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Just the Fats Ma’am - Sun, 12/16/2018 - 01:05
I knew going in that this could be one of those situations where I was going to listen to someone tell me how smart they were and I was going to play my typical role of “dumb older guy who used to work out and now just wants to not be fat and live a long time.”
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4 Yoga Push-up Progression Strategies - Sat, 12/15/2018 - 08:12

We use yoga push-ups a lot in our training programs, but one challenge with incorporating them over the long-term with more advanced athletes is that they're hard to load up. You can't use bands or chains as external resistance because they slide over the course of the set. And, weight vests really can't provide enough external resistance without getting too bulky and cumbersome. Luckily, there are a few other ways to progress the drill:

1. Slideboard Yoga Push-ups

2. 1-leg Feet-Elevated Yoga Push-ups

3. Feet-Elevated Spiderman Yoga Push-ups

4. Yoga Push-up with Opposite Arm Reach

5. Controlled Tempo

Last, but not least, you can simply slow down the tempo at which the yoga push-up variations are performed. I like adding a full exhale at the top position, too.

Speaking of upper extremity progressions, if you're looking for some more information on how we assess, coach, and program for the shoulder girdle, be sure to check out my resource, Sturdy Shoulder Solutions.


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The Role of Self-Regulation and Control in Sport Performance - Sat, 12/15/2018 - 01:31
You must be in control or have autonomy, to set goals, move through intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, and grittily, hardily, toughly keep on track — especially if your choice is to be or continue being a successful high-performance athlete.
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A Varsity House Gym Check-up for Strength Coaches - Sat, 12/15/2018 - 01:07
Running a business is a lot like training. There are steps and signs you deal with.... and if you don't have a long-term plan, you're not going to get anywhere. Take action today to create career longevity as a strength coach.
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The Most Important Vitamin We Never Talk About - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 16:05

Vitamin K is finally getting the attention—and the respect—it so richly deserves. It’s comprised of two structurally related (but very different acting) compounds, vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is primarily found in green leafy plants such as lettuce and spinach. Vitamin K2 is primarily synthesized by bacteria in the colon, although it’s available in some foods (see below).

Vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens—even lettuce—so it’s relatively easy to get from your diet. Vitamin K2 is trickier. It’s found mainly in animal foods like egg yolks, cheese and dark chicken meet or in fermented foods like natto and sauerkraut.

The most important thing that vitamin K1 does is help the body with clotting. That’s why doctors tell you to “avoid” green leafy vegetables when you’re on Coumadin, a popular drug which is frequently given to thin the blood of patients who are prone to blood clots.
(The advice to take Coumadin while avoiding green leafy vegetables may be well past its expiration date at this point, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

Vitamin K2, on the other hand, does a whole bunch of other things having nothing to do with clotting. For one thing, it’s vitally important for strong healthy bones. Why? Because vitamin K is necessary to make a bone-related protein called osteocalcin. Without vitamin K, osteocalcin either doesn’t get made or doesn’t work very well, and without osteocalcin minerals like calcium can’t bind to bone. So, in a metaphorical sense, vitamin K acts like a traffic cop, making sure calcium winds up where it belongs—in the bones (and teeth)—and not where it doesn’t (in the arteries!). And that brings us to the second, very important role of vitamin K2 in heart health.

See, keeping calcium in the bones where it belongs is only one side of the coin. The other side is keeping calcium out of the arteries, where it most definitely does not belong! (Remember “hardening of the arteries?” Well, that’s calcium showing up where it has no business being!) That’s why vitamin K2 is gaining such a strong reputation as a heart-healthy nutrient—which it is!

Vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, natto, and some cheeses (many of which most people don’t eat). The situation is made worse by the fact that antibiotics wipe out so many of the bacteria that normally produce vitamin K2 in the colon. Because I don’t think most people get enough K (especially K2), I almost always recommend supplementing.

Vitamin K2 comes in two forms—MK4 and MK7.  Both are good, but the MK7 is longer acting. Remember to take vitamin K with a meal containing some fat. Along with vitamins A, D and E, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin and better absorbed when consumed with some healthy fat.

At least once a year, an interviewer will ask me to name the ten supplements I think are most important for their readers to take. I always explain that no routine will suit everyone and that everybody’s different. That said, I do have a basic list of go-to supplements that I think just about everyone would benefit from. A couple of years ago I added vitamin K2 to that list of core supplements. I now consider it cornerstone nutrient for both the heart and the bones.

