In this concluding segment, Adam talks about people he looks up to, past and present. Also, what comes next for Adam and the one thing he would like people to start doing…
You’ve probably already been there, but if you’re looking to get motivated, visit Adam’s blog: Walk The Road Less Traveled.
At the end of this segment, you will find the link to download the entire interview in a PDF document. From Adam and myself, thanks for reading.
Josh: Who do you look up to?
Adam: The first person who made a big impact for me to start training was Arnold Schwarzenegger. As a little kid, probably a lot like you were, I was a little skinny guy, got tall faster than everyone else in the class…you start looking around and saying “Well, who do I want to be?” I grew up watching Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies as a little kid. Here was this guy that everybody respected, he’s always in a position of power. He looked like a superhero. And so my original training started off very much in that way.
I was given two books in 1996 or 1997, The Master of Hand Strength and Dinosaur Training: John Brookfield’s book and Brooks Kubik’s book. Those were the turning point in how I eventually ended up here. Brookfield was something like I’d never seen before. He looked like my grandfather but he talked about doing things routinely that I’d never seen anyone do…well, at the time I was mopping the Gold’s Gym every night after school. I didn’t really know gym etiquette so I’d go up to big guys and say “Hey, can you do this?” I had ordered a set of the Captains of Crush at the time and I’d walk around the place all the time with the #2, trying to get these guys to squeeze it, because Brookfield said you’re not going to find people closing a #2 off the street.
I started looking into Dinosaur Training and I would ask people, “Do you think you could press a 200lb sandbag overhead?” They said, “Oh no, that’s impossible,” but they [Brookfield and Kubik] said it could be done. So those were two people who really had a huge impact on me. In 1999 I was given a copy of a book called Power Factor. They followed up with a book called Static Contraction Training. That was John Little and Peter Cisco. Now, those books were different from anything I’d ever seen because they talked about things from a scientific angle—and they talked about real science. You can measure the intensity of a workout and here’s how you can do it. You can predict how quickly someone will adapt and this is how you can chart it. They talked about a lot of things that were very counter to the things I’d originally learned from the bodybuilding world. You didn’t need to hit a muscle from every single angle to make it bigger.
Now in retrospect…that program was missing the skill element. So you can make someone very muscular with that system, but they will not be able to demonstrate very good strength in a conventional sense. But that spurred a lot of thought processes in my mind.
2003 was the first time I’d run across any of Pavel’s programs. I was given a copy of Bulletproof Abs, which at the time I paid very little attention to because I was still working out of the big-guy strongman mentality. I said “Well, who is this guy?” and I never really thought about how hard it would be to do something like a Dragon Flag. In 2004 I got a copy of Power To The People. Read it, didn’t do very much with it. It kind of sat in my bookshelf for a while. While I was deployed later on that year I started using the program and just made tremendous progress. When I left Iraq the first time, I was at the biggest I’d been at any point in my life…but I was decidedly the strongest I’d ever been at that point, by leaps and bounds, very very strong. So that was when I started getting involved in a lot of the kettlebell training systems and the hardstyle community and all these different things.
People who have had a big influence on me since then…Dennis Rogers has been a massive influence to me over the last couple of years. Dennis is really an incredible human being, both in what he does for people, what he does in his performances, what he does as a businessman, what he does with his ministry…he’s highly involved in that. I believe he has a genuine concern for the well-being of the people who approach him. He’s a very kind individual. I have tremendous respect for Dennis. And he was one of the people who really told me that, “You can do this. This is something you have an aptitude towards. You can make this work.” Which was important for me at the time because so many people look at the feats of strength and the prospect of making money off it and they say there’s no way.
At this point a lot of my peers have a big impact on me. Brad Nelson out of Woodsbury Minnesota is a very good friend to me. He’s also a coach to me. Brad has a phenomenal ability to coach. He is exceptionally in terms of his mobility and his training for it in terms of Z Health. He can grasp information very very quickly and break it down, which I really like.
There’s a guy name Greg Matonick out of New Jersey. Older gentleman…good friend of mine. He’s done a lot of coaching with me.
There’s Stanless Steel. Stanley is one of a kind…freak show strong. The world has no comprehension of how strong Stanley really is because he does things that no one else can do and that no one else is even close to. He is so far off the charts that a lot of people have kind of passed him by in their thought process because there’s no measuring stick to accurately grade him. Stanley’s become a really good friend to me. He’s a good guy.
Slim The Hammer Man, 75 years old, still performing…extremely tough.
Josh: Another tall guy, right?
Adam: Yeah, Slim is 6’6” and at his age now, he still hits feats that cannot be replicated. I’ve got on the phone with him right after he’s finished up a workout and he’ll tell you “Yeah, I did this tonight.” And he’ll throw numbers out that I won’t be hitting for a couple more years. Just phenomenal. And he’s the proof: a lifetime of hard word makes a person tough. Attention to details makes a person strong.
