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You can listen to the spoken word version of this article on YouTube here.The first time I remember being taught how to catch and play with live rattlesnakes I was 6 or 7 years old. At the time, we were living in the mountains in central California up outside of Potter Valley. Rattlesnakes were prevalent in the area and in fact a den of them was real close to our camp. For that reason we had logs lashed into the trees for our sleeping areas as we frequently had them show up in and around our camp. At this time it was my mother, stepfather, brother, sister, and myself. We also added the second of my three sisters that same summer.The story of my sister’s birth is entertaining in and of itself. We didn’t have transportation at that time so when my mom went into labor she had to hike out to the dirt road and ended up flagging down a dump truck. The cab was full but they did allow her to climb into the back of the truck and they drove down the mountain with her bouncing around the back of the truck. They drove her right up to the emergency room of the hospital where she climbed out the bed of the truck, walked inside, and gave birth. That must have been quite the sight having a woman in labor climbing out the back of a dump truck at a hospital.There are many memories of my childhood that I don’t remember actively. When something triggers them it can be quite a flood between the memories and the emotions. However, this is a period in my life with many clear and fond memories. My parents had some hippy friends with a house up in the mountain and we settled down the...

Known as the “Mad Scientist of Strength” Chris is an Ex Corporate Executive turned Inventor and Movement professional. He has positioned himself uniquely in the fitness world bridging the gap between (and working with both) the top clinical rehab and sports professionals in the world and the in the trenches athletes and S&C coaches. He promotes and uses evidence-based approaches in developing his coaching and cueing methodologies and strength training equipment. Chris keeps it simple with reinforcing clean natural movement patterns and then focusing on building strength. He is the only person in the world today squatting and deadlifting over 900lbs at his bodyweight and is one of the best Powerlifters of our age, and one of the most respected strength coaches in the industry. Chris’s professional background prior to his current roles includes 18 years of diverse operations management experience in running aerospace, automotive, and hi-tech companies or divisions, utilizing his BS in Engineering and MBA. Chris also co-owns the Kabuki Strength Lab in Portland Oregon and is CEO/Co-Founder of Kabuki Strength Equipment providing innovative equipment and methodologies to the S&C field.There is a great deal of carryover from what is done in the gym to how you live your life.   I’m not talking about physical strength but lessons learned from dealing with adversity, managing your ego, mental preparation, and planning (along with many more).  But the ones I choose to highlight now are both short and long term goal setting. I’ve created my #GrandGoals plan in order to both deadlift and squat 1000lbs (and be the lightest man to do so), and I’m currently working on the first portion of that goal now.  In the following video I discuss a little bit about how #GrandGoals relate to both business and life, as well as challenge you with the question,...

Active Mobilization and Re-Patterning To Improve Overhead Position and Shoulder MechanicsIn this video Chris Duffin and Brad Cox from Acumobility are at Titan Barbell in Medford, MA working on Strongman Semaj.  Semaj had sustained a right shoulder injury that has been negatively impacting his overhead mobility. During assessments, we found that he has poor internal rotation of the shoulder with limited overhead range of motion and restricted trap and pec muscles. Our goal is to provide some corrective strategies to improve end range of motion and stability in the shoulder girdle. We accomplish this through the following progression:Active Mobilization of the ShoulderUsing our unique Vice Technique we start by placing an Acumobility Ball on a trigger point in the external rotators (i.e. back of shoulder) while at the same time applying compression from the opposite side in the subscap and lat muscles with the BoomStick. Complete 5 to 8 reps of internal and external rotation.Applying the same Vice Technique we work both rhomboid and pec muscles. Place an Acumobility Ball on a trigger point at the top of the rhomboids, apply pressure using the BoomStick to a restricted area in the pec, and go through a press up motion at 45 degree angle from the body. Find two restricted areas in the pec and complete 5-8 press ups in each area.An alternative method to release the pec muscle while preventing trap over recruitment is to use a banded distraction technique. Get into a tall kneeling position, place a band over the top of the shoulder and anchor it under the rack. Place an Acumobility ball in a trigger point in the pec muscle, press into the ball while going through internal and external rotation of the shoulder.Stability Re-Patterning:To cement in the mobility work that we just...

I constantly get the question about why I do touch and go deadlifts when dead stop deadlifts are better.  First lets discuss the difference between the two lifts.  The dead stop deadlift is when doing deadlift reps the full weight of the bar is released onto the floor.  With the touch-n-go deadlift the weight only touches the floor without the full weight of the bar being unloaded onto the floor before the next rep is started.First lets be clear, the dead stop deadlift is not by nature better than a touch and go deadlift.  At least if you don’t define what your use of the deadlift training session is for.  Both styles of deadlifts have distinct benefits and BOTH are better for specific goals.  Tony and I discuss the correct application of both approaches based on your goals and desired training outcome is.  For the most part the dead stop deadlift is better for most athletes needs.  It is a great development tool for refining your deadlift skill so that you can increase your maximal deadlift.  That does not however negate the value of the touch-n-go pull for specific uses.Unfortunately most people I have observed complete the dead stop deadlift in an improper fashion.  If the dead stop deadlift is not performed correctly it will not only not assist with proper motor pattern development, it will significantly increase the risk of injury.  Tony and I cover the simple but critical step to avoid this common mistake and provide a demonstration as well....

