I hate rules. I prefer to do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it… free from interference and the restriction of rules.
When I was a kid my father gave us rules.
My father’s rules included: “wash your hands”, “drink water”, “be home for dinner”, “no friends on Sunday”, “maintain a ‘C average’ in school”, “no TV in your room”, “work hard”, “do your chores”, “no cursing”, “be respectful”,“do something constructive”, “have respect”, “say please”, “say thank you”, “don’t be lazy” and “don’t marry a lazy women”.
It’s in my nature to resist and rebel, I was born that way… but I don’t think anyone likes to be told what to do. I’d rather be free to make my own mistakes than have “mommy”, “daddy”, “big brother”, “the wife”, “the government”, “cultural Marxists”, “social media” or “Jesus” tell me what I must do.
With my kind of reckless relationship towards rules, regulations, restrictions and commandments, you’re bound to make a few (or a lot) of mistakes in lifting, life and relationships. I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with the law, nights in jail, losing money, breaking bones, breaking hearts, and looking stupid… all because I shirked the rules and did what I want. When you’re a rule breaker you get used to paying the price. You can break the rules for years, or even decades… but at some point you will pay the price, guaranteed.
I think of breaking the rules, making mistakes and paying the price as an investment in learning. Each rule broken and price paid yields me a high return in wisdom. As a result I am wealthy in wisdom, and I have the scars (and torn tendons) to prove it. I’ve also discovered which rules are bullshit, made-up, worthless “mainstream mindset” garbage, and what rules you must heed if you want to be a strongman.
Why accept rules from a man who hates rules?
I hate rules, but I accept them because good rules are based on laws. We live in a universe governed by physical laws and metaphysical laws. Nothing in this world exists, grows or prospers without these laws. We can resist the laws or pretend the laws doesn’t apply to us, but the laws will still be there.
If you jump out of an airplane without a parachute you’ll plummet to the ground faster than a fat kid drinks apple juice. Lift like a sissy in the gym, and you’ll continue to have soft, puny, skinny-fat arms. Marry a woman who has big tits, long legs, a beautiful face… but can’t cook, and you’ll be spending a lot of money on fast food and plastic surgery. No judgement, that’s just the way it is with natural laws, so be aware.
Rules are like guidelines that help you navigate this world of laws. Rules show you where the boundaries lie and they give you heightened sense clarity (right vs wrong). Like my father’s rules, good rules always exist for a good reason.
In this lesson I will teach you the first five of my on-going list of “Strongman Rules”.
These “Strongman Rules” are not about taking your power away. In fact, these rules will fortify your power by creating a hedge (wall) around your mission and vision as a man. These rules will also protect you from the degenerate mainstream cult, and their pervasive mainstream mindset.
These Strongman Rules empower you to create. Man is a creator. Your life is measured by what you create, and to create you must follow rules. Like famous jazz musician Charlie Parker once said, “Learn the instrument, learn the music, then forget all that shit and just play.” You must earn the rules first, only then are you free to play.
These Strongman Rules are based on timeless truths. These rules are not new, I did not make them up myself. They are based on ancient wisdom and practical “know-how” men have shared with one another for generations, only now lost amidst the cry of mainstream noise. I am simply sharing them with you here, as I have come to know them. I’ve learned these rules either by wisdom imparted through mentors, masters, revelation from god… or earned the hard way, through my own mistakes, pain, set backs and struggles.
If you’ve been following me since “my YouTube days” there is a good chance you will already know many of these rules on this list. In fact, you may be one of the millions of men who listened to my advice on YouTube, put it into action and have seen great results — so, you already know these rules work.
If you’re new here, congratulations. By following these rules you’ll achieve faster positive results in lifting and in your life. Also, by taking my advice and following these rules you will avoid costly mistakes made myself and the men before you.
Strongman Rule #1 – Be a strong man.
No man has the right to be weak. To be a weak man is to live against nature, its sinful. Nature needs strong men in the world. Nature uses the hands, arms, back, balls and brains of strong men to get shit done. Weak men are useless to nature, as nothing good can ever be created by a weak man.
Whats more… weak men usually end up falling under the spell of evil by way of rationalizing thought, playing victim and upholding weakness as a virtue. Understand this: there is no virtue in victimhood and there is nothing good about being weak a weak man… no matter what the snowflakes and SJWs on Face-hook decry.
Strongmen lift. They might do gymnastics, gentle yoga and Swiss ball gyrations… but strong men always LIFT WEIGHTS. There is no such thing as a strongman that does not drag, push, pull and throw heavy stuff. Resistance in the form of barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, logs, sandbags, stones, axles, trap bars, tires are all acceptable. But not lifting, is unacceptable.
Strongman Rule #2 – Lifting weights as a “right of passage” for men.
In his book “STONELIFTING: An Ancient Test Of Strength Revived” strongman and author Martin Janscics travels the backcountry of Scotland in search of what are often referred to as “manhood stones”. These heavy (200+ pound) stones are inconspicuously scattered throughout the country where they were once used as a test of strength for men coming into their own.
Men in historic times were valued more for their ability to work hard, lift , build, fight and run… than how many Instagram followers they have. When a young man was coming “of age” he was given an opportunity to demonstrate his value to the community by way of lifting a “manhood stone” from the ground, onto a platform, onto his shoulder, or pressed over his head.
Today, young men no longer participate in the initiation rituals or rights of passages deemed critical by the men of old. Unlike young women who are “initiated by nature” (ie. menstruation), young men need to be challenged, humbled, taught, trained and prepared for adequate participation within the society. Strength training provides this.
