Get settled for a long one here guys...

Ok so first things first, and a little early warning here. My regular readers wont be used to this tone from me and newer readers may be a little put off.

If you're a never say die, never let them see you sweat, get things done participant of the iron game, then read on. If you're easily offended, you worry about which Crossfad socks or which music you want in your Zumbacise Rhythmic Kickboxing class, then click to another site now.

The aim of this is to be informative about the value's of old we miss in this society today in and out of the gym.  It will also be on my position regarding new modern trends of the feminine male creeping into the gym world. They take away from the values that you gain from hard living, hard working and hard training of old.

I will outline some of the most valuable lessons about the Old School Way that worked not only for me but for generation of men before me, and I will tell you why they will for you today too. I wont change and neither should you..if it ain't broke don't fix it. Sometimes you just have to cut down to core, acknowledge some truths and get back to your Barbell.

Traditional Values

I pulled out in to the car park of a local gym where I was about to meet a client, but it wasn't a normal client. What made this man different is that he asked for something very specific, and he was very insistent that he got it too:
"Let me go to a hard environment.where I can push myself..I want a real place where I wont be softened up by having it easy".
Ok I I have a client who wants to become strong and not just workout. He wanted character building in an environment requiring strength  both in mind and body. I was pleased he seemed to have the attitude and I thought that's what I'll give him. So that's what he got that night. I walked him into the gym and he took a look a round the place:
"It's a bit cold in here." 
It was. The gym had no heating, which means we felt the winter snap.

I continued to show him around as he asked question after question:
"Where are the treadmills? Cross trainers? The aerobics areas?" Aerobics areas? 
I showed him an area of turf and gravel outside for sprints, sled pulls and weighted carries. There was also a small hill for hill sprints. I showed him an area of tires, kettle bells, hammers, med balls, weighted carry equipment. He looked at me:
"I'm supposed to get fit here? What about cardio? At least tell me where the bar is for protein shakes? The sofa area? The weight machines?"
There are no machines, we use few. We mainly use free weights:
"No machines? What about my biceps curl machine?" 
We do chins and weighted chins, and if you need to curl we curl with a barbell. The protein bar is the box in the corner with a blender on it, sofa area? Is the fashion these days for gyms to have sofa areas? With coffee makers and magazines?

I had my doubts until I recently visited a "hard core gym" near my home which came fully loaded with a leather sofa area, coffee machine and magazine stand. Walls covered in marvel comics and an array of soft furnishings...and Mr. client we use barbells here not machines:
"I suppose I can sit on these benches here." 
Oh no not really, I suppose you will be standing and assisting spotting while waiting your turn to lift (not that there was a chair in the place anyway). This went on for 45 minutes and needless to say I never saw him after the night I provided him with a character building experience. He left that night and informed me that he went for a luxury gym costing him nearly £2500 for 5 sessions a week.

Ok that's fine by me. (Now he can watch his House Wives of Beverley Hills reality TV shows on 4 different tv's while he plods on a cross trainer and see it in the reflection on the full length wall mirrors too. After his session he can drink a latte and rest on a plush leather sofa.) We wouldn't want you to be cold , break into a sweat or the unthinkable..actually lift something heavy with a bar and some iron..right? And we certainly would never want you to miss out on the holy grail of the curl machine by training in a gym with serious lifters, strongmen and minimal robust equipment as is the Old School Way.

Anyone who knows me knows this a particular point with me and it's worth mentioning for you because lets face, it choosing the right gym really is a big thing if you want to get the most out of it. I don't just mean working out here either too. It can be the difference between softening yourself or adding a bit of character building hardness into the otherwise soft daily life most people live(if that annoyed you it's because you live soft too admit'll do you good).

One fine example of such a gym is the Adlignton Barbell Club and it's a shame we don't see more of these places. This is a place that lives up to the old fashioned way, weight lifting is never supposed easy. Go to a modern commercial gym and ask a lot of the guys about leg day. I can count on my hand the number of guys in my gym who don't miss leg day.  If your gym is full is full of  "Mr can't squat" who wont squat because he simply does not like leg day, then you're in the wrong place. "I follow the Squat 800lb by only doing legs once a year" said no successful strength athlete - ever.

This supposed to be hard, character building and mentally strengthening. I guarantee the man who just struggled to put 5lbs on a 500lb Deadlift will feel mentally stronger to approach life challenges than a man who just figured out he can buy a comfy gel seat for his spinning bike. If you don't believe me or think I'm wrong then that's ok..I've been there and done it. But more than that, I'm on your side. There is a place for you..right next to the women in front of the mirrors where you can compare notes on flowered shorts..flip flops..body shaping..big brother get me out of the jungle sing along shows and which salon will give you the Beiber look best.

