Read with an open mind.
It’s been a few days since the Bret Contreras article on John Broz, his gym and his training methods came out on T-Nation. The response was huge (just check the comments to that particular article); and I received dozens of questions and comments asking for my opinion about John Broz, the training methods and if it’s right for powerlifting, etc. Here are some of the thoughts, ideas and conclusions I have come up with. Read with an open mind.
• I think what he is doing is awesome – he and his lifters are strong. Whether or not he produces Olympic Gold is not relevant to me. He is doing what he believes in and doing it with passion.
• Don’t ask John Broz to modify a program to fit YOUR schedule. You can’t ask someone who has taken a lifetime to build something and modify it because you can’t pay the rent.
• Look at the overall IDEA of the training, interpret it and see how you can apply it to your own training. To me, it’s not about squatting every day or doing two workouts a day. It’s about realizing that the human body is much more capable of stress than most of us think. I don’t read an article by Mike Boyle and get all mad because it’s NOT what I do; I read it and try to figure out how single-leg training can be used in my own programming.
• Appreciate, admire and respect what the lifters are doing. Many of the comments on the internet about John and his training are incredibly negative, mostly because when one reads an article they IMMEDIATELY get defensive about it. This is because they recognize their own faults, weaknesses and compare themselves. Instead of applauding the dedication and achievement, they knock them down. You are no different than a woman criticizing a skinny girl for being “too skinny”.
• If, when you read this article, you immediately wanted to change your training, you need time to develop your own philosophy. I guarantee that if John Broz read an article on the XYZ Weightlifting Team he wouldn’t drop his training philosophy. Absorb what you can, discard what you don’t need.
• Is it right for powerlifting? I have no idea. There is a logical way to find out – schedule a meet, develop a plan to get there and see what happens. But please understand that the programming that he uses has been passed down from decades of experience and takes at least that long to perfect and coach. You can’t take an eight week run, bomb at the meet and call the training system a failure. The guy is a Lifer.
• If you want to find out more about this training, find the sources that John used – that way you can learn and be inspired by what help shape his programming. And guess what? It’s not going to be easy to find these things.
• Did you notice that John lifts AND competes?
I don’t know John, and I’ve never met him but thank god there are people like him pushing the boundaries of strength training. I wish him and his athletes nothing but success. Whether he produces a gold medal or not, I hope he realizes he is doing more good than any of that paperweight warriors that haven’t the fortitude and discipline to put it on the line. It’s not about the training to me; it’s about the attitude and simply going full-speed.