Blog

07 Mar How To Beat Low Back Pain (A Bulletproof Plan To Speed Recovery And Forge A Strong Back)

I've got quite a backstory. Literally. I'll give you the abbreviated "cliff notes version" if you haven't heard me discuss this before. I had a major low back injury many years ago in my training career (*severe L4-5 disc herniation with persistent radiculopathy that required surgery. Indeed, it did require surgery after conservative measures failed and symptoms worsened quickly and progressively). Fast forward to today. My back is doing extremely well, although it will never be 100%. In my opinion, you are never 100% anytime you have had a major injury. What was one of the worst experiences of my life ended up completely reshaping my training and my entire life in many ways that go way beyond the scope of this article. My injury was one of the key factors that led to me becoming a physical therapist (although I have since retired my role as a active clinician). Today, I'm strength coach and movement teacher that integrates my education and background as a PT.
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28 Feb The Essential Guide To Warming-Up (How To Warm-Up)

How important is the the warm-up? How much time should be spent on the warm-up? What should you be spending your time on before a strength training session? I'll make a case to answer these questions for you in this article. Let me be the first to tell you, I'm not a huge fan of warming-up before training. If it were up to me, I'd skip the warm-up and just train. But, that really doesn't make sense. A well designed warm-up can increase muscle temperature, core temperature, and increase blood flow. Have you ever heard someone say they were "trying to get the blood flowing" before a training session? Well, there seems to be truth to that statement. But it goes deeper than that and there are other important reasons to warm-up.
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14 Feb 5 Specific Things You Can Do On Active Recovery Days

No doubt, you train hard. Hard training means you need to recover.

The question came up recently in a group discussion - "What do you do on active recovery days?"

It's an interesting question. I felt like I wanted to share it here and expand a little more.

Active recovery days are for recovering, they're not training days. As a highly regarded strength coach stated, "You don't get stronger by lifting weights. You get strong by recovering from lifting weights." The point is that recovery is very important for all of us, my fellow strength enthusiast.

First, we have to define what it is we're talking about.

What exactly are active recovery days anyway?

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07 Feb Struggling With The Kettlebell Snatch Test? Try This

(*If you're struggling with kettlebell snatch test or simply want to make it a better experience, this article offers 2 great solutions.) One thing is certain. High rep kettlebell snatches will get you in great shape and forge a leaner, stronger, and more conditioned athletic body. The truth is, the kettlebell snatch test is not my favorite thing. I'd much rather do heavy deadlifts or clean and jerk a loaded barbell. With that said, building strength-endurance is a very important quality because it allows you to "do more" and perform better over a longer period of time. While there are many qualities of strength, strength-endurance is the ability to produce force over time, it's the ability to continue to produce force over a given time period. That is essentially what the snatch test is - sustained force over a given time. Snatching a *24 kg kettlebell (see below) in 5 minutes or less can be very grueling for most people, but it's outstanding for building a high level of conditioning, improving strength-endurance, developing explosive hip power and dynamically enhancing shoulder and upper body strength. It's a wicked exercise and explosive movement.
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31 Jan The 5 Best Barbell Exercises On The Planet

Why would I write an article that would seem to be such common sense? I've learned that common sense is not always common practice. The reason I'm writing this article is because I recently came across a similar article on this topic. Have to say, I was shocked at what I saw what was listed as the “best barbell” exercises. It was one of the those articles that I was just shaking my head in disbelief thinking - “Really? Does the author seriously believe these are the best barbell exercises??” It occurred to me that maybe there is a misunderstanding about what the most valuable barbell exercises are. That’s when I decided to write this.
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24 Jan 3 Unbreakable Rules For A Resilient Turkish Get-Up

When I think of a Turkish get-up, I think of the word, resilient. It's an amazing movement and extremely valuable exercise for any athlete or fitness enthusiast. Gray Cook (Author, Physical Therapist, and creator of Functional Movement Systems) stated at one time that if he was limited to only one exercise, it would be the Turkish-get-up. If you have at least a basic understanding of how to perform a Turkish get-up, then these are the essential rules that are important when performing this exercise. If you think about the 3 things I share with you here and apply them, your get-up will be stronger, safer, and more efficient. These 3 rules will allow you to get more out of your get-up - that I guarantee.
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16 Jan Kettlebell Training And Olympic Weightlifting – An Analysis Of Hip Power

Here's a training topic that no one else talks about.

In this article, you'll learn about the single biggest difference between kettlebell training and Olympic weightlifting. While there are many differences between these 2 explosive training methods, there is one thing that makes each of these strength skills so unique.

Make no mistake, these 2 training methods are very different from each other, yet also complementary.

There’s one thing that is central to both and no one seems to talk about this.

When I started to learn the Olympic lifts (the snatch and clean and jerk) - after establishing a strong foundation with hardstyle kettlebell training - I thought that my kettlebell skills would somewhat easily transfer to the barbell.

I thought that lots of technically sound swings, snatches, cleans, and other kettlebell exercises would set a good baseline that would transfer to the Olympic lifting.

I was wrong.

There's a key difference between kettlebells and Olympic weightlifting that requires new motor learning and skill development to excel in either.

It comes down to hip power.

Yes, there are many technical differences between training with a kettlebell and a barbell, but the biggest difference comes down to one important distinction.

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