Weider Global Nutrition just launched a K2 product I like a lot called Artery Health which combines the MK-7 form of K2 with a couple of powerful antioxidants like ginger. And it’s easy to find—you can get it all over, including Costco and Amazon and a whole bunch of other places.

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10 Items for Serious Strongman Competitors - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 13:49
Gyms only go so far in mimicking the items used in strongman competitions, so read on to start building your personal strongman training arsenal.
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Banded Dumbbell Rows: A Smarter Way! - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 13:24

Before we get into today’s tutorial, I’m proud to announce that my latest book, Your Workout Perfected won an OriGym Award for Best Books for Personal Trainers (2019).

The 19 books on this list got the most votes by the OriGym students and alumni from their Level 2 and Level 3 Personal Trainer courses when they were asked to recommend the best personal training books that they’d come across.

Also, I’ll be in Sheffield, England on February 23-24, 2018 teaching my 2-Day Strength Training for Fat Loss and Conditioning course at Sheffield Hallam University.

Tickets have been selling fast, and this is then first time I’ve announced it here on my website. So, make sure to get your seat now HERE!

Now, lets talk some shop about banded back rows.

In this short video I show you why I don’t perform banded one-arm dumbbell rows in the same manner I see many other trainers doing them. And, I also demonstrated a smarter way to do banded dumbbell rows to get more of what you want.

As you can see after watching the video, the variation I show involves the band anchored roughly above your working shoulder (instead of being anchored low), and the band is placed just below your elbow joint (instead of around your wrist).

Now, you could certainly use a traditional superband to perform banded one-arm rows in the smarter way I demonstrated in the above video. However, it’s for purposes like this why I designed my NT Loops to be the best bands on the market for because they’re far more comfortable and stable when placed around your extremities or waist and hips.

The NT Loop sale pricing ends Christmas Day at Midnight.

New Shirts!

Make sure to check out our three awesome new shirt designs HERE. Get all three and save $!


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12 Days of Giving Credit to the Things That Shaped My Coaching Career - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 12:16
'Tis the season to reflect on the past, present, and future. Don't be a Scrooge — take a moment to thank the people who have shaped who you are today.
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Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 12/14/18 - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 10:03

Holy moley what a shit show.

We’ve had a sick toddler on our hands the past few days (hence the lack of content this week) and our apartment is basically a Petri dish of whateverthef*** at the moment.

He’s feeling better – and back at daycare – but, yeah, that wasn’t fun.

Anyhoo, lets get to this week’s list of stuff to read.

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo

BUT FIRST…CHECK THIS STUFF OUT 1. (Even More) Complete Shoulder & Hip Blueprint – 2019 Dates

This workshop will piggyback on the material Dean Somerset and I covered in the original Complete Shoulder & Hip Blueprint.

With this iteration, though, we’ll be going a bit deeper into the coaching and programming side of things:

  • How to program around common injuries.
  • How to “connect” the appropriate exercises to the client/athlete.
  • How to squat and deadlift like a boss.

Check em out HERE.

2. Watch Me In Action

Ever wonder what it would look like to have me take you through an assessment?



[slams door]

Fast forward five hours….

A few months ago Adam Rees of GRIT Gym and his girlfriend, Rachel, stopped by CORE to hang out and to so that I could take a look at Rachel.

She had been having some hip issues and wanted me to take a look at her deadlift and squat.

A technique audit if you will.

They ended up making this video to document their experience.1

3. Appearance on The Strength Running Podcast

I was invited back onto the Strength Running Podcast hosted by Jason Fitzgerald.

It’s a on-going battle, but I do feel the tides are turning and that many runners are starting to understand the importance of strength training (and how it should serve to compliment their running).

Jason and I discuss a bevy of things in this episode, but we dial in on the deadlift and why it’s such an integral movement to learn.

Give it a listen HERE.


I’ve been incorporating more Copenhagen Side Planks into my programming of late. Great drill to target core stability, hip strength, and to help offset hip, knee and low back ouchies. Here are three progressions to consider:

— Tony Gentilcore (@tonygentilcore1) December 12, 2018



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In today’s edition of “shit I saw on the internet and am now going to steal it,” this is a deadbug variation that loosely mimics one I saw @vernongriffith4 perform using a @stickmobility . . The difference: . 1. I don’t have access to a @stickmobility , but instead am using a “bendier” PVC stick. . 2. I had @lilew13 (my wife) face the opposite direction because the stick was shorter. . This is a great way to really lock in the concept of the deadbug: stabilized spine while moving through the extremities. . Simply press the stick INTO the wall to engage the anterior core more. For those who struggle with this idea, the stick works like a charm. . And yes, before anyone asks, a band works well here too. However this is a nice option if you don’t have access to a band. . And, honestly, because you have to press into the wall (or the stick falls), I find this variation works better to get the abs to turn on. . ALSO: massive kudos to Lisa for making things awkward AF at the end.

