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Archive for the ‘strength training to improve athletic performance’ Category

Cold Weather Training – Don’t Let The Cold Freeze Your Workout

Monday, January 6th, 2014

“Who cares if it’s a little cold out?” says Ryan Pitts from Stronger Grip Enterprises. AWESOME

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Here is a post I put up a couple of years ago on how to dress for Cold Weather Training. Enjoy!


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!

Jedd


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Top 10 Videos of 2013 Countdown

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

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,

Jedd


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Top 10 Videos of 2013 Countdown

Saturday, December 28th, 2013
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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,

Jedd


6 Tips for Improving Your Continental Clean

Monday, October 28th, 2013

The Continental Clean

The Continental Clean is a technique for pulling a bar from the ground to the shoulder while utilizing the belly or belt for assistance. The “Continental” is very different from the Olympic Clean.

The term “Clean” from the Olympic Lifts is used because the original lift was performed without allowing the barbell to touch the body at all. These days, brushing the bar against the body is permitted, but to use the belly or belt for assistance is expressly disallowed.

The “Continental” is most often used in Strongman Competitions with the Axle, and is generally used prior to Pressing, Push-Pressing, or Jerking the Axle Overhead to finish off the repetition. With the level of weights that are able to be lifted overhead on the axle, the Continental becomes a necessity, since the Grip limits how much one can lift in the initial phase of the movement, pulling the Axle to the Shoulder for the “Clean.”

How to Improve the Continental Clean

The Continental Clean is a highly technical lift, so here are 6 tips that you use use to improve your technique and make your Continental more efficient.

1. Wrist Wrap Awareness

Wrist Wraps are important on this event because when catching the Axle at the shoulder, there is a chance that the wrist can get bent back. Also, with wrist wraps on, your grip will be stabilized for the overhead portion of the lift. However, one mistake that people often make is they leave the thumb/finger loops on their thumb. The thumb is very important in getting a solid grip on the Axle, and having the loops still on the thumbs will cause interference in gripping the bar.

2. Drive with the Lower Body

Once you have the bar on your belly, you must propel it up to the shoulders using your legs and hips. The harder and faster you can pop the barbell or axle the better. You will save time on each repetition and you will conserve strength and energy for the duration of the set/event.

3. Make Faster Transitions

If you analyze the movement, there are at least 4 individual parts:

  • Pull to Belly
  • Stretch Reflex (Lowering the Body)
  • Popping Bar off Belly (Propelling Upwards)
  • Catch at Shoulder

The quicker you can move through each phase and transition, the better. For instance, once it hits your belly, your aim should be to pop it up with your lower body to the shoulder, which requires a quick drop of the body, a rapid ammortization phase, and then the thrust to pop the bar up. If you need a breath between the catch and the press that is fine, but try to limit it to one. Standing there holding the bar on the belly is far too much of an energy leak and waste of time.

4. Alternate Hands on the First Pull

It is fastest to pull the bar from the ground with the hands both overhand, but this will be limited by your grip strength. If you find you can’t pull the weight you need to with a double overhand grip, feel free to alternate them. This will enable you to pull faster and with more strength, plus it might even allow you to pull the bar up to the perfect spot on your belly. Either way, the higher you can pull like this the better, because it will help you save energy. Energy leaks are the worst thing in strongman. If you can reduce them, you can become that much more efficient. Once you get the bar to your belly or shoulder, then transition to double pronated.

5. Keep the Bar Close

It is more efficient to have the bar stay close to your body at all times than to let it drift away. Pull it outwards only as far as you need to in order to pass your belt, and keep the transition from belly to shoulder nice and close to the chest as well. If it loops outward away from the body, it will be harder to control and you will have to move your body too much to catch and re-direct it.

6. Isolate, Train and Strengthen Each Phase

After doing your primary work, (and even including the press) go back and work each phase of the lift with heavier weight to strengthen each phase. In other words, if you max out with 200 on the full lift to the shoulder, you can perform the following drills:

  • Full Pull to Shoulder: With light weight, practice pulling straight to the shoulder from the floor (like an actual clean)
  • Belly to Shoulder: With heavier weight, practice popping the bar from belly to shoulder. Don’t return it to the floor every time. Just let it roll down to the chest and re-grip it. It should feel really good on the chest bones.
  • Floor to Belly: Do some sets with double overhand and alternating grips. Put on heavier weight and just get the bar to your belly as fast as you can then go right back to the floor.

These are just a few bullet points you can start working on to improve your Continental Clean. If you take a video to the weight room with you, I can pretty much guarantee you will improve even more, because you will be able to iron out your technical bumps that much more quickly.

Improving the Continental Clean – Videos

Here’s a quick video showing some cues I was able to catch in my own training for instant improvement.

Just a couple of weeks later, I was able to improve even further on my Continental Clean.


Get More Information on Improving Your Strongman Lifts

If you are interested in more information regarding the Strongman Overhead Lifts, be sure to sign up for email updates using the form below. Steve Slater and I will be shooting a new DVD that covers the Overhead Strongman Lifts in November, including the Log Press, the Axle Press, The Monster Dumbbell (One Arm Overhead Lift), the Viking Press, and more.

All the best in your training,

Jedd


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Build Back Muscle and Strength With These Mass Builders

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

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.

Jedd


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