Tag Archives: chad wesley smith

Have Fun in the Gym… It’s Important!

Chad Wesley Smith┬áposted a video on YouTube today that really hit home with me, so I wanted to share it with all of you lift bros (and sisters). If you don’t know who he is… he’s one of the strongest powerlifters on the planet, so definitely someone you should listen to when it comes to barbell sports. He also competed in shot put back in the day, where he made it to an Olympic level (globally speaking).

In the video, he describes his training philosophy for his current training, during which he’s just going in the gym and doing things that he enjoys as opposed to training very methodically and specifically for powerlifting. Most of it is beltless work. Squat, bench and deadlift may still be a part of his training, but not as much as you’d expect from a traditional powerlifting program.

From what he explains, he’s mostly doing athletic work (i.e. box jumps and hill sprints), snatches, high bar squats and other things he enjoys. As part of this little project of his, he also competed as RAW as you can get in a powerlifting meet done for fun. No belt, no knee sleeves or other gear… just a singlet and his immense strength.

To dovetail off of this video, I’d just like to say that it’s important to have fun in the gym. If your current training program is wearing you down too much and it’s getting kind of ‘boring’, maybe just doing things in the gym that you enjoy for a month or three will get you back on track and feeling excited about training again. I know this has worked for me a few times…

And… I’m out!

Choosing a Workout Program

The video below from Elliott Hulse at strengthcamp is an opinion I share about choosing a workout routine.


Blindly select a workout program that works for numerous people. (I listed some below.)

Follow it for a year.

Learn to make adjustments to the program over time that benefit you.

Enjoy continued progress without wasting your time looking for the magic program or some miraculous new discovery when it comes to lifting weights.

Hold yourself accountable.


Example: I have consistently followed 5/3/1 for over two years now and have steady progress in all my main lifts. I have made tweaks to the program to accommodate my goals and work hard in the gym. The changes I make are made gradually over time. I keep the things that I feel improve me and get rid of what doesn’t seem to be helping. What doesn’t change is the general approach to training. I still read a lot about training from various authors/lifters, but I don’t let it affect me to the point where I go program hopping every month or two. I utilize the information to make minor positive changes to my training when I see fit. I still utilize the fundamentals of 5/3/1 (with principles of Jim Wendler’s new book Beyond 5/3/1).


Some programs that I believe are very solid in their approach are listed below. You could literally blindly choose from one of these, if you wanted. Or you can spend the time to read through them all and then choose one. Whichever method you choose, pick one program and run it for at least one year like Elliott Hulse mentions in his video.

Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 – If you choose this one, I strongly advise also reading Beyond 5/3/1.

Jonnie Candito’s Training Program – You can download this one for free, but I would suggest leaving him a donation if you have the cash to spare. It’s a solid program that he’s making available to everyone.

The Cube Method by Brandon Lilly

The Juggernaut Method by Chad Wesley Smith

Westside for Skinny Bastards by Joe DeFranco – Free PDF. This one is great for athletes.


Work hard and you will be successful with any of these. Instead of wasting time trying to find the ‘best’ way to train, just work your ass off with the principles of a proven program. That’s just my opinion though.

Squat Tutorial from Chad Wesley Smith – Video

Chad Wesley Smith, 905lbs (410.5kg) raw squatter and strongman, teaches the squat in the following video. He also offers some advice to improve weaknesses with the squat movement. I really like this video a lot.

My other squat articles: Squat 101 | Squat Assistance Work

Chad Wesley Smith 1 Minute Q&A

Pro strongman Chad Wesley Smith has this thing on his YouTube channel where he takes one minute per video to address a specific training question. It’s very quick, concise and usually spot on. The YouTube playlist for his One Minute Question and Answer series can be found here. Some of my favorites are embedded below.