A post shared by Tony Gentilcore (@tonygentilcore) on Dec 10, 2018 at 9:36am PST

STUFF TO READ WHILE YOU’RE PRETENDING TO WORK Gym Owner Musings – Installment #12 – Pete Dupuis

Pete’s stuff is always insightful, relatable, and not full of foo-foo BS.

If you’re a gym owner (or aspire to be), Pete is required reading.

10 Online Training Challenges No One Warns You About – Leigh Peele

With more and more fitness professionals opting to go the online route, it’s important to understand that there are some HARD truths to the lifestyle.

Read this post by Leigh.

And then read it again.

Nutrition Myths For Fat Loss Explained – Steve Bergeron

This is an excellent 3-part (but short read) series written by friend Steve Bergeron of AMP Fitness here in Boston. Plenty of practical and sane advice here.

Give it a read.

The post Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 12/14/18 appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

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Dallas Seminar Announcement: January 27, 2019 - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 09:41

I just wanted to give you a heads-up on one-day seminar with me in Dallas on Sunday, January 27, 2019.

Cressey scapula

We’ll be spending the day geeking out on shoulders, as the event will cover Shoulder Assessment, Corrective Exercise, and Programming.  The event will be geared toward personal trainers, strength and conditioning professionals, rehabilitation specialists, and fitness enthusiasts alike.


9:00AM-9:30AM – Inefficiency vs. Pathology (Lecture)
9:30AM-10:15AM – Understanding Common Shoulder Injuries and Conditions (Lecture)
10:15AM-10:30AM – Break
10:30AM-12:30PM – Upper Extremity Assessment (Lab)
12:30PM-1:30PM – Lunch
1:30PM-3:30PM – Upper Extremity Mobility/Activation/Strength Drills (Lab)
3:30PM-3:45PM – Break
3:45PM-4:45PM – Upper Extremity Strength and Conditioning Programming: What Really Is Appropriate? (Lecture)
4:45PM-5:00PM – Q&A to Wrap Up


Atlet Sports
617 North 7th St.
Midlothian, TX 76065

Continuing Education Credits

0.7 CEUs (7 contact hours) pending through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). This course has previously been approved for CEUs multiple times in different locations.

Cost: $149.99 Early Bird (through 12/27/18), $199.99 Regular Rate (after December 12/27/18)

Click here to register using our 100% secure server!

Note: we'll be capping the number of participants to ensure that there is a lot of presenter/attendee interaction - particularly during the hands-on workshop portion - so be sure to register early, as previous offerings of this evan have sold out well in advance of the early-bird registration deadline.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Questions? Please email

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5 Ways to Use Discomfort to Unlock Massive Growth

No one likes the idea of being forced to do something you’re just not good at.

It makes us feel uncomfortable, unconfident, and weak.

However, the road to optimal growth involves walking the road less traveled. It’s certainly easier said than done, and you can definitely make one too many mistakes if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So, how exactly do we use personal discomforts to become a better version of ourselves?

On today’s episode, I share 5 ways you can use discomfort to unlock massive growth. I describe how you can use weaknesses to take yourself to another level of not just fitness, but personal growth as well. I share stories of my personal struggles and how I taught myself to overcome them. I explain each of the five ways in detail, adding tips to make each step easier to manage. I also discuss how you can apply these steps to other facets of your life.


Acknowledging a weakness is one thing, but actually doing something about it is another. – Mike Robertson


This week on The Physical Preparation Podcast:

  • Being clear on your goals for 2019 and how you should do it.
  • Using discomfort to release your full fitness potential.
  • What holds most of us back from achieving our goals.
  • Writing down your strengths and defining your weaknesses.
  • Facing your fears and addressing your weak points.
  • Why feedback from other people matters when it comes to growth.
  • Knowing the kind of criticism you respond optimally.
  • How surrounding yourself with better people can improve your life.
  • What ‘embracing the suck’ means and how it applies to progress.


