1. Have a clearly defined goal.
You can’t put 50 pounds on your squat, lose 50 pounds of fat and gain 50 pounds of muscle at the same time, while simultaneously training for a bodybuilding contest and a world record in the hammer throw.
2. Train for performance, first and foremost.
It’s very hard to see size gains or even fat loss gains from day to day but you can see performance improvements on a regular basis, if you train properly.
3. Set new PR’s regularly.
It could be on a big lift, a gymnastics hold or how many double unders you can do with the jump rope. You can’t do the same thing over and over and expect to see any significant changes. Setting PR’s (personal records) ensures results and fun.
4. But know when to back off.
There will be workouts when you can’t improve on anything. That’s perfectly normal. Don’t freak out about it. Deload weeks should also be taken after 6-8 weeks of intense training.
5. Don’t be a program hopper.
ADD is a very bad thing. These days it’s why most people fail. Pick the most productive exercises and methods and get good at them. It’s the best way to make long term progress. You can’t change things randomly every week and expect to get anywhere.
6. Foam roll before training.
Hit the hams, IT bands, glutes, inner thighs, calves, and back. Even better than the foam roller is the Rumble Roller.
7. Static stretch first.
If you are going to static stretch because you need to in order to get into certain positions, the best time to do it is after you foam roll and before you start your dynamic warm up. That way there’s no chance of it making you weaker or “dampening your CNS” since plenty of time will elapsed between the stretches and the time you get under the bar.
8. Use a lacrosse ball on your piriformis, pecs and upper back.
You’ll hate me at the time but will thank me later.
9. Do some type of dynamic warm up for 5-15 minutes before you start lifting heavy.
This should include stuff like jumping jacks, leg swings, hurdle drills, mobility work, isometric bridging exercises, activation drills, etc.
10. Do hurdle mobility drills.
Hip mobility is very important and goes quickly as you age. If you have good hip mobility your likelihood of having lower back problems will be reduced.
11. Jump or throw something after your warm up and before you start your main lift.
It fires up your CNS and better prepares you to move some heavy shit. Explosiveness is another quality that disappears with age. Don’t lose it.
12. Be explosive on every rep.
Even your warm ups (to a point, you don’t have to explode the empty bar so excessively that you dislocate your shoulder). This fires up your CNS and fast twitch fibers.
13. Don’t cause excessive fatigue on your warm up sets.
But don’t rush them or neglect them either. Keep the reps low to moderate and find the balance.
14. Make smaller jumps en route to your top end set.
When working up to a heavy triple, double or single it’s best to use smaller jumps and take about 6-12 sets to get to your max. You will find that your top end sets feel lighter when you do this versus if you just jumped right into them after only a few warm up sets.
It’s an essential human movement pattern. Do it with a bar in front or back, goblet style, with kettlebells, or with weight overhead. Just do it. That’s all that matters.
16. Always squeeze the bar as hard as you can.
Trying to crush it, on every lift you do. This will ensure tightness.
17. Squeeze your glutes tightly and brace your abs on every standing exercise.
This will help protect your spine and elicit more full body tension. Tension equals strength.
18. Always maintain optimal posture throughout your sets.
Never let your shoulders slouch forward or your lower back round out.
19. Do more moving and supporting on your hands.
Practice handstands against the wall, do Power Wheel hand walks, lateral hand walks, alligator pushups, partner assisted wheel barrow walks, etc. This is great for building up strength and stability in the shoulders.
20. Use thick handles or Fat Gripz as often as possible.
This will strengthen the hands/grip and build up bigger forearms. It also alleviates elbow and shoulder stress.
21. An awesome workout template goes like this:
Some type of jump or throw for power development, big barbell lift for maximal strength development, bodyweight exercises for assistance work, strongman finisher. Try it.
22. Don’t train to failure.
This fries your CNS, increases the likelihood of injury and makes it harder to recover from one workout tot he next. Leave a rep in the tank.
23. Incorporate more static gymnastic holds.
Front levers, handstands, planche work and l-sits are all essentials in Renegade programs. They build insane levels of strength and athleticism that can’t be duplicated with other methods.
24. Don’t use less than 60% of your max on any exercise (unless you’re training for speed).
The resistance won’t be enough to stimulate any size or strength gains and will serve very little purpose. (There are some exceptions but this is a pretty good rule to follow)
25. Jump rope.
Doing so will improve your foot speed and conditioning.