Me and Jedd [Johnson] are really good buddies. I like Jedd because Jedd is really good at a lot of different things and he likes to help people. Jedd wil tell people his thoughts on how to train…on how to get them through different things. He’s a really good dude. I think people would do better to listen more to the Diesel Crew guys because they are doing a lot of work to help people.
Jim Smith has put out some of the most comprehensive training programs in the last couple of years. If people would just take those programs and do what Jim says to do, they would be making incredible progress. Truly, that whole thing about being the strongest guy in your neighborhood—it’s no joke. Those are some of the key players right now. I think it’s important for people to reach out work with people who are operating in different realms than they are…but who are becoming leaders in that field. I think it’s bad business if someone locks themselves in to a small community and doesn’t interact with people who are doing other things. I may have zero interest in doing what they do, but they come across similarities with the things I do. It helps us progress to different levels.
Josh: That’s one of my favorite things about Straight To The Bar. Scott Bird has gathered such a radically diverse group of people and strength talents. You can find something useful in almost anything you see there.
Adam: Scott is a great person. He’s doing a lot of great work. Scott is one of those people that is bringing the strength community closer, one blog post at a time. Scott does not discriminate—if he sees something he thinks the rest of the world wants to see, it goes up on his page. Like Parkour. I had never in my life heard of that until I started seeing the videos pop up. I personally have no interest in running around and jumping off of things, but it is very entertaining for me to watch these guys do what they love to do.
Josh: I read that you’re trying to move back to Okinawa. Is that true?
Adam: That is no longer on the books. There was a time when I was wavering between staying in the service or getting out. If I’m going to stay in, where do I want to go? In terms of my military career, being positioned at a base like that allows me to do a lot of things I’m interested in. Without going into too many things that I can’t really have posted on the Internet…I get to do a lot of different things. If I’m going to be stationed somewhere I like to be, moving, on the road, in the fight…Okinawa was where I needed to be if I wanted to stay in the fight. With me getting out, though, I’m not very interested in living in Okinawa.
Josh: So when are you actually done with the service?
Adam: May 10, 2010 is my last day.
Josh: And then what?
Adam: I’ve got different things going on. I want to expand my gyms, set up a couple more in different locations. I’d like to move around and do different training opportunities. There are many ways to make money in this world. Making money is not a concern of mine. It is being able to move in the directions I want. Book sales, e-books, people simply putting down the information they have in a way that is truly beneficial to be very profitable, if you give people good info. If you’re providing things that people can actually use, they will come to you and you can make a little bit of coin off of it.
Josh: When does your leverage book come out? I just saw that on your blog yesterday.
Adam: It will be going to Brad for editing very soon. From there we will look for a launch date. I want to have it out towards the end of summer. There have been some people who have put out some products that have really helped mold me in terms of This is what product should look like. I’ve seen some ebooks on the market where…they didn’t put a lot of time into it, they didn’t put a lot of effort. They obviously did not field test what they’re putting out, which at the end of the day, it makes it bulls***. It’s bulls***if the product is based on hypotheticals.
Jim Smith puts out…oh man, Smitty might work on a project for two years before it finally hits the market. And when it comes out, it is a highly polished product. It’s been field-tested. We know what it does and it’s usable, functional information. The things I’m writing on in this book…I need to make sure it’s being presented in a way where you can buy it, open it up, and there’s immediate value to you. I don’t want to produce a book that requires people to ask me ten different questions so I have to release three different supplements to it before it makes sense. I want it to come out, you open it up, you read it one time and you’re ready to go.
Josh: As a reader, I know I’ll appreciate that. That’s all I’ve got for questions, Adam. Is there anything you would like to add?
Adam: Some key things that I would like people to do: I would like people to work more to help each other out. For what it’s worth, I would like people to quit being such big damn babies about things that are not important. I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but a lot of people…in terms of their fitness training…just need to press forward and get kind of stubborn for a while in order to make the best progress. Quit asking for permission to see if you can do something. That is a ridiculous question. Can I substitute exercise A for Exercise B? Of course you can. Is it a good idea? Highly subjective.
I think if people want more help in the training world, they need to be prepared to put in a lot more. That might mean more money. It might mean more time. It probably means more effort. I do not turn people away when they ask questions, unless they’re being a jackass. But if someone asks me a question, and then a couple of days later I see another question from them, and over the course of a week they ask me 50 random shots in the dark…and it becomes apparent they’re just asking questions to get attention… …I would rather they send me an email and tell me how their weekend is, or how their family is doing, or what they’re going to do on Saturday, because obviously they just want to have a conversation…and not to waste my time talking training when they’re not serious.
Download the entire interview with Adam Glass here: interview-with-adam-glass
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