“Basic, brutal, and brief…”

And if I may, to that I’d add intermittent to that as well.  Ok, so I’ve racked my brain and consulted my thesaurus to no avail — anyone know a synonym for “intermittent” that starts with a “b”?

Anyway, the “basic, brutal and brief” statement is just a snippet of the wisdom that long-time Strength & Conditioning coach Mark Asanovich delivers during this recent interview with Dave Durrell, of High Intensity Nation.  Another bit of in-the-trenches wisdom that Mark disseminates is that we as trainers and trainees should remember, first and foremost,  this: that all training boils down to “…physiology, physics and motor learning…”; and to that, I would add “psychology” or, more specifically, the ability to bring intensity to the training protocol.  Because, let’s face it: there’s not a training program that can ever be written that will produce results without the trainee bringing intensity to the table and, conversely, even the most mismatched trainee/protocol combo will work — at least for a while — if the intensity applied to that protocol is of top-notch quality.

Want results?  You gotta lay it on the line, brother — each and every workout.  Now, match super intensity with smart programming and, well…you’ve got the makings of the perfect Physical Culture one-two punch.

…and add a well-adhered-to Paleo diet to the mix, and we’ve got ourselves a perfect combination  🙂


  1. So, how do you up the intensity of whatever routine you are doing? Less rest, higher weight — anything else? I assume these days you recommend a little superslow type stuff. I usually only have time for 4 pretty short workouts a week, and I want to make sure they are the best use of my time!

    • The trick is, regardless of method (rest-pause, forced reps…whatever) to learn proficiency in the art of pushing beyond that point at which your mind says “shut down”. The fact of the matter is that we all (myself included) have the physical capability of going well beyond what the mind perceives as “failure”. As an aside, this is why I consider “failure” to be just another indicator, and not the “prime standard”, as it were. That is to say, my mental state, capacity, and tolerance for stress is in as much day-to-day flux as my physical state.

  2. Alex, in addition to rest and weight, I think you can increase intensity with things like super sets, drop sets, x-reps, and slow(er) negatives.
    I’m not personally an advocate of the one-rep superslow approach; in part because I’ve been persuaded by Poliquin that the concentric lift should always be as fast as safely possible. But slow down on the negative, and you get some real intensity!

  3. The word you might be looking for…Bursts, as in…

    Brief, brutal, basic, bursts.

    Bursts of brief, brutal and basic exercise/movement/action.

  4. I love this. Any strength and conditioning program will see some type of progress when attacked with vigor, focus and intensity. Combine that intensity with a well researched program and you will have the ultimate combination, but both alone are useless.

  5. So, traditionally, we tend to focus on the exertion side of things. Does anyone do anything to monitor their recovery between exertions? Most go with an arbitrary time, but I don’t think this will ultimately make the grade. Just like one can over-train, one can under-recover. The question I have is, ‘what do you do to monitor your recovery?’

    • Oh yeah, this is a much discussed — and, as you might imagine, controversial — topic. Appetite, mood, waking heart rate and body temp, joint achiness, all of these are indications of over-reaching, and a need to back-off…or, to improve post-workout nutrition.


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