2017 Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic
Last week, I attended the 2017 Juniata College Strength and Conditioning Clinic. Of all the years I’ve attended, and I’ve been to I think ALL but 2 since it first took place in 2000, this was one of the best, in my opinion!
Today, I went through y notes and compiled a list of all my biggest take-aways from the clinic, and shot a video covering them all.
2017 Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic
2017 Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topics I cover, and of course let me know if you have any questions.
I hope you enjoy it.
All the best in your training,
Coaches: This Program Will Help You
Reduce ACL Tears and Other Knee Injuries: Deceleration Training
Tags: athletic training, juniata strength clinic, strength and conditionin, strength clinic, strength training
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, baseball strength and conditioning, basketball strength and conditioning, forearm injury prevention recovery healing, how to improve fitness and conditioning, injury prevention, injury rehab recover from injury, muscle building nutrition build muscle mass, muscle-building-workouts, prevent ACL tear tears knee injury injuries, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training to prevent injury, strength training workouts, strongman training for athletes | No Comments »
I have a few sayings I’m known for.
One of them is, “It’s not about how much you lift, It’s about how much you LOVE Lifting.”
What that means is, lifting is about being passionate about something and doing it with fire.
Lifting is about setting goals to always be improving.
Lifting is about feeling good, and feeling good about yourself.
So, a couple months ago, or so, when I really took a look at some of my training, I came to realize I wasn’t following my own advice.
The whole idea about that saying is that you should be pushing yourself because you love lifting.
It has nothing to do with pushing yourself so hard that you reach your goals at the expense of everything and everyone else.
But, there I was, trying to reach some goals related to the Barbell Bench Press, and instead of getting closer, I was coming further and further away each session because the exercise was tearing my shoulders up, and leaving me in pain.
It’s now been the better part of this year, that I have quit Benching with the Bar, and moved exclusively to Dumbbell Bench Press. And although my numbers were completely embarrassing at first, I now feel like I’m living more in tune with my beliefs.
And, after a couple months, or however long it’s been, I’m starting to see some good increases, feeling better in the shoulders, and I think even seeing a bit of growth.
I LOVE LIFTING, but I think I was coming severely close to having the majority of my training SHUT DOWN due to the pain I was feeling in my shoulders.
I encourage you to do the same as well – by all means train hard – don’t just go through the motions in the gym.
But, if there’s a movement that is tearing you up inside, don’t feel the need to push through pain and suffer because of it.
Remember…It ain’t about how much you lift. It’s about how much you LOVE lifting.
All the best in your training.
P.S. Along these lines, I want to help you out as much as I can, to get you to your goals. And that means helping you learn to do your goal lifts properly and as safely as possible.
Check Out the the Special Offer I’ve Got Going On This Week:
Tags: avoiding injuries, barbell bench press, bench press, lifting for life, loving lifting, smart strength training, smart training, strength training
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, how to build muscle, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, strength training powerlifting, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training to prevent injury, strength training workouts, strongman, strongman competition training, strongman training for athletes, strongman training log stone tire farmer, your daily inspiration | No Comments »
I want to take a minute to recognize somebody, named Mike Hagios.
I’ve known Mike for over a year now, and I want to give this guy a massive hand.
When I first met him, he was well over 300lbs and he had just recently decided to make changes in his life, his diet, and had just begun lifting seriously.
He just sent me a picture wearing the Diesel 3-Leaf Clover Shirt, and I was truly blown away.
It’s been a while since I’d seen him, and when I saw how trim he was looking, I was so proud of him for all of his dedication and hard work.
This dude not only hits the weights, but he routinely swims and has even started practicing jiu jitsu. Plus, he even has a group of people he trains with, and helps them with their training and weight loss goals, too.
On top of how well he’s doing with his diet and training, this fella ALWAYS has a smile on his face, and I’ve never heard him say a single bad word about anybody.
I feel honored that Mike ordered not 1, but 2 of the Diesel 3-Leaf Clover Shirts.
In fact, I’d say that Mike personifies EXACTLY what this shirt is all about.
You see, Mike doesn’t just “wish for weight loss.” He isn’t seeing his results because he’s “lucky.”
Mike goes after it and makes it happen.
Mike doesn’t need luck to reach his goals, because he puts in the work.
The common belief is a 4-leaf clover is good luck, because it’s rare.
Well, I say people like Mike are rare. Most people want everything handed to them, and they’re unwilling to lay it on the line for their goals.
The back of this shirt says “Who Needs Luck?”
Because, who needs to depend on luck, when your MINDSET, your MEALS, and your TRAINING are all where they need to be?
I know there’s a TON of you out there who approach training, eating and life in this manner, and you can show it with this awesome shirt.
Order yours TODAY and show people that with all you do, all your preparation, your discipline and desire, you don’t need luck to reach your goals!
No Luck Needed
Red Print with Black Arm Trim:
No Luck Needed
Orange Print with Orange Arm Trim:
Keep up the good work, Mike! Just a little ways to go until you reach your goal, brother – I know you can do it!
All the best in your training, Diesels!
Tags: diesel clover shirt, diesel shirts, no luck needed, no luck needed shirt
Posted in Diesel Shirts, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape, your daily inspiration | No Comments »
It’s been since January of 2004 since I set a regular Deadlift PR, when I lifted 545-lbs. 11+ years.
I was 26. I’m almost 37 now, so it’s been a lengthy drought, you might say…
2004 is when I started experiencing routine back injuries that would sideline me for days or even a week at a time.
Unfortunately, my young, idiotic brain, just wanted to keep pushing harder and harder, and that meant the pain I’d experience would get worse and worse.
I’d hobble around for a week after my Strongman contests.
I’d literally limp through the hallway at my old job, after hard weekend workouts involving Deadlifts and Squats.
Finally, in 2008, I think, I had enough.
Since Squats and Deadlifts were so bad for me, I decided I wouldn’t do them anymore.
From 2008 until 2012, I rarely did heavy Deadlifts or Squats.
Of course, I continued to do Axle Deadlifts, because it’s a staple in Grip Sport competition, and I’d dabble every now and again with Squats and Deads, but never got back into them seriously until June of 2013, when I decided I was finally ready health-wise to get back under the bar and pull some weight off the floor.
For Squats, I literally started with the bar, hitting sets of 10. That’s how much I lacked confidence and stability.
For Deadlifts, I decided I’d guard my back by only doing Double Overhand grip (I was afraid of tearing a biceps anyway).
The Coan Philippi Deadlift Program
This Summer, I decided I was ready to finally train the Deadlift with some conviction, and I started a run through the Coan Philippi Deadlift Program.
I gotta say, it was AWESOME to push myself on Deadlifts! It was the first time I’d EVER followed a Deadlift Program in my life.
When you start the Coan Philippi program, it asks you for your starting max and your goal max at the end of 10 weeks, and then it computes everything for you.
I stayed a bit conservative and put in a 500-lb Max to begin with and a 550-lb Max for the end. My partner, Luke Raymond, started out with the same numbers, and it worked out really easy training with him, because we didn’t have to change the weights around at all.
The weights at the beginning of the program were super light, so Luke and I started on week 3 or 4. Everything went smooth until like Week 7. That’s when the volume caught up with me.
I struggled through to Week 9, when I hit 535-lbs, but my body just wouldn’t cooperate with me for Week 10, and I decided against going for a new PR on 3 separate Saturdays, until this past week.
The conditions still weren’t optimal, as I was up at 2AM to take my parents to the airport, and I trained at 5:30AM with my buddy, Brad Martin, but my back felt fully recovered after the 3-week layoff from heavy work, so I went ahead with the Week 10 plan.
And, I’m happy to say I was successful in my 550-lb lift, with potential for probably a few pounds more, although I didn’t push it.
Here’s the video:
Jedd Johnson All-Time PR Deadlift – 550lbs
What an awesome sensation, to FINALLY feel somewhat strong again.
Thankfully, after staying patient, working back slowly, and using my brain instead of my ego, I have been able to break one of my longest standing PR’s.
I must also say, I LOVE the Coan Philippi Program. It made me feel like a monster, and sometime this Fall, I plan on running through it again, once Luke’s schedule evens back out and we get train it together again.
Look for more updates, especially on my YouTube Channel, once I start the program up again.
All the best in your training.
Tags: deadlift, deadlift training, deadlift workout, how to build your deadlift, how to increase your deadlift
Posted in how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve strength, strength training powerlifting, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training workouts, Uncategorized | No Comments »
I had the amazing opportunity to put together an article for sponsor, Onnit’s magazine, Onnit Academy.
It’s called “The 7 Deadly Sins of Strength Training.”
Here’s a picture of the magazine:
Here’s what you’ll learn from the article…
No matter what your main objective in your training is, it takes a LOT more than just getting your workouts in, to be successful.
There’s other stuff you’ve gotta do to support your training and recovery in order to ensure you see the results you want.
As my sponsors, Onnit has sent me a special link so that my readers can get a copy of this issue, and all you need to do is pay the shipping charges.
This is a complete STEAL of a price, too.
This is easily the highest quality fitness magazine I’ve ever seen. The cover and pages actually feel more like catalog quality than cheapo magazine stock.
Plus, the information is top notch. This issue alone features contributions from:
- Mark DeGrasse, me, Lance Brazil, Joe Defranco, Jim “Smitty” Smith, Travis Stoetzel, Travis Janeway, Trey Hardee, Doug Fioranelli, Evan Brand, Luke Hocevar, Marcus Martinez, Joe Daniels Ryan Mortensen, Ken Blackburn, and Matt Wichlinski
Plus, I flipped through the thing and found just ONE ADVERTISEMENT in the whole issue.
So you’re not staring and endless supplement ads as you go through it like most magazines that are out there.
Instead, you’re getting solid information.
So, get yourself a copy for as cheap as you possibly can, by just paying shipping:
I hope you pick it up and let me know what you think of the article!
Thanks and all the best in your training.
Learn the Basics of Stone Lifting Today:
Stone Lifting Fundamentals
Tags: my mad methods, onnit academy, onnit strength and performance, strength training
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, bodyweight training, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve strength, mace swinging, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training workouts | No Comments »
First off, a BIG THANKS to everyone who took action last week during the huge Black Friday Sale I ran.
If you don’t know what I am referring to, then you need to put your best email address in the box below, because you are missing exclusive content that I send out ONLY to my email subscribers.
Today, I have something else that’s very cool for you.
I was recently interviewed by Ray Toulany on the Super Strength Show => http://superstrengthshow.com/jeddjohnson
In my opinion, this show was one of the most professional I have ever been a part of.
I have gotten to know Ray very well over the last year, and it was my pleasure to be on the show.
You’re gonna see that the shows that Ray conducts are quite different from the majority of them that are out there.
They don’t just cover training information, but they talk about mindset, they talk about overcoming challenges, and they talk about what it truly takes to be successful.
I think you’re gonna really like the show,so PLEASE take the time to LIKE and RATE the interview on iTunes.
Here’s to spot to listen to the show on Ray’s site: Super Strength Show – Ray interview Jedd
Or you can look it up on iTunes, if that is what you’re used to doing.
Me, I don’t even know how iTines works, and I used to actually do podcasts from time to time…
Have a great day and all the best in your training.
Tags: grip training, interview, mises are just warm-ups, strength training
Posted in grip strength, grip task force, hand strength, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, interviews | No Comments »
#Legtember is under way brother
After taking a much needed day off from training on Sept. 1st to enjoy a relaxing Labor Day holiday with my family, I am back at it brother.
In September, I will hit some form of intense leg work every single day. To make up for the day I missed, I will also do an extra workout on a Friday, the day I train before sun-up.
If your Legs are lagging behind, or if you desperately need to bring up your Squat or Deadlift, then join me for #Legtember.
Here are the details:
Any questions, let me know.
All the best in your training.
My KEY to Pain Free Barbell Curls: Globe Gripz
Tags: bigger legs, bring up squat, how to build hamstrings, how to build leg muscle, how to build legs, how to build quads, improve deadlift, improve squat, increase squat
Posted in how to build muscle, how to develop power, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning | No Comments »
Build Big Arms and Strong Wrists
Superstar Billy Graham
One of my overall goals is to build my arms up to 20″ cold (no pump).
The way I see it, if you are going to get big, you might as well build strength to go along with it.
And if you are going to be strong, then by all means get as big as you can.
With these things in mind, I give you Scale Weight Curls.
A Scale Weight is a block-shaped weight that is used in industrial settings where scales are used.
These weights are calibrated to specific measurements and have handles so that they can be placed on the scale quickly and easily in order to test that a scale is reading accurately.
How to Perform Scale Weight Curls
Scale Weight Curls can be done like any other curl. They can be done free-standing or braced, and can be done in alternating style or both at the same time.
For me, performing them standing has gotten too easy, so I have been doing them in more of a Preacher Curl style, off my Glute Ham Machine. This allows me to keep the movement more concentrated (although cheating is not completely eliminated).
Also, what I look for is to try to keep my wrist in a neutral position throughout the full range of motion. This strengthens the wrist a bit more.
I can usually get up to 3 extra reps per set if I let my wrist buckle, so once I feel that I am losing my neutral position and breaking into ulnar deviation, I generally just stop the set.
Here is a video showing some recent Scale Weight Curls.
Scale Weight Curls
Scale Weights are somewhat hard to come by, because they are a specialized tool, sort of like anvils, and they can be cheap, but I have been lucky enough to score a couple over the years.
Believe me, the collection of grip tools I have amassed has taken me literally years to develop, tons of time to research, and of course, big expenses in order to build.
If you can’t find Scale Weights, another alternative is to try and curl your Kettlebells. Since the kettlebell handle sits out away from the rest of the bell, they will actually be much tougher to curl, and the weights will drop, but you will still get the Leverage Curl effect.
Still, I like the Scale Weight Curl a little better than Kettlebell Curls, just because I can use a bit more weight to challenge the biceps more, while also challenging my wrists.
To take it even further, you can attempt to curl your Scale Weight or Kettlebll in a supinated position. When you do this, you will have to CRUSH DOWN on the handle BIG TIME, or else you won’t be very successful.
I hope you enjoy this variation of Curls.
For more sinister ideas on how to build crazy arm strength, check out Call to Arms.
All the best in your training,
Tags: big arms, build bigger arms, get stronger wrists, get the arms bigger, strengthen wrists, strong arms, strong wrists
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, how to buid wrist strength, how to build bigger arms, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, how to improve strength, Uncategorized | No Comments »
I recently wrote about Slaughter Sets here: Slaughter Sets.
Here is the latest installment in the Slaughter Set Legacy. Try this out if you dare.
Set up your own Slaughter Sets, by following the guidelines here => Diesel Crew Slaughter Sets
All the best in your training,
Tags: bigger arms, bigger shoulders, build biceps, get bigger delts, slaughter sets
Posted in accelerated muscular development, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape, muscle-building-workouts, strength training muscle building workouts | No Comments »
Slaughter Sets – SICKEST PUMP EVER
This article will show you how you can pack a ton of training into a short time, resulting in an amazing pump to your muscles, better muscle gains, and more fun while you train. You will burn more calories in a short time and look forward to training even more because lifting becomes competitive. Enjoy!
I had seen Khali Muscle introduce these ultra-volume workouts where he was doing something like 500 reps, and I wanted to try them THAT DAY.
But I thought, how can you make these work if you have a partner? One dude is going to be standing around for a long time, and that sucks!
I thought about it for a bit, and I figured it out.
We gave the idea a try and it worked awesome. We started calling them Slaughter Sets.
Here is how to set up a Slaughter set with more than one person training, so both or all people get a killer workout WITHOUT having to stand around waiting while the other guy trains his ass off.
How to Set Up Slaughter Sets
Slaughter Sets are comprised of the same number of exercises as the number of people lifting. So, if there are two people, there are two exercises. If there are three people, three drills, etc. We have done these with up to 5 people before and they work great.
The Dictator: Regardless of how many lifters and exercises you have, one of them is called the Dictator. This is because that lifter dictates the speed of the set, because he has to hit 100 reps. Once he hits 100 reps (or whatever desired number you select), you take a short break and switch positions.
An example of a Slaughter Set combination for two people is Push-ups and Barbell Curls. One lifter starts out on Push-ups and goes until he hits 100 reps. He can group the repetitions however he wants to and take as many rest-pauses as he needs.
While he is doing this, the other lifter is performing as many reps as possible in Barbell Curls. He can rest-pause as often as he wants, too.
This can become a competition between the two lifters.
You can time how long it takes each person to finish the repetitions and see who can do it faster. You can also keep track of the number of repetitions each dude gets in the non-Dictator lifts, to see who can get more reps there too.
What you end up with is between 5 and 10 minutes of super-high volume training, unbelievable pumps, and a very competitive atmosphere in the weight room that will bring out the best of you and your partners.
Here are a couple of examples of Slaughter Sets we have done recently:
Slaughter Set 1: Triceps and 2HP
Dictator: Banded Tricep Push-downs
Also Performed: Two Hands Pinch Lifts
Slaughter Set 2: Shoulders and Abdominals
Dictator: Banded Front Raise
Also Performed: Ab Wheel Knee Roll-outs, Band Pull-Aparts
These are just a couple of awesome Slaughter Sets we have done recently that we actually caught on tape, but we’ve done a few more. We even did one combo when we have 5 dudes here.
