Is Your Training Program Missing the #1 Main Ingredient

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Motivation

CheickKongoVictory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price.”
— Sun Tzu

Did you know that you can get down to single digit bodyfat and look like an elite level pro athlete by training for just 10 minutes a day, twice a week?

And you can do it while eating whatever you want? It’s true…cuz I heard it on the radio… and read it on the internet.

Eight minute abs. That’s right folks, in just eight minutes a day you can get the abs of Cheik Congo (pictured). All it takes is a quick crunch workout.

No need to worry about your diet or doing any exercises that actually jack up your metabolism and burn fat.

Six minute muscle. Phil Heath look out. Because some lazy schmuck is gonna embarrass you right off the stage next year by training no more than 18 minutes per week.

Four minutes to super strength. Wait til Chuck Vogelpohl and Louie Simmons find out that they wasted all those years and could have gotten so much stronger with significantly less time and effort.

Two minute conditioning. Poor Tito Ortiz. All those wasted trips to Big Bear in the high altitude. If only he had known that hard work was out of style and that he could have been in even better shape if he cut his training time down to two minutes per day.

What People Want to Hear vs The Truth

People want to hear that it’s easy and won’t take much time. I mean who wants to push a sled 90 feet 10-12 times straight? Who wants to climb a rope? Or do weighted pushups on rings? In the same workout? That sounds really hard.

And who could possibly make the time to work out a few days per week?

A marketing guy once sent me an unsolicited email offering me his services. He told me that if I wanted to double my business I had to stop being so honest. I had to make it seem like my workouts were REALLY easy, that getting in shape didn’t require much work and that the whole process would be painless and effortless.

To his point I put very little time and effort into my reply…



Getting in shape is brutally hard work.

I don’t give a shit what anyone tells you. If you can’t handle the truth then you’re destined to be soft and weak forever.

If you’re twenty percent body fat right now and desperately want a six pack you had better be prepared to diet train harder than you ever have in your entire life.

When everyone is drinking beer at the football tailgate party on Sunday you’re drinking water. And when the hot dogs go on the grill, you’re gonna have to pull out a chicken breast and broccoli.


Don’t have time to do hill sprints after work? Then you gotta set your alarm clock a half hour earlier and get up while it’s still dark out.

And let me tell you something else… NOBODY gets ripped in just three workouts per week. If you want to see really significant fat loss you need to be putting in a minimum of five sessions per week .

That means three to four strength workouts, three hill sprint or sled sessions and a 30-60 minute walk first thing every morning on an empty stomach.

I’ve seen really fat dudes get on a bodybuilding stage in 20 weeks. But they didn’t say they “wanted” to do it. They said they were “going” to do it. And they did all that was necessary to achieve that goal. Which means, in the eyes of most people, their lives were pretty miserable for five months. It means no unplanned cheat meals and undying, round the clock dedication. But these people had the drive that most people don’t and were actually willing to work for something.

How Bad Do You Want It?

Wanting and doing are two completely different things. We all want a lot of things. But how many of us actually achieve our goals? How many are willing to put in the hard work necessary to reach the top?

Are you?

Am I?

“Twenty weeks?! That’s a lot of dieting and hard work. I can commit to six weeks but not twenty.”

Then go play World of Warcraft and watch another rerun of Friends. Nobody gives a fuck if you don’t hit your goals. You only have yourself to answer to.

No matter what anyone tells you there is no replacement for hard work. No training system, no diet, no machine, no gimmick and no supplement.

But most people fear hard work more than they fear death. They simply don’t have it in them.

How many times have you gone to a public gym and seen someone doing a dumbbell clean and press a la Sig Klein?

When was the last time you saw someone heavy farmers walks? Now that’s a hard, uncomfortable exercise. Who wants to subject themselves to that?

Standing presses?! Who wants to stand? You need to be comfortably seated with lumbar support while “working out.”

Skater squats? Bear crawls? Glute ham raises? Front levers? Handstands? Sandbag shouldering?

All those exercises take too long to perfect and the learning process can be very frustrating. Much easier to just jump on a machine, right?

Single leg kettebell deadlifts? Only a genius with the mental acuity of Albert Einstein could possibly learn to do those properly. Who has the time for that?

What “hardgainers” are actually willing to turn off another mindless episode of reality TV and go to sleep an hour earlier to accelerate the muscle building process? Or have what it takes to force feed themselves 3-4 times of day and sneak protein shakes in between classes?

Very few.

Unlike getting shredded, building muscle doesn’t require 6-10 workouts per week. Most average dudes can get great results with 3-4 sessions per week. But it’s still a 24 hour a day job that requires a monumental effort.

