ultimate Warrior workout etc.
    I am a martial artist in the first place so I dont have hours a day to train supplementary training, but I do want to get stronger and looking strong (athletic).
    Maybay you even have a suggestion for a 2 or 3 day workout witch I can use at home. I dont have any pulley-stuff so I cant do leg curls, latt pull-downs etc. But I have a barbell, dumbells, bench, 2 kettlebells ( one off 20 and one off 24 kilo) and off course a heavy bag to punch and kick.
    Hope you can help me because as I said I am quit confused about strengthtraining for martial arts. I want to keep it simple but effective and what I read from you it seems that you have a lott off knowledge.

    Take care


    1. Wim, my friend, I hear ya – easy to get confused with all the training programs out there, with our Underground Strength programs, you MUST read the description for each course as each course has a different focus.

      I agree, the Kettlebell and Bodyweight course will be GREAT for you as a Martial Artist: http://www.undergroundstrengthcoach.com/products/hybrid-kettlebell.cfm

      Yes, a martial artist can and still should lift heavy, not limit weights of 1 rep max where U kill yourself, but you can use heavy deads, heavy farmer walks, etc.

      Strength is important for fighters…. Special Strengths are even MORE important for fighters. This is what we work on in The Kettlebell & Bodyweight Hybrid Course: strength endurance, power endurance and speed strength.

      You will also get conditioning in the KB – BW Hybrid Course.

      Keep me posted, brutha!


      1. Hello Zach,

        thank you very much for reacting. I will order that book about kettlebells and bodyweight soon.

        Take care


        1. Hello Zach,

          I have your books Bodyweight bodyvbuilding and they are great.
          Because I saw other routines(again :-() I thuight that bodyweight alone was not good enough for me as martial artist.
          What do you think, if i use the bookks and follow the books from the beginning, do you think that would be a good programm for martial artist, or do you still think you need heavy lifting to?
          And if so, how can I do that, because when I do the bodyweight routine and my martial arts it takes anough time into my weekly schedule.
          And again, I like these books very much but I am not sure if it is good for martial arts. Hope you can give your advice about that.

  5. Wim,
    I know I’m no Zach but I come from a similar background (boxing).
    It all depends if you compete. If you do compete you will have to watch your weight. Which means you can’t allow yourself to bulk up to much. Key here is to maximize your strength but not to bulk up. Means also to watch your nutritional side very carefully. If you don’t compete you got more freedom trainingwise & foodwise.

    For this kind of training I would highly recomend any kind of calisthenics (mind you calisthenics don’t stop with pushups, pullups, etc. – you can always have a progression as handstand pushups, onehand chinups, etc.). Also any sort of hybrid training with kettlebells, sandbags, sled dragging, farmerwalking and speedtraining is useful. Here all of Zachs training style is perfect.

    Beside that any basic strengthtraining should be performed at least once per week – squats (especially frontsquats), deadlifts.

    As a martial artist you need a blend of strength, endurance and speed. Strength alone won’t cut it. They say speed kills – and that is the key for success in any combative sport.

    Also check out Ross Enamait, he’s got good stuff on his site and excellent programms for boxers and MMAs.
    Again, Zach – sorry for mentioning another trainer on yr site here.

    1. Also chek “Convict Conditioning” by P.Wade. Some excellent progressions in there.

      1. Hey Sven,

        thank you for your advice. Its still confusing because when you have to do for example a sort off hybrid workout 2-3 times a week and one strengtraining a week, you have 4 times a week supplementary training besides running etc. So this seems to much.
        I dont compete because off my age, but I still want to be in as good shape as I can.
        When you do for example one day a week strenghtraining how would that look like?
        And I dont think CC will suits me, it takes to long and it seems not like a workout, more something you can do with your normal clothers on. Then I think I like the Bodyweight Bodybuilding books from Zach much more. But when I use them, do I still have to train my strength with weights?

        1. Wim,
          it all depends what you want to achieve and how much you want it and how much time you want to put into it.

