Joseph has been a member of the EO3 community for a long time, and I recently asked if he would share his story with me and the EO3 Community. What he put together is amazing, but I won’t ramble…read for yourself!
I hate the gym.
At least, I hate “the gym” as it stands today.
- The mindless reps on weight machines…
- Halfhearted crunches…
- daytime TV blaring in front of the hamster wheel…
Such a sad, unimaginative excuse for a life, when I could be out rucking, hiking, or, hell, even just washing the car with my daughters.
But like most people, my fitness passion was born out of routines gleaned from magazines with fitness models on the covers. I loved working out then, but I never gained any significant strength.
Training, the way I’ve grown to understand it, and two big discoveries made all the difference.
I realized I was living in a kind of gym room gloom, a chasm of misinformation that we mistake for common sense, and that makes most of our training time a complete waste of time.
And by far the bigger news, I finally figured out what strength training is supposed to be and exactly how someone can use a system to make himself healthy and fit in the most authentic sense: strong, functional, and durable in a long-lasting way.
With other “magazine methods of training”, I felt like my strength was lacking, at a plateau, and would never improve.
I chalked it up to inferior genetics and lack of supplements.
Not to mention, my strength would fade away if I wasn’t constantly working out, and the muscle mass withered even faster as I aged. Fading muscle mass gave way to fat gain, stiff joints, stumbling-old-man balance, and a serious drop-off in weekend fun, not to mention self-esteem.
I’m approaching 33 now, not old by any measure, but surely not the same as the 23-year-old me. After sustaining a shoulder injury due to a lack of strength, I decided to fight back, and go the other way.
This meant educating myself and using a strength development program like One Man One Barbell.
Through pursuance of higher education, I learned that not only can lifting weights do as much for your heart health as cardio workouts, but EMOM (every minute, on the minute) work like that prescribed in One Man One Barbell, also provides you with a lean-muscle coat of armor against life’s inevitable blows – the way it did for me, when I dislocated my shoulder during an obstacle course race.
I spent weeks recovering only to be able to gain basic mobility in my shoulder. A few months later, I found One Man One Barbell and was on my way back to my original strength numbers.
I’m not saying I haven’t wasted time at the gym like everybody else, sweating dutifully three times a week, “working my core,” throwing in the odd after-work jog. Instead of using injury as an excuse, I used it for fuel.
I began working towards a Bachelor’s in Sports and Health Science and adopted One Man One Barbell as my sole strength training system as a way to make a genuine change in the way I approached fitness overall.
Over the course of four months, or 16 weeks of training:
- My 1RM back squat ballooned from a stagnant 275 to surprising 335 (+23.6%).
- My 1RM bench press increased from 185 to 245 (+32.4%) – the most weight I’ve ever been able to bench!
So I learned One Man One Barbell could be implemented to bring up any main lift the principles were applied to.
Four months after getting the all-clear from my physical therapist, I was snatching my bodyweight (165) and squat cleaning 205.
Other lifts increased as well:
- Deadlift: 295 up to 375 (+27%),
- Strict press from 115 to 185 (+60.8%).
Sure, you have to eat right – that’s another manifesto in itself – but if you just stick to a basic strength-training program like One Man One Barbell, you can expect a certain wonderment about what the hell you were doing all those years, why nobody told you it was this simple before, and why nobody else in the gym appears to have heard the good news.
But there’s an even better reason to build pure strength. It’s worth getting strong because we lift in large part to maintain a little self-respect, to blow off steam, to insist that we remain functionally able.
And trust me, there’s nothing like watching your deadlift skyrocket to make you feel strong.
It’s the joyful fatigue, the sense of hard work well done, with a clear purpose; it’s the rush of seeing your body transform and fat melting away.
The main thing, though, is just to get started.
Getting stronger than you initially planned has never been a complaint.
And who cares if you suck during a few weekend flag football game because the heavy deadlifts have your hamstrings smoked?
You’ll be on a journey to real, lasting-strength that’s easy to learn and even easier to apply.
Pretty soon, you’ll end up like my wife and I and begin training at home in your garage, saving tons of money on gym memberships.
Once that change is made, you’re on your way to strong.
You’ll certainly never need another magazine workout program or DVD.