We are all brainwashed to believe that you can get bigger and stronger and leaner in a very short time, with very little effort and even less dedication.

But nothing could be further from the truth, my friends.

The only way to achieve physical greatness is through brutally hard fucking work.

That, my friends, is the main ingredient.

End of story.

Now go earn it.


Leave a Reply

43 Responses to Is Your Training Program Missing the #1 Main Ingredient

  1. Scott Bailey November 16, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Brutally hard work is the only way to achieve anything worth having.

  2. Ryan Magin November 16, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    As always Bro keep doing what you do this post Was awesome…

    I heard a quote from Elliott Hukse that said “get comfortable being uncomfortable” because that’s were the results happen…

  3. Pat Beith November 16, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    One of my favorite blogs to read. You always tell it like it is and speak your mind Jay. Keep it up man.

  4. jeddy November 16, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    One of the best articles I’ve read this year…

  5. Hussman November 16, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    Anything worth having takes hard work, and just as important as it is to work hard, it’s important to have someone yelling at you to keep you motivated and focused on the end result.

    Thanks, man. Gonna be playing this in my head while hitting it tonight.

  6. Matty Holmes November 16, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    Fuckin bad ass post bro I love it! The truth hurts and you are right most people cant handle it. I have had people ask me if my training is hard and told them to not come.

  7. Andy Campbell November 16, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Great F-ing post Jay. This is required reading for everyone. My greatest gains have come from both busting my ass in the gym and with my diet. There is no other way around this fact – you have to be disciplined with both and give 110% effort to achieve goals.

  8. Chris November 16, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    This is a great post.

    People are pathetic these days. Truly fucking pathetic. The lack of conviction I see in the weight room and in almost all activities is very disheartening to me. However its good to see that some people out there get it. I’m glad you can keep inspiring me with stuff like this.

    Ill be thinking about this when im blasting mudvayne on the ipod and hitting 20 reps squats in a few hours.

    This reminds me of a great quote:

    “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen” -Michael Jordan

    Stay strong everyone,


  9. Mark November 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    I, too, am sick of people asking me how to get in shape when they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to do what it takes. Thanks for being brutally honest. Don’t ever stop.

  10. Fernando November 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    How refreshing it is to read the honest truth. Thank you for having the testes to tell it like it is. Thank you.

  11. Mark November 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    My reply to you with regards to this article will be short and sweet:



  12. Dan Campos November 16, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Awesome article! Straight up and honest. Definitely one of the best articles that I’ve read in a long time! Keep it up!

  13. Brian G November 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    Very motivational. I think I’ll be re-reading this before leaving work and heading to the gym. Incidentally, tonight will be squats and deadlifts. Can’t wait!!

  14. Ryan November 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    So very true. Things worthwhile take time and effort.

  15. Tony G November 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm #


  16. Khalid November 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    This was definitely one of the better articles I have read in a long time about building muscle.

  17. Sam C November 16, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    U’re awesome keep it real

  18. Tom November 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    That is the one of the most motivational posts I have ever read!!
    It’s currently being printed as we speak and is being stuck up by in my room to read over and over!
    This is what I believe sets me apart from others! I am willing to put myself through something no-one else is willing to do to become better on the rugby pitch!! I have to believe that!
    Thank you!

  19. Mark Bono November 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    There are 3 types of people in this world:

    Those who “Make” things happen!
    Those who “Watch” things happen!
    And those who say, “What the fuck just happened?”

  20. KennyWarrix November 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    Jason, just wanted to say that I love you posts, I usually save them in my inbox, to read again later, rather it be for a new lift or just for the extra push I need to get my workout in that day. Amen, Thanks brother.

    Kenny Warrix

  21. David Murdock November 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    Jason. This was the most inspiring post I’ve ever read. I copied it, posted it in as many places as I could and made it my computer wallpaper. Thanks for the kick in the ass!

  22. Valerie Waters November 16, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Thank you! No really, thank you. I don’t use curse words but I do try to impress upon people that if you want something, you can have it, but you just might have to work for it. It is not 2 moves to a better body or park your car at the end of the parking lot. You have to stop making excuses and DECIDE right now to go for it.

    I am not saying you have to get in shape but if YOU are saying it, then stop whining and get to the gym. I have been there with clients at 4am, 10pm and everything in between. But here is the wonderful part, earning it, really really earning it, is so much more powerful than any magic wand. Who you are when you get to the other side is a different person than who you were when you didn’t want to cross the road.

    Listen to Jason. Man (or women) up and do the (insert curse word of choice) work!! You will thank us later!