          I’ll give you an example. Back in the day when I was training for competition I used to run practically every morning my 5k. I combined that with some calisthenics and mobility work. Then I went to school and in the afternnoon/evening I went to the gym. The gymsessions always consisted of:
          -thourough 30min warmup with mobility, BW calisthenics, shadowboxing, ropejumping, partnerwork
          -technique: the coach went through technical stuff we were working on. This included partner work and practice.
          -sparring for at least 5-10 rounds, before competition we sparred hard.
          -heavy bag or speedwork.
          -cool down with gymnastics

          I did this 4x a week. Sessions lasted about 1.5hrs. Usually I took wednesday off were I put in a basic strenght session at a local gym, basically working on my midsession and I always squated and snatched dumbbells. On weekends we had matches so I only did light gymnastics on those days.

          As you can see – most of the training we did back then was really oldschool AND very near to the sport itself. I only had one day/week for rather heavy lifts (I never overdid it on those days, max. at maybe 80%). I did this basically all year round (talk about overtraining. hahaha) except during summer.

          And I forgot – I bicycled 8km to & from the gym every time, coz I didn’t have the money for a car. Man – I was a bad, bad mofo back then. hahaha, …

          What I want to say is it all depends on you. If you train 4x a week at your martial arts school with quality trainers and partners and you do your running – that should be more than enough if you don’t compete.
          If you train only twice a week I’d mix in some hybrid training into it. As a fighter you don’t even need to lift weights. In my opinion it even hinders you to become the strongest fighter version of yourself – that is if you have a hardworking calisthenics routine in your pack.
          I’ve seen many packed and ripped dudes come to our gym and they didn’t last through our warmup session let alone go 1 single round of sparring.

          If you need some specific help you should outline what you really want to achieve. Hope that helped a bit.

  6. Wim,
    Check out Bruce Lee:
    Was he a big mofo? – No.
    Was he ripped? – yea!
    Was he strong? – hell yea!

    Check out some feats on youtube he was able to do. I bet you no weightlifter can’t even come close to that. He basically trained his skills and did nonstop calisthenics and became the strongest version of himself as a fighter.

    1. Hey Sven,

      I was the same when I was younger, trained everyday off the week. Now I am older and have a full-time job and family its a little bit egoistic to train everyday.
      So I want to train everyday but not for hours, say 2-3 times a week for a hour or a hour and a half and 2-3 times a week a half hour oros, that would be perfect.
      So I thought off kettlebells instead off bodyweight, or both. So I dont know for sure if teh Bodyweight bodybuilder workout would be better for me or the Hybrid kettlebell and bodyweight from Zach.
      I know you can have it all so I have to make a choiche.

      1. Hey Wim,
        then we’re quite similar. I’m well in my forties, family action and tons of work is daily routine. Nevertheless I get my wok in.

        I’m out of boxing, so no more sparring and working at the gym for me. That saves me at least 1h per session. As I’m all about intensity I get my work done within 45min. Beast mode style.

        Other than that I split up like this:
        Monday: strength based with KB, sandbags and lately a barebell.
        Tuesday: endurance based with running in the morning and BW session later on
        Wednesday: Rest
        Thursday: strength based with Hybrid KB, sandbags, etc.
        Friday: endurance based with running and BW work later on.
        Saturday: running and heavier lift work
        Sunday: Rest & family action

        So I alternate endurance BW days with more strength days where I use more weights. Nevertheless I stay close to my roots. Meaning tons of calisthenics and athletic type of training. Heavier lifts I only perform once per week. But this isn’t my primary goal. I’d rather be athletic and durable than beat up and not moveable for my kids.
        The Hybrid KB course and BW course are my main base. Other than that I alternate programms and styles every 8weeks. Gymnastics ala M. Wichlinski are becoming more & more an alternative for me. GTG is also a big part of my daily routine.
        Cheers and Gn8

