Eliminate The Useless Crap

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Training

doug-youngLet’s face it.

You’re busy.

And you have very little time to spend debating what you should do in the gym or what you should be eating.

So I’m going to make it easy for you.

First, let’s cover your workouts. You’re going to train 3-4 days per week and you’re going to get in and out of the gym in 45-60 minutes.

This helps to keep your testosterone levels high and allows you to maintain maximum focus throughout.

You’re always going to choose big, compound exercises for each body part. Starting from the top down you will do the following movements:

Traps- Deadlift, snatch, high pull or clean.

Shoulders– Dumbbell or barbell military presses or handstand pushups.

Chest– Ring pushups, ring dips, incline dumbbell presses, 15-30 degree barbell incline presses.

Lats & Upper/ Mid Back– All variations of chin ups, inverted rows and 1 arm dumbbell rows.

Biceps- Standing hammer or dumbbell curls.

Triceps- Dips and close grip pushups.

Lower Back, Glutes and Hamstrings- More deadlift variations, kettlebell swings, glute ham raises.

Quads- Squats (goblet, front, back, safety bar, single leg, pistol, split) and sled drags.

Simple, right?

No machines, nothing complicated.

Don’t waste time searching for 739 other fancy exercises that won’t work any better than what I just listed.

What About Conditioning?

Your head is probably spinning from all the cardio recommendations you read about regularly. So let’s cut through the junk and simplify it.

You’re going to do hill sprints.

That’s it.

That simple.

Twice a week to start, for a total of 15-20 minutes. Over time you can work up to 30 minutes and add an extra day if you want.

Why hill sprints?

Well first of all because it’s that’s what Walter Payton did and we should all try to emulate “Sweetness.”

Secondly, when the weather permits, you should get off the bike or treadmill and get outside more often. And mainly because there is nothing any simpler or more effective that you can do.

Sprints on flat ground are great but require some technique and a long warm up; something which people may not always have time for. Sprints with a sled or Prowler are awesome but not everyone has one.

Most people can find a hill somewhere. And don’t worry about the distance. If your hill is only 30 yards you will do 30 yard hill sprints with as little rest as needed for 15-20 minutes.

Over time you will simply try to do more sprints and decrease your rest periods. If your hill is 100 yards, then you sprint 100 yards, or as far up the hill as you can get.

Don’t over think it.

That’s a one way ticket to Keyboard Warriorsville, a place where the population is small, fat and weak.

How About Diet?

Can anyone really tell me they don’t know that Big Mac’s and candy aren’t healthy?

You know what’s healthy.

You just have to commit to eating those foods.

Today I want you to throw out everything in your house that comes in a bag or a box. Straight to the garbage.

You’ll only eat foods that a caveman would have been able to eat. Organic grass fed meats, wild caught fish, fertile eggs, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. That’s it throughout most of the day.

After training and/or at dinner have some organic white rice or sweet potatoes.

If you need a treat at night have some really high quality organic dark chocolate. But just a square or two.

See how easy that was?

Get started today and keep me posted on your progress.


63 Responses to Eliminate The Useless Crap

  1. Andy Campbell June 25, 2009 at 8:24 am #

    Fantastic tips as always my man. Keep up the great work. And yes, that chick has some sick quads. No question she is loading more 45’s than me on a squat. I need to get my weight up.

  2. Mike R June 25, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    Love the article. I wish I had discovered your site years ago. Motivational and informational. Cannot ask for more. Peace.

  3. Dave Hedges June 25, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    Simplicity itself.

    It’s amazing how nobody wants to do the basics.

    No foundation=No Results

  4. Billy June 25, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    Effin amazing post man! Cutting right through the b.s and getting to the truth and the simplicity of it all!
    Way too many people (including myself) over think things!
    I read that you cycle carbs and have high fat days? Can you elaborate on that or maybe in a future post?
    Thanks man..keep up the kick ass info.

  5. jasonferruggia June 25, 2009 at 9:24 am #

    Thanks AC, you’ll get there.

    Really appreciate the comments, Mike R.

    Yes it is, Dave.

    Billy, glad you liked it. Yes, I can discuss that in the future.

  6. Russell June 25, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    In a world where everyone touts “scientifically tested” programs and diets, people tend to think that it has to be insanely complex or it won’t work.

    Yet, we are reminded daily that to do things well and to do things right, you really only need KISS.

    Simplicity is too overlooked, and of course common sense is out the window. Thanks for trying to remind people that neither simplicity nor common sense are a bad thing. (Hell, people act like it is… and no surprise, they’re the stupid ones…)

  7. phil June 25, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    I agree totally with Billy above, (the first part) As usual right on the money, and a kick ass picture to boot. The only thing I’d change is to ditch the barbell curls until you can do some serious pullups.

