Well-designed, periodized programs are cool.
But for most people, designing such a program often leads to paralysis by analysis. As strength and conditioning is often construed to be more complex and multifaceted than it really is. Homie here don’t play that game.
I like to keep things as simple as possible, for as long as possible. If you want to be strong, then pick heavy things up.
If you want to be conditioned, then make yourself tired.
A lot of this philosophy is engrained into my FVT eBook
. But to further the magnificence and effectiveness of fitness minimalism, I am going to offer to you all a most uncomplicated program to follow. I dare you not to get strong following this minimalistic approach to training.
Here it is.
Are you ready? Day 1: Deadlifts and Weighted Dips. Day 2: Back Squats and Weighted Pull Ups.
Keep the reps low ( <=5). Perform multiple sets ( >10), upping the weight each set, but do not go to failure. Also bump the weight up from week to week.
You train only two days per week, and you keep your training days at least 3 days apart
Done. That’s all folks.
Now while this is a fairly balanced program, I would not follow it indefinitely, and that’s mostly due to the lack of unilateral work. But follow it for a good 6 – 8 weeks, and I promise that you will emerge stronger than when you went in.
Also, I opt for weighted dips over the bench press because the movement of your scapula is no longer restricted. Most people don’t realize that we actually have two shoulders! The movement of the scapula along the rib cage, and the movement of the head of the humerus in the glenoid fossa (shoulder socket). Anytime we restrict the movement of the scapula, specifically during pushing exercises, we run the risk of impingement, inflammation, and a host of other nasty shoulder problems.
So four lifts. Two days a week. Beautiful.
Here’s a few clips of Som and I working this – although we mixed things up a bit and paired the pull ups and the dips. We didn’t think about sets or reps. We just practiced weighted dips and pull ups, listened to Pantera, and talked about the failures of the Federal Reserve for about 40 minutes. No big deal. No scientificals. Just good old fashion picking stuff up and putting stuff down.
I know you’ve done it all to try and get out of your Ill-do-anything-to-get-fit-except-workout-and-eat-right mentality.
But you really dropped the ball that one time when you went ahead and participated in that I-should-have-just-saved-my-calories-and-maintained-my-dignity-Zumba-class?
Or how about just last weekend when you were at lunch watching the big game with your buddies and you found yourself ordering that just-one-beer-won’t-hurt-me-even-though-I-know-this-will-end -up-turning-into-an-all-night-bender-and-ultimately-leading-to-a-nasty-divorce Coors Light. Shameful.
So next time you find yourself in that I’m-about-to-fill-my-emotional-void-with-with-the-short-term-satisfaction-of-easter-bunny-shaped-mac-and-cheese type of situation, take a second to become conscious of the poor this-is-why-you’re-going-to-be-a-lard-ass-for-the-rest-of-your-life-who-walks-around-with-an-insulin -pump type of decision you are about to make.
Believe it or not you are in control. You just don’t know it yet. But you better come to know it. And soon. Because nobody can change you for you. Not even if you buy our its-for-a-really-good-cause-eBook-Bundle-Package
. But if you are ready to change, or take it to the next level, then please do buy our its-for-a-really-good-cause-eBook-Bundle-Package
And do some Iranian Push Ups. I first learned this from Steve Maxwell. Who is not Iranian, but he’s damn good at push ups.
and when the dAy arrives.
I'll becoME the sky.
and I'll become the sea.
- la mer
Force Velocity Training (FVT): Hail to the King Baby
- Develop Strength
- Acquire Power
- And Forge Yourself Into an Anatomical Marvel
Need I say more?
Proceeds go to Brian Petty, a coach, a mentor, and one of the most genuine and admirable individuals that I have ever had the pleasure to call a friend. Several months ago Brian was diagnosed with liver cancer. He has no health insurance. To learn more visit FightForBrian.com
What is Force Velocity Training?
- Force Velocity Training (FVT) - Is a revolutionary new general physical preparedness strength and conditioning program with specific considerations towards body composition, based around idea of "riding the force velocity curve".
Who Is Force Velocity Training For?
- This is not a beginner eBook. This is an advanced 16 week program designed to take you to the next level of physical excellence. Do not begin this program unless you have a substantial amount of training time and technical proficiency under your belt.
What Makes Force Velocity Training Unique?
- FVT is based around heavy complex training and metabolic conditioning. You will work each and every point along the force velocity curve, guaranteeing that you improve each and every facet of athleticism. Not only will this program make you strong and powerful, but it will also make you look good naked. And there's certainly nothing wrong with that.
