Wednesday, September 2, 2009


(Post by Julia)

If you haven't been checking out my training log over at EliteFTS, shame on you! As mentioned yesterday, we've got a big move ahead of us. So in the midst of my busy schedule, training by myself on some days, and trying to put back on some muscle, I've decided that something simple is going to be the best for me right now.

If you haven't checked out Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 book, you're missing out. While it's nothing mind-blowing or innovative, it outlines a great way to build up some raw strength and put on some muscle. If you don't want to have to think (which, sometimes, let's be honest, it's nice not to think) then this is for you.

So far, it's been going well. Having 2 kids in less than 2 years, training has been a bit sporadic. My bench strength has remained relatively the same, but my lower body work suffered. So, I'm interested to see how this will help build my raw strength and add some muscle back on to my quads, hamstrings and glutes.

Also, if you missed the EliteFTS twitter chat we had last week... whew! You missed out. Several of the EFS team members answered questions (Live) from readers. If you want to read back on some of that chat, you can go to In the search box enter #EliteFTS. The post will read backwards, but we talked about some great things. So be sure to check it out. And if you did miss it, then you missed out on a chance for some free EFS t-shirts.

Stay tuned because we'll be having another one sometime in the near future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Inside Out & Magnificient Mobility

We've been very busy over here at the Iron Edge. We'll be moving in 2 weeks, so needless to say, we've got alot to do. In the meantime, Mike Robertson (a friend of mine from college) is having a huge sale on some of his products that he created with Eric Cressey and Bill Hartman. They have a new product coming out soon, so they are discounting their Magnificent Mobility and Inside Out stuff. If you haven't seen any of these products yet, check them out. Well, worth it!

Go to Mike's product page and enter FALL09 in the checkout code box and you'll get 30% off!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Rotater: Review

Shoulder injuries are common in any sport. Whether it's powerlifting, baseball, football... you name it.

The Rotater's creator is Scott Kay. After several motorcycle racing accidents and three shoulder surgeries, Scott came up with this.

This device can be used for stretching (both internally and externally) and even strengthening. By attaching the strong arm kit, you can also perform internal and external strengthening exercises.
I've been using it for the past week and I love the strengthening part of it. I use it as a warm-up on my upper body days. Personally, I've never had tight shoulders, but I can definitely see how this can stretch and alleviate some of those tight spots.
This is a great tool to be used in conjunction with your physical therapy program. It allows you, the patient, to stretch at home and strengthen when you need to. Check out the Rotater's blog for more info on shoulder rehab and performance. You can also follow him on Twitter @TheRotater.
Be Strong,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Tao of B - A Short Book review

I will start by saying you should have this book in your library. Glen " Power B" Buechlein is a great story teller and enjoys his fair share of hard work. I would generally consider Power B a bench press specialist but he offers much more than that. His wit and humor makes this a very easy read and also provides a number of different ways to torture your body into submission.

Here are a few things he covers.

* Bench Press technique

* Max Effort Training

* Repetition work (some really different ideas on this one!)

* Triceps/Lockout work (Triceps Death, Beekers, Triceps Death variations, etc.)

* 10 week training program for the bench press

* Insane training for the back

* Strongman training

* Conditioning work that you have never thought of or seen

* Odd lift training

* Bench Press challenges

* Kettlebell challenges

My training partners and I have put into practice a few ideas from this book and they will be staples in our program for a long time to come. If you enjoy pushing yourself physically and mentally through workouts, or need some different ideas for training, it's a great book. This is for sale at in e-book version or hardcopy.

If you are not sold yet here are a few other articles by Power B to get you started. Some of the articles are also in the book so you will get an idea of what you are getting.

The Voyeur

Keepers and Thowbacks

The Glass is Half Full

Just Do It

Digit Ratios and a Predisposition to Strength

Pop goes the Weasel

Beserker Workouts


If you do pick up the book or have read it before, leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Julia's Bench Meet

Julia competed in a bench meet this past weekend.

Opened with 215.
Took 240 on a second- missed.
Took 240 again on a third and got it.

Friday, July 24, 2009


We were gone on vacation for a bit, hence, the lack of posting.

Julia has a bench meet coming up August 1st. Her first meet since April of '08. 6 months post-pregnancy too!

Matt is training for a full meet in October. Training is going well for him and he's been experimenting with some different things.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Interview with Julia at The Training Talk

Julia recently did an interview with Rick Hochfeld over at The Training Talk. Take a moment to head over there and check it out.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Coaching Cues: Squeeze the Bar

Some of the things I see in the weight room amaze me. Especially this one - when bench pressing, the athlete's fingers will actually begin to open up as they press the bar. What? Yeah, I don't get it either, but it happens. Little do they realize that by actually squeezing the bar harder it will help them lift more.

Make sure the athlete has a good grip on the bar. By that, I mean that the bar should be set in the palm of the hand, closer to the wrist, not up by the knuckles or fingers. If the bar is up by the knuckles, then it bends the wrist back. Also, try instructing the athlete to use a closed grip, not a thumb-less grip. Some of us more advanced lifters can get away with using a thumb-less grip. Heck sometimes I switch back and forth. But for my athletes, I make it a point to have them keep their thumbs around the bar. This forces them to squeeze the bar. As the weight gets heavier and you can see that they are starting to struggle, instruct them to squeeze the bar. Hearing that cue mid-lift will help them to realize that they might be loosening their grip.

