Welcome to DID It Yourself Strength Training

by Travis Hlavka

Note:  98.7% of my site actually does has useful content BUT, I thought it would be funny to do a spoof of Network Marketing.  You’ll either find this video hilarious, or if you don’t know
me, you may just be confused. Either way… Share and Enjoy!

Video Disclaimer:  Does not cover misuse, lightening, floods, tornados, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes and other acts of God, herpes, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, and incidents involving airplane crashes, ships sinking, falling rocks, broken glass, mud slides, forest fires, or any unforeseen or foreseen projectiles (which can include, but are not limited to, arrows, bullets, shot, BB’s Shrapnel, panties, lasers, napalm, torpedoes, or emissions from x-rays, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma rays, knives sticks and stones.

  • At this point, I’m willing to give away everything I know about strength training and fitness and weightlifting for FREE.99 (At least for now that is).
  • You can learn from ALL the mistakes I’ve made and new ones that I make along the way in my workouts
  • I have over 25 years of strength training experience
  • Whether you’re just starting or looking to take your gains to the next level, you’ll find something that will help your training, diet, or whatever…

Be sure to and read below who this site is for….
and who this site is NOT for…


  • Anyone who is willing to put in the time and energy and not give up
  • Anyone that can follow simple instructions
  • Anyone that wants to get stronger
  • Anyone that wants to get ripped
  • Anyone that wants to get bigger.  (Which relates back to the previous bullet because if you get stronger, you’re gonna get bigger.  However, there are limits unless you start eating like crazy.  Example, I average about 177lbs and that’s where I stay and I’m happy with that because pound for pound I keep up nicely with most people)



  • Anyone who wants a magic pill solution for getting fit.  This shit takes time and is hard, so don’t waste your time or mine if you’re not willing to put out the effort!
  • Anyone who cannot follow directions.  At times I will tell you exactly what you should be doing in the beginning and if you can’t follow simple directions and stick to a program, then… again… don’t waste your time or mine.  (You can always tweak things AFTER you have run a new program for a while.  I know everyone is different and sometimes tweaking a program is needed)


OK…. So if you’re into excuses and don’t like hard work, then this strength training site is NOT for you.  Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.

I am a big fan of compound movements and you should be too.  It saves time and hits so many other secondary muscle groups.  I get asked a lot how I train “arms” and my answer is, I don’t!!  I train for functionality and strength and everything that comes with it is just gravy.  (However, it is annoying that so many people think I do “bodybuilding” when I talk about competitions…. Even if I specifically state that it’s “Powerlifting”.  Sheesh)

I’m also a big fan of GPP (General Physical Preparedness).  Things like plyometrics and bodyweight exercises.  It’s not good if you’re only strong in one specific range of motion, because when you’re out playing sports or just goofing off you’re gonna be moving completely different and will not be as stable or strong.  (That’s when injuries happen)

Let me point out real quick here… I am not a personal trainer, or a doctor, or a nutritionist, or a phrenologist, or a gynecologist, or a stripper, or certified in any way shape or form.  My advice is based on years of trial and error and previous certifications.  I “was” a personal trainer at one time but found that I only liked training “motivated” people.  I got tired of dealing with those bozos that make their New Years resolution and want to get buff or ripped or lose 428.6lbs in 17days cuz they saw it on tv.  Uhhhh. Plus, if I were to actually “train” people again, it would be VERY expensive.

So for now I am just going to enjoy providing great information to people on strength training and help people avoid some of the crappy mistakes I’ve made along the way with my fitness and strength training.