  8. carmine June 25, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Great information, i have always trusted and (continue to) in the practise of compound excercises, ill try some hill sprints. i mean lets face it 100 meter sprinters are jacked right.

    by the way, hot pic……
    ladies if you wanna know how to keep a guy, pay close attention (other things count ofcourse)…..lol

    jason where are the videos man????

  9. Greg June 25, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Jason, you’re a f’n maniac man! I love the simple nature and attitude you carry toward the people you’re preachin’ to. I do get caught up in overthinking my training and this article brought it all back home for me.

    Do you still recomment SunWarrior protein? Looking for a quick high protein source that is all real no b.s. filler.

    Thanks for being true to what you believe.

    It is hard to read the post when that picture keeps taunting me to look at it again.

  10. Ronnie June 25, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    Hey J,thanx as always for ur great no nonsense tips.Been living in Los angeles for the past 4 years,before that London.Right now am working in Bujumbura, Burundi,a small country in east africa. Finally i got the time to really get into the gym and do some serious workouts. All foods are organic here but what recommendation would u give me as regards a good protein source considering the fact that it’s hard to come across protein supplements here.? My main goal is lean mass.

  11. Hilbert June 25, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    Keep it simple! Just the way I like it. (And a hot girl with great legs…I like that too)

    Just one question. I can’t find a hill to sprint against in my neighbourhood, because I live in probably the flattest country in the world: The Netherlands. And when I say flat I mean flat.
    The direct translation of ‘rural area’ in Dutch is ‘the flat ground’ (=’het platteland’) , just to give you an idea.

    Because of this I do sprints on my stationary bike.
    My question is how much my fat loss results will be affected by sprinting on a bike instead of against some hill?
    Do you have some alternatives maybe?


  12. Rob June 25, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    Incredible! I wish I had read this 20 years ago when I was a young teenage punk doing all the wrong things with weights. Thanks for the great article Jason. I’m printing two copies and putting one in the gym and the other on the refrigerator as reminders of the key fundamentals that are so often forgotten when you let yourself get lost in the latest fads.

  13. jasonferruggia June 25, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    I really have no idea what you have access to. You don’t need more than .6 to .8 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight daily so don’t get stressed out about it. You should be able to get some lean meats or fish, nuts and legumes to help you reach that number.

  14. jasonferruggia June 25, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    Hilbert, I would run flat ground sprints before I hit the bike. If you are trying to get strong the sprints on flat ground would be a better choice than the bike. The bike will drain your strength more.

  15. jasonferruggia June 25, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    Thanks for all the comments so far guys

  16. Doug June 25, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    What you said has been said before, but never quite so…poignantly. Great post. Keep up the good work.

  17. Chase Karnes June 25, 2009 at 5:33 pm #


    Great post! People always over complicate shit.

  18. Steven Combs June 25, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    My progress today is:
    Sprints 3/4 mile total. 6 min…….(need to do better heh.)
    Tomorrow is rest day and Saturday we lift.

  19. Joseph Benne June 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

    Ciao Jason,

    Enjoy reading your e-letters/blogs. You and I share similiar and common thinking and philosophy regarding training and fitness. Your no nonsense, B.S. free, “just give me the truth and facts” articles and advice are truly refrshing and appreciated. I would love to do the hill sprints, but no hills in my neck of the woods for miles…sooo, I love to do stair/step running and jumps, running/walking 2 steps at a time with somewhat heavy dumbells…good stuff! Also started to augment my training with bear crawls..another truly outstanding and functional exercise…old school but will give you an @ss kicking workout when done correctly.

    I basically follow a similiar routine to the one you posted today, with a few variations of my own…including vertical wall pushups with different hand spacing to add/increase the intensity factor…

    I get the feeling your are not too big on grains and dairy… but I do enjoy goat cheese, sheep feta cheese, and some kefir/yogurt several timesa week… also partake of maca root powder and rice bran solubles extract, usually with my whey protein drink and a little pure 100% cocoa powder…

    Health, happiness and blessings,

  20. adam June 25, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    Maybe include some ab or core work in there and a dynamic warmup and that article in my opinion is right on the money !!! Love your motivational / educational info bro !! Great read !!

  21. JMJ June 25, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    Great post. This has been almost my current routine to a T, for the past month. I’m doing a similar routine currently in my own training targeting the “big lifts” for 5 sets of 5. I really like that rep range, you can move some serious weight. My ESD days are running stairsin my gym, instead of hills outside. Good chit man, great post.

