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101 Ways to Be F*ckin EPIC


1. If you want to build muscle, lift heavy
2. If you want to lose fat, tighten up on your nutrition. Stop thinking that circuits and conditioning will take care of it
3. Hit more mobility work, yeah, I’m talking about everyday
4. Stop worrying about what people think of you.
5. Don’t forget to use a training log to keep track of where you’ve been and where you’re going. Write you goals down in the log. Don’t forget to track sleep patterns, water intake, conditioning sessions, warm-up exercises
6. Don’t forget to laugh and stop taking everything so seriously
7. The bench press is a great exercise, but it isn’t the only thing that builds a big chest and pressing power. How much you bench? How about how much you squat? How about how much you push on the prowler?

8. Eat complex carbs for breakfast and in your post-training meal.
9. Watch Godfather I and II – 10x

10. Stretch your shoulders and upper back every 20-30 minutes if you sit at the computer all day
11. Stop, and really LISTEN to your kids. They deserve your complete attention.
12. Do more single leg, unilateral movements

13. Don’t save anything for the swim back
14. Remember that good box jumps usually reveal good hip mobility, not vertical explosive power
15. Give hope to others when no one ever has
16. Knee pain? Work on the stuff above and below
17. Remember there is no perfect program, it should change frequently as you change
18. Drink more water
19. Shelter your kids as long as you can from the bad stuff in the world, but prepare them when they are ready to be strong, confident and self-assured when it is time for them to face it alone
20. 20 rep squats and heavy prowler will make you mentally tough


21. If your trainer has a skin tight under armour shirt and matching shorts, you’re probably not training
22. If you have trap bar deadlifts in your program, don’t neglect the hamstrings
23. You don’t need the fancy equipment to get strong
24. Realize the iPhone is better than the Droid
25. Show your kids the way through your actions
26. Youtube comments used to ruin my day and I deleted them, now I post them up for everyone to see, see Epic comment 4


27. Get good training partners, training partners that are stronger than you and never lose that desire to get bigger, faster and stronger
28. Never stop pushing yourself
29. Be smart and deload every 3-4 weeks (subject to training age of lifter)
30. Beanies don’t make you tough
31. Do more push-ups


32. Do more pull-ups
33. Do more face pulls
34. Tell your kids everyday how much they mean to you
35. Kettlebells are great tools


36. Tired of planks? Overload them
37. Don’t skip breakfast
38. Agility ladders don’t build leg drive which is required for speed
39. Build your grip strength


40. Balance your pushing movements with your pulling movements
41. Stop being negative, instead of “Why don’t I have something?”, say to yourself “Why am I so good at working hard for what I want and achieving my goals?”
42. Don’t worry about other people’s PR’s, set your own
43. Remember, “You are the bouncers, I am the Cooler”


44. Be the best part of someone’s day
45. Squats – hips back, not drop straight down
46. Don’t have a prowler, push a 100lb plate across the floor, see Epic line 23
47. Slow down
48. Go to the park and hit some pull-ups and hill sprints


49. Go out and throw some med ball arounds
50. Go to seminars, conferences and clinics
51. Read more fitness articles
52. Train consistently
53. Roll on a lacrosse ball and pvc pipe, stop using the white foam roller biotch
54. Watch Pineapple Express 3x
55. More tension equals more strength, take the slack out of the bar before you pull
56. Give when no one is looking
57. Watch Spongebob


58. 1-6 (power), 6-8 (strength), 8-12 (muscle), 12+ (conditioning, endurance) – generally
59. Stop thinking people owe you something
60. Be humble
61. No, more humble than that
62. Push yourself harder than you ever have in your next workout. Don’t stop during your conditioning session until your lungs are burning out of your chest – Why? Because you haven’t in a long time.
63. Shoulder hurt? Move to a neutral grip, work on upper back mobility, stretch and roll the pec, lats and upper back, work on trap, serratus and rhomboid activation
64. Do more than the next guy
65. Sit back on the kettlebell swing, don’t sit down, you have to load the hamstrings, glutes and hips
66. Hit a full range of motion for strength training movements
67. Getting more mobile? Don’t forget to strengthen in this new range of motion