So, SQUEEZE THE BAR. Try this cue and let me know how it works for you or your athletes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mobility Madness

Prior to having 2 kids, I was very diligent with my mobility work, doing it before every workout and having minimal problems. Since having kids, my mobility work has been pushed to the side. My workouts are sporadic and sometimes cut short, so I find myself skipping the mobility part. Bad on my end.

A good friend of mine, Mike Roberston, has a series of awesome products that feature mobility and how the lack of mobility is a serious problem to athletes, powerlifters and recreational lifters alike.

I've just recently made it a point to get back into the swing of doing it on a regular basis and I can honestly already start to feel a difference. I'm nowhere near where I was before, but it's getting better. My routine includes many of the exercises featured here in Mike and Eric Cressey's DVD Magnificent Mobility.

If you haven't seen it before, I highly suggest you check it out. If you aren't sure what kind of warm-ups you should be doing prior to or post workout, then, yes, you need to check it out. If you are sitting there saying, Ehh, I don't need that, then yes, you too, need to check it out. You won't regret it. Mobility, especially for athletes, is such an overlooked part of training, but it's so important and can really reduce the amount of injuries they have. It really is important. Do not leave this portion of your athletes' training out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Training log

Here are my last two workouts. It is tim eot buckle down and start prepping for a meet in October.


Pin one deadlift - conventional stance 135, 245, 335, 385, 425, 475, 515, 565, 605, 635x1, 675xmiss

seated goodmornings with ssb 185 2x8, 225x8

pull thrus 110 2x10, 120x10, 130x10 140x10

ghr with plate against chest 3x10

abs against ghr

ankle dragging 24kg 5x200 ft


Speed bench with El gordo 185 5x5
tricep death (with elgordo) 2, 3, 4 boards

set 1 - 225 5 reps each board with 3 second hold at lockout
set 2 - same as set 1
set 3 - 255 1 rep on each board with 10 second hold between each rep

chest supported rows 90# 4x10

prowler suicides 1 plate each handle 3 trips total each one getting longer than the last.

I would like to die now. Thanks.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Catching up on training

Wow the last few weeks have been very busy. We had to cut the last deload week short as we are planning around peoples vacations and one training partners new job duties out of town.

So here is what we did the last few weeks.

For speed squats we used a straight bar and blue bands. You can see what I did on weeks two and three in the videos below. Week one (no video) I used 315 for a couple sets and 365 for a couple sets.

Speed bench
We used monster minis for 5x5 and then did dumbell overhead pressing.

Max effort squats

The first two weeks were ssb to the hassock (12 inch soft box) and arch back goodmornings. The third week I was out of town and did some stiff leg deadlifts but nothing crazy.

Max effort bench

We hit fat bar three board press and floor press with chain.

Cutting the deload short by 2 days really made things much harder. It left me very un-motivated and I did not update any of my training logs.

I will be back on track starting next week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Coaching Cues: Chest Up/Out

Many exercises that we use on a daily basis involve some type of position where your chest should be out and shoulders should be somewhat retracted. Over the years, I've heard people use various cues when squatting, saying things like "head up", "head back" or "drive your head back in the bar". While those are great cues for more advanced lifters who might have a good sense of body awareness, I find those cues can be very vague to some athletes or newbies to lifting. Especially if they are visual learners, which I find many athletes are. Putting them in the right position can really make a big difference in how they fix their technique.

Let me explain.

Most of the athletes we come across are new to lifting. And even if they have some lifting experience, they just think about "moving the weight" rather than being in the right position. I've found that certain cues can really help an athlete understand their position and learn to feel when it's wrong and when it's right.

Here are a few exercises that I use the words "Chest Up" or "Stick your chest out" for, and why I think it's helped.

When squatting, if you just say "head up", the athlete may look up towards the ceiling. And while that may naturally stick their chest out too, it doesn't necessarily put their upper back in the right position. If you say "chest out" or "chest up", the athlete can feel and see their chest sticking out, which also locks in their upper back, keeping them from hunching forward while squatting.

This is another exercise that can be tricky to learn. Many athletes lack the body awareness to pivot at the hips in this exercise. They either want to bend at the waist (causing a rounded back) or bend at the knees (resulting in a squat). And as they weight increases, it can easily pull an athlete's shoulders forward. That's why I use the cue "stick your chest out" or "chest out". Again, the athlete can see and feel their shoulders being locked into place. And while it doesn't automatically lock in their lumbar spine, it will make a big difference. If I see an athlete started to round out their lower back, I can usually use this cue and it will correct that.

Bench Press
Yes, even the bench press can benefit from this coaching cue. When an athlete lies on the bench very flat-backed, they have lost the ability to use their lats. When you coach them to have a big chest or "stick their chest out", that helps them retact the shoulder blades and automatically lifts their chest up, resulting in a shorter distance to move the bar. (A big benefit that can add major pounds to one's bench press!)

