Simplicity – Ashley Jones

As Thibadeau has been quoted as saying “complexity is the language of simple minds”

this being a truism, I would like to believe that the reverse is also true that simplicity is
the outcome of a complex questioning mind.

I am a Physical Performance coach for rugby, so I have to juggle all the physical
training elements to ensure that performance on the field each week is optimized. To
allow one “fitness’ variable to excel at the detriment of another will at some stage
have a negative effect on the performance of a player. To be sure continue to work on
your strengths but make sure that by doing so your strengths in fact do not become a

In reviewing ideas and concepts ahead of another Super Rugby season, I find it difficult
to ignore what I believe is one of the best results producing program of all time. It has
been given plenty of press over the years in IronMan magazine of the Peary Rader years,
throughout the pages of Milo published by Randall Strossen and also in the writings of
Steve Jeck and Peter Martin in there co-authored book “Of Stones and Strength”. The
program I refer to is the Pull, Push & Squat.

Only three exercise movements and you have ensured that the majority over 80% of the
body has been trained efficiently and effectively, if you want to throw in an abdominal
movement as a finisher, by all means add it into the mix, but it is not essential if you
work the three main movements correctly. It reminds me of the advice that the great
Hepburn once offered a trainee after he finally had gotten the courage to ask the legend
how to improve his squat strength, his reply SQUAT !!

For those in the competitive arena of powerlifting and Olympic lifting you will obviously
have to do more exercises and sessions to optimize your performance but for team sports
players and also the individual who wants to become bigger and stronger then go no

Simply stated, three exercises, one from each of the Pull, Push and Squat categories,
three full body training sessions a week, mix them up, you might decide to add a heavy,
light and medium load selection based on exercise selection within this paradigm or
you may even try the randomized approach and have six exercises from each category
listed and roll a dice to determine which you will do today. Just to get you started I will
list down my six favourite in each category and you can build from there. As for sets
and reps, use the full range based around what you are trying to achieve, high reps, low
reps, step loading, heavier to lighter, lighter to heavier, 5 x 5, wave loading, rest pause,
Marsh protocols, Rule of 24 patterns, 5-3-1 style, 5 x 1 Bud Jeffries style, you might
even randomize this as well. Just so long as you are lifting with intensity, I believe that
the results will look after themselves, if you keep the sessions intense and focused. Train
Hard, Good Luck, Enjoy.

Pull – snatch, clean, pulls, deadlift, chins, bent over row
Push – military press, push press, split jerk, incline bench, flat bench, floor press
Squat – single leg sprinters, front, back, overhead, split, kneeling

For Abs/Core – turkish get ups, roll outs, zercher lifts, suitcase dead lifts, full body twist,
sledge hammer hits on a tyre

Ashley Jones

GS Giant Cambered Squat Bar Legacy

Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones specialist in the physical preparation of rugby athletes. He has worked with professional sports teams that include Sydney Kings, Newcastle Knights, Parramatta Eels, Northern Eagles, Crusaders, New Zealand All Blacks, and Australian Wallabies. Irish by Ancestry, Australian by Birth, Japanese by Accident and a Kiwi by Choice.

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