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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...

Last weekend I took a trip to Las Vegas and worked with my friend Stan Efferding (Worlds Strongest Bodybuilder) and also Eric Spoto (worlds strongest raw bench presser).  I have been working with Eric Spoto on his rotator cuff surgery rehab plan over the last several months.  Eric has been working with his physical therapist on his rehab plan while I was guiding him on his training in the gym and other recuperative movements that fell within those parameters.   With Eric's progress he had reached a point that we could begin incorporating the ShouldeRok to deal with some of the root issues that could have led to his surgery to begin with.  It was time to build the platform for ongoing strength and shoulder health for his continued dominance in the bench press, prompting this trip.Upon learning that I was coming down I received a text from Stan asking if I could help him dial in some changes to his deadlift.  At least the text was sent to my phone, but I was confused as he was referencing the "mad scientist" for assistance.  Upon arriving at the Iron House gym Stan cleared up that he was indeed talking about me, as you will see in the following video.  Upon reflection the nickname is fitting given my tendency to tinker with and improve everything including my machining, 4 wheeling rigs, gym devices, and human movement.Don't worry the actual coaching videos will follow in coming weeks: "The Mad Scientist of Powerlifting"? Stan Efferding w/Chris Duffin...

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...