The dumbest way to make change is to fail to integrate a new system slowly or in parallel. Further, there is a checklist of importance for beginning a training template, and adherence to this is the lynchpin for long term success.

In short:

  1. Find a gym with a squat rack, barbell and plates.
  2. Develop as consistent as possible eating and sleeping routines.
  3. Eat 3 times a day.
  4. Learn to move well, addressing any mobility issues.
  5. Train 3 times a week.
  6. Repeat.

Strength Training for Normal Humans

Below is a primer on the reason behind,  importance and implementation of strength training from my talk at AHSNZ in late 2015.


In Depth*

Strength training is a fairly wide term. What I mean by strength training is the act of literally defying gravity with some external weighted agent, with the intention of eliciting a positive cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, hormonal and neural response. Note I said a positive response. I have no interest and nor should you, in training that does not continually provide the human body with these adaptive responses. It is my position that the pursuit of training for health, other than that of strength, is not only folly and time wasting, but on a long enough timeline will have a net negative rather than positive effect on health.

Training changes the anatomical structure of cells.

There is a substance that exists called myelin. It’s made of fatty acids. It’s very important. All communication that comes from the brain through the nervous system. Myelin insulates those neural pathways. When a pathway is better insulated, the conduction velocity is improved. Think of the brain as a big server and all the peripherally attached appendages are like computers and gaming consoles etc. Let’s now was that by default your nervous system is like a cheap wifi router you’re given. You’re trying to download some big file off the server and it’s taking ages. There may be a lot of traffic on the network, there may be some form of interference, whatever. Now, if you upgrade that router it’s likely you’re going to get better throughput. If you, say, were on a 5ghz network instead of the default 2.4, things could move a little snappier. Finally, if you plugged a 100GB ethernet cable into that badboy and the other end into your computer, you’d be cooking at some serious speed.

Growing myelin takes time, and is indiscriminate. If you do stuff, you’re myelinating. That means if you’re sitting in a shithouse position for a large portion of your time, it’s going to get to the stage where it becomes second nature. You know the saying old habits die hard? False. They never die. Other better (or worse) habits simply overwrite them, with enough persistence. The problem is making new things stick. Everything becomes the path of least resistance. It’s logical. I always say we are naturally lazy and we prefer the status quo. Change is not an easy thing to manufacture.You have to perform change with frequency, through struggle and discomfort (otherwise known as strength training). Behold:

ExerciseSets x RepsRest Period (min)ExerciseSets x RepsRest Period (min)ExerciseSets x RepsRest Period (min)
Week 1
Press3x5Bench Press3x5Press3x5
Accumulate 20 dipsAccumulate 20 pull-upsAccumulate 20 dips
Week 2
Bench Press3x5Press3x5Bench Press3x5
Accumulate 20 pull-upsAccumulate 20 dipsAccumulate 20 pull-ups

*depth is be a word you’ll become very familiar with.