Steve Cotter and some other dude were on stage at a Ryan Lee Bootcamp. This was in 2006. Cotter and this other dude were impressively throwing a heavy kettlebell back and forth.

They were showing some really fancy moves, flipping the kettlebell and catching it, tossing it high in the air and catching it and doing a swing…all over a wooden stage that would have been totally damaged had they missed.

It was a cool demo, but how practical?

Then Maxwell walks up after them. Kind of like the wizened fighter who walks in and just kicks a$$ saying…no, no, no, you’re doing it all wrong!

“Now, for something practical,” he said, “here’s the type of thing you should be doing.” It was pretty dismissive, but in a good reminder type way.

Simple works. Simple is repeatable. And sustainable. It’s what you should be looking for in your program.

Steve has some frameworks he uses. Here are two:

  • 10 point scales
  • Movement-based training

For 10 point scales, there are three: Pain, Exertion, and Technique.

For pain, don’t go above a 4. For exertion, stick to between 6 and 8. And for technique, never go below an 8 in terms of your form.

You don’t need to conjure religious introspection for this, but you need some self-awareness. Are you cheating to get reps? Using weight that is too heavy (hey, leave the ego at the door!)?

Movement-based training I cover in depth on my site here:

There are different “movement-based” training programs to follow. Back to Cotter, I remember him saying something that was more muscle-group based but went like this: Legs, grip, abs, push, pull.

It’s the same thing. It’s a focuser.

Let’s say two workouts a week, one is Swings, overhead press, Pull ups and the other is Squats, Floor presses, and bent over rows. Finish each session with several sets of ab roll outs. Do this, following the scales above, and you’re sure to see results.

P.S. I’m looking forward to getting a new website soon. The 90s called and they want their site back (mine!). So, I paid a local company to take care of things for me.

P.P.S. I have a lot more information about the stuff in this email in the Lean Healthy Strong book ( It’s a printable PDF that is organized using a special information mapping technique called DITA. Kind of looks like a hardcore secretive manual if you ask me.