The Nemesis Laws are meant to be a fun way to remember what the point of your training is and how (and why) it works.
It’s so easy in life to get bogged down in the details, forget where you are, forget where you’re going, and end up way off track. Use the three principles below like a compass to guide you as you continue on your journey.
1. The Santa Clause: More Is Not Always Better, But It Usually Is
Remember, quality is more important that anything! The goal is to get as much quality as you possibly can. Raise the standards for yourself in everything.
- More quality
- Higher quality today than you had yesterday
- More of that quality today than you got in yesterday
Nemesis is NOT about “minimalism”, it is about maximizing quality work in every way we possibly can:
- Better technique
- More quality reps
- Higher standards
2. The Intensity Principle: Balance of Extremes
Moderation is overrated.
- If your friend is an alcoholic, is it good advice to tell them to “moderate” their alcohol intake?
- Should you moderate how often you tell your kids that you love them?
Of course not. When it comes to things that are Deeply important, you don’t need moderation, you need intensity and commitment. The cliche phrase should be: “Moderation in all things… that don’t matter”.
For those things that DO matter, we need a different plan.
Imagine a seesaw on a playground. You can achieve balance on that seesaw in many ways. One way is to place on each side a 10kg plate. Or, you can put nothing on the ends, and just have a 5kg plate in the center.
However, both of those methods are boring… Instead, let’s put two large Elephants (of equal size) dressed up as Ninja’s on each side of the seesaw. Now that is more fun!
Balance is easy to achieve. What’s hard is keeping your balance when you make each side of the seesaw bigger and bolder and more interesting.
To make great progress, you must go beyond “moderate” training and “moderately” hard work. You have to ramp up your intensity.
As you ramp up the intensity, you must stay balanced!
- You need strength AND you need flexibility
- You need recovery AND you need to do enough work to justify it
When you increase the number of days per week that you squat (or workout), you will have to increase your calorie count, and get better sleep. When you do more strength training, you need to do more mobility and flexibility work.
It won’t do for you to go “bro” and squat like a maniac… but not do the same with your soft-tissue work, or let your diet go to shit. For every ounce of hard work you put into the barbell, you must put the same into your “Ninja” work and recovery.
Nemesis is exclusively for smart people, not “bros”.
Be intense, be balanced, and be cool.
3. Kaido: The Way of the Sea
Flow like water, crash like a tsunami.
If you were a surfer, out on the ocean, and the waves were taking you to the left, are you going to go with that, or are you going to fight it?
Real life is more like surfing than it is like the game of Tic-Tac-Toe. In Tic-Tac-Toe, you know exactly how to win: Be first, put your mark in the center. Done.
We don’t have that kind of luxury in the real world. Your plans must change as new facts come to light. You must ebb & flow like a boxer in a fight.
It is too easy to get wrapped up in “following the plan”, so much so that you try to go right, when the waves are going left — because your plan said, “go right” — and you end up falling off of the board into the ocean. You’re now shark-food.
Some days you will be strong, go with that. Other days, you will need to take it easy. Changing your plan is not failure! Falling off of the board is failure.
Don’t just go with the flow, BE the flow.
Now go lift something heavy,