We all have problems and they never seem to end – training is about solving those problems. Yet, solving one problem creates a new one to be solved. Problems are often seen as negative, but by solving each new problem, you take a step forward toward your goals. The even better news is that many problems can be solved with an investment of $20 or less. It doesn’t matter if you’re dumb, ugly, have a poverty bench, or just need more gains. Andrew Jackson (the president on a $20 bill for any non-US-based readers) has a solution for you.

You’re Out of Shape

If you want to lift big weights, you need to have some General Physical Preparedness (GPP) to recover and get through your workouts. Not every GPP workout has to be stadium steps, hill runs, or the dreadful prowler. Two simple GPP tools are a jump rope and a medicine ball. With those two items, you could do a years-worth of GPP and not repeat the same workout twice.

Workout #1

  • Jump rope (two feet) x 50
  • Medicine ball slams x 20
  • Repeat for 15 minutes

Workout #2

  • Medicine ball chest pass for ¼ mile
  • Alternating feet x 500

Workout #3

  • Side-to-side jumps x 20
  • Medicine ball overhead throws x 10
  • Plank x 1 minute
  • Repeat for 20 minutes

These are just three options – it doesn’t have to be crazy, but you do need to move. Medicine balls are some of my favorite options for GPP. They travel well and give you many options, not just for GPP, but also for assistance exercises and warming up. You down with GPP?

You’re Dumb

There is “dumb” that can be fixed, and some that can’t. We will assume that you just need to be educated. For less than $20, you can pick up eBooks on a variety of topics; every book has a takeaway that is worth more than double the price you will pay. This is an investment in your education and training – the more you read and learn, the more valuable you will become as a coach and/or training partner. There are some books on the site that cost less than you pay for your morning coffee. Don’t be a dummy; pick up a few books and get to reading. You can also access the 7000+ articles, archived Q&A, training logs, free manuals, and free seminar videos.  If you want to be better at your craft, then take the information that is being given to you for free and use it.

You’re Ugly

The bad news is that if you are ugly, there is nothing that $20 bucks can do to fix that – except covering your dog face with a paper bag. But, you can dress better. Elitefts has apparel options to keep you looking good in and out of the gym. Most guys in powerlifting tend to end up with ladies who are clearly better looking than themselves. So, give yourself a better chance with that special someone and invest in some new elitefts gear. You can find tanks, tees, and even hats to cover your balding dome. Let everyone know that you are serious about your training by proudly displaying the elitefts logo.

Portrait of Jackson from one twenty dollars bill

Image credit: choneschones ©

You’re Slow

Not that kind of slow (I already addressed the dumb issue). If you are lacking speed on your lifts, then you need bands – one of the best ideas to hit powerlifting in the last 20 years. It has helped many lifters become faster and break new ground with weights that they never imagined lifting. Using bands correctly will produce over-speed eccentrics and accommodating resistance. That alone is a great deal, but wait – there is more! Bands can be used for assistance exercises, stretching, and the future method; you can solve quite a few problems with bands. If you don’t have a set, I would pick up some today!

Dynamic Effort Waves


  • 9 sets of 3 reps with 40% bar weight and 20% band tension


  • Week 1: 50% bar weight and 25% band tension 12x2
  • Week 2: 55% bar weight and 25% band tension 12x2
  • Week 3: 60% bar weight and 25% band tension 10x2

You’ve Got the “Itis

Itis includes a number of different ailments. If you have aches and pains, you need to keep them at bay or they will bring the gain train to a stop. Determining which “itis” you have will dictate the best solution for you. Liniment, flossing bands, and a Pro Mobility Ball can do wonders. When that doesn’t work fast enough, you might need some cuffs or sleeves to keep things at bay. When you’re knee-deep in meet prep and can’t miss a workout, you will need to take care of your body. Doing the small things are much cheaper than waiting until it becomes a big problem.

Weak Abs

If you have weak abs, it all boils down to laziness. If you are not doing what you should in the gym, then bring your work home with you. Grab an ab wheel and some bands – they will take up minimal space, but they will maximize your lifts. Start with two extra workouts a week. If you keep it up, you will notice a difference in a few weeks. Once you build them, you just have to use them correctly while lifting.

Pick one of these and do it until your abs are done:

  • Ab wheel sets of 6-8
  • Leg raises against mini band x 10-20
  • High-tension plank against band
  • Pull-down abs with staggered stance x 10 each side
  • V-ups against micro band x 8
  • Pallof press x 60 seconds each side
  • Ab wheel with added band resistance

If you are smart, good-looking, and your lifts are on point, then you are either lying or you need to be patient. Something will hurt or break down at some point. I would recommend asking for and stockpiling elitefts gift cards – hold onto them and you can build up to something more expensive, or attack your problem from multiple angles. No matter if it is your birthday or Christmas, an elitefts gift card is never a bad gift.

When addressing your problems, always start with the simplest answer. Fix your technique, work hard, take care of your body, and great things will happen. Small investments will pay off in the long run – no matter your problem, elitefts has your solution!

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