| | Austere Training – Strength is Where You Find It

Author / John

4 - 6 Min Read

The term “Austere” is defined as a “severe or strict in manner or attitude. Living conditions, or a way of life. Having no comforts or luxuries; harsh or ascetic. Extremely plain with a simple style or appearance.”

We created a program for the US Military that had little to do with a life having no comfort or luxuries, it was designed for soldiers with little to no access to equipment being executed in remote locations and hostile terrain. The US Military needed a Power Athlete training program that could be executed anywhere with only the basic equipment each soldier is issued and what they might have access to. 

We channeled our Inner Colonel Trautman when creating the original Austere training program.

“Rambo is a man who’s been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather; to live off the land, to eat things that would make a billy goat puke.”

Training in austere locations with limited equipment is not new and has been the basis of training programs ranging from the Spartans of Ancient Greece to the Shaolin Monks lifting rocks while standing under waterfalls for hours. While each of these individuals trained in different places using different implements, the outcomes were identical because one variable was constant. 

Regardless of advances in modern training practices, certain truths will always be cast in iron and set in stone.

I will let you in on a secret: there is no easy way to build strength and muscle.

Hard work is the key ingredient to increase strength and muscle. Hard work coupled with consistency will build muscle and yield the results that will leave poets and scholars writing for thousands of years. 

This is an ad. Please consider our shameless self promotion.

As I have said many times before, there is no secret squirrel program that builds a strong, durable body and builds power without effort and application. The only way to forge the human body into something remarkable is with hard work, consistency and attention to detail. 

But why? Why does hard work build muscle and strength? The answer lies in the SAID principle. Specific adaptation to imposed demands. The body reacts to the demands placed upon it. If the demand is heavy and hard, the body will react to this stimulus. Couple that with a high protein diet, sleep and enough recovery time between training bouts and we will craft a dangerous tool that will meet the demands placed on it.

If the demands are soft and require no effort, the body will adapt to this stimulus. Remember, a man who allows his machinery (body) to rust through lack of use, has no more chance of realizing his full strength than a tree has to grow if it is planted in a place where it gets no sunlight. 

Robert Edgren was quoted as saying, “Strength is where you find it.”

Never have we lived in a time where that quote is more applicable – strength is coveted and if you don’t hold on to it, it can be fleeting. For many of us over the last two years, have allowed the excuses of lockdowns, closed gyms and social distancing to put us into a bad place with our health, fitness and the lack of strength. We have allowed mediocrity to creep into our lives because it was easier to not do it and was less convenient than ever before. 

Life is hard enough in this digital age where for all our modern conveniences, we simply have less time to accomplish all the things we want. And training seems to be the easiest to cut from the schedule for many people. That is flawed thinking when training is the greatest resource we can tap for physical and mental health, longevity and living our best life. 

We built an Austere Training course to offer you a solution to never be beholden to anyone when it comes to your fitness, health and strength. It puts you in charge of your life and allows you the ability to stay strong in the worst of times, not just the best of times. Take control of your movement and learn to write your own austere workouts now.

Enroll Now: Power Athlete’s Austere Training Course

Austere Training is the practice of strength and conditioning in resource-constrained, perhaps harsher, environments. And no, we are not talking about the water dispenser flashing its red “need a new filter” light or the WiFi going down. We mean spaces like the wilderness, limited hotel gyms, or day one of your home gym build, where all you have is a cinder block, a bag of concrete, a bucket, and a dream.

Related Content

Podcast: PA Radio Episode 264: Built For Resilience w/ Dr Rich Citrin
Podcast: PA Radio Episode 563: Austere Training & Getting Strong Away From the Gym
EDU: Power Athlete Austere Training Course
Blog: Strength Training At Home with $50 Gym by Tex McQuilkin
Training: Third Monkey Training Program

Share this article




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.

Leave a Comment


Never miss out on an epic blog post or podcast, drop your email below and we’ll stay in-touch.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.