Gym Jones is the near mythical training facility that produces superhumans (website).
Maybe you’ve seen the viral videos of the actors for the movie 300? It was a depiction of regular guys transforming into mega jacked, ultra fit, Spartan Warriors.
The allure of Gym Jones is unmistakable.
The website, the access to their content, their single location somewhere in Salt Lake City, it all seemed like the stuff borne of legends.
Hailing from this proving ground is Bobby Maximus (or Robert MacDonald if you want to be boring), a giant man of muscle that is capable of producing elite level cardiovascular output on pain-inducing contraptions like the air bike, C2 rower, and SkiErg.
However, his primary weapon is his mind, which makes him seem like a literal philosopher’s stone.
Musings like this are common: “Talk minus action equals zero”
Action is King. Without it, you have nothing, in fitness and in life.
From his years of physical and mental excellence, his own training manual is borne: The Maximus Method.
It is a fitness bible, forged from one of the most recognized hardcore training facilities in the world.
There isn’t any fluff but there is lots of science. I suspect that the many notations and footnotes were added to satisfy the skinny-legged academics. Alas, the tools and workouts combine for a valuable training resource that could change the notion of working out entirely.
“Psychological barriers block people from reaching their goals.”
Psychological Aspects of Training
♦ Look to improve your self-image — How you view yourself is vital for any type of change or in the attainment of success. Psychological training is the first thing Maximus addresses in the book because it is that important.
Physical change is already a difficult task. The process becomes increasingly more difficult if you can’t see yourself as a person that is fit. The reason that people associate fitness with a lifestyle is because it takes commitment in all aspects of your life. You have to be able to envision yourself as a physically fit person that is capable of producing the daily habits that will invoke change. Once you can do this, then you can become anything that you can picture in your mind.
♦ Don’t Make Excuses — Everyone struggles every day. Successful people don’t make excuses, aiming instead to get the job done regardless of external circumstances. As an elite trainer, Maximus sees regular people train hard, every day, with the plethora of normal circumstances that usually derail a person’s ambition for physically change: work, time, family, genetics, blah, blah, & blah.
♦ Rise Above Adversity — The simple message here is that there are no shortcuts to success. A goal worth achieving requires hard work. Maximus often encounters trainees that allow outside circumstances to control their progress within the gym. They feel like their situation is unique, but it is not. Everyone has responsibilities that can hijack their progress but those that rise above their challenges are the ones that are able to produce results year after year. The crazy thing is that some of these people overcome challenges that the “unique” group can’t even fathom.
♦ Always do what’s right — Maximus is famous for forging superhuman-like bodies, but it is a process that requires the trainee to fully surrender. Success requires a total commitment to the regimen, regardless of one’s daily struggle to relent.
“The gym is one of the only places in the world where hard work guarantees success.”
It takes 130 hours of training to achieve a world-class physique. With the Maximus Method, you can become the fittest person you know.
But that 130 hours of training must be a complete approach that includes nutrition and recovery. Additionally, these are hard hours of training. Walking around the gym looking for a curling rack doesn’t count.
Imagine the benchmark of a 2K row in under seven minutes. To complete the challenge requires a full commitment to the goal, with maximum effort being exerted in every single pull of every single second. That is the kind of effort that should be spent on every one of the 130 hours.
Physical Aspects of Training
♦ Set a Goal — Spinning your wheels gets you nowhere- real fitness, the kind that produces chemical change always starts with a goal. It seems pretty simple, but too many everyday gym-goers lack a clearly defined goal. Without the goal, you can’t test, measure, and plan your training. I have found it useful to have multiple goals, some short-term to keep me dialed in on a daily basis but also long-term ones that I continuously adjust.
A lifetime goal to always look “kind of jacked” is also important to me: it ensures that I always maintain an edge.
♦ Some goals that Maximus recommends that I think are worth pursuing — Back squat 2x bodyweight, Deadlift 2.5x bodyweight, Power Clean 1.25x bodyweight, Turkish getup half your bodyweight, 500-Meter row in 1:30, 1.5 mile run in 8:45 and the grueling 2K row in sub- 7:00. Training for all of these goals simultaneously will transform you into a powerful machine that is three-headed: endurance, strong, and fast.
♦ Be Good at Everything (train for life) — The underlying point of being physically fit is the ability to express that fitness. The problem with being really good at one thing is that it doesn’t transfer well to other things. Aim to have a solid base of fitness that allows for broad expression.
♦ Eat to support your goal using real foods — Nutrition is training’s most undervalued asset. Without it, progress will be slow and it will feel slow. A physical change will occur but the sort of transformation that most people seek will not manifest without proper nutrition. The key is to eat for your goals and to place a premium on quality, real food. It is such a simple idea but the application of this idea is perhaps the hardest to do.
Read More: Nutrition’s Million Dollar Question
For some reason, it is really not that hard to start working out. The hormonal changes produce a feeling of deep satisfaction that makes it feel, well, satisfying. Many people easily become addicted to their workouts and the euphoria of fitness is one that many of us crave.
However, only a tiny amount of those people manage to properly connect nutrition to this paradigm of enjoyment. It is not sexy and it is not fun. No one wants to count calories and god forbid we forgo a Taco Tuesday, or a Wing Wednesday, or a Thirsty Thursday.
Do not undervalue this message: Nutrition is the key ingredient to sustained physical and mental transformation.
You should also aim to get more sleep, manage your stress, and practice recovery. As Maximus notes, “there is no such thing as overtraining, only under-recovery.”
The more you can effectively recover, the more you can train, slowly building up towards that end goal of 130 hours of effort.
Lastly, nothing works unless you do:
Taking ownership of one’s journey connects to all of the other components of this book. Nothing will be done until you decide to make it happen. Ownership is realizing that you made a mistake. If you wallow in self-pity, ownership is there to remind you that you alone must take responsibility for that moment of weakness.
→ Ownership means taking a step out into the open and exposing yourself to the world to declare that you have had enough.
→ Ownership means that you are consistent, truly dedicated to the values that constitute your life.
→ It is discipline and it is character.
Success isn’t about greatness, it is about consistency.
If it is good enough for some of the world’s elite, then it may actually help to change your weak mind and fat body (figurative assumption, liberal friend!)