  23. chris grayson November 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    great article jay. it’s nice to see someone that truly has passion in this industry and ain’t just running their mouth.

  24. Sincere November 16, 2009 at 11:52 pm #

    That’s real talk right there, Jason. I just hope the ones who really need to hear this, come across this post, read it, get it, make a decision, and get going….one way opr the other.

  25. gareth November 17, 2009 at 12:17 am #

    when i was a kid my buddies were forestry workers. it was considered a scummy job.

    Heres an example – high pruning – you have a 15 ft ladder – lift it from the bottom to full arms length over head, hook it onto the tree, haul yourself or climb the tree to get on the ladder, climb to the top of the ladder and stand on the very top rung,

    Then reach as far up as you can with a pair of manual loppers and working your way down the tree cutting off branches by hand. Big branches required a hand saw.

    So the tree started getting cut from 30 ft or so.

    I did this one hot summers day and managed 40 trees in one day – I was fried beyond words, my heart was like a jack hammer at max output all day. Sweat hosed from my entire body – I even puked up in the truck.

    Suffice to say – I quit.

    But those old home town boys were the fittest bastards I have ever known.

    The top guy had a record of 180 trees in one day – that is truley incredible.

    My buddy was 19 & had a pulse of 40 bpm – these guys were way fitter than any of the guys when I was in the army years later.

  26. jarod November 17, 2009 at 4:27 am #

    your a funny fucker
    “How many times have you gone to a public gym and seen someone squat or deadlift? About as often as you see hot chicks during day light hours I bet.”

  27. Shannon Wallace Jr November 17, 2009 at 6:55 am #

    Man, this is good stuff! I agree 100% percent. One of the best articles on real training I ever read. Keep it up Jason.

  28. JMJ November 17, 2009 at 7:36 am #

    This is briliant. Always a good read.

  29. Zach November 17, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    This is the best post you have ever written. I can’t wait to send this to all of my pussy fat friends who make fun of me for doing all of this.

  30. Nii Wilson November 17, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    Jason you are soo tight on. I feel like saying this stuff sometimes but since I train women I sometimes bite my toungue (a little)

    I have realized that REAL women that won’t complain and get what they want will not find this offensive.

    I will repose this on FB to see what my women think.

    They kinda already know that I’m not for the B.S.

    thanks for this this is EXACTLY what I need to read this morning

  31. jasonferruggia November 17, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    Thank you guys so much for all the comments so far. I really appreciate it and am glad so many people enjoyed this post.

  32. jasonferruggia November 17, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    Nii, the girls at my gym train just as hard as any guys you will ever meet. I allow nothing less. They would put the majority of men to shame. The average guy can do 3-5 chins. My girls are doubling that. Plus, most of them squat between 135 and 185 and pull around 225. The average guy walking the streets can’t do that. Which is sad, but it’s the reality. And on top of that they are all highly conditioned. They bang out slaughterhouse workouts that most guys would get stretchered out of.

    Years ago I hated the thought of training females. But with the crew I have now I love it. As long as people work hard they’re cool by me.

  33. KWJ December 1, 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    I’ve just decided to opt-out of receiving your emails. Though I’m serious about watching my health and have learned from reading your website, your language is offensive and unnecessary in communicating. WIsh you the best.

  34. jasonferruggia December 2, 2009 at 5:37 am #

    If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that this website is definitely not for everyone and will definitely offend a certain audience.

  35. Johnsons December 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    Who wants to live the rest of their life on steaks and chicken? I know plenty of girls who’d date the chubby guy over the boring dieter anyday.

    While the chubby guys enjoying himself with the girls eating and doing as they please, you lot are sweating hard and having to eat boring chicken for the rest of your lifes.

    I’ll think about you while i’m supping my beer with the boys. You guys sip your water, worrying everyday about ur girls waist lol!