Seriously guys, step out of your zone. Test yourself with other men who will push you just as hard. I'm not against other forms of  training they have there place but that doesn't mean we have to take to hardship out of it. I promise you easy it is not, but rewarding it is. Leave the health farms and clubs for the women, I promise you this type of training with this conditioning will do more for you than this "Dance Aerobics" for men. Think about it guys. Lets look at some old school ways and lessons I've learned that will work for you too.

Old School Way 1: Don't Forget Your Steak and Eggs

Ok so things have advanced in nutrition terms some what and that's good, but things have yet to advance in natural terms. Put down your fad diets, forget your cutting and let the women do the diet swapping thing. You still need meat and you need plenty of it. Yea there are plenty of anti-meat crowds around but you are a carnivore and you eat like one.

Do you need to cut? Not really save that for the 6 week six pack wannabes at the gym who can't lift a brown paper bag, Will it matter if you still carry that little bit of fat when you can deadlift 600lb? You don't need to be told what to eat guys and that should not be so different from strong men of old. They weren't over weight were they.

If you really want to count calories that's ok I'm sure your girlfriend wont mind you having a salad at lunch, she probably likes you looking thin and lacking strength...ya a woman. Salads are not the food of strong men.

Old School Way 2: Comfort is Not Your Friend

This is true both in the gym and outside of it.

Want to build character? The get used to discomfort because you're going to need it. Much like the example I provided above do you think a luxury gym will put you out of your comfort zone? Or make you push it? More so do you think the people in there will really be doing the same thing? It's about mentality to life and lifting.

If your gym doesn't encourage this or is not doing it for you then find a new gym. Are you an environment where you only want to train or need to train? Need is having to make the lift and make the numbers or getting the job done no matter how that that feels. It's about leadership both in the gym and life. Are you going to be half assed or are you going to dominate it and take it down? Once you've done it you will see it's not as bad as it seems and you will learn to enjoy the feeling both in and out of the gym.

Discomfort and harsh conditioning is character building if it weren't why would the military do it? Generations before knew it so why should you escape it?. Old school hard living..and that does not mean using moisturizer with the women after a set of deadlifts because you are afraid of rough hands (I have seen it done and it will give you women's hands).

Old School Way 3: It's Best When it's Simple, and Preferably Heavy

So you have your several fitness magazines a month, your subscriptions to a hundred workout websites and your stacks full of bodybuilding programs...your time is consumed with..volume. Volumes of sets.Volume of reps and sheer variety of exercises for days a week. What did you get from that? Probably nothing, but if you want to chase a pump go ahead.

The simple fact of life and lifting is that you don't need all these fads. They wont enrich your life or your training. Look at the simple programs like 20 rep exercise a session program..5-3-1 by Wendler..and many more. You don't need what modern main stream media in the fitness industry is selling you, I've seen some of the best results from people I know who just work out in a garage with a few hundreds of lb's of iron weights, power rack and pull up bar and olympic dumbbells. Not one volume program was seen in sight.

If you can't do it with those you probably don't even need it. The same goes for life in the gym you should never cut corners you only cheat yourself and in life cutting out what you don't need.getting priorities right is key. In the old days before racks were invented 2 people would lift weights onto a guys back so he could Squat..there was no can't squat wont squat..get it done. Even the Austrian Oak Arnold took part in strength and powerlifting contests, he credits 5x5 with his foundation. Strength has it's own look don't give into modern norms in society the old school way is best here.

Old School Way 4: Hard Work is Best for You

Since the mid 80's and early 90's with the rise of the noise which modern generations call music (I mean those horrible trashy dance sounds modern men lift too these days) society has become increasingly softer and entitled. This can be reflected in today's gym culture. Pain, hard work and discomfort.have been set aside in favour of being given everything and living in comfort. Gyms full of soft furnishings, easy workouts mentality, trendy health clubs stacked with rows of machines. I could go on but you get it right?

Most gyms don't allow for the serious trainee any longer and when there is intensity it comes along with stupidity in the form of Crossfad workouts. Gone are the days where there was a barbell club and that's all you had. If you're afraid of hard work, lifting, conditioning and earning strength in and out of the gym..then say hello to weak living. There was a time when men would work a full day and go out and lift. No messing just get it done. The gym I grew up in had a board and you add your numbers, its very simple you lift you work hard you earn strength and if that doesn't make you feel better about yourself hitting a goal then I don't know what will. It's certainly not walking for an hour on a treadmill surrounded by tv's..smelling the coffee..and chatting on the sofa.

But what can we expect from the mass feminisation of male society these days? Did strong men  of old get in shape by walking an hour on a treadmill listening some yapping women moaning on a techno beat? Putting hard work in is not just about training and it transfers to every other aspects of your life. No pain no gain the old school way.