This is especially good for sumo deadlifters, but conventional pullers can use this as well. When pulling sumo, many times the hips rise too soon, resulting in a stiff-legged deadlift. If you cue the athlete to have their "chest up/out", this can help lock in their upper and lower back and in turn, keep their hips closer to the bar. Keeping your hips close to the bar is crucial for sumo deadlifting.

So, there you have it. Sometimes you have to change a few words or try new cues to get an athlete to really understand what the correct position is. For me, this cue is one that is repeated often in my weight room.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Matt's training log

Catching up over the last two weeks

Sunday May 11th

Suspended ssb goodmornings 135 185, 225, 275, 315, 365, 385x1
ssb front squats 135, 225x5
ghr and blue band 4x8

short strap hypers 140x12, 230 3x12
blast strap t's 2x12

Wednesday May 13th

speed bench 1 set ofchain, 205 5x5
incline 205x10, 225x10
incline db extenstions 50x8, 60 5x8
bb front raise 75 4x12
pulldowns 4x12
upright rows 95 3x12

Friday May 15th

speed squat cambered bar 455 6x2

pin one deadlift against quad mini bands 495 3x3
single leg rdls 80 3x12 each leg
poor man back attack green band 3x12
sled drag behind the knees 2 plates 5x200ft, backard drag 5x200 ft

Sunday May 17th

Cambered bar 2 board press, 135 185, 225, 275, 315, 345, 355x1
pin 21 lockouts comp grip 315, 405, 495, 545, 585x5
db rows 125 2x10
db curls 2x12
db powercleans 20 2x12

Monday May 18th

reverse blue band deadlift conventional stance
245, 335, 425, 515, 605, 655, 695x1, 745xmiss

round back goodmornings 135, 225x5, 275x5, 315x5

short strap hypers 230 2x12
ghr w/ blue band 4x8

afternoon workout
indian club swings 50 x 3 different ways.
short strap hypers 230 2x12
leg raises against mini bands 3x15
purple band pushdowns 1x50

Wednesday May 20th

speed bench 1 chain 185 5x5
close grip incline 215x8, 235x8
incline rolling dumbell ext 60 5x8
pulldowns 4x10
barbell front raise 75 4x10

prowl-low the leader 3 trips. I wanted to die after this.

Friday May 22nd

Camber bar box squat with 3 set of chain 135, 225, 315, 365, 405, 455, 495, 525x2, 545x1

pin one deadlift against quad mini 315, 365, 405, 455, 495, 545, 585xmiss, 585x1

poor man back attack green band 3x12
single leg rdl 100 3x8
pulldown abs staggered stance 4x20
belt dragging 3 plates x 200 ft 4 plates 4x200 ft

Make your own indian clubs for under $10

I have been wanting to try out some Indian clubs for a while but can see shelling out $60 for a one or two pound pair. Then what if I need a heavier pair? Those can run over $100. Well I found a cheap way to make a three pound pair and will try making a heavier pair in a few days.

Here is what you will need.

a drill
a funnel
some duct tape
safety goggles
some rags
2 small wiffle ball bats ($1.50 each)
1 can of great stuff or expanding foam ($4)
a couple pounds of sand or whatever you want to use for weight ($4 for 50#s)

and that is it.

1. Take you bats a drill a hole in the handle.

2. Tape the funnel to the bat so sand does not spill everywhere.

3. Fill the bat with as much or as little sand as you want. I stopped filling before the sand go to the handle. This gave me plenty of room to fill the handle and then some with foam.

4. Fill the handle with the expanding foam. Try to get the foam as deep into the head of the bat as possible. The foam is very sticky and it be difficult to get into the head of the bat. In my case the foam shot out of the top and did make a little of a mess. So be careful and wear goggles. You really don't want this stuff on your skin or in your eyes. It is under pressure and will explode out of the top if filled too much.

5. Let it set over night. Cut off any foam that expanded out of the hole. My foam did not get all the way to the sand but is close enough that it will not be a problem.

6. Swing away. I would consider putting tape around the bat to prevent it from breaking since it was only $1.50.

These two turned out great and if they break they did not cost very much. A couple minutes of swinging will hit your upper back like crazy. Give it a try and tell me how it goes.

Here are a few videos of different things to do with the clubs.

There are a lot of videos out there and a ton of different options. Good luck.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mommy Monday Thursday

Yes, I realize it's Thursday, but I wanted to get another Mommy Monday post up here.

I've already covered the first and second trimesters, so if you missed those, be sure to check them out.


If you've made it this far and you're still working out, KUDOS! It's tough to stick it out for the entire pregnancy as fatigue (and your growing belly) can get in the way (pun intended). I look at the third trimester as mainly a maintenance phase. At this point, the baby has developed all major organs and now just needs to grow! So providing it with lots of GOOD nutrition and rest is key.

Unless you are a veteran powerlifter, I would cut back any max effort lifting in exchange for some repetition work. Keep all your pressing movements in the standing or sitting position or inclined (try to avoid laying flat on your back). Most of my upper body movements consisted of various incline presses, shoulder presses and pullups.

