5.) Just because something is HARD, doesn’t mean it’s GOOD

This is one that I picked up from reading Dan John’s work. If you’re a up-and-coming coach or trainer, read Dan John. In fact, go over to Amazon right now and order his books. It’s ok, I’ll wait..

The books will change your life. Mostly because he’s a no-frills straight shooter and phenomenal coach (as well as a great writer; you’ll enjoy his work as it’s informative and fun to read all at the same time)

1,000 Burpees is hard. That doesn’t make it a good workout

100 barbell thrusters and 100 box jumps is hard. That doesn’t make it good (repeated triple extension, fatigue, poor motor control, poor form, high risk of injury..)

Shoulder pressing a boulder then sprinting a mile then doing barbell cleans for time are HARD, BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT FUCKING GOOD.

A squat is hard. Lunges can be hard. Cleans for sets of 3 or less CAN BE FUCKING HARD. Quit trying to make every workout a competition to be the hardest fucking thing you’ve ever done in your life. A squat is hard if you load it right. Push-ups are hard for those with low relative body strength. Don’t add a jumping jack or split squat jump in between them. Just leave them alone, they are hard enough.

So you can do cleans for time, then medball tosses for time, then kipping pull-ups for time? First, tell me how awesome you are (because I didn’t hear it the first time you said it) and I bet I can tell you all your aches and pains. Knees hurt? Shoulders ache? You don’t say? Maybe it’s your ridiculous triple extension workout followed up by a difficult bodyweight exercise executed under extreme fatigue.

And I bet your form is awesome the WHOLE time…

Listen, Hard is Hard.

For a workout to truly be effective, it should have 4 Main Things:

1.) It should be HARD

2.) You should be CONSISTENT

3.) It should be FUN

4.) It should be REPEATABLE

Hard because you want to elicit a response. You want your body to get stronger, leaner, and faster. In order to achieve those things, you have to push your limits a little.

Consistent because without consistency, you’ll never achieve your goals.

Fun because, obviously, if you hate your workout, chances are you’re not likely to do it again.


You don’t win prizes for puking. No one thinks you’re hard when you’re on the verge of death after each workout. If this is what each workout is like, how long do you think you can keep it up? Can you really push yourself that hard, every time?

It doesn’t have to be that way. Coach Sutton used to say “small doses of venom”

Push yourself, but leave the gym with your face on your skull. No need to wipe it up off the floor. Work hard, have fun, and more importantly, come back and do it again in a few days.

1.) It’s Not what you Want to Do

2.) Personal Training and S&C are Not the same

3.) It’s All Work, and It’s All Good

4.) Mentors

Andy Van Grinsven

About Andy Van Grinsven

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