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How Much Should/Can You Compete in Weightlifting?

You can break competitive weightlifters into two big categories: Those who love to compete, and those who don’t. I realize it sounds odd to talk about competitive weightlifters who don’t really like competing, but it’s not that uncommon. These people tend to enjoy the training process and the results of having competed, but not necessarily the competition experience itself. They’ll do the meets they need to do to achieve their goals, but they won’t be going out of t
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Maximizing Triceps Development - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 01:12
To expand the size of your arms you need to master management of three things: pounds, pump, and programming.
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3 Things Great Families and Businesses Have in Common - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 01:04
Just like families constantly struggle to balance the needs of its members, so too does a business endeavor to find the right balance of serving customers, stakeholders, and employees. There are three key things that, when understood, help achieve these goals.
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The Secrets of Body Transformation – Free 5-Day Course - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 23:01

Check out this FREE 5-day Secrets of Body Transformation course to learn the world’s most effective strategies for losing fat, building strength, and living a healthier life.

The post The Secrets of Body Transformation – Free 5-Day Course appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Pillars of Snatch Technique | The Explosion - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 12:58

When the bar meets the hip, the athlete’s ability to explode upward and impart vertical force on the bar is critical. Max Aita and Alyssa Ritchey show you how we do it.

The post Pillars of Snatch Technique | The Explosion appeared first on Juggernaut.

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WATCH: Road Trip Rants — Intra-Workout Reese's, Pushing Training Partners, and Balance - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 05:00
Not all training junk foods are created equal. This topic, and more, are explained in this week's episode.
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5 Things You Must Know as a Novice Powerlifter - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 01:00
Your future in this sport deserves to be worked on not only at the gym and with your physical strength and power, but outside of the weight room as well, with your mental focus and contemplation.
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Best Exercise in Ever: Band Shoulder Stabilization Pulls - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 11:08

Today’s exercise is an oldie but a goodie that I recently put back into rotation for a few clients with wonky shoulders, and it seems to be worth re-pushing for the new generation of folks looking to get jacked and swole while also getting all of their info from memes.

Shoulder stability band excellence!! Here’s a cool little drill I haven’t played with in years but found some applications with a few clients recently. The hand in the air is to remain solid, like Han locked away in carbonite. The bottom hand pulls the band to challenge the ability of the hand in the air to stay in place. This beats the heckin heck out of basic band external rotation drills for rotator cuff stability. #carbonite #shoulders #quotes

A post shared by Dean somerset (@dsomerset1) on Jun 13, 2018 at 10:17am PDT

One of the main functions of the rotator cuff musculature is to keep the ball of the humerus in the cup of the glenoid fossa, so while exercises that create a concentric-eccentric moment around the joint are fantastic, sometimes some good old fashioned isometrics with some changing forces acting on the arm are worthwhile to train that stabilization feature.

This can also be useful when combined with another classic like this:

These can also work as a great warm up for any upper body work you have planned for the workout, especially if having that ball stay tight into the socket is a good thing to aim for. Hint: it totally is.

Enjoy the weekend!

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A Day in the Life of Swede Burns - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:53
When Kendall Alston and his crew approached me with the idea of filming a documentary about what a normal day in my life looks like—and not simply my lifting or my coaching—it hit my like a breath of fresh air. This video is the result.
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Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 6/15/18 - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:49

Last week was the first week in many weeks I hadn’t posted a Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work.

I hope you weren’t too sad.

Not first time watching Titantic sad, but, you know, maybe my cousin didn’t wish me a Happy Birthday on Facebook sad.1.

Anyway, be sad no more. Lets get to this week’s list.

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo


I’ll be in London in three weeks for this 2-day assessment, program design, PRI, deadlift till our faces melt off bonanza.

My buddy Luke Worthington (London’s handsomest man alive) and I are really excited for this workshop. We’re going to do a deep dive into the systems we both use to help our client/athletes get better.