Lower body exercises can get tricky since the baby is significantly bigger. Plus, the ligaments in the pelvis begin to loosen so caution needs to be taken when squatting and lunging. I still did box squats throughout my third trimester, but I did lower the intensity. Most of my other lower body exercises consisted of step-ups, glute ham raises, bird dogs and other prehab/rehab exercises. I will advise caution when doing lower body exercises.... because the baby already puts some stress on the lower back, only do what is comfortable for you.

Stay tuned for a post on Postnatal exercises and how to get your pre-baby body back!

More of JB's Lean Eating

Just wanted to pass along another video clip of JB's Lean Eating Program.

Monday, May 18, 2009

$10 grand just for looking good

When Dr. John Berardi dropped me an line the other day, telling me all about his new program, I thought he had gone crazy.

Now, don't get me wrong. I respect Dr Berardi. He helped me with my pregnancy nutrition (juicing to be exact... my first trimester was laden with nausea from chicken and vegetables). However, when I watched this video he sent over, and learned that he's giving away $20,000 of his own money, he definitely got my attention.

Check out this blog post for yourself.

To qualify for the 10 grand, you have to participate in the Lean Eating program. You get 6 months of world class coaching, the type of coaching you can't find anywhere. And, during these 6 months, if you achieve the best body transformation, you'll win 10K.

I've heard Dr. Berardi speak in person. The guy is amazing. He is so freakin' smart and knowledgable when it comes to this stuff, so to have 6 months of nutrition coaching... shoot, good deal!

Worst case scenario, you come out with the best body of your life. Best case scenario, you come out with the best body of your life, and 10 GRAND. So, I highly encourage you to check out this post below. In it, Dr Berardi shares with you two critical components for body transformation success. And then he tells you exactly how one man and one woman are going to swoop in and claim $10 G's of his own money.

Now, this message is time sensitive. It will not self destruct, but spots are limited in this program. And LOTS of people want in. So, if you're interested in finding out exactly how to eat to get in the best shape of your life, click the link below. 10 grand may be waiting for you on the other side.

Good luck,


Monday, May 11, 2009

Matts training log.

Well we are back at it after our meet. I now have a new weak point for my bench and deadlift and I will be addressing those over the next few months. Here are the last few workout.

Monday May 5th

straight bar box squat 135, 245, 335, 425, 515, 565, 605x1

rdls 185 4x6
ghr and green band 3x8

short strap hypers 190 2x15
split squats 2x8
leg raises against mini 2x12
belt dragging 3 plates 8x200 ft.

Wednesday May 7th

Speed bench 205 + 1 chain 5x5
incline bench 195x10, 205x10

incline db extensions 50x8, 60 4x8
upright rows 75 4x12

bb front raises 75 4x12
pulldowns 4x12

Prowler plate and quarter on each handle 6x100ft (3 upper, 3 lower)

Then did some purple band curls later that afternoon

Friday May 9th

Speed squat cambered bar 365 with 3 set of chain. 8x2

pin one pulls against quad mini 3 x 3
single leg rdl 60 x 10, 80 2 x 10
poor man back attack green band 4 x 8
pulldown abs 4 x 15

sled drag betwen legs 2 plates 6 x 200ft
backward 3 plates 4 x 200ft

Sunday May 11

3 board 135, 185, 225, 275, 315, 365, 395 x 1, 415 x miss, 355 x 5
overhead press 185 2 x 5
db rows 125 4 x 10
green band pushdowns 5 x 12
db powercleans 20 5 x 12
db curls 3 x 12

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tainted Supplements?

As a collegiate strength coach, part of my job is to guide our athletes nutritionally. And just like the recreational lifter and powerlifter, these athletes are looking for something to help them in their strength gains, mass gains, or recovery process. Therefore, they turn to the ever-growing supplement company to give them what they are looking for.

As a college strength coach, it is also my "job" to inform the athletes that any supplement they take is not regulated by the FDA and may possibly contain illegal substances resulting in a positive drug test.

So when I received an email from John Berardi of Precision Nutrition about tainted supplements, I was very interested. Because after all, I've always heard that supplements could be tainted, but never really knew how often that happened. And since supplements in athletics is something I deal with, I wanting to see what he had to say.

You can check out the article here.

(Note to reader: I am not here to discuss anabolic steroids or supplements and whether they are right or wrong. I am not here to discuss which supplements are good or bad. I am simply offering this bit of information for you to take what you want from it. As a strength coach, I feel that we need to keep our eyes open so that our athletes are successful.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Matt's training log

The last few weeks have been a deload into a push pull meet. I did not hit any records but I was very close and it showed that I brought up my weak points like I wanted but I did neglect other parts leving me without a new personal best. Check out my meet video below.

Since we have been pushing the prowler, pulling the sled and doing some assistance work. We will atart a new cycle on Monday. Congrats to my training partners who both broke their personal bests on the bench and deadlift.

Julia's Squatting Video

You can watch my box squatting from today here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

To Tuck or Not to Tuck...

... that is the question. Years ago, it seemed all the popular "rage" to really tuck your elbows hard when benching. It took the stress off the shoulders and placed it on the triceps. Over the years, I've seen everything from what looks like a close grip bench (elbows touching sides) to elbows out, bodybuilder type bench. So what's right and what's wrong?

