Training or Simply Moving?: Coaches’ Corner w/ Jason Haynes

Today’s post is our latest installment of a new series called the “Coaches Corner.”  Our Adonis Transformation Coaches will share their knowledge, experience, and best practices to help ensure your successful transformation.  To continue the series, our topic  comes from none other than AGR Pioneer,  Jason Haynes.

When it comes to working out, how do you check the block? Are you training or simply moving?

When it comes to working out, how do you check the block? Are you training or simply moving?


                                      Training or Simply Moving?

I know an extremely popular topic for trainers, coaches and just fitness blogs in general goes along the lines of “Are you training or just working out?”  In some ways this is, admittedly, a similar be fair, there is only so much you can say about the topic.

I suppose the motivation for this post is seeing something on a corner of a community where I currently work my day job.  See, I currently work labor/construction (have to provide for my family as soon as we arrived in the US, after all) and the communities I am stationed at are quite rich.  As such, it is not uncommon to see groups of neighbors gathered together for early morning….uh…”exercise time.”

Granted, I don’t stand around and watch these gaggles of what are normally housewives for too long as I have work to do, but it’s not uncommon for me to pass by their general vicinity several times over the course of several hours.  What strikes me as funny is that they are so absorbed in their topics of conversation that they seem oblivious to the fact that they are not only in the same places as they have been for the prior hour or two, but many of them are doing the exact same thing as well.  Things like:  the woman who is stretching her calves on a curb is still standing there “stretching” her calves…same position, same curb, same place in the circle, and SAME CALF!!

They are usually decked out in all their apparrelled glory:  matching jogging clothes with matching shoes and whatever gadgets and gizmos that they want strapped to them.  Now, I have no problem with getting training gear…even to the point of <gasp> matching…but when the gear is only worn and not actually used for the purpose it was intended for…well, then I have to pull a “ridiculous” card on this training foul.

I mean, come on.




Hey, I am totally for people exercising just to get moving and get outside.  If someone actually does it for health purposes, I am all for it.  Good for you.  If you choose to train with running or whatever and don’t even touch a weight because your are not interested in building muscle, then I will actually support you in your endeavor.

At least you are DOING something. Movement is good.  Weights are better, but still…good for you.

Granted, this is just exercising…not training.  Again, if you want to exercise for the reason of simply moving and getting the “ol” heartrate up, then go for it.  I’ll even encourage you.

Don’t expect me to go on a run with you, though.  I am not interested.

See, my time to train is limited and I need to spend it wisely, focused, and staying on target with my goals, which are not the same as yours (in the context of the people who exercise for health/movement purposes only).

This situation, sadly, is not limited to only the housewives running club…which never seems to actually get running….it also happens in the gym, unfortunately.

Warning:  I’m about to go “inhuman mode” on ya.

Someone once called me “inhuman” for my dedication to my training and caloric discipline.  But you know what?  That is what is NEEDED to succeed with transforming your body.

Look,I have under 40 minutes to devote to training each day.  Yes, I could get up earlier, but at this point if the number “4” is in the hours spot of the clock, it just isn’t happening at this point. For some reason, 5AM sounds better to me than ANYTHING beginning with a “4” and then “AM”after it.

Usually I have under 30 minutes to train…sometimes 40, but not often.  I don’t have time to play around and linger.  I need to get to work with the weights.  I am not there to “exercise” or to “move” or whatever…I am there to keep the muscle mass I have and to gain as much more as possible while I still can.  My age is not working in my favor in this equation, so it’s even more imperative to get busy and stay focused.

Put on the game face…get busy.  Time’s ticking.

I see people lollygagging and simply wasting time.  You may think “maybe they are talking between sets,” but I have yet to see a good training program (with the exception of some powerlifting templates) that has 5-10 minute resting periods and, quite frankly, the poundage of the weights they use does not put them in that category…far from it.

Which leads me to conclude that they are simply moving weight to “get moving” and to use their muscles.  You know what?  Good for you, dude!  Good for you, dudette!  At least you are doing something other than nothing.

But as for me:  I need to know that I would be sweating if the air conditioning in the gym wasn’t set at freezing, I need to feel my muscles burn, full well feeling each intended muscle targeted.