What’s more, this event will be held at the brand spanking new Third Space location in the heart of London.

All details HERE.

2. Strong Body-Strong Mind – Boston, MA

We had such a great response when Lisa and I hosted a SBSM Workshop in Boston last year that we decided to do it again this summer.

I’ll be speaking to assessment, coaching up common strength exercises (squats, deadlifts), and how to better “match” your programs to your client’s abilities and goals.

Lisa will be discussing how to better manage client expectations, motivation, and how to adopt better mindset strategies for success.

The umbrella theme of this workshop is to enhance the SOFT skills of coaching, how to garner a connection, and build rapport with your athletes/clients.

  • Spots are limited
  • Early Bird rates apply for both students ($99) and professionals ($129)
  • CEUs will be available (NSCA)

For more details (including itinerary and registration) go HERE.

3. Even More Complete Shoulder & Hip Blueprint– Dates/Locations Announced

Dean Somerset and I are currently in the throes of drumming up new content for our staple workshop series.

We’ve presented this workshop all over the world – London, Vancouver, Oslo, Prague, Boston, LA, Hoth – and even turned it into a popular digital product HERE so everyone can enjoy it.

We’ve already nailed down dates in Slovenia, Houston, and LA this fall (2018) and are also in talks to bring it to Detroit, Philadelphia, Edmonton, Australia, and Singapore in 2019.

If you’re someone who’d like to host this event/participate in a tickle fight please reach out to either Dean or myself.

Go HERE to register in the announced cities.

4. Recent Podcast Appearances

Easy Wins Podcast w/ Mitch Harb – HERE.

Primal Academy Podcast w/ Steve Cuthbert – HERE

STUFF TO READ WHILE YOU’RE PRETENDING TO WORK 3 Exercises to Improve Your Sumo Deadlift Without Deadlifting – Lana Sova

You don’t always have to deadlift to improve your deadlift. Lana shares some insights and exercises she likes to help with performance on the sumo deadlift – especially for women.

How Hip Anatomy Affects Squat Mechanics – Dr. Aaron Horschig

This is a bit of an older article from 2017, but it’s still sharable as fuck.

I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again 18,943 more times:

“Not everyone is going to squat with the same stance or depth. Stop pigeonholing clients into ONE way.”

Read this article.

Dan Sanzo on Mindset, Coaching, and Becoming a Mentor – Mike Robertson

Dan’s a coach I feel more people need be more aware of.

I’ve known him for several years, first meeting him when he was an assistant strength coach at Boston University, and now as the head S&C coach at Northeastern University here in Boston.

He’s one of the most forward thinking coaches I know.

He recently made a cameo on Mike Robertson’s podcast and, well, you should listen to it.

Social Media Shenanigans Twitter

Not many things annoy me more than when a doctor tells a client of mine to stop training or to avoid exercising altogether. Instead to just rest. Outlier scenarios aside, rest = watching Netflix for 4 weeks. Sorry, that isn’t gonna “fix” anything.

— Tony Gentilcore (@tonygentilcore1) June 7, 2018


New client started last week and noted that some of her previous trainers pointed out her “scapular winging” and that she’s never been able to fix it. I took a picture of it (top pic). Fast forward roughly 1 minute and 13 seconds later I took the bottom pic. Better. I’m Gandalf. Unless you have a defunct long thoracic nerve (likely not) TRUE scapular winging isn’t really a “thing.” What is a thing is people not engaging their Serratus enough and/or not appreciating tension and working on motor control. Adding LOAD can be a game changer here. Wall Presses, push-ups, and anything that nudges the scapulae to adhere to the ribcage is going to be money. Stop telling people they’re broken and start getting them to train. Read more in the article linked in my bio.