  22. Adam June 25, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    Probably one of the best articles I have read thus far.
    As a PT manager, I just got all the info I need for our next meeting. I just hope the other trainers take it on board.
    Thanks Jason

  23. hemendra June 25, 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    Hi Jason, I’ve been reading ur articles regularly and must say they r informative and beneficial. I’d like u to suggest me an intermediate fitness routine which includes weight training , swimming and abs workout every week . I can spare only an hour and half from my schedule for any fitness activity daily. I’am an ectomorph and need to get muscular and ripped. Also suggest me a diet plan. Thank u.

  24. nathan June 25, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    great article, really basic.. but thats the beauty! i live in Bahrain, so there are no hills to seen and its 50 degrees this time of year! guess i will stick to the treadmill and rower for now.

  25. Scott Brady June 26, 2009 at 4:02 am #

    Just wanted to echo some of the other posters, in that your articles are well written (i.e. enjoyable to read), informative and helpful.

    Keep up the great work Jason.


  26. jasonferruggia June 26, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    Thanks Doug.

    Chase, I followed the link to your mythbusters article. Great stuff!

  27. jasonferruggia June 26, 2009 at 8:34 am #

    Stair running and bear crawls are awesome. Big fan.

    Dairy and grains are not at the top of my list of healthy foods but I do like maca a lot.

    Thanks for the comments.

  28. jasonferruggia June 26, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    Jimmy Jacob,
    Try doing some fat bar holds, towel hangs, plate pinch gripping, hexagon dumbbell holds and get yourself and IronMind.com Captains of Crush gripper.

  29. Joey G June 26, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    Haha…”Keyboard Warriorsville”…people are ridiculous out there, especially kids…i was at the pool yesterday and some mother told her son to swim 10 laps, and the kid couldn’t even swim half the pool ONCE (that’s what, about 15 yards?)…get off the joystick, keyboard, and your ass and listen to what jay says..get outside, run, and workout, you can find time for it with Jay’s workouts..

    all the love

  30. On a limb with Claudia June 26, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    When I started, we talked about simple – simple foods, simple workouts. But as the money came to fitness, everything becomes so freakin’ complicated… and stupid expensive.

    Thanks for keeping it simple.

    What do you think – the girls an ice skater? Triple jumper? They have legs like that.

  31. jasonferruggia June 26, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    That’s absolutely pathetic. People are so out of shape it’s insane.

    Ice skater’s a good guess. I didn’t think of that.

  32. Dan Z June 26, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    Great stuff, J.
    It really is simple: get in there and train. The harder the better. Rest. Repeat.

    I too have been doing the maca thing lately. Can I ask: How do you like to take yours, and when?

    Thanks as always for the inspiring posts. Now I’m off to set a deadlift PR…

  33. Nia Shanks June 27, 2009 at 12:43 pm #


    Your blog is truly a breath of fresh air in the midst of fitness bull shit and training “paralysis by analysis.”

    Great stuff as usual. : )

  34. symc June 27, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    I’m guessing that the girl’s a former gymnast.
    All those one-legged movements…

  35. Westy June 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    hahah that’s a great poster. Nice post! Thanks.

  36. Dan June 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    Great stuff,

    Found your website few weeks ago from elitefts, (dont know if your still part of the team but doesnt matter)..and your website rocks!!
    Bench,row,squat,deadlift..very similar to Wendler 5/3/1 …and why not? Good stuff is good stuff….

  37. Matty Holmes June 29, 2009 at 8:34 am #

    Hell yeah I see the quads on her, good thing im sitting at a table so no one can see my chubby haha!!

    I am doing a very basic and simple program like this to help keep on mass and cut down before vacation and 3 weeks later I am lookin good!!! Simple and affective

  38. Kelly M June 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm #

    I asked a coworker to check out her level of muscularity and she thought her legs were ‘huge’. And a number of others also thought her legs were ‘huge’. To me she looks athletic and strong, but when you take a poll from a large population of sedentary people, I guess that’s the sort of answer you can expect.

  39. FenderBender June 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    Im down…Squats whatever. I just realized something the bigger your legs look the smaller your waist looks….. Works for chicks

  40. jasonferruggia June 29, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Usually in my shake in the morning.

  41. jasonferruggia June 29, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Thanks a lot. I appreciate that

  42. jasonferruggia June 29, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    Thanks man. I am still good friends with Jim and Dave but don’t do as much on the site anymore. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  43. jasonferruggia June 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    That is a good thing. I have to do the same every time I look at that pic.

  44. jasonferruggia June 29, 2009 at 6:49 pm #

    That’s not shocking. But it is sad. The truth is the circumference of her legs is probably smaller than half the people you asked.

  45. jasonferruggia June 29, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    The smaller something else looks as well. Thanks for reminding me. I’m done training legs from now on…

  46. Gary Eskow July 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm #


    The tips are great, thanks for sharing them. Age related issues are a concern for me, as is the fact that I play tennis 4-6 times a week in the summer- intense singles matches lasting two hours or more. As a result of constant pounding on both hard and soft courts, back (disc) and tendonitis are always to be contended with.

