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Last week I took a trip to visit my friend Mark Bell at his new facility.  We had a great time shooting interviews, podcast, and some great instructional pieces I did with some of his athletes.  I'm looking forward to these pieces coming available on the public domain for you to see in the coming weeks.On the last day before catching a flight out of town we decided to do a quick Q&A from the social media following and posted up request to questions just before the final workout of the visit.  Unfortunately there were so many questions that came in we were barely able to get to a fraction of them, but hope that you enjoy the ones we were able to get to.Additionally here is the workout video for last week which covers the time at SuperTraining.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCosKMJ6Sa0...

This weekend I had the opportunity to spend a couple full days working with Ed Coan.  We had a great deal of success in working through some issues he has and establishing a path forward.  During the time we also had a lot of back and forth knowledge sharing.It was a tremendous honor for me to host Ed for the weekend at EPC in Portland and to have his trust for seeking me out.  At the end of the period we filmed an incredible interview covering a number of great topics that I think are worth the watch. Make sure to check out the ShouldeRök™ Ed mentioned and subscribe to our newsletter for weekly insights....

People often under value the role of a team in individual sports.  That statement is not an oxymoron as team and individual performance are not diametrically opposed.  While it is true that lifting can, and is, done by some individuals entirely by themselves there are substantially more strength athletes who gain from relying on their team.The role of a team in an individual sports such as powerlifting, olympic lifting and even to some degree bodybuilding is:Encouragement – That encouragement or support to dig deeper and push harder Reality Checks - Calling out your depth isn’t good or that you didn’t lock that out.  Or you just being flat out stupid with your training Remove Obstacles – Assisting lifters at meets, reminders to stay hydrated or just keeping the focus on a big training day. Physical Support – Spotting, loading, lifting off, or helping with gearWe are social beings and we simply perform better in supportive groups than when we do alone.  I am a big proponent of training in teams.  Even without a team physically present we can see people using social media to seek out and fill those same team roles noted above.It’s not just powerlifting or strength training that operates this way. Many ‘individual sports’ you see today require teams to succeed. Look closely and you will see them. MMA, NASCAR, Golf you name it and there will be at least a small team supporting them.Do you want to realize your peak potential? Then find a group of like-minded individuals that have those needed skills and create a team.  This is what we have done at Elite Performance Center building numerous world Champions and All-Time record holders and what you can see with my online team at EliteFTS....

In December of 2012 I tore my right adductor in a meet.  I had actually had some minor tearing early in the year and had been managing it to keep training but with a 782 competition squat it let go on me.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoEJMEFJAYI After rehabbing the area I determined a need to reduce my injury risk.  With squatting wide and pulling sumo it simply puts a lot of strain on this area that is sometimes slow to recover.  It is also a faily common injury point with lifters.One of the ways I have reduced this risk is with ensuring proper recruitment patterns are firing before this heavy eccentric load.  This is done with a specific warmup routine and test-retest methodology before jumping under squats.  I reviewed this warmup routine on Breaking Muscle.That write up only covered that specific warmup and also skipped the hip-airplane that I often employ as part of it.In this video piece I go into depth on the hip-aiprlane that is used before I squat and pull but also passive compression and some targeted volume work.  The passive compression can make an instantaneous improvement if you have some issues in this area and also seems to improve recovery as well as reduce injury risk.  I employ passive compression in training on pretty much every heavy set for this reason.  A hammy band or a compression band work great.  In addition to the passive compression it’s great to work in some volume work to stimulate flushing of this low blood flow area.  An example of this is provided in the video as well.This is not the be all and end all of groin health, but just the methods I have employed with success.   It has allowed me to successfully move from that failed squat at the beginning to the standing...

If you get a chance to checkout the new EliteFTS website do so. I post detailed training log's with Dave Tate and EliteFTS. The other featured athletes I have the opportunity to share this with are phenomenal, world class and strong. Take a look around, engage EliteFTS and the community we serve. Join in and take part to increase the amount of good information we share (via tweets, reposts, links etc...

Whiskey & Deadlifts (aka - Powerlifting: Experimentation and Logic behind Intra-Workout Alcohol Consumption) by powerlifter Chris DuffinAre you looking for an excuse to get drunk or abuse alcohol? If yes than go away! This is most definitely not an article for you.  Without a doubt the negative long term and short term effects of alcohol are very well documented. Particularly as an athlete, excess and even moderate alcohol use can have a detrimental effect on your powerlifting and strongman performance. From negative hormonal factors such as lowering testosterone, lowering HGH, lowering ADP generation, and increasing cortisol to dietary impacts of reducing protein syntheses, containing 7cal/g of energy, and interfering with absorption of other nutrients - all of these factors make it clear that alcohol is something to avoid as a strength athlete (or consume in very minimal quantities).  The short term depressant effect, slowing both cognitive ability as well as coordination, and reducing decision making abilities makes it hard to understand how there would be any value in alcohol at all – particularly when it comes to strength sports.Unfortunately for us, much of the research we have access to is incomplete. It looks at the short term and long term effects of alcohol on the body. There is plenty of positive research on minimal to moderate long-term alcohol use and the positive effects on cardiovascular health and free radical scavenging properties – This might be something for us to explore at another time.The exception and interesting thing to note is in the lack of research on the IMMEDIATE effects of low-dose alcohol consumption on the athlete.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="686"] Why do the snatch balance when you can do the scotch balance?[/caption]The proposed hypothesis is that alcohol used in small and properly timed doses allows for harnessing some of the immediate psychoactive effects...

