Hard Work is What Works
~ Bob Hoffman
I’ve got a lot to say about Body. I’m familiar with the subject quite well, for a long time.
I was in 8th grade. One day, I stumbled into the tiny weight room at our high school. My relationship with the 13-station Universal circuit-training machine crammed into it changed my life forever. When I started I couldn’t bench press 40 pounds of the 300 pd stack. I was so skinny I didn’t even have any ass to help keep my pants up. By the time I had that meeting with the high school guidance counselor I told you about, I could push or pull every full stack of weights on every station of that machine a couple of dozen times — and the superstar quarterback’s girlfriend…she was now mine.
Exercising my body continues to empower my life for 38 years, now. It’s taught me incredible self-discipline and the power of setting and achieving goals. And it energizes every minute of my life, even my sleep.
Your body is a machine. A remarkable one. Our Creator handed us one classic vehicle to take us through this thing called LIFE. What a Masterpiece! More so than any man has ever made. From the moment you were conceived your motor has been running. You don’t have to remember to turn it on and off. The power is always on. It’s operation is self-regulating. It has its own cooling and heating system. It has its own built-in maintenance system. It’s great at adaptation when something is being repaired. It has simple needs and can utilize a variety of different fuels. Most of us never have to replace any parts. It’s built for activity and movement. It needs exertion.
You need to exercise. You need to eat healthy foods. Period.
Your body is built for it. Demands it. Craves it. You have to exercise and eat healthy if you want to live your best life. If you don’t make time for those two simple things, you lose — you lose more time to live a longer life. And the quality of your living can really suck in the meantime. If you are young right now, living longer might not mean much to you. Trust me — it will one day. If you don’t make time for health and fitness now, you’re going to make plenty of time for dis-ease and illness later. Science is not out, anymore, warriors. It is in. Exercise for the human body is a must. And if you aren’t doing what you must — you sure as hell are not much of a warrior.
I’ve done it all. HIT. Volume. Powerlifting. Olympic lifting. Bodybuilding. 6 days a week. 6 days a week/twice a day. Four days a week. Three on/one off. Two on/One off. Whole body. Body parts. Rest/ Pause. Supersets. Tri-sets. Giant sets. Core. Circuit. Bodyweight. Calisthenics. Kettlebells. Old-School lifts. Cardio. HIIT. Sandbags. And when it comes to food and nutrition — I’ve tried everything about it, too.
I was doing Core and HIIT training every night in the ring before they even came up with cute names and marketed them to be something popular. And my brand was HARD-Core, as in Kick-the-Ass of your Core, not some of the silly fluff they do today. Sandbags? Try picking up a fat, wobbly 250 pound guy over your head into a Gorilla Press Slam (sometimes after he’s been knocked silly or out by the clothesline you just gave him).
In Ultimate Warrior E-zine’s BODY, I will tell you about the different methods and the knowledge of my experiences. I’m old school — the classic stuff works best. Always has. Always will.
I’m going to start simple and go from there.
For now, let me say this:
They all work. Everything. Anyone of the fitness methods can work depending on what goals and resources you have. And yet, none of them work — if you don’t do them!
Daydreaming does not cut it. Watching all the videos, being a member at every online exercise forum, buying all the popular supplements, wearing all the stylish exercise clothes, reading all the books, knowing all the terms and exercises and equipment — none of these work. There’s only way to get any of the exercise methods to work — WORK!
Keep things simple and basic. Stay away from complication and confusion. If you are new to fitness, and don’t have your mind set to one form of exercise conditioning over another, or just aren’t sure, take the time to try different things.
Go to one of the familiar fitness equipment stores. Spend some time getting a feel for different equipment. If an employee is breathing down your neck and won’t shut up trying to pitch sales on things, tell him to shut up and leave you alone to experiment on your own. Tell them if you need or want help, you will let them know.
Invest time to setup trial workouts of each. Get week’s pass at your lcoal gym. Try a class. Take a weekend workshop.