Disclaimer: Consult Your Physician! I know nobody that enjoys my site is a complete idiot, but for those morons out there…. All statements made here concerning exercise or supplement recommendations are based on my results and experiences.  Your results and experiences may vary.  Consult your physician before beginning any exercise or supplementation program.  If you’re too stupid to know that you are the only person responsible for you, then piss off and stop reading my content.  Thanks

Travis Hlavka (9 Posts)

I may act like a 12yr old a lot of the time, but that's because I have a genetic defect that will not allow me grow up. HOWEVER, I do take strength training and fitness very seriously and I love using what I know to help others reach their fitness goals and avoid the bazillion mistakes I've made in my 25+ yrs of training. Since I don't know everything, I never stop learning. Note: I am no longer a "certified" trainer, but I truly understand more about fitness and health now than I ever did with that official piece of paper.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

james September 27, 2013 at 19:00

i am 46 trying to change things around. in 2010 i was approx 320 now i am 235. i am trying to decide for a beginner lifter should i use madcow 5×5 or wendler 531. or is there a progam that you recommend for a beginner


Travis Hlavka September 27, 2013 at 20:01

Hey James… First off… NICE WORK MAN!! That’s impressive dropping almost 100lbs!

So for your question, it depends on what you mean by “beginner”. This is kinda difficult to do via writing, so hopefully the following will help a bit.

Number 1 thing I would do is buy and read (and implement the workout in) Starting Strength, 3rd edition by Mark Rippetoe & Lon Kilgore (fyi, I will make like a dollar if you use this link. If you don’t wanna click that affiliate link, here’s the direct Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Strength-3rd-Mark-Rippetoe/dp/0982522738 :) )

Anyways… I have recommended that book to friends just getting started in “strength training” and they made great gains and learned a LOT. (Actually, I recommend that book to everyone whether they’re just starting or not.) After you feel extremely comfortable with all the lifts and have run the Starting Strength routine for a while, then move into the 5×5 Intermediate, then into 5/3/1. (I have never personally done the workout in the book, but I read the 2nd edition cover to cover and dogeared and highlighted the crap out of it, and I still refer back to it from time to time.)

MOST IMPORTANTLY! If you think you need a lil help with form and such, you probably do. Even if you don’t, it won’t hurt. Hire a “strength coach”, NOT a personal trainer. Caveat… Some personal trainers do understand strength training, but many do not because it’s not taught at “personal trainer school”. I know this because I was one of those personal trainers many moons ago. Side note: I’m not bashing trainers, and the large majority of them do great personal training… On how to “get in shape” or “build some muscle”, but when it comes to strength training, find someone that really knows… strength training.

ALSO… If you’re not sure about your form, start having someone record you with your phone, or do what I do, get a vid cam and a tripod, and take it in and record yourself. Yeah people will look at ya funny some times, but oh well. Another thing is… DO NOT EVER EVER EVER squat facing a mirror to “watch your form“. Same goes with deadlift or any other compound movement. If you want to analyze your form, video it. Try different angles on the video too and figure out which angle gives you the best feedback. (Not saying never use a mirror… Just saying you can’t see what you really need to see on a lot of compound lifts just by looking at yourself head on). Yes, I’m guilty of using mirrors in the past to see my form.

Also also… I never think I know everything and that’s why I keep progressing. For example, I literally taught my current workout partner a lot of stuff for different lifts, but then I ended up taking off a few months and just came back recently. He took what I taught him and tweaked it for himself and now he’s waaaaaay stronger than I am and I have a lot of catching up to do. So when I started back 8 weeks ago, I said, “Ok man, you’re my trainer… This is working awesome for you, so you teach me what you’re doing.” It’s working GREAT by the way. Eventually I’ll go back to one of my previous routines, but for now, it’s been a great learning experience.

Geeez, that got long. Hope it helps. Keep me updated. Feel free to post over on the facebook page with your progress. https://www.facebook.com/DIYStrengthTraining


Robert May 20, 2014 at 23:59

I have a question regarding the Mad Cow 5×5 program spreadsheet you posted on here. I don’t know if you’ve seen the Squatbot.net 5×5 program, but is allows you to adjust the percentage of increase. Do you know if the Mad Cow spreadsheet allows you to do that? Thanks.


Travis Hlavka September 11, 2015 at 12:12

I haven’t seen the squatbot version, but I’ll take a look and see if percentage adjustments would work well with Madcow’s version.


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