When it is as cold as it is outside, and you don’t want to go for a jog, or pull the sled out in the snow, this is a great way to burn a ton of calories in a really short time, while also getting the benefit of the mean pump.
In short, they will change your life.
All the best in your training,
Baseball Season Will Be Here Soon – Is Your Grip Ready to Go?
If not, you better get Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball
Tags: dictator sets, get a mean pump, muscle building, put on muscle, slaughter sets
Posted in how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape, muscle-building-workouts, strength training muscle building workouts | No Comments »
How to Prepare for Training in Cold Environments
A few weeks back, I put up a post about the Possible Benefits of Training in the Cold.
Shortly after that, there was a request on my friend, Elliott Hulse’s YouTube Channel about how to get better workouts when training in the cold.
Now, Elliott is from Florida and camps out in the Palm Trees with crocodiles, so cold weather training isn’t something that he has to worry about too much.
So I wrote him a quick note and let him know I’d be glad to help him out. So I put together a couple of videos for his channel.
Part 1 – What to Wear for Cold Weather Strength Training
Part 2 – How to Warm-up and Stay Warm for Cold Weather Strength Training
If you have any other tips, please leave a comment below. I don’t want anybody’s workout suffering because of these frigid temperatures.
More Resources on Cold Weather Training / Warming Up Better
Article: Benefits of Cold Weather Training
Killer Conditioning Combo for Cold Weather Training
MAKE it a GREAT Day!
Tags: cold weather strength training, how to dress to train in the cold, how to train for the cold, how to train in the cold
Posted in how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape, strength training to improve athletic performance, training in the cold | 8 Comments »
Let Competition Bring the Best Out of You
There is this dude over in Finland that I have been watching on-line since at least 2009, and maybe since 2008. I know that makes me sound like a crazy stalker type, but I don’t care. This guy is the ONE GUY who I try to watch all of his videos, because he is ALWAYS doing something that is a world class grip feat. It’s Juha Harju, the King Kong of Grip.
At the end of 2013, Juha started something called the Grip Monsters Challenge and it involved several different lifts. Each challenge lift had a rankings list. And what was awesome was it was not just Grip Feats, but other stuff as well, such as a Military Bench Press and a Strict Curl.
I LOVE COMPETITION, so as soon as I found out about them, I started submitting videos. While I also love winning, I didn’t win any of them, I just kept on hitting the lifts trying to push my numbers up.
In a way, this was no different from how I have always trained from the beginning. I have always thrived on training in a group and pushing one another, trying to out-lift one another, and even hitting more reps than one another.
In my opinion, competition is one of the best ways for you to break through plateaus and keep them from happening in the first place.
When you know you are going to be tested by someone else, it makes you work a little bit harder, get out of your comfort zone, and in the end you are almost always stronger, and better, because of it.
Do I always win? Hell no.
Do I get better because of the competition? Hell yeah.
Don’t be afraid to compete. The beauty of the Grip Monsters Challenge is you don’t have to go anywhere but the gym. You don’t have to get up on a stage or platform, and you don’t need to do a lift in front of anyone, aside from the people at the gym.
So, here are the videos of my best efforts in the first set of challenge lifts for the Grip Monsters Challenge:
Top 7 Standings:
1. Juha Harju 20 reps
2. Stephen Ruby 19reps
3. Gabriele Ferdinandi 18 reps
4. Alexander Kirillov 17reps
4. Egor Golubev 17reps
5. Matti Heiskanen 16reps
6. David Horne 15 reps
7. Jedd Johnson 12 reps
Military Bench Press
I was really surprised more people did not try this one, since the Bench Press seems to be the most popular lift in the world. It does get much harder with the feet up in the air though. Don’t let anyone tell you picking your feet up doesn’t make the chest and triceps work harder, that is for sure.
1. Allan “Bench Monster” Jokinen 36 reps
2. Viktor Hlestov 25
3. Wayne Mealy jr. 24
4. Vano Sukhashvili 22
5. Matti Heiskanen 18
6. David Horne 17
7. Juha Harju 16
8. Jedd Johnson 14
8. Petri Partanen 14
9. Luke Raymond 13
10. Tom Scibelli 7
11. Travis Shaffer 6
IronMind #2.5 for Reps (20-mm Block)
I was shocked I came in 3rd here. To be perfectly honest, the #2.5 I used only rated 123-lbs, so it is lighter, but I also think I was just plain on when I got my 27 reps. I haven’t gotten past 20 in my other attempts since that day.
Top 9 Standings:
1. Juha Harju 31reps
2. Vano Sukhashvili 30 reps
3. Jedd Johnson 27 reps
4. Joshua Odell 17 reps
5. Serg Sankov 13 reps
6. Jon Vance 12 reps
6. David Wigren 12 toistoa.
7. Thomas Scibelli 10 toistoa
8. Juha Piironen 6 toistoa
8. J.Henze 6 toistoa
9. Luke Raymond 4 toistoa
2x15kg/2x35lb or 3x10kg/3x25lb Plate Pinch Hold for Time
This is the one that pissed me off. I was at like 30 seconds for the longest time. Then Luke scraped all the hammertone paint off and I was finally able to get a decent grip. Holding onto these things for the better part of a minute blows my mind. Awesome job to many different guys who accomplished this.
Top 10 Standings:
1. Juha Harju 2x15kg 95sec
2. Kody Burns 2x15kg 93sec
3. Grip monsta p. 2x15kg 74sec
4. Matti Heiskanen 2x15kg 73sec
5. Matti Harju 2x15kg 70sec
6. Pinch Master J 2×15 69sec
7. Jedd Johnson 2x15kg 55sec
8. Riku Karu 2x15kg 44sec
8. Juha Piironen 2x15kg 44sec
9. Vano Sukhashvili 3x10kg 42sec
10. Pasi Mehtälä 2x15kg 33sec
The period for submitting videos for these lifts has now gone by. As you can see, I didn’t win any of these challenges, BUT, I improved a great deal over the course of a month or two, just by putting focus on the lifts. You can do the same thing too. You don’t have to take part in a challenge on-line to do it either. If you are stagnant in your regular lifts, then do some different ones and get some progress going again.
A couple other challenges were added part way through and are live until January 11th, the Double Overhand Thumbless Deadlift and the 50-lb Blob to 50-cm. My back has been very achey, so I have not deadlifted heavy, but I did give the Blob50 to 50cm a try and am currently in 1st place.
Double OverHand ThumbLess DeadLift
1. Juha Harju 230kg
2. Juha Piironen 200kg
3. Tatu Karhu 190kg
3. Mike Rinderle 190kg
4. J.Henze 183.5kg
4. John Wojciechowski 183.5kg
5. Juha Lehtimäki 170kg
6. David Miitti 161kg
7. Pyry Harju 45kg (13 years bw 37kg)
50-lb Blob to 50cm
I was pleasantly surprised to see this challenge listed.
1.Jedd Johnson 15 reps
2.Juha Harju 14 reps
3.Nathaniel Brous 6 reps
4.Juha Piironen 3 reps
Will Juha be able to pull ahead of me? We shall see.
Also, Juha took a vote and has 4 other challenges that he will be maintaining lists for through the end of February. Check them out…
COC#3.5 Silver Bullet Timehold (2.5kg)
Tricep Dips with Extra Weight 1RM (bw+kg=total kg)
Ironmind Hub Lift 1 RM
Euro Pinch 80kg (As many reps as possible in 90sec)
2x20kg Plates Time Hold Left & Right Total Time
Like I said, I LOVE competition. Love it. I will be attempting as many of these challenges as I can fit in. It’s always fun to see your name in a standings list, even if it as the very bottom.
I hope to see many of you submitting videos for these challenges as well. Push yourself – You never know where you will end up!
All the best in your training,
The True Test of a Strong Man: Stone Lifting
Click the Image Below to Learn Everything You Need to Know about
The Purest Test of Strength
Tags: better grip, get bigger, get stronger, stronger muscles
Posted in grip strength, grip strength competition contest, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve strength | 3 Comments »
Happy New Year, Diesels!
Today, I have the Top 5 videos of 2013.
1. Fix Elbow Pain with Tricep Work? – 4143 Views
I don’t know how many people are bothered by high forearm and elbow pain, but I do know that it is WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE. Earlier this year, I learned that one possible cause of this, or a factor that contributes to it, is tight triceps, so I began stretching my triceps more as a preventive measure and shot this video to help out others who are having pain in the forearms and elbow areas as well.
If you are still dealing with high forearm and elbow pain, then get Fixing Elbow Pain today. This program has helped hundreds of people get rid of this annoying, nagging pain.
2. Prevent Elbow Pain with 5 Minute Warm-up – 3844 Views
One of my favorite warm-up methods for preventing elbow pain is a few quick trips through some easy and lightly advanced speed bag strikes. It gets blood flowing through the arms and elbows which helps lubricate the area prior to heavy lifting. BUT, if you don’t have a speed bag or know how to hit it, that is no problem at all. In this video, I show you a similar drill that gets it done just as well.
This year, I will be putting out a product on how to hit the speed bag. If you want to learn, be sure to add your email into the box below:
3. Get Bigger Shoulders | Kneeling Landmine Press – 2525 Views
In the dog days of Summer 2013, I was brainstorming ways to build my front delts a bit more, when all of a sudden I saw an article by Tony Gentilcore covering the Kneeling Landmine Press. I thought it was perfect – emphasizing the anterior delts a bit more, plus it is a pressing movement, which I love, and not just another version of a front raise. I have hit this lift on a weekly to bi-weekly basis since then and love them.
Here’s the original article: Get Stronger Shoulders and Bigger Front Delts
4. Misses Are Just Warm-ups | Old School York Pinch – 2389 Views
One of the feats I have been chasing for years is pinching two Old School York 45-lb Plates with one hand. These beasts are about 4 inches thick, the edges are rounded, and only 3 or 4 people have been documented as completing it, so I am happy to be one of the few you can count on one hand to have done it.
Here’s the original post from April of 2012, where I talk about my focus on this feat: Old School York Pinch
5. What is the Inch Dumbbell – The Full Explanation of its Challenge – 2037 Views
The Inch Dumbbell is a classic grip challenge. It is well recognized within the Grip Community as one of the true tests of Grip Might. In this video I cover everything you need to know about it, its history, what makes it hard, and why it is so awesome.
Want an Inch Dumbbell? Contact me for pricing. Also, keep you eyes open for a product on the Inch coming this year.
That rounds out the Top 10 Videos of 2013. Had you already watched them? Were there any you forgot about or missed? What was your favorite on the list? Were there any that you were surprised that did not make the list from 2013?
Add a comment below.
In the meantime, make sure you are subscribed to my channel to be sure you get all the videos I put out this year emailed directly to you. You click the following like to Subscribe to Jedd’s YouTube Channel.
Have a great year!
The True Test of a Strong Man: Stone Lifting
Click the Image Below to Learn Everything You Need to Know about
The Purest Test of Strength
Tags: buid stronger grip, build front delts, fix elbow pain, get bigger, get stronger, prevent elbow pain
Posted in grip strength, hand strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve strength | No Comments »
I feel like I am Carson Daily, counting down the Top Videos or something. Man, what a terrible feeling. Someone, please help me.
Anyway, here are numbers 6 through 10 of the 10 most popular videos I put out this year, based on the number of views each video got.
6. AB Wheel Basic Technique | Core Training | Core Strength – 1937 Views
I made this video for a friend of mine, Chris, who got back into strength training this year and got himself an Ab Wheel to work is core, but was using it totally wrong, and I was worried he was going to mess his back up big time. Since then, it’s been viewed about 2,000 times and I have been told by some that it is the best Ab Wheel Demo video they have ever seen, so that is pretty cool. You might be surprised to learn I do core training. Well, I surely don’t do crunches, but you’ve got to do some regular core work in order to be as strong as you can be, and I love my Ab Wheel.
Related Article: How to Use the Ab Wheel Correctly
7. Pat Poviliatis Breaks a Bat over Mike Bruce’s Throat – 1468 Views
Yes, this is for real. Pat “The Human Vise” Povilaitis is probably my best friend in the small community of performing strongman, having known him for nearly 10 years now. In this video, he breaks a legit baseball bat over the neck/throat area of Mike “The Machine” Bruce, another one of my good friends, and the man with the strongest neck in the world. This took place at the Arnold Classic this year, right on the center stage of the event center. Awesomeness. Be sure to check it out.
Want to watch the whole documentary? It’s 100% free – just add your email to the box below:
8. Build Bigger Traps – Horizontal Band Loaded Shrugs – 1396 Views
Earlier this year I was dealing with a slight back tweak (What else is new?) and I was trying to think of a way I could work my traps harder without having to load so much weight on the bar. Knowing that the Traps run down your spine, I thought about how I could get more than one section of the Traps to fire hard all during the same movement. That is when I came up with this Shrug variation that absolutely kicks your ass. Enjoy.
Related Article: Build Bigger Traps by Intensifying the Shrug
9. Strength Equipment Review – Globe Gripz – 1384 Views
Let me be 100% honest with you. I have enjoyed my training SO MUCH MORE this year because my joints are not hurting all the time anymore. Part of that is because I improved my diet so much this year, but another reason is because I have been extremely mindful of the exercises I am doing and the equipment I am using, so that there isn’t so much unnecessary wear and tear. One BIG PART of that has been the use of Globe Gripz for Barbell Curls. What used to KILL me is now essentially pain free and I love it.
Get your Globe Gripz here => Globe Gripz
10. My New Speed Bag Platform – 1273 Views
I used to hit speed bag all the time in the mid-2000’s. I did it as part of my warm-up to get my elbows and shoulders warm and get the blood flowing. And I did it at the end of the workout to constantly learn new combinations and techniques on the bag. Then, I change the gym location and put in a downstairs bathroom, and I lost my spot for the bag for several years. Earlier this year, I got a new one and have been digging it ever since.
We are well on our way to viewing the Top videos of the year, DIESELS. Check back tomorrow for numbers 1 through 5.
All the best in your training,
If One of Your Main Goals This Year is to Close the #3,
Then Get CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination, and Learn EVERYTHING You Need to Know About Gripper Training
Tags: ab wheel, baseball bat break, build big traps, feats of strength
Posted in grip strength, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, muscle-building-workouts, strength training to improve athletic performance | No Comments »
It has become a tradition to do a run-down of the most popular videos I have uploaded each year.
For the next few days, I will be posting the Top Videos of the year, along with a little description of what is going on in each one.
One thing you are going to notice is that my Youtube Channel is pretty eclectic. It’s not just about one thing, like Grip Strength or Muscle Building, but rather about all kinds of different KILLER things you can do in the gym to not only get stronger but love the idea of training as well.
In short, I love training and love helping people with their training goals. So, without further ado, let’s look at videos 11 through 15 that were on the fringe of breaking into the top 10.
11. Bench Press Tips – Activate Lats for a Bigger Bench Press – 1266 Views
One part of the Bench Press Technique that is often overlooked is the engagement of the lats. Most lifters only think of the Bench Press as a lift for the chest, delts, and triceps, but if you can figure out how to get your lats more involved, you will no doubt see bigger lifts. This video shows a quick demonstration of how to do this as taught to me by Todd Hamer.
Related Article: Bench Press Tip – Activate Lats for Bigger Bench Press
12. Easy Way to Increase Pull-ups | How to Do More Pull-ups – 1139
Pull-ups are one of the best lifts for building strength and size in the upper back. The more you can do the better. Unfortunately, some people have trouble doing Pull-ups. This video will cover one way that you can train to perform more Pull-ups, and see better results for your back in your training.
If you like the Back Bull, here’s where to pick one up: Back Bull Equipment
13. Easy Tubing Warm-up Drill for Javelin Throwers – 1087
I was surprised this video ended up so high on the countdown. Earlier this year, I released a DVD called, Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers, and put this video out as a little sample of some of the stuff javelin throwers can do as part of their specific warm-up prior to throwing. Hopefully, this has helped out a few throwers in preventing injury and improving their performance in competition.
Check out our DVD: Grip Training for Throwers
14. How to Make Your Shoulders Feel Better with a Simple Stretch – 1034
This video shows an awesome stretch for the lats using bands. I have never felt a lat stretch that is as intense as this one. I love it.
15. Strongman Wrench Bend – 1000
I got a wild hair to bend a wrench earlier this year and ordered in about 25. Unfortunately, 20 or 3 of them stopped me dead in my tracks and a couple others snapped. This is the first one that finally bent. I am not by any means the best bender or braced bend specialist in the world, but I was happy to finally pull this off.
Learn feats of strength like wrench bending, bar bending, and rolling up frying pans, check out our Braced Bending DVD.
Stay tuned as I continue to update the list throughout the week.