What Do I Need to Get Started?
- You will need a copy of the eBook, which you can order below. From there you will need access to kettlebells and barbells at least four days a week. This program employs a variety of tools to ensure that your strength training arsenal is as well rounded as possible, and that you make the most substantial gains in the shortest amount of time possible.
Cool, Are There Any Freebies?
- Now you're just getting greedy...
Fine. I'll throw in a copy of my metabolic reset eBook. Happy now? Jeez.
What About a Bundle Package?
- Now You're Talkin. Bundle package of FVT, my Metabolic Conditioning eBook, and my Introduction to Kettlebell and Barbell Strength Training is now available as well. Proceeds of course go to Brian Petty.
Last Question, Do You Have a Promo Vid?
Force Velocity Training Bundle Package - $39.95
Includes Force Velocity Training, Introduction to Kettlebell and Barbell Strength Training, and The Power of Complexes eBook.
Oh, and of course you get the Metabolic Reset nutritional eBook too. Since you just had to have a "freebie"
Force Velocity Training eBook - $19.95
Brian Petty (left) with Lonnie Beck (right)
I served with Jack Kennedy.
was a friend of mine.
In the dark and nebulous years of my adolescence and training naivety, I would pick the brains of those with more know-how than I, with the intention to get smrt. It started in middle school. I’d hit the gym after school with the boys and love me some bicep curls and bench press. Yes, I too have seen the abyss…
But times have seemingly changed. For the better. I hope. On one such occasion, specifically the first year of my undergrad program, I had the pleasure of training under a professional power lifter. Not naming any names, sorry.
A little background. This power-lifter, around the age of thirty, was returning to school to finish his pre-med degree with the intentions of eventually becoming a surgeon… or maybe it was a sturgeon? I can’t remember. I was a young punk lifter (still am), and we both happened to be enrolled in an exercise physiology class that required us to lift in the athletic weight room 2x a week. I remember picking him out from the crowd during the first lecture, as he was noticeably older and substantially larger than anyone else in the room. After listening to the professor (who also claimed to be a former powerlifter) ramble on about neuromuscular activation (I’m like an elephant, I never forget), we hit the weight room. I kept a close eye on our friend the powerlifter. He crept over to the deadlift platform, and began to warm up… with 315lbs. Hmm. Two sets later he was at 550. Hmmmm. By the end of class he was repping close to 800lbs. The entire class watched in wide-wonder, most of the men feeling wholly emasculated, as he ripped 810lbs off the ground, making a rainbow out of the barbell. Upon completion of this outwardly superhuman feat, I thanked him kindly for putting my warm up weight on the bar. He laughed and we soon became friends.
Throughout the semester I acquired much knowledge from this man, even more so from him then from the actual class. I wish to pass some of the more significant lessons on to you.
In regards to size:
Now I know the stereotype is that most powerlifters are fat. This guy wasn’t fat. He was big, yet he was lean. Naturally I inquired as to how he accumulated such lean mass. Aside from his slew of “special vitamins” in which he confided in me about, his advice was some of the best I’d ever received in regards to the most effective way to put on muscle mass. “I’m bigger because I’m stronger”, is what he said. Brilliant. Beauty is often found in simplicity.
You see, it’s as simple as that. I heard a great analogy a while back; I believe it was from Master RKC Brett Jones, about strength being “the bucket”. Think of it like this. You go into Starbucks to order muscle mass. Now muscle mass itself, is the beverage, for our purposes we will say it’s their orange blossom green tea. Now strength, is the cup. So the question you have to ask yourself now, is which cup will allow me to potentially hold more muscle mass. If you choose tall, then you will be small. With Grande, you’re getting somewhere. Venti? Now we are talking. You see, the stronger you are, the more potential you have to put on size. Strength is the cup, and size is the zesty, smooth, and refreshing orange blossom green tea. The bigger the cup, the more tea you can hold.
So what if you want to get strong but not get big? Well, contrary to popular belief that you can get strong without bulking up, there actually comes a point where if you want to continue getting stronger, that you will have to eventually put on some muscle mass. That does not mean that this muscle mass will be puffy and Pillsbury-doughboy-esque. Rather, the mass you put on from pure strength training alone (emphasizing myofibrillar over sarcoplasmic hypertrophy), will result in hard, dense muscle. I faced this dilemma myself. Since size is not so conducive to my sport, which involves kicking people in the head. Yet, strength, speed, and power, are all conducive to kicking people in the head. Now I have size, and not because I trained for size, but rather it is a consequence of training for strength. So the size I have put on, is functional, and has enhanced my athletic performance, rather than have hindered it. So what I’m telling you, is that if you are in a sport where you feel size may hinder your performance, do not worry about it, so long as you are solely training for strength and power, rather than for a pump, then the size you will put on can only aid you in your athletic endeavors. But if you sport has weight classes, now that’s a different story…
That’s all for today cronies.