68. Send flowers unexpectedly
69. Don’t text and drive
70. XBOX > PS3
71. Don’t program an exercise or workout unless you know the effects of the exercise or workout. You must know the requirements to perform the exercise correctly. Have you tried the exercise? Can you teach it? Have you done the workout?
72. CAT – 50-75% of 1RM, move it fast
73. Bands and chains are NOT restricted to exercises performed with a barbell


74. Watch Road House, 23 x
75. Have you ever seen Deer Hunter, Jeremiah Johnson, Apocalypse Now, Scarface, Cool Hand Luke?
76. Best indicators in the gym? The ones that directly impact performance on the field? Which ones are they? Depends.
77. Read your email less frequently.
78. Don’t stop learning. The best coaches always try to get better.
79. Get respect, not money.
80. Spend time on the warm-up, it isn’t a quick arm cross back and forth before benching


81. Strongman training for athletes is great, but introduce it slowly and choose the right events
82. Strength training can happen with every tool on the market or with none
83. Color with your kids, ask them about their day, talk to them about their friends
84. Try to get 100 jumps with a jump rope without missing, try 200, 300…
85. Precede every row with a shoulder retraction, makes the exercise 10 x harder
86. Front squats and zercher squats to a box are great


87. Knee sleeves and elbows sleeves are more important as you get older
88. Remember, no one cares about your opinion, they only care about their own
89. Internet comments?
90. Do you have a dream? What did you do today to move closer to that dream?
91. Stop taking notes and take action.
92. Do pull-ups with chains
93. Fat Gripz are a great tool


94. Interact with other strength coaches in the field, hit them up on their site, email, skype, message in a bottle, Mike Tyson carrier pigeon
95. Don’t forget to say “thank you”, “yes sir”, “yes ma’am”
96. Power cleans are great with a barbell if they don’t irritate the shoulders and you have good form. If you can’t do them, use dumbbells, sandbags, kettlebells and work on your shoulder and upper back mobility
97. Watch a lot of tv? Hit push-ups, mobility, foam rolling during the commercials
98. Watch Bear Grylls and do 20 push-ups every time he eats some weird shit
99. Chaos training is important


100. The torso should be developed to promote stability and resist movement
101. Think about what they’ll say about you when you’re gone? What is your legacy?

By on February 25th, 2011


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Comments (62)

  1. Posted by - phil on February 25, 2011

    An awesome, epic list except for #11. Brother Wease kicks Howard’s ass every day of the week. (Pretty Amazing that you could put up a list of 101 things and I find only one (inconsequential) thing to disagree with. Right on!

  2. Posted by - Ben Bruno on February 25, 2011

    Love it!

  3. Posted by - Jeff in Napa. on February 25, 2011

    Thanks Smitty, people who share their knowledge to improve the lives of people they have never met are a gift to us all…..

  4. Posted by - ari selig on February 25, 2011

    Thank you smitty! great stuff man.

  5. Posted by - Dale on February 25, 2011

    Great post Smitty. Thanks for sharing

  6. Posted by - irontamer on February 25, 2011

    love it.

    I will add listen to Buddy Guy and Ted Nugent to the list

  7. Posted by - Jini C. on February 25, 2011

    Excellent post. I don’t often comment on a post…this was outstanding. One question…regarding: “72. CAT – 50-75% of 1RM, move it fast.” What is CAT?

    • Posted by - Smitty on February 25, 2011

      Jini, It is compensatory acceleration training. Thanks for the great support and comment!

  8. Posted by - Brad on February 25, 2011

    I love #98.

  9. Posted by - Matt Ellis on February 25, 2011

    When I first started speaking at coaching clinics, an Olympic shot putter told me that people in the audience would think 3 things: You were great and taught them a lot, you reaffirmed that what they do is correct, or you are full of $h!t. You are never #3. Thank you for teaching me so much and for reaffirming that what I do with my kids everyday is the right thing.