Kick ass in your training,
Tags: bench press, big bench press, increase pull-ups, injury prevention, shoulder pain, wrench bend
Posted in grip strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training powerlifting, strength training to improve athletic performance | No Comments »
Mace and Club Swinging
Originally posted March 21, 2012
One type of strength and endurance training that almost no one practices anymore, but certainly should is Mace and Club Swinging. This sort of training has many names from macebell training, to circular training, but really what it comes down to is swinging either a mace or a club around your head and down past your back with either one or two hands.
What is a Mace?
I first heard the term mace as a teenager, studying medieval weaponry. In that context, the term mace is used to describe a medieval weapon that was a ball with spikes on it that the warrior would swing and hit his adversary with. These days, the mace is a ball on the end of a long handle, usually about 4 feet long or even longer. In fact, Indian Wrestlers would swing a mace, or gada as they would call them, for their strength training and conditioning.
One type of Battle Mace
What is a Club?
Originally, clubs were weapons of old as well. They were really any sort of blunt object used to hit someone or something in order to hurt, maim, or kill it. This was usually done with one hand. These days, clubs are used in a swinging style in order to bring about the same types of benefits as mace swinging for people such as wrestlers, baseball player, football players, firemen, police, etc.
A Medieval Ball-Headed Club – Beat some asses with this piece!
I recently found this old video clip of the greatest Persian Club swinger ever to grace the wrestling ring, the Iron Sheik, swinging his “70+ Lb” clubs and allowing other wrestlers and bystanders to try the $10,000 Persian Club Challenge. You’ll see that this form of Club, with a much different shape, is more in line with the Persian style of Club, with much more mass to wield than other thinner forms of Indian Clubs.
From the video you can tell that Club Swinging requires a different form of strength to be developed in order to be able to just get the clubs into position, let alone to be able to swing them with authority like the Iron Sheik, especially the obvious time spent in the weight room by the guys in the video who failed miserably to swing the clubs, one of them a young Jim Hellwig who would later become the Ultimate Warrior.
I thought it was so cool watching the Iron Sheik swing clubs as a youngster, that I always wanted to try it. That was the reason I first gave it a try, but now after doing it for several years, I have found that there are many benefits to be gotten from club swinging.
Benefits of Club and Mace Swinging
The benefits of Club and Mace Swinging are numerous, including:
- Grip Strength and Endurance – This movement requires you to flex and adjust the hand dynamically throughout the range of motion which tires out the entire hand as well as the full length of the forearm
- Shoulder Flexibility / Mobility – The relatively light weight of the implement is enough to stretch out the musculature slightly, improving range of motion. This is also effective as an upper body warm-up
- Core Training – Maintaining a stable core while swinging the club or mace-style implement dynamically works the abs, lats, and muscles of the back as well, again, excellent for a warm-up method or finisher for your workouts.
What is the difference between Maces and Clubs?
There are a few differences between maces and clubs. First off, Maces are usually much longer than clubs, and produce more leverage when they are being swung, even if their heads are roughly the same size and weight.
Another difference between maces and clubs are the number of hands used. Generally a mace is swung using two hands while a club is swung using only one hand. Of course if the mace is extremely light it can be used with just one hand. Conversely if a club is extremely heavy, then it may be necessary to use two hands in order to swing it.
Regardless of the weight, length of the handle, or the number of hands used to swing the club or mace, it is a very beneficial form of training for anyone who needs to have strong hands and solid grip in order to be successful at what they do.
Stronger Grip Enterprises – Mace and Club Training Tools
There are lots of places where you can get Club and Mace training tools, but one of the best I have found is Stronger Grip. I have many different training tools from Stronger Grip and I love all of them.
Stronger Grip has several different types of tools that are used for this sort of training. Many are shot loadable, which means you will have the benefit of starting out with lighter weights and gradually working up over time. Shot loadable implements are also fun to train on because they make such a cool noise when you swing them around.
Like I said, I own several pieces of Stronger Grip equipment, but by far, the ones I use most often are the clubs and maces, and I use the maces more routinely because they are a two handed implement and I am able to do more weight with them. I guess I just enjoy Mace training more.
Some quick links to the Stronger Grip equipment line of Clubs and Maces:
- Indian Clubs – The Stronger Grip Indian Clubs are the perfect size to reap all the benefits, plus, they are shot loadable making it even easier for you to maximize the benefits.
- Plate Loadable Clubs – Some people don’t like Shot because they have to have a place to keep it and it requires a bit more concentration to change weights. The Plate Loadable Clubs get you around that very easily and work just as well.
- Loadable Maces / Core Club – This is the type of Mace I have owned for several years. This piece looks great and feels even better. Get ready to not only build your Grip but also to improve your shoulder mobility at the same time.
- Monster Mace – If you are looking to really move a lot of weight around, then you want the Monster Mace. Once you start manhandling this piece of beauty around, you will be ready to challenge the Iron Sheik himself.
- Plate Loadable Mace – If you are not into shot-loadable instruments, Ryan Pitts also carries plate-loadable maces which you can use with those extra plates you have sitting around.
- The Starter Mace – If you would like to start out with something a little more manageable, the Starter Mace is perfect.
Those are just a small selection of the variety of Clubs and Maces available from Stronger Grip. Once you go to the links, check out the full spectrum of tools. You can even pick up pairs and sets at a discount!
Club and Mace Swinging Technique
Once you pick up your Clubs and Maces, come back to this page in order to practice your technique.
When it comes to swinging a Club or Mace, you must start out with the basics. If you just stay with the basics, you will be able to readily enjoy and benefit from this type of training. Of course, course there are dozens, if not more, of other ways to swing Clubs and Maces once you master the basic training.
Basic Club Swinging Technique Demonstration
This video shows the beginning techniques for Club Swinging. Take note, that other instructors may use slightly different terminology from what I use. I am not a certified Club training specialist, but I do know how to properly perform the basics of Club swinging.
Basic Mace Swinging technique Demonstration
Just like with Club Swinging, there are many different styles and varieties you can try, but you definitely need to start out with the basics. Below I get you started on the right track, and if you are feeling frisky, after you get some practice, I’ve got a couple of other Advanced Mace Swinging Techniques for you to try as well.
Advanced Mace Swinging with Modified Speed Demand
With this technique, you will attempt to get the Mace moving and keep it going as fast as possible. I chose a total of 20 reps, but you can choose any number you wish. You will see that when you put this speed demand on yourself, in order to keep improving you must focus on your rhythm and strive to get your entire body to work together. Focus on getting as much of the musculature involved as you can in order to make each repetition smooth and fast.
Advanced Mace Swinging with Modified Range of Motion
This variation I liked quite a bit, because it took some of the focus away from the lats and torso and put more of it on the arms, forearms, and hands. My hands were pumped and burning up after trying this.
Once again, start out with the basic maneuvers with your Clubs and Maces and then start adding in slight variations until you are confident and can control the tools throughout the entire range of motion.
I hope you enjoy your Club and Mace training, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.
All the best in your training.
Tags: club, club swinging, club training, indian clubs, mace, mace swinging, mace training, persian clubs
Posted in club swinging, grip strength, hand strength, home made strength equipment, how to buid wrist strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to perfrom mace and club swinging, mace swinging | 2 Comments »
Every morning, I start my day with the same exact routine, whether I am home, in a hotel, or at a friend or family members house.
You see, about 4 years ago, I was having a run of nearly daily headaches.
This is kind of what the headaches felt like
Every day I went to work, the headache would start about 9 AM.
That meant the daily dose of Tylenol or Advil or some other pain relief pill.
Sometimes it worked a bit, but usually it did nothing.
I knew it wasn’t migraines. I’d had migraines before, and these weren’t that bad. They didn’t stop me in my tracks. They were just that dull, annoying, ache, that never changed, kind of like when the radio dial isn’t quite exactly where it needs to be for the station to come in perfect, and you are stuck with that little bit of static over top of every song that plays.
You know what I mean.
The static where it’s not Ice Ice Baby that’s playing, but Zice Zice Baby.
I knew it wasn’t a sinus infection. I’d had those before, too. I still do to this day. Generally, once in May and once in September my cheeks, forehead, and sinus cavity gets so filled with junk and the tissue so inflamed that every step feels like someone jabbing me in the sinus cavity with a pitchfork. And the only way to sleep is by placing my face on top of my fist so that the skin is pulled off to the side.
And I hadn’t had any head injuries, thank god, so it wasn’t some kind of trauma that had set these things off.
So I began looking at what else could be causing these low-grade daily headaches.
And the hunch that I came to was “maybe I was dehydrated?”
So, the next day, when I got up out of bed, I used the toilet, and I walked straight to the kitchen.
There, I filled up a glass of water, about 12 to 16 ounces, and drank it down. Then, I did it again.
My hunch was that I had somehow gotten myself into a rut of dehydration. I hypothesized that I was going to bed dehydrated, waking up dehydrated, and going through the entire day dehydrated, and this was causing me to have this crazy, nearly hungover, type of headache.
And I was RIGHT.
Once I downed that water, it was like I had hit the re-set button on a bad game of Super Mario and was able to start over from the beginning.
That day at work, it felt awesome to be able to look at other Managers in the eye without having to squint if there was a light behind them. I could sit and have conversations with employees without shuddering in pain if their voice was high pitched. And my workout that night was the best I’d had in a long time.
Every Day Brotherrrrr
So now, every morning, since then, with only a handful of exceptions, I have started the day with the Morning Gulp – 24 to 32 ounces of water, depending on how big the actual glass is, and I always will from now on.
But tomorrow, I am running a new experiment.
You see, my good friend Mark, with whom I train Back and Triceps on Friday mornings, pointed out something that I have been over-looking all year.
The water that I have been pouring down the sink after steaming my vegetables every other day or so, is most likely LOADED with nutrients and vitamins. So, today when I steamed the latest batch, afterwards I poured it into this giant plastic glass, and even though it looks like alien urine, tomorrow, I will be pounding this like a Keystone Pounder instead of just plain water, broccoli stubs and all.
Left-over Water from Steamed
Broccoli, Green Beans, Cauliflower, and Carrots
The idea is that tomorrow I will not only start the day off with a burst of hydration surplus, but also get a shot of vitamins and nutrients along with it.
Can’t wait brother.
Are You Chronically Dehydrated?
A quick google search on dehydration will tell you that an estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
When you consider that it takes only a 1% dehydration level to drastically decrease your mental focus and physical prowess, let alone cause headaches, it is worth it to sacrifice the 30 seconds of your morning in order to jump start your hydration status.
Yep, 30 seconds to fill and chug two glasses of water, first thing in the morning.
Risk of Water Intoxication
Naturally, if you drink too much water, it can reach levels that are considered poisonous, even carrying the names “water poisoning,” “hyperhydration,” and “dilutional hyponatremia.” So, you can’t go overboard here. I am not a doctor and have no idea how to figure out how much is “too much.” So don’t try this until you talk to one about it.
Either way, if you aren’t drinking enough water, you’ll know it when you take a leak throughout the day because your urine will be yellowish, or if you’re really dehydrated, then it will be like neon orange, and you’d better start drinking more water.
Why not get ahead of the curve by drinking it first thing upon waking up?
Start with just one glass.
Give it a try and let me know how you feel by leaving a comment below.
It’s been roughly 6 months since I’ve gotten a legitimate comment on this site. I half wonder if anyone reads this site anymore, since I get no feedback, no props, no complaints, nothing.
All the best in your training,
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Tags: avoid headaches, drink enough water, get enough water, how much water to drink, hydration, watter and headaches
Posted in how to build muscle, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve strength, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape, nutrition for athletes how athletes should eat | 11 Comments »
This is Part II to the Epic Upper Body Workout that I started at the tail end of September when my good friend Chris came up to train. This is the Pulling Work we did.
I wanted to show him some new stuff he add into his training to not only build muscle, but also to balance out his shoulder training, as well as be better prepared for physical altercations in his line of work as a Corrections Officer.
Part IV: Bigger Back and Stronger Grip with Pull-up Variations
This video shows several variations for Pull-ups that will not only build your back muscles, but will also balance your shoulder strength and build better grip strength. Having a strong set of hands is very important for Chris in his line of work as a Corrections Officer.
Part V: Build a Big back with Low Cable Row Variations
We split these sets up with both wide and narrow rows. I showed Chris a correction to keep the emphasis on the lats and other big back muscles and to reduce the level of upper trap involvement. The set-up we used made the range of motion much shorter than normal, but this was because of the seat we used, due to my left lumbar area being very touchy. You can see once Chris adjusted, it began feeling totally different.
Part VI: Upper Back Postural Strength with Bodyweight Training
The Inverted Row is a great exercise and it can be loaded with chains draped over the body to make it more difficult. On top of that, we also held the concentric for a 3-count pause. I also used some mental distraction tactics to mimic the sound of an alarm going off due to a prison riot. This may sound annoying, but it is something that would be real during an actual emergency in the jail.
Part VII: Odd Object Loaded Hyper Extensions
Since Chris occasionally runs into situations where an inmate will get physical, instead of loading the Hyperextensions with normal dumbbells or barbell plates, we bear-hugged sandbags and heavy bags. This feels much more like actually having to control an inmate than just gripping some weights.
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I still have several clips coming your way from this workout. Stay tuned in a couple days for the Arm Training that we did. My arms were blown up like water balloons after what we did. It was AWESOME.
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All the best in your training.
Tags: "big back", get better hand strength, improving your grip, muscle building, strength training, strong shoulders
Posted in how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, muscle-building-workouts, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training to prevent injury | No Comments »
Me and Chris
A few months back, I was talking with an old friend of mine from college, Chris Christian.
Chris was one of my main training partners when I was in college between 1999 and 2001.
Unfortunately, he had been through an extended stint of “training vacation” and he wanted to get back into it.
He asked me for some guidance, and I asked him what he was currently doing.
He began to tell me about all this Beach Muscle work he was doing – each workout was filled with all this Pushing work and very little Pulling work.
Multiple Bench Variations, Shoulder Isolation work, Arm Training, but barely any Pulls.
So, we began working on that right away, because when you do too much Pushing and not enough Pulling, you run the risk of serious shoulder issues. Any doctor, physician or therapist will tell you that.
I laid out some new routines for Chris and shot him this video on balanced shoulder training guidelines.
He set forth following these new guidelines and said that once the Summer was over and his weekend job working security at an amusement park was done for the season, he would be up to hit a Big Workout, just like Old Times.
This past weekend, Chris made it up, and we had an awesome training session.
The way I laid it out, I wanted to give him plenty of new options for his training that were balanced between Pushing and Pulling movements for his entire upper body: Chest, Shoulders, Back, and Arms.
What this meant was that we would be hitting three upper body movements all in one day.
DISCLAIMER: I would not normally recommend training sessions like this on a regular basis. We trained for a solid 2.5 hours with very little rest. Doing this on a routine basis will almost definitely result in undue soreness and most likely over-training. That’s your warning, DIESELS. Don’t try this at home.
Part I: Intro Video, Warm-ups and Pressing
In this video, you’ll get to meet Chris. I immediately got him going on some warm-ups for his hips since he spends much of the day sitting on his ass and had just driven nearly 2 hours to my place. Even though we weren’t going to be hitting much lower body stuff, I still wanted everything to be limbered up well so that he was feeling right and performing well.
As I mentioned in the video, Chris’s job has recently been pretty intense. It was a long week filled with altercations, so I decided to add in some Odd Object Training along with the conventional barbell and dumbbell work. The idea behind the Odd Object Training is to get him better prepared for the altercations he sometimes sees in his job.
Part II: Log Incline Press, Incline Flies and Shrugs
Since Chris’s gym’s equipment selection is limited at best, I wanted to give him a treat of working the Incline Press with a Log. He said he loved it.
Also, since Chris is limited to a 30-minute workout since he trains at work, we threw in a nice super-set combo of Incline Flies and Shrugs. There’s no reason why Chris can’t get back into awesome shape. Even with 30-minute workouts, he can build muscle and burn off fat if he keeps his sessions intense, by including back-to-back pairings like these.
Part III: Pull-up Variations for Back and Grip Development
One of the ruts Chris and many people get into is they abandon Pull-ups and instead do all kinds of work on the Lat Pull-down Machine. I told Chris to start working Pull-ups back in because they are the Ultimate Back Builder.
You’ll also see in the video that we varied the grip and hand position throughout this section of the workout. We did this because I want Chris to start training his hands harder in order to be ready for anything on his job. You will see several different grip implements you can use.
This doesn’t even scrape the surface of what we did that day. Here it is almost a week since we trained, and I still haven’t got all of the footage edited and uploaded.
Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you get to see all of the footage from this awesome workout.
All the best in your training,
There’s been a HUGE surge in people wanting to learn Nail bending recently. If you do too, start out with the two best resources available today:
The Nail Bending eBook and the Nail Bending DVD
Tags: muscle building, strength training, workouts
Posted in how to build muscle, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training powerlifting | No Comments »
3 Intense Workout Finishers
Mike Whitfield, CTT
Creator of the Workout Finishers 2.0 Follow-Along System
Forget the muscle-draining cardio after your workout. You’re going to rock any of these 3 finishers instead. You’re welcome.
You already know that cardio (even intervals) are boring and they won’t make you look athletic and ripped. You gotta’ hit the musclezzz brotherrr. All you hit with interval training are your legs.