Resources Mentioned:


Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet!

Are you ready to take your health and fitness training to the next level and make 2019 your best year yet? The best way to achieve your fitness goals, improve your training techniques, and create healthier habits is by working with a coach.

At Robertson Training Systems, I want to help you feel great while getting stronger, improving your mindset, and achieving your fitness goals!

To do this, we want to invite you to join one of our coaching programs: the RTS Online Coaching Platform or our Annual Training Group Program to maximize your performance and ensure you’re making progress toward your goals.


RTS Online Coaching Platform:

With the RTS Online Coaching Platform, you’ll:

  • Work directly with me to create a customized coaching program specific to your unique needs and goals.
  • Receive an updated workout strategy each month to ensure your program is challenging, yet rewarding.
  • Frequent communications with me to ensure your workout is on-point and you’re making progress each month

To join the RTS Online Coaching Platform, visit


Annual Training Group:

My Annual Training Group Program is more than just a training program!

In this program, we’ll focus on the four phases of physical training, which include:

  1. Building the Engine
  2. Leaning Season
  3. Athletic Domination
  4. and getting Strong(er)

You’ll also receive new monthly workouts to follow and set monthly challenges to develop strong habits in nutrition, recovery, and mindset.

To sign up for the Annual Training Group Program, visit:

Let’s make 2019 your best fitness year yet!


Subscribe, Rate & Share!

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Physical Preparation Podcast with Mike Robertson – your one-stop-shop for fitness trainers, coaches, and athletes.

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud and leave your honest review.

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And don’t forget to share your favorite episodes with your friends on social media!

The post 5 Ways to Use Discomfort to Unlock Massive Growth appeared first on Robertson Training Systems.

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Make it More Than Just a Warm-Up - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 13:47
When it came to warm-ups, I didn't always practice what I preached. As it turned out, warm-ups have done me a solid and increased my strength, endurance, and recovery. Plus, they're a great way to hone your techniques.
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4 Gifts You Want and 7 You Actually Need for Getting Back into Lifting - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 10:16
Santa checks his list at twice, so maybe you should also double-check your wishlist to assess what if you want is REALLY what you need.
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University of Dubuque's Veterans Memorial Training Center is Custom Built - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 16:42
The new weight room inside the Veteran’s Memorial Training Center is a combination of clean and rugged beauty. With the addition of this new weight room, their facilities are among the best in the nation, and second to none in NCAA Division III athletics!
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Metabolic Conditioning for Athletes, Part 2 – Phil Hueston - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 16:06

In Part 1 of this series on metabolic conditioning, I explored what energy is and how the body’s energy systems work. In this article, let’s have a practical look at what metabolic conditioning is and why we should do it with athletes.

The 3 Forms of Metabolic Conditioning

Metabolic Conditioning comes in three basic forms, two of which relate directly to exercise and training:

1. Anaerobic-based – According to Plisk, this is “Motor unit activity, substrate flux and force-speed production patterns such that anaerobic bioenergetics pathways are preferential.” (1) In other words, this form is based on muscle and system functions that prefer the ATP-CP system. Using it preferentially tends to lead to further preference. Your systems will get better at using this form, with a preference for it.

It’s peripheral in nature. We’re talking about muscles and the movement systems of the body. This includes voluntary and involuntary movement, so that twitch or tic you get is also dependent on this system. Think of it as the conditioning that strengthens muscles as well as the endurance of the body.

It buffers the hydrogen ions that accumulate in cells via the production of lactate (not lactic acid, as most folks like to say.)

As fast-twitch, or Type 2X fibers begin to fatigue, we see a slight transference from the ATP-CP system to the Glycolytic system. So, you can remain in an anaerobic metabolic conditioning state even as the principle energy system begins to fail.

2. Aerobic-based – Aerobic energy production is more “central” in nature and provides overall work capacity and endurance for activities of varying speed, intensity, and duration. While arguably more critical to quality and span of life, it can be accomplished through means that are not traditionally “aerobic.”

Aerobic metabolic conditioning integrates cardiovascular parameters into the conditioning process. These include heart rate, cardiac output, blood flow distribution, arterial pressures, total peripheral resistance, left ventricular stroke volume and arterial & venous blood oxygen content.

3. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) – All energy expended for all activities other than eating, sleeping, and exercise or sports.

According to Levine “changes in NEAT accompany experimentally induced changes in energy balance and may be important in the physiology of weight change.” (2)  It can account for 270 to 480 calories per day, on average.