26. Do more exercises standing than sitting or lying down.
You sit or lie down to relax; not to train.
27. Pick heavy shit up off the ground.
This is a basic fundamental law of being strong.
28. Carry heavy shit.
Exercises like farmers walks simultaneously strengthen the traps, lower back, grip, hips, knees and ankles. They’re tough to beat.
29. Press, support or carry heavy shit overhead more often.
The more overhead work you do the more you will bulletproof your shoulders against injury. Most people do too much horizontal pressing and not even vertical.
30. Do more pushups.
Though often overlooked, pushups are still one of the greatest exercises in the world and always will be. If you are beyond the beginner level figure out creative ways to load them (weight vests, plates on back, chains, bands) or make them harder (steep incline, 1 arm, modified planche, divebomber, on rings, etc.).
For God’s sake, people, stay in shape!”
- Louie Simmons
31. Decrease your rest periods.
Heed Louie’s words. One of the ways to do so is cut your rest periods when appropriate.
32. Do something active 5 days per week.
Three or four 45 minute heavy lifting sessions will get you strong, but you won’t necessarily be well conditioned or healthy. You want to have all three covered. The body is meant to move everyday. It’s how we evolved. If you only strength train three days you should definitely be out doing something active another two or three days. Even if it’s just going for a walk or doing some mobility work get moving.
33. Take one day completely off.
The body needs a break once in a while.
34. Don’t train for more than an hour.
Your testosterone levels will drop and cortisol levels will start climbing.
35. Run, jump, climb and crawl.
It’s what your body was designed to do. Simply lifting weights is not enough. You have to MOVE!
36. Minimize loaded spinal flexion.
Your spine will thank you later. That’s not to say you can’t do some, like if you’re lifting stones. But if you’re injury prone I’d heed the overwhelming body of evidence telling us that this can be dangerous.
37. Listen to your body.
When you have nagging pains it’s almost always better to train around them than through them. Trust me.
38. Take a week off when your body needs it.
For most people a deload week is actually better than a week off. But if you’re over 35-40 you will probably benefit more from a complete week off every 12-16 weeks.
39. Reps get you swole ONLY IF…
You’re not a beginner anymore and have built up a good foundation of strength. If you’re relying on pump work as someone who is tiny and weak you will probably remain that way. Get strong first then hit the rep work.
41. Get at least 20 minutes of sunlight per day.
Vitamin D is critically important to your health and performance and natural sunlight is the best source. During the winter you need to supplement with it.
42. Do hill sprints.
They shred bodyfat, crank up your conditioning and toughen you up. Plus Walter Payton did them which makes them awesome.
43. Go to bed by 10:30 every night. Eleven at the latest.
That means turn the TV and computer off and do your body some good.
44. Get 8-9 hours of sleep.
It’s very difficult to get bigger, faster, stronger or leaner on minimal amounts of sleep.
45. Get up at the same time every day.
This will help ensure optimal/consistent hormonal balance and performance levels.
46. Take naps.
It’s an awesome way to boost recovery and get a little surge of growth hormone.
47. Get Active Release done.
This will make a world of difference in your recovery.
48. Take contrast baths or showers after training.
Hot as you can handle for 1-3 minutes. Cold as you can handle for 30-60 seconds. Repeat for 10 minutes.
49. Get massages.
Being dedicated to this on a regular basis over the last few years has made a tremendous difference in how I feel. The key is to find a really good masseuse who really knows what’s up.
50. Train outside from time to time.
Bring a bunch of stuff outside and get after it. Or just go to the park and do a bunch of bodyweight stuff on the monkey bars alternated with some kettlebell swings. But do something.
It’s a great stress reducer. Excess stress makes us fatter. Then it kills us. I use and highly recommend Holosync.
SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT
52. Pick up a copy of Muscle Gaining Secrets.
It’s an awesome program that I’ve used with a lot of so called “hardgainers” to achieve very impressive results.
53. Or, if you really wanna get down Renegade style, join The Inner Circle.
That’s where all the cool people hang.
Start incorporating any or all of those tips today and pretty soon it will be impossible for you to walk into a room without people stopping to note, “That dude’s fuckin awesome.”
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