STOP Complicating Your Strength Training & Start Getting STRONG


When I was a 5th year teacher I picked up the local paper, The Star Ledger, and checked the classified ads.

I wanted to see who was selling used gym equipment. Back then, there was nothing fancy for sale. It was barbells, dumbbells and benches. No Hammer Strength. No Cybex. No fancy anything. Just weights.

The ads never had photos so you had to imagine and hoped the words describing the equipment were not full of shyt. Remember, this was 20+ years ago and all you had was a sentence or two describing what was available because people had to pay for ads by the word!

Back then, garage gyms did not exist unless it was the late 60s in Culver City, Ca where the Original Westside Barbell was created thanks to Bill "Peanuts" West.

In my mid 20s, I had never heard of Westside Barbell. I didn't read Powerlifting USA where Louie wrote his articles. Unfortunately, I read FLEX, Muscle & Fitness and Muscular Development Magazine. 

Ironically, my garage gym became very similar to what "Peanuts" built in the 1960s.

I had a squat stand (No Squat Rack), a utility bench, 50 and 100 lb dumbbells, a dip bar, a flat bench and a barbell with 300 lbs.

It was the origins of the Original Gladiator Project. 

Gladiator Project


I was on a 3 day old school bodybuilding split and on Saturdays I would go to a commercial gym for heat and some variety on Saturdays or Sundays. 

I was not yet building The Underground Strength Gym and yet to come across my first strength & conditioning knowledge which started with the Westside Barbell articles.

There was a Gold's Gym off Rt 22 in Green Brook, NJ which was not far from Uncle Tony's Highway Gym, which I wrote about inside IRON JOURNEYS. 

Sometimes my 4th training session was to go outside running or jump rope in the garage and hit a bunch of curls and push ups like Rocky did in Rocky II. I'd love to see more middle school kids doing the same; push ups, curls, jumping rope and running.

Today, there are NO inspiring action movies to inspire the younger generation to train. It is unfortunate and this is why you have to teach kids the basics of push ups and curls. The 80s and 90s, ALL kids knew how to do push ups and curls.

Those Sunday workouts reminded me of the training the inmates told me about when I visited Rahway State Prison; they said that is what they often did when they were on the boxing team. The boxers ran sprints on the track, did hand walking and also ran the stairs in the prison for conditioning.

The basics always deliver results.

The fancy shyt might give you a pump but you'll notice you do NOT feel the strength and power.

Heck, you probably don't even sweat when doing the fancy shyt.

Brilliance with the Basics.

Simple Things done Savagely Well.

Today, the training we do has evolved. I take advantage of the training tools and methods that not only build strength and power, but they keep you healthy. Longevity and Durability; the very traits that many lack due to poor training methods.

This is what we do inside Gladiator STRONG - 7 days FREE Trial HERE. 

2 Responses

  1. Randy-James Williams says:

    If you were to determine strength standards for doing simple things savagely well, what would they be? i.e. 2x bodyweight squat, 2x bodyweight bench etc

    1. Randy, it depends on WHO I am training. These “standards” are massive generalizations. Why? Because you will always see someone weaker in the weight room being better in the sport and vice versa. There are ALWAYS examples of someone defying the “standards”.

      I’d say it also depends on their weight as I look at relative body strength.

      For example, if a 200 lb athlete benches 225, this is different than a 175 lb athlete benching the same.

      I did a short bodyweight standards video here:

      Great article by Pat Basil on SimpliFastr, he has this chart Photo HEREPat Basil Strength Standards

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