  10. Posted by - Pete on February 25, 2011

    Thank for this Mr JS!!! Amazing and love it. Love # 60 BE HUMBLE…always and live it.
    Also love the shirt in some of those picks..DO WORK SON!!!!

  11. Posted by - Ryan on February 25, 2011

    Awesome post Smitty! Guidelines everyone should run with. Road House however needs to be watched at least 30 times! Maybe these should be thrown on the list,

    ” All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary. And three, be nice.” -Dalton

    Have a great weekend Diesel Crew!

  12. Posted by - Eric Moss (kettlebell, strength and fitness) on February 25, 2011

    I’m gonna have to disagree with you here. ps3 > xbox

  13. Posted by - Ernie O'Malley on February 25, 2011

    “98. Watch Bear Grylls and do 20 push-ups every time he eats some weird shit”

    The whole post is just great. One should print it out big and hang it up in the room to see them goals every day!

  14. Posted by - Scott Jones on February 25, 2011

    What a fun list! I’m a boomer/almost a senior, so I don’t understand all of the items. I think I get most of them. Pineapple Express? Thanks, Jim.

  15. Posted by - Bill Jones on February 25, 2011

    Excellent. Read this a few times. Of all of them I keep coming back to #44-“Be the best part of someone’s day.” Shall be one of my continuing goals.

    By the way THANKS. You made my week!

  16. Posted by - Todd on February 25, 2011

    You come up with gold quite often, Smid, and this is good stuff (remember to be humble-haha!). Although I think the Droid is the bomb, I still give this list a thumbs up since XBox does rule.

  17. Posted by - mattoomba on February 25, 2011

    Awesome list. This is the best sum-it-all-up post I’ve seen in a long, long time on ANY Website. Only quibble: Droid>iPhone. Sorry, but Apple is The Establishment now!

    I dig the flexibility you include: #53 says avoid the foam roller, but #97 says use it. I’m a foam guy, so I’ll stick with #97.

    As a supplement: I’d add “Braveheart” and “Saving Private Ryan” to the must-see movie list.

    • Posted by - Smitty on February 25, 2011

      Matt, I am not saying avoid the rolling, I’m saying upgrade to a pvc pipe.

  18. Posted by - Hans Hageman on February 25, 2011

    I agree with Ernie! I’m going to print it out and hang it up. I’m 53 yrs. old with A LOT of experience but I couldn’t have distilled this training wisdom any better. Off to get some 3″ PVC.

  19. Posted by - John on February 25, 2011

    Looks like I have some movies to watch !!! again and again enjoyed the article

  20. Posted by - Adrian on February 26, 2011

    Great list man! You should get this in print on a poster!

  21. Posted by - Brock on February 27, 2011

    Great list Smitty! But…

    O&A >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Stern
    PS3 >>>> XBOX and
    Survivorman >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Bear Grylls

    Oh yea, TOTALLY on board with the PVC pipe, I went to that about 4 months ago and haven’t looked back.

  22. Posted by - allie on February 27, 2011

    Wow– AMAZING post- love it + thank you!

  23. Posted by - Stanic on February 27, 2011

    I have to disagree with line 70. Otherwise awesome post.

  24. Posted by - James on March 1, 2011

    Excellent except for so things here and there:
    Mr. Thibs would disagree about the monthly deload:

    • Posted by - Smitty on March 1, 2011

      James, I completely agree with everything Thib is saying. His statement

      “‘m NOT AGAINST DELOADING WEEKS… However I am against pre-planned deloads with recreational lifters. You should deload WHEN YOU REACH A STATE OF ACCUMULATED FATIGUE. Not before that. If you deload before that you will simply “waste a week” by doing less growth-producing work without needing to do so.”

