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Back to the Roots of Training - by Jim Wendler


New member
Kilo Klub Member
Jan 15, 2009
This post was on my fb page today by T-Nation and I wanted to share with our community:

Back to the Roots of training
by Jim Wendler

I've been on a mission the last few years to get back to the roots of training; to get back to when training was fun, simple, and most importantly, free of the fluff and crap that has polluted my world. When training was about strength, about moving weight, and moving bodies. About being proud of an added rep or 10 more pounds. Where performance and kicking ass are more important than how you look. Where people eat to live, not live to eat. Where trucks are pushed and sleds are pulled. Where reps and weight are counted, calories are not. Where running isn't "cardio, it's part of training and if you're going to walk for your conditioning you best have something on your back or in your hands.

With that in mind, here's a list of some simple rules that we follow:

• Squats are walked out.

• Lift-offs are not given on the bench press.

• If you're going to overhead press, it will be done standing.

• No straps unless you are hurt or doing a hang variation of a lift.

• You don't debate about organic/non-organic.

• Squats are done with a barbell on your back; this is assumed and are not called "Back Squats." You don't say you're going to take a "standing piss" do you?

• No need for music or training partners or "the right atmosphere" to train hard.

• There are no 8-week plans, rather yearlong goals and decade long achievements.

• All you need is a rack, barbell, platform and some weights.

• You realize stretching doesn't make you slow or non-explosive.

• You realize physical strength can develop mental and spiritual strength.

• You never fall for gimmicks; principles last forever.

Now there are quite a few more of these, but you get the picture. The point is this: training has become over run with people telling us how we need to think, how we need to train, and what is acceptable. That is like me telling Fenriz what black metal is: I don't get to decide it, he does.

So in sticking with the reference, there are two kinds of "hardcore" people out there. There are Metallica people and Darkthrone people. Metallica people are fine, but don't come into my Darkthrone world and tell me what is Raw or what is strong or how I need to eat. Don't bring your gimmicky elements onto my platform. And please, don't try to sell us on how hardcore you are or how dedicated to strength you are. Your lifts and your silence do more talking than your Internet chatter and bravado.

Here's a real-world example: Not long after my last meet, I was hit with some criticism over some things that were absolutely ridiculous. I was informed of this several days later from a friend of mine and was stunned. Then I realized that in the last few days since the meet was over, I had traveled over 2000 miles with my son, lifted twice, and ran 50 hills.

So you can choose — do you side with Metallica or are you Darkthrone? - Jim Wendler



FOUNDING Member / Board Supporter
Board Supporter
Jun 18, 2002

Anything Wendler is always refreshing! Thanks for posting that! A few years ago I broke my arm at the elbow two days prior to the summer football season started, I didn't go to the Dr until after the season was over in November. By then it was a mess and needed surgery. Post surgery I began running 531, and still run it to this day, with one cycle of Lily's Cube thrown in for a meet prep. Great stuff and I love his attitude about everything! There are many nights where I am pushing the prowler in my driveway at 11pm, or going to the high school for hill sprints at midnight in the snow. Wendler...just get it done!

Thanks for sharing...awesome read!

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