A post shared by Tony Gentilcore (@tonygentilcore) on Jun 13, 2018 at 5:46am PDT

The post Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 6/15/18 appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 6/15/18 - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 06:35

It's been a quiet week here on the blog because I'm still recovering from last week's Sturdy Shoulder Solutions product launch and the barrage of college athletes who are all starting up at CSP at the same time. Luckily, I do have some good content from around the 'net for you:

Pat Rigsby on Building Your Ideal Fitness Business - Pat Rigsby is the man. I got this email from Mike Robertson in my inbox this morning and cleared time in my schedule to listen to this podcast right away. He always has great business insights for fitness professionals.

10 Strength and Conditioning Lessons from Friends, Mentors, and Colleagues - This is a great compilation from my buddy Todd Hamer, who's been a mainstay in the college strength and conditioning field for as long as I can remember.

Lessons Learned from a Bum Elbow - I posted this story on my Facebook page the other day, and there are a lot of lessons in here for fitness professionals and rehabilitation specialists, especially those who deal with throwing athletes.

Top Tweet of the Week

If the shoulder blade is going one way while the arm goes in the other direction, you're going to run into problems. This athlete's shoulder discomfort goes away when the shoulder blade is guided away from the spine and into upward rotation. Learn more:

— Eric Cressey (@EricCressey) June 10, 2018

Top Instagram Post of the Week


First trip to Yankee Stadium. Great to see the guys. Thanks to @oneilstrength for being a stellar tour guide and elite Yankee historian. #cspfamily

A post shared by Eric Cressey (@ericcressey) on Jun 13, 2018 at 3:34pm PDT

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WATCH: Jeremy Frey's 2018 elitefts Sport Performance Summit — Front Squat Tips for Athletes - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 05:00
Missouri State University Director of Strength and Conditioning Jeremy Frey has a few ways to make front squatting easier to learn and more effective for your athletes. Here are the things that are most important to focus on.
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Pat Rigsby on Building Your Ideal Fitness Business

Pat Rigsby is a guy I’ve known for years now, and he’s my go-to resource when it comes to running my businesses.

And I’ll say this – IFAST and RTS wouldn’t be where it is today without Pat and his guidance.

In this show, Pat and I talk about how a collegiate baseball coach pivoted into the fitness industry, why selling isn’t a dirty world and is all about exchanging value, the two questions you should ask every potential client who might want to work with you, and how to get started with an online coaching business, even if you have no clue where to start.

Show Outline
  • Shameless Plug: The 2018 Physical Prep Summit
  • Intro and Monologue
    • Happy kiddos
    • Athletes killing it
    • Monologue: Productivity Hacks (aka How to Get More Done)
  • Q&A: Sara has two questions:
    • What are the best questions to ask potential online/distance clients? And
    • How do you keep them accountable?
  • Interview with Pat
    • How a college baseball coach pivoted and became an industry leader in the fitness business game.
    • The biggest issues he sees when new coaches/trainers open a business.
    • Why people have so many issues when it comes to marketing and selling.
    • Specific questions you MUST ask your clients/athletes in the assessment process (this alone is worth your time for the whole show!)
    • Pat’s obsession with building his ideal business – and why you every fitness business owner should be asking themselves what their ideal biz looks like.
    • Why online coaching is such a viable platform, and the one thing you should start working on right now if you want to take your business online.
    • The BIG Question
    • A really fun lightning round where we talk about business failures, impactful books, and the one piece advice he’s give someone who is getting ready to open a new gym.
Related Links

The post Pat Rigsby on Building Your Ideal Fitness Business appeared first on Robertson Training Systems.

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Tuning Tension: Getting the Most From Your Muscle - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 11:56

A few weeks ago I presented at the Spurling Spring Seminar up in Kennebunk, Maine. The first presenter of the day, Portland based physical therapist Noah Harrison, blew me away with his talk on muscular tension.

Honestly, the only way his presentation could have been better is if he somehow included a pair of nunchucks.

Or a t-shirt cannon.

His message resonated with me and after he spoke I asked if he’d be interested in summarizing his thoughts in an article for my site. He was more than happy to oblige.

