Truly Insane Workouts
Wanna do an insane workout with me?

We’ve all seen the explosion of online and TV offers for ‘insane workouts‘. Something in pop culture seems to have created a sudden demand for extreme or insane workouts and they are all aimed at young males.

I can’t wait for this fad and the related ‘boot camp workouts’ to blow over.

Common Elements of Insane Workouts

Often these insane workouts are built around one exercise that claims to offer special results or whole-body conditioning. Push-ups are a common one as are variations of jumping squats or burpees or just swinging a 19th century kettlebell – all of them, apparently, represent insane workouts.

Who knew?

Basically, the promoters of these insane workouts want you to believe that you can cram months of muscle growth time into a few weeks by performing saturation workouts daily. These insane workouts usually require daily exercise and that’s how – they claim – you get the fast results that normally take longer.

They never talk about the added risk of serious injury because of fatigue or from the plyometric jumping that greatly multiplies shear forces on tendons, ligaments and joints. They never talk about recovery time because insane workouts are built around not giving you more than 23 hours of recovery time.

These insane workouts also never talk about progressive overload because they usually don’t provide any. When you do a push-up you lift approximately 70% of your bodyweight. After a month of insane workouts push-ups you still only lift 70% of your bodyweight. You can add volume but you never add intensity.

Apparently the insanity consists of adding more and more volume without adding increased recovery time. So they’re right about that part being insane.

It’s Insane Workouts for an Economic Recession

A hallmark of nearly all of these insane workouts is that they are sold as requiring no exercise equipment or perhaps one cheap item like a 19th century kettlebell or a colorful Swiss ball.


I think it’s because of the people who say they can’t afford a gym membership or to buy weights for their home during these hard economic times. So the savvy marketers come up with ‘insane workouts‘ that ‘don’t require any weights‘.

Never mind the inescapable truth of the physics behind creating high intensity muscular overload – just type up some screaming ad copy and tell people all they need is one of these new programs and they’ll be as fit as a US Army Ranger in 30 days. Sure.

The Dirty Secret of Insane Workouts

Here is something only insiders know about these insane workout promotions. Many of these high profile promos are nothing but lead-generation programs for nutritional supplement sales. The programs are sold at a loss or near-loss just to get the names and other information of people interested in fitness.

Then – after the insane workout has failed you – the marketers are ready to tell you about how you failed because you aren’t using their special protein or their Insane Workout Secret Formula Mass Gain tablets. Or whatever. From start to finish it’s just this year’s scheme to get your money and deliver nothing in return.

The Definition of Insane Workouts

Remember the colloquial definition of insane? “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” In my view, that’s what all these insane workouts are dishing out. Another more or less conventional workout that does not generate high intensity muscular overload, does not ensure progressive overload and does not vary the recovery time to allow for progression and new muscle to grow.

Truly an insane workout!

Their best prospect is an uninformed consumer who looks at the hype and doesn’t know the underlying principles and facts.

Train with your brain and avoid insane workouts and the chronic overtraining, injuries and wasted money that go along with them.

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63 Comments. Leave new

  • Right on the money! No pun intended. It really has gotten WAY out of control out there in terms of fitness. I also feel that Crossfit is partially to blame for some of this philosophy too. I do like the fact that they do deadlifts, olympic lifts, bodyweight work is ok too. BUT….they do WAY too much, too often etc. Heck at Crossfit you could do deadlifts one day, back squats the next, a host of olympic lifts the next, and on and on. I am tired just writing this. Sounds insane to me. However, it will be the orthopedic and neurosurgeons who will eventually benefit from these workouts when patients come to them with a host of injuries. I always find it a bit interesting when I look back say 15 years and nobody did stuff like this (unless appropriate for their sport), and we looked a hell of a lot better. Like the SNL sketch says, “What up with dat?”

  • Shawn


    Having tried one of these “Insane” workouts myself I can agree with you whole-heartedly on the main point of the article, “Insane” workouts do not really build muscle in large supply. I actually tried the Insanity workout and I must say it reminds me a lot of my boxing/kickboxing classes. I trained for a few months on the Insanity workout and my body did change but mostly weight loss and muscle toning but very little muscle gain. The same can be said of my kickboxing workouts. My instructor focuses on core strengthening from massive amounts of ab exercises and other repetitive, and potentially damaging plyometric exercises.