First, it depends on the width of your grip. Closer grip will obviously have elbows tucked more. But the problem is when people go to a competition grip (wide- outside power rings) and still tuck their elbows too much. This will lead to you getting "handcuffed", which basically means your body is not in the correct mechanical position and makes it impossible to push. (I've been guilty of this several times myself). You can even get handcuffed if you're using a bench shirt. We were taught to bring the bar low and really tuck. If you do this, chances are the bar will drift right back into the rack.

Second, as I just mentioned, it depends on if you are benching raw or with a shirt. Raw benchers most likely will not have to tuck as much. Shirted benchers will tuck a little more to get the bar in the groove of the shirt, but like I said above, don't over do it.

So, when you put these two things together, you should be able to figure out how much to tuck. Raw bench with a close grip - sure, you can get away with tucking your elbows alot. But as soon as you move out wider, your elbows have to follow. Remember, your elbows and wrists need to stay in line with each other. If your hands go back first, the bar will fall on your face.

Happy Benching!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mommy Monday


During the second trimester is where you'll probably need to start making some changes. Keep a closer eye on your heart rate during cardio, staying under 150 bpm (although I think most websites and doctors will say 140). But if you are already in decent shape and have been training for awhile, you should be ok. Just listen to your body. Anytime your heart rate gets too high, you are pulling the oxygen away from the baby to your working heart and muscles, so that's why you don't want your heart rate too high.

As for lifting, most lifting exercises can stay the same. Again, if you've been lifting, your body should be prepared to continue. Tone down the max effort stuff and start working with submax weights, 3-5 RM's. You can continue to do most of your accessory work, except for anything lying on your stomach (reverse hypers, for example). During this phase, I added in more single leg work (lunges, step-ups, etc) and some circuit type training one day a week. Remember to keep an eye on your heart rate though.

It was also during this time (towards the end of this trimester- after 24 weeks) that I limited my abdominal work. I did some light crunches, but nothing that put too much stress on the abs.

If you are new to training, start slow and only do what your body is accustomed to doing. Pregnancy is not the time to start something different. If you are experiencing any pain, please contact your doctor.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Training log update and live streaming workout

Speed bench with 3 chain 185 7x3, 225 x1 to test my speed

tricep death (3,4,5 boards) 3 reps each board 225x1, 275x1

chest supported y+t 25 3x12 each direction
back to back with
prisoner pulldowns 4x12

tates to a carpet 50x10, 60 3x10 + purple band
hammer curls
side bends

April 11th I will be traveling down to train with Smitty from the Diesel Crew and Joe Hashey from Synergy Athletics. Watch our heavy lower body workout at 11:30 eastern time. Watch it live here

Monday, April 6, 2009

Training log update.

Things are coming around for the meet on the 25th.

Sunday 4/5/09
bench 135, 185, 225, 275, 315x2, 335x2, 355x1, 375xmiss
add shirt 405 2 boardx1, 455 1 boardx1, 495xtouch with head raise x1

rotator bar pulldowns 5x12
rotator bar face pulls 4x15
pushdowns 5x8

Monday 4/6/09

Speed squat with ssb 335 7x2
Speed deadlift 505 7x2

Roller reverse hypers 140 x10, 190 4x10

Afternoon session
green band pull thrus 5x12 with 15 seconds between sets

situps on ghr 25 4x10

sled drag 2 plates with straps held behind knees 2x200ft

backward drag 3 plates 2x200ft

Friday, April 3, 2009

Training log update

March 23rd
Getting ready for a push/pull meet so we went with a one week circa max.

Circa max (blue and green bands)
135, 225, 315x2, 365x1, add suit straps down, 405 3x2, 455x1

pin pulls hole 1 against quad mini 245, 335, 425, 515, 605x1, 675xmiss

sled drag 3 plates 12x100ft

circuit 2 x
short strap hypers 330 x10
green band judo pulldown abs x10 each side

3/25 Wednesday

Speed bench high/low method 185 and 2 minis per side 4x3,
take off 1 mini per side 185 4x3

db bench 100x12, 12, 21 (rep record)
tates with a mini band 50 4x12
pull ups x4, 4, 3, 3, 3
dumbell curls 5x8
face puls 3x12

3/27 Friday

Ssb goodmornings 135, 185, 225, 275, 315x3, 365x1, 405x1, 455x1
camber bar zerchers from floor
135, 225x5 add chains, 225, 275 2x5

sled dragging 3 plates 5x200 ft
pulldown abs 5x8

Walk with baby harness of death x 1 mile.