Enjoy (it’s REALLY good).

Copyright: tatom / 123RF Stock Photo

Tuning Tension: Getting the Most From Your Muscle

There are two aspects to what dictates the strength of a muscle; how big it is and how hard it can contract at any given moment, with any given movement. Keeping that in mind there are then two ways you can train a muscle to become stronger:

  1. Make it bigger and give it more leverage.
  2. Teach it to contract harder by creating more tension.

While hypertrophy obviously has its use, there are times our goal is simply to increase strength without having to buy a new wardrobe, or jump a weight class. There are also times we have a little more strength in our muscles as they already are, and it is simply a matter of getting them to work fully in the moment.

This article is about ways in which you can train your muscles to fire a little (or a lot) harder, instantaneously, and apply it to nearly any exercise you are performing.

Yes, you can practice tensing your muscles like a body builder during “X” movement, and if an EMG was attached to your area of focus it would read a spike.

The problem with consciously focusing on flexing your muscles during a movement is that this does produce increased tension locally where you are focusing, but often times at the expense of your performance. Quite often tensioning your muscles consciously while moving will result in you simply working harder, moving slower, and experiencing premature fatigue (1).

So how do you get your muscles to pump out more power without destroying your performance?

Simple: you will not do it consciously.

Instead you will do it reflexively. You will use the reflexive reactions you already have.

What I will map out are three body areas/actions that you can focus on with any given activity, and depending on what you do with these areas/actions will either elicit a reflexive increase or decrease in body wide muscular tension.

Again, this article will solely focus on increasing muscular tension.

The three areas/actions are:

  1. What you do with your breath.
  2. What you do with your hands.
  3. What you do with your face.

Now there is no better place to begin talking about changing bodily tension than talking about…

What You Do With Your Breath

The general rule is that if you want to increase muscular tension then either hold your breath or forcefully exhale.

The latter, a forceful exhale, is preferred.


First, let’s look at what is happening with both these situations.

In one case you hold your breath and barrel down (a valsalva maneuver) and in the other you forcefully exhale through resistance. In both situations you are jacking up your intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), which is necessary to keep your trunk stiff and give your limbs leverage with anything difficult.

Core strength is pressure production, and if you want to be strong, you need to be able to make a lot of it.

However the valsalva maneuver (VM) has a few significant draw backs. The most notable is that you really cannot do many repetitions this way. One rep, maybe, but once you get to two or three repetitions deep into an exercise you will need to breathe.

The second drawback is that a VM is associated with some negative cardiovascular effects, including a sharp increase in your heart rate, blood pressure, as well as an increased risk of cerebral hemorrhage (2). Again, if it doesn’t kill you, holding your breath is going to gas you quicker than necessary.

The third problem is that a VM is associated with an increased risk of incontinence in certain populations (3, 4), which is not desirable if you or your client is trying to be active. Nobody, regardless of what Adam Sandler says, likes to pee themselves, and especially in the middle of a fierce effort.


Performing a forced exhalation (FE) has none of these issues, and has been shown to be as equally effective at spiking your IAP as a VM (2).

Additionally, a forced exhalation has been shown to increase the activation of your abdominal wall (5), is as effective at stiffening the trunk as bracing your abdominals (6), and even result in an instantaneous increase the strength of your grip and several large muscle groups throughout the body (2, 7).

We all know that a tight midsection is necessary to keep the body from crumbling during a strenuous task, but the take home from this should be to focus less on bracing your abdomen consciously.

Just forcefully exhale with the movement, and the abs will kick in automatically.

You have to breathe anyway; you may as well make it work in your favor. The general rule is to exhale with effort, and ingrain it with the movement you are performing.

How do you ingrain it? Every movement has a sticking point, you simply exhale through it.

See the video below for a demonstration of how to ingrain this into any exercise.


What You Do With Your Hands

This one is pretty simple.