    My current plan is to train my kickboxing a few times a week for conditioning and do SCT once a week for muscle gain. I can tell you from seeing people who only do the kickboxing or “Insane” workouts they have little fat on their body but they resemble a long distance runner in the sense they do not have much muscle either. If gaining muscle or serious strength is a goal then increasing overload of the muscles is the only way.

    Thanks for all your advice and keep it coming.

  • Frank

    Hey Pete,
    You are right on the down falls of insane workouts! I have close up proof of it right next door to me. A 17 yr. old long distance runner for his high school was doing one and thought it would help him with track. Did not take very long at all and his performance in track went way down, not up. No recover time. He was over trained in two weeks. On another subject Pete. I’m in my 5th week of SCT. Today I did my A workout and progressed on every lift as always, but the last two workouts on bench I could not do more weight on the first try. Bench has always been a weak point for me. I think my brain and chest have a communication problem. HaHa! The first week I thought I had marked down the wrong weight from the week before, or I was not recovered fully so this time I waited longer but same result. So I dropped weight 20 lbs and it went up easy. Then increased it 10, no problem. Then 10 more, same easy. Then I went 5 more and got a 7 sec hold. Thats 5 lbs more than what I could not even get off the pegs with first try. But this way I’m doing at least 4 or 5 lifts on my bench. Now I know shorter hold time is better but what if I started with same weght as last workout and held longer. lets say 10 sec. then next workout same weight hold 15 sec. Then as soon as I hit that, next A workout then raise weight and start same over again. That way I would only have 1 lift with bench each workout instead of 5. What do you think. Would that still be enough progresive overload. Or would another way be better ?
    Thanks, Frank

  • Hi Pete, it’s interesting that you just posted this comment, I was going to write you and ask what you thought about these programs. You also have talked about muscle confusion programs and I have to laugh because it seems to me the only thing confused is the purchasers mind. Muscles haven’t a brain so how can they be confused? Anything done without proper training and safeguards is foolish.

    Thanks for all your great information.


  • Do it. There is variation in individuals and it’s very smart to experiment a bit to find tweaks that work for you. You found a way to lift more? Brilliant. Do it. Thanks for training with your brain.

  • John

    Have you heard of anyone getting a hernia or damaging their discs with SCT. I have been doing SCT for 8 months with no problem so far, but I am paranoid about blowing a gasket, especially on deadlift and shrug.

  • Truthfully, I have never heard it. I’m sure it’s possible, just as it is with any strenuous activity. Make sure you never hold your breath when you do ANY heavy weightlifting – that’s a common mistake.

  • charlie sanders

    muscle strength crosses over and skill and conditioning are skill specific. practice accordingly.

  • charlie sanders

    how bout the grunt isn’t that a form of valsalva?

  • charlie sanders

    john please realize the deadlift is limited by your lumbar as the weak link, it is the focus in the sct exertion. keep your curve and do not sacrifice it for higher numbers. on shrug the same plus keep head over shoulders not forward.

  • charlie sanders

    Just talked to a neighbor yesterday, 16yo basketballer going around lately in those shoes with a lift in the front end to load the calves all the time…jump soles
    i used to have the original kind and it was crazy… dangerous and overtraining but quite the gimmick for an eager slam-dunkster. so i approached his dad and shared with him and then spent some time with the son. i think he got it for the most part… he actually just started a jumping routine….5 different exercises 100ea/day 5days rest 2days then add 100 weekly for 5 weeks or something crazy….i shared how i had quit basketball for 5 years and had become an avid squatter and swing-dancer…one day i visited a gym and got out on the wrong floor and behold a basketball court, ooohh, i stayed and played for a couple hours…the first 30min i could jump just as high as i did as an athlete. what was different? great chiropractic care helped my nervous system and squats triggered my nervous system to grow more jump power, dancing for recreation kept me in some condition. i told him why train thousands of reps to be good at doing one big rep ‘jump’. maybe we will see him here…

  • I don’t tell people to grunt. I do say ‘barbaric yawp’ but that’s not restricted. It’s easy to exhale with force for just 5 seconds.