        1. Hey Sven,

          looks very great! I like the things you say about training more for athletic.
          What is the bookHybrid Kb course look like? Is it a combination with kettlebells with for example pull-ups, dips etc?
          I would like to hear more from yuor workouts for example how your Kb workout looks like and how your strengthroutine, witch you do one day a week, looks like.
          To me I think it would be great to incoperate 2 times a week a kettlebell hybrid style off workout and one day a strength workout.
          Do you think that the Kb Hybrid workouts are not to long?
          I mean, I think that if yuo trani with Kb for a half hour you can get smoked.
          So can you please give me some examples off a detailed workout so maybay I can learn from it and pick some things out off it?
          You may mail me directly, its maybay better. I think I will order the book from Zach, but doiing his Bodyweight bodybuilder workout and the Kb Hybrid workout seems to much.
          As I said, I think the 2 day kettlebell and one day pure strength would suit me quit fine, espaccially if the workouts dont take to much time but still will give reults 🙂
          You can mail me at: lokate@home.nl
          Take care

  7. Hey Wim,
    without giving too much away, Zachs Hybrid KB workout basically combines a press routine with a pull routine. Either KB or BW. Every session has different elements and combinations to it so it never gets boring. He mixes it up really well and with good intensity it takes me about 25min to get through it. Before that I have my warmup routine and after it I usually do a metcon thing (like 100 snatches, 400swings, etc.). So all in all it takes about 1h.
    It’s a great base to work from and I can highly recommend it. If nothing else you get good ideas for your own programming.
    You will need at least one KB (better two), jump rope and something to do pullups. I use a selfmade pullup station with some rings (great for dips, gymnastics, etc.). The KB size should be that you can do the snatch test with (100 snatches, 5min) or at least 10-15 C&P in a row. If you have two of those it should be perfect.

    The KB session usually crushes me. So I do it only two times a week. BW leaves you tired but never crushes you. That’s why I alternate it with the other workouts. Also you don’t have to strictly follow Zachs programms. You can stretch it out a bit. So instead of 3 BW sessions and 2 Hybrid sessions a week you do 2 BW and one KB session and one lift day per week.

    On the lift days I use a classic powerlifting routine and do my squats and deadlifts and weighted pullups. I never max out on them as I’m not so interested on setting PRs. Also I started to learn some Olympic lifting lately so I work on my technique.

    But as I said – I change my training ever so often to mix things up. I want to have fun. I train for life, to stay fit and athletic and not for brute strength and PRs. Also I incorporate fun sessions where I just do what I feel like.

    1. Hello Sven,

      off course I can respect that you dont want to give away all the things from the book.

      Sometimes I think to much in weeks, I mean, for myself I have to do 3 supplementary workouts a week, but I cant say why.

      Sometimes I was so obsessed for the supplementary training that I completly forgot what I was training for.
      I think I get it a little bit in perspective now. For now I think I will work with kettlebells, follow the Bodyweight Bodybuilder programm, till I have the money to buy the Hybrid kettlebell book. It seems like a very good book.

      I have to be honest, I cant train everything. If I train with bodyweight for several weeks I miss the kettlebell, if I train with kettlebells I miss the barbell or the bodyweight.

      I have to train more on what I think myself, I have always done that, and it has always works great. When I compete I was quit good and that was just the way I trained myself.
      I get a little bit older to, 52, so I have to accept that I cannot do all the things that I could when I was younger.

      But if I see guys my age I think I am in a very good shape, and thats important for me.

      Thanks for all your answers and help. I like the Zach approach very much I know now. so I take a bit off him to 🙂

  8. Alberto from the Chi says:

    Yo Big Z, I know you and ya family are safe because a beast like u knows how to respond in situations like this. So I know it goes without saying but be safe and stay strong and my prayers are with you and ya family and wishing the east coast a fast recovery. The world needs your training.

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"Zach Even - Esh is the Charles Atlas of Powerlifting / Weightlifting / Athletic Training. He is a walking inspiration. A kick in the ass for all of us."
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