In preparing for a powerlifting meet I have seen lots of overthinking, overworking, and overstressing when it comes to people figuring out how to setup their training cycle to perform the best on competition day. Even those who are not powerlifters should get something from the following article by seeing an extremely simple, yet extremely effective method for maximizing performance for a specific day. Although the system in this article is incredibly simple to put into place, it also happens to work like a charm every time. I call it the 3, 2, 1, 0 Meet Countdown.

3210 countdown

Chad Aichs is a world class and elite powerlifter in the SHW division. He began training seriously for powerlifting in 1999 in Sparks, Nevada, where he still currently trains at American Iron Gym. In the ten years since he started, Aichs has proven to be one of the strongest lifters in the world. His best lifts are a 1173 squat, 821 bench press and a 755 pull. Aichs' best total is 2733, which makes him one of the top lifters of all time. His written content can be found on elitefts.com on his author page.Recently Kabuki Strength Coach and Co-Owner Chris Duffin had the chance to sit down and talk with EliteFTS sponsored athlete and one of the strongest men in the world - Chad Aichs.Total Length of Video: 14:58Introduction (0:00) Dealing with depression (1:09) Suicidal thoughts and actions (3:39) Authentic writing (5:06) Chris on dealing with similar feelings (6:51) Contributing to the sport - Mr. I-dont-do-social-media (8:30) Podcast (12:20) ...

Authored by Chris DuffinOftentimes I get questions about pieces of my training that show up on log, and many times I don’t answer these questions. What may surprise you is that I’m actually doing you a favor by not answering. It is human nature to get excited with new things, be they new toys or ideas. The “shiny object syndrome” is in all of us at varying levels. As a human being its important to recognize this and particularly if you’re an influencer of any sort in your field. Hell, I’ll argue in today’s social media age we all need to be aware of this. Just think if everyone had to wait a year before they could have posted about how awesome their Bullet-Proof coffee was. By now we have seen that the novelty has worn off and most no longer do it. My choice to intentionally delay stating an opinion, what I call the 6-Month Rule, would stop nearly fads in their tracks. What would happen if everyone had to follow a simple validation process before posting, blogging, vlogging, or whatever about their new “shiny object or idea”? The habit of promoting untested ideas is incredibly pervasive in the fitness industry where everyone wants to make his or her mark by bringing or popularizing something new. It is something that should be detested by the industry, and if you’re an influencer you should be asking yourself if your part of the problem.You should be embarrassed if you continually promote the next hot thing, and 6-months later that thing is not part of your own program.   I know I would be. This is why I use a validation process. For me it involves incorporating the tool, method, or idea in my training for several months. At this point, I will...

As the founder of a popular movement website called www.Kabuki.MS I feel it’s my duty to tell you that I want you to limit the amount of exercise prep that you perform. Yes, I said limit your exercise prep, not do more. In recent years I’ve seen a trend for mobility, movement priming, and other means of exercise preparation. While this trend is very positive over the just ‘grind through the pain’ mentality of the past, by many it has been taken too far. Just like anything else people seem to jump right to the “if a little bit is great, then more must be better” approach.If you are doing 45min of prep work and 30min of training, then you're doing something wrong! In fact your preparation work should not exceed 10min. Keep it to 9min or less of preparation work prior to training! We call this the #SMEP approach or Single Minute Exercise Prep. So why isn’t more better? Simply put, it just isn't adding value and is actually taking away from the time you could be spending training. Training provides a stress response and thus adaptation. In the lifting world we call this GAINS. Yes, DEM GAINS are what we are looking for, and the cumulative effect over time yields improvement in performance. Improved performance is the reason we are in the gym or on the athletic field to begin with. And if you are training well, the movements done in training will not have the negative effect on the body, or even be the actual “prep work” in your warm-up.   This leads us to our first key point.KEY POINT: Evaluate your training and movement- If you need to do tons of prep or recovery work in excess of 9min just to be able to train…. You might want to look at your training or your quality of movement.Once you...

In this piece Kelly Starrett and Chris Duffin are clearly fired up and addressing topics in a rapid-fire fashion. Starrett and Duffin quickly hit on and address numerous topics on movement mechanicsMuch of the focus of the discussion surrounds the future of role of the responsibility of the strength coach. Duffin and Starrett challenge the status quo of the current role and when clinical intervention is brought in. Both articulate that these roles need to change, but this also involves people on both ends of this spectrum needing to “up their game”. Clearly defining what those roles are and then educating to those expectations will reduce injury rates and improve performance of athletes.Kelly and Chris also clarify the expectations on what athletes are doing for prep work. While both provide significant education online via the MWOD and KABUKI.MS platforms they find some people take this prep work to far. Standards for length of time and what is done are covered.They also discuss how complementary both of these products (MWOD & KABUKI.MS) are to cover the athlete’s needs for learning proper movement patterns, mobilizing, and performing the correct preparatory movement patterning.Additionally KABUKI.MS is offering a 50% off initiation for the first 100 people who sign up from this video with code: MWODhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8zpvGEqPS4...

In this video Chris Duffin and Kelly Starrett discuss the application of the Boom Stick as well as provide a tutorial on its use.  They show how this tool can be used on a partner in a safe manner to release excessive tension to improve recovery, mobility, and reduce potential injuries.While only one spot was hit with the tool on Kelly for a very short demonstration period he achieved a result from its use. They also review the purpose behind the tools specific knurling that is used for shearing the fascia in a very effective manner.  Needless to say Kelly is a huge fan of the Boom Stick in his facility along with the Geisha Roller....