Sunday 3/29

reverse blue band bench 155, 225, 275, 315, 365, 405, 455x1, 515xmiss
fat bar 6 board, 225, 315, 405x8, 455x6
bradfords 165 3x8
t bar rows with fat DD handle 3x12
elbow out rows 3x12

Monday 3/30
Speed squat ssb 365 8x2
speed deadlift 545 6x1

short strap hypers 230 4x12
GHR 6x10
judo pulldown abs 3x12

Wednesday 4/1

speed bench with mini band 185 8x3
4 inch camber bar bench 225 2 board x8, 1 board x8,
chest, 1 board and 2 board 4 reps on each

pullups x4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3
tates with a mini band 50 5x10
piston face pulls 2 purple bands 3x15

Friday 4/3

rackable camber bar 14 inch box squat with medium stance
135, 225, 275x2, 315x1, 365x1, 405x1, 455x1, 485x1

stiff leg sumo deadlift 225, 315, 365 3x5

ghr green band 4x10
pulldown abs 4x10

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mommy Monday

First of all, I hope Matt doesn't kill me for having a post title "Mommy Monday." I know, you thought this was a training blog. Well, you're right. On Mondays, I will feature a post about prenatal training, post-partum training and everything in between. (OK, maybe not everything, but you get my point.)

I get alot of questions asking about what women should do while their pregnant. Some have training backgrounds, some don't. And while I will say upfront, that each woman is different and each pregnancy is different, I hope these posts will give some guidelines on what can and shouldn't be done.


Most women don't even know they are pregnant until they are at least 6 weeks along, if not farther. Most of your training can remain the same during the first trimester. You probably won't be showing yet so the size of your stomach shouldn't be an issue. The only thing that may really hinder you is the FATIGUE. If you're anything like me, I wanted to sleep all day. So my motivation to train was miniscule.

I continued to squat, bench, and deadlift heavy and my speed work remained the same intensity as well. Of course, I would recommend you go with whatever you are comfortable with. If you don't feel comfortable doing a true max effort lift, then I would recommend doing sub-max for reps (3-5). Keep all your accessory work the same as well. Continue with your training as much as you can. It's during the second trimester that you'll need to make some adjustments. (Stay tuned for that next week.)

As for your nutrition, make sure you are taking prenatal vitamins and I would also recommend a GOOD fish oil. Eat well and add a couple hundred extra calories a day. It's not as much as it seems - maybe an extra shake or a couple pieces of fruit. Especially if you have morning sickness and are throwing up. If that's the case - lots of liquids and anything you can hold down!

Good luck and until next week....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Training log update

The last few weeks have been pretty busy and crazy for me so I apologize for not keeping up on my log. To catch you up I had a visit to Westside barbell the weekend of the Arnold where I pulled 585 off pin two against quad monster mini bands using a conventional stance. We did two weeks of a blue band and then deloaded thinking we were going to do circa max.

We changed the meet that we are doing so we are scrapping circa max since we are not squatting at this meet, but wil still push up our speed work. So here are the last few workouts.


Friday at Westside

Pin 2 rack pulls against quad monster minis. Conventional stance
135, 225, 315, 365, 405, 455, 495, 545, 585x1 started to loose my grip at the top

reverse hyper with extra traction. 3x8
hyper with weight behind feet 3x8
glute hams 2x8

gravity crunch, more glute hams, kettlebell swings working up to 40kg 2x12


Deload upper

db bench 40, 60, 80, 100 2x12
face pulls green band 2x12
tates 40 and mini 5x12
prowler walk 2 plates each side 2x 50 steps

pulldown abs
pull ups


Max effort lower deload week

hamstring goodmornings 135 2x8
poor man back attack 4x12
side bends 80 4x12
sled drags 3 plates 10x100ft


Max upper deload
Illegal wide bench 135, 185, 225, 275x6
bradford press 135 4x8
Fat DD t bar rows 3 plates 3x12
Rolling dumbell extensions on the floor 40 2x8, 50 3x8


Wife went back to work today after materninty leave so I had to cut my morning workout short.

SSB with purple band over plates. 365 5x2
deadlift with plates 1/2 inch lower than feet 245, 335, 435, 475, 525, 565, 615x1 First time deadlifting in this suit and not bad. Still a little beat up from last couple of weeks.

pull thrus 4x8 130-150 and some added tension with a mini band.


Done in a circuit 3 times

reverse hypers short strap 330 3x12
overhead keg lunges 3x6 each leg
judo throw pulldown abs with green band 3x8 each side

belt dragging 3 plates and a quater 10x100ft


Speed bench 185 and mini band 9x3

db press 80x12, 100x12, 12, 20 ties a rep record for 3 sets. If I would have know I would have done one more.

pull ups x5, 4, 4, 3 all different grips

tates with mini band behind back. 45x12, 50 x12, 12, 12, 10

piston face pulls - purple band each hand 3x15

bb curls 70 3x12

shoulder traction
external rotators 3x15
pushdowns 2x12
foam roller situps 2x12 8kg kettlebell each hand


Deadlift standing on 2 inch plaform
135, 225, 275, 315, 365, 405, 455, 495, 545, 595, 615x1

Video of pulls and good mornings.

camber bar goodmornings 225x8, 315x8, 405x6

green band leg curls single leg 3x12

pull down abs 3x12


3 board bench with 3 chain per side. 135, 185, 225, 275, 295, 315, 335x1

far bar 6 board 275, 315, 365x8, 405x6

bradford press 95, 135, 155 2x8

t bar rows with fat DD handle 135 4x12

dumbell extensions on floor 50 5x10

That should bring you up to speed. If you have any questions about my training send me a message. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Speed Work or Rep Work?