You are in for a treat as I’m going to show you 3 unique “twists” to using finishers after your workouts. But first, what’s the point of using finishers? Well, if you’re stuck on a plateau, want to speed up fat loss or improve your conditioning and overall fitness, then finishers can make a big difference.
You simply “plug in” a finisher after any workout. They take 10 minutes or less.
And if you have a hard time believing you can get great results in just 10 minutes or less, check out this study…
- Participants performed a high intensity circuit (as found with finishers) with very brief rest periods using compound movements for only 4 minutes. The participants burned an average of 13.5 calories per minute (some participants burned even more!) and doubling their metabolic rate for at least 30 minutes
- “This particular style of interval training has profound effects even on short-term post-exercise metabolism”, says lead researcher Michelle Olson, Ph.D., principle researcher at the Auburn University Montgomery Kinesiology Laboratory. It would take five times the amount of typical cardio exercise to shed the same amount of calories.”
So, now that you are convinced of the power of finishers, let’s talk about 3 variations that rock.
Finisher Approach # 1 – Density
There’s even a variety of approaches within this approach! First, there’s timed sets. This is when you’ll do an exercise for a certain amount of time and you’ll do as many reps as possible.
Another approach using density is when you do a certain number of rounds (supersets or circuits) in a given time frame. The set and rep schemes can be really crazy.
For the Density approach, let’s do the “”Big Switch” Finisher.
“The Big Switch” Finisher
Do the following circuit as many times as possible in 5 minutes, resting only when needed. If your form gets sloppy, you must stop and rest.
- Goblet Switch Lunge (3/side)
- 1-Arm Switch Pushup (3/side)
- Skater Hops (3/side)
Don’t worry, you don’t have to complete the madness on your own. Here’s a follow-along video of me coaching Brian through it (plus you’ll get some substitution exercises):
Finisher Approach # 2 – Gauntlets
Inspired by Craig’s original TT Gauntlet program, this is when you assign an exercise as the “gauntlet” within a circuit. So you’ll perform the gauntlet exercise, followed by a new exercise, then back to the gauntlet exercise, etc. That means you’ll do something like this:
- Alternating Javelin Reverse Lunge
- Close-Grip Pushups
- Alternating Javelin Reverse Lunge
- X-Body Mountain Climbers
- Etc, etc.
See how the Alternating Javelin Reverse Lunge is the “gauntlet” exercise?
By the way, here is how the crazy Javelin Reverse Lunge Works…
Javelin Reverse Lunge
- Stand with your feet just outside shoulder width apart holding a pair of dumbbells.
- Take a big step backwards with one leg and lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep your torso upright.
- At the same time press the dumbbell up by extending the arm of the same side you step back with.
- Return to the top by contracting the quadriceps, groin and hip extensors of the lead leg and bring the dumbbell back down under control.
Finisher Approach #3 – Ladders
These can trick you. This is when you do a certain number of reps of each exercise, then in the next round, you do one less rep, etc. Now you can even combine the density approach with a ladder, too. But that’s a post for another day…
For now, let’s do this simple, but effective superset ladder.
“Declined to Gobble” Finisher
Do the following superset resting as little as possible. In the first superset, you’ll complete 8 reps of each exercise. In the next superset, you’ll complete 7 reps of each. Continue in this fashion until you complete 1 rep of each exercise.
- Goblet Bulgarian Squat (8/side…1/side)
- Decline Pushups (8…1)
Here’s how to rock the Goblet Bulgarian Squat…
Goblet Bulgarian Split Squat
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in front of you at chest height.
- Place the instep of one foot on a bench. Step forward with the other foot, taking a slightly larger than normal step.
- Contract your glutes, brace your abs and keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Keep your upper body upright and your lower back flat.
- Push up to the upright position. Stay in a split-squat stance.
- Perform all reps for one leg and then switch.
Now that’s how you finish ANY workout with an all day energy rush without draining your hard earned muscle.
Mike Whitfield, CTT
Creator, Workout Finishers 2.0 Follow-Along Video System
Mike Whitfield, CTT, has lost 105 pounds propelling his passion into the fitness industry. His unique approach of using workout finishers has helped thousands of people lose fat with his online and offline programs. He is known across the fitness industry for his effective “workout finishers” and humor. His workouts have been seen in Men’s Health, Turbulence Training, AJC and more.
Looking for the Ultimate Challenge?
Check out the UTC (Unconventional Training Challenge)
Tags: abdominals, abs, belly fat, burn fat, fat loss, fitness
Posted in how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape | No Comments »
Jon Bruney, Submit Strength
DIESELS! Today I have an interview with one bad-ass son of a gun, Jon Bruney. This dude is FREAKISHLY STRONG. Easily one of the overall strongest Performing Strongmen on the circuit. I know he can out-lift most other performers in more conventional lifts like the Squat, Deadlift and Pressing movements. He’s built like a freakin’ FIRE PLUG, and he gets the guys he trains strong as hell too.
Now, he is teamed up with Dragondoor to write a new book called Neuro Mass. I managed to get a few minutes of his time for an interview about his brand of Strongman Performance, the way he approaches the rest of his training and what Neuro Mass has to offer.. Check it out below.
Interview with Neuro-Mass Author, Jon Bruney
Jedd: Jon, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule being an absolute MASTER OF IRON and SLAYER OF STEEL for the interview today. For those who may not be familiar with your exploits of strength and power, please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
Jon: Jedd, thanks for having me on today. I’m a performing strongman, motivational speaker, pastor, trainer, and author. I am also co-owner of Submit Strength Equipment and have designed cutting-edge training equipment that is now in use around the world. I am a Battling Ropes level two coach and certified in Controlled Fatigue Training. My brand new book Neuro-Mass was just released.
Jedd: How did you get so involved in super human strength and conditioning, brother?
Jon: I have always been interested in strength. I saw some strongmen performing some feats like breaking stacks of concrete with their hands, and I knew that this was something I wanted to pursue. I was privileged to have the legendary John Brookfield become my mentor. He really got me my start in the world of strongman performance.
Jedd: Awesome. John Brookfield is one of my biggest influences as well. Tell me this, what sets you apart from other performing strongmen out there? What feats do you do in your shows that other strongmen, quite frankly, just aren’t strong enough to perform?
Jon: Jedd, there are definitely athletes out there who are much stronger than I am. But, what makes me unique is the diversity of my strongman feats. For instance, I have had great strength endurance feats, such as pulling a semi-truck and trailer with John Brookfield for the distance of 1 mile.
In my shows, some of the feats include: dead lifting the back of an SUV, breaking stacks of concrete set on fire with my fist, bending steel bars over my head, breaking drill bits, bursting pop cans with my hands, pressing steel logs overhead, and laying down under a bed of nails while my wife jump ropes on top of it.
My favorite strongman feat of all time was performing the human link. I held back to Harley-Davidson motorcycles attached to my arms and let them try to pull me apart.
Jedd: Those are NEXT LEVEL strongman feats right there, my man. RESPECT. But I know that Strongman Performances are not the only gig you do. I also know you work with athletes. Tell us about your training approach with athletes.
Jon: My goal with athletes is to help them to build smart muscle. The focus isn’t just on getting bigger, but better. Smart muscle is muscle that can multitask.
Jedd: Niiiiice! Smart Muscle. Awesome, brother. And aside from your feats of strength, what other kinds of training do you do in your own workouts? When you aren’t destroying steel and piles of bricks.
Jon: In my training, I try to combine three distinct types of exercise into something called a Neuro-Set. This involves the following:
- Grinds: slow controlled exercises that place resistance on large muscle groups
- Dynamic Power Drills: movements that require power and speed
- Isometrics: this type of exercise is performed while maintaining a static position and joint angle remains constant for the duration of the contraction
Jedd: That sounds like a combination that is different from just about any system I have ever heard of, especially with the Isometrics thrown in, which I know are HUGE Strength Builders. I also know this is the kind of training you write about in your new book, Neuro Mass. Tell me about this book that is currently sweeping the world and is nearing Best Seller Status on Amazon.
Jon: Absolutely, Neuro-Mass is a cutting-edge training system that…
- Teaches the nervous system to recruit more muscle fibers
- Teaches the body to adapt to multiple forms of resistance
- Teaches the body to bypass genetic performance roadblocks
Jedd: It is funny you bring up Road Blocks, because my last post on this site is about overcoming plateaus in your training. Well, let’s just cut to the chase. Who should pick this book up and why?
Jon: This book is for anyone who wants to become more strength, endurance, and power. The book also includes cutting-edge mental preparation techniques, physical preparation techniques, and recovery techniques. It is an entire system.
Jedd: Jon, it sounds like this book is PACKED with Information. Could you give us a sample routine from the book that we could try to actually experience why this book is so awesome?
Jon: Sure. Try this great bodyweight routine that I recently shared in an article on Dragon Door’s site. It is a Shoulder Blasting Bodyweight Neuro-Set:
Shoulder Blasting Bodyweight Neuro-Set
- Handstand push-ups – 8 to 12 repetitions
- Hummingbird – 15 to 60 seconds
- Towel isometric shoulder pull – 7 to 12 seconds
How To Perform The Handstand Push-up:
The technique we will use to get into position for the handstand push-up is called “wall walking.”
To begin, place both feet flat against a wall, while your hands and knees are on the floor. Now, driving your hands into the floor, begin to walk up the wall using your hands and feet. Be sure to contract the abdominals throughout the movement.
When you reach the top position, slowly lower your body until your head is a few inches away from the floor. Pause for a moment and raise your body up to the top position.
How To Perform The Hummingbird:
Begin by placing your arms straight out at your sides and lower into a semi-squat position. Now, explosively move your arms up and down within a 6-inch range of motion. The range of motion is extremely small. You’ll find that this innovative exercise has the ability to fatigue shoulders very quickly.
How to Perform Towel Isometric Shoulder Pull:
I first saw this powerful isometric exercise performed by my friend Ori Hofmekler. Begin by grasping the end of a heavy towel with one hand extended straight out to your side. Now, with the other hand grasp the towel at chest level. The position looks like an archer getting ready to pull a bow backward.
Try to pull the towel apart. As you continue this pulling motion contract the muscles of the back as hard as possible. As you increase the tension, power exhale through the mouth.
Jedd: That is a Crazy Combo, bro. Where can the Diesel Universe get Neuro Mass?
Jon: Just click this link to Get Neuro-Mass and the Awesome Bonuses. If you order today, there are $789.00 in bonuses available.
Jedd: Jon, thanks for the awesome interview. I know you are super busy, so thanks for sneaking this in for my readers.
DIESELS, Jon Bruney is no joke, man. This guy trains for real and doesn’t mess around. You need to pick this thing up, and right now, you can click the banner below and pick up Neuro Mass and get the $700+ in free bonuses. But it’s got to be today to get the whole package.
All the best in your training.
The Missing Part of Your Strength Training – Extensor Work – A Must for Any Serious Lifter – Hand X Bands
Tags: athletic training, how to get more powerful, how to get stronger, jon bruney, neuro mass, strength training
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, how to develop power, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning | No Comments »
3 Insane Ways to Finish Your Workouts
This is a guest post by Mike Whitfield, CTT. Through the use of “Metabolic Finishers,” this cat lost 105-lbs of fat. Now, he is helping others do the same with his intense style of training. To find out more, check out: Metabolic Finishers.
“What’s your reason for using metabolic finishers?”
That was the question I asked my client early last week. It threw him off, too. He could barely get through his next superset of Heavy Goblet Squats and Military Presses as he had a confused look on his face.
“If I didn’t make you do them of course”, I continued.
He replied with, “I don’t want to go home and wonder if I could have done more. I look at a finisher as ringing out a wet washcloth. I want to know that I left everything on the floor and gave it my all.”
Best. Answer. Ever.
And to make it even cooler, he said that bent over with his hands on his knees. He took a big, deep breath. It was time. The metabolic finisher… the grand finale if you will, was ready to be performed.
He proceeded to do the “The Climbing Ladder” Bodyweight Metabolic Finisher. His rest periods were up to him. Finish your next workout on a high with this:
The Climbing Ladder Bodyweight Finisher
Do the following circuit, resting only when needed. In the first circuit, you will perform 6 reps of each exercise. In the next circuit, you will perform 5 reps. Continue in this fashion until you complete 1 rep of each exercise.
1A) Spiderman Climb (6/side, 5/side… down to 1/side)
1B) Jump Squats (6, 5, … down to 1)
1C) X-Body Mountain Climber (6/side, 5/side… down to 1/side)
What a ridiculous, yet insane and effective way to finish off any workout. It’s also a great way to increase core strength and stamina. But the real important thing we learned is that it’s a brilliant title for a finisher. No? You’re right. Let’s move on.
What is a Metabolic Finisher?
Here’s the deal. You want to put on slabs of muscle. But here is what you battle:
1. Putting on fat as you put on muscle
2. Decreasing your conditioning as you are on a muscle-building workout
Having an extra 10 lbs of muscle is awesome, but if you go upstairs and you end up breathless, that’s no fun. That’s where Metabolic Finishers can help you.
A finisher is a combination of metabolically demanding exercises set up in a non-competing manner with very little rest periods.
You end up doing a lot of volume in a little bit of time. They certainly DO NOT replace your workout. They actually enhance YOUR favorite workouts. It’s an easy way to:
1. Improve your conditioning while you put on muscle
2. Keep the fat at bay while putting on muscle mass
Now it’s time to be transparent. If you’re looking for a “fun” way to end your workouts, than finishers are not for you. The elliptical is ready for you while you watch episodes of Matlock (rest in peace Andy Griffith).
But if you’re ready for a mental and physical challenge, while getting the conditioning benefits, than you can use finishers immediately with your workouts.
Let’s get crazy. Here is another insane way to end your next workout:
The “Push to Swing” Workout Finisher
Do the following superset 4 times, resting for 20 seconds between supersets:
1A) Explosive Pushups (hands leaving the ground) (10)
1B) KB or DB Swings (25)
How to Use Metabolic Finishers
Now, it’s time to explain how to use finishers on a muscle-building program:
Rule # 1 – Keep your finishers to a maximum of 3 times per week. This is enough to improve your conditioning and keep your fat at bay while being on a muscle-building program.
Rule # 2 – Make your main program a priority. In other words, don’t come to the gym and skip your workout to get to the finisher. I know you’re excited and you love the challenge it brings but look, here’s the deal – your main strength program is the eggs of an omelet. The salsa and spices are the metabolic finishers. Does that make sense? If not, then just trust me. Your main workout program takes precedence on your finisher.
Rule # 3 – You shouldn’t perform metabolic finishers after a conditioning workout. In other words, if you work out and your workout focuses on conditioning (prowler pushes, battling ropes, etc., etc.), than there is no need to add a finisher. You can easily lead to over-training and your nervous system can only take on so much.
That’s really about it. That’s really the “secret” to keeping fat at bay and improving your conditioning at the same time while you put on lean muscle mass. My favorite part?…
Finishers take just a fraction of the time that cardio takes (including intervals).
That’s why they work so well. The intensity is enough for conditioning improvement, but not too much to make you feel lethargic and slow at your next workout session. That’s worth 6 minutes of your time… or 3 minutes.
Well, sure. Let me explain:
The “Power of 3” Finisher
Do the following circuit as many times as possible in 3 minutes. Rest only when needed, keeping form a priority of course. Remember, it’s just 3 minutes:
1A) KB Snatch (3/side)
1B) Goblet Squat (3)
1C) Decline Close-Grip Pushups (3)
What a crazy rep and set scheme, right? That’s why I love writing finishers. It can bring a whole new dynamic to your workouts. The next thing you know, you’re addicted to working out again. Get out of that rut and get addicted again.
Mike Whitfield, CTT
2012 TT Trainer of the Year
Note from Jedd: I have reviewed this product, and think it is perfect for those who are looking to take off bodyfat, because I have done the same exact type of training. When I was staring carrying a giant sandbag down the beach at 280-lbs, I knew I had to do something and added short bouts of intense training to my day, right before lunch. And they work GREAT.
On top of that, when you consider that Infomercial Fat Loss programs such as P90X and Insanity Workout end up costing you HUNDREDS of dollars, this kind of an investment is nearly unbeatable. And if you have trouble visualizing some of the exercises listed, don’t worry about that, because Mike includes still frames of all the exercises in the ebook. For instance, I wasn’t sure what X-Body Mountain Climbers were, and I could see very easily once I opened the ebook. Get this thing, print it out, and put in the effort, and get to work on Metabolic Finishers. Click the image below…
Tags: burn fat, get in shape, get rid of gut, lose weight, weight loss
Posted in how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape | 1 Comment »
Upper Body and Grip Training Workout 8/29/13
Lots of people love the idea of building a Big Bench Press, but have little idea how to go about doing it.
Often, the type of Bench Press training we learn about is what we learned in our High School Gyms, which are most likely recycled information that the coach learned when he was in High School and has never changed one single bit. It often ends of becoming a vicious cycle of bad, out-dated information.
My suggestion for people who want to bring up their Bench is to find someone who actually is a Powerlifter and is seeing some success in their training. When you train with someone who is successful in the Big Three Lifts (Bench Press, Squat, and Deadlift), Strength becomes Contagious. Just by lifting with them, you get stronger, and all awhile learn the proper way to train.
Last Friday, I had someone visit who has done just what I am suggesting. He went from having very little structure in his training a few years ago, to following one of the most popular Powerlifting Programs that is out there. As a result, he has seen impressive gains from the new-found structure and is enjoying the design of the program and the increased numbers, for sure.
This lifter is Josh McIntyre. I first met Josh through the Diesel Crew website in January of 2011 when I started the Weekly Grip Strength Challenges. Josh won many of these challenges during the year and has gone on to perform lots of Elite-Lever Grip Strength Feats since then, although these days his primary focus is Powerlifting with a little Strongman and Grip thrown in, a great mixture for developing incredible strength.
We hit an awesome workout this past Friday, about 2 hours and 15 minutes of Upper Body Training and then about an hour and a half of Grip Training, with a little break in between for a short interview.
Below is the video, which contains the entire session.
I asked Josh to send in a little write-up about himself so you could get to know him a bit better. I think you will also see that once you get some programming into your routine, you can expect to see some increased strength levels across the board. Here you go.
Josh McIntyre Interview
Jedd: Who the hell are you and how did you end up getting into Powerlifting?
Thanks Jedd for having me up to your place. My name is Josh McIntyre, I’m 32 and have been lifting off and on since I was 14, but with goals in mind since 2010 and most seriously since 2012. I’ve competed in both Powerlifting and Strongman. My best lifts to date are a 565 squat (raw w/ wraps,) a 390 raw bench and a 635 raw deadlift (no belt) but I’m seeing now that I’m capable of a lot more.
I never did anything more than a set of curls and some push up’s right after highschool. I thought I was strong back then. It’s amazing to look back at pictures and see a guy who thought he was the man. In 2007, I moved to NC from NJ and found myself with a spare room to fill. So I assembled my rusty old H.S. weight bench and got some cheap standard plates from craigslist ads and used sporting goods stores.
Around the same time I spent a lot of time on Youtube looking for workout routines. I found your channel and was floored by the feats I was witnessing. I had a “monkey see, monkey do” mentality like many others, and trained until I could replicate whatever it was that I was training for, like a 5 dimes pinch (have still to get 6 without a pipe through them,) pinching two 45’s, levering a 45# plate (still sloppy,) hubbing a 45# plate, closing an Ironmind #3 etc etc.
I also started to train the powerlifts. I use the term “train” loosely here because I had no idea what the hell I was doing and ended up with a lot of shoulder pain. For a while, since I had no squat rack and it hurt my shoulders to bench a lot, I focused primarily on the DEADLIFT. To this day, it’s still my best and favorite lift. (long arms)
Once I scored a power rack off of craigslist for $100, it was on from there. I read up a bunch on rehab and prehab for shoulders here on DieselCrew.com and Elitefts. I watched a lot of video’s and inched my DL up over 500 in 2009.
Jedd: Tell us About Your Early Competition Days
I competed in my first powerlifting meet in 2010 in the APA. I entered Deadlift only, weighed in around 235 and competed in the 242’s. I opened at 505, went 565 for my second and 585 for my third. Unfortunately they called me for hitching (rightfully so) and I was credited only for my opener. I learned a lot that day and I was hooked!
Since then I’ve competed in 6 powerlifting meets and 1 strongman contest. I’ve learned so much from each one. I really enjoyed the strongman contest but PL is where my passion is. I’ve also trained with a lot of brutally strong PL competitors I’ve met at meets and gained a lot of strength and knowledge from them.
Jedd: When I first learned of you, you were training mostly at your house and from time to time in a gym where they wouldn’t even let you bring in chalk. These days, I have seen you have been training at Raleigh Barbell.
Since March of this year, I began training with a PL team at Raleigh Barbell. I’ve seen my best gains ever just in the last 5 months since training there. We trained 2 cycles of Brandon Lilly’s Cube Method with some success. The guys are great, supportive, serious and very goal motivated. If I squat high, they let me know. If my back started to round a little there, or my ass rises off the bench slightly, they’re right there to correct it for me. Having an extra set of eyes is really helpful when you can’t see where you’re screwing up.
5-10’s Pinch for Grip Specific Warm-up – NO PROBLEM!
As far as the gym, Raleigh Barbell is an 864 square foot training facility located in the heart of downtown Raleigh which is owned and operated by Elite Strength and Wellness Coach Jackson Williams. He’s been a great coach and he’s strong as hell! I’ve seen him pull 650 raw like it was 315. Training with guys stronger than me has been exactly what I was missing. Coach Jackson and Teammates Mason, Hunter, Chris, Keven and Justus are great lifters and training partners, and I’m lucky to be training along side of them. For more info on Raleigh Barbell or to contact Jackson, check out Raleighbarbell.com or hit him up on the Raleigh Barbell facebook page, if you’re on the book of faces.
Recently we’ve started a 10 week training template written by our coach leading up to a PL meet in November in Richmond, VA followed by a Charity Push/Pull the following weekend that I’ve done for the past 3 years.
Jedd: Josh, I’ve gotten some questions asking why we chose the exercises we did during our workout and what exactly the bands are for. Could you explain these points please?
The bench workout you and I did was from our Raleigh Barbell week 2 speed bench. It focused on practicing the bench press movement over and over by doing 8 sets of 2 as fast as we could WITH GOOD FORM. We incorporated band tension to make the lockout more difficult. That forced us to generate momentum from the start to get us through the increasing resistance. We also added volume by going for max reps up to but NOT including failure. We don’t miss training lifts at Raleigh Barbell. We only took another rep if it was there. The rest of the bench day was higher volume accessory stuff, o/h press, shoulders, rows, hammer curls, tri’s, all for hypertrophy.
Jedd: Now that you are several years into serious training, maybe you could talk a bit about major lessons you have learned, pitfalls you have run into along the way, mistakes you’ve made, etc?
I’ve seen up’s and down’s in my training but the more experience I got the more I realized the anecdote “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” is dead on. Also, enjoying the journey has been key for me. I lift ’cause I love it, that makes it easy to commit to. I see lifters so focused on their goal that they suffer through and end up hating their training. It’s ok to like what you do, it makes you easier to be around too.
Some of the mistakes in my own training over the years have been:
- 1. Sticking with a routine even after I stall while using it. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect to get a different result. My numbers were up and down, up and down for far too long
- 2. Not doing any kind of accessory work to bring up weak areas
- 3. Thinking one way was right and ALL other ways were wrong
- 4. Waiting until I thought I was “good enough” to enter a PL meet. I wish I had done it sooner. Your entire mentality toward training changes after a competition. And the friends I’ve made and the things I’ve learned have been valuable to me as a lifter and a competitor. Don’t wait, sign up today. It’s so much fun and you’ll walk away with more than you came with
- 5. Finding reliable training partners. More easily said than done. If you have an opportunity to join a PL gym, or a CF gym or a Strongman crew DO IT
6-10’s Pinch. Off the Ground 5 or 6 Times, but Not Quite Lockout
Jedd: Josh, great having you up here. Come back again when you make a trip up this way. I want to see you get the 6-10’s Pinch sometime soon.
Again, thank you Jedd for having me up to train. The grip feats I witnessed and failed at were humbling and motivating. I was smashed when I left your gym but mentally I was rejuvenated with the idea of grip training. I have an entirely new respect and appreciation for Grip sport and its competitors. I look forward to meeting up again soon!
I got some feedback that the videos were hard to watch in the Playlist, and that you would like them separated out, so here you go…
Speed Bench Press Against Light Bands
Overhead Axle Training
Axle Rows for Back and Grip Strength
Tricep and Biceps Superset
Hammer Curls for Size and Strength
Josh McIntyre Interview
DIESELS – If you have any other questions about the training we did in the videos, leave a comment and I will do a follow up article to answer them.
All the best in your training.
The Missing Part of Your Strength Training – Extensor Work – A Must for Any Serious Lifter – Hand X Bands
Tags: bench press, bench press program, powerlifting, strength training
Posted in grip strength, how to bench press, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve strength, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training powerlifting, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training videos diesel tv, strongman training for athletes | No Comments »
Logan Christopher – Think and Grow Strong
I recently interviewed Logan Christopher about a product he is soon retiring call the Think and Grow Strong Master Course. This product is a collection of DVD’s, audios, and more, that covers EVERYTHING you need to know about harnessing the true power of the mind to help drive you in your training. I have begun studying Logan’s course and will report here from time to time. In the meantime, make sure to check out this video interview on the strength of the mind.
Logan’s Think and Grow Strong Master Course will go away on September 1st. Grab this thing right now, before it disappears.
Sign up for updates on future interviews and articles in the box below.
All the best in your training.
Tags: how the mind can help your strength training, mental side of training, using the mind to get stronger
Posted in how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve strength, mental strength strong mind | 1 Comment »
Perfect Tool for Core Strength
4 Days ago, I did the drill I am going to show you today, and I am STILL SORE.
Normally, I wouldn’t judge the effectiveness of an exercise by whether or not it made me sore, but consider the following…
I have been doing Ab Wheel work for several months. I have been working it HARD.
I did 10 sets of 10 Roll-outs on my knees one day while I was on vacation, so I thought I was getting where I needed to be.
Then, last Friday, I set this drill up and 4 days later my abs are still cooked. That just goes to show you how vicious this exercise is, and why you should start doing it right now.
Standing Ab Wheel Roll-out Training
If you are looking for a way to build core strength, get stability for the lower back, strengthen the hips, and build your abdominal muscles, the only real piece of equipment that you need is the Ab Wheel.
Over the last 4 months or so, I have been including the Ab Wheel in my training on at least a weekly basis and I love it. I have written several articles about the Ab Wheel this year and will be continuing to experiment with it.
- How to Use the Ab Wheel Correctly
- Back and Triceps Training
- The Perfect Tool to Compliment Your Kettlebell Training
I would say my experimentation is still in its infancy, although the ideas that are going through my head are non-stop. I am doing my best to get them onto my ever-growing note pad, and hope to one day compile everything for you.
I have decided that one of my goals I hope to complete before the end of this year is a Full Ab Wheel Roll-out on the Feet.
As I am sure many of you know if you have tried one of these variations, the difference in difficulty between Ab Wheel Roll-outs on the Knees and Ab Wheel Roll-outs on the Feet is crazy. These two drills are not even in the same galaxy.
For Full Ab Wheel Roll-outs on the Feet, you must have much more abdominal strength, you must be much more stable through the core and the hips, and your shoulders must be able to with stand a great deal force in the full flexed position as well.
All of these factors, plus more that I am surely over-looking, make the Ab Wheel Roll-out version on the Feet much harder.
I have begun implementing more Ab Wheel work on my feet and moving away from Ab Wheel work on my knees altogether.
Today I want to show you a very promising progression step I have been using for working up to the Full Ab Wheel Roll-out on the Feet, and it involves using bands.
Someone asked how to do this method if you do not have bands. My answer to them is GET BANDS.
Bands are useful for countless exercises and methods. There are innumerable ways they can be used to make exercises easier, harder, and to de-load or assist you in bodyweight movements.
If you do not have a set, here are a couple of places to get them:
Again, if you don’t have bands, I really have to ask why. They are very affordable and the myriad of ways that they can be used make them very high in value. The links above are affiliate links. When you order through them, you will not only be getting yourself some training tools that you will use in countless ways, but you will also be helping me out with some commissions. Although they are small, it all helps me continue to improve this site and keep it available as a source of reliable information.
Keep an eye on new updates on my pursuit for legit Standing Ab Wheel Roll-outs by joining my Ab Wheel Roll-out Update List below.
If you don’t have an Ab Wheel yet, you can get one here: Where to Buy an Ab Wheel
All the best in your training,
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Tags: ab wheel, ab wheel roll-outs, ab wheel rollouts, standing ab wheel roll-outs, standing ab wheel rollouts
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One of the biggest parts of strength training has nothing to do with how big you are, the loads you use, the volume you perform, or the time you spend in the gym.
Most people have those aspects pretty well covered.
This is something totally different that most people never give a bit of attention to…
Today, I am interviewing someone who knows a great deal about that. Logan Christopher.
Interview: Get Better Results in the Gym Through Mental Training
Jedd: Logan, thanks for doing the interview. Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got your nickname, the Physical Culture Renaissance Man.
Logan: I have to thank Geoff Neupert for calling me that in the first place. For those that don’t know, physical culture is an old term to describe all different aspects of health and fitness. And renaissance man is the term used to describe someone who is good at a wide range of things. The term is usually applied to people like Leonardo Da Vinci for his amazing work in art, music, sciences, invention and more. So basically this term refers to someone who is good in all different sorts of strength and fitness areas. If it’s related to strength I’ve probably done it. Some of the things I’m more or less regularly working on are heavy lifting, bodyweight training including hand balancing and gymnastics, oldtime strength feats, grip strength, kettlebells and more.
Jedd: Logan, what does it mean to “Think and Grow Strong?” Your DVD Set is the first I had heard of this, and I think I have an idea, but tell us more.
I came up with this title based on the famous wealth and business book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Everyone has heard the stories of old ladies lifting cars off of their family. Well if a person has that amount of strength stored within them strength training isn’t really about getting stronger but unlocking the power already within us. As you mentioned proper physical training is crucial and there is soooo much information available on that. Many people reading this will be quite versed in how to train to get stronger.
But very few people pay attention to the mental side. What I have found with myself and clients is that how you use your brain will instantly effect the amount of strength you can put forth, thus you can literally think and grow stronger.
Jedd: There have been some strength feats that I just knew right away I was going to attain and I did. Why is it that the way you think can have such a profound effect on something like strength training?
Logan: Just think about it for a second. When we’re exerting strength our nervous system is sending signals to tell the muscles to contract. If the CNS sends a stronger signal than you can contract harder and thus be stronger. And its not about trying any harder. In fact, with many of these drills you get better results with less effort. I recently did a simple experiment using hypnosis and curls. I saw a 27% improvement on reps using my weaker arm than what I could do with my stronger arm.
Basically you mind is going to direct EVERYTHING that you do. If it is optimized it just makes sense that you will see instant effects in performance. This stuff is actually easy once you understand how it works. But it only took me several years of studying it all to put it together 🙂
Jedd: Are some people born better able to optimize this mental strength than others?
Logan: Yes, just like some people are born physically stronger than others. But they’re all trainable skills. Many people, when they see what I can do, assume I was always strong. That’s not the case. In fact I was a very weak and scrawny kid growing up. Although I was fairly smart I wouldn’t say I was mentally strong either. If anything what I did have was a strong will to succeed, and that too is a trainable skill.
Jedd: Is this about repeating a mantra? Having motivational posters in the gym? What all is involved in this?
Logan: No, no, no. A mantra is a form of affirmations. While they can work mantras are the weakest of any techniques I’ve seen. The problem with them is that if you don’t believe what you’re saying you’re actually going to be affirming the opposite of your desire. You have to be careful of these limiting beliefs, but once you know how, they’re actually quite easy to change once you’ve identified them.
A motivational poster can do something but its not going to double your reps. Let’s talk about motivation. If you need to be motivated it means there is conflict between different parts of yourself. One part wants to achieve a goal and another wants to sit on the couch and eat cheetos. You can work to integrate these parts of yourself and then be congruent as you work towards what you want. And if you’re in this state than no motivation is necessary.
Some of the main techniques of what I teach come from Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, Visualization and Energy Psychology. There are different ways to help you achieve whatever your strength training goals happen to be by using these methods.
Everyone knows about visualization but few people practice it, at least regularly. But even with that I’ve found there are much more powerful tools. As an example visualizing yourself doing an exercise may help. But if you change HOW you visualize in specific ways, which changes your mental programming, you will definitely see an improvement.
Jedd: OK. So it’s not just about practicing Mental Programming, but also about How You Do it. Awesome. Another thing that caught my eye about your Think and Grow Stronger Master Course is that you talk about “manipulating your past, present and future.” How is this possible?
Logan: Time isn’t something that is real, in the sense that its not a physical thing. All it is is a mental construct that has many uses, but people also become trapped by it. All you really have is the present. In your mind you can go to the past and the future. Any exercise in goal setting is working towards a future time. You can also change how you frame the past. Just how much is possible with it? I think an example will show you what sort of manipulation you can do.
At the Wizards of Strength Workshop I led Matti Marzel through a drill. He was already quite strong in that he did two handstand pushups against the wall on just the index finger and thumb of each hand. At the time this was the best he could do. I led him through a little drill accessing how he programmed this exercise within in his mind. I had him step into the future where he had continued to practice this exercise. In this state he had more for a “feeling of owning the exercise”. I had him step back to the present bringing that feeling with him. He then did another set and was able to get 4 reps. He doubled what he could do by manipulating his mental programming and the future.
Jedd: When I played baseball, my dad always said I “wore my emotions on my shirt sleeve.” What exactly do emotions have to do with all of this?
