“For me, now 27 years into my coaching career, I have seen, read, and tried a lot of different ideas and training concepts. The information in Easy Strength is concrete and useful. Easy Strength should be required reading for all strength and conditioning professionals.” —Chip Morton, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Cincinnati Bengals
How to Get a Lot Stronger Than Your Competition—And Dominate in Your Sport
By Pavel and Dan John
288 pages. Paperback
How To Look Like Tarzan, Play Like Tarzan – And Win Like Tarzan
What It Takes to Stack the Strength-Deck in Your Favor
“If football were played in the weight room or on the track, I could guarantee that each year, the team that won the championship would NOT be the team that won on the field of play. And that is absolutely true in every sport and every game. It’s a rare track meet that you don’t hear someone rhapsodize about training numbers and then see him or her lose badly. In football, we have a phrase for this: ‘Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane.’ —Dan John
Pavel and Dan John’s landmark 3-Day Easy Strength seminar delves deeply into the role and impact of strength training in fitness, sports, and life. Whatever your chosen physical activity and whoever you are, there are proven methods that can get your to whole goal faster and more effectively. Discover those performance secrets within Easy Strength—and begin to look, play and win like Tarzan…
What can you expect from reading this book?
- You will learn some history. You will discover that almost everything discussed in the fitness industry has been done before—and often better.
- You will reexamine the role of strength training as it applies to sport. Doing so may serve as the greatest timesaver in history!
- You will find that, like a medical doctor, a strength coach must be committed above all to ‘Do no harm’—a pledge that’s often disregarded.
- You will be exposed to the concept of systematic education and the need to build an athlete (or anyone!) using some kind of intelligent approach.
- You will be exposed to another educational system—along with a way to harness its powers—that will give you clarity into all the various fitness, health, and nutritional information being tossed at you daily.
- You will discover the tools for teaching an entire team to improve in a sport—and why these great tools may be of no value to you in your training!
- You will be exposed to what the best in sports do in the weight room, and you will discover why it will apply to everything you decide to do.
- You will learn many of the ‘champion’s secrets’ and be amazed at the simplicity, as well as the insightfulness, of what the best do.”
How to program and organize group strength workouts —Dan John, from the preface to Easy Strength.
Advance Praise for Pavel and Dan John’s
Easy Strength is one of the best books on strength training for sport that I’ve ever read (and trust me, I’ve read them ALL). To be fair—it’s unfair to characterize Easy Strength as a ‘strength training for sport’ book. It’s way more than that. It’ll go down as one of the best fitness and conditioning books period.
For too long, sports strength training was just bastardized bodybuilding, powerlifting, olympic lifting or more recently— strongman training. This book goes a long way in revolutionizing the way the modern coach should be approaching sports conditioning.
The section on the 4 quadrants alone is worth your entire investment. It will really help ‘laserbeam focus’ your programming for your athletes.
—Alwyn Cosgrove, author of The New Rules of Lifting series
“Our most quoted teachers do not seek to dazzle us with their complexity. The great ones use their position to promote understanding and communication of complex material simply and easily. Easy Strength is just that kind of work and Pavel and Dan are those kinds of teachers. They provide useable examples and fundamental simplicity.
Both men are athletes, coaches, experts, and both ask the most fundamental question of a leader: They do not ask what is our role? They ask what is our impact on the people who depend on us?
The difference makers always dispense with titles and focus on results. Easy Strength is not simply a position statement about fundamentals. It is a step-by-step lesson on how, when and why to use them!”
—Gray Cook, author of Movement, co-founder of FMS
“I am currently reading Easy Strength for the second time. It is absolutely brilliant in its approach to the varying levels of athletes, as a coach for Q3 and Q4 athletes it should be read by every elite level strength coach handling that level of athlete. I am making my entire staff read the book when I am finished.”
—Stan Kellers, Assistant Coach of Strength and Conditioning, Cleveland Cavaliers
“I made the mistake of cracking open my review copy of Easy Strength at 11pm last night. It grabbed me from the first page and the next thing I knew I had pulled an all-nighter finishing the book in one sitting. Not a common thing in a strength book! It is that good. Easy Strength is a work of art and sure to be a classic go-to book for the modern coach. The pages are so full of gold you should consider changing the title to El Dorado.”
—Jon Engum, Senior RKC, Grandmaster, 7th Degree Black Belt, Taekwondo
“Easy Strength is difficult to stop reading because it paves a shorter, smoother path to physical prowess by giving the athlete room to develop. It’s too easy to smother growth and potential. That’s a lesson most coaches take decades to learn, if they learn it at all. The four quadrants that Pavel and Dan outline help you quickly determine which range of training qualities are ideal for any athlete. In most cases, that range is much narrower than you think.
You’ll learn that doing a little bit of everything is a recipe for failure as you reach and require higher levels of performance. The authors effectively strip away the complexities of training that were made from novice coaches who constantly pushed their athletes to the brink.