Energy. Metabolism. Energy metabolism. They’re all neighbors. Co-workers. You get the idea.

Why metabolic conditioning for athletes, anyway?

Yeah! Isn’t metabolic conditioning really for older, chubby people who are sick of looking like whales at the beach?

Yes and no. Yes, it helps with fat loss. No, it’s not just for the crowd trying to avoid the Porky Pig look.

What are the real benefits of metabolic conditioning for athletes?

Let’s take a look.

For a lot of coaches, metabolic conditioning is just a way to “kick the asses” of their athletes. Some athletes have even been conditioned to buy into this idea. I, for one, would greatly appreciate if those coaches would find work in another industry. Waste management, maybe.

Metabolic conditioning can be tough, and it probably should be, if it’s really going to be effective. Your metabolic conditioning program should challenge your athletes, but it should also make them better!

A quality metabolic conditioning program can provide the following benefits to athletes:

1. Serious calorie burning – While probably a bigger concern for the fat loss athlete than for competitive athletes, it’s an important consideration. While calorie burn during your training session is important, it’s really the boost in metabolic rate after the session that’s important.

Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) contributes to the “afterburn effect.” This occurs because the body is in an oxygen debt after intense exercise and is in the process of repairing muscle tissue. Add to this the lactate factor and EPOC becomes a pretty big deal. Metcon can enhance EPOC and keep the metabolism jacked.

Improvements in lean mass for athletes come with several other benefits. When an athlete’s metabolism is more efficient, he/she uses nutrients more efficiently. Protein and nitrogen uptake are improved and the rate of calorie expenditure per unit of work performed is positively affected.

Athletes can also become more “metabolically flexible.” (3) This means their bodies become able to perform at high levels using either carbs or fats for fuel. Conversion of fats to usable fuel gets more efficient and energy levels don’t vary as much.

2. Improvement to cardiovascular capacity – While steady state, low intensity exercise like jogging or a bike ride can have real impact on cardiovascular function and aerobic capacity, metabolic conditioning has been shown to improve VO2 max better than traditional aerobic exercise.

Perhaps more important, recovery times from high-intensity activities improve. That means when your athlete goes all out, they recover the ability to go all out again in a shorter time.

3. Improvements in hormonal profile – Metabolic conditioning has been shown to improve the profile of hormones that are involved in lipolysis, or fat burning. Metcon seems to intensify the positive hormonal profile results from just strength training. Recent research has shown an improvement in free testosterone in men who perform HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. (4)

4. Improvements in lean mass – Metabolic conditioning can help spur dramatic improvements in lean mass. While you’re unlikely to see large-scale increases in total mass or muscle size, metabolic conditioning contributes to reductions in body fat.

One benefit of the lean mass changes resulting from proper application of metabolic conditioning is one that many athletes understand, but few really talk about. After all, it’s become a little bit politically incorrect. I’m talking, of course, about the intimidation factor.

Few things are more intimidating to a less-conditioned athlete than the raw, hungry look of a lean, muscled athlete. Even athletes who aren’t “huge” look far more intense and scary when their muscles are showing. Any football player who has lined up across from someone whose muscles are on full display can attest to that…

5. Sport – or context-specific skill development – Especially with metabolic conditioning targeting the ATP-CP system, sport- and context-specific skills are often ideal for inclusion in programming. Because the work time is relatively short and the rest time fairly long, athletes can focus on perfecting skills like jumping, landing mechanics and direction change without losing any of the other benefits of metabolic conditioning.

If you have athletes preparing for combines, showcases or other recruiting-related or similar events, using metabolic conditioning to improve those skills is ideal. Drills like the Pro Shuttle, 40/60 yard dash starts, 10 yard splits, L Drills and others can be connected with other activities to increase metabolic conditioning while perfecting important skills.

You can even tie in sports skills like hitting a ball, ball handling skills, shooting or sprawling for wrestlers or shooting for soccer, lacrosse or hockey players with other conditioning activities to achieve the desired met con effect.

6. Improvements in brain chemistry – After accounting for stress and other life factors, we know that intense exercise like metabolic conditioning will improve the neurotransmitters in the brain, CNS and even the gut. Endorphins are released during and after intense exercise. Serotonin and dopamine levels are improved through exercise that pushes us near the point of physical exhaustion.

