Super Simple Stength
Oct 18, 2021
I once made a video about a super simple strength training program. It was mostly inspired by my relationship with my good friend, Dan John, and my own experience.
Dan John really shined a spotlight on the human movements: Push, Pull, Hinge, Squat, Carry, Get Up. In my super simple strength program, all you do is “pick 2, then carry or crawl.” You pick two movements, superset them back and forth for ten minutes, getting in the work that you can WHILE maintaining NASAL BREATHING, then you perform a carry or a crawl for ten minutes. It’s twenty total minutes of work that can be split up into two separate ten-minute segments to fit your day.
The two movements you pick - I like sticking with the Fab Four: Push, Pull, Hinge, Squat - can be bodyweight or loaded; it’s up to you. BUT, you want to try to maintain a steady, constant work effort throughout, resting as little as you need to. So, the loads don’t need to be very heavy, they just need to be challenging.
For example, you might pick the bodyweight squat for 10 reps and the pushup for 5 reps and stack them back and forth one after another at a steady pace for 10 minutes. Then, or later that day, you might choose to perform a “Goblet Carry” (front-loaded carry chest high) for 10 minutes, or you may decide you want to backward leopard crawl for 10 minutes.
The carries and crawls DO NOT have to be continuous, without rest. They can simply be done in 10 minutes. For example, You may have 20 yards of real estate and a 50-pound kettlebell. You could perform 10 minutes of suitcase carries by picking the bell up in the right hand and walking for 20 yards and then putting it down. Turn around, pick it up in the left hand and walk back the 20 yards. You put it down on the ends and carry it in the middle.
You can do the same thing with the crawls. You could leopard crawl for 20 yards, then stand up and walk back the 20 yards. Repeat this for 10 minutes. This is an amazing life-changing drill by the way. It GIVES so much more than it takes.
For the carries, I like using loads of 20 - 30% bodyweight. Not heavy, but enough to elicit a wonderful reflexive response from the body.
Now, I know I said Pick 2, then crawl or carry. But, and this is just me, I like to keep the getups on their own, then crawl or carry. So that is a Pick 1, then crawl or carry. But it’s okay if you pair it with any of those other movements.
You may be thinking this is too simple or simply too light to build a strong and capable body. But the proof is in the doing. If you can churn steady work while nasal breathing for 10 minutes and then perform carries or crawls for 10 minutes while nasal breathing, you’ll build a strong AND resilient body, inside and out.
Here is an example of what this may look like:
Day 1: Squats x 10, Pushups x 5 for 10 minutes. Then Overhead Carries x 10 minutes.
Day 2: Kettlebell Swings x 10, Pull-ups x 3 for 10 minutes. Then Backward Leopard Crawl x 10 minutes.
Day 3: Bodyweight Getups, or Formal Turkish Get-ups, for 10 minutes. Then Goblet Carries x 10 minutes.
Day 4: rest
Rinse and repeat with the same movements, or similar movements, or mix it up.
There is a lot of gold here to mine if you are seeking it. This is super simple. And it works. But it's also free... Dan John often closes his free offerings with the phrase, “your mileage may vary.” Anyway, If you’re curious, this could give you many miles to come.