Get Out of The Gym!
After you spend an appreciable number of years in the weight room and only the weight room, you start to really look for ways to spice up your training program and get some results.
Fun in the Weight Room
Keeping your athletes motivated is one of the hardest things to do as a strength coach.
The Odyssey of a Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coach
This article is designed to give future strength & conditioning coaches a better insight as to what it takes to get your “foot in the door”.
Skepticism in Training
I am a powerlifter. One of my great passions in life is spending time in the gym lifting heavy weights. To this day, I cannot think of anything more satisfying than setting a hard earned personal record. Well, let’s just say there are very few things that are more satisfying.
The Magic of the Pin Pull
Recently I have been flooded with e-mails and questions on the EFS Q/A, and rather than answering them one by one, I decided to put them into an article form so that everyone has access to them. There is a lot of great information in these answers.
Maximum Effort Training for Strongman
As covered in my last article, the dynamic effort (DE) session is dedicated to speed. Max effort (ME) is dedicated to huge weights and re-writing the record books every session you train. My approach is a bit different from the traditional Westside approach.
Deadlifting with Chains
Almost a year ago, Matt Bash and I put our collective heads together and were thinking of different ways to approach our weak point in the deadlift; the lockout.
Bringing the Pendulum Back to Center (Part 2)
It is often said by futurists that there is an over-reaction to most new concepts in the short term, yet an under-reaction in the long term. We can all come up with countless examples of it – the high carb trend of a few years ago – which has become the zero carb trend recently.
And You Thought You had it Tough
“Well, I stand up next to a mountain I chop it down with the edge of my hand.” –Jimi
Fun with Your (Med) Balls
If you’ve been training long enough, chances are that just about everything you do is routine. Possibly the worst part of having a routine is monotony and boredom, especially when it comes to warming-up; you know it’s important, but damn if it isn’t downright boring!
Deload to Reload
I’ve wanted to write this article for awhile and there have been several questions on the Q/A that touched on this subject. For those not familiar with the term “deload” by basic definition of it is this: to take a break from extreme training.
The number 3 is held in reverence by many people. Of course, the title of this article is in reference to the Roman Empire and where would we be without them?
Bench Training with Ed Rectenwald
Coming up with new articles each month can be a challenging task and coming up with quality information can be even harder. After a couple hundred articles I find myself repeating myself time and time again.
This article was inspired by Alwyn Cosgrove and something that he mentioned to me in passing.
The Circa-Maximal Squat Phase
The circa max phase is a three week squat phase designed to peak you for your contest.
Torso Training – Part 3: Advanced Training Exercises
In the past two articles, we have given you ideas and progressions for strengthening your torso. As you know by now, strong abs isn’t all that is needed.
Despite the busiest summer I ever had both professionally and socially, my training has been better than ever lately.
PR Rx: Todd Brock’s Bench Routine
I have been training with Todd Brock for over 12 years now. I first met Todd during my 2 hour road trips to Westside Barbell.
How things have changed. Five years ago, all you ever read were articles on how to use your gear, how to use your bench shirt, squat suit, knee wraps, etc. Now people want articles on how to train without gear. Very strange.
Torso Training for Athletes, Part 1: The Basics
What is torso training? Torso training is strengthening your body from just above the hips to just below the chest. Training your torso involves many movements, but can be done effectively in just a few minutes, 3-4 times per week.
No Rules Training: Part II
I’ve got another story for you, and it always brings back some of my favorite times in the gym. Actually, I have countless “favorite times” in the gym but this one is special to me, but honestly, all these memories are special to me.
Cornucopia. Hodge Podge. Horn-a-plenty. Whatever you want to a call a huge grab bag of stuff, I’m selling it here.
Keepers and Throwbacks, Part II
[Editor’s Note: A lot of things that Glenn mentions in this article are his opinion and will not sit well with purists. Please note that this article is his opinion. For example, Travis Mash and Joe Bayles have both had success with the Zercher Squat. Also, weight releasers are extremely useful. But Glenn also makes some valid points, too. So take everything in stride. – Jim Wendler]
Keepers and Throwbacks
I just have seen too many people I know become unhappy because their possessions own them, not vice versa
Stealth like I maneuver to get into position. I always feel somewhat anxious and nervous because I know security cameras abound but I am agile and cunning like a human Rikki Tikki Tavi.
Just Do It
The time has finally arrived for me to summarize how I train high school athletes in my quaint, but aesthetically unappealing subterranean gym.
Accessory vs. Supplemental
We get asked all the time what the difference between an accessory lift and a supplemental lift. After doing some research, I came up with the following ideas. I got these from “A System of Multi-Year Training in Weightlifting” by A.S. Medvedyev. To make things easier here are some basic definitions;
Tales From the Dark Side: 13 Stories of Woe
Here are some actual stories from actual strength coaches. All these stories have been substantiated by coaches that I know very well and trust.
Devil’s Advocate: The Seven Seals
When training your lower back, think about it two ways; to strengthen your lower back and injury prevention. These don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Many people who have very strong backs injure themselves.
Digit Ratios and a Predisposition to Strength
This past April as I was fulfilling my twice weekly obligation of GPP by actively surfing the infinite amount of useless cable channels, I happened across a topic that piqued my interest. The science program I viewed centered on hormones and the development of the sexes.
A Christmas Story: An Unsolicited Testimonial
It was a cold October afternoon in 2003. My back was sore and I could hardly straighten my elbow. I iced down and took some ibuprofen; still I felt no better.
Your Program Sucks!
We have happened upon a new age of strength and conditioning. I have seen this coming for sometime now but tried to dismiss it as a fad.
The Glass is Half Full
Lifting is not who I am, but rather it is what I do. However, it is something I do not want to do without at this time. I have previously written about the situation with my arthritic shoulders.
“What on earth are you doing young man?” blurts the utterly bemused dog walker, as I was about to complete a 200ft trip of backward dragging. Knowing that she’d struggle profusely in trying to piece together what was going on, I politely stated that I was just doing some ‘fitness exercises’.
Sick of Your Gym; Part 5 - Getting on the P-Chain
Since I started the "Sick of Your Gym" concept we have received hundreds of emails and posts in regards to the many challenges you all face when training in commercial, private and school weight rooms.
Throw Away the Key
The verdict was read without remorse or empathy. I was given the death penalty. In the medical field there is no due process or equal protection clause.
Big B’s Believe It Or Not
I will admit that most people I know would say I am eccentric, some would say I’m an idiot, and my wife swears that I am a bit psychotic. On the same theme, the following incidents I will discuss can only be described as strange.
In the Beginning
Jim Wendler has written a great series on tips for beginners. I was talking to Dave Tate about it and he gave me the idea for this article. I want to share what my workouts looked like when I first got to Westside Barbell.
Lift Like a Gym Rat, Kick Like a Mule
Gym accidents are not funny. They may cause serious physical injury that may have both short and unfortunately long-term consequences. So it's with mixed feelings that I relate another "Legend of Iron Smith Gym" incident.
Things I Have Learned
Many times there is a tendency to over think your training program and it is easy to get confused with all the misinformation posted on the Web.