I am not there for “health” reasons.  Health improves naturally with a fit body.  Train properly, as with the AGR Systems, and your heart gets a good training session in as well…no need to do cardio if you don’t have the time or desire.

Yes, it’s not easy to make friends at the gym with my training mentality…I simply cannot let myself slide into their ways.  Nothing personal against them…but I have two places of work:  the gym and my job.  I am at neither one with the goal of socializing and making friends…I have a job to do and I will get it done.

Yes, there are are some tips and tricks and mindset things involved in this process as well…and your AGR Premiere Coaches are ready and willing to share those with you to help you get to your goals.  With another AGR Transformation competition coming up within a few weeks, now might be a good time to get started with your transformation.

Many guys don’t get started with their competition until it is officially announced…only to have to deal with traps, pits, problems and other issues that come up naturally during life and training.  By getting started early, you can encounter and adjust to these issues in order to ultimately conquer them.  AGR Premiere Coaching can certainly help you with these things as well as many others, including the accountability that so many of us are needing.

If you have not purchased the AGR systems, why not?  Get it here.

Even top athletes…the best of the best…have coaches to get them to the top of their game.  If even the most elite athletes know the value of a coach, there is certainly something to being coached.   Check out our AGR Coaching program.

Look…guys…ladies…there is a time and place for things.  If achieving your ideal body is something important to you…if reaping the benefits of a healthy and strong body appeals to you, don’t waste your time.  Get the program, get help, get focused, and get busy.

Train Hard, Train Smart.



ADONIS ORIGINS: Jason Haynes | Circa 2009-2010

ADONIS ORIGINS: Jason Haynes | Circa 2009-2010

Jason Haynes is one of the oldest members of the AGR community and has been around since he participated in the first and second AGR Transformation Competitions, of which he placed second and first, respectively.  Having found a system that he is confident in and that works, he has faithfully stuck by it ever since.  Now in his 40’s, Jason enjoys living the life of maintaining his physique easily and with little effort, thanks to the AGR system and tools provided.  He is also a coach in the Adonis Premiere Coaching program and desires to help anyone to achieve their fitness goals.


ADONIS LEGEND: Jason Haynes | June 2014

ADONIS LEGEND: Jason Haynes | June 2014



Nutrition & Training Triage: Optimal vs. Practical vs. Ideal

Here’s the next episode of the UNCENSORED Podcasts Season 2.

Today’s topic: Nutrition & Training Triage: Optimal vs. Practical vs. Ideal



What is the Optimal approach for nutrition & training? What is Practical? What is Ideal?

When it comes to nutrition & training advice, how do you sort and prioritize what’s best for you?


The medical term known as triage, means the determination of priorities for action in an emergency. However, this word is from a french origin and is also defined as the “action of assorting according to quality.”

Both of these definitions are applicable to John Barban’s & Brad Pilon’s discussion on defining what is optimal, practical, or at best Ideal.

With the rise of obesity it’s safe to say that an emergency is on our hands when it comes to our health and we must take action.  But what nutrition & training advice should we follow to attain optimal results?

The ever growing amount of new supplements coming to market only makes this task more daunting. From nutritional strategies consisting of: macro/micro nutrients, slow/fast proteins, and the highly controversial thoughts on meal timing, a person could become easily overwhelmed.

Things aren’t much better on the training side of the house as we are faced with a myriad of factors to take into account. Ranging from: Workout Intensity, Volume, length of actual workouts, and the rest/recovery period.

Why all these things may be optimal, are they ideal or even practical?

Today’s podcast will strive to analyze the ever moving target  known as optimal and provide you with ideal advice to build muscle within your lifestyle.


Panel of judges

Each nutrition & training expert has their own opinion on what is optimal. Whose advice is right or you?