If you want to increase body wide muscular tension, maximally tense your hands, preferably in a fist. If you are holding something, grip it hard (very hard). As a result, the rest of your body will “grip” harder as well.

In matters of strength, this is very convenient, because very often we are gripping something and either trying to move it (A barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, etc) or ourselves around it (a pull up or dip bar). Simply aim your attention on what you are already doing.

How or why does this work? It probably comes down to both the law of irradiation, and how your cerebral cortex is organized.

Irradiation is a principle stating that the activity of a group of muscles will have a ripple effect on its neighboring parts (8). Meaning as you clench your hand harder, not only does your forearm tighten up, but your whole arm and shoulder does as well.

Grip even harder and your whole torso will become engaged. If you are not already trying this I encourage you to begin.

This has actually been measured, as research has shown that the harder you grip your hands, the harder your rotator cuff fires (9, 10). This is convenient, because if you are gripping a hold of something you would really like your shoulder to grab a hold of your body as well. Not only does gripping effect your shoulder, but your body as a whole; postural stiffness will increase the harder you grasp an obect (11). The utility of these reflexive responses with any pressing movement should go without saying.

So that is one factor, how about the second; your brain?

Well what is known is that there is a very large sensory and motor representation of both your hands and your face in the brain. Google “Homunculus Man” and you will see a model representation of this. It is a distorted image demonstrating the density of neurons in our cerebral cortex as it relates to sensing and moving our bodies in our environments.

You can think about this as that your brain both perceives and interacts with the world primarily via your face and hands, so whatever you do at these places will reverberate throughout your body.

If your hands are relaxed, your body will be as well. If your hands are tensed, then your brain will take you seriously and give you more juice. And in matters of strength, we all want juice.

So now we come to our third and final place to consider…

What You Do With Your Face

You may have a hard time believing your face matters so much in terms of strength, but it is true.

Do not forget that strange little homunculus man. Remember; your brain thinks the vast majority of you is face and hands. What you do in these places will resonate through your body.

What you do with you face can be further broken down into three factors;

  1. Your eyes.
  2. Your jaw.
  3. Your facial expression as a whole.

What you do at your eyes can be thought of as more steering your bodily tension than necessarily jacking it up or down.

It is well established that the body follows wherever the eyes gaze (12).

This means that if you look to the left, you will have a reflexive weight shift to the left, and the same goes for looking to the right, up or down. Although gymnasts, power lifters and weight lifters will use this often to their advantage to drive extension or flexion with a movement, the vast majority of us should stick to simply looking relatively forward with whatever movement we are performing.

So, for maximal tension; fix your eyes when doing something hard, and do not let them wander.


Just as the tension in our hands seems to reverberate through our bodies, what we do at our jaws does as well.

No different than our hands, the amount of tension that we hold at our jaw has the ability to increase reflexive activity as distant as our forearms and calves (13, 14).

Yes you read that correctly; clench your jaw and your forearms and calves will fire harder. In fact, clenching your jaw has been shown to improve your athletic performance across varying endeavors, including a back squat and vertical jump (15, 16).

I would advise caution with this (and for some a mouthpiece), as some people have trouble relaxing their jaws then necessary engaging it. Other people may not have a fully congruent bite, and heavily clenching may cause more of a problem than a help.

Simply focus on setting your jaw and keeping your teeth touching firmly when you need more muscular effort.

Facial Expression

Think about it: setting your eyes and jaw is pretty much a game face now isn’t it?

Besides focusing on where your eyes look and keeping your mouth shut, it is common sense to be serious during a heavy or difficult lift.

Laughing is completely out, as it has been established that there exists a body-wide inhibition of muscular tension for up to 45 minutes after a bout of laughter (17, 18).

So, save the jokes for after the work is done.

Putting It All Together

Here it is; the meat and potatoes of it all.