The best thing you can do in any new venture you undertake is invest the time to learn things for yourself. Don’t just take the word of someone else as the best or final word. When you learn things for yourself, you know things for yourself — you obliterate wondering and what-ifs. You don’t stay confused — you get sure about what you are doing.
If you want to jump right in, a beginner cannot really do anything wrong. Pay attention to what you are doing and concentrate on the movements. Be serious and don’t let yourself be distracted. Exercising can be fun, but it’s not something to haphazardly play around with. Start slow and light. Build up from there. Trust your instincts — they will teach you more than any certified expert with plaques all over their walls.
Stay away from personal trainers who aren’t worth a damn. Most aren’t. I’ve never met one who is. One sure sign is if they yack while they are training their clients. Stay away from clowns like this. Run the opposite direction. Fast. You’ll waste your money and time — and have nothing to show for it. My advise — you are better off without one. Or hire me. I’ll set your ass straight.
For my money, you can’t go wrong with weight-training.
If you’ve never weight-trained before my advice is to spend a couple of weeks of doing exercise with only your bodyweight. Learn how to “feel” the muscular function of each muscle before you use any resistance. Go to a book store or go online and learn how to execute exercises properly. Print out diagrams and use them. The ability to do this is more important than anything else to your long term success — and overall enjoyment.
Flex and relax, contract and extend each muscle in the true line of action in which it operates.
Do this with all the basic exercises. Use compound movements. Compound movements involve more than one joint and one muscle group. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, power cleans, barbell curls, close-grip bench, chin-ups, pull-ups, dips, bent-over rows, standing calf-raise — these are compound movements.
Really get down how to squat properly– it’s the most important, growth stimulating movement you will do. If you don’t learn anything else — learn how to do squats properly.
When you are ready to add weight resistance, stick with the compound movements and focus on increasing the weight you use on the movements over time. Progressive resistance training. This is what works.
As for frequency, a good, simple plan for beginners is 2 full body workouts twice a week or 4 workouts/week, hit each bodypart twice — Monday and Tuesday on, Weds off, Thursday and Friday on, the weekend off. Split the compound exercises up so you do half one day, half the other on this four day plan.
Do 5 sets of 5 for Bench, Squats and Deadlifts. Work up in weight four sets. Your fifth set should be heavy enough that you just get the five reps. On all the other exercises, no more than 3 sets of each exercise and shoot for 8-10 reps. Same thing about working up in weight — first two sets used to work up to your final weight. The 3 sets aren’t for monkeying around. Bust it out!
On chins — DO CHINS. Don’t start with pulldowns on the damn lat machines. Learn how to do chins — and if you can’t, look around on the net and find the methods people use to build up strength and ability.
Keep a journal and record what weight you use and how many reps you do, so you can know in future workouts what to do to “progress.”
Don’t eat junk food. Cut it. ALL OF IT. Throw it away if you have it in your house. NOW.
For cardio, go outside and run. If I catch you on an elliptical machine, I’ll clothesline you. Stay off cardio machines. If you can’t run — walk. Incorporate brief bits of jogging, then running, when you are able.
Keep it simple and basic. This is key. Trust me.
That’s all for now. More next time.
I know what I’ve provided today prompts more questions — send them to me.
There’s so much to work with and get into here when it comes to Body. There so many variables to factor in when it comes to making your exercise effective, I’m even hesitant to provide the little bit of information I have.
But the important thing is to START, and I did want to give you something in this warmup edition of the E-zine.
For those of you who need a blunt, no bs kick in the ass to START in the first place, I have my Warrior Workout START Kit.
It’s helped a lot of people get their heads on straight about the necessity to exercise and where, when the grip meets the bar, the real responsibility lies to get the job done.
I offer “Bolt-Ons” with it — and without it. These are personal correspondences with me, including even phone calls, where you ask questions and I provide answers.
Send me your questions. It’s spring. Time to show off that 8-pack. Oh, you don’t have one of those? Sorry, I just figured every warrior body did.
Ok, quick review. What’s the most important thing we learned today, students?
Right!!! –WORK is what works.
Your Founding Father of Kicking His OWN Ass in the Gym,