In today’s UNCENSORED training, you will also discover:

  • Who you really are comparing yourself to
  • How to prevent goal hi-jacking when someone else’s optimal advice is presented to you
  • How Drugs and Genetics skew the curve of optimal
  • How to debunk a fitness claim  giving optimal device
  • Where Top Level Strength & Conditioning coaches get their training advice from
  • How research papers and marketing claims justify their nutrition & training advice to appear optimal for the masses
  • If optimal nutrition & training actually exists and what that actually looks like
  • Whether Hollywood has an influence on what is considered optimum
  • How to manage your ideal training schedule
  • How to focus on your specific results


IMMERSION Clients May Login and Download Podcast Here

Not an Adonis Index IMMERSION client? Click here to find out more… and hear a weird story too

Give Yourself Permission to Lift Light

We have talked about the permission to be light a lot lately, especially it comes up in the interviews, because guys are starting to realize that being 200 pounds might not be the answer to a great looking body. You would have to be about 6’2” and train for at least 10 years in order to be lean and ripped at 200 pounds, that’s just how it is, no one will tell you this, but height is an important factor in determining your weight.

Today, we are going to discuss something similar, yet different. We won’t talk about the ideal physique, but rather about the training itself that will be responsible for building you such a physique.

If you have been listening to the last couple of interviews you may have noticed that more and more guys are starting to focus on things like

  • Training rather than on the supplements
  • Workout structure rather than on the high protein diets
  • Mind-muscle connection and muscle contraction rather than on the amount of weight lifted

And this goes completely against the conventional saying: “lift heavy, sweat blood in the gym, take protein shake exactly 3.8 minutes after your workout followed by post-workout meal 30 minutes after that”.

Well, Adonis Index made it’s name on going against the conventional approach. However, it’s also made it’s name on having a string of dozens of successful transformations from guys having 4 kids and 4 jobs or guys with injuries lasting decades, yet despite their condition or lifestyle circumstances or training history, they still achieved their physique goals and honed in on their ideal body shape. And more and more of them as they progress are focusing on this unconventional training approach.

The headline of this article is to lift light. And let’s be honest that just doesn’t sound all that sexy, does it? Chances are this would not get printed in a fitness magazine, yet if you get this concept it might be the difference between gaining 8 pounds compared to 3 pounds of muscle mass in the same time period.

What’s the deal with this mind-muscle connection and workout structures anyway, why can’t you just lift heavy to grow more muscles?


Is your training just about lifting heavy or are you really training your muscles and focusing on the contraction?

Well, the truth is that a fare amount of guys that try to lift really heavy, thinking that’s the way to go, experience a loss in their strength.

Have you ever done a really tough workout, but instead of just feeling sore, you felt really weak for several days? Or you may have just noticed that your strength decreased over a couple of weeks.

Well, if that happened to you, you may count yourself lucky, because you could have also seriously injured yourself.

I’ve even seen some serious chest tendon injuries as an immediate result of heavy bench press and testing the “max”.

Let me tell you something, if you are a guy that can’t do a bench press without someone else helping you with the bar and your whole body is shaking and almost dancing on the bench while you are lifting the bar up, you may want to reconsider your training style. Not only that your friend can do a biceps curl on his own without you lying under the bar, but you alone are not training instead you’re simply stroking your ego by attempting to lift more weight than your current body can.

Best case scenario – you will simply just look dumb, worst case scenario – you will get injured and won’t be able to work out for months or years.

Not only that lighter weights are bearable on your joints and CNS, but with lighter weights you can do something that you just can’t with the heavy weights.

What it is?

Well, you can actually focus on TRAINING the muscle.

If you are lifting so much that you are only thinking about putting the bar down after the first two reps, you are not really training.

Workout Structure Should Dictate the Resistance

What really drives me nuts, well apart from the whole fitness industry, is when somebody comes up to me and says: “Hey how much do you lift on bench press?” or “How strong are your biceps?”. This just doesn’t make sense and just shows that you have no idea what you are talking about if you ask a question like that.

Most people do the 3 set-8 reps-rest until fresh type of training that they’ve heard the first day of their workout life from some trainer. Some people will do that for the rest of their lives.

The truth is that there is no universal way to train, every workout type is different, so asking about the weight without mentioning the other variables of your training is kind of short sighted.

If you asked me how strong I was in the middle of the 2nd workout in the week 7 of the IXP on my biceps, then I would tell you. However, this is a completely different question, you are being specific and we both know what type of training structure are we talking about.