  36. Bill January 14, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    Yeah, each time before doing workouts I knew my a** was going to get kicked big time. But also reminded me of saying read from Navy SEAL Richard Machowicz,
    “We all have conversations with ourselves all the time and they play a
    tremendous role in what we do. The conversation that one has with him or herself is what kills you. Especially under extremely stressful situations like “hell week” where you are almost up for 110 hours a week!
    I had to get myself in the mindset of never giving up no matter what.
    A buddy of mine gave me a quote which stated, “A man can only be beaten in two ways: if he gives up or he dies.” I had that quote in my wallet until the pencil marks rubbed off. I really lived that motto. I decided that if I am *not dead*, then I *cannot quit.*”
    Have read where intense training is as much mental as physical. That it
    builds a person that will not quit; developing their heart. If you do not have heart, you could be the greatest athlete in the world. However you are going to cave when the pressure comes. You have to have the guts to finish what you start.
    Also Mr. Richard Machowicz stated, “if people can say yes to the following three questions, they have the guts to finish anything:
    * **1. Are you willing to make a choice? *Very rarely do people make
    choices that fundamentally effect their lives. For example, changing
    channels on the TV is not something that fundamentally effects your life. You have to step up to the plate and make a fundamental life changing choice.
    *2. Do you have the courage to start now?* We get people that make
    choices but do not do anything to get started. Half the people that made a choice drop out at this stage. They do not take the first step to move in the direction that they want.
    * **3. Do you have the commitment to finish?* You can start, but can you finish? This is where most people disappear. Very few people finish. People can start things, but can they see it through the end? Can they be there when it matters?
    Would further like to share a video that has really been inspiring.
    It’s on YouTube and here’s a couple of links…..

    So go Conquer those challenges, be it eatting healthy while everyone is eating shit or simply saying to yourself, I would rather die Right Here ~ RIght now than Quit ~ be it one more rep, eatting right, you name it.

    Like one of my teachers once said to us, “Pain is Fucking Weakness Leaving the Body, so Cherish it, Live It, and Shit It, remembering “Quit” is not in your vocabulary.


  37. M.P. January 14, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Ahh, the beauty of the Internet – where people can anonymously say things they’d never say otherwise. If this Johnsons guy ever came face-to-face with Jason, I somehow doubt any of that drivel would be pouring out of his mouth.

    People like that don’t seem to get it. It’s not about how much mediocre ass you pull in, or how much lukewarm piss-flavored beer you can “sup” with the boys (whatever the hell a “sup” is). You want to be among the mass of men and live, as Thoreau once said, “a life of quiet desperation”, be our guest. But keep your middle-of-the-pack mindset away from those of us who actually strive for something better.

    Better health. Better conditioning. Better quality of life. Better mental functioning. Better relationships. And, yes, better sex. The quality of every sexual experience I have had since I started making commitments to better health is so far beyond what it was like when I was a complete, worthless fat-ass.

    I know that ass-clown will probably never read this, or if he does, he’ll throw back another beer, some nachos, watch that waistline expand, and continue being a drag on our healthcare system like the rest of the lazy schlubs out there.

    But screw him. Jay, your work is appreciated more than you will ever know. Thanks for the consistent motivating punch in the face – no matter how much it hurts.

  38. Red2MAC January 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    I don’t know many self respecting girls that prefer a fat slob over someone that takes enough interest in their health to eat healthy and train. Wait, wait, what am I saying? A dunlap is what all the ladies want to see while you’re laying on top of them panting. Right? Moobs are what they like to feel when they touch your chest…right?
    This is a guy who probably went to the gym afew times. He probably looked around at all the fit guys, who were probably talking to the fit girls in short shorts. Got extremley jealous, but instead of working harder so he too would know what it’s like to have a hot girl pay him any attention .He left. He went home and ate some ruffles while he browsed through some internet porn. He will never look to see any responses on this website because he probably killed himself yesterday.

    Like M.P. said, you probably would be surprised at just how many people around the world follow your work. Thanks dude.

  39. Brendan January 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder that I’m not going about my training all wrong!
    It’s summer here downunder and it’s easy to despair when you see half the guys at the gym triple their size in a month because they’re taking the easy way out by getting on the gear. I mightn’t meet their sizebut my hard work is all I’ve got to feel good about.

  40. Marcus March 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    Awesome, you say it like it is. You cannot sugarcoat the amount of work it takes to build muscle, to get into shape to be where you need to be. Jason is right and he won’t tell you something because he wants you to read his blog.

  41. Ben May 5, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Every time I read these post I just want to go deadlift, and any man who doesn’t look forward to a heavy deadlift really needs to re-evaluate his life!

    p.s. cheers for the constantly solid advice, brutal honesty and motivation.

  42. jasonferruggia May 6, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    Ben, I hear that.

    And, you’re welcome. Thanks for the comments.

  43. Scott October 5, 2015 at 5:14 pm #


    Love how you put it in simple and understandable terms: hard work!!heck yeah! Here is my question. I a a 48 year old man. I have an ectomorphic build. Never worked out before in my life but I have a high metabolism and am pretty active.

    I have been working out for about 8 weeks now, using free weights, compound exercises and body weight exercises. I have also changed the way I eat. Bottom line, I am serious! My goal is to build strength, build muscle, and get into better shape overall. What would you suggest is the most important thing to work on, getting my form down first?