You’ll gain an incredible amount of insight for training beginner to elite athletes, and you’ll discover the tricks for knowing when it’s overwhelming their capacity. Plus, there’s a lifetime worth of sample training regimens that give the muscles and nerves just enough of what they need. As this book so eloquently states, ‘we should coax gains, not force them.’ Kudos to Pavel and Dan for elucidating this often forgotten fact of physical development.”
—Chad Waterbury, neurophysiologist, author of Huge in a Hurry
“A fascinating book that challenges many established ideas about strength and power training for athletes. Must reading for champions, champions to be, and those who coach and train them.”
—Brooks Kubik, author of Dinosaur Training
“While this book has broad applicability for every fitness adherent regardless of age, sex or degree of fitness, when I read Easy Strength my mind kept honing in on the young up-and-comers: what a spectacular learning tool this book is for the young athlete. This is the best single book imaginable for the apprentice athlete looking to excel within their chosen sport.
Regardless the sport and regardless the young athlete’s current condition, capacity or capabilities, reading, absorbing and applying the strategies contained in Easy Strength will result in improvement in every aspect of the athletic equation. My feeling is that the integration of disciplines in Easy Strength is its strongest attribute: blending disciplines in a balanced, realistic, effective way is the highest expression of the art and science of performance improvement.
My highest recommendation.”
—Marty Gallagher, author of The Purposeful Primitive, 3-Time World Master Powerlifting Champion, former columnist for WashingtonPost.com
“I found Pavel and Dan’s Easy Strength to be a very worthwhile endeavor. ‘Do no harm’ is very much in line with our methods (‘Do all that’s necessary, not all that’s possible’) wherein we have not had a single injury for the last 6 years which includes thousands of workouts. I will do my very best to promote Easy Strength not just because of its authors but because it is necessary for anyone who needs to be stronger for a purpose!
—Barry Ross, author of Underground Secrets to Faster Running
“This book kicks some SERIOUS ass!! Pavel and Dan put together a simple to understand and easy to apply training regime for athletes and for those of us who want to train AND perform like athletes.
I’ve seen MANY books based completely on the science of training athletes, but from my own experience, when you train athletes in the real world you need to learn how to tweak science.
Easy Strength is what I see as the blend of science, real world experience and application blended together in an easily understood manner without needing a PhD. to understand what you’re reading.
You just can’t go wrong when reading what Dan and Pavel put together.”
—Zach Even-Esh, Founder, Underground Strength Gym
“Easy Strength by Pavel and Dan John is full of information on how to become a better athlete. How? By learning how to train optimally.”
—Louie Simmons, Founder of Westside Barbell
“If you could sit at a table with two of the smartest, most experienced and most respected names in strength and listen in on their conversation, would you do it? What if they were also two of the best communicators, men who are known for taking complex info and distilling it down into easily-digestible, family-sized portions? I have had the good fortune of being able to do that very thing on more than one occasion and Easy Strength often reads like someone transcribed one of these conversations.
Pavel and Dan open up on the subject of strength, why it is important and how to develop it. This book is a wealth of information for anyone interested in getting stronger.”
—David Whitley, Master RKC Instructor
—TABLE OF CONTENTS—
Preface: Not the ROLE of the Strength Coach but the IMPACT! ix
Chapter 1: The Continuums and the Quadrants 1
QI: Lots of Qualities at a Low Level of Relative Max 4
QII: Lots of Qualities at a High Level of Relative Max 215
QIII: Few Qualities at a Low or Moderate Level of Relative Max 32
QIV: Few (or One) Qualities at the Highest Level of Relative Max 50
Kettlebell Exercises and Programs (and a Few Other Things) in Quadrants 56
Barbell Moves (and a Few Other Things) in Quadrants 57
Chapter 2 Where Are You? How Do You Measure Up? 59
Clue Number 1 62
Clue Number 2 63
Clue Number 3 64
Chapter 3 The Magic of Easy Strength and Realistic Reps 73
Ten Rules of Thumb for Easy Strength Training 86
How Even Easier Strength Training Differs from Easy Strength 95
Principle 1: The Whole-Body Movements and the “Rule of 10” 106
Principle 2: Grinding Lifts and “Three Ladders and Three Rungs” 109
Principle 3: The Explosive Lifts and the “Fast 10 and 20” 110
Chapter 4 Plyometrics—Demystified. Heavy Lifting—Acquitted. 119
Chapter 5 Armor Building, or the “Elephant in the Room” 133
Fat Loss 137
Element 1: The Basic Strength Program 153
Element 2: The High-Rep Back Squat 154
Element 3: The Complexes 155
Nutrition and Other Factors 156
Chapter 6 Specificity Demystified 159
Train “Same but Different” 161
The “What the Hell?” Effect 169
Specific Training for Characteristics of Movement 175
Other Hardstyle Drills 185
Short-Term Muscle Memory and the Complex Method 197 Types of Complexes 198
Variable Practice 201
Chapter 7 Strength Training Planning 207
Chapter 8 Learning Your Lessons 239
Everything Old Is New Again 239
Mining Your Journal 241
The AIT Formula 243
On Winning and Losing 244