Specific Sets and Repetitions

Specific Sets and Repetitions

Over the past six years, long before G.U.T.S. came out, I received hundreds and hundreds of e-mails from men all over the world (and even handwritten letters from prison inmates) that expressed great gratitude for my books and the methods they had learned from them. Oftentimes I was asked about why I had not included specific sets and repetitions in Pushing Yourself to Power. Nine times out of ten these people liked my response to them. In fact, most appreciated it, because they were being told for the first in their lives that they needed to learn to completely trust themselves, and that they had far greater knowledge and wisdom as relates to their own bodies than anyone else possibly could have, and for that reason they needed to work with the exercises, adapt them as necessary, and create a workout structure and routine that matched their own physiology and needs. THIS I STILL BELIEVE AND KNOW TO BE TRUE.

However, that was then, and this is now. OR IS IT?

Here’s the deal. When I wrote G.U.T.S., I shared my personal foundational routine, which if practiced daily will yield fantastic results. In G.U.T.S., I shared a time structure that if achieved guarantees that the practitioner is in fantastic all-around shape. G.U.T.S. was created and promoted as a FOUNDATIONAL ROUTINE that requires nothing more than hard as nails guts and determination to achieve maximum results. But what about its structure? Is it asking too much? Is it setting the bar too high? IS IT IN CONTRADICTION TO MY PHILOSOPHY OF YOU BECOMING YOU OWN BEST PERSONAL TRAINER? Answer: NO WAY!

With G.U.T.S. and all of my future products, I will have recommended sets and reps for different types of goals. From now on you will see routines designated as follows:

1. Active Physical Culturists. These routines will be for those who want to be fit, strong, and healthy, but are not the least bit interested in achieving a super human level of strength and fitness. An example of this type of training is the Miracle Seven Tiger Moves performed for 3 sets of 8–12 reps at moderate intensity. Practicing the Tiger Moves in this fashion will yield fantastic and noticeable results very quickly and can be maintained in just 20 minutes each day.

2. Advanced Physical Culturists. These routines will be for hardcore strength and fitness men who want to achieve a level of strength and fitness far beyond the norm. Though structured routines with specific sets and routines will be offered, all advanced Physical Culturists will be encouraged to follow their own intuition and only use the structure as a general guideline until they have created their own most result-producing routines. Having a structure will give them a general guideline to follow.

3. HARD AS NAILS Physical Culturists. These routines are TOUGH. Nothing exotic. No plyometrics or one-limbed exercises performed at odd angles to destroy a man’s joints. Just “Hard As Nails” routines like G.U.T.S. that yield over-the-top results, so that the men who can do them have a level of self-confidence and self-control that will carry over into every facet of their lives. These routines are for the men who have “Invictus” stamped on their souls. These are the men who will remain unbowed and unafraid regardless of what happens in the world around them, because they have become the captain of their own souls. Such men will look at the structured routines and only use them as a guideline or a springboard for their own best self structured programs. These will be men like those whom Swoboda appealed to who want the information to succeed and that use it and modify it to their own best advantage.

Finally, I will also be releasing several DVDs showing how the exercises are performed along with helpful tips to maximize their effectiveness. But I will not be producing DVDs of the “follow along at my pace” variety, because I have more respect for my friends and students than to assume that they should perform every exercise at my pace or anyone else’s for that matter.

This reminds me of something. As is true of many people starting out, I asked my grandfather and uncles questions like, “How far apart should my milk crates be for Atlas Push-Ups? How fast should I go? How many should I do in a set? How many sets should I do? How should I breathe?” One time, after I asked one too many questions, one of my uncles said, “Jackson, quit asking so many questions. Just write your questions down and start doing the exercises and making adjustments until you know that you are doing them the best way for yourself. Then write down your own answers. Don’t try to do these exercises mimicking the way you see me or other people doing them, because if you do, you’ll always be second rate at anything you do. Learn to do everything you do so that you can do it at your best and not somebody else’s.”

That was great advice, my friends. Some of the best I received in my entire life. I’m happy to have it to pass along to each of you.

—John Peterson

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