30 Days Without Weights: Part II
30 Days Without Weights: Part II
In my first article on body weight training titled “30 Days Without Weights,” I spoke about the many benefits of using body weight training during a training phase.
 Analogies for Understanding: Origins of Strength
Analogies for Understanding: Origins of Strength
Motor units, rate coding, fast-twitch muscle fibers, recruitment capacity—do you have this all down?
 Periodization, Part II: The Science of Peaking
Periodization, Part II: The Science of Peaking
As opposed to the first part of this series, which could benefit anyone who trains seriously, this part is more targeted to an elite audience. Peaking isn’t of much interest to someone who doesn’t compete. Although deloading can be beneficial for any athlete, peaking goes way beyond deloading, and its temporary nature makes it irrelevant for non-competing athletes.
 The “Devil” Bench Workout
The “Devil” Bench Workout
Why is it that whenever I’m in a gym I see people benching the same weight at each workout? It usually goes like this—a person performs a few reps at 185 lbs, then at 205 lbs, and maybe at 225 lbs.
 The Power of the Pack: Your Guide to Survival
The Power of the Pack: Your Guide to Survival
When I first started seriously strength training as a sophomore in college, I did so because everyone else on my dorm floor went down together to the weight room at 4:00 pm.
 Lessons Learned from Training Young Kids
Lessons Learned from Training Young Kids
I have spent this past winter training young hockey players, often as young as 11-years-old and often by myself in groups of 12–15 kids at one time.
 Making the Most of College Lifting
Making the Most of College Lifting
College is a wonderful place. It’s the transitional phase between being nestled securely at home close to your mother’s teat and being thrust out into the real world, which I can assure you, is an awful place once you truly appreciate your time in college.
 Seven Successful Habits for Young Athletes
Seven Successful Habits for Young Athletes
Succeed academically: It’s crucial for young athletes to start developing solid study habits as they get older.
My Journey into Bodybuilding
My Journey into Bodybuilding
Well, the diet has started! I decided to cut my off-season down by a few weeks and start dieting. I felt like I was getting to a point where adding more weight would make getting into shape too difficult to accomplish, so I started dieting January 1.
 Too Fat to Get Fit?: Addressing the Physical Development Needs of Today’s Youth
Too Fat to Get Fit?: Addressing the Physical Development Needs of Today...
It isn’t pretty, but it’s a reality. Our youth are getting fatter and unhealthier by the day. Physical education classes are either gone or absolutely minimized in our educational curriculum. The classes that are still intact are ill-suited for the new generation.
The Prowler Challenge
The Prowler Challenge
It’s the perfect conditioning device for anyone looking to cut the B.S., start training like a man again and not waste time.
 Periodization, Part II
Periodization, Part II
Complete recovery after a hard day of training may last more than 48 hours, and training every other day isn’t really an option for elite performance (there are exceptions to this rule).
 Periodization, Part I
Periodization, Part I
This series is an introduction to periodization. Too often, I’ve come across people who don’t understand the foundations of training so I decided to fix this situation. Obviously, I’ll need to keep many details out for the sake of simplicity.
 Chain Training
Chain Training
Initially used for accommodating resistance, chains help take into account the body’s natural strength curve. Many people have become familiar with this concept over the last few years as chains have become increasingly popular.
Top 11 Exercises for Athletes
Top 11 Exercises for Athletes
Here are the top 11 movements for athletes. Add them to your rotation and work them hard.
 What’s the Big Deal with Partial Lifts?
What’s the Big Deal with Partial Lifts?
I’ll come right out and say it—I’m a big fan of partial lifts. Some say they’re dangerous while others say they’re unproductive. Why do a partial lift when you can do the whole lift?
 Work Capacity: Do It Stronger, Faster, Harder, and Longer
Work Capacity: Do It Stronger, Faster, Harder, and Longer
There are many elements to strength and conditioning (S&C) training as it relates to mixed martial arts (MMA). Most folks think that it’s all about “strength” or “cardio.”
The Dungeon
The Dungeon
Wabush, Labrador, Canada. A small mining town nestled in the cold and desolate woodland of northern Canada. Seven months of the year this isolated town in the middle of nowhere is covered in a deep and cold blanket of snow.
The Reintroduction of J.L. Holdsworth, and the Introduction of the FIVE PERCENT
The Reintroduction of J.L. Holdsworth, and the Introduction of the FIVE ...
Hello Everyone! My name is J.L. Holdsworth and I’m an asshole.
