Resistance Training And Metallurgy: How The Refiner’s Fire Molds More Than Muscles

nathaniel hancock Apr 01, 2020

“In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross […].”  – James E. Faust, April 1979

Training with a purpose is in my DNA. Whether it was my first marathon in 1992, the U.S.A. bodybuilding championships in 2001, or the North American Powerlifting Federation championships in 2019, my eyes were always on the prize as I pushed myself during the preparatory phase.

Truth be told, I have never understood the practice of exercising without a specific goal in mind. If I am going to dedicate hours of my life to an athletic endeavor week after week and year after year, I want to know that I am on the path of progress. You may have a different mentality—and that is fine by me—but I relish the heightened focus experienced when each training session is seen as part of a larger whole.

Speaking of focus, goal-oriented...

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Optimize Your Recovery For Maximal Strength Gains

daniel debrocke Feb 26, 2020

Recovery and athletic performance is an important topic, and one that gets a fair bit of attention. However, information disseminated about recovery modalities often prioritize cumbersome methods with a poor return on investment. As is often the case the fundamentals take a back seat to elaborate strategies to improve athletic performance. When in reality optimization must start with and always prioritize the fundamentals. The objective of this article is to compile all relevant information on recovery and present a comprehensive analysis on the various strategies. From there we can develop a hierarchical structure to offer pragmatic recommendations for athletes to get the most out of their training and recovery and avoid prioritizing variables that generate a small magnitude of effect. 

Recovery and athletic performance is an important topic, and one that gets a fair bit of attention. However, information disseminated about recovery modalities often prioritize cumbersome...

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The Most Effective Approach To Treat Low Back Pain

daniel debrocke Jan 04, 2020

Low back pain (LBP) is a widespread phenomena that is estimated to effect roughly 85% of individuals at some point in their life (1). In fact, globally LBP is the leading cause of disability (2). Considering the prevalence of LBP it’s important to gain a better understanding of the complex mechanisms and potential avenues for successful treatment and prevention. This article is neither diagnostic or a recommendation for treatment protocol. It’s simply here to inform you on the various intricacies of the subject so when you seek out professional help from a qualified physical therapist (which is the course of action I recommend) you are better equipped to be an active participant in your own treatment.

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is defined as pain persisting for twelve weeks or longer (3). CLBP accounts for roughly 20% of LBP instances, but in up to 90% of these cases clinicians are unable to identify the cause, so CLBP is labeled as non-specific CLBP (4). A review...

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One Degree Of Change And Five Points Of Wisdom

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2019

Chris Cathart
For every change you see in my body, my mind has gone through ten. When I began the journey that I am on in 2015, I was in one of the worst places I ever been. I was 330 pounds, thirteen years old and had just experienced loss for the first time. My first dog had died and I was trying to make sense of the world. I knew things and people died, I had seen things die, I had killed things before, I had never felt the ache of missing that comes with the loss of someone or something near to your heart.

The first time I experienced loss it came with a warning. This will be you, and if you change nothing, that will be sooner than you can imagine. My first dog died of disease related to obesity, something that my entire family, human and pet alike was all too familiar with. This comes to my first point. Set Grand Goals. I didn’t know it at the time but I was setting for myself the ultimate Grand Goal. Become better. I didn’t know where to go from that goal,...

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Be Cautious: My Experiences With A Tainted Preworkout And Failed USAPL Drug Test

derrington wright Aug 01, 2019

The Arnold Classic 2018 was the best performance of my lifting career. I ended with an 1829lbs (830kg) total in the 105kg division, I was ecstatic. I even ended up winning a big check for $800 for placing first, literally the peak of my powerlifting journey at the time. Fast forward to March 14th, I wake up, half asleep and I see an email that says, “notification of doping failure”.

In short, it said that I tested positive for the SARM Ostarine and unless proven otherwise, that I could be banned for up to 4 years from competing or coaching at any USAPL meet. At this point, I think I’m dreaming so I fall back asleep for another few hours then I wake up again just to see that the email was all too real. I was in such shock and disbelief; I couldn’t imagine how or why my test could’ve come back positive. Confused as to what I should do next, I messaged a friend of mine that I thought would know more about how I should move forward dealing with this,...

