Strong, First.

Everything else is gravy.

Hanging with Semet Fitness at the StrongFirst Bodyweight Course.

At the StrongFirst Bodyweight Course on Saturday, the object of the game was not to look pretty.

It was to train strong.

Master Instructor Phil Scarito gave us a rundown of the four main bodyweight lifts: one-arm pushup, pistol squat, tactical pullup, and hanging leg raise.

If you couldn’t do it off the bat, fine. Each progression was about mastering the elements of your body. Around the room, each person was at a different stage — and not a soul was judging. When you’re smacked with the realization that you have to rework your plank, it’s hard to give someone grief for being unable to haul their bodyweight up and over a bar.

The biggest takeaway was GTG, or Grease The Groove. It stems from the idea that you take 5, 10, or 15-minute chunks of your day to focus purely on one or two skills. By shuttling everything else to the back of your mind, you can perfect the movements, skill by skill. Do this every hour, on the hour, and you can accumulate 2–3 hours’ worth of training.

It’s another way of proving Malcolm Gladwell right. If it takes 10,000 hours to master something, then GTG is just another way to skin the cat.

This is great for those of us who are struggling to maintain an already packed schedule. Just taking the time to focus on one skill can prove enlightening, and you’re not cheating yourself out of training time. Five minutes on the train to work on power breathing? Done.

StrongFirst was indeed about strength before anything.

Phil never mentioned aesthetics. Not once. No talk of calories, fat burning, cardio.

Just. Pure. Strength.

It’s a good philosophy.

Weight is a number. Will is not.