We (myself and the other Q&A people on Elite Fitness) get lots of questions asked about speed work and rep work. It seems speed work became very popular about 8-10 years ago and now, you hear alot of people say they don't do it anymore. Why? What are they doing instead? And how do you know if you should be doing it or not?

Let me first say that alot of it is dependant on your level of experience and strength. Most beginners, whether you are a powerlifter or an athlete, will benefit from rep work. Rep work is great for building muscle and working on the technical aspect of the lifts. And rep work doesn't necessarily mean you are doing sets of 10 or 20. Repetition work can be sets of 5 at a certain weight.

Speed work will be more beneficial for the intermediate to advanced lifter (powerlifters and athletes alike). Speed work is typically done in sets of singles for deadlift, doubles for squats and triple or even fives for speed bench. Sets can be anywhere between 5-12 sets. Chains and bands can be added as well to accomodate resistance.

So, what does this mean for you? Maybe you are an intermediate powerlifter but you're still not sure if speed work is right for you. In my opinion, speed work is great leading up to a competition. Personally, I didn't do speed work for a few months (due to being at the end of my pregnancy, then post-baby). During that time frame, I did rep work. I replaced my speed bench with overhead pressing. At the time, I had no need to do speed work.

Now that I am back in competitive mode, I have noticed that my speed strength is slow. I've put on a bench shirt a few times and have noticed that I just don't have the speed I used to. Even with my raw work. So, it's back to speed work for awhile. If you're not competitive, you can switch between speed work and repetition work, doing 3 weeks of each.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Training log update

2/25/09 Speed bench

Speed bench 2 chain 185 6x3
Pin press while laying on floor 225, 315, 405, 455, 495x5
incline JM press 185 2x6
dumbell overhead press 50 2x15
fat man rows against mini band 4x8
hammer curls 4x8

2/27/09 Max effort lower

Free squat 145, 195 add briefs, 255, 345, 395, 435, add suit straps down, 545, 635x2, 685 2x2

Here is the video of todays squatting.

rackable camber bar goodmornings 135, 225, 315, 405x6, 315x8
poor man back attack 2x12
superset with short strap hypers 140 2x20

Afternoon session
16kg kettlebell front squats with heels elevated 2x8
side bends 80 4x10

Article: Interview w/ Julia on EFS

You can check out a new interview with Julia that is now up on Elite Fitness Systems. Julia spoke with The Angry Coach the other day about training philosophies, the success of the football program at the University and how to break into the Strength field. You can check out the article here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Training log - 2/23/09

Last week was a deload week so there is not much to tell about that week other than I got sick and I am still fighting off a cold. No pressing,squatting or deadlifting last week so I got to recover pretty well.

Monday 2/23/09

speed squat with a blue band 315 5x2

ultra wide deadlifts worked up to 495 2x5

Glute ham raises (elevated 16 inches) x10, 10, add med ball for contrast x10, 9

Here is a video of the morning workout.

Afternoon workout

long strap reverse hypers 330 3x12

leg raises against mini bands 3x12

face pulls with rotator bar 3x12

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Training log update

My last two max effort workouts were gear work. I put on a borrowed squat suit and worked up to 665 for a double. I need more hamstring work and more ab work before my meet in 8 weeks.

Max effort bench went a little better but I can't quite get over the hump and double more than 515. My left arm stays tucked and I handcuff myself before I get the bar to lockout. Having gained weight since I got the shirt has made touching much harder but I have already taken off five pounds and will take off another five before I have to cut weight before the meet.

This week has been a deload week so it has been pretty low key. All assistance work and I have upped my cardio frequency to four days a week for 20-30 minutes.

The Last three months

We just finished up with a three month cycle and as always there are good and bad things to take from it all. I know I need to keep pushinf my raw strength to get more out of my bench press shirt. We got away from exercises like illegal wide benching and camber bar benching and my raw bench press has stayed the same.

My squat seems to be going well other than my gear work. I have a new squat suit on the way so I will be able to better gauge where I am at with my competition squat.

My deadlift is also in a good place right now. Since I have added in direct quad work the start of my deadlift has gotten better. I hit a big pr against bands and that is a good indicater for me.

As a whole the last cycle was a bit much with all of the band work and gear work. But if all goes well at the meet we may do something like this again. Back to the drawing board.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2/11/09 Training Log

Speed bench
monster mini band 185 6x3 on foam pad

Tricep death 2, 3, 4, 5
2 reps on 2-4 board and 4 rep on the 5 board
225, 245 x 2 sets

shrugs 225 3x12

rotator bar pulldowns 180 3x12

curl with ez bar 70 3x12

face pulls 3x12

Plate pinch 25# plates 3x10 seconds each hand. Much better this time.

Afternoon session
arm bars 8kg kettlebell 3 on each arm
rack walks with miniband around wrists
Then had my wife stretch my hamstrings.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Training log 2/8/09-2/9/093

2/8/09 max effort bench

Metal Militia reverse band (blue)

225, 275, 315, 365, 405, 455, 505x1 (pr)

I flared my elbows to early. The set up may have something to do with this but I still got it.

