Pros Tipz from Articles i Read Throughout the Years…

Winter 2012/2013

Mike Boyle on PlyoBox Jumping, “If you have either one, please put them away. In fact, unless you are training some great athletes, put your 30 inch box away too. I have dubbed the big plyo boxes “Idiot Boxes”. Idiot boxes are jumped on by young men ( it is always young men) looking to show off. I have begun to refer to them as “skin donors”. I can tell you something for sure. If CSI showed up and dusted the high plyo boxes for DNA most of these boxes would test positive. There was a time when my athletes and I were foolish just like everyone else and did these foolish exercises. After coaching  a few “skin donors” I realized that what mattered was the movement of the center of mass, not the height of the box. I no longer own a 36” box but, own lots of 18’s, 24’s and a few 30’s. Our rule is simple. Jimmy Radcliffe said it best; “jump and land from the same position”. This means that take off and landing should look identical. If you jump from a ½ squat, land in a half squat. I could post a few videos but, don’t want to get sued. Just Youtube “box jumps” if you want to see foolishness in action.

Remember, jump and land from the same position.”

*I’ve also heard Mike Boyle state that landing in a less-than-half-squat is too low…also meaning that the jump is probably too high. Try to land in a slightly higher than half squat, also known as the athletic position.

* I’ve also always liked the quote, “If you can’t jump up to it, you shouldn’t be jumping down from it.” (referring to drop-jumps)

Summer 2012

“In short, “appropriate” volume is 100% specific to the lifter’s experience, age, gender, training goals, fatigue status, injury history, competing demands, and a host of other factors that I didn’t even cover!

That said, when it really comes down to it, it’s just something you learn in time by observing, writing, and trying out hundreds/thousands of programs. It’s like a sixth sense for me by now.

I will, however, make one observation that never seeks to amaze me:

I’m always surprised at how much volume it takes to attain a level of fitness, but how little volume it takes to maintain that level of fitness.” – Eric Cressey

– Jason Ferrugia, “The best muscle-building workout split for most people is no split at all. Full body workoutsare the premier and logical choice for at least 75% of people seeking the fastest gains in size and strength. How to Design a Full Body Workout Properly?Simply take three big compound exercises such as any on this list and you’re all set. Pick an upper body push, an upper body pull and a compound lower body exercise. Stick with an average of about five or six sets of 3-6 reps with a minute or so rest between sets. Some exercises can be done for slightly higher reps but not the big barbell lifts. Anything that requires maximal tension or has a risk factor involved shouldn’t be done for more than six reps. To kick of the workout you should start with some jumps or medicine ball throws to fire up the CNS. Those should be done for 1-3 reps on average. You could also conclude the workout with some sled pushing or loaded carries. Just get about ten minutes of hard work in and keep each set under twenty seconds in duration. Eventually, when you have been training for a few years and have made some serious progress you can start to break up your workouts into upper body focused and lower body focused days, if you’d like to. you’re going to split it up into two separate days I’d recommend training 4-6 days per week. Six 30-minute workouts per week on an upper/lower split is a favorite set up of mine. In that case you’d put throws, chins, rows, presses and dips on the upper body focused days and jumps, squats, deadlifts, cleans, high pulls, ab work and sled work on the lower body focused days. Snatches and loaded carries could really go on either day. That’s not to say you have to split it up, though. Olympic lifters and gymnasts never do. Nor did many of the old timers. A lot of big time football strength and conditioning programs are always based on full body workouts. Bill Starr’s system comes immediately to mind. I’d only recommend splitting things up if joint stress or recovery becomes an issue or you decide to start training more than 3-4 days per week. Remember- big exercises produce big results.”

