Simplicity and Specificity

Last week I came across a camel jumping video that had been posted to the forum. I later posted a similar video to Facebook. It didn’t take long for the humorous comments to follow. I even found it a bit amusing. Something about jumping over a row of camels struck me as funny.

Fortunately, I’m not here to suggest that we all construct life size paper-mâché camels to increase our vertical. I do however believe that there are valuable lessons that can be taken from these Yemen jumpers.

First, take a look at a few demonstrations.

There is no questioning the impressiveness of these jumpers. With or without the raised jumping surface, these guys have some serious hops. Yet oddly enough (or not), I don’t see any of the latest Nike air shoes. All that I see are bare feet flying through the air. I’m also willing to bet that GNC doesn’t have a supplement store in this Yemen village. I’m guessing there aren’t any post-workout shakes being consumed after a camel jumping session.

What about state of the art training facilities? I doubt it. Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab world.

Call it a hunch, but I’m also willing to bet that these jumpers are not “certified” in camel jumping. Imagine that it’s possible to fly through the air without a camel jumping certification… Amazing!

What about breakthrough periodization models? Nope…

Simplicity and Specificity

So here we have several impressive jumpers without any of the so-called requirements that are commonly plugged in the industry. No fancy equipment, no fancy supplements, and no certified trainers to hold their hands. In many ways, these Yemen jumpers are a welcome slap in the face towards much of the industry.

If you want to run faster, you need to run. If you want to jump higher, you need to jump. If you want to punch harder, you need to punch. Working hard with the basics will often warrant the best results.  And no, I’m not suggesting that supplemental work cannot be useful, but I am suggesting that many overemphasize it, which in turn leads to less time actually practicing the required sport. If you want to jump a row of camels, you’d better spend some time jumping.

Take what you want from this message, which hopefully means working hard towards the specific (unique) needs of your chosen event.


  1. Solid post, Ross.

    Sometimes I find myself over thinking things when it comes to training and fitness. But you are right on the money with this message. If you want to be good at something, you are going to have to practice doing that something. There are no other ways.

  2. And that is why I keep coming back here. Ross kicks you the truth. He helps open up your eyes to really see what is going on. Simple and straight forward. Thanks.

  3. “I’m not here to suggest that we all construct life size paper-mâché camels to increase our vertical.”

    Well, I am here to suggest exactly that. This needs to happen and it needs to happen right now.

  4. Brooklyn – you are in luck. I’m offering the chance to pre-order my amazing ‘Humpbuster’ program today

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    From average joe to quadruped leaping superman, in just 6 weeks, harnessing the ancient secrets of the Yemeni tribesman.

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  5. Fascinating post. Those leaps were seriously impressive — wonderful athleticism there. Also, some extremely strong points on the fact that there are no specialised shoes, post-workout shakes, certifications or trainers in play here!

    I’d go as far as saying that *nobody* in my muscle-head gym is capable of this anymore, as we are all too big, too heavy and too inflexible/unsupple. Such is life I guess — you have to make a choice as to what style of training you are going to adopt over the long-term for your particular endevours.

  6. I did a quick search and found an absolutely hilarious “fighting secrets of the plains indians” that just takes the cake in terms of utter bullshido and naked marketing cynicism… won’t post the link but if you google it you’ll see it.

  7. I was browsing the blog and saw this YouTube clip. Amazing what these guys do. I wonder if their are a couple of high jumpers who the Yemeni government can send for the Olympics. I am sure with a few months of training we’d be seeing new world records…Major proponents of the K-I-S-S Principle. Thanks for posting this and helping me focus on the fundamentals…

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