[wpdevart_youtube width="640" height="385" autoplay="0" theme="dark" loop_video="0" enable_fullscreen="1" show_related="1" show_popup="0" thumb_popup_width="213" thumb_popup_height="128" show_title="1" show_youtube_icon="1" show_annotations="1" show_progress_bar_color="red" autohide_parameters="1" set_initial_volume="false" initial_volume="100" disable_keyboard="0"]BQVcrbAhPcA[/wpdevart_youtube] FORETHOUGHTSMy initial goal was to come in and make a run at a 2100+ total for the All-Time record but my primary goal was to win the meet.  I wasn’t planning on making a run for my 2204 (10kg) total at this meet yet as I had not been able to train the deadlift heavy.  This was due to a recent elbow surgery and some bicep tearing when I tried to ramp up the weights to early at 6 weeks out form the meet.  So the last 6 weeks I was letting my bicep and arm fully heal and was hoping on still getting a decent enough pull in for at least the All-time record.It began as a challenging week.  With being unable to sleep on the 20hr flight to Sydney then arriving and getting settled in I ended up going 2.5 days without sleep.  After one fuller, but still incomplete, night of sleep I started my water cut to the 220lb class.  Interestingly I was stuck in a hard place with making this cut.  If I came up a 1lb short I wouldn’t be weighing in at 221 for the meet as the 242lb class was scheduled for the following day so it would leave me having to cut 2 days in a row or just recomping and competing in the 275’s.  So missing by even .2lbs would essentially move me up two weight classes and change the day I competed, and require me to change my flight plans.WEIGHT CUTI ended up having put some weight on this last 8 weeks since my last cut to 220.  While it was only about 5lbs it was 5lbs on top of an...

Cutting Weight - Powerlifting, Strongman, Olympic LiftingBoth powerlifting and strongman often offer 18-24hr weigh-ins prior to the start of the meet. This creates an opportunity for you to plan and manage your weight class with different objectives that cannot be realized when faced with a 2 hour weigh-in.You may wonder why an athlete would wait to the last minute to cut weight instead of having the discipline to slowly diet down to the desired weight class over weeks or in some case months. The answer is simple: Performance. Properly managing your weight ABOVE your weight class can actually improve your performance on meet day. In this short piece I’ll detail the approach I take with the lifters that I coach.In the slowly-dieting-down-to-a weight-class approach there are some negatives that come into play. Let’s take an athlete that’s 10-12lbs over their weight class. At two months out from competition this lifter will begin diet restrictions and slowly get down to their weight class for the meet. Unfortunately this will leave you training at a weight higher than you will be on meet day for majority of your training cycle. Of particular importance is the last 1-4 weeks when you’re finally getting close to your weight class. This is a time for 1) de-loading and 2) handling submaximal weights. These two factors combined give you a false sense of strength and don’t allow you to learn the impact of leverage changes due to weight loss. During the heavy training completed at one month out from competition you’re still quite a bit heavier than you will be on meet day. Additionally, in the last few weeks as you get close to the target weight, heavy lifts are reduced if not all together removed. You won’t get the chance to learn the balance and...

I recently had the pleasure of working with IFBB Pro Amit Sapir as he preps for an all-time world record squat at GPA worlds in a few weeks. Amit had some obstacles to overcome based on his body structure and his past experience as an Olympic lifter. His squat pattern combined with his body structure simply would not allow him to physically hit depth, even with his hamstrings sitting on his calves. I took him all the way down to a 10-inch box but, due to the extreme leg dive and his massive leg size and small knees, he was still squatting high.With only a few days to work together and the meet in only a few weeks, there was no chance of completely rebuilding his squat into a powerlifting squat. We simply couldn’t address every issue.This is the approach I used to improve his squats in just three training sessions over the course of three days. Day 1 Step 1: Assess I watched his current squat pattern from multiple angles, looking at the movement and watching to asses several specific aspects of his movement:What was tight and engaged, what was passive, and what was firing movement Breathing and core stabilization (also tested physically) Natural stance and breathing patterns (what position is he in when standing and breathing normally?) Restrictions due to mobility Stance, foot placement, bar placement, and basic movement patternStep 2: Test With the meet right around the corner I could only make changes that he could retain quickly without spending significant time to ingrain. We tested a number of different things to see what was manageable and to push him to experiment with entirely new patterns and see how he responded...

 Link from my sponsor EliteFTS with videos First week back after the meet over the weekend. Remember it was supposed to just be test meet so no deload after the meet. Well I rarely do anyway. I’m usually ready to train after my deload into a meet, just not with the same level of strength due to condition of the body.MONDAYMace Swings 3x10/side Curls 35 x16,16,16Bench Press 315x23,20Dips BW+180 x8,6,6Overhead Press (Machine) Stack x16,16,16WEDNESDAYSumo Deadlift off 3” blocksSquats 155x5 265x3 375x3 485x2 595x1 705x2,2 with a nice pop in my bicep on second repPause Squats w/5 seconds in hole 425x5,51 arm dead hangs 2-3 sets per side @ 10-20sec eachTHURSDAYCircuit Training BW Dips x 65,65,65 Leg Extensions – Stack x20,20,20 Leg Curls – 3/4stack x20,20,20 Mace Swings x20,20,20,20 ...