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Juniata Strength Clinic 2017 Highlights

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

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
Part 1

2017 Juniata Strength and Conditioning Clinic
Part 1

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

Interview with Neuro Mass Author, Jon Bruney

Friday, September 13th, 2013

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

Are You Training Your Athletes to be Explosive the Correct Way?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

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!


One Hand Snatch Submissions

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Great submissions this week! We have our first co-winners, Mike Rojas and Manny Cortez from Strong 101 Gym! Great work fellas!

Check it out, below, as Mike and Manny lay waste to a 115-lb dumbbell, paying it no regards – snatching it to the sky and then discarding it like 115-lbs of losing lottery tickets. Absolute domination – forget about it!

Strength Coach Resources – Team Grip Training

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I’ve said for years that Grip Training is one of the most important types of training that most people are either NOT DOING or NOT DOING RIGHT.

Grip Training Benefits

Sports Performance

A Strong Grip helps you perform better in sports by being able to hold onto the ball, bat, or your opponent better. Athletes in all sports need to be strong from the elbow down in order to maximize their play.

Strength Training

A Strong Grip also helps you improve your numbers on lifts where the hands are involved, even the Bench Press. By having a firm grasp on the bar, it helps you engage your upper body in the lift much better while also increasing your confidence in the lift, knowing you are going to dominate it with no problem.

Lower Arm Health

Finally, Strong Hands and Forearms are Safer Hands and Forearms. What I mean by that is when you have put in the work to strengthen everything from the elbow down in a balanced fashion, it makes you much more injury-resistant. You are able to take more bumps without having to worry about breaking something and you’re able to give more bumps without having to hold back.

The issue with all this is, how do you get started?

Well, here is one of the things I first began doing when starting out in Grip Training – Face-offs.


What most DIESEL FACEOFFS used to look like back in the day
Lots of trash-talking and gesturing

This might just be the simplest Grip Training exercise to perform ever.

All you do is load a bar up with some weight, pick it up off the pins, and hold it for time without touching it against your thigh.

I started doing this when Diesel Crew first learned about Grip Training and the way we first did it was by positioning one person at either end of the bar at a time and we then stared each other down until the other person dropped it.

Naturally, I always won, except for the time I ran my hand through my sweaty-ass hair prior to gripping the bar sleeve. I lifted it up and the thing ripped violently out of my hand, feeling like a giant rubber band had been pulled to its capacity and then let go inside my palm and fingers. My hand hurt for days and I could not close even a #1 Gripper for a couple of weeks.

SO DON’T DO THAT!!!! If you try this movement and one guy is so far ahead of the other people on the team, just load his side of the bar up heavier instead of wetting the hand to make it tougher.

If you are a strength coach and you want to build some excitement and competition into your strength training sessions, the Face-off is a great way to do it.

Just as the image above shows, the guys who truly think they are bad-asses will step up to the challenge.

There will be challenges made. There will be shouting. Guys will try to out-do one another. It will be intense and players will get stronger.

If you have a sizable strength training area for your team, you can set-up multiple Face-Offs at various cages, or just simply load bars up in the open areas and have them pick them up from the floor.

Face-offs can also be instituted as part of a series of lifts or a circuit.

DIESEL FACE-OFFS – Training Alone

However, I also know that many people reading this article, like myself, do not have others to train with, and they are down there hitting it hard solo.

That doesn’t mean you have to let simple exercises like this just slip by. Here is how you do it by yourself.

Start out by setting the bar up in a squat cage with one of the pins slightly lower than the other. On my set-up, I just go one hole down, but if your holes are really close together, set it up so the difference is about 3 to 5 inches.

The reason for off-setting the pins in this fashion is so you can have a challenge when training alone. Setting it up like this does that for you. However, if you just set the pins up evenly and lift one side of the bar up, it will be too easy.

From there, load up the bar. You don’t need to load both sides evenly. You can have just 45-lbs on the higher side and then 90- or 135-lbs on the other side.

Next, all you have to do is pick up the lower, heavier side and hold it for time.

Remember, Grip Training does not have to be super-complicated, but some people try to make it like that.

Bring the hand strength up and the rest of your lifts with come up too.

And if you need more help with the hand strength, then join The Grip Authority. With an unbelievable list of Grip Strength topics already covered and many more to come each and every month, it is an absolute travesty that it only costs $7 to join.

I will get you to your goals. All you have to do is join and work with me.

The Grip Authority < = Kah Kuah! Check it out right now and by the end of the day you will be blown away by the knowledge you pick up. There is no site like this on the NET. Don’t wait for everything to “feel right.”



Discover EVERYTHING You Need to Know about Gripper Training
with my Definitive Gripper Training DVD, CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination.