T Nation

Bigger Stronger and Tougher


I'm not 100% where I'm going with this post to be honest. Essentially, I want to be bigger, stronger and tougher. Anybody who's heard of the bareknuckle boxers Charlie Bronson and Lenny McLean will have a fair idea of what I'm talking about.

They're big, strong and unbelievably hard, this is what I'm aiming for, but I have no idea what training to undertake to achieve this. Any tips on training/nutrition/supplements would be great. I've already undertaken Charlie Bronson's own fitness program, Solitary Fitness, and as great as it is, it's written for fat people to lose weight, it's not his own personal workout. And it doesn't have the same results.

So what type of training should I undertake to be big, strong and hard?

Thankyou for any replies or advice


Kegels. Your Welcome.


Have I got the wrong idea or are you speaking about pelvic floor exercises? I don't suppose you could explain why?


Can't tell if serious...Hope this is a joke?


No... Why? I might have worded it wrong, I meant what kind of training would be useful for increasing strength but also keeping you in fighting shape, obviously powerlifting isn't very endurance based



That man's log basically changed everything that I knew about training.

Either Alpha is superhuman, or it really is possible to be ridiculously strong while having awesome strength endurance.

I wish the guy was still around so that I can ask him how long it took him to build his strength up.


Was also gonna link that log! Just read it recently for the first time and was floored....

A definite must-read.


That log is fantastic! Just the sort of thing I was looking for, thankyou!


For toughness and endurance just go to football matches wearing the away team's colors. Being really loud and obnoxious helps, too.


Do you participate in any sort of fighting art?


Planet Fitness + Da Creatinez


Of course it's possible. Look at elite gymnasts, football players, elite crossfitters, lower weight class strongmen etc. etc.

It has most likely taken him all the way up until now to get as strong as he is.... So basically his entire training life. Years and years and years.


Seconded. Alpha was a huge inspiration.


Yeah I'm a boxer, and watching these guys box is insane


To be honest, toughness (the way you put it) = mental for the most part. If you lack heart, youre not going to be tough. You MAY do well beating little guys to a maimed pulp, but kiss the dirt against someone your size or bigger.

Gym strength wont make a difference unless you're naturally strong to begin with! If you could bench 225 and dead over 3 plates within a week of entering the gym then yea, you are "strong" for your weight. A 245 pound bench after multiple years of SERIOUS training -> stay out of serious fights, SERIOUSLY.

Of course if youre a 250+ pound guy in the 4,5,6 strength club and normal reach (i.e not a midget with good leverages for gym lifts), you likely have a large enough size and strength base to do at least some damage in almost any physical situation, but what if you "dont like" getting hit in the face (Bob Sapp)? either way, think "strongman" rather than out and out "powerlifter" training wise.

You also need to learn how to go from 0 to 60 (aggression wise) as quick as possible, you dont have time to warm up against an opponent.

Too many variables. Train for size and strength in the gym and keep fighting. That will allow you to "use" more of your gym strength in the ring. Pavel said this in his first book.

if strongman stuff is out of the question, then gym training wise is GPP for you imho, look up synergy on this site.


Look up Seal Fit. Follow the daily workouts. Great way to develop mental toughness.


Squat rack
Get strong as a f*ck and it will make you tougher.
That's why few and far between actually find themselves there


Cool. Getting punched in the face can certainly help make you tougher. Being a boxer, I'd suppose you're running a good deal - road work can help build the mental toughness aspect.

For the bigger and stronger part - eat at a surplus and train consistently. I'm a big fan of EDT training myself. It's my go-to setup when I need a boost or when things start to get stale.

If you haven't yet, you should check out the Combat forum. Lots of good stuff in there, and it's probably the most 'on topic' forum here.


The genre of fighter you refer to cannot be profiled as an athlete.

Charles Bronson, Lenny McClean, John L. Sullivan, whoever you wish to mention; they were not athletes who decided to pursue a goal and become hard, they were products of their environment and earned notoriety not because they excelled but because they survived their origins.
Most didnt train; they fought as it was their method of survival.
There were no supplements; they ate what they could, when they could.
In times of success they feasted and in times of poverty they had famnine.

From the past we are left with the icons of giants.
In a time without weight divisions and in sport void of scientific conditioning, being big was a terrific and often deciding advantage. There were exceptions - such as Tom Molineaux - but generally the Bigger guys won and won their place in history.

The closest modern parallel is that of native Muay THai fighters.
They are brought up in a sport with poor equipment, poor nutrition and are held in little regard, as for every fighter there are five, ten, a hundred more willing to take their place.
This inspires a system where young fighters tear themselves apart in training and competition with little regard for the consequences of their self negligence.

Internationally we see the creme de la creme; individuals such as Samart Payakaroon. But how many tough guys did he beat on his way up? Iron sharpens iron; how many brutal wars had he to endure before he reached his prime. And how many others fell at his feet, because they were second best.

The men you mentioned never took any supplements. The hardest guys in the word then and now came from poverty- they didnt have nutrition. They didnt have and structured or educated training. Maybe they developed by osmosis. But more likely, they were gentically exceptional individuals who endured life's hardships & fought not because they had aspirations or dreams, but because they had no other means of employment.

So please I implore of you train smart and dont train to be tough.
Not only is it a proven fact that smart beats tough, but with modern training, nutrition, science and knowledge you can be stronger, faster, look better while sustaining much less damage.

The very best of luck.


Not sure if srs.

BBing and ACTUAL fighting are very different lol