In my 20+ years of coaching young men in the gym I have seen countless spineless, weak little boys transform into upstanding, respectable, STRONG young men right before my very eyes. Strength training may have provided them with greater physical strength, but their “initiation by iron” made them into strong men.
Strongman Rule #3 – Create a “sacred space” for lifting in your home, or in your mind.
When I was just a teenager becoming a strong man I lifted in the dark, dank silence of my parents basement at our home on Long Island, NY. As a strength coach and gym owner I lifted in my steamy, hot warehouse gym or at a public park in St. Petersburg, Florida. Today, I lift in the sacred space of my own hardcore garage gym at home… free from distractions, crappy music and needy people who’d rather chat and snap pictures, than struggle and strain against weights.
As with any sacred strongman act, strength training requires mental preparation. One of the best ways to prepare your mind is to create an environment that inspires focus, concentration and hard work. Commercial gyms, pop music, plush seats and women in spandex are nothing more than distractions to a man testing his strength and growing stronger with weights.
If possible, it’s best to lift in an environment of your own design. Seek to create a “sacred space” for strength training. For most men that means lifting at home, in the garage, in the basement, or outdoors. If you have the room to lift and money to buy an affordable barbell / plate set, it’s in your best interest to create your own lifting environment. If this is impossible, as for men who live in big cities or apartment buildings, then creating a “sacred space” in your own mind is your next best bet.
Preparing your “mind space” for strength training and heavy lifting may be as simple as shutting out distractions with headphones by playing motivational music or an audiobook. Either way make the decision to ignore all outside distractions and prepare yourself for an intense bout of mental focus, concentration and hard work.
Strongman Rule #4 – The Strength Coach is a “ritual initiator”, and he delivers wise council to the strong.
I’m convinced that the most important job on the planet today is the Strength Coach. The strength coach is like the modern day “ritual initiator”. We all know that men need “rituals”, or meaningful daily habits which help us to grow stronger. Strength training may be one of the most powerful rituals a man can add to his life, and the strength coach is the best man to initiate you into our world.
But it doesn’t end there…
Young men are also curious about life and becoming a man. He may want to build muscles and grow stronger for his own good reasons. But there is also an “inner strengthening” that happens when a young man finds himself under the instruction of a wise strength coach.
My first strength coach and mentor was my uncle. Uncle Elroy lived with me and my parents when I was very young, about three or four years old. He had a black belt in Kung Fun, he was also a gymnast, marathon runner and a bodybuilder. He used to teach my brothers and I how to do push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, climb ropes and hit heavy bags when most kids were still learning how to tie their shoelaces.
Later on, when I played high school football, Uncle Elroy taught me how to grow bigger, strong and faster by lifting barbells in a power rack my father installed in the basement of our home. My football coaches were also important mentors, as well as the man who introduced me to strongman training (stone, log, tire and odd object lifts). Without these men, their insight, inspiration and teaching I could safely say that I would not be the strong man I am today.
I had my first experience as a strength coach back in high school, when I used to invite my football teammates over to lift with me. What about you? Whenever you’re coaching a friend in the gym, spotting your training partner, offering lifting advice online, or helping someone grow stronger… you’re being a strength coach.
You’re helping to “make men strong again”, and that what we’re all about.
Strongman Rule #5 – Strength Training is an art.
Sport, like art, advances in various spheres to a point where technique replaces imagination and natural instinct. When that happens there has to be a return to basic principle.”Reg Park in “Strength & Bulk Training for Weight Lifters & Bodybuilders”
Earlier in this lesson I taught you about the importance of rules. I showed you how rules not only protect you, they also provide you with tools to be creative. A jazz musician must learn the technique and rules before he can improvise, but once he’s nailed the basics he can “forget all that shit and just play”.
This also applies to strength training, and it also applies to you.
You must learn the basic exercises: the squat, deadlift, overhead press, bend over rows, and bench press.
You must learn how to use: barbells, power racks, dumb bells, kettlebells, atlas stones, sandbags, logs, tires, sleds, axels, yokes and trap bars.
You must learn effective: exercise technique, form, breathing, and use of: tempo, sets, reps, periodization, recovery, food and fasting.
Yes, there is a lot to learn and much of it requires rigorous attention to technical details, but… at some point you’ll need to begin leaning more on your instinct, than on your learning. More books, more blogs, more YouTube videos, more classes, courses or e-books will never add up to the wisdom you’ll gain through time under the bar. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You’ve got to do the thing, to have the power.” Nothing beats action.
With action comes experience, and experience is like the soil from which wisdom springs. The more time you dedicate to growing stronger, the more you’ll learn about yourself. You’ll discover strengths and weaknesses that you didn’t know you had. You’ll discover what exercises, reps, sets, tempo, intensity, periodization works best for you. You’ll be using all of your hard earned “book knowledge” like a painter uses colors, to create a new muscular masterpiece — you.
When people start to get too “scientific” in their thinking, terminology, judgements and fears tell them to “keep it simple stupid”. We’re just men picking heavy things up, and putting them back down. There are a handful of basic rules to follow, the rest is hard work, dedication, action and art.
Keep growing stronger.
Elliott Hulse: #1 strength coach for men on the planet.
Strongman, strength coach, CEO Strength Camp, father, father-figure, mentor to 2,000,000+ YouTube students world wide.
MISSION: Make men strong again.
PS: Yes, I’ll be back with Strongman Rules 6-10. I’m not sure when, but soon.
In the meantime take action by joining us on the strong side by downloading my free “Strong Side” app to get post notifications and other strongman goodies I packed inside.
Also, if you need a training program for gaining muscle, building size and strength start with my “advanced 5×5” routines. It’s the best program for beginners who need to build a foundation, and seasoned strongmen who always return to the basics.
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