Dominate In Training AND Life: Tips from Myself, John Jesse & WARRIOR Man



Regardless of the type of athlete you are, your training and your mindset should be focused around these 3things:

1) Prepare

2) Prevail

3) Dominate

If you compete, compete to WIN.

If you train, train to WIN.

If you're a Coach, stop straying from basics and learn to perform the brilliance with basics. Perform the simple things savagely well.

The real world doesn't hand out participation trophies, you only get rewarded for kicking ass and taking names. Don't confuse winning with more likes on Instagram or more retweets on Twitter.

Let me simplify and set the record straight with tips from a book that was published before I was born.

Credit to John Jesse, author of Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia

Remember when I told you that "you can see it in their eyes?"

This is a team of Division 1 Wrestlers (Lehigh University) training at The Underground Strength Gym.

Take a look at their intensity.

You can literally see it in their eyes! Their facial expressions show that they are attacking and being relentless.

When I was working with The Lehigh University Wrestling Team as their Strength & Conditioning Coach, twice a week I would drive 105 miles each way. I wake up around 4:30 AM and hit the road at 5:30 AM. I've been waking up early for a long time but the fire in my OWN eyes before I head up to Lehigh to train these guys in tremendous.

Intense, Assertive, Determined & Aggressive.

Winning in LIFE

This fire sometimes makes me feel "weird". "Normal People" feel weird around you so they will try to question your actions or make you feel weird for being intense and passionate.

Do NOT conform to their norms.

The majority of people you speak with will tell you about their own 9-5 work, "It pays the bills" or "It is what it is"......

If you feel strange for having passion, for being intense, for being a hard worker, remember the old saying of You are the Average of your 5 closest friends.

Or, as Dan Pena says, Show me your friends and I'll show you your future.

Don't let yourself conform to the norms of going through the motions and "paying the bills".


Take PRIDE in Training Hard, regardless of your Age. I understand nowadays the teens we train at The Underground Strength Gym, if they're hanging with their friends, their friends often say, You're crazy, don't go there, just come with me to ______ Gym.

Their "friends" try to get them to go to a local globo gym where the majority of people there are taking selfies and doing more talk than work.

Your REAL friends should inspire you to rise above the norms and to shoot for Nothing Less than EXCELLENCE.

I came across a GREAT quote, I plan on putting this on our gym wall to remind myself and the athletes of What it Takes.....

“Good, Better, Best.

Never Let it Rest.

Until the Good is Better
and the Better Best.”

Don't complicate what this quote means.

It's simple. Most times, the most effective means of training is simple. Don't complicate things and never stray from simplicity.

Talk about Simple......

I asked my friend who wrestled D1 and we now Coach together at Rutgers, Who was the toughest guy you ever wrestled?

He told me a story about a guy he wrestled in college, back in the early 90s when Wrestling Teams had NO strength coaches.

He said this guy would go running through the trails with a ruck sack, if he found a stone he would load it in his back pack.

When the stones no longer fit, he would carry them on his run. This wrestler also grew up on a farm. He was known for chopping wood, carrying heavy odd objects and my buddy described this wrestler as "Having Freak Strength".

You can't go wrong with those basics:

  • Sprints
  • Carries
  • Calisthenics
  • Sled Drags

My original training of athletes was a blend of this farm boy type training mixed in with old school / Golden Era basic Bodybuilding.

Passion for Life and Passion for Training.

We are our own community around the world. Just remember that, when you train alone and crush your training, when you have passion for your work, you are NOT alone!

Till the next time,


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10 Responses

  1. I purchased a copy of John Jesse’s book about a year and a half ago…great purchase for sure! What is now considered “functional” and “cutting edge”; Jesse was doing that stuff back in the 70’s!

    1. Nick, I hear ya!!! I have books from late 1800s and early 1900s doing the same!!!

      Squats will soon be the new fad!

  2. Dustin Maynard says:

    When I was an assistant Wrestling coach—I had some boys on the team that were fierce!!!!

    The head coach had me actually wrestle with some of these kids, and not just coach them techniques. When I was wrestling in HS, i was 275ish. A superheavyweight, then as an assistant coach—i was hovering around 190. I had to learn new technique myself to keep up with these lions and not just rely on the “bear grab and throw” 🙂

    To get myself in shape, I kept my training simple. A ton of pushups, chin-ups, sit ups, bodyweight squats, sprints. I also did the “two hands to neck” and the side lift up to shoulder. The best exercise for me was lifting my partially water-filled keg, about 135lbs or so. I would pick it up waist high then heave it to my shoulder, lower it to my waist, heave it to the opposite shoulder and did so for reps. It gassssssssed me out. It felt just like I was wrestling a little lion.

    Even though I wasn’t wrestling. I felt it was important to be a role model for these kids, by staying strong and fit. They really liked it when I was involved with them–they always wanted to “beat the coach” at the exercises, which in turn made them work harder. I had no problem huffing and puffing to make the team stronger.

    1. DM – Yea man, kids love the coaches training and leading the way for them

      Kids need role models and coaches who embody hard work!

  3. Life’s moto. Don’t underestimate, just dominate!!! Attack life with meaning and it’ll have true purpose. The hardest part is applying it.. listen to your body, and control your mind. That’s what training has taught me the most. Make working out FUN,regardless if you’re lifting alone. NO ONE is going to get it done but you. I used to “hate” the people who were all gung-ho about training, but 2-4 weeks of training they would bail, Due to lack of “balls” . It sounds harsh, but it’s true. After 5 different workout partners, I gave up. But instead of “hating” them(which was way to harsh because you should never hate. It’s hard on the body,mind, and soul and when you train you need all three at tip-top shape) Anyway, I learned from my experiences. When we were training(my old partners) they were always a step behind(because I’m always training) which caused me to be more creative (with the basics, free weights, heavy bags, random logs, rock/stone throwing, sledge hammer work etc and for good cardio, parkour[GREAT way to make jogging fun.]) which caused me to become better ’cause I was challenging myself and I didn’t even realize it. So, if you have a similar experience with partners, learn from your experience because they have/had more to offer than you think/realize. Challenge yourself, it’s life. As for plateaus, maybe it’s something in your personal life effecting your training, think about it.

  4. Awesome video blog, Zach. And awesome comments in the comments section too!

    Relating this to tennis (my favourite sport to watch and play), the dedication required to win grand slams is something Andy Murray has applied, thanks in part to Ivan Lendl and his coaching skills. The results speak for themselves.

    You mentioned Zach the need to build all-round fitness. Andy Murray has done just that: he’s stronger, more muscular, faster, greater physical endurance over long matches, more flexible, and mentally tougher too.

    1. Dominic, thnx bro! I LOVE tennis, my daughter is big time into tennis and her strength helps her play well

      Down the road, I see strength as THE critical method to prevent and reduce injuries of overuse!

  5. Great to see these guys attacking everything that gets in front of them!
    Got a bunch of killers there!

  6. I also purchased John Jesse’s book after you referenced it Zach. It’s incredibly detailed and ‘advanced’ too. Thanks for the tip.

    1. Nick you’re a smart man, the book is all about getting stronger and tougher, ya can’t go wrong!!

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