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renegade strength club

The No BS Truth About Body Transformation

Summer is coming. There’s no time to waste doing stuff that doesn’t work. The # 1 proven, time-tested way to make structural changes in your body is to place mechanical tension on the muscles with heavy strength training. This is true whether you’re male or female, old or young. It’s not cardio, not hour long mobility flows, not burpees, not juggling weights, not battling ropes, not light complexes, not “functional training” where you stand one one leg on balance boards and bosu balls, not Pilates, not yoga, not getting drenched in sweat or breathing like a locomotive during some type… continue reading.

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn Ya

Renegade trainee, Marko Zivkovic sent me a note echoing the experiences of thousands. You’ll probably be nodding your head as you read. If you haven’t experienced this yet, pay close attention. You’ll save yourself years of pain and frustration.   “For a long time I’d been doing the classic 5×5 squat, bench and deadlift. It was good at first but eventually I stalled out. I came across your programs and have been doing them for years. My body feels better and I’ve been getting great muscle and strength gains.”… continue reading.

This Should NEVER Happen

I always found it odd that training would make you worse. At least the way most people do it. You’d think it would make you faster, more athletic and able to do more real world stuff. But it usually ends up being the opposite. People use methods and exercises that continually make them less functional. They just turn into Frankenstein and are often riddled with pain and injury. That was always me for many years. Until I discovered a better way. When I share those methods… continue reading.

Ready to fight?

Just out of coincidence I’ve been around a few ex-military badasses lately. SEALS, green berets, marines. Guys who are always physically prepared and ready to do whatever, whenever. That’s a quality all men should strive for. You never know when some sh*t’s gonna go down. Even though most of us live soft, coddled lives I still like to think of our primitive roots. I like to think of men as warriors. There was a time when we had to fight to survive and hunt to eat. continue reading.

Low Reps = No Muscle Growth?

Like a lot of us Chris was struggling to gain muscle when he contacted me. He trained for years but barely looked like he’d ever touched a weight. He’d gotten stronger but was still skinny-fat. And was achy all the time. Shoulders were clicky, knees were creaky and his lower back was always tight. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that. I wasn’t surprised to hear he was doing one of those “hardgainer” programs with 5 reps or less on everything across the board. continue reading.

Worst Way to Get a 6 Pack

This sounds insane to me now, but I used to do 500 sit-ups per day. Then I heard that sit-ups were bad for your back. That made sense since my back was starting to kill me. I was only in my early twenties so I figured I had to be doing something wrong. So I switched to crunches. And did 500 of those per day. Guess how my abs looked from all those sit-ups and crunches? I couldn’t tell you. Because I couldn’t see them. There was just a smooth,… continue reading.

Do These to Become Bulletproof

I love loaded carries and include them in every training program I design. There is nothing more functional than picking up something heavy and walking with it. It’s manly, hardcore, old school shit. Makes you feel like a badass. Especially when you’re doing them in a public gym where no one else would dream of doing such a thing. Loaded carries bulletproof your entire body from head to toe. Ankle, knee and hip stability is increased from loaded carries. Your toes, feet and abs get stronger. continue reading.

Real talk

If you’re ever scrolling through Instagram and you see a fitness model hashtag #RealTalk… Immediately un-follow that person. Unless you wanna read a 7,000-word diatribe about how they don’t always have visible abs. The comments are always about how brave they are. I’m guessing veterans who lost limbs in battle might disagree. We’ve really lowered the standards on bravery, huh? Somehow defending your nation, volunteering in war torn countries, and battling cancer are now on par with posting a pic of your belly spilling… continue reading.

Do You Have to Train Heavy?

Frank K. is a 48-year-old guy who messaged me about Thursday’s email. He told me that he had some nagging injuries from his years playing football. Because of that, he couldn’t lift heavy if he wanted to. I told him I didn’t want him to. When I say you have to get stronger people often misconstrue what I mean. I don’t intend for you train like a powerlifter. The last thing I would recommend is ultra-heavy low rep sets. Especially a workout full of them, like some of the popular… continue reading.

Are You Up For This Shit?

Twenty plus years ago I had one of the original hardcore, underground, warehouse-style training facilities. Renegade Gym. The music was loud and angry. The attitude was pure ruthless aggression. The floor, covered with chalk. The walls with blood. The closet doors had holes in them. Some from a headbutt before a new PR attempt. Others from the many scuffles that broke out during an intense squat day. This was not a place you came to “exercise,” or “work out.” You came to train. continue reading.

You’re Lost?

Friday night Jen and I finally finished watching the TV show, Lost. Man, did that ending suck. I’d heard about it for years from everyone. They were even still joking about it on the Oscars a couple months back. I said to Jen, “we put in all that time for that?!” I was so disappointed. All that for nothing. Which is exactly how people feel after finishing many of the popular training programs out there today. They hop around their… continue reading.

“It’s Too Hard”

I always figured the harder ya work, the better your results. And that works incredibly well with strength training… for about 6-8 weeks. Then you’re fried. Overtrained. Joints are aching. Sleep goes to shit. You’re tired but wired. Anxious. Irritable. In a bad mood. Sex drive drops. Can’t get stronger anymore. Weights feel heavy as f*ck. Why does that always happen? Because the body ain’t designed for that kind of pummeling on a regular basis. No sports practices are conducted with such balls to the wall intensity.  You always leave… continue reading.

The 4 Killers of Muscle Growth

Renegade Strength Club member, Keith Schwartz asked me an interesting question. “Jay, how the hell do you do it? Before doing your workouts I used programs by a lot of the big names in fitness. My joints were always hurting, I never had much energy, and my gains were pretty shitty.  Forget about the XXX (deleted) workouts. Don’t even get me started on how much those suck. Every time I did those I left the gym feeling smaller and weaker and was totally exhausted.  Then I had to drag my… continue reading.

Never Do This for Shoulders

As a young meathead, I did a lot of stupid stuff in the gym. I mean really f’n stupid. But I was in my twenties and thought I was invincible. Not to mention charming and handsome with the bloat of youth filling my puffy face. Oh, where have ye gone? Father time, you’re a cruel bastard… The point is that stupidity eventually led to shoulder surgery. That’s why I cringe every time I see someone doing upright rows or lateral raises.   I see it in… continue reading.

The Best Workouts in 20+ Years

I just got a great message from a Renegade trainee: “Your workouts are my favorite form of training I’ve ever done in 20+ years. I’ve gotten in the best shape of my life and never enjoyed training more than I do right now.” – Optimized You (on IG) My inboxes are always flooded with messages like this. But I never tire of the feedback. It fuels to keep going, to keep leading more people toward the light. I love getting people off the merry-go-round of bad training programs and… continue reading.