Pavel Tsatsouline and Dan John’s Easy Strength Review

TLDR: Focus on training movements instead of muscles, and focus on qualities that are related to the chosen sport

Sports can be split into 4 quadrants, based on the number of qualities (much or few) need to master the sport, and their relationship to the absolute maximum of each quality.

  Low levels of qualities High levels of qualities
Lots of qualities Q1: General physical education classes, introduction to sports, games and movements in a broad but organized way  Q2: High collision sports and occupations
Few qualities Q3: Casual fitness enthusiasts, if you’re reading this and not an elite lifter, you’d probably live here with me Q4: Sports that are so narrow and level of competition so high that there is almost a singular focus


Within these quadrants, different qualities are emphasized. For Q1, increase in GPP is the focus for people in this quadrant. Running laps and crawls, doing push-ups, people (kids generally) need to be exposed to a lot of different stimulus to build a wider base for future specializations. For these people, the goal of strength training is to teach good movement patterns and motor control. Movements like the deadlift, Turkish get up, push up, and even tumbling are good to establish these qualities.

For Q2, a lot of qualities are focused on and a high level of each of these qualities is expected, like hypertrophy, strength, conditioning, skills, agility, balance and the list goes on. For them, the goal of strength training is to find an optimal compromise to all these qualities.

For Q3, all qualities needed can be accomplished with barbells or bodyweight exercises. Generally, these movements can be split into push, pull, hinge, squat, walk, explosive full-body and twist. There is a focus on eliminating the unnecessary work and on working on weaknesses. This is where most lifters stay at.

As for Q4, generally high-level sprinters, throwers and lifters live here. A singular focus is necessary in either increasing the 1RM of a deadlift or another 10cm in a throw, like in the Bulgarian era where Ivan Abadjiev will systematically make his lifters work up to a 1RM in only 6 exercises every day, day in day out.

For the Easy Strength Program, Dan John prefers a 5 day a week approach, going into a workout with only 5 movements, all 10 reps or below, working up to a decent weight with no hype and emotions. Dan John believes that this drilling the basics, greasing the groove, is what transfers well when testing a 1 rep max for those lifts. The 40-day program, which is about 8 weeks, forces the lifter to focus on the basics, on patterning and grooving perfect movements.


  • High frequency
  • Deep explanation for people of different quadrants and their goals


  • No phasic structure mentioned for the program

Neutral thoughts:

  • This is basically a guide for sports and how they related to each other


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *