Category Archives for "Motivation"

All About Strength and Conditioning with Ricky McFarlane – The Barbell Life 390

Today on the Barbell Life Podcast, we have an OG Mash Athlete turned Strength Coach
extraordinaire, Coach Ricky McFarlane owner of PWR Sports and Human Performance
in England. He is the coach to some of the best Boxing, MMA, Football (aka Soccer), and
Rugby Athletes in the UK.

Today we talked about:

  • How to get funding together for a top rate facility
  • What it’s like to profit with 99% of customers being athletes
  • How he survived while Opening a new facility a week before COVID
  • Contracting as Head of Sport Science for a Professional Team
  • What it’s like to coach Professional MMA Athletes with enough never being
    enough
  • The key to buy-in is Education
  • His Assessment and relationship to UFC Performance Institute
  • Bo Sandoval is a leader in the industry
  • Some of his assessment strategies:
    • Unilateral and Bilateral jump testing
    • DSI
    • Joint ROM
    • Joint Asymmetry and Force Capability
  • Tips for training top athletes:
    • Isometrics
    • Loading is key to lower injury rates
    • Flywheel to lower injuries and create power-producing joints
    • Micro-dose strength training
    • 80% decrease with tendon injuries due to Flywheel
  • GymAware for Velocity Based Training
    • jumps every morning
    • Daily Readiness
    • Force-Velocity Curves
  • All Sports Science must aim to increase game day performance example would be Max
  • Favorite Movements:
    • Posterior Chain(reverse hypers, GHDs, Nordic Leg Curls, Jefferson curls,
    • Sled Dragging
    • Squats, Deadlifts, Pull-Ups, Belt Squat
    • Flywheel,
    • DB Floor Presses, Landmine Presses, Z-Press,
  • Utilizing Daily Undulating Periodization
  • Strength and Hypertrophy at the beginning of the week
  • Closer to the game: power and speed
  • His best business advice for all of you aspiring coaches
  • Establishing a Top Culture FYI, you have to lead the way
  • A body only knows a stressor and adaptation. It doesn’t know deadlift, squat, etc.
  • Find out about the research he’s Publishing soon
  • And more!

THE BARBELL LIFE IS SPONSORED BY:

American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

Training Tools with Michael Chatman – The Barbell Life 387

Today we talked to Coach Michael Chatman, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Men’s Basketball and Golf at Stanford University. He takes a very commonsense approach with yet some very unique perspectives on the way he approaches training for his athletes.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Anti-Rotation and Plyometrics to improve rotational power
  • Gary Gray 3D Analysis
  • Getting athlete buy-in with small wins
  • Meeting athletes where they are
  • Importance of understanding ‘What’s your program and why’
  • Advantages of the Front squat,
  • The forgotten art of Work capacity
  • Data, GPS, and a subjective spoken questionnaire
  • Disciplining athletes with ‘First strike is a warning shot, and second shot you get shot’
  • My personal favorite ‘Don’t worry about all the things, just know what you know’
  • And so much more

Don’t forget to check out our new Athletic Performance and International Weightlifting programs!

THE BARBELL LIFE IS SPONSORED BY:

American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

Thriving Under Adversity with Sam Schaefer – The Barbell Life 384

In this episode of The Barbell Life Podcast brought to you by our friends at Dynamic Fitness and Strength, we talk to one of the most inspiring guests in the history of our show. Coach Sam Schaefer is a former athlete of the original online team. While in the military, he experienced an injury that led to 9-years of chronic pain.

You will learn to thrive under any and all circumstances. You will learn what it’s like to make the decision to voluntarily have your leg amputated. Most importantly, you will learn what it’s like to come out the other end more whole than before going under the knife.

Also in this episode:

  • How to endure 9 years of chronic pain at a 6-7 level minimum
  • What it’s like to go from Special Forces to constant pain
  • He had to be OK with the possibility that nothing would ever be the same
  • What it’s like to have a totally supportive wife in a relationship most of you will only dream of
  • The plan is that if he wants it, he’s going after it. 
  • How he plans on Competing at the Arnold in Highland’s Games
  • Learn about the best weightlifting cue I have heard in years, “Drive knees into ankles”
  • Learn to never stop moving forwards in life.
  • He is going full blast until his clock stops
  • Check him out on Instagram @Samschaefer1 and @Schaeferadaptivemethods 
  • And more!

THE BARBELL LIFE IS SPONSORED BY:

American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

Following Your Life’s Passion with Hunter Charneski – The Barbell Life 383

You guys are going to learn and get inspired by today’s podcast with author and coach, Hunter Charneski. I know that I left the conversation motivated to follow my passion in life. Hunter is the founder of the Artistic Warrior, a very successful course and mentorship for men seeking to unlock the desire to make their passion into profit. Honestly, it’s the first course or mentorship that interested me personally. Why?

Hunter wanted to support himself with his writing and desire to help others, and he pulled up his pants, tightened his belt, and did just that. He didn’t take the easy way. He took the way of his heart. Who is not inspired by someone that has actually done the thing that we all dream of?

So, pour yourself some coffee, find your happy place, and listen in to learn:

  • What does it take to follow your passion? I am talking step by step and not some losing
    venture that a lot of dreamers might make.
  • What are some daily habits that will get you closer to the goal line?
  • What does sprinting at 230 pounds have to do with success in life?
  • How does one train for sprinting after 30-years-old? Weights? Plyometrics?
  • What does sport have to do with life and success?
  • Get motivated by Hunter’s philosophy that he has gathered from many amazing people
    before him.
  • Much more!

