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Rough & Ready by Mark Hatmaker


Old World Strength & Conditioning for Modern Warriors

[The following is a preview of our upcoming book to be released this Fall.]

A Western Apache warrior named Palmer Valor who came of age in the mid-19th century recalled that his mother had encouraged him to swim in icy streams and endure other hardships when he was a boy so that he would be ready to take on any opponent.”-The Way of the Warrior

Looking for a way to get in the best condition of your life? I’m talking real-world strong, life-tempered stamina, truly useful explosiveness and agility.

Of course, you are, we all are.

What if I told you there was a way to do this that required minimal gear [not a barbell in sight], cut out trips to the gym [not to mention gym fees], a way that turned out to be fun [albeit grueling], and oddly inspiring.

Yeah, we’ve all heard those claims before.

Consider this, Lewis and Clark with the Corps of Discovery Expedition made an 8,000-mile roundtrip journey into the wilds of this nation without one trip to a CrossFit gym or one piece of state of the art gear.

Every nook and cranny of the world was settled in, explored by, and survived and thrived in by people who lack the gear most people take on the average fitness walk in the park.

No state of the art shoe technology, no water bottle in hand or Camelbak water-resource on the back, no Fitbit, no wicking clothing.

Our ancestors did what they did by sheer dint of grit.

Today we are often over-geared and under-gritted.

Olaf was more agile and stronger than most men…He could run across the oars outside the vessel while his men were rowing the Serpent.”-King Olaf Tryggvason’s Saga

This book will change that. It will present a variety of unusual training practices used by indigenous peoples and warrior cultures the world over to build strong human beings with stamina to burn.

It will provide detailed how-to’s of these unusual practices, historical snapshots of their use in context, but more importantly it will provide a series of 100 Rough & Ready Conditioning Challenges for you to resurrect some of this old school grit.

The challenges require, in most cases no gear, and where gear is involved it requires items that you might find around the house or toolshed.

The Rough & Ready Challenges are scaled to 3-levels so that you can pick your poison and get to work no matter your current level of conditioning.

The Rough & Ready Challenges provide a welcome bit of novelty and variety in a world where every option seems to be a barbell, a kettlebell, a plyo box, or yet another pull-up repetition.

The Rough & Ready Challenges allow you to get in the best shape of your life utilizing what worked in the past, after all Vikings weren’t going to CrossFit gyms nor were the Apache eluding the US Army with 3 sessions of Zumba per week.

These challenges also offer the intangible satisfaction of connecting with ancestors across the eons and sweating as they did, building strong sprits and forging strong bodies as they did.

Ten strokes with the battle-axes, without intermission, and when these strokes have been given, and the judge shall cry out ‘Ho!’, ten cuts with the sword to be given without intermission or change of armour. When the judge shall cry out ‘Ho!’, we shall resort to our daggers and give ten stabs with them. Should either party lose or drop his weapon, the other may continue until the judge shall cry out ‘Ho!’”-The dueling challenge issued to the knights of England by Michael d’Orris of Aragon in 1400.

Among the new experiences…

·         Apache Running Protocol and how a mouthful of water can change all exercise intensity.

·         Viking Sprints-How to turn a day at the beach, lake or pool into a cardio-intense strength workout without even knowing how to swim.

·         Spice up your standard running routine with methods of the French-Canadian trappers called coureur de bois [runners of the woods.]

·         Re-gain and/or develop functional strength via several methods we’ve grouped as Farm Boy Strong.

·         Test your agility with Viking Oar Runs.

·         Use varieties of Native American skulking/stalking practices to challenge your strength, agility, and mobility.

·         Build strength and turn up the cardio flames with a Celtic War Hammer Gauntlet.

·         Increase power and explosiveness with Lumberjack practices and learn how one change-in-head position can increase or decrease your power in almost any power endeavor.

·         Increase the strength-building aspect of any run by adding this simple practice from the Chippewa tribe.

·         Improve your jumping ability without plyo-boxes just like the Ancient Hellenes.

·         Improve mental toughness by adding a few environmental training practices from the ancient Spartans.

·         Increase eccentric explosiveness with unusual exercises used by the Inuit and other arctic tribes.

·         Use the Iroquois Crawl to improve your swimming and water confidence.

·         Increase your explosive power and jumping ability with an unusual practice used by Medieval warriors.

·         Set those thighs on fire with a Viking practice called the Receding Run.

·         Rapidly induce relaxation and improve awareness with a sitting-series of sensory-exercises used by “still-hunting” tribes.

·         Hack underwater swimming the Moken “Sea Gypsy” way.

·         And many such tips and hacks culled from warrior cultures of the past.

Over-geared and under-gritted no more!

These are Sparta’s walls.”-King Agesilaus when asked why Sparta lacked fortifications. He gestured to his warriors and declared those three words.

 [For release details see this blog or our free newsletter here.]


  1. Hi, guys. Is Rough & Ready coming out soon? I remember a possible projection for next year, but since the original projection was for the fall, I figured I'd ask. Also, do you have any price projections?

    I sure wouldn't mind a rough copy or a how-to of a few of these little-known ones, if you could help me out (ex: Inuit stuff- What is "eccentric explosiveness," anyway?" or the Lumberjack/Farm-Boy stuff?). I saw a bunch of stuff on"Native American Scout Training" on youtube & some of it was really surprising!

    1. Thanks for your enthusiasm. We're looking at next year--dates? Not been told yet. In the meantime the advanced material goes out to the RAW Subscribers. Have a good one!

    2. I know this is going to sound like an odd question, but can you see if I'm a RAW subscriber? I can't remember which things I'm signed-onto.

    3. You are not, sir. The DVD per month, NSC Assignments etc. is the RAW Program. Have a good one.

  2. Hello, again! I'm just checking up on when Rough & Ready is going to be out. Any dates yet?

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I know this might get removed, but is Rough & Ready coming out soon?


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