Tentative release date for FVT eBook is tuesday. Stay tuned. Until then, do this.
You'll thank me later.
Look, I know this is quite a claim.
But have I ever let you guys down before???
The truth is, I think I've finally found the secret weapon of dog training. Seriously, what I have discovered may be the ultimate weapon of mass doggie disobedience destruction. But sh. I think she may be listening in. Let's just say that it rhymes with "Not Frog", if ya catch my drift...
Well if you know me, then you know I always claim that the proof must be in the pudding, so let's see how this works shall we?
I guess that just goes to show that what may sound good in theory, does not always necessarily hold up in practice.But let it be known, I have a plan B ... and just incase she's still listening in, it rhymes with "Hoona Prish".Should you have it in your heart to make a charitable contribution to the "Feed Lola an All Beef Hot-Dog Fund" - Then buy an eBook! Not only is your money going straight to Lola's insatiable appetite, but
chances are you'll get super strong and shredded as well. Not a bad deal huh?
Remember how great life was when you were a youngster? Completely uninformed and happy 99.9% of the time. Whatever happened to those days? Ignorance and bliss accurately are mutually inclusive.
Then somewhere along the line, things changed. You became conscious of your incompetence. In other words, you began to know all of which you don’t know. At this point bliss begins to dissipate, and dispiritedness rears its ugly head. You see, so long as you are unconscious of your incompetence, then you just don’t care. How can you? You don’t even know what it is that you don’t know! Your confidence far exceeds your abilities and you proceed along your merry way, down the trail of delightful unawareness, until finally that trail comes to an end and you eventually recognize all there is that you suck at, and all there is that you don’t know. This is when the game of existence transforms dramatically.
But you see, in order to truly gain knowledge and expertise in any subject matter, consciousness of your incompetence must be the first critical step you take. How can you possibly learn about something that you don’t even know that you don’t know about? I rest my case.
Once consciousness is gained, there are then two paths’ you can take. You can recognize your incompetence, accept it, and choose to remain incompetent, or you can work on becoming consciously competent. A prime example of this is in the realm of health and wellness. And this is exactly why personal trainers have a job. Because there is an enormous market of consciously incompetent people out there that need to be told how to exercise. These people know that they don’t know how to train themselves, accept their incompetence, and hire someone else (who is hopefully competent… eh, er, um….) to do the job for them.
The problem most people face when they accept that they are incompetent is a sudden drop in confidence and a sudden surge of intimidation. Realizing for the first time that there are so many others who are more competent than you, and that your abilities are limited, can be quite detrimental to one’s ego and self-esteem. If they so choose to let it be…
Instead, I encourage you all to seek out your incompetence’s, and rather than allowing your discoveries to put a fender bender in your precious ego, let them fuel the fires of your enthusiasm and amplify your desire to learn. Once you develop this mind set, the desire to continue to learn more and more may become somewhat of an addiction. I assure you this is one habit you will not want to break, and that will pay substantially in the long term.
As you obtain new skills, familiarity, and knowledge of a certain subject matter, you begin to shift from the dominion of conscious incompetence toward conscious competence. This is the stage when you are able to implement these new skills and abilities effectively into practice. You’re confidence will soar and you’re performance becomes increasingly efficient.
With enough practice, one may eventually enter the elusive kingdom of unconscious competence, which is when you don’t even know what it is that you know! Hmm. So what does that mean? Well, it denotes that your skills are now habits and that you are able to perform certain tasks without conscious effort. Take for example a lifelong martial artist, who has spent years and years refining his self-defense techniques. Now let’s say one day he is confronted by a mugger with malicious intent. The mugger sneaks up behind this seemingly innocent kung fu master and puts a gun to his back, but before he is able to pull the hammer, the mugger finds himself disarmed with the weapon now turned on him. The martial artist has spent so much time refining his skills that he needed not even stop to think about the actions he needed to take in order to disarm the mugger, but rather they were simply second nature to him. This is an example of unconscious competence.