 How I Passed Basic Training at 235 Pounds
How I Passed Basic Training at 235 Pounds
Before I get started here, I want to say that I am in no way, shape or form a badass. I’m simply an average guy with a little better than average genetics, and a good work ethic. I know a hundred guys that are tougher and more hardcore than I am. They just haven’t written their stories down on paper yet.
Under The Bar: How to make Dreams come true.
Under The Bar: How to make Dreams come true.
How do you make your dreams and wishes come true?
Transforming Together (Part 1)
Transforming Together (Part 1)
In March of 2009, I was contacted by Nate and Donia, training partners from Iowa who were looking to get into better shape. Eight months later, they both competed in their first competitions (bodybuilding for him and figure for her) with completely transformed physiques.
 Dynamic Chest Training: What’s Your Upper Body Vertical?
Dynamic Chest Training: What’s Your Upper Body Vertical?
At some point in their training careers, most people reading this have probably been asked, “What’s your bench,” as if the bench is the one and only indicator of strength.
 No Secret to Balanced Training
No Secret to Balanced Training
Anatomy can be pretty intense and sometimes more complex than necessary. Balanced training is an old idea, so why beat a dead horse? Because bodybuilding dogma continues to prevail and everyone seems to define balanced training differently. So really…what the hell is balanced training?
 Rapid Rate of Force Development
Rapid Rate of Force Development
Rate of force development (ROFD) is probably the most important and under-recognized area of applied science pertaining to strength training and athletics.
 Get Your Back into Your Lifting
Get Your Back into Your Lifting
I’m becoming a deadlift supremacist more and more. Louie Simmons recently wrote in Powerlifting USA, “A weak man has a weak back, and a strong man has a strong back. It’s that simple.”
The Econo Prowler: A Review
The Econo Prowler: A Review
You might puke. But you'll definitely get better.
The Relationship Between Size and Strength, Part 2
The Relationship Between Size and Strength, Part 2
The strongest lifter in any given weight class is not necessarily the lifter with the most muscle mass because lifting maximal weights involves more factors than just muscle mass.
The Relationship Between Size and Strength, Part 1
The Relationship Between Size and Strength, Part 1
It always bugs me when someone says that there is no relationship between size and strength.
Beginner Follow-Up Program
Beginner Follow-Up Program
Here’s the exemplary monthly plan with two trainings of the beginning lift operators:
Are Plank Exercises for You?
Are Plank Exercises for You?
One of the latest rages in the fitness industry is the plank exercise. In essence, plank refers to maintaining your body in a straight line from head to toe, as for example, in the up position of a push-up.
 Why Bodybuilding Is NOT for Athletes
Why Bodybuilding Is NOT for Athletes
The biggest problem I come across with athletes is their current training regime. Everyone wants to train like a bodybuilder. I don't know if it’s the current trend in muscle magazines or misinformation, or maybe the athletes simply don't have the proper goals in mind. Nevertheless, changes need to be made.
 Warming Up to PRs
Warming Up to PRs
What’s keeping you from setting a personal record (PR) in your lifts? Why isn't your “top end” going up?
An Interview with Paul Vaillancourt
An Interview with Paul Vaillancourt
Today is a real treat for the readers of EliteFTs.com. A good friend of mine, Paul Vaillancourt, just won the 105 kg Canada’s Strongest Man Competition and also placed eleventh at Canada’s Strongest Man (the real deal)!
 Six of the Best Ways to Use Bands
Six of the Best Ways to Use Bands
Bands are nothing new to most coaches and trainers. They have quickly become one of the most versatile and effective training tools in a coach’s toolbox. Initially, many thought of them only as rehabilitation tools. However, Westside Barbell changed the perception of bands with its innovative techniques for using them for accommodating resistance.
Troponin Nutrition: September 2008
Troponin Nutrition: September 2008
I was wondering what happened to Justin Harris?
 Seven Strength and Conditioning Tools for Firefighters, Part 1
Seven Strength and Conditioning Tools for Firefighters, Part 1
Have you ever grabbed one of those muscle magazines while waiting to check out at the supermarket and skimmed through it? They are filled with pictures and workouts of bodybuilders with awesome genetics who train with the primary purpose of looking good in a Speedo.
Ab Mania
Ab Mania
The abdominals are the most overemphasized muscle group in physical training.
 Fascia Function: Building a Tough Trunk
Fascia Function: Building a Tough Trunk
Bodybuilding is here to stay. As long as there is a desire to get stronger, grow bigger, or look better, bodybuilding will remain an invariable foundation in the world of physique improvement.
