29 explanations – No.10

Read, digest, experiment

I have a book, magazine and journal collection going back literally hundreds of years about the development of strength, physique and conditioning.

In the 90's David Horne, Bill Hinbern, David Webster and David Gentle sold books through catalogues or word of mouth or in the back pages of magazines. This is how most of my collection was built up. This is before Ebay or buy/sell forums. You really had to know where to look. Occasionally I would go to book fairs and quaint bookshops in the countryside scouring for a piece of history.

Today you can find much of what I own online. The Tight Tan Slacks of Deszo Ban is a fine blog which is home to a never ending myriad of good information from authors like Anthony Dittillo, Bill Seno, Bill Pearl, Vic Boff etc. These men also read, digested and experimented.

A great trainer or indeed trainee doesn't give out information just because it worked for them. They give out information that works best for the client.

I've said it before, if you just did everything Bill Starr wrote about in his articles and training programs you'd be as good as you could ever be.

When I write articles today I rarely have all my books to look up certain facts. Most of it is stored in my head. I've read all my books multiple times and will read them all again. Everything I need is right there. It doesn't however stop me reading articles by todays authors, both good and bad. I may not be the walking Physical Culture Encyclopedia of a Hinbern or a Webster but I've certainly studied it enough to know my subject. I actually believe with a bit of work I could go on Mastermind (Famour British Quiz Show) and do quite well in my chosen subject!

Now once, you've read and digested (understood) your subject, your training program or protocol you must then experiment. This is why science nerds and armchair theorists will NEVER understand proper WEIGHT TRAINING to get BIGGER and STRONGER and better conditioned. You can read and 'understand' all you want but unless you actually try it for a consistent period of time you will never know how good or bad a training program is.

Let's take an example. One of my favourites for building mental fortitude (toughness), overall strength and power, adding size and to LEARN HOW TO WORK HARD is 20 REP SQUATS. If you think that a single all out set of 20 rep squats is easy then you aren't using enough weight. If you are pumping 20 reps out with half assed form in under a minute, even two minutes, you are not doing them right. Properly programmed 20 rep squats should be do or die when it comes to your MAXIMUM EFFORT. Science might say they don't work. The guy sat on his computer typing might say that 5/3/1 or 5×5 is better but NOTHING will teach you more about yourself as a lifter than an all out set of 20 rep squats.

In the build up weeks, perhaps months to an all out set of 20 rep squats you will have pushed yourself harder and harder. This proves to YOU that HARD WORK can be LEARNED. You don't know how hard you can work. You don't! Because next week you could work harder. And the week after and so on. You must do this week in week out otherwise gains will stop and you will become mediocre at best.

So simply read and read and when something seems to resonate with you, read it some more and UNDERSTAND it. Then plan out your training for 8-16 weeks and follow the programming with PASSION, working harder and harder starting at around 80% intensity and building into FULL BORE HARD AS FUCKIN' NAILS intensity in the final weeks!

This is how progress is made. This is proper weight training. This is Beyond Strong.


Feeeee-l the intensity of Dorian training…





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