Let’s elaborate on this a bit.

If you do the regular Adonis Index Workout, then most of your training will be around 5,8 and 13 reps with around 90 or 120 seconds rest. However, if you decided to follow the IXP protocol, you may be doing three supersets in a row with no rest in between. So, this means 6 sets in a row, back to back, no rest. Do you think that you can lift the same weight in both of those training protocols in a given exercise?

Of course not.

Just like with look, weight itself tells nothing, because it’s all about proportions and shape, and the same applies here. If you said just how much you lift, you gave a number that holds no meaning, because nobody would know whether you did 3 reps or 21. And that’s a pretty big difference. Not speaking of the fact that in that given workout day, you may have been doing the exercise as a first one, while normally you do it as a last.

Here is test for you.

Take one routine you normally do, change nothing, just add three sets of 10 reps with 90 sec rest of pull-ups. In the first week, do this exercise as the first exercises of the day, so before you start your regular routine. Next week once you are fully recovered, do the same routine, but this time do the pull-ups as the last exercise, after the your routine.

You see where we are going with this?

There is just so many variables that will translate into you changing weights all the time on the same exercises.

Here is a short list of the stuff that will dictate how heavy you will be able to go:

  • Sets, reps done in the exercise (3×21 vs 6×6)
  • Rest after each set (30 sec vs 90 sec)
  • Regular sets vs Supersets vs Pyramids and other types
  • Frequency of your workouts and frequency of you training each muscle group
  • The sequence in which you will do the exercises in your workout
  • Sleep – how much you got the night before, the quality of that sleep

There might be a few others, but the point is to show you, that it’s important to detach yourself from the number on the plate or on the dumbbell and choose based on your workout structure.

A smart choice of the weight will help you stay away from injury and allow you to train your muscles properly. Which brings us to the last part of today’s lesson.

You Can’t Expect Your Muscles to Grow from Lifting

Not only that most guys believe that protein intake is the trigger for muscle growth, but they also think that the lift itself gives your muscles incentive to grow.

Well, not really. Your muscles don’t know how much you lift, what workout you use, how many reps you do, only your mind does.

The only thing your muscle feels is the repeated contraction against greater resistance, which makes it grow.

Big difference.

So, next time you are in the gym, make sure you don’t pick the heaviest dumbbells in there, thinking how amazingly strong you are going to look to everyone around you, but pick a reasonable one and focus on doing the motion with perfect form and really feeling the muscle contracting and working.

If you apply this advice you should see results in both strength and look.

Summary of Today’s Lesson:

  • Leave your ego out of this, preferably at the gym’s entrance
  • Try to detach yourself from the numbers on the plates and focus on feeling the muscle working rather then lifting some specific weight
  • Realize that muscles grow not because of protein intake or weight lifting, but because you are repeatedly creating strong contraction against greater resistance…weights are just a tool to create resistance
  • Understand that there are different workout structures and they will determine how heavy will you be able to go
  • Focusing on mind-muscle connection, feeling the muscle, contracting it in the fullest way possible is way more important than lifting the heaviest weights you can manage…form ALWAYS trumps weight…ALWAYS
  • Try several different workouts like AI 3.0, ATS or IXP to understand this concept in more detail, you will learn all this by experience
  • There is a difference between lifting and training, ask yourself: “Do I want to be a weight lifter or be in killer shape, what’s more important for me?” and act accordingly
  • Of course you still need to lift a reasonable amount of weight, doing curls with pencils will not get you anywhere (I know, stupid, but had to be said)

Talk to you soon,

Vaclav Gregor

Are you “Training” or Just “Working Out”?

Any type of movement could be considered a ‘workout’ to some degree. Even a 5 minute walk can be called a ‘workout’.

Even though it is very low intensity and duration, it’s still some form of work beyond just resting.

In order to make a real change in your muscle size and strength you need to be ‘training’ and not just ‘working out’.

Training requires a plan, a timeline, a goal, and specific exercise intensities.

Unless you’re following a program with all of the above elements built into it, you’re most likely just working out and not really ‘training’.


P.S. Check this link out of you’d like to see an example of a well designed workout using body weight training.