      Is correct. You shouldn’t deload until you need it. Unfortunately, most recreational lifters, as a very general guideline, do need it every 3, 4, 5 weeks. They typically use too much volume, too high intensity, have bad diets, don’t get enough sleep, work too much, stress at home and with kids. They are never fully recovered. The deload doesn’t need to be “planned” but it does need to be incorporated (and understood intensity decreases, volume decreases, concentric-only movement, etc) when they “need” it. Thanks for the link.

  25. Posted by - Don Johnson on March 6, 2011

    Great List Smitty!!

    I am just going to assume that the next item would say..
    #102: Accept that Biel > Alba

    I wish #87 didn’t ring so true.

  26. Posted by - Mike on March 7, 2011

    Hey Smitty,

    Great work mate! My favorite are:
    -Being the best part of someones day
    -Don’t stop learning. The best coaches always try to get better

  27. Posted by - Ryan on May 4, 2011

    This was the best workout article i’ve ever read. It gets tiring reading all these roid raging, meat heads talk about how big they are and how not big everyone else is. It’s nice knowing some people legitimately want to help!

  28. Posted by - Nick on May 15, 2011

    #93… Fat Gripz. Really worth the money?

    • Posted by - Smitty on May 16, 2011

      Great product, we use them in pretty much every session

  29. Posted by - F&P on June 21, 2011

    Awesome list!!!!

  30. Posted by - ben on July 4, 2011

    Great post ! #102 bbq whenever possible

  31. Posted by - Twrightsher on July 4, 2011

    Thanks for the post Smitty! Jason Ellis over Stern (#11)… lovin the rest and making it an EPIC day!

  32. Posted by - Matt Carlin on July 5, 2011

    Smitty – awesome post mate. Such a fantastic list mate. I’m working on incorporating the majority of that into my life mate. Keep up the top work!
    MC – Australia.

  33. Posted by - Dwayne on July 6, 2011


  34. Posted by - That Guy on October 2, 2011

    4 and 101 seem to be a bit at odds…

  35. Posted by - DJA$H on October 4, 2011

    2 GUD 🙂

  36. Posted by - Jini on October 4, 2011

    If you’ve ever picked up a dumbbell, you should pick up this list. It is fun, educational, and true!

    Thanks for your insights; you definitely “get” it. Fav’s- #’s: 1, 10, 11, 19, 21, 25….many others….95

  37. Posted by - Buffa on October 4, 2011

    Best post I believe I have read other than Fathers Creed!

  38. Posted by - VR on October 5, 2011

    Epic indeed.

  39. Posted by - John on October 19, 2011

    Amazing post Smitty. It was Epic! There are a lot of gem on here as well as some good humor too.

    See you soon!

    -Coach Gaglione

  40. Posted by - David G. on February 7, 2012

    Awesome Smitty!

    • Posted by - will bittman on September 17, 2018

      okay, now this is epic

  41. Posted by - sifurudycurryjr on February 13, 2012

    Great advice for all.

    Sifu Rudy Curry

  42. Posted by - Andrew on March 1, 2012

    Awesome! Bookmarked.

  43. Posted by - ulimond on March 3, 2012

    And on to reading more stuff on this site, great words amigos.

  44. Posted by - Dan Go on March 5, 2012

    Loved this list but Xbox over PS3?? Really??

    • Posted by - Jack Woodrup on September 16, 2013

      yes really.

  45. Posted by - Joe on March 9, 2012

    You lost me at Iphone…Android much better

    • Posted by - Troy on March 10, 2012

      100 out of 101 ain’t bad. Lol

    • Posted by - Jack Woodrup on September 16, 2013

      I respectfully disagree.

  46. Posted by - Drew on March 31, 2012

    Bear Grylls aint got shit on Les Stroud! Survivorman does it alone. Awesome list!

  47. Posted by - Jack Woodrup on September 16, 2013

    I thought Pineapple Express was overrated. Other than that though – this list was like Pecs and Explosions. i.e . F#CKING AWESOME.

  48. Posted by - Christian on September 22, 2013

    What a great list. You come across as a great bloke Smitty. Cheers for that

  49. Posted by - Kael on June 24, 2014

    Stopped reading at 24. Confirmed for literal retard.

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