  • charlie sanders

    oh, i will try to figure out the difference more clearly. i do realize that it is not holding but i think what i consider my barbaric yawp requires a bit of pressure..but thanks for the feedback.

  • “ooooo eeeee, whad up with that, whad up with dat….”

    haha! brilliant!

    I do crossfit, mostly for aerobic conditioning and losing fat…. and yeah, neanderthals still using kettlebells! haha!

    For strength… SCT …. I don’t tell anyone I do it…. but I am the strongest guy in the gym…whenever we do single rep maxs…

    I just go twice a week, my body loves the workouts…always on the floor at the end of each workout…feels great….

    BUT for strength….SCT got it beat.

    I got an old school machine with a Meter at home (measures force in lbs and Kilos)…no weights at all and just do SCT on it, once every 3 weeks or so.

    My greatest achievement I’d say is 1098 kg (2415lbs) leg press.

  • Thanks Pete,good to hear some good robust comments on yet another yawn inducing scam.Strange to relate but one thing I have learnt in over forty years of training is to stay away from the endless crap generated from the fitness market.So called insane programs and their popularity I would argue have become markedly worse in recent years.Actually I am just so fed up with these so called insane programs that I can barely watch the ads without the urge to throw something at the TV.Pounding music,machismo and hogwash with some growly voiced commentary challenging you the viewer seem to be the mainstays.They truly insult the intelligence of people in the sense that rationality is a virtue not insanity and should be the foundation of any exercise program.

  • mike

    sct only helps when combined with conventional body building and powerlifting workouts the proof is results by me and other nationally ranked lifters in the world

  • Joe

    Hey Frank & Pete,
    I’ve been doing a modified version of SCT/PFT for 5 years and I still have the same experience that Frank had with chest presses, with almost every exercise. The first one or two lifts are weaker than my 3rd and 4th. I can’t explain it, I just go with it. Then 4 weeks later I just go with it again on the B-workout…. God I love this stuff!

  • Donnie Hunt

    To me it just makes sense to use heavy weights in a safe controlled manner. To use the safest tools possible like power racks or machines. If you like playing sports that involve explosive movements or high impacts than you have to weigh the potential risks that might happen. While I’m no expert It just seems to me that some of the training that they have you do in sports has nothing to do with the actual sport. When I ran track in high school i was a sprinter and “attempted” to be a thrower. They would have us sprinters do distance running and us throwers weave in and out of orange cones. ???When I see some of these infomercials for various workout gadgets or routines, they are doing all these different movements and playing that intense motivational music. Almost giving you that feeling of being in the night club on the dance floor. Lol. To each their own but I just think if ones goal is to get stronger or bigger you’re much better off using safe controlled equipment. It might not look as cool, lol, but hey just my opinion.

  • If anyone wants to be a nationally ranked lifter he has to lift in the full range of motion – those are the rules – so a partial range system is only going to be a partial help to him. But a guy who just wants to gain 20 lbs of muscle never needs to lift in his weakest and most dangerous range pf motion. That’s good news for people who don’t lift competitively.

  • charlie sanders

    mike the researcher really makes a good point pete…not that his proof came from an RCT…
    but i do wonder why you would say a partial range system is only a partial help. say that sct is for stregth and powerlifting is a skill set…there is transfer to the full range. i got my own mike like proof that says doing nothing but strong range iso and dancing and a little running i picked up a 300lb copier off the ground after lifting and moving a 800sf office full of stuff. then a year later with even less workout time could drag a 200+lb file cabinet down 75ft of carpet on a blanket bent over to grip 6inches from the ground, shoulda killed my back, there is my proof.

  • charlie sanders

    well said ed.

  • charlie sanders

    i am so jealous, gotta get my legs back 2415 is awesome.
    would you say that your crossfit is like a stress reliever and is fun?

  • charlie sanders

    joe bro, i am racking my brain trying to figure out what this concept is called i remember part of how it works but not at all what it is called…something about the nerves ramping up the output of successive contractions. i might have to call the school and ask somebody… maybe greg karr knows it, i think it was a neurophysiology class…

  • charlie sanders

    mike is your sport drug-free?

  • Mike, when you say “SCT only helps when …” you need to define “helps”. Helps with what?