With regard to gut hormonal health, metabolic conditioning may be just what your athlete needs. Shorter duration, higher intensity exercise is believed by some alternative medicine doctors to “shock” serotonin receptor cells in the gut lining and improve the flow of gut serotonin. Long duration exercise, however, has been shown to damage gut linings and potentially lead to leaky gut syndrome. (5)

7. Improvements in cognitive function – There is so much research showing how exercise, particularly intense exercise, improves the cognitive function of the human brain that it should be a “no-brainer” by now. Sorry, bad joke. Neural pathways involved in working memory, recall, analysis and problem-solving all benefit from exercise. Some of the influence is hormonal, while some is structural and energy-related.

Another important way cognitive improvement happens is via an increase in Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF. BDNF is a brain protein which acts on specific neurons to improve long-term memory. It also has positive effects on the hippocampus, cortex and forebrain. All these areas are crucial to learning, memory and higher thinking. BDNF also has the ability to stimulate neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells from stem cells.

Moderate to intense exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on levels of BDNF in the brain and blood. This indicates a neuroprotective function for metabolic conditioning. (6, 7)

Are you with me that metabolic conditioning isn’t just for overweight, swimsuit model wanna-bes yet? You should be, or at least open to the idea.

Metabolic Conditioning workouts should be designed with the needs of the user in mind. The activities in which the exerciser will engage outside the gym should influence what is included in the training program. In the next part of this series, I’m going to show you how I use metabolic conditioning in my athlete’s programs.

We’ll review some general guidelines for designing these modules. I’ll also give you some sport-specific examples of skill-building through metabolic conditioning and a few ready-to-use programs for you to swipe and try.

Bio: Coach Phil Hueston is not just another pretty trainer. With over 18 years of in-the-trenches experience with athletes ages 6 to 60, he brings a unique skill-set to the improvement of his athletes. The author of the Amazon best-seller “Alchemy; Where the Art and Science Collide in Youth Fitness,” his client list includes professional athletes, collegiate athletes as well as thousands of youth athletes. Phil has been the co-owner of All-Star Sports Academy in Toms River, NJ, one of the largest and most successful youth and family fitness centers in New Jersey since 2008. He was named “Coach of the Year” by the IYCA for 2012-2013.  A contributor to and coach to other coaches, Phil provides unique insights and ideas that can help other coaches accelerate their clients’ progress and performance. Phil is married to the woman responsible for his entry into the fitness profession, MaryJo. Between them they have 2 grown children, Nate and Andrew, and 99 problems.  Phil’s personal website is, and he can be contacted at


The IYCA High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist is the only certification created specifically for coaches training high school athletes.  The course includes several hours of video instruction and two textbooks with contributions from some of the top strength and conditioning coaches in America.  Click on the image below to learn more about how to become a certified high school strength & conditioning coach.


  1. Plisk, S.S. (1991). Anaerobic metabolic conditioning: A brief review of theory, strategy,
    and practical application. Journal of Applied Sport Science Research, 5(1), 22-34
  2. Levine, J.A. (2004). Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. Nutrition Reviews, 62(7), S82-S97.
  3. Brooks, GA, and Mercier, J. Balance of carbohydrate and lipid utilization during exercise: The “crossover” concept. Journal of Applied Physiology 76(6): 2253-2261, 1994.
  4. Herbert, P., HIIT produces increases in muscle power and free testosterone in male masters athletes. Endocrine Connections, Vol 6, Iss 7, Pp 430-436 (2017)
  5. R. J. S. Costa, R. M. J. Snipe, C. M. Kitic, P. R. Gibson. Systematic review: exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome-implications for health and intestinal disease. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2017
  6. Szuhany KL, Bugatti M, Otto MW (January 2015). “A meta-analytic review of the effects of exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor”. Journal of Psychiatric Research
  7. Phillips C, Baktir MA, Srivatsan M, Salehi A (2014). “Neuroprotective effects of physical activity on the brain: a closer look at trophic factor signaling”. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.

The post Metabolic Conditioning for Athletes, Part 2 – Phil Hueston appeared first on IYCA - The International Youth Conditioning Association.

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Performance Programming Principles: Installment 3 - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 14:15

It's been a while since I updated this series on program design, so I figured it'd be a good time to throw some new material at you on this front.