Old School Way 5: Do Basic Movements and Repeat Them Over and Over

Ok now here is another principle that extends outside of the gym. First of I am not going to say programming is bad but that doesn't mean we throw out the old and chase fads unless your second name is Glassman. That's why Squat, Deadlift and Bench Press are still going today as the basis of any effective strength program. The important thing is getting know and push your limit.

Have a program but if you want to don't be afraid of adding more weight or picking up that heavier kettlebell. Life and sports require the ability to push yourself and adapt. If isn't broke don't fix it all you need to do is do more of it. Don't go to the gym with 5x5 on your workout card go with 5x5 failure. At the end go for a rep record and push yourself. See what you can do when your tired and bashed up even if it's just 2 more reps on your last set of five.

This is a discipline and just like the principles here you learn that for life too. Through keeping your principles of being a man, being a gentlemen in life even when things get at you. Don't give into life or society with its "old school way is out fashion" views. You never say die in the gym so take that into life. In truth you can probably get all you need from squat, bench press, deadlift, variations of pull ups and chins, rows and pick things up from the floor.

Look up old school way of doing it from decades ago this is what you see..what the fitness experts hate to hear..and the industry hates it because they know most of them would be redundant overnight and the fads they push would disappear..and the dancercise for men dvds they promote would become things of comedy. The old school way of doing things works for a reason.

Old School Way 6: Accept Any Challenge

That goes for outside the gym too..why would you back down?

Here's the thing in the days gone by it was never all about lifting, it was about Physicality and being Physical in life. So what did the old strong men do? The had a an attitude of never backing down from any physical challenge and including more than just the lifting. They never left things out and in true style they never made it easy either. It was lifting, conditioning and stretching. That's right one thing I said conditioning not cardio..not zumba..not boxercise to music or any of that.

In the more physical days they carried weight, picked weight up, walked with weight and moved it around. There were no labour saving devices and health laws  surrounding jobs. Men did physical work and that reflected in training. If you want the best reflection of this look at strongman events like farmers walks, sledge pulls etc. They also used body weight conditioning. Does it have to be the same every workout? No embrace the challenge.

Set yourself a number like 500 body weight then every workout start a different conditioning session. One challenge is the 500 squat session give it a go..I bet some of you said what 500 squats? and the mentality right there make your work hard and active. Challenge yourself every given day. Here is a good rule I learnt from an old lifter "first man in the gym sets the session".

Now if the man that arrives first for 3 days running like to do circuits of squats, burpees, sprints press ups, partner carries etc then guess what you're doing..or don't go. But you would never give up would you? Take value from the challenge and competition. And that's the mentality you need in life its about the action and the doing. The setting and beating of challenges to better yourself. Be a man of action and step up to your challenges like the strong men of old.

Old School Way 7: You're There to Train and Get Strong, so do That and Nothing Else

If you go to the gym to find the next "Mrs girly man" then you're in the wrong place and you need to one of those feminine places with the soft sofas or better yet get the hell out. Gyms are not for anything else other than training..getting big and strong with other like minded individuals. You know the place..there's a lot of guys focused serious about lifting it's about old school camaraderie. Everyone gets fantastic results because they are all the same and all there for one thing.

I've seen men in there 50's and 60's still loading a barbell. They may not hit the numbers lie they used to but they do it and for their age it shows. Keep where you lift and where you relax detached. They are not the same and yes we all do need to rest or relax but having a good looking woman around with the sports on is for home with your woman. So on the way to the gym get ready to lift and channel what you have into your focus. If not then stick to your "120lb on the bar gym squat limit" in the female friendly lifting gyms..I'm sure the skinny jeans manufacturers will love you.

Old School Way 8: Document Everything, Keep Records

This may sound like a recent but it's not..and we are not measuring your ability to perform the latest "aerobics hollywood style physique session". It's something different. It's about being responsible, self-reliant and self-sufficient. Once I 've given clients a program and they know the exercises I expect them to write their own training log. They are there to learn build character as people through my coaching and if you need to use instructors or rely on them are you advancing at all? No and they're not teaching you either(and that includes you people reading this telling yourself you do that with your clients).

It's also about motivation through honesty with yourself and what you need to do. There's that cross over again..sounds familiar? yes it should its another life skill of the old school it yourself. Take action its as simple that. If you can't take charge and lead yourself..then how can you do it without anything else? or anyone else? Good luck getting that from Crossfad I'll have to remind Glassman that working out does involve programs..or something more simple like writing things down. Good luck gaining life skills from Crossfad senseless placement of exercises no matter how much they claim to be a branch of the old school way..just like they claim to have invented fitness.
"If they say Women that lift look like men..then men who don't lift must look like women" ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Do you want that? Or are you going to lift and condition yourself until all that's left is strength, character and the balls you will live life with? If you're reading this from a sofa with a coffee in a gym..then get of your ass and do your squats. If you're reading this from a sofa with a steak after doing your squats..good don't lose the values of the old school way.


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