Savage Simplicity: Get To Know Phil Bennett

Simplicity Wrapped in a Wool Cap

Phil Bennett’s favorite phrase is savage simplicity.  He’s a shaggy bearded artist with intricate tattoos. An athlete with the tattoos of torso of a laborer but the mind of a Phil Bennett walking in the woods poetic grizzly. Phil gives off the impression of a Viking coming to either burn down your village or tell you cool stories and sing drunken songs with your grandfather. Read on to learn more about this philosopher coach.

I started in the fitness game late. I wasn’t a student athlete. I wasn’t  from a fit family and in all honesty at the time couldn’t care less about  general health let alone training hard.

I’m an artist in every sense of the word- A painter, a designer, a  musician, a writer. I embodied all that the fitness industry despised.  Drinking, severely lacking in quality sleep, smoking and a diet that would  make most cringe. You see so many gifted athletes in the fitness industry  and I can honestly say I am the furthest example from one of them. I’m a normal guy.

I’d love to say there was an inciting moment for change, but there really  wasn’t.

I simply woke up one day tired of being tired, tired of being skinny and  tired of being unhealthy.Phil Bennett doing a get up with a log

I joined a gym, played around on the weight machines, lifted some weights  and generally hated every moment of it. The vapid nature of the guys who  went there- the selfies, the chatting, the social element and the lack of  hard work never kept me around for long.

Ross Enamait

Instead I did my research and came across who I consider to be the  godfather of the garage gym- Ross Enamait. The simplicity of his words spoke to me. His  approach and attitude was all that I assumed the gym going experience  would be, not the mess I saw in the commercial gym. Without finding his work, I probably wouldn’t have continued to where I am now. I trained  bodyweight, with a sandbag and kettlebells and physically and mentally  thrived. During this time I was introduced to martial arts, first boxing,  then Muay Thai and submission grappling.

The Human Movements

My skill set in the arts  increased snd the “unconventional” training I was doing complimented it perfectly. I took my training outside and became my own coach. Nature was  my lab and I was the mad scientist. I based the training on the human  movements- squat, hinge, push, pull and carries. On Dan John’s  recommendation the carry was the most important, followed by the squat,  then the hinge, pull and push last- The opposite of conventional gym  wisdom.

Phil Bennett doing rope rows with a kettlebellDan John is a phenomenally gifted coach

It  worked. I made leaps and bounds in fighting and the quick progress was  noticed. I rapidly had my own collective of fighters I coached in my mad  outdoor methods:

  • Carrying and squatting logs, stones, sandbags and each other
  • Jumping, crawling, sprinting, throwing, climbing
  • Hammering the basics- push-ups, pull-ups, rows, hand walking, tumbling
  • Having frequent challenges to keep the mind hardened and the body sharp

If you like the simplicity of Phil’s approach you’ll be glad to know that he’s going to be posting here from time to time. You can also check out his blog at Check it out and subscribe. You won’t be sorry and you might get stronger!

About the author

John Greaves III is a writer based in North Georgia with nearly two decades of experience in training at home. A former amateur kickboxing champion, John now competes recreationally in powerlifting. He takes a physical culture approach to training; believing that strength and health need not be mutually exclusive. In addition to his nonfiction work, John has written two fiction books, A Different Kind of Giant and A Little Lesson in Manners that are available on