Phil Bennett, also known as @phil_completemma on Instagram, is an enigma embodied in one of his favorite phrases: savage simplicity. He’s a shaggy bearded artist with intricate tattoos. An athlete with the tattoos of torso of a laborer but the mind of a poetic grizzly. Read on to learn more about this philosopher coach.
I started in the fitness game late. I wasn’t a student athlete. I wasn’t from a fit family and in all honesty at the time couldn’t care less about general health let alone training hard.
I’m an artist in every sense of the word- A painter, a designer, a musician, a writer. I embodied all that the fitness industry dispelled. Drinking, severely lacking in quality sleep, smoking and a
diet that would make most cringe. You see so many gifted athletes in the fitness industry and I can honestly say I am the furthest example from one of them. I’m a normal guy.
I’d love to say there was an inciting moment for change, but there really wasn’t.
I simply woke up one day tired of being tired, tired of being skinny and tired of being unhealthy.
I joined a gym, played around on the weight machines, lifted some weights and generally hated every moment of it. The vapid nature of the guys who went there- the selfies, the chatting, the social element and the lack of hard work never kept me around for long.
Instead I did my research and came across who I consider to be the godfather of the garage gym- Ross Enamait. His words spoke to me. His approach and attitude was all that I assumed the gym going experience would be, not the mess I saw in the commercial gym. Without finding his work, I probably wouldn’t have continued to where I am now. I trained bodyweight, with a sandbag and kettlebells and physically and mentally thrived. During this time I was introduced to martial arts, first boxing, then Muay Thai and submission grappling. My skill set in the arts
increased and the “unconventional” training I was doing complimented it perfectly. I took my training outside and became my own coach. Nature was my lab and I was the mad scientist. I based the training on the human movements- squat, hinge, push, pull and carries. On Dan John’s recommendation the carry was the most important, followed by the squat, then the hinge, pull and push last- The opposite of conventional gym wisdom.
Unsurprisingly, Dan John is a phenomenally gifted coach, it worked. I made leaps and bounds in fighting and the quick progress was noticed. I rapidly had my own collective of fighters I coached in my mad outdoor methods:
– Carrying and squatting logs, stones, sandbags and each other
– Jumping, crawling, sprinting, throwing, climbing
– Hammering the basics- push-ups, pull-ups, rows, hand walking, tumbling
– Having frequent challenges to keep the mind hardened and the body sharp
Phil’s going to be posting here at garagegymlife.net from time to time but in the meantime, here’s a link to one of my favorite posts from his blog at www.completemmatraining.com. Check it out and subscribe to his blog. You won’t be sorry and you might get stronger!