    What I’m saying is that I’m fine claiming that SCT is all 99.8% of the population needs for strength training. In order to claim that SCT is all that an Olympic powerlifter needs I would want to have clear proof, perhaps in the form an Olympic medalist who only used SCT in his training. That isn’t likely to happen because it’s oxymoronic. I run into this with people who say SCT must “not work” because if it did champion bodybuilders would all use it. The point these people miss is that bodybuilding is – by definition – attractive to people who love to lift weights. They love it so much the devote their lives to it. So why would a guy like that pick a training method where he is out of the gym after 25 seconds and doesn’t come back for weeks? It’s not going to happen.

    From a marketing and financial standpoint, I’m OK not capturing the pro bodybuilding and Olympic lifting markets. They are exceedingly small and populated by people who are already in very good health. (Except the ones on the juice.) I get much more satisfaction hearing from regular folks who have really improved their quality of life using SCT. To me, that’s where the future of SCT is; pushing back against diabetes, heart disease, degenerative pain, aging and perhaps maladies such as COPD and MS, which have shown early signs of benefiting from very brief, infrequent resistance training. If SCT has a legacy, I’m really hoping it’s in those areas rather than on the posing stage at a bodybuilding contest. (That’s my personal opinion and I’m not looking to debate those who love bodybuilding and powerlifting, they have their priorities and I have mine and that’s what makes the world interesting.)

  • charlie sanders

    great perspective, well put pete.

  • Tom Strong

    I think that I could lift more if I were to develop that ‘barbaric yawp’! All I do is softly exhale!

  • Have fun! Here is the reference:

  • charlie sanders


  • Tom Strong

    I will develop that ‘barbaric yawp’!

    I just re-read that post. What would happen if we combined hypnosis and the ‘barbaric yawp’? Hypnosis is simply training the sub-conscious mind; which is something that Tony Robbins teaches in some of his books. The ‘barbaric yawp’ could be used as a trigger!

    Another book that I enjoy studying is “The Genie Within” sub titled “Your Subconscious Mind, How It Works and How To Use It” by Harry Carpenter.

  • Brian T

    Where did you get that machine?

    And where can I get one?

  • LJ

    I was looking online to find out more about the insanity and p90-X workout program, like reviews from people who have tried it. Most “reviews” were from people on their own affiliate marketing websites, trying to get you to buy either the program, supplements, or both. It’s essentially a Multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme where you get people under you to do the same selling and when you recruit enough people you are given “Diamond” status or some other such BS. On another note, the dramatic weight loss you see in the before and after pictures is more likely a result of the extreme diet the program requires and not the hour or so of exercise.

    I like you and your programs Pete, you don’t try to sell much other than the info and some rather inexpensive equipment to help you perform the workout. Keep promoting the truth, it’s really refreshing.

  • Thanks for the kind words, LJ. It means a lot to me. I just need to find a few million more people like you and the others who post on this blog.

  • I agree with Charlie. I gain more respect for you and your perspective every day, Pete, and for SCT every time I use it. I’m a 63 year old man and I’m getting stronger. I can feel it subjectively in my body (feels good!) and I can measure it objectively in the numbers — and I’m only just through my 4th A and B routine!

    I’m one of those people who enjoys movement and full range weight training. I’m also semi retired and not concerned about the amount of time I spend in the gym. However, that said, I’ve never gotten consistent MEASURABLE gains from using the typical “3 sets of ‘n’ to failure” routines two to three times a week. But thanks to you I now understand WHY that is. I was never doing maximum progressive overload in a safe range of motion with a variable recovery time. Now I am and I’m seeing the results.

    Sometimes (not always) after my SCT workout I will do full range exercise (1 set to failure to a final static ‘hold’ with a far lighter weight than I could handle using SCT) for a specific muscle group. I do this because I like the feel of the full range of motion under stress and I like the ‘burn’ sensation which I do not get with SCT. (SCT has a different inner sensation, difficult to describe.) However, you’ve helped me understand that doing this may increase my recovery time. I just have to keep in touch with my body and watch the SCT numbers. Meanwhile I continue walking every day and doing some light cardio every week. Couple that with my no sugar eating habits and I’m down from a high of 250lbs a year ago to 190lbs today (5’11”). I FEEL GREAT and thanks to SCT I believe this trend is just going to continue! Thanks Pete! 😉 And, yes, I am telling my friends. They all comment on how good I look and how much my body has changed and they all want to know how I’m doing it. Unfortunately most of them NEVER go to a gym and they are in the downward “use it or loose it” spiral of aging. Old habits are hard to break. :-\

  • Thanks a lot, Mike. And HUGE congratulations on transforming your physique and no doubt adding years to your life. Bravo!