If you want to increase body wide muscular tension, then simply:

  1. Exhale with resistance.
  2. Clench your fists.
  3. Fix your eyes.
  4. Set your jaw and be serious.

This comes down to learning to place your mental effort on these choice few factors with whatever challenging movement you are performing.

By doing this you set yourself up for the best chance at eliciting the highest potential your muscles and body as a whole has in that given movement, on that given day.

Integrate this into your training, and you will likely find that you become stronger not simply because your muscles have grown, but because they have learned to work together, better.


[List of references below]

About the Author

Noah is a Physical Therapist and Strength Coach based out of Portland, Maine.

He is the owner of Portland Integrative Physical Therapy, through which he provides one-on-one musculoskeletal rehabilitation with a holistic, full body approach.

Noah has extensive training in a variety of rehabilitative approaches, and combines this with progressive strength training in order to build and restore strong and capable individuals.

He lives in Portland, Maine with his wife Heidi and their young daughter, and can best be reached via his website and email

  1. Makaruk, H, Porter, JM “Focus of Attention for Strength and Conditioning Training” Strength and Conditioning Journal Feb 2014, 36:1 16-22
  2. Ikeda, ER, et al “The Valsalva Maneuver Revisted: the Influence of Voluntary Breathing on Isometric Muscle Strength” J Strength Cond Res 2009 Jan: 23(1): 127-132
  3. Nitti VW, et al “Correlation of Valsalva leak point pressure with subjective degree of stress urinary incontinence in women” J Urol 1996 Jan; 155(1): 281-5
  4. Peschers UM, et al “Difference between cough and Valsalva leak-point in stress incontinent women” Neurourol Urodyn 2000; 19(6): 677-81
  5. Ishida et al “Maximum expiration activates the abdominal muscles during side bridge exercises” J Back Musculoskeletal Rehabil. 2015; 27(4): 481-4
  6. Ishida et al “Comparison between the effectiveness of expiration and abdominal bracing maneuvers in maintaining spinal stability following sudden trunk loading” J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2016 Feb; 26: 125-9
  7. Li S, et al “Forced ventilation increases variability of isometric finger forces” Neurosci Lett 2007 Feb 2; 412(3): 243-7
  8. Gontijo LB, et al “Evaluation of Strength and Irradiated Movement Pattern Resulting from Trunk Motions of the Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation” Rehabilitation Research and Practice Volume 2012, 6 pages
  9. Sporrong H, et al “Influences of handgrip on shoulder muscle activity” Eur J Appl Occup Physiol 1995; 71(6): 485-92
  10. Sporrong H, et al “Hand grip increases shoulder muscle activity, an EMG analysis with static hand contractions in nine subjects” Acta Orthop Scand 1996 Oct: 67(5): 485-90
  11. Ustinova KI, et al “Postural stabilization by gripping a stick with different force levels” Gait & Posture 2013 May: 38(1): 97-103
  12. Ivanenko YP, et al “Effect of gaze on postural responses to neck proprioceptive and vestibular stimulation in humans” Journal of Physiology 1999; 519(1): 301-314
  13. Takashi T, et al “Modulation of H reflexes in the forearm during voluntary teeth clenching in humans” European Journal of Applied Physiology 2003 Nov; 90(5-6): 651-3
  14. Miyahara T, et al “Modulation of human soleus H reflex in association of voluntary clenching of the teeth” J Neurophysiol 1996 Sep; 76(3): 2033-41
  15. Ebben, WP, et al “Jaw clenching results in concurrent activation potentiation during the countermovement jump” J Strength Cond Res 2008 Nov; 22(6): 1850-4
  16. Ebben WP, et al “Kinetic analysis of concurrent activation potentiation during back squats and jump squats” J Strength Cond Res 2010 Jun; 24(6): 1515-9
  17. Paskind, J “Effects of laughter on muscle tone” Arch Neurol Psychiatry 1932; 28: 623-8
  18. Overeem S, et al “Is motor inhibition during laughter due to emotional or respiratory influences?” Psychophysiology 2004; 41: 254-8