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Risk, Threat, And Prediction | Part 2

travis jewett Apr 30, 2019


Part two is going to start laying down a theoretical framework for why anything is effective at all when helping someone come back from an injury. If you are at all involved in the world of training and/or rehabilitation, you are well aware there are a million ways to spend your money on some kind of device or tool. You will also notice there are a million more ways to work on how you move and even more people you can make an appointment with to work you over and tell you all sorts of things about your current situation (only some of which is likely to be true).

What are you supposed to do when you are met with all these options? If you are someone experiencing pain (and even worse if the pain is severe), you are desperately seeking the advice of anyone who can help you experience less pain. This appears to be a reasonable idea. We don’t like to experience pain. It isn’t fun. It can interfere greatly with your everyday life, activities, work, and relationships. Who...

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Risk, Threat, Prediction, And Understanding How Your Body Perceives Injury

travis jewett Apr 12, 2019

I recently saw an exchange on Twitter between two professionals in the rehabilitation world. The original tweet mentioned a patient who had started deadlifting because they had a herniated lumbar disc. The first response was from a different professional questioning this course of action. He said something along the lines of, “Hmmmm, was this when he was symptomatic or asymptomatic?” To put this in more context, the person who posted the original tweet is not the person who started the deadlift program. The original person thought it was great this patient had decided to take action into his own hands instead of falling victim to the system. The second person was questioning whether a person with a herniated disc should be deadlifting. I hope you are not confused, because we are going to dive deep into the rabbit hole.

I am in the business of helping people who are currently experiencing pain or injury get back to doing the things they need to do and want to do. I...

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Three Contralateral Stability Drills

brandon senn Mar 29, 2019

A contralateral pattern involves an action and/or movement of opposite sides of the body working together. That might seem confusing but its simpler than it seems. An easy way to understand contralateral patterns is to standup and walk 5-10 steps (walking is a contralateral pattern). Now walk another 5-10 steps but move your right arm forward as your right leg moves forward (and your left arm forward as your left leg moves forward). Feels weird doesn’t it? When we walk or run the leg that propels us forward is matched by an opposing swing of your arms (or opposite slight rotation of the thoracic spine).

Other common contralateral patterns in sport include throwing and swinging.

Learning and improving trunk stability in contralateral patterns is crucial for maximizing energy transfer and your ability to express force.

Below are three videos in order of difficulty to help you improve your contralateral trunk stability. To do all of these drills properly avoid relying on spinal...

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Stress And Specificity

Uncategorized Mar 20, 2019

By Travis Jewett

Travis Jewett is a strength coach and chiropractor with a clinic in Cherokee, IA. He is a member of the MobilityWOD staff and teaches seminars and workshops around the world in strength training and human performance. He is also a member of the Kabuki Strength Advisory Board. He works with people of all ages to improve their quality of life through strength and movement.

How specific do you need to be when training for a powerlifting meet? I really want you to stop and think about this question. You may have heard a lot of people who are popular in the world of powerlifting describe how important it is to be as specific as possible when training for the sport. You have to use a straight bar all the time to create the specific stress needed to drive adaptation. Many of the people I hear talk in these kinds of absolutes also complain about their elbow or shoulder or adductor or some other body part hurting going into a meet. What is really paramount in training...

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Top 10 Things To Know Before Your First Meet

kyle young Dec 23, 2018

Listen up–if you have never been in a powerlifting meet but want to, or if you are about to compete in your first–if you have competed, give this top 10 a quick read and see if passing it along can help someone you know.

I have competed in a lot of meets over the last 8 years, in a lot of different federations- raw, single ply, and mulit ply. From local to national and, world level meets across the country. Over this time, I have helped, handled, and coached some amazing athletes along with many entry level lifters. Beyond all of this I have dedicated hours upon hours spotting, loading, and running the platform.

Why do I bring all this up? I have had the opportunity over the years to gain 3 unique prospectives to provide the advice below. I wish someone would have bestowed some of this info upon me before any of my first meets.

As a coach, athlete and spotter/ loader I have seen a lot of cool things and many things that could of went better for the lifter. Now remember...

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