  • mike

    Pete the best way to describe how sct helps would be the same thing as doing a negative movement with more weight than you can do a normal full range rep with or some lifters are using short reps in a similar fashion

  • michael stillman

    hey Pete and everyone here, this is an interesting site. i just want to say, Pete, the style that you promote makes sense logically, but there are a lot of questions that need to be asked, and henceforth debated. as the son of a philosophy professor i was taught many many things. but the number one thing i learned, is that one must ask questions. to just accept every theory that sounds like it makes sense just doesn’t work, because there always is another angle to see. i don’t know whether the MDs or RNs that i work with have intelligence or not, but what they do have is clinical experience. they know what works, and what doesn’t, with praxis. that doesn’t mean that i trust them either, but at least they are living in some kind of fact based reality given their limited knowlge. they know what works, and what doesn’t.
    while i agree with the basic frame work of your hypothesis, there is a lot to be desired. anyway, this is just my introductory admission. we will continue the debate with many questions in the near future. so i hope you are down for some lively discourse. and i hope the people on here have enough class to act like adults. i will not agree with you just to be pleasant, as there are a few holes that need to be addressed.
    i was a trainer by the way for many years, and mostly used the Mentzer style HIIT as a basic frame work. too bad i never got a change to discuss things with him before he died. i didn’t blindly follow what he had to say, and modified my training style accordingly. but i do find many similarities between the both of you. i wonder who came up with the theory first. especially static contracton. as it was, most if not all of the 50 plus trainers hated me at the gym we worked, as i would not bend to their will, and subpar dangerous training styles. some of the trainers and their clients actually became boderline violent, and tried to turn my clients away from me.
    at the present time, i’m an RN, and see the first hand ravages of modern societies influences, ills and ignorances. so i personally know a little about praxis.
    by the way, about a year ago i tried to interject logic onto many sites promoting PS90X, and the insane work out protocols. after i saw the commercials, i was bothered by the many contradictions that were displayed, so i decided to point these things out. dozens of people became insensed, and attacked me in such an ignorant lower class manner, that i gave up quickly trying help anybody. as my father said, “people would rather die, than give up their values and beliefs.” boy did i finally learn my lesson.

    anyway, hope we can talk soon. and don’t take it personally, but i am going to make some statements, and ask some questions. i’m sure you’ve heard most or all of them before, but i personally haven’t heard the answers from you yet. before this blog was introduced several weeks ago, there was no way to get in touch with you on your original site (at least as far as i could see, but maybe i’m wrong), but now we can finally have some open dialog.

    thanks for reading Pete,

    we’ll talk soon

    michael stillman

  • Hi Michael, welcome to the blog. I’m actually not much of a debater in the world of bodybuilding and physiology because I don’t have a lot of interest in the biological and metabolic activities that people hypothesize. I’ll leave that to the medical scientists. I’ve always approached the issue of building muscle and strength from the standpoint of Physics and I’m certain that lifting the absolute heaviest weight possibly under ideal conditions will stimulate muscle growth. It always has. How could it not?

    But perhaps others would enjoy the perennial debates about hyperplasia and sarcoplasm and whether this or that technique generates more protein synthesis or micro-tears. Personally, I’ve never done all the tissue biopsies and blood analysis to have an opinion on these issues vis a vis Static Contraction. (Most people who debate them haven’t either. Haha.)

    The most important thing a philosopher can do in this case is, like Empedocles, is to experiment by lifting that maximally heavy weight, progressing the overload and looking for empirical evidence as to whether it has an effect on his strength and muscle mass.

  • Hi Michael, I want to underscore what Pete said in his reply. This isn’t a “faith based” program. It either works or it doesn’t and I can determine that by simple numbers. For any given exercise, I can either hoist and hold (for 5 seconds or less) more weight this time than last time or I can’t. I keep a simple spread sheet to track the weight lifted and the recovery time between workout sessions.

