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As a performance guy, I absolutely hate the ‘traction control’ button that they put in a number of vehicles today. If you aren't aware of what this button does, it operates by detuning the engine and, in some cases, the transmission. By retarding the engine timing to reduce its output and slowing the shift patterns, it effectively improves the traction but really no more than if you purposely stepped on the gas pedal a little softer and with better control. With less power, the detuned powertrain has less chance of losing control on an unstable surface and causing you to crash and injure yourself.Your body has the exact same mechanisms in place. When you lack stability, your body detunes its reaction to prevent you from injuring yourself. This is the primary reason why training with a Bosu ball or squatting in squishy tennis shoes is counterproductive. With a detuned body, you simply can’t work as hard as you want to or fire and engage your muscles properly. It's also the reason why my coaching cues help people realize immediate improvements in their lifts when implemented properly.If you don’t have a properly stabilized core with proper intra-abdominal pressurization (IAP), this down-regulation is in place. Your traction control button is on. Another button is proper joint centration. If your positioning or tight muscles are pulling the joint to one side of the socket, it will down-regulate your central nervous system firing as well. In practice, this looks like a movement pattern-based, warm-up drill. I have several examples on my YouTube channel and further examples will be covered in depth in the  Duffin Movement Series (DMS).If you're training squats, you would do some movements that require transferring power through the hip joint with a stabilized core. You would do these with proper IAP as a warm...

 I have recently decided to exit my career of 18 years advancing from engineering to executive level leadership the last 8 years.  This move has been in the works a long time but its taken a lot of work to be prepared for the transition. It is a scary move leaving the comfort of a career I have excelled at and am known for my success. However I’ve reached a point in my life that I need to follow my passion and my dreams full time. I now have the opportunity to spend more time collaborating, learning, distilling, and sharing that knowledge.My goal is to add value while continuously improving my relationship with the Strength and Conditioning Community by providing proprietary tools and knowledge designed to optimize physical and psychological human potential.I am excited about that and making this change is worthy of an epic party to celebrate.Of course my idea of a party is different than what most people would imagine. So before engaging in beer, booze, and food I’m going to push myself to my physical and mental limits while attempting to set records.I’m going to be doing a 500lb squat for reps challenge. If I hit 19 reps in 60 seconds it will break the Guinness World record for best squat in a minute. If I hit 24 reps it beats an unlisted record form the 80’s when Tom Platz and Fred Hatfield went head to head for reps with 500lbs.This will be done walked out and with only knee sleeves and belt.Here is the link and embedded page for the live stream event!!! Please share this post around!May 6th @ 3:30 pm PST https://youtu.be/uONcEvbIwfI  https://youtu.be/uONcEvbIwfIIn the interim here is a video to get you pumped up about the event.https://youtu.be/yZIq1tFIKUg...

I had big goals going into the meet this last weekend. I was feeling really good for retaking the 220 squat record and making a run and bumping up the total record significantly. My weight was the lowest it had been in years going into the meet so I wasn’t worried about the weight cut and new I would be in better shape than I was used to.However I was also pumped about helping my partner at EPC pull off a 97 person meet in record time. I pride myself in well run meets and was also looking to step up the ‘stage presence’ for our lifters. The week was busy and stressful at work and I took all my deload days and then some working late at the gym prepping for the meet. Building a steel framed 16x14 platform, automating my monolift, setting up software to manage the timing.Thursday night I picked up Amit Sapir from the airport who had talked me into letting him do the meet despite not being fully prepped. I took Amit with me on Friday after weigh ins as I ran around town all day doing prep errands for the meet and listening to him say, “what are you doing! Your supposed to be relaxing!”.I ended up passing out on the carpet in my sons room that evening and then waking up later and staying up till past midnight finalizing the flights and meet, results sheet, and meet software. Then instead of sleeping in I was up early running to the meet to finalize a bunch of prep and help train the table help. I tried to get a nap on the floor of my office but didn’t fall asleep but after the rest was feeling refreshed. It wasn’t till warm-ups I realized just...

The Macebell or Gada is a classical training tool dating back centuries.  Its original use was in the wrestling for fighting cultures of ancient Persia and India.  My first experience using one was about 8 years ago when I attempted to incorporate it for shoulder development and conditioning. As a competitive powerlifter I quickly abandoned its use finding that combined with my powerlifting training it aggravated my wrist, elbows, and shoulders.However 2 years ago I decided to make another run at using the macebell again.  I had been making tremendous gains in shoulder health and mobility with my progression into Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) and some associated kettlebell work.  I decided to try the swing again but focus on some refinement in the movement based on the DNS methodologies.  The goal was to simply realize some training efficiency as the swing was a very active warmup.  If I could accomplish my rehab, prehab, and warmup all at the same time I would have more time to focus on my actual training.With the new approach to the swing my shoulder pain that I had been experiencing daily for the last 8 years disappeared after the first 30 days.  This is pain that had kept me from sleeping, interfered with my training, and I was only able to manage in the short term with mobilizing and re-seating drills.  Gone!  I couldn’t believe the change.  Being surrounded by powerlifters and strongman I found several other test subjects similar to myself and quickly found that the same thing happened. That was when I decided to develop the tool into what we now are marketing to others as the ShouldeRök™.  For further details on the value of the ShouldeRök™ and its impact on eliminating issues caused by open chain barbell movements today done with an...

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....

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...

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...

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...