    I work out with weights about three times a week, but sometimes for no more than 25 minutes at a time. Jarrod has helped a lot… the squats and dead lifts have helped my speed=== my friends and opponents have commented on the increased quickness!

    Thanks for what you do!


  47. Jack Nagy July 7, 2009 at 6:01 am #

    Hey Jason,

    Just wondering; I currently do Muay Thai twice a week, which is a full contact martial art… I always come out of the gym dripping with sweat because of it. Can I just count that as a cardio work out (same as the hill sprints)?

    And another thing; how should I determine what weights to start off with for all those exercises?


  48. Jon Ellithorpe July 16, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    –Pulled a muscle seriously on hill sprints last week, but my bad. There is a gentle swoop the first 30 yards and then it gets seriously steep. I was stopped dead in my tracks like I’d been shot about 6 paces into the 6th attempt.

    So .. .. I’ll warm up a bit more when I get back to it. I’ll move up and start at the steepest part of the hill. Also, I’ll do some single-leg dead lifts with a medicine ball to stretch out the hams. –Love the idea of getting back out again (I was a runner a long while back before taking up lifting). Hey, please note the May 2009 issue of Men’s Journal. NASA (kind of late to the game) is just discovering what Jason is saying: heavy, basic lifts in the 4-8 range, explosive moves and sprints on off days. All the Jason!

  49. jasonferruggia August 3, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    Thanks for the comments. Be sure you are eating an anti inflammatory diet and taking an ample amount of fish oil.

    Yes, that is sufficient conditioning. You should pick a weight that you can do to near failure.

    Science always catches up with in-the-trenches-experience years and years later. Thanks for sharing.

  50. tim December 7, 2009 at 8:03 pm #


    Thanks for all the info and tips you provide on your site. I have been reading the site for the past few years and I’ve made pretty good improvements in the weight room. I was a basketball and football player in high school and graduated around 185-190 lbs at 6’2, now im 230 at around 12% bodyfat and even more athletic than I was back then. I’ve just recently started to dedicate myself even more to strength training (quit drinking on the wknds) and I’ve gone from a 275lb deadlift to a 415 max this past year, bench is about 315-325, and squat is around 400lbs. I’m going back to college and ive decided I want to walk-on and play football at rutgers. I just moved to jersey a few weeks ago with my gf from DC and think I should come lift at your place sometime in the near future! Thanks for sharing all your knowledge!


  51. Tyler February 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Good post Jason you don’t know how many people i see wasting away their time in the gym on leg presses and leg curls while the squat rack next to me is always empty

  52. Ross February 16, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    I didnt see farmers walk in there. I like the looks of “what the hell is he doing” when I do this at the gym.

  53. Joe May 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    your loss is heartbreaking. May you find peace and strength.

  54. Iris Collado August 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    What is your opiniong about treadmill hill sprinting? Is it effective as outside hill spriting?

    Thank you


  55. Sam August 11, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    And people will STILL find a way to fuck this up. Guaranteed.

  56. tihomir101 August 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Great stuff as always Jason! Straight forward,basic and so true Cut the finesse shit,do raw work and the results will come Keep it up Jay

  57. Steve August 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Adam, cry me a river.

    I witnessed my father get shot in the face point blank with a magnum. His brains blew out right before my eyes. I am scarred for life. Don’t talk to me about losing a loved one. I lost mine in the WORST WAY.

    As far as your “vegan muscle…” You better get some meat in your diet if you don’t want your balls to recede into your stomach and if you want to raise your testosterone levels…. Stop being a pussy and eat some damn meat and stop being a whiny little bitch.

  58. Terry October 20, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    How would you go about putting these in a workout. I know youra fan of upper/lower splits intermediates. Is doing squats/deadlifts on same day okay. Thanks man.

  59. The Warrior December 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Hey Jason, what if you have lower back issues and knee problems from years of football, what would you recommend for glutes, hams and quads or overall lower body lifts?

    • Jason Ferruggia April 20, 2012 at 10:18 am #

      Sled work, single leg training, glute hams, glute bridges, hip thrusts, 45 degree back raise

  60. Donny January 28, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Excellent post, except nuts and seeds come in a bag.

  61. Luke H February 15, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    Great post and I have substituted my flat sprints for hill sprints. I think people think I am nuts, when they see the gulps of breath.

    Will also have to add some dips to my chest and triceps routine after seeing the exercise list

  62. Till October 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Adam, good post… I feel for you. I started lifting heavy after the supposed love of my life dumped me and I was seriously sick for three weeks in a row… There’s a weird kind of comfort in the iron game, ask Henry Rollins.