1. Ground-to-standing transitions are invaluable, but it's challenging to know where to put them in programming.

I'm a big fan of exercises like Turkish get-ups and kneeling overhead hold-to-stands, as they're awesome for "syncing up" the lower and upper body to teach force transfer through a stable core. Yesterday, I posted a video of one of my new favorites - half-kneeling offset kettlebell get-ups - and I got a question about how we'd incorporate this in a program.

The challenge is that these could be considered extended warm-up drills, core work, upper body work, and even lower body work (depending on what variation you're using) once the load gets heavy enough. A kettlebell windmill can even be viewed somewhat similarly.

With that said, I find myself programming these first thing in an upper body training session. My experience has been that they are a good "transition" from the medicine ball work into more conventional rows, presses, push-ups, etc. They also generally pair really well with most upper body pulling exercises, as they aren't super grip intensive (gravity helps to hold the KB in the hand).

Later in the offseason, when guys transition to three days per week strength training, we'll plug these in as part of a full-body session because...well...they're about as full-body as you can get.

2. Complex training won't ever be "perfect" when you're working on power development in the frontal and transverse planes.

We like to work in post-activation potentiation in our offseason programs around December/January. I covered this in a lengthy article, The Stage System, at T-Nation in the past, but a quick synopsis of one benefit is that when you do heavy stuff before lighter stuff, your lighter stuff feels much faster. As a result, complex training - using a heavy strength(high load, lower velocity) exercise right before a movement that's lower force, higher velocity (e.g., jumps, throws) can be helpful for eliciting greater power output.

Here's where it gets a bit challenging when dealing with rotational sport athletes. We know that power is relatively plane specific. In other words, just using sagittal plane power exercises like broad and vertical jumps won't necessarily have great carryover to power in the frontal and transverse planes. Instead, we need to do more things like Heidens (skaters) and rotational medicine ball work. Unfortunately, though, it's really hard to load people up on the first exercise in the frontal and transverse planes; you can only go so heavy with a lateral lunge.

With that in mind, we'll often use a more traditional heavy sagittal plane exercise - deadlift, squat, or axial-loaded single leg exercise - for lower reps, but then do the power exercise in the frontal/transverse plane. An example might be:

A1. Safety Squat Bar Squats: 4x3, 30s rest
A2. Heidens: 4x4/side, 120s rest

3. We use more direct forearm work with our pitchers than we have in the past.

For a long time, we really didn't use any direct forearm work with our baseball players. My feeling had always been that they got plenty of grip work in their regular strength training. Two things changed my mind on this.

First, I saw what a game-changer is it to strengthen throwers closer to end-range external rotation in the 90/90 position. In other words, rather than just expecting arm care work with the elbow at the sides to magically carry over to the positions where guys threw, we actually trained guys at those positions. Novel concept, huh?

Second, thanks to the higher quality slow-motion video we have at our fingertips these days, we can better appreciate that throwers' forearms get into considerably more supination and pronation throughout the throwing delivery than we were training in the weight room. While we were doing a lot to preserve those ranges-of-motion, we weren't doing anything to provide good strength throughout those ranges-of-motion.

With that in mind, we attack our direct forearm work in two particular ways: supination/pronation and ulnar deviation. Here are some Instagram posts that'll walk you through the why: 

        View this post on Instagram                  

The steel clubs are a great option for training pronation and supination both concentrically and eccentrically. It’s an important inclusion for building up some of the soft tissue structures that protect the throwing elbow. Thanks to #nationals prospect @datdude_ster for the great demo.

The Simplicity Project - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:55
By simplicity, I am referring to a minimalist approach to the programming of weight training by getting a maximum effect for the fewest number of exercises by utilizing a full body program performed three days a week. I want to challenge you all to give this a try for a period of no less than six weeks.
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Chad’s A.I. Coaching Log | Week 3 - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:19

Chad continues his training on the Juggernaut A.I. System, doing his heaviest deadlifting in 2 years.

The post Chad’s A.I. Coaching Log | Week 3 appeared first on Juggernaut Training Systems.

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Spinal fusions the world’s most expensive & over-utilized surgery. - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:40

Spinal fusions the world’s most expensive & over-utilized surgery. There are only a few surgeons, patients & instances where I trust it’s appropriate

The post Spinal fusions the world’s most expensive & over-utilized surgery. appeared first on First Principles of Movement.

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Lumbar spine fusion a very over-rated procedure. - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:39

Lumbar spine fusion a very over-rated procedure. We’ve had evidence for this for a long time.

The post Lumbar spine fusion a very over-rated procedure. appeared first on First Principles of Movement.

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