    Now, I only started STC a bit over six weeks ago. I just completed my fourth A & B routines. I can look back at the baseline (what Pete calls “workout zero”) and see there is clear numeric progress. I’m hoisting more weight now. I also note that the progress isn’t always linear. In fact, on my third workout session some of my numbers (in the A routine) actually declined. However, on my 4th A workout, the numbers not only surpassed the 3rd (which were down from the 2rd), they surpassed the 2nd. So the overall trend is increasing. Why the decrease? There are so many variables it would be difficult to know for certain but it is important to point out that I allowed a longer recovery period between the 3rd and 4th workout sessions than I did between the 2nd and 3rd.

    The point here, for me, is that this isn’t rocket science. I’m not a physiologist or a biochemist anyway. I’m an ordinary guy in his sixties that wants to not only stay in shape but, if possible, develop his muscle capacity without injury. I don’t need to know how or why SCT works. I just need to know whether or not it IS working. The beauty of SCT is that it gives me a simple means of measuring this.

    Of course, to be fair, I have a long way to go here. My numbers are increasing over four workouts BUT will this trend continue? That is what I’m in this to discover. I’m now “competing” with myself every time I do an SCT workout. The numbers don’t lie and given the limited range of motion and 5 second time constraint it is difficult to ‘cheat’ in some way. Recovery time is the big variable that I need to watch. If I plateau or, worse, go backward, for two workout sessions in a row, then I’ll have to look at this carefully. Perhaps I’ll have to do NOTHING for two weeks or more and then try again and see if there is improvement. I figure that if I keep this experimentation up for six months or so the numbers will clearly indicate whether SCT is working for me or not.

    Bottom line, I suggest you take your own advice and experiment to determine the truth about SCT for yourself. Try it for a period of six months. Keep clear, simple records and look at the results. THEN if there is anything to be debated, have at it! 😉

  • Donnie Hunt

    Hi Michael Stillman,

    I am curious about your your strength training methods. I have talked to quite a few different people online about different ideas and methods. I find it interesting.

  • Donnie Hunt

    Hi Michael Stillman,

    I am curious about your strength training methods. I have talked to quite a few different people online about different ideas and methods. I find it interesting.

  • Anonymous

    There are two kinds of criticism of this training method out there that I’ve observed. One type is from your average gym rat who just can’t wrap his head around the logic and simply can’t get past the skepticism of anything that looks different from what everyone else is doing in the gym.

    The other is from the professional ranks of researchers and scientists who are willing to concede that isometric/static type training indeed produces results but go on to say it shouldn’t be used exclusively due to the extreme (momentary) demand placed on the joints and ligaments. It is stated that while we can increase muscle mass and strength to hoist heavier and heavier weights, our ligaments etc. can not keep up with the progress our muscles are making.

    As for myself, the numbers are going up gradually but my primary interest is gaining size for the look which seems to be lagging behind the poundage. That being said, I am what can be classified as an ectomorph and already in good health and still quite athletic for my age (turning 40 next year) so I’m not too disappointed.

  • charlie sanders

    that is probably why we all eventually are injured on this site…too much on joints and tendons…funny guys

  • Charlie, I hope people reading that will realize you’re being sarcastic and that people do SCT to avoid the injuries that conventional training inflicts.

  • Brian

    I can REALLY attest to recovering from injuries using these techniques. I am so excited to be able to bench press (with a bad shoulder) again. I was in a bad car accident on 12/16/10 which really changed some things. I herniated 2 discs in my neck and one at the lumbar spine (an other injuries). One of the major components of this technique was the strong range of motion. WOW! IN fact, I have actually developed better flexibility by using the partials. Why? I am not really sure, but I think it has to do with working in a weak range of motion seemed to aggravate and stiffen my joints. I could not figure out why I would become so darned stiff, sore, and achy after full range of motion weight training. Plus, I always kept my reps relatively high (12-15). So I knew it was not the weight. All that stiffness and pain is gone now (with all my lifts), my flexibility is better, and my body has responded excellent. My shirts are finally getting tighter and my body weight has not changed. Thanks again Pete!

  • Thanks Charlie!

