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A few years ago I was approached by the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to design a program that he could follow based on Power Athlete principals to become the strongest and most fit CEO in America. He had found us through CrossFit Football and then tried to follow Field Strong but the time commitment was too much. He needed a more flexible program that could be fit into his busy schedule and would not make him feel behind if he had to rearrange his training day due to work, travel or family.


Power Athlete is based on a few principals – use heavy compound movements to challenge posture and position through primal movement patterns. Create training progression in such a way where the strengths and skills developed today can be challenged tomorrow. Increase capacity in all energy systems. Build a strong and stable, yet mobile trunk that efficiently connects the lower body to the upper body. Finally, and most importantly the persistent pursuit of athleticism through developing power, strength and speed through all planes of motion.

It is not easy to create a program based on these principals with both flexibility and progression, but I love a challenge and soon realized this demographic is under represented in today’s market.

Everyone writing programming today is doing for so for the 22 year old fire breather training 2-3 times a day 6 days a week who sleeps in the gym, the 26 year old professional athlete making millions of dollars playing on Sunday or the house wife looking to lose a few pounds after having a baby. These markets are sexy with large demographics and whether you fit into them or not, most can identify with them.

But where is the programming for the professional logging 60 plus hours a week in the office or on the job site with a family at home who still wants to be strong, fast and powerful? That program doesn’t exist because most don’t believe that group exists. Lets face it, most guys and gals that are in their 30’s and 40’s with a demanding job and kids are not concerned with PR’ing their 5 rep max back squat or how long it takes them to do a 100 pull ups. They are more interested in their 401k performance and if they have saved sufficient money to put their kids through college without taking a second mortgage on their home.

I am here to tell you that you can have the good job, fulfilling home life and the physical prowess to take on any challenge. And just because you have all these high stress demands doesn’t mean you have to abandon your inner Power Athlete.

The primal desire to lift heavy objects, sprint and be athletic never goes away, it just gets put on the back burner because there is not a comprehensive training plan to help you achieve these performance goals. And because the program hasn’t existed up to this point, people don’t believe it could possible.

I am here to tell you it finally exists and the sooner you get started the sooner you will be achieving your goal and nurturing your inner Power Athlete.

Grindstone was created and designed for that executive Power Athlete, new parent and anyone needing flexibility in their training due to a demanding schedule or heavy workload.

Similar to other Power Athlete programs, Grindstone offers five training days per week. The training week consists of two mandatory days, two recommended days and one optional day. These two mandatory days have to be completed each week with two recommended days that should be done assuming you are not on a plane or in the office with your polished Allen Edmond's firmly planted on the throat of corporate America. The final optional day is just that, optional. If you have time complete it, make it happen; if not spend time with the family and get ready for the next week.

Grindstone is for the guy or gal that wants the total package – successful job, good family and to become the type of athlete that is just as comfortable sprinting across the pitch as he is reviewing the corporate documents for a hostile takeover. The guy who “needs” a flexible training schedule because of vital impromptu mock drafts in his fantasy football leagues, or to cater to his weekend bar crawls, should not confuse the program’s flexibility as a luxury. Those guys need to take a look at the man in the mirror, punch themselves in the dick, and rethink their priorities. Our Grindstone athletes flex their schedules out of true necessity. Not to accommodate their TV schedules.

Grindstone takes the "I don't have time" excuse and sets it ablaze. Let’s be serious, if you can't find a combined 3 hours each week to complete your training you have bigger problems than Grindstone. Therefore, I suggest you book a private consult with me for a "Come to Jesus" talk that will motivate and hurt feelings. Just remember, in the end you will be better for it.

Welcome to Grindstone; time to Grind.

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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.
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Posted in Blog, Programming, Strength | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

7 Responses to Grindstone

  1. Grindstone is a tremendous program; I’ve been following it for 6 months. Prior to that it was Field Strong for ~15 months (I think I missed 4 training days that entire time).

    Here is what I’ve learned: I’m 37, married with 4 children. I’m not s professional athlete. Training 90-120 minutes every day on Field Strong was good times. It was fun…but my paycheck doesn’t depend on my strength. My relationship with my children doesn’t depend on my 5k row time.

    So Grindstone is what I needed. I’m still making strength gains and conditioning is just as good as it was. 90 minutes of training every day reached the law of diminishing returns for me. Killing it was killing other aspects of my life.

    Anybody on the fence should give Grindstone a shot. The flexibility means I can travel for 3-4 days and still complete all the workouts.

  2. It helped me out a lot. I am a high school teacher and head football coach, married, with a baby girl on the way next month. During the offseason of football I get to work around 515 and do FS. When the season rolled around, I didnt have the time to put in the gym because of grading, planning, films, scouting, practice, and trying to keep 100+ student-athletes in line and prepped for the next week. Grindstone was perfect. With the baby due next month, I am guessing I will be switching back to the grind.

  3. You know you guys can write up reviews? Head to the Grindstone page on this site, scroll to the bottom, and sing its praises there.

  4. Gavin

    Silly Ingo, Trix are for kids. Already done.

  5. Matt Roberts

    Love the idea! I’ve just joined and I’m so keen to see some results. One thing, I know you talk about some not being interested in PRing their back squat but I certainly am. I am super keen for strength gains and looking better naked but a busy workday and kids at home mean time in my gym is limited. Would you all still say this is the program for me?

  6. Dan Currie

    Hey guys,
    I’ve followed Field Strong in the past. I’m an MMA fighter but due to a day job change just don’t have the time for Field Strong now. Would Grindstone be sufficient for MMA S&C?

    Thanks heaps,

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