Logan: The emotions are intimately tied into your thinking processes. Psyching up is a form of mental training that is common among strongmen and powerlifters. To get into this state people use anchoring, even if they’ve never heard of that term. What are they doing? They’re doing something to trigger their emotions, usually anger, to enter an altered state where the can lift heavier things. And it works. BUT there are better methods and while it works for non-complex heavy movements, psyching up does not work as well for everything else. Different emotional states are more or less useful for different lifts and exercises.
Jedd: Logan, I truly believe having your Mind right is a huge factor in success with strength training. I have seen people wrap up horseshoes and steel bars and then just before they attempt the bend they say, “I’ve never been able to get this.” And sure enough, they fail. I would love to put together a resource to help people improve this, but your Master Course is amazing. Please tell people about it and how to get it. I know you are planning on retiring it and it won’t be around much longer.
Logan: Limiting and empowering beliefs are such a huge aspect of success in any field. These not only directly responsible for your success or failure in training, but whether you even train and how you do it in the first place!
The Think and Grow Strong Master Course is a huge amount of information. It originally began as a monthly program but is now available all in one set. Ten modules cover all of the areas I’ve discussed and more. In total there is a binder full of written manuals, 12 DVD’s and 5 CD’s. The CD’s have hypnotic tracks that all you have to do is listen to in order to help you get stronger, gain muscle or lose fat. And they work.
But I’ve decided to retire this course and pull it off the market. I’m doing this to make way for new information in the future like my upcoming book Mental Muscle. So once this month is over it is gone for good. But right now you can get it for about one third of the price.
My guarantee is that with this course alone you’ll be far beyond any personal trainer and even sports psychologist out there in knowing how to properly use mental training.
I only have a few copies left and if they don’t sell out right away I’m pulling them off the market for good at the end of this month.
Jedd: Think about this guys:
It’s likely that you have spent a decent amount of money in acquiring training information in the forms of books, videos, certifications, etc. The great thing about mental training is that it builds on top of whatever knowledge you currently have. Regardless of how you’re training or what you’re training for it can be added on top to act as an accelerator for your goals.
If you want an edge on your competition, whether you are in strength sports, more classic sports, are a coach, or just want to look better, this could be the final piece to the puzzle to make your preparation complete.
Get it here while you still can for 1/3 the regular price:
Think and Grow Strong Master Course
All the best in your training,
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Tags: get bigger, get leaner, get stronger, how to build muscle, improve strength, lose fat
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Stretches for the Shoulders and Lats
I am willing to bet that it has been a while since you gave your lats a good, solid stretch.
This means your results in the gym are probably being stifled.
Tight lats will inhibit your muscle growth gains. Muscles need to be limber and flexible to allow for optimal growth, and if they are tight, your results will be stunted.
Don’t believe me?
Have you ever seen how flexible bodybuilders are? They may look muscle bound, but the truth is most of them stretch their asses off in order to maintain flexibility. If your lats are tight, you are limiting the amount of size you can put on.
Tight lats also mean your shoulders will not work right and your lifts will suffer. A great example is any form of overhead lifting: Strict Press, Push Press, Log, Barbell, Axle – it doesn’t matter. Tight lats will hinder your overhead performance.
Don’t believe me?
Try this. Do any version of overhead press with a thick hoodie on. Put a belt on your waist over top of your hoodie. You will feel the hoodie begin to restrict your overhead movement once the bar passes your head. This is essentially what happens when your lats are tight too – they inhibit your movement, and the Overhead Lifting is not the only thing they affect either.
Best Way to Stretch the Lats
Watch the video below. It will will show you my favorite stretch for the shoulders and lats. If you do this 4 or 5 times a workout, your tight lats will be on their way out the door, brother.
Obviously, this stretch utilizes bands. If you don’t have any bands, then you need to get some because these things are worth their weight in gold. If you have any questions on which bands to get, just let me know.
Places to Get Bands
If you don’t have bands, order some today. Beyond stretches like the one I show today, you can use them for tons of other things. Here are a couple of sources.
Start doing this stretch TODAY and I guarantee you will see better results from your muscle building and strength training, plus, your shoulders will me healthier because of it.
All the best in your training.
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Tags: bigger bench press, bigger overhead lifts, bigger press, lat stretch, shoulder strength, stretch lats
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Fixing Muscular Imbalances
Every August, he puts out a new edition of this program, with new guest experts, and this year he has put out a new installment on correcting issues throughout the body.
The new edition this year focuses on unconventional training tools, and how they can help correct weaknesses and imbalances through the upper body.
Much of the features of this program entail the use of equipment I have talked about often here at DieselCrew.com.
Here are some samples of this Muscular Imbalances Revealed installment:
- Sledge Hammer Training – Great for the Grip, Sledgehammer Training also gets your heart going while also training the core and glutes. It is also a great contrast training methdo for those who perform a great deal of kettlebell work.
- Ring Training – If you have weaknesses in your shoulders, chest, or back, this type of training will find it and correct it. Much more chaotic that training with barbells, benches, and dip stations, Ring Training makes you learn proper stabilization.
- Sled Training – If you aren’t including some type of sled work, they you most likely have not optimized your lover body recovery. This type of training has become a staple for many powerlifters and strongmen all over the world.
- Tire Flipping – One of the Strongman events that creates the most power, this is a great exercise for strengthening the posterior chain as well. The hammies, glutes, andd lower back are much too weak for some people, and this can help correct that.
- Reverse Stretching – Most people don’t stretch enough period. This section shows you how you can perform essential stretching to correct muscle and fascia issues to address flexibility issues that are hindering your strength development. If you have seemingly tried EVERYTHING in order to fix your imbalances and it has not worked, then this just may be the information you need.
Over the course of this week, the authors have put out samples of their portions of the program, and I have assembled them all here for you.
Sledge Hammer Training with Travis Stoetzel
Ring Training with Tyler Bramlett
Tire Flipping with Travis Stoetzel
Reverse Stretching with Isaac Ho
As you can see, this isn’t the same old boring re-hashed B.S. you’ve probably seen 100 times before. These guys are showing you how you can take unconventional tools and use them to improve your training in ways you might not have thought of before.
To get this program and start viewing it right away, click here = > Muscular Imbalances Revealed: Unconventional Tools.
All the best in your training,
Tags: correct imbalances, improve strength, muscle diseases, muscular imbalances, prevent injuries
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, forearm injury prevention recovery healing, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve strength, muscle building anatomy, sled dragging workouts, sledge hammer training, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training to prevent injury | No Comments »
Odd Object Training – Intense & Fun Strength Training
Odd Object training, lifting things like atlas stones, kegs, and sandbags is a very rewarding form of training. You get strong in ways that barbells and dumbbells can not provide and it is fun to pick things up that 99% of the population will never do.
Recently, I wanted to start working some odd object training into the routine. Optimally, I would have wanted to lift some atlas stones. But since it had been over a year since I last trained them, I wanted to work Odd Object Training back in slowly.
Instead of jumping right into stones, I opted to do some sandbag lifting and keg lifting. Both of these implements are shaped very similar to stones, and allow you to get used to the body positions of stone lifting and to somewhat practice the stone lifting technique.
The day I did this was also my Overhead Pressing day so I still wanted to do some overhead work. Since I was working with 110-lb Sandbag and a 127-lb Keg, I was able to get plenty of overhead lifting volume in.
For the sandbag, I decided I would do full cleans and presses. This would allow my back to get accustomed once again to the round-back position of odd object training, without going as heavy as my lightest stone, 230-lbs.
To stay conservative, I started with just 3 repetitions in my first set, and then added 1 repetition each set. All the while, I was trying to move faster and faster with the clean and the press in order to get a bit of an increase cardiovascular demand.
In the video you will see that I put a Timer in, just to show how quickly or slowly I was moving through the repetitions. Since there was a clean to the shoulder on each repetition, much more muscle was involved than just performing one clean and going for repetitions afterwards.
Here’s the video so you can see how it went.
With the Keg I decided to move to just one clean and multiple presses during the set. The clean is much tougher with my Keg because it is only half full of scrap steel and it shifts around quite a bit. I didn’t want to push my luck on my wrist, so 1 clean per set was good enough.
I also tried to perform a Keg Snatch, lifting it from between the legs overhead in one movement. I didn’t quite get it but I did come close. I think next workout I will be able to perform the snatch.
Check out the video:
As you watch the videos, you will see that I definitely have gotten a bit rusty with my Odd Object training. When you don’t do it for a while, you forget the challenge of controlling these implements, especially during the flip-over/catching portion of the Keg and Sandbag clean. After a couple of sets, I was able to knock most of the rust off.
For those who are new to this kind of training, you will want to approach it somewhat how I did. Even after the ow volume of work that I did, I was still sore in the middle back the next day. This is most likely due to the fact that I have been using so many conventional training implements (barbells, dumbbells) that my back is not used to stabilizing against such a dynamic load.
But that is actually the whole idea with Odd Object Training. It makes your body work harder than with regular equipment, so it helps you develop even more as an athlete or strength enthusiast.
Naturally, when you first start out with Odd Object Training, you’ll want to start out light and gradually move up as you get used to the demands of the Odd Objects. A good starter weight for most gals is about 50-lbs and for guys, about 80-lbs. That kind of weight with these bulky implements with give you a good introduction.
If you are interested in learning more about Odd Object Training, make sure you sign up for my newsletter, because more information will be coming your way.
If you have any questions on Odd Object Training, be sure to leave them below.
All the best in your training.
Tags: keg lifting, keg training, odd objects, sandbag lifting, sandbag training, stone lifting, stone training
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For the last few months, I have been telling you about all the Field Running I have been doing wearing chains draped around my neck, ruck sacks, and sandbags over my shoulders in preparation for the Warrior Challenge.
This past weekend, was the Warrior Challenge, and without a doubt, this 45+ minute run and obstacle course on the beaches of the Jersey town of Avon-by-the-Sea was the most difficult physical endeavor I have ever experienced.
Try as I might, all the months of preparation, all of the extra work that I did, and I still wasn’t in the shape I needed to be in.
Not only was this a physical test of my mettle, it was also a learning experience for this type of challenge…a page in my book of notes for future trials such as this.
Let this report be a lesson for you – always attack you challenges head on, and aim to prepare BEYOND what you think is required.
Warrior Challenge Saturday, July, 20, 2013 in Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey:
Left: Rob Pilger, Right: Jedd Johnson
Rob was an absolute beast the entire challenge. Can’t wait to hit the challenge with him, Dan Huff, and perhaps Brandan, again next year.
Attack your challenges HEAD ON, DIESELS.
All the best in your training,
What is the most common thing people ask me about with their training?
Grip Strength? Nope
Feats of Strength? Nope
Strongman Training? Nope – not even strength training.
Getting into better shape, Losing a few pounds, and Finding the time to train!!!
You’re BUSY, aren’t you?
I know what you are saying => Jobs, kids, classes, babysitters, fund-raisers, church, in-laws…the list goes on and on.
If you constantly feel like you get busier and busier and have less and less time to train, I want you to check out this new book that I put together along with several friends.
We tailored this book, ENTIRELY for busy people who want to get back into better shape, without having to join a gym and without having to upset their already hectic schedule.
Look, all of us who put this project together run businesses, LOVE TRAINING.
BUT, we were fed up with people not knowing how to balance all of their many life demands while also getting into better shape, so we put this book together and right now, you can get it on Amazon for dirt cheap.
Just go to this link => No Gym, No Time, No Problem: Simple Fitness Solutions for Busy People.
I know it is going to help you out.
All the best in your training.
Tags: busy person, fitness, fitness for busy people, get back into shape, get into shapee, improve fitness, training when busy
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A few weeks back, I attended the PA Strength and Conditioning Clinic at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA. A few weeks prior to that, I had written some of my good friends who attend the clinic each year and told them I was really looking forward to meeting up with them and hitting a good, solid, hard workout.
The reason I did this is because I wanted to just go there and relax and just blow off some steam by putting one another through the ringers, challenging one another in a nice, conventional workout in the gym.
So, Jerry Shreck, from Bucknell and Bobby Fisk, from Hobart, all met up and just threw down for about 2 solid hours of lifting with no real plan except to leave everything we had in the weight room.
Here is what we ended up doing.
Part I: Overhead Lifting
This portion starts out with some One Arm Snatch and One Arm Clean Clean and Press using Dumbbells. I was really looking forward to seeing how much I could do in these lifts, for two reasons.
First, the heaviest dumbbells I have in my gym is 110-lbs, and I seemed to remember Juniata’s going up to 150. Unfortunately, I remembered wrong, because they only went up to 120’s.
Second, there had been a post on the Gripboard talking about the heaviest One Arm Press people could do with no leg drive and starting with the dumbbell in contact with the shoulder. In training, I had gotten 100-lbs but kept missing with 110, so I was looking forward to seeing what I could.
The Snatches just happened because I figured I might as well start out with at least one fast lift, plus the Snatch takes nothing out of me for the Clean and Press so it ended up making sense.
For the Snatch, I ended up getting 120-lbs right handed. I was happy with this, but I know I could have gotten more, especially after Jerry cued me to keep my back straighter – everything felt more efficient after that and was much easier.
For the Clean and Press, I knocked out 110 without any leg drive whatsoever. On 115, I came very close, but I lost my balance a bit and had to move my feet to keep from falling over, so I can’t count it.
From there, we did some Pressing Ladders, where I started with 85 X 1, then 80 X 2, 75 X 3, 70 X 4, and then tried to reverse it back to 85X 1. I came close but didn’t quite finish it off.
Part II: Rows and Chest Press
Sadly, this is the part of the workout that really messed Jerry up. He had a pretty significant injury to his left forearm that kept him from hitting the numbers he really wanted to so, I know that he will be going after some payback sometime soon. Maybe we will have to meet up at Bucknell sometime for another encounter.
This video starts of with some Low Cable Rows. We started out with the whole stack, level 20, and we performed 5 reps there, then we would drop one plate off the pin and hit 5 more reps. This is where Bobby jumped in with us and proved that they don’t mess around in their training at Hobart.
I really liked this exchange. It was awesome having a pin-selected stack to work with. At my place, my Low Cable Row machine has an actual loading pin, so if I want to drop weight from it during a set, I have to stand up, walk 4 feet to unload, and then get back in position. Being able to just sit forward and have someone else adjust the pins was awesome.
Next, we hit the Chest Press Machine. We started with the stack again, and then dropped two plate positions, hitting 5 reps at each stop. This machine proved to be fairly surprising in the area of difficulty. It had been a long time since Jerry and I had worked on a machine like this, and the bottom of the movement as well as the lockout were much more difficult than the regular Barbell Bench Press.
With this in mind, it could be a good idea to work some machines in every so often in order to shock the muscles a bit and keep them guessing. As I told Bobby, “It’s a different hard. It can still make you better.”
Part III: Curls, Upright Rows, Side Laterals, Posterior Flyes
As I was walking around the gym warming up, I saw this freakin’ awesome angled handle barbell. I know Coach Smith from Juniata has all of the best equipment for his football players, so it didn’t surprise me that he’d have a barbell like this. Bobby and I jumped on it right away, throwing a 10-kilo plate on there and performing a few sets of curls. It felt awesome and there was absolutely no stress on the wrists or forearms whatsoever curling with this barbell.
After that we set up a combination for the shoulders. Lift A was Upright Rows, which I haven’t done in years, but have added in a bit recently using only the EZ Curl Bar. I have actually coached people NOT to do Upright Rows in the past, but with the form I use in the video, I think they are much safer than the regular form used with barbells. We combined that with a superset of Side Laterals and Posterior Flyes performed with Chains.
This was an AWESOME burner for the shoulders. What’s great about the chains is they are very light at the bottom and then KILLER HARD at the top. With the lighter resistance at the bottom, they do not strain the rotator cuffs like dumbbells would, and the difficulty only ramps up when you get out of the range where the rotator cuffs are doing all of the work.
I LOVED this workout. The only things that could could have made it any better were if my two regular lifting buddies, Mark Gannon and JT Straussner, would have been there, and if we would have thrown in some Grip at the end. However, I took a 3-week hiatus from Grip Training after nationals, so the only grip I did during that time was holding the weights in my regular Strength and Mass Building lifts.
I hope you enjoy the videos. If you have any questions about the training, please feel free to leave a comment below, or right on the YouTube video pages.
Also, make sure to subscribe to my channel by clicking here.
All the best in your training.
P.S. Be sure to keep an eye out for more updates from Juniata. I still have a few more training and learning tidbits I will be sharing from my time there. Stay Tuned.
Start Strongman Training and Take Your Strength to New Levels
Tags: chest press, dumbbell press, dumbbell snatch, juniata clinic, low cable row, strength coach, strength training
Posted in how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to lose fat improve fat loss, how to lose weight and get in better shape, overhead lifting, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training videos diesel tv | 1 Comment »
Back and Triceps Training
Here is a recent workout compilation that my buddy Mark Gannon and I did.
In it, we are Back and Triceps.
This is a crazy combination. Many people don’t realize that the triceps will assist in the movement pattern of shoulder extension, so when you work Lats and Triceps together, it makes for a freakin’ sick pump with a pre-exhaust factor that is hard to put into words.