1) Snatch This exercise will build up your traps and strengthen your shoulders. In fact, doing snatches regularly will keep your shoulders quite healthy since they train external rotation more effectively than just about anything else. Snatches are also outstanding for firing up your CNS as the first exercise in your workout. And if you want a big vertical jump this is the exercise to get you there.2) High Pulls No other body part looks cooler or commands respect like big traps do. High pulls build big traps. They also pack muscle on your entire upper back and strengthen your lower back, glutes and hamstrings. The nice thing about the high pull is that it’s basically a clean without the complexity or wrist and elbow stress of the catch phase.3) Overhead Press These can be done with a regular bar, a fat bar, a log,  The Renegade bar(use the coupon code JasonF for a 5% discount), dumbbells or kettlebells. But they must be done; both to build big strong shoulders and to keep them healthy. Too much horizontal pressing and not enough overhead work will lead to beat up shoulders. Trust me, you don’t want that.4) Squat Wanna pack size on your legs? Then get your ass under a bar and squat. Back squats, front squats, safety bar squats… they’re all good options. If you have lower back issues look into belt squats. Just do some type of squatting.5) Deadlift Bend over and pick up heavy shit. It’s the most basic fundamental principle of weight training. Which would then make the deadlift the premier weight training exercise. If you have a trap bar and fully comprehend the concept of submaximal training that’s the preferred deadlift variation. If not pull a straight bar, set on rubber mats, from the lowest position you can maintain a neutral spine from. Of the floor if you can get that low without rounding.6) 1 Arm Dumbbell Row Do this with enough weight and you’ll build big lats. End of story. A chest supported dumbbell row is a great variation, especially for those with lower back injuries.7) Flat or 15-30 Degree Incline Press Like the military press, these can be done with dumbbells or a barbell. A Swiss bar, football bar or The Renegade Bar would be the preferred option in place of a straight bar. Those will be much safer and keep your shoulders healthy. If you choose to press on an incline don’t go any higher than thirty degrees as that takes the tension off the chest and starts to irritate the shoulders.8) Farmers Walk Carrying something heavy is a required part of any muscle building workout. Farmers walks are the best grip exercise you can do. They also pack size on the traps and entire posterior chain. Stability in the ankle and knee is greatly improved from this exercise as well. And if you ever want to take a picture of yourself while training this one makes you look coolest.9) Kettlebell Swing Most people just started hearing about swings in the last decade. But Arthur Saxon was doing them back in 1906. They were even part of lifting competitions back then. That makes them okay in my book. Swings are not only great for conditioning but also for improving posterior chain strength and explosivenesswhile helping to actively lengthen tight hamstrings.10) Sled Dragging/ Pushing. So it’s not a traditional barbell or dumbbell exercise.  The fact is you’re using weights when you use a sled. Not only that but sled work can build leg size and strength like a mofo, while simultaneously improving your conditioning. I consider it an essential part of any training program.

– The best Whey Protein might be ONE WORLD WHEY. But of course, it ain’t cheap. (

-“The Meathead’s Guide to Publishing for Profit” by Dave Tate and Rob Fitzgerald. Recommended by Cosgrove, etc.

– Remember, submaximal training is what leads to maximal results.

– A Recommended article by Mike Boyle on the 10 Years/10,000 Hour Study Theory, from 1993 by Swedish psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, that basically concluded that many top level musicians, athletes, etc reached “expert” levels at or around 10 years or 10,000 hours. But the message has been misinterpreted in the area of kids playing sports, starting at a young age. (

– Jason Ferrugia, “I don’t use straight bar deadlifts from the floor with athletes.” “I’d recommend pulling from rubber blocks or mats set somewhere around mid shin height. The other option is the high handle trap bar deadlift. In both cases submaximal weights should be used and the bar should be dropped to eliminate the eccentric component.” on the Bench Press…”If they get tested on it then you have to train them on it. But I would minimize the damage by spending most of the off season working with fat bars with neutral or angled grip handles like the ones we have at Renegade. Even mix in some two board presses. Then switch them over to straight bars and full range as camp gets closer. If you don’t have to worry about testing then go with an overhead press, some type of heavy, one-arm horizontal dumbbell press, a standing landmine press and ring dips and pushup variations for heavy pressing work.So, yes, all athletes need to do some variation of “the big three.”They need to push, pull and squat.That could be a pistol squat, a power snatch and a handstand pushup or it could be a back squat, high pull and fat bar 2-board press.Nothing is written in stone, nor should it be.”

“Chasing the pump and disregarding all of the principles of effective training is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and will do nothing to help you build lean muscle.You can get a great pump from doing 50 pushups but everyone knows that’s not going to build muscle. Just mindlessly pursuing a pump will get you nowhere and may even cause losses in size and strength.You need to get a pump with fairly heavy weights. That’s the key.

Getting a pump feels fantastic. It’s as satisfying to me as cumming is.”- Arnold

For example, for your chest you could do some heavy pressing for 3-6 reps and then finish with a few higher rep sets of 8-10 on ring dips to get a great pump. If you do this you hit a variety of muscle fibers and get the best of both worlds.I love that style of training.So does Arnold, as he tweeted me earlier today:

@JasonFerruggia: my #1 rule is there is no #1 rule. Sandow used high reps, Alexiev used low reps; I used both. But I still do like the pump.”– @Shwarzenegger

Another option is to keep your reps in the 3-8 range throughout your workout but cut your rest periods down. I’m a big fan of multiple low rep sets with 30-45 second rest periods for building size, strength and conditioning simultaneously. Both are great options. Remember, it isn’t 100% necessary and should never be the main focus of your workouts (heavy training should) but getting a good pump tells you that you’re ready to build muscle and may even maximize your potential to do so.”

Enter Chad Waterbury (T-Nation post from Charles Staley)

I’ve known and respected Chad Waterbury for years and asked him if he’d help my with “last minute” peaking strategies. Chad looked at my training journal and told me that in his discussions with people like Franco Columbo and Pavel Tsatsouline, he’d developed a strong affection for a “Medium – Heavy – Medium – Maximum” type of progression.

Medium days were 3 x 3, heavy days were 3 x 2, and maximum days were mock competitions essentially, a chance to evaluate your progress. In terms of progression, each type of workout, when repeated, should be done with slightly more weight.

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