Jim Wendler on fitness...
I can’t take credit for this name. I wish I could, but both the idea and the name come from my good friend Jim Messer. Jim and I have been friends since junior high, and we have the kind of friendship that doesn’t require us to talk every week. Or even every year. This is more of an idea. A concept, if you will.
Jim started training with the 5/3/1 method without my knowing it, and he’s had great success. He emailed me and let me know about this. Here’s part of an email he wrote to me:
I feel compelled to tell you that after a few months of using the now-legendary 5/3/1, I have now moved somewhat north of being an utter vag. I f**ked my body up pretty badly last winter, stopped all physical activity, and thought that was pretty much gonna be it. Just another skinny f**king wimp. It’s been a really long time since I’ve felt this good physically. By God, last week I puked in my mouth and almost blacked out squatting. I’d thought that time in my life was over.
After I stopped laughing, I began thinking about his statement and about how many people seem to be moving and staying well south of vag. To quote Black Sabbath, this is a symptom of the universe. Then I started to contemplate how one stays in the Northern Hemisphere of the Holy Holes. What followed was the training template I’ll show you now. It’s very simple to follow:
1. Warm-up: foam rolling, static stretching and jumping rope (or something similar).
2. Lift Weights: 5/3/1; keep it basic and strong.
3. Condition: Run hills, push Prowler.
That’s it. Do this 3-4 times a week and you won’t fall into the trap of being normal. You’ll be strong, healthy and in shape. You won’t make New Year’s resolutions because you’ll be living it every day. You can eat that final piece of pie and not count carbs because you just ran 20 hill sprints for the third time this week. You can wake up and not feel like shit because you’ve actually taken the time to foam roll and stretch. You actually have some traps from deadlifting. You don’t fall for fitness trends, because you know what works. You stop caring what people say on the internet, because you’re always making progress. You’re always moving forward toward something.
People ask you how to train, and you answer, “I look at what you do, and then I do the exact opposite.”
You’ll actually be able to move because your feet will be fast from jumping rope. You won’t be out of breath all the time. You’ll be able to take on any physical activity you want. You’ll be different once you’ve spent time straining to get a rep PR in the squat or pushed a Prowler for 40 minutes. Dealing with the idiots at work or your boss will no longer be an issue. It’s hard to bring a man down after he’s had three weeks of personal records in the gym. It’s hard to get mad at the guy who cuts you off in traffic after you’ve left your lunch on top of the hill after bear crawling up it. Who cares about all that meaningless stuff? When your training and your life are moving forward, you certainly won’t.
It doesn’t take a lot to do this. You already give 8-10 hours a day to your boss and to your work. To boredom and to people and organizations that couldn’t care less about you. Then your family and friends get the rest of your time.
What about you? Do you really think so little of yourself that you can’t sacrifice an hour or two, 3-4 days a week, for yourself? This “me” time isn’t spent shopping, watching TV or getting on the internet. You’re spending it reinvesting in your body, building strength, and building character. Kicking ass and training consistently – and with some balance – will do wonders for both your body and your mind.
Get rid of all the meaningless crap in your life and your training. Get rid of the things that bleed your energy in the weight room and in life. What’s better for you? The Prowler or a stroll on the treadmill? What do you think is going to make you better?
Don’t fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your shit in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesn’t matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? Fuck you. I’ve got scars and blood and vomit.
This is a call to arms for some of you. It is for me, too. Stop all the things that make you a pussy and steal your energy. Get your life back.