I also threw in some Ab Wheel. Sure, it works the core primarily, but I love adding it in on this day because it also works the lats, when you pull back to the starting position, and it hits the triceps hard too, because they have to hold your bodyweight up as well.
In the video, I added text blocks to show the set-and-rep schemes we use, and in some cases the loading. Go through it and you’ll see what I mean.
Try this workout combination and let me know what you think. I bet you will be hooked on this combo as much as I am.
All the best in your training,
Need to JACK UP Your Conditioning? Try out some SLED DRAGGING.
Tags: back training, back workout, bigger back, bigger triceps, build back, build triceps, tricep training, tricep workout
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Over the last few weeks, I have been doing something that I never thought I would do with any kind of regularity…
49.4-lbs in Chain
Just Prior to My Run
While I have done distance running in the past, the last time I actually remember doing it is around 1998 when I was still playing baseball at Mansfield University.
And really, I am not sure all those “counted” because for many of them, the Seniors on the team would lead our group of pitchers out behind a patch of evergreen trees and have wrestling matches with us underclassmen.
I still remember challenging the biggest pitcher on the team to a “match,” thinking it was all going to be fake, but before I knew it, he picked me up, slammed me to the ground and put me in a cradle, along the lines pulling both traps and rhomboid muscles in my upper back so bad I could barely throw…
Anyway, you might be wondering why I would go from no running for over a decade to running consistently multiple times a week for the last couple of months…
The reason is because in July I am signed up for something called a Warrior Challenge.
This Warrior Challenge consists of 4 individual events. I am not sure of the exact order, but I know that there is the following:
- a Mile Run on the Beach with a 40-pound Ruck Pack
- as many burpees as possible in 2 minutes
- as many Pull-ups as possible
- There is also supposed to be a mystery challenge that could be anything…
So, when I found out about this in March, I stepped on a scale and I was 279-lbs. With a 40-lb Pack, I’d be tipping near 320-lbs and I just didn’t think there was any way possible my back, knees, and ankles would be able to handle it, so I decided I needed to start running and clean up my diet in order to get into condition for this challenge and lose some unneeded excess weight.
Now, since I live in Pennsylvania, there are no mile-long beaches to train on. There are a few spots I know of where there is sand near lakes or creeks, but nowhere near long enough to get me ready for a mile run.
Plus, I was DREADING having to jog on the road. Just thinking about it made my knees hurt.
So, I developed another work-around that is allowing me to get as ready as possible for the Warrior Challenge – Field Running.
Behind my house there is a giant field. It is just grass as far as you can see, but there are also hills and of course the occasional woodchuck hole.
I thought about it, and that terrain seemed to be to be the perfect location for me to get my running work in. Not only does it have rolls, slopes, and inclines in it just like a beach could have, I thought it would be perfect for my back, knees, and ankles, because I would be running on the grass, which would reduce some of the shock and jarring of running.
In April, I started out with bouts of jogging with walking intervals mixed in. When I first started, I could only make it 3 minutes before I was out of breath, thinking I was going to collapse. But I have progressed, much quicker than I anticipated by the way, to longer jogs and fewer breaks for walking.
In addition, in May I started adding chains to my body in order to start mimicking the wearing of the pack. I started out with about 25-lbs of chain. Then, last night, I bumped it up to 49.4-lbs of chain.
This is how awesome your body is and how well you can progress if you stay consistent…
When I started, 3 minutes of jogging nearly killed me, and then I had to mix in a 1 minute walk after every 1 minute of jogging. Last night, with nearly 50-lbs in chain on shoulders, I was able to jog for 5 minutes, then walk for 1 minute, then go 4 minutes jogging, with a 1 minute walk, 4 minutes jogging, 1 minute walking, and then finished with a 4 minute jog.
Is it easy? Hell no. Do I love it? No way. But am I happy I am doing it? Absolutely.
I am 100% confident that I will be able to complete the Warrior Challenge in July and I am enjoying seeing the improvement in both my conditioning and the distance I am covering each time I go out.
Now, taking on the extra cardio ONLY would be absolutely insane. Along with this, I have also completely re-done my diet and I am eating cleaner than I ever have before. The improved eating, which I cover here in another recent post, has also seemed to allow me to train more often than I have in years. most weeks I am getting 4 solid sessions and sometimes 5, whereas for the last year or so I was only getting 3 good sessions in.
What’s my weight now? Well, my coach has asked me not to weigh myself the rest of May, and instead look at inches, so I have taken them along with some “Before” shots, and will compare the information once June hits.
The good news is that with all of this weight loss, I have noticed ZERO loss in strength, which was one of my worries. The other major worry was losing a bunch of muscle, which is what happened when I trimmed down in 2008 when I turned 30, but I think I am doing a much better job with my eating and training this time and less of that is going to take place.
If you are in the same boat I am and know that you want to attain some fat loss, whether because you have some kind of challenge coming up, because Summer is coming and you don’t want to be the Fat Guy/Gal, or if you just want to feel better, then stay tuned DIESELS!
All the best in your training.
P.S. My Strength Training Workouts are very similar to what Smitty covers in AMD. If you are looking for a program to help you put on muscle and take off fat, this is one you should check out: Accelerated Muscular Development:
The Top 5 Reasons You Should Use Kettlebells For Building Bad-ass Power
By Tyler Bramlett Creator Of The Warrior Workout System
Tyler Bramlett – GarageWarrior.com
Building massive strength and power are among the top goals of all athletes. After all, who doesn’t want a body that can generate endless amounts of explosive power on demand, right?
So what is the best way to go about safely building power in your workouts?
In this short article I am going to show you my favorite power building exercises as well as the top 5 reasons you should be training with kettlebells if you want to build a strong and powerful body that looks great and performs even better!
Let’s get started…
REASON #1 – Kettlebells Are Easy To Learn
I’ve been teaching kettlebells now for just shy of a decade and there’s one thing I know to be absolutely true. Teaching someone to safely use kettlebells is way easier than almost any other training tool.
Probably 9 times out of 10 I can get someone to swing a kettlebell correctly within minutes and with only a handful of simple coaching cues. Try doing that with a barbell clean or even a power clean and watch as you or your clients struggle to get it right.
Don’t get me wrong I love the O-lifts, however I rarely meet coaches who are truly qualified to teach these lifts and I even more rarely meet someone who has the requisite mobility to do the O-lifts safely.
Kettlebells eliminate these learning curves by making explosive style lifting easier to learn and easier to coach.
REASON #2 – Kettlebells Build Explosiveness In All Planes Of Movement
Unlike many bilateral movements done with barbells, explosive kettlebell movements such as one arm snatches and high pulls build explosive strength and power in all planes of movement.
You not only need strength of hip extension, but by doing these exercises unilaterally (with one arm) you demand more core strength to resist rotation and leaning.
It is this unilateral power which athletes and those looking to really boost performance need. Take a moment to think about many different sports being played… They involve running, throwing, catching jumping etc. Each of these movement patterns rely’s on unilateral power rather then bilateral power.
Mastering some of the basic kettlebell moves will aid you in boosting your unilateral power and resilience which will in turn make you a better athlete!
REASON #3 – Kettlebells Are “Different” Than Dumbbells And Barbells
Regardless of whether you are a coach, athlete or simply just a fitness enthusiast, you’ve no doubt seen or herd someone talk about how they were afraid or intimidated to use heavy weights in their workouts.
Being that I am the head coach of a large training program in the bay area I had to quickly figure out how to remove this “social conditioning” from peoples minds when they entered my training program.
The #1 technique I learned was most effective was by using kettlebell training as the root of my programming rather then dumbbells or barbells. Partly because they were “new” and thus attractive to new customers.
But even more importantly I could look someone in the eyes who was perhaps intimidated by using a 10lb dumbbell and tell them that kettlebells are totally different. Immediately these people picked up the kettlebell and had a different relationship then the one they had with other free weights.
BOOM!! Problem solved… They were now on an effective training program using weights and explosive exercises and I didn’t have to hear them bitch about using too heavy of dumbbells anymore. Now all I had to do was remind them that this is how you use kettlebells.
REASON #4 – Forge An Iron Core
By now you should have gotten wind that the “core” as they like to call it these days is responsible for stability of the spine. One of the major elements that high level trainers across the world are now focusing on is anti-rotation of the core.
This means rather then using your core to move an object you instead train the core to resist movement. This is extremely important in athletics and daily life as your ability to keep your midsection stable when getting jolted by the opposing team or bad misfortune in your daily life is critical for keeping your spine safe.
So what does this have to do with kettlebells?
Well, one of the coolest components of kettlebell training is their ability to be tossed from hand to hand. This act of kettlebell juggling is perhaps the best way to condition your core to resist rotation and lateral movement and to build massive amounts of power coupled with unpredictability.
A good friend and master kettlebell juggler, Logan Christopher attributes his great midsection strength and 500+lb deadlift (at 6’2” 180ish) to kettlebell juggling. It is truly a lost art that will help you to forge an iron core!
REASON #5 – You Can Safely Do High Power Moves For Reps
Although some training communities are doing high rep Olympic lifting, I strongly urge you to think twice before hitting a puke worthy set of 20+ barbell snatches. The bottom line is that the O-lifts are complex and when you add speed to complexity more things can go wrong fast. So what are you to do?
Kettlebell style lifts like snatches, push presses and jerks are much safer for reps and easier to learn and teach then their O-lifting counterparts. Why should you care? You should care because the development of strength or power endurance (i.e. repeating a strength move for reps is one of the best ways to boost not only power, but also to boost mental toughness, cardiovascular capacity and muscle gain.
Ok, so kettlebells are obviously a good choice when looking for the right tools for developing power safely. So, what now? What should I do and what exercises should I start with?
Which Kettlebell Lifts Should I perform to Build Power?
Stick to the basics… Do exercises like swings, snatches and if your up for it give a little kettlebell juggling a shot. Do these exercises for 10-30 reps and focus on the development of movement mastery or the ability to make the hard look easy. Over time, your skills will grow and you will develop unparalleled explosive power that will leave you with a body that looks great and performs even better.
Tyler Bramlett is a REAL Functional Training Expert located in Santa Cruz CA. He is the creator of the Warrior Workout System, a system of movement progression based training that you can follow to accelerate your performance and results.
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, how to develop power, how to develop strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, strength training to improve athletic performance | No Comments »
Training Athletes for Explosiveness
We can all identify an explosive athlete. Explosiveness is very noticeable, but extremely difficult to train and incorporate into a traditional high school strength program.
As a coach for arguably the most explosive athletes on the planet, track and field throwers, and owner of a gym that specializes in building the most explosive athletes in Rhode Island, I have been able to incorporate explosive movement training in ways that are non-traditional but very successful. In this article, you will learn how to incorporate these methods into your own coaching and training to build incredibly explosive athletes.
The “As _____ As Possible” Mentality
High school and college strength coaches have traditionally been brought up to think of athletic training in terms of maxes. It is what I like to call the “as _____ as possible” mentality.
For example, strength is defined as moving a weight “as heavy as possible” one time. A great example of this is a one rep max in the squat.
Strength endurance is defined as moving a certain weight “as many times as possible.” The 225 pound bench press for reps test at the NFL combine is a perfect example of this.
Straight ahead speed like you see in track and field sprinters is defined as running a certain distance “as fast as possible.”
Endurance is defined as doing a movement “as long as possible.”
It is my finding through years of training young athletes and speaking to strength coaches around the country that we are taking the wrong “as _____ as possible” approach when we try to build explosiveness in athletes.
What Are We Doing Wrong?
More often than not, when a strength coach approaches me and is having trouble getting athletes more explosive, they are incorporating too much maximum weight into the equation.
For example, I recently had a coach email me his training template that consisted of Power Cleans, Hang Cleans, and Box Jumps to build explosiveness. While these are great exercises to build explosiveness in athletes, his approach was totally wrong.
He had his athletes jumping on to a box “as high as possible” 1 time for multiple sets. He has his athletes doing power cleans “as heavy as possible” for sets of 1 without varying the weight. He had his athletes doing hang cleans “as heavy as possible” for sets of 1 without changing the weight.
“Using a maximum weight for multiple sets
or jumping to a super tall box one time
is not building explosiveness,
it is merely testing explosiveness
over and over again.”
The thing to keep in mind when training explosiveness is that an athlete will rarely have a heavy external load on their bodies while competing. Using a maximum weight for multiple sets or jumping to a super tall box one time is not building explosiveness, it is merely testing explosiveness over and over again.
Finding the Correct Formula
With all of this being said, what is the correct formula for building explosiveness? What is the correct “as _____ as possible” approach to ensure your athletes are doing everything they can to become as explosive as they can be. In order to guarantee your athletes are training for explosion, you must make sure they are training certain movements with “as much force as possible.”
I believe this is why strength coaches have such a hard time training explosiveness. Unless you have extremely expensive testing equipment, measuring force is nearly impossible. It is a lot easier to measure the weight on a bar, the height of a box, or the time it takes to run a certain distance. Add to this the fact that athletes are asked to be explosive and produce force over and over again during the course of a game and the training difficulty multiplies.
Force equals mass times acceleration. So the easiest way to measure force, or for a coach to see if an athlete is applying more force, is to watch the speed that he performs a movement with a selected weight through 5 repetitions.
My favorite explosive exercise to do with my throwers is a one arm dumbbell clean and press for 5 reps per arm. It is a full body movement that incorporates massive force with the lower body, transferring that force through the core into the upper body, and applying that force to the dumbbell. Very similar to the way a track and field thrower applies force to a shot put, discus, or javelin.
The application is simple. Give an athlete a dumbbell you know they can easily clean and press multiple times. Have them perform 5 repetitions with each hand, starting with the non-dominant (non-throwing) arm. Watch the speed that the dumbbell moves. Ask yourself, is the dumbbell moving as fast (or almost as fast) on the 5th rep as it did on the 1st rep?
If the answer is yes, the athlete is allowed to increase the weight of the dumbbell by 5 pounds for his second set.
If the answer is no, the athlete should decrease the weight by 5 pounds on his next set.
When dealing with training explosion, the name of the game is speed. Being able to keep the same speed (or have a very slight decrease in speed) over 5 reps will ensure that an athlete is able to produce maximum force and replicate that force time and time again, similar to what they will be asked to do during a competition.
Sneaking Explosive Training into your Current Workouts
While I truly believe that having a separate day 100% dedicated to training speed and explosion is the most effective way of getting an athlete to produce more force, it is not possible in a typical high school setting. Let’s face it, practicing the actual sport is the most important thing a high school student will do and should take up the most amount of practice time.
If an athlete practices 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, they might only be in the weight room 2 days a week for 30-40 minutes at a time. How does a strength coach go about training explosion with a large team in a small weightroom while the athletes are also expected to be getting bigger and stronger at the same time?
Replace Slow Reps with Explosive Reps
One strategy is to combine the strength and explosive movement training into the same exercise. This is something I have done for the past few years and it works very well, especially with large groups. When an athlete is performing a strength based exercise on a typical linear periodization template, they will normally begin with a very light weight and gradually increase each set.
For example, an athlete with a 225 pound bench press will perform 5 sets like this:
- Set 1 – 95 pounds for 10 slow and steady reps.
- Set 2 – 135 pounds for 8 slow and steady reps.
- Set 3 – 155 pounds for 6 good reps.
- Set 4 – 175 pounds for 4-5 good reps.
- Set 5 – 195 pounds for 3-4 tough reps to failure.
Instead, why not add one more set, and work the first 3 sets for 6 reps as explosive as possible?
- Set 1 – 95 pounds for 6 explosive reps (plates should be clanging)
- Set 2 – 115 pounds for 6 explosive reps (plates rattling, bar speed never decreases)
- Set 3 – 135 pounds for 6 explosive reps (weight may slow down at the 5th or 6th rep)
- Set 4 – 155 pounds for 6 good reps
- Set 5 – 175 pounds for 4-5 good reps
- Set 6 – 195 pounds for 3-4 tough reps to failure.
The athlete is still doing the same amount of reps for the exercise in both templates. As you can see, the addition of one extra set of 6 reps makes this one exercise become a blend of explosiveness for the first 3 beginning sets, and strength for the last 3 sets.
Instead of moving the lighter weight slow and steady, he is now moving the bar with as much speed as possible. Every week simply increase the weight by 5 or 10 pounds and decrease the reps by 1. After 3 weeks, change the exercise slightly (move to an incline press or a dumbbell press) and follow this same template for another 3 weeks.
This can be done with all of your basic compound lifts like squats and bench press. You will see great increases in speed and explosiveness without a decrease in strength.
Replace a Slow Assistance Movement with a Fast Bodyweight Movement
Another strategy is to replace a standard compound or isolation movement with a similar exercise focusing on explosion. For example, on the days that you have your athletes squatting, you may have them also doing a lunge variation.
Rather than do the lunge in a typical slow and steady manner, why not change the exercise to a jumping lunge?
So rather than doing 3 sets of 10 reps per leg while holding a dumbbell in each hand, do 6 sets of 5 jumps per leg working on getting as high in the air as possible? Or to look at it another way:
- Walking lunges holding dumbbells – 3 sets of 10 reps – slow pace – focus is hypertrophy.
