Keep It Simple, Get Jacked

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Fitness

Bill Kazmaier Strongbow Superman strongman contest 1981Everyone’s over-thinking and over-complicating this whole training and nutrition thing.

You should see some of the questions I get on a daily basis. It’s mind boggling.

It doesn’t have to be this hard, my friends.

Lift heavy, get strong, get a pump at the end.

Sprint hard, do some lower intensity conditioning.

Eat more carbs on training days, less on off days. Unless you’re skinny and ripped. In that case eat a shitload of carbs every day.

Sleep eight hours a night, take a nap if you can, do your best to eliminate stress.

Use a foam roller and a lacrosse ball to do some soft tissue work on a daily basis.

Twenty or thirty years ago this stuff wasn’t so complicated.

Arnold never sat there with the Pythagorean Theorem next to him while planning out workouts.

Kaz didn’t get stressed out if the angle of his bench was not precisely 21.86 degrees inclined.

Robby Robinson didn’t worry about conditioning affecting his gains nor did he care about the exact perfectly timed intervals. He ran up a set of stairs a few times. Then, when that got easy, he ran up it another time.

The internet is great. There’s no denying that. But it has made it nearly impossible for a lot of you younger guys to make gains. And that’s painful for me to watch on a daily basis.

That’s because the overwhelming amount of conflicting information has you trying 99 different things a week and doubting each of them.

“If we only knew now what we knew then.”

I posted this the other day on my Facebook wall. Some people thought I typed it wrong and meant to type the well recognized, “If we only knew then what we know now.” I didn’t.

Only one guy named Tim Randall got it and this was his interpretation:

“The statement refers to the loss of innocence and wonder at the expense of increased knowledge which can often diminish our love of life and sense of happiness. Knowing more about what others have or are doing makes us doubt our own achievements and lives. One of the main downsides of the Internet and the access to other people’s lives.”

That’s exactly what I meant in the overall life sense. But I also intended for it to apply to training as well.

Twenty-five or thirty years ago you couldn’t overanalyze things like you can today. There wasn’t much to compare to or get confused by. You went to the gym lifted a barbell a bunch of times.

That was all you could do because that’s all the information that existed. If you were smart you read John McCallum’s column and followed his advice of doing squats, dips, presses, rows, chins and deads while keeping your workouts short and sweet.

A lot of guys got huge, strong and well conditioned without information overload and scientific theories. A simple plan is all it takes.

Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s my training was awesome. I took myself up from my high school graduation weight of 147 pounds to 231 pounds and was stronger than I’d even imagined.

During this time I followed my Renegade Strong program, which was a heavy upper body day, a heavy lower body day, a rep upper body day and a strongman conditioning day. It was simple and uncomplicated.

I didn’t completely change it and start something new every other week. It was the system we used for nearly a decade straight with no deviation. And everyone got jacked and strong in the process.

Then my own training took a complete nosedive and went to shit for a few years. Why? Because I started reading tons of different stuff about training all over the internet and actually trying it out, much like most of you probably do.

It’s only when I go back to the old, simple, tried-and-true way of doing things that I actually get results.

Don’t complicate things, my friends.

It ain’t rocket science.