    Crossfit, yep, just for fun…. waiting 3 weeks to do strength workouts is fine….
    but my cardio and stretching need something a bit more vigorous.

  • ummm… I have no idea! There used to be a business in my city that had some equipment from about 7? 8 years ago…

    I used to go there to do SCT, once a week for about 6months or so, I got so strong, I couldn’t believe it… In fact, I used to think it was a scam…I thought the lady running it was just fixing the meter to make me think I was getting stronger…but one day at the park, I was messing around with some buddies of mine and I did full pull up from a hanging position onto this ledge, with no effort and knew I couldn’t do that before, that there was only one thing SCT… anyway to make a long story short, they closed down (people just not ready for SCT back in the early 2000’s) , and she sold me one of the machines with a lb/kg meter on it… $6,000 (something ridiculous like that!)

    I don’t think they make them any more… in fact Pete doesn’t recommend the company that used to make these any more… The one I got is big, heavy, and takes up a ton of space, but built to last 100 years… not like the later versions they built… I forget the name of the company…

    If people really interested, I’ll post some pictures of the thing and the meter… I’ll have to whip my camera out…

    The other way “i trained with my brain” is that when we do 1 rep max at crossfit, and I do a deadlift at 506lbs… no one believes it, I know its due to SCT that I can do that.

    what does pete say? only results count. I’m about as strong as I want to be…
    so that’s why I do crossfit and try to improve my diet, because I’m not as slim as I want to be…only as strong =) haha!

  • charlie sanders

    not that you asked but i would recommend network care if you have it in your area. did wonders for my flexibility and conditioning, a major stress reliever. also helped me get past my abusive workouts of the past.

  • charlie sanders

    oh and 3 weeks between 2415 leg press seem short, i used to need a month, have you ever spread it out yet more? esp. since you to xfit.

  • I do it about 9 weeks apart at the moment, due to splitting the body parts into 3 groups… but as I say, I haven’t really tried to get any stronger as I’m pretty happy with my strength… so haven’t lengthened the workout rest period any more…but yeah I do need more rest due to Xfit.

  • I haven’t heard of network care! I’ll have a look at that! Thanks charlie.

  • I’m 2 months away from 72, 162 lb, 5′-10″, had built my SCT deadlift from 185 about a year and a half ago to 525 lb. The biggest question in my mind was when do I crush a disk with this rate of progress? Still – what an unbelievable rush to be that strong, so I was determined to find my limit hoping it might only be a pulled muscle or something minor. Last Tuesday 7/12 I set myself up for repeating the 525 lift with a full 5 second hold (I had lost grip at 2 seconds a month before). I got half-way up and pulled my top floating rib on the right side loose from the spine – a big, audible pop, a stab of pain and I new I had found my limit.

    A week later, I’m finally becoming somewhat comfortable and appear to be healing nicely – not the end of the world. I got my chiropractor (an Activator master) to make sure nothing was displaced or broken and calm down the muscle spasms that first day. Then I started with Wobenzyme and serrapeptace enzymes to speed healing and remodel the damaged tissues, doubled up on all the supplements that help repair cartilage (especially hyaluronic acid), icing every 2 hours and 600 mg of ibuprofen every 4 hours to feel half-way comfortable. My best friend for the week has been brandy, but its time to get off that and give the liver a break. Anyway, I probably won’t go within a hundred pounds of that for the rest of my life, but it was an awesome run.

  • Steve


    appreciate your work.

    Question I have may be better suited for a medical scientist or it may just be too completely retarted to be answered by anyone..
    do you think there is something to the idea of training for hyperplasia then follow up with training for sarcoplasm..
    there’s a number of doctors however credible they really are or not suggest specific types of training for hyperplasia (which they say is the only healthy form of hypertrophy)
    anyway my thought was increasing the number of muscle cells in the muscle then turn around and increase their volume…
    seems to me you’d get even bigger..

    make sense or have I driven off in a short bus?

  • Here’s the problem I have with a strategy like this. Are you going to do tissue biopsies every month to measure how much cell growth and sarcoplasm growth you’ve had? If you want to make sarcoplasm progress, how are you going to measure it? Without some invasive procedure to measure your muscle tissue, it brings you right back to measuring progress by how much weight you can lift. An that’s what SCT/PFW does.

