When it comes to the topic of training, there couldn't be any more “truths” out there. We all have our different beliefs and are firm in those beliefs, so I don't want to address the differences in progressive, results-oriented, and intensive training programs. I've pondered the similarities:

  • What makes certain regimens work when others don’t?
  • What are the key factors that produce results?
  • How important are the nutritional aspects compared to the training itself?
  • In which intensity zones should you train to become a superhero?

Now, all these are valid questions about any program. The only problem is that from here out, we get into all the scientific mumbo jumbo. Based on presumptions, theories, scientifically proven results, and experience, we talk in too long sentences. We make things too difficult for the public. They don't have any idea what to think or what to believe. I'm talking about your average Joe, the guy who trains two to three times a week and wants the most out of his time invested in training. Joe wants to be stronger. He wants to be faster. He wants to have better endurance. He wants to look good, and he wants to be happy.

So what do we tell him? Eat chicken and broccoli, do squats and bench press, run as fast as you can, and hit on everything you meet in your path? Simple and maybe even tempting but too easy.

I’ve launched a phrase that describes what you have to do—stand knee-high in shit. This is to give you a picture of what kind of determination, mindset, and commitment is needed to reach all those goals with two to three sessions a week. To stand knee high in shit and stay there demands a lot of anyone trying it. Even a rugged farmer would be nauseous after a while, but it’s in that nausea that you find progress!

Your average Joe needs to sit down and take a really good look at his training regimen. Then he needs to find out which tools he can use to make his program hurt and suck and make him feel like crap! For example, if you hate running, start running. When you think it's OK to run, run hills. When (probably never) you think running hills is OK, start doing broad jumps up the exact same hill. If you have a weight issue, stop eating any bad foods. When you leave your home, don't bring any money unless needed for a certain item or purchase (lunch could be made and taken with you every day).

It's all about being in that shitty place, that place of discomfort and bodily stress. This place will give you hard times. It will mess with your head. It will tell you to stop. It will try to lure you into everything except staying on the right path. More importantly, it will give you the results you need and want.

When you do the stuff that your body isn't used to doing or even resents, you're sure to be efficient. The reason is that your potential of improving in these skills is immense. By doing new stuff, your body adapts in a larger extent in order to accommodate this new stimuli. The result is growth and positive adaptations all the way. Every time you step out of that shitty place called training, you will be a better you. It’s you 2.0!

After a while, you will long for that shitty place because you know that magical shit happens when you're done! No longer do you want to be knee-high in shit. You want it to cover you totally so that you can tread out of that shit hole, wash off the stench, and be the best you can be!

Intensity—the captain of the shit hole

In my experience, the one thing that almost everyone will benefit from jacking up is the intensity of their workout. I don’t care how it’s done as long as high intensity happens! I don’t need people to count their pulse or find a certain workout zone. I need them to feel like their heart is jumping out of their chest at least for a split second every time they train. Whether that's done with hill sprinting or heavy lifting combined with jumps or high rep squatting isn't important. You want that feeling so that you can reap the benefits.

If you work out two times a week, you don’t have the privilege of deloading and doing light work very often. You have to wade in shitty places. Not for long but for a little while every time you hit the gym. You have to find yourself lying on the floor wondering how you got there. When you’ve done that a certain number of times, you'll start craving that feeling. Why? Because you're seeing results.

Looking at it, this idea is really easy to get done. Sit down, figure out what you despise or suck at, and go out and do it. The problem is that we are people and people are glorified idiots. Very seldom do I see novice people putting down good lists of what they suck at. Their insight into their own physique is as bad as their...physique. Just test them! Test them in strength, endurance, and flexibility. Check their health by getting them to see their GP and getting on the scale. When you have this data, get them to do the exact thing that will help them into the shit. They will hate you and thank you.

High intensity will give you the positive effects of cardiovascular training without investing numerous hours on the treadmill. The rest of your health is taken care of by nutrition and, for the general public, this means predominantly restricted calories, increased protein, decreased carbs, increased vegetable intake, and decreased sugar (no sugar).

I know that the big compound lifts need attention and should be done with great focus. Squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses, and bench presses need to be done in order to take an average physique into something extraordinary. All these lifts need a heck of a lot of technique training. Do this calmly and progressively. Make sure they can handle the broomstick and the real deal before adding intensity. Don’t go CrossFit on a person who never touched a barbell before. Use body weight exercises and running and rowing in the high intensity work. Keep it safe and simple. They will feel like shit anyway, so mission accomplished!

When people come to a trainer, they had better listen. The trainer is the almighty boss and should know what needs to be done. If you’re experienced enough, you can put nearly anyone into a sort of regimen as I've described. No matter the injury, physique, or other special consideration, there is room for them in the puddle of shit that is everyday hardcore training. The trainer just needs to make it fit for that person's special needs, and if he is a good enough trainer, that can be done.

Throw people into the shit and pick them up when they can’t hold their chin above the surface anymore. Then tell them to come back and do that two to three times a week. They will soon walk into your gym eager to take the plunge. Kick ass!