The post Tuning Tension: Getting the Most From Your Muscle appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

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Using Values and Strengths to Help You Determine Your Career Path - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:30
Through my work at my university, I spend a great deal of time developing students and helping mentor them for career direction, particularly in the exercise science related areas. This is the approach I use to help them find the right path.
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S&C Programming Considerations for College Football Freshmen - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:17
What we all want is to set our freshmen up for success for the future. How we go about it isn’t about ego and “our system” or anything like that; it’s about taking the time to put thought into what you’re doing and what will be the best for them.
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Stop Slowing Yourself Down - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 02:47

My friend Jamie Crowder introduced me to the important distinction between “dilemma” and “problem” as it relates to martial arts strategy. A dilemma is defined as “a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones.” This means that unlike a “problem” which has one or more clear solutions, a dilemma gives you the choice between bad and worse. In martial arts, it’s clearly better to present an opponent with a dilemma than a problem. This way no matter his decision for how to deal with your initial proposal, things won’t go well for him.

Strength training is rife with problems, some are technique based, others programming. But these problems are easy to deal with: find a qualified StrongFirst coach and you’ll have all the answers to all your problems (at least the strength training ones). But in addition to the easy to deal with problems, strength training also presents at least one serious dilemma that many people experience. How to get strong or technically proficient and do so quickly?

I’ve been coaching martial arts for over 20 years and kettlebells for 10 and I’ve seen this problem a great deal. Students get fired up to learn. They’re really into training. They love coming to class and are definitely making progress, but it’s just not fast enough. They either do not understand that learning and imprinting movement patterns take time, or they think it’s taking too much time.


While a dilemma by nature does not offer you the answer you desire, you are in control of your reaction to the strength training dilemma. And that reaction must be patience. If you’re attracted to what StrongFirst does with the kettlebell, barbell or body weight, you are definitely a goal-minded person who wants to make progress and make it quickly. This is a natural desire, but also completely unrealistic since the requirements for strength include technical proficiency as well as time for the body’s adaptations to occur. Unlike martial arts which require patience primarily for learning the movements, in strength training you have to be patient while learning the movements AND while the body adapts and becomes stronger.


Senior SFG Steve Friedes put it very succinctly a while ago, “Strength takes time.” One must be patient for the process of both learning the movements and adaptation of the body. As I have said to my martial arts students for years, “You can’t speed the process up, but you can definitely slow it down.” And the same holds true for the strength training dilemma. If you are impatient you will try to rush the process which will end with injury or frustration…or both. So be patient.

For what it’s worth, being patient doesn’t mean you lay around waiting for enlightenment to knock on your door. Since you are responsible for not slowing the process down, you must be proactive. Train with your coach regularly. Take notes – yes, actually handwritten notes. Read through the notes to help you remember the details that inevitably escape mental recall. Work diligently, meticulously and consistently toward your goal, but accept the progress you make for what it is and do not try to rush the process.

Essentially, you do your best. Nothing more, nothing less.

Frustrations like the strength training dilemma are the speed bumps of life. Patiently chip away at those speed bumps and before you know it the road will be smooth.

The post Stop Slowing Yourself Down appeared first on StrongFirst.

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Pillars of Front Squat | The Ascent - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 21:49

Max Aita wraps up our Front Squat Pillars series:

Check out our other series, including:




Sumo Deadlift:

The post Pillars of Front Squat | The Ascent appeared first on Juggernaut.

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WATCH: Welcome to the Pit - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 14:50
No matter your training preference—powerlifting, bodybuilding, Olympic lifting, cardio, boxing, strongman, resistance training, or a style you've created yourself—this Akron, Ohio gym has you covered.
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Training to Do Your First Pull-Up - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 08:21
No matter your strength, bodyweight, or training history, pull-ups may be a challenge for you. If this is the case, follow this simple progression and you'll have your first unassisted pull-up in no time.
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