If you didn’t know already, Jim Wendler is one my favorite lifters as far as strength, motivation and size go. He has been a huge inspiration for me in the last year and a half. He squatted 1000lb and he spent time in the mud. He is known for his carefree attitude and he is good at debunking most of the rumors in the fitness world that we hear today. Here are some of my favorite quotes by him.
“I sat in my car and looked at my legs and thought how much would I give to have this leg taken off? If someone gave me a billion dollars would I do it? There’s no fucking way. Then I looked at my hands. No. Arms? No. Nothing. Then I realized that day that I’m probably the wealthiest man alive. You guys have to realize too that you have a lot to be thankful for.” – Jim Wendler
This quote was very deep and probably one of my favorite Wendler quotes because he is absolutely right and not just for lifting but in all aspects of life. People rarely ever wake up in the morning and say “thank God I have my hands and legs”, instead they say something like “Shit, I have to go to work again, when will the weekend come?”. How many times do we complain about things instead of being thankful for what we do have? A lot. I don’t know where you are from but I live in Canada and I hear complaints daily from everyone around me and myself as well, I am tired of it. Ever since I heard that quote I really started limiting my complaints and I cut off the complainers around me. Wendler is trying to convey the message that if you look at what you do have instead of what you don’t have then you will be more humble and live a happier life because you will never have it all. There will always be something you won’t have. You wouldn’t give someone your two legs for a million dollars and your arms for another million so in a way we are all millionaires because we have a lot of self worth, a lot to lose and a heck of a lot to be thankful for.
“The problem with many hypertrophy-based programs is that they leave out the strength component. You might get bigger as a result of the program, but if you don’t get any stronger you’re still a chump in my book. That’s right, I don’t care how big you are, if you aren’t strong you’re a sham. Having big muscles and no strength is the training equivalent of wearing a strap-on. All show and no go. End of story.” – Jim Wendler
I agree with this quote 100%. I see many guys in my gym or other gyms who are huge but they are able to bench press more than they squat which is VERY pathetic. Some of them are even able to curl more than they military press with strict form. You should always be as strong as you look and if not even stronger. Whats the point of looking strong when you aren’t even strong. Many people look like they can squat 405 but struggle with 225? Most people can’t stand a front and I for one agree. So even if you are a bodybuilder, you should still have programs with dedicated strength cycles because it will help you in the long run.
“Get rid of all the meaningless crap in your life and your training. Get rid of the things that bleed your energy in the weight room and in life. What’s better for you? The Prowler or a stroll on the treadmill? What do you think is going to make you better? Don’t fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your shit in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesn’t matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? Fuck you. I’ve got scars and blood and vomit. This is a call to arms for some of you. It is for me, too. Stop all the things that make you a pussy and steal your energy. Get your life back.” – Jim Wendler
This is really a minimalist approach kind of like what Jason Ferruggia preaches and it is very spot on. Stop living like a coward and take control. Live the life that you want to live because nobody is going to give it to you, plain and simple.
“The older you get the more time you need to spend on restoration and recovery (and the less on training). I’d rather spend 45 minutes rolling, stretching, moving and having a GREAT squat workout and leave then spend no time warming up, having a crappy squat workout and doing 5 assistance exercises.”
I’m only 20 years old and I understand what he means by this because not stretching, doing soft tissue work, getting massages, lacking proper diet and things of that nature will inevitably catch up to you in the future if you don’t do it now. Can you still train hard and very heavy when you get older? Yes, but you have to dedicate more time to stretching, mobility, soft tissue work and diet.
Let me know your favorite Wendler quotes and I obviously I didn’t cover everything because everything that comes out of Jims mouth is a quote to write down, but today I just wanted to address a few quotes.