Recognizing these “ladders” of consciousness and competence will aid you in your own learning experience, as well as lending to your ability to teach others. Below is the ladder, or sometimes referred to as the matrix, of conscious competence. Until next time, practice your squatting and swinging competence with the workout below.
Unconsciously Competent (You don’t even know what you know)
Consciously Competent (You know what you know)
Consciously Incompetent (you know what you don’t know)
Unconsciously Incompetent (You Don’t even know what you don’t know)
Pick a heavy weight for strength endurance or hypertrophy effort and don’t even think about resting until you are done with the entire sequence or unless you think that you are going to pass out or poo yourself. Because passing out or pooing yourself is no way to demonstrate squatting competence.
5 front squat
5 two hand swings
4 front squat
3 front squats
2 front squats
1 front squat
Go ahead and sit down. It’s time that we have a talk. And I know what you’re thinking…
You’re thinking why, and do we really have to? You think you already know all that there is to know about what it is that we are going to talk about, even before we talk about it. But guess what, you don’t even know what you don’t know that I know you don’t know about what we are going to talk about. Does that make sense? Thought so.
Look, I know you’ve already had this talk with your mom, your middle school teacher, and the Inner Harbor bus driver. But can you really trust the Inner Harbor bus driver? Let alone your own mother?
Hell, you may have even picked up a few neat tricks from one of those magazines that you hide under your bed…
So do you still really think that you know squat?
What about foot position? Did you ever think about how important proper foot position is to a safe, strong, and proper squat? I think about it everyday. All day. What I’m here to tell you is that you should squat with your feet straight ahead. And no, I’m not crazy. I know that most of you like to squat like ducks. But I got news for ya. We aren’t ducks. And I’m not alone in this school of thought. I have drawn my conclusions from influences from the works of Dr. Charlie Weingroff, Mike Boyle, Kelly Starret, and a handful of other really smart and super cool individuals.
So why should you squat with your toes pointed straight ahead? Because instability in the ankle will more times than not lead to an even greater amount of instability in the knees. And when you squat like a dock, with your feet angled out, the subtalar joint of your ankle, which is where that whole inversion and eversion silliness occurs, tends to be a pain in the ass (or ankle) to control, especially when handling a substantial load. What does this mean? It means that in many cases, when people squat like a quacker (ha), they will not maintain subtalar neutrality, but rather will roll their ankle into eversion and suffer that dreaded arch collapse. Not only does this suck for your ankle, but it can suck even worse for your knees…
You see, when that arch collapse occurs, there is a high probability that there will be a consequent valgus collapse (the inward buckling of the knee). Anytime there is a valgus force on the knee, you are unnecessarily straining the passive structures of the knee joint, specifically your medial cruciate ligament(mcl), anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) and your meniscus. If the circumstances are dreaded enough, you may even suffer the triage of “knee unhappiness” and damage all three simultaneously. I just witnessed this happen to a college lacrosse player the other day, when her right knee buckled in when cutting. Don’t wait until your pregnant…er, um, (sorry got my talks mixed up), I mean need reconstructive surgery to start taking this material seriously.
So what you need to consider is working stability form the ground up in the squat, starting specifically at the ankle. First and foremost you always want even weight distribution throughout the foot when squatting. This is for purposes of hitting the proper mechanoreceptors on the bottom of the feet (you know, the ones that send signals to our brain to fire our quads, hamstrings, glutes, etc), balance, and subtalar ankle neutrality.
So feet straight ahead, and stance should be about shoulder width. Now as you descend into the hold, think you are trying to spread/push the earth apart from your hells and push your knees out. You should feel the outside of your glutes engage (your abductors). If this is happening, that is a very special thing, because overtime a lot of people often lose the ability of their abductors (specifically the glute medius) when they squat, or they just don’t fire properly. Engaging those abductors and pushing those knees out will ensure that you maintain ankle neutrality, knee stability, and as Kelly Starret has stated, create torque.
When performing un-weighted squats its cool if you are in flexion. But when you load your squat, be sure to maintain a neutral spine and pack that neck in son. Dr. Charlie Weingroff has emphasized the importance of packing in the neck in regards to any movement that requires an ample amount of core stability. I agree with him in each and every regard.
Alright, enough typographical verbiage. Here’s a video. This is just part one of a series that is to be known as “The Squat Reformation Project”, which is my crusade to get humans to squat like humans, and leave the duck squatting, well to the ducks.
Now aren’t you glad we had this talk?