 Concurrent Strategies in Strength Training, Part 3
Concurrent Strategies in Strength Training, Part 3
Please note that different classifications may be used depending on the athletes’ weak and strong points, level of development, training period, emphasis, and additional items. Those classifications are used to help the coach organize the training system and prioritize things according to the demands of sport and position.
 Adding Strength with Little Equipment
Adding Strength with Little Equipment
Imagine—you’re a broke kid living in a small town in the middle of nowhere. The closest fitness center is miles away and you don’t have a car to get there anyway. None of your friends know what a weight is. You’ve asked them to give it a try, but they just gave you the middle finger as they sped off to the mall or plopped down in front of the television to play video games.
 Plateau Buster: A Look at Goals and IIx Fibers
Plateau Buster: A Look at Goals and IIx Fibers
When developing strength and speed, fiber type matters.
An Interview with Rob MacIntyre
An Interview with Rob MacIntyre
Rob “Spray” MacIntyre is a strength coach for some top level athletes. Rob, tell me a little bit about your background.
Back and Forth: An Interview with Dave Tate and Alwyn Cosgrove
Back and Forth: An Interview with Dave Tate and Alwyn Cosgrove
AC: Dave, you’re an Elite powerlifter and own one of the most successful strength training equipment companies in existence—and by extension a website that has become one of the best educational companies in the field. So, what’s the plan from here?
Concurrent Strategies in Strength Training, Part 2
Concurrent Strategies in Strength Training, Part 2
For more examples regarding loading protocols, I highly recommend reading Christian Thibaudeau’s, Black Book of Training Secrets–Enhanced Edition. Most of these graphs are taken from there. Another interesting book to consider is Joe Kenn’s, Coach’s Strength Training Playbook, which is another awesome read.
 Training Comes Full Circle
Training Comes Full Circle
Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch and a kick just a kick.
Concurrent Strategies in Strength Training, Part 1
Concurrent Strategies in Strength Training, Part 1
Concurrent training in the iron game was made popular by the Westside Barbell Club and Louie Simmons, who erroneously called it “conjugate."
Before You Blow Off the Gym, Read Jimmy’s Story
Before You Blow Off the Gym, Read Jimmy’s Story
We all have our “off” days in the gym. Even the most dedicated of gym rats will find an excuse to blow off a workout every now and then. Let’s face it.
Elite Kids
Elite Kids
I understand that not every 8-year-old knows exactly what a glute ham is or how to perform the movement. Few adults know.
Metabolic Conditioning: One Size Does Not Fit All
Metabolic Conditioning: One Size Does Not Fit All
The concept of metabolic conditioning has to be without a doubt one of the most misunderstood topics in strength and conditioning today. It seems that every fitness guru has some different method for improving your “conditioning” with the aim of burning fat or improving performance for a specific sport. However, none of them really get to the heart of how energy production really works.
Might as well Jump
Might as well Jump
There’s nothing fancy here and no expensive machines are needed. More than likely, if you’re reading this article, you probably already have the tools to do it. Okay, let’s rock.
Are You Setting Yourself Up for Injury?
Are You Setting Yourself Up for Injury?
Lifting weights is easy, but preventing injuries when lifting weights is not always as simple. Because of this, it is not uncommon to find many injuries in weight training. To help prevent injuries and make your workouts more productive, here are seven key factors that you should take into account when weight training.
No Respect? Go to the Basement!
No Respect? Go to the Basement!
I have had some interesting conversations with Jim Wendler. One in particular struck a chord with me quite heavily. In fact, it has helped mold a process I use at my gym when training new athletes.
General Versus Special Exercises
General Versus Special Exercises
One of the main distinguishing features of the Soviet system of training athletes is their distinction between general and specialized exercises.
Anatomical Fixer Upper
Anatomical Fixer Upper
As an athlete, eventually you hit a point where performance stagnates, whether it’s from asymmetries, lack of mobility in certain joints, injuries, or false plateaus. Whatever the specific reason, we have all felt a loss of performance. It’s at this point that you need to go back and check your training, nutrition, and recovery journal. You should be looking to see if there are repeated setbacks.
Functional Training: An Obsolete Term?
Functional Training: An Obsolete Term?
What does it mean to be "functional", anyway?
How to Pick a Good Coach
How to Pick a Good Coach
I think we all are attracted to like people.
The Prowler Uber Alles
The Prowler Uber Alles
Did you ever take a good look at the shape of the Prowler? How about someone giving you the finger?

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