There's no doubt that one the biggest training mistakes when I started out was that I wasn't training to improve my performance. I was training for other reasons. Honestly, I never understood the importance of technique or pursuing the path to mastery.
Today, it's a completely different story and I want to share with you a lesson I wish I knew years ago.
The greatest thing about chasing excellence is that you can perpetually improve yourself, your skills, your results, and your life in so many ways.
In today's world, the truth is that people mostly live without developing themselves physically anywhere near their full potential.
I vividly remember my first "official" kettlebell snatch test with Pavel (and the previous RKC) back in 2010.
Many times before I had performed a snatch test, but not when it counted - as it did at the certification.
I'll be honest, I had some jitters before stepping up to snatch that bell.
No doubt, there's pressure when you're being timed (and judged) to snatch 100 reps with a 24 kilo kettlebell in 5 minutes.
The backstory was that I had been well prepared and had nailed the snatch test countless times prior to doing it at the RKC.
No doubt, I was ready to go.
Yet, why was I anxious about it? Why do so many others seem to get "freaked out” when it comes time for the vaunted snatch test?
Well, there’s a stigma to it - even though it’s only a very small part of the kettlebell certification experience.
Is it just me or does the the rounded back deadlift seem to be getting a lot attention these days? Does this technique have any unique advantages or is this a disaster waiting to happen?
In this article I'll share my perspective on the rounded back deadlift and I think there are 2 scenarios here (I'll discuss them in a minute) with the technique, so make sure to read this through if you're infestered in the health of your back.
Spine biomechanics is something I'm extremely passionate since I had such a crushing injury to my low back many years ago. While my back is in wonderful health today, it's a topic and an area of training that I will always have extreme commit to because of my unique situation and all that I had to go through to get back to the level I train at today.
How do you use kettlebells? Specifically, what's your approach when using the tool?
I don't think I've ever really talked about how I specifically use kettlebells in my training (at least not in a while), so here's what I do. Kettlebells are a big part of how I train and always will be. Of course, it all depends on the specific goal I’m training for. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.
We all know that there are many great tools available for training, but I like to keep things simple. And kettlebells are definitely one of the most simple and effective tools we have available. They're no fad or gimmick and they can provide a large number of benefits in terms of general strength, specific performance goals, conditioning, fat loss, lean muscle building, movement, mobility, flexibility and more.
Let me share with you my training approach and how I specifically use kettlebells.
It basically comes down to these 6 areas:
That's a word that comes to mind when I think of the 'Tom Platz' High Rep Back Squat Routine.
I'm not sure if legendary bodybuilder Tom Platz invented it or not, but he sure made it more relevant.
While there are many variations of the high-rep back squat (HRBS), the bottom line is the program involves squatting for high volume with moderate to preferably heavy loads.
I don't usually write articles that are "rah-rah" or inspirational. While I definitely want to inspire you, that's typically not my bag to write the "rah-rah" type stuff. My thing is more about teaching ideas, concepts, or methods that you can walk away with and apply.
Well, this article is a little different.
With the release of my recent book The Edge of Strength I outlined my entire approach to training and optimizing human potential through decades of experiences. I've made mistakes, but I've also learned a lot and continue to learn every day.
It was the legendary George Hackenschmidt who simply stated that “a man cannot derive real enjoyment from life unless he possesses a powerful and healthy physical constitution." I believe this to be true and this is why I wrote my book.
Here's my 4th annual post summarizing the top 5 fitness books of the year.
If you're a regular reader, you know how much value I place on reading great books to improve the quality of your life - in any subject, not just fitness.
There were some great books this year, without a doubt.
While I read a lot of books each year, I can't read everything, so I'm sure there were some other outstanding books that are probably deserving to be mentioned here, as well.
The list criteria has evolved a bit through the years, so here's what I based things on this year:
Is the overhead press bad for the shoulders? That's a common question and often a very debated one.
Should you avoid this exercise?
And, what are the benefits versus the risk?
I’ll give you my perspective, as both a strength athlete and former PT (physical therapist). I'll tell you why I love this exercise, but it may not be right for you.
I’ll talk about pressing in the context of using a barbell, which can be viewed as the most demanding on the shoulders.