Here is a video of the reverse bands. Also a training partner hitting a huge attempt at 635.

Floor press with 2 chain on each side
135, 185, 225x5, 275x2 (shouder was not happy after the reverse band)

dumbell rows 120 4x8
face pulls 110 2x12
skull crushers with ez curl bar 120 4x10
blast strap y+t 2x8 each direction
db curls 3 sets I wont tell the weight because it is that embarrasing.

2/9/09 speed squat

Speed squat with green band and 2 chain
315x2, 365x1, add suit on top of briefs 405 2x2, 455x2, 495x2

speed deadlift barweight 405x1, 455x1, 505 3x1

Video of the squatting and deadlifting

reverse hypers short strap outside of plates 240 4x12

kettlebell front squat
standing on decline.
8kg 3x12 as far down as I could go.

ghr 3x8
ab wheel 3x8
green band arch back good mornings 3x12

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Training log 2/6/09

Max effort lower

Deadlift against double mini bands.

Things were heavy from the start and it was expected with the heavier work we were pushing on speed days.

135, 185, 225, 275 315, 365, 405, 455, 495, 545x1, 585xmiss

I broke my record on this exercise a month ago and I am wondering if I can only deadlift 2 out of 3 waves. The other option is to up the deadlift reps the first month to 5. This will be decided after the meet.

Short strap hypers 290 3x12
ball leg curls 3x12
pulldown abs 3x12

Saturday extra workout

airdyne 30 min.
bodyweight lunges 2x15 each leg
foam roller calves and hamstrings.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Training log 2/4/09

Speed bench with monster mini off foam board. 185 6x3

modified tricep death (boards 3, 4, 5 with monser mini)
275 x 2 on each board
275 x2 on 3 board,x 2 on 4 board, x6 on 5 board

Here is a video of todays tri death.

Finished up with a circuit
barbell shrugs in front 315 2x15, behind 225 2x15
curls with ez curl bar 95 3x8
rotator bar pulldowns 180 5x10
plate pinch 25# plates 3 sets each hand.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Training log 2/1/09 and 2/2/09

Sunday 2/1/09 Max effort bench.

Bench with monster mini band
135, 185, 225, 275x1 add 3 board, 295x1, 325xmiss

I was out of my groove on the last one and seemed to beat up my shouders quite a bit. Benching against monster mini twice in 1 week is too much.

overhead press with el gordo (counted as 45 lbs)
95x5, 135x5, 155x5, 185x2 was off balance from the start so I quit after 2

face pulls 110 3x12
Dumbell rows 125 3x8
blast strap Y and T 3x8
skull crushers with ez bar 120 5x10
band curls 4x20

Monday 2/2/09 dynamic squat
Morning workout
Green band and 2 chain 315x2, 345 5x2 add canvas suit over briefs + 1 mat 365x1, 405x1

Here is a video of everything except the 405x1. The camera battery died.

Speed deadlift against double monster mini band with canvas suit on over briefs
315x1, 345 5x1, 395x1

Reverse hypers short strap outside the plates 240 3x12

circuit 3x
24 kg kettlebell swings against a purple band. x10
blue band round back good mornings x12
ab wheel x8

Foam roller, stick and stretch
calves, hamstrings, quads, it bands

Friday, January 30, 2009


This month is all singles for max effort work. We have done triples and doubles with this same exercise one and two months ago. This is an all time record for me. So things are working so far. My bodyweight was up to 260 last week. Now that our baby is born we are not eating as muh junk. I will try and take off 5-10 pounds before my next meet. I would like to compete at 242.

SSB box squat 13 inch box with foam on top.
Here is the video my squatting today.

365, 405, 455, 495, 515x1 miss with 535

arch back good mornings
135, 225, 405, 495x6

short strap (outside of plates) reverse hypers
295 3x12

stability ball leg curls

barbell lunges
135 2x8 each leg.

Later today
ab wheel, band leg curls

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1/28/09 Training log

Speed bench with monster mini band 185 6x3

Ass boards or a version of tricep death (2,3,4 boards with band still on)
225 x 2 reps on each board
255 x 2 reps each board
275 x 2 reps each board

Next three done as a circuit
rotator bar pulldowns 170 3x12
barbell shrugs 275 3x15
curls with ez bar 70 3x12

This evening will be band pushdowns, band pull aparts and leg raises.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Training 1/27/07

This is the first week of this training cycle and I am preparing for a meet that is about 12 weeks out. I will write a review of the last few months of training later to get you up to speed.

Morning workout

Speed squat green band and 2 chain. 315 6x2
speed pulls against monster mini 315 5x1
short strap hypers 9strap outside of plates) 240 3x10
pulldown abs 3x10

Video of squats and deadlifts.

24kg kettlebell swings against purple band 3x12
green band round back gms 3x12

I am pushing with my feet first instead of my head. That is why you see my hips come up first in a number of my squats. We just finished using the rackable camber bar so that may have something to do with it. I am also working on lowering my box height. I took out one rubber mat for this three weeks and will remove another for the next three. I need to push up my ab and hamstring work more. I have upped my quad work which has helped my deadift so that will continue.