  • Yes Brian I agree Crossfit seems to have played a part in the way too much exercise approach.Over here in the UK I think I have spotted a spin off that may be CrossFit related in the sense that they have promoted an interest in the Olympic lifts.One training organisation for would be instructors claims it can teach you to instruct the Olympic lifts in a weekend and boasts 16 so called contact hours.Its endorsed by a certain National organisation over here that is supposed to legitimate instructors as registered etc..I have lifted weights for decades and would not consider that I could teach Olympic lifting which I have always considered{never having done it}to be highly technical and should only be taught by people with substantial experience behind them,sixteen hours hardly qualifying as such.This is the age of the instant expert I am afraid.

  • Well its been some time since I last commented on The Insanity Scam and its still rolling taking in the suckers and the thoughtless.No surprise people get injured doing stuff like that and now medical sources are starting to report them.Beach Body the people behind the nonsense have even launched a few more gee wizz- Son of Insanity-type programs smelling money in the air and confident that they can pick a few more pockets before riding the train out of town in traditional Snake Oil Salesman fashion.Who knows maybe even a change of name and some more rubbish can be sold to those still wanting a miracle alongside the tee shirt which you will have to earn with the sweat of your brow and the inactivity of the braincells that lay behind it.Every so often I see despite myself one of their awful adverts and they continue to really sicken and sadden me both at the same time.I am sickened that they are still going and still selling and saddened that people are still buying into it.Whoopee I have a six pack and a teeshirt,my life has reached its Zenith.

  • C Doelling

    I love the work that you have been doing and I think it is almost too simple but it gives results better than any other program.
    I do have a question though; while I don’t subscribe to the crossfit 5 workouts a week system-tried it and always felt so weak- but I am experimenting with doing bodyweight workouts to add endurance since it is becoming more expensive to sustain a gym membership to lift weights. However I have been struggling a lot to increase my numbers and have plateaued for so long. I add more and more recovery time and have gone to 20 days of recovery which seems somewhat ridiculous since I am 22 and I am still not improving in my push ups (some other exercises have improved but I always struggle with this one). I see from a lot of your studies that the trainees are much older and logically require much higher recovery times.

    So Pete with all that in mind should I simply add more time to recover, focus on more alpha workouts, or just drop it and go to weight lifting?

  • 1. It’s hard to make long term progress with bodyweight because you can never add any intensity, only volume. And more, and more, and more volume has practical limits and diminishing benefits.

    2. There is no way to cheat physics. You need to use heavy weights for best results. Maybe you can find a gym with a daily visitor rate and take advantage of only needing to train once or twice a month.

  • From scam to shining scam.Sad to say the same people who market Insanity now have put themselves behind Hip Hop Abs.When I first saw it I almost burst into laughter as it just seemed parodic in the sense that if a known humorist had done the thing everyone would have got the point-Oh its a send up.Now of course what many do instead is to sign themselves up.As for the people who propose they have had great improvements etc its a shame that so many sound as if they have had their brains sucked out through their ears.Who would ever believe such people.Sadly quite a few.I am sure the nonsense is selling quite well.

  • C Doelling

    Very good point about volume versus intensity. I suppose the only real way to add intensity to that workout would be change leverage- elevate the feet, go to one leg and so on. But also a good point on needing to lift more weight, there might be a good gym around who offers that kind of rate.

    Which reminds me of the other question I had; obviously adding more momentary strength can increase your ability to sustain a lower intensity- if your previous max was 200 pounds held for 2 seconds and you can now lift 225 pounds for 2 seconds you should be also able to lift 200 for longer.
    Do people who tend to build beta strength slower usually show more progress in both alpha and beta strength when doing alpha workouts versus beta strength workouts? It’s a complicated question but I hope you understand what I mean.

  • I can’t find many absolute rules for how people respond to different protocols. There is such a wide variation in individuals. The thing to focus on is what YOU need the strength/power for. Then train in a way that delivers what YOU need.

  • C Doelling

    Got it. Thanks for the help. I guess I had forgotten one of the main things you’ve proven…everyone has different recovery abilities and different abilities do adapt to various types of training.

  • Janeen Everheart

    If the internet had more quality content like this, that would be great.

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