- Repeat Jumping Lunges – 6 sets of 5 reps – explosive pace – focus is producing massive force.
(Both are lunges, both very easy to teach, but two separate results).
The same can be done by switching a dumbbell bench press to an explosive push up, or exchanging a leg press or leg extension with a repeat jumping squat.
Superset an Opposite Explosive Exercise Immediately After a Strength Exercise
A third strategy that you can use that works great with larger teams or if you have limited time is to superset an opposite explosive movement immediately after a strength exercise. For example, if you have your athletes doing a typical 5 x 5 strength template and you have 4 athletes sharing one piece of equipment, you are inevitably going to have athletes taking a large amount of rest between each set while the bar is loaded and unloaded.
Instead of having the athlete finish his set and sit down for a few minutes of rest, have him do an explosive movement immediately after his set is complete.
Here is a great example.
Exercise: Squats – 5 sets of 5 reps – increase weight each time
Superset with clapping push ups – 5 sets of 5 reps – perform immediately after squats.
This is a great way to blend a strength based exercise with an explosive exercise. With this strategy, just make sure that the explosive exercise is opposite (uses a different movement pattern) than the strength exercise. So if the main strength exercise is a bench press, superset with an explosive jumping movement.
In my experience, supersetting an explosive movement with a strength movement that is too similar will be counterproductive. The athlete will be too tired to produce the energy necessary to lift heavy and the heavy lifting will prevent them from being explosive. Truly a lose-lose situation. Neither exercise will accomplish what it sets out to do.
Implementing These Strategies Properly
Properly implementing these strategies should be done gradually so you do not throw off whatever progress you have accumulated thus far. Don’t completely revamp your training templates and switch around what your team has been doing. Take one strategy from the three above and implement it for the first 4 or 5 weeks of the season. Test it out with your team (certain sports and athlete body types respond to each strategy differently) and see if the response is favorable when they play their sport. If it is, try to incorporate an additional strategy for the next 4-5 weeks and see how your athletes respond.
If your athletes show an increase of explosion in their sport, you know what you are doing is working.
If your athletes are looking lethargic and are gassing out during their weight room sessions, that is a sign to pull back and decrease the amount of explosive work.
Whatever is done in the weightroom should enhance what is done during competition. You are training athletes. They can’t be bodybuilders in the weightroom and athletes on the field. They can’t be Olympic lifters in the weightroom and athletes on the field. They can’t be powerlifters in the weightroom and athletes on the field. Train them like athletes by blending their strength training, explosive movements, and hypertrophy in the weightroom to compliment what they do in their sport. You will see over time that their explosion increases along with their strength and muscular size.
-Coach Matt Ellis-
DIESELS, Coach Ellis and I worked together on a project last eyar and we are about to release it. It’s called Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers.
You can get on the early bird list for this DVD release by adding your email to the box below. You’ll be the first to know about it when it comes out.
All the best in your training – Grip for Throwers comes out next week!
Tags: athletic training, athletic workouts, explosive training, strength training, training explosion
Posted in how to improve fitness and conditioning, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training workouts | 2 Comments »
I was recently contacted by a gentleman named Michael Volkin about reviewing his new product called Strength Stack 52.
Normally, these types of spam messages get glanced at and then immediately deleted.
But this case was a little different.
In this case, Michael had pretty much taken an idea I had come up with years before and not only run with it, but did it in a way that was much better than the idea I had.
Check out the video below and you’ll find out exactly what I am talking about.
Strength Stack 52 Review
You can grab a deck of Strength Stack here: Strength Stack 52.
Who Is Strength Stack 52 For?
I personally think Strength Stack cards could be very valuable for personal trainers and boot camp instructors. The exercises shown are all bodyweight exercises and require very little equipment in order to perform them, so that means in many cases a great deal of clients can perform the movements all at the same time.
In addition, because most of the exercises are not actually weight room or gym-based, that means they can be done anywhere, from garages, to lawns and parks.
They can also bring a “mystery effect” to training by using the Strength Stack cards to dictate Finishers for a workout.
Finally, for those who enjoy bodyweight training over other forms of resistance work, I suggest you check this out. There are some pretty cool variations of basic exercises, like Push-ups, that are much more demanding.
Who Is Strength Stack Not For
As cool as I think these cards are, I don’t think they will be a big hit with people who base their training around Strength Development or most periodization models. In those cases, it would seem that people who train in that way will already have too much on their plate in order to add these drills in, unless bodyweight work is already being added into their regular training.
As an example, in my training, I am pretty much limited to a 2-hour spot, and I have to get a solid warm-up, train either upper or lower body, and then get in my specialized Grip and Feat of Strength Training, plus recovery work. There just isn’t any available time to add something like this in in most workouts.
If you like Bodyweight Training and like to always have a little variety in your training, then check these out. Also, if you are a Personal Trainer or Boot Camp Owner, and are always looking for new workouts and drills to throw at your clients, then this could be absolutely perfect for you.
You can grab your deck here: Strength Stack 52.
All the best in your training,
York Barbell, June 2011
Today I have an interview with Michael Krivka, Sr. I first met Michael at my RKC certification in 2010 and then hung with him later on in 2011 at the York Barbell Museum when Slim the Hammerman Farman and the Mighty Adam Joe Greenstein were inducted into their Hall of Fame.
To the right you can see former York Employee, Mike Locondro with his brown jacket towards the left of the photo and then Michael Krivka (black shirt, white sleeve with print) is standing next to Slim “The Hammerman” Farman, on the right (black outfit, white goatee).
Recently, Michael put out a pretty cool ebook, Code Name Indestructible, based around the James Bond movies, so I reached out to him and asked him if he’d be interested in an interview. He agreed, and along the way I found out some pretty cool things about him too.
Jedd: Michael, thanks for taking the time to do the interview with me and everyone at DieselCrew.com.
It’s my pleasure Jedd and thanks so much for the opportunity to talk with you and the community at Diesel Strength and Conditioning!
Jedd: First, could you tell us a bit about yourself, your training history, etc.
Michael: I’m a 50 year old Washington, DC native and I’ve been involved in physical training for the better part of my life. I started training in the martial arts when I was thirteen (starting with Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Western Fencing, Judo, Ninjutsu, etc.) and I still teach several times a week. I’ve been a student of Guro Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lee’s training partner, for over 25 years and I’m a full instructor in JKD and the Filipino Martial Arts (Kali, Escrima and Arnis) as well an instructor in Lameco Eskrima.
You know me from the Russian Kettlebell arena where I have been an RKC (Russian Kettlbell Certified) for over a decade. I actually started lifting back when I was in High School to add some mass to my five foot ten inch frame. I graduated from High School at ninety eight pounds (scary isn’t it) and after spending some serious time in the gym working with my college football team I added eighty five pounds to my frame by the time I graduated four years later. To say that I bulked up would be an understatement. People who knew me from High School didn’t recognize me four years later!
I’m also a Crossfit Level I Trainer, CrossFit Kettlebell Trainer, and CrossFit Olympic Lifting Coach.
I know you from the realm of Kettlebell Training. Is this your primary mode of training and what made you transition to it?
I was originally introduced to Kettlebells when I was training in Sambo (Russian Combat Martial Art). I was training at one of the Russian embassies in downtown Washington, DC (with some “secret squirrel-types”) and saw a couple of Kettlebells in the corner of the training hall and asked one of my training partners about them. He showed me a couple things like the Swing, High Pull (one and two hand) and the “Two Hand Snatch” (what we now call the CrossFit or American Swing). I thought they were great because they reinforced the striking and throwing skills that we were practicing in Sambo.
Shorty thereafter a martial arts friend of mine from California mentioned that he had read about Kettlebells in a magazine (Milo) and that he had started training with them. I did a little research on the Internet (thanks Al Gore!) and found that there was going to be a two-day workshop given by Mike Mahler the following weekend so I signed up! I went to the workshop and was immediately floored by what you could do with the Kettlebell. People joke about “drinking the Kool-Aid” but man I was chugging the stuff! I fell in love with Kettlebell training and left on Sunday afternoon with the Kettlebell I was training with all weekend… and I still have it!
Now (over ten years later) I do most of my training with either Kettlebells or body weight with a healthy dose of Barbell work thrown, mostly Deadlifts, Cleans, Military Presses, Jerks and Snatch. I train five to seven days a week doing hybrid Russian Kettlebell and CrossFit workouts, with several martial arts classes thrown in for good measure.
What level of experience do you have as a Kettlebell Instructor or Coach?
Michael: Well, I’m currently an RKC Team Leader but have been an RKC for over a decade. I’ve attended, I think, seven or eight RKC’s, the first and only RKC Convention in Las Vegas (that’s a story for a different time!), the Combat Application Specialist certification (which was the original RKC II), the CK-FMS, and the Body Weight Training Workshop (with Max Shank and Mark Reifkind). I have also been to several non-RKC Kettlebell certifications (not a good idea once you’ve been to an RKC and seen the quality and expertise presented there) as well as CrossFit certifications and mobility/flexibility workshops. As far asexperience outside of certifications and workshops: I’ve been running group workout classes seven days a week for the last five years and prior to that was teaching classes three to five days a week. That doesn’t count the time I put in for my own training and technique development. I can honestly say that I’ve had a Kettlebell in my hands pretty much every day for almost a decade – with the exception of a couple days when I was sick or recovering from surgery! I’m not happy without my daily dose of Iron!
Jedd: For those who may not be familiar, what exactly is the RKC?
The RKC, which stands for Russian Kettlebell Certification, is a three-day certification that exposes you to the seven foundational techniques: the Deadlift, Swing, Squat, Clean, Press, Snatch and Turkish Get-up. Three days of hands-on training, critique and evaluation with some of the top Kettlebell instructors in the world will give you a strong foundation to build upon when you return home. Some people are amazed at the changes in their technical ability and are awestruck by the changes they feel over the course of a weekend. I’ve been to a lot of certifications and I’ve seen some pretty incredible work come out of them. I can honestly say that the RKC experience is the top of the line when it comes to hands-on training. I’ve been to a lot of workshops and certifications in my lifetime, between physical fitness, strength, and martial arts, and nothing (and I do mean NO THING) compares to the level of training you will receive there. Yep, it’s a lot more expensive than other certifications – and it’s worth it!
Jedd: When I saw you at York Barbell in 2011, you were running a Wounded Warrior project centered around Kettlebell Training. Could you tell us a bit more about that: what is it, how you got involved, and do you continue to do so today?
Michael: We were there as part of the events we had scheduled for a charity we started called “Kettlebells for Warriors” whose goal is to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project and other charities that support our returning troops. We started Kettlebells for Warriors after having a discussion with my good friend Mike Locondro about how we felt we could do more to help out those who were returning with Traumatic Brain Injuries, PTSD, loss of limbs, and other physical injuries. It was a great idea but we needed a vehicle to get the process moving and we settled on using the Kettlebell due to it’s universal appeal in the military and elite fitness communities. We’ve been holding events each year and are in the process of re-focusing our fund raising efforts in order to maximize our impact. We are planning on having one large international event in 2013 and several smaller national events that will bring people together to have a great time working out and raising money for a good cause.
Jedd: Recently, you put out a new product called Code Name: Indestructible. Could you tell us about how you went about designing this program?
Michael: Code Name: Indestructible (CNI) was a labor of love! I’ve been a fan of the James Bond movies (and books) my whole life and I’ve seen each and every one of them countless times. A couple years ago I was rummaging around for an idea for a series of workouts and I put together the “Bond Girl” series. Let me tell you – these were crazy workouts! A lot of fun but just complete [email protected]#$es to do – which pretty much fits the Bond Girls themselves! Anyway, along with that series I started playing with the idea of doing a series of workouts based on the movies but never really finished the project. When I started hearing more about the most recent Bond film “Skyfall” I broke out my notes and started looking at finally completing the series. I even went back and watched a bunch of the movies over again to inspire me to create some really challenging workouts that would mirror the physical requirements Bond would need to survive.
Jedd: I can tell you are an amazing James Bond movie buff, due to the name of your ebook, and the workouts that your ebook includes. Could you tell us how you go about constructing workouts?
Michael: I’ve got to tell you that I had to modify some of the original workouts, not because they were too hard (and they were), but because there wasn’t a clear purpose behind the workout. Call it inexperience, but the purpose of the original series was to crush the person without a clear-cut plan or progression. I like to think that I’m a lot smarter now, but I could be wrong! Anyway, I went back and re-constructed some of the workouts and then created brand new ones for the remainder.
I have to say that I have been STRONGLY influenced by the work of Pavel and especially Dan John. I’ve always enjoyed reading Dan’s books, blog and his articles, and I can honestly say that my workouts have become better due to his influence. In particular I have found his breaking down of the basic movement skills into Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge, Carry and Other Ground Work (i.e. the Turkish Get-up) to be revolutionary. I tend to look at my clients through this framework and then design workouts around the “holes” they have in their movement patterns. If you look at the workouts in CNI you will see the hand of Dan John in many of them – kind of like Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s multiple appearances as James Bond’s nemesis! BTW – true “Bondphiles” will know what I’m talking about!
Jedd: Right now many people will be committing to bettering their health in various ways. Could your product help these people out?
Michael: That’s a great question Jedd and the answer is: ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY! Along with the James Bond-themed workouts are several chapters on how to properly program the workouts to assure your success. Dan John, who wrote the Preface to CNI, mentioned that you really need to read the first part of the book before you jump into the workouts to get the best results!
I’m a firm believer in having a plan in place in order to succeed, and if you go after a goal without a plan in place, with definitive steps in place, you are not going to succeed. CNI goes into a lot of depth about how you should plan, monitor and review your workouts in order to guarantee you make progress and that you succeed. I think this information is the most important part of the book and that it will most likely get overlooked! The workouts are great and a lot of fun and I’m concerned that people will skip right over the background guidance content and skip right to the workouts!
Jedd: For those who might pick this ebook up, what level of expertise with kettlebells should they have?
Michael: I think a beginner with Kettlebells can get CNI and be able to do all of the workouts. One thing you have to understand about any of the workouts, and my own personal training and teaching strategy, is that you can scale and modify any workout and still keep its effectiveness. Let’s say that one of the workouts has Kettlebell Snatch and Pull-ups in it and you are absolutely horrible at both of them! Do you skip that workout and try to find another one? Nope – scale it! Can you do One-Hand Swings or One-Hand High Pulls? Great! Get rid of the Kettlebell Snatch and do those instead. Can’t do Pull-ups? How about doing Jumping Pull-ups or Ring Rows instead? You’re still going to get an amazing workout and when you finally develop the additional skills (Kettlebell Snatch and Pull-ups) the workout will seem brand new to you.
Jedd: Are the movements in the ebook covered as far as how to do them properly, either by stills or video demonstrations?
Michael: Each workout has a brief review of the skills required to accomplish the “mission” and I try to give succinct pointers on how to do them safely and effectively. I’ve even put in links to techniques that you may not know how to do in several workouts. For the most part, if you don’t know how to do a particular technique, you’ll be able to find a video on YouTube or go to your website for examples of how to do them. Just be sure to check out the credentials of the person who is demoing the technique and stay away from anything associated with Jillian Michaels!
Jedd: I noticed that many of your workouts are not entirely based on using kettlebells alone. What other types of equipment do your workouts include and why?
Michael: While I think the Russian Kettlebell is any amazing tool for building full-body strength and endurance it can’t meet all of your strength and conditioning needs. I think a heavy dose of Body Weight skills (i.e. Push-ups, Pull-ups, Sit-outs, Handstands, Crawling, etc.) along with Olympic and Powerlifting techniques have to be included to add size and strength. I’ve even included my favorite “torture device” the Wheel of Pain (WOP) aka the Ab Wheel in this series. If you’ve never learned how to use this tool properly you are in for a world of hurt!
Jedd: Aside from your expert ability at weaving James Bond themes into your ebook, what else sets this apart from other kettlebell training programs?
Michael: I think there are a lot of things that distinguish this program from others that are on the market right now. First, I’ve actually put people through each and every one of these workouts and get feedback on all of them. These just aren’t products of my imagination – they’ve been field-tested and refined and then tested again. Second, I’m not going to blow smoke up any of your orifices with this program – it’s hard and it’s meant to be. I’m not going “slash inches off of your waistline” or “instantly add twenty pounds to your bench press”. What I am going to do is challenge your athletic ability and make you stronger and more durable. Some of the workouts are going to make you wonder why you’ve been hiding behind a machine for so long and not doing the things that are going to make you healthier and more resilient. Finally, I’ve been around the block a couple times and the people that I respect in the Strength and Conditioning community know me and have looked over this program and have given it “two thumbs up” across the board. I didn’t write CNI to make a fast buck or to create an instant reputation for myself. My reputation and credentials are already in place and I wrote CNI because so many of my friends, colleagues, and clients insisted that I get some of this info on paper and out into the public’s hands.
Jedd: Michael, thanks a lot for all the information today.
Michael: Thanks so much Jedd for giving me the opportunity to share with your readers my thoughts on training and information about Code Name: Indestructible. I hope they enjoyed learning more about it and keep up the amazing work that you are doing at DieselCrew.com!
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