THE BARBELL LIFE IS SPONSORED BY:

American-made strength equipment manufacturer providing the best quality, best value, best support & best people so you can build a better athlete.

Hanging with Coach Gillespie

This past Thursday I had the honor of hanging out with the Godfather of Strength, Coach Bill Gillespie.

He works with Sorinex Exercise Equipment as their strength coach. I will explain more about that after I give you a quick background on Coach Gillespie.

Coach Gillespie has worked in the world of strength and conditioning since before I graduated from Appalachian State University. In the early 90’s, I would read all of his articles in “Powerlifting USA” as he was already considered one of the strongest men on the planet and a top rated strength coach.

He was benching in the 800s back in the late 90s and early 2000s, and now at 62-years-old he has the all-time world record in the bench press at 1052lb in the drug tested category. The best part is that he’s lifetime drug free. I can’t even wrap my head around these words I am typing.

To date he has broken 92 world records in the bench press. He’s also one of the most decorated strength coaches in the country having worked in Division I Football and the NFL. Most of you know him as the Head Strength Coach at Liberty University where he coached fifteen years before transitioning to his current role at Sorinex. Now he gets to travel all around the country hanging out with strength coaches like me to collaborate on new ideas, further improve the world of strength, and to build relationships with likeminded coaches.

I have to give Sorinex a thumbs up for creating a position like this because it shows the world where their hearts truly are. They are building their business on relationships, and they are investing back into the education of new and established coaches in America. They aren’t sitting around complaining about the culture of strength and conditioning. They aren’t gossiping about the level of competence with the strength coaches of America. Instead they are dropping their money on producing a culture of collaboration amongst coaches to ensure that American Strength Coaches as a whole are growing in knowledge, and they are using funds to nurture a culture of growth, collaboration, and community. This isn’t an article about Sorinex, but I had to mention the company that paid for me to hang out with this legend.

This article is to pass along some of the knowledge that I learned while hanging out this walking text book of strength. I want to start by encouraging all of the strength coaches reading this to take a page out of Coach Gillespie’s playbook. Yes, he reads and studies the current literature on strength and conditioning, but more importantly he gets in his car and visits the people who are successful. When I was coming up, that was the main way to grow. Now everyone reads articles they find on the web, and they watch the latest YouTube Video. I am not knocking any of that, but it shouldn’t be your go to source.

Step 1: You need the basics

First, you all need the basics just so you can discern between the solid information and the ridiculous. Unfortunately, you can’t really master bar path if you don’t understand the basics of biomechanics. If you don’t understand the basics of physiology, then you can get fooled by any random nutrition article. However, once you have the basics, now you can really grow as a coach. I recommend at least the following:

• Anatomy and Physiology
• Exercise Physiology
• Biomechanics
• Athlete Monitoring and Basic Statistics
• Sports Nutrition

You don’t have to pursue a PhD, but you need these courses. I am biased, but the Exercise Science Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University is the most underrated program in America. I have grown 10-fold as a coach over the last two years, and I had already produced 27 Team USA Athletes for USA Weightlifting, coached hundreds of Division I, II, and III athletes, and several Pro Athletes (NFL, NBA, MMA, and MLB). I highly recommend the Exercise Science Department at LRU for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. The professors love strength and conditioning, and they understand how to apply it in the real world. The Athlete Monitoring Class is perfect for the new age strength coach because you will learn about GPS Tracking and all of the current ways to track and more importantly to discern athlete data and trends. Hopefully soon, I will be one of those professors, and I will be about the most real-world professor ever.

ACADEMIC CONCEPTS MEET REAL-WORLD APPLICATION.

Learn the High-Level Muscle Science, Physics, and Biomechanics Principles to Give Your Athletes the Fastest and Safest Progress Possible

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Step 2: Visit with the Coaches who are producing

This leads me to address a trend that I am seeing amongst strength and conditioning coaches and Olympic weightlifting coaches. Due to social media, too many coaches are more worried about his or her status as a coach than they are worried about actually being a solid coach.

I see it all the time. A coach will start producing amazing results in speed like my guy Coach William Bradley or start producing Olympians like my friend Coach Spencer Arnold – and instead of reaching out to these fine coaches and asking them what they are doing or what changes they might have made, they will make excuses for those results. They will say Coach Bradley’s athletes were already fast. Other people have commented that Coach Arnold was given his athletes by USA Weightlifting. Both of these allegations are ridiculous.

When I heard about Coach Bradley, I drove my butt to his gym and paid him to coach me in sprinting. You know what? I got faster even as a washed-up ex-powerlifter in my mid-thirties. I learned more about speed training in those sessions than from any YouTube video or article. Instead of creating fabricated rumors, I learned from the man himself – and now we are friends to this very day. He’s still my go-to speed guy, and I know some of the best. Coach Kav’s the man too!

As far as Coach Spencer Arnold, USA Weightlifting didn’t ‘give him’ anybody. Those girls chose him due to the amazing culture he created in his Atlanta-based gym. People train where they are happy and having fun. I have taken a lot of notes regarding culture from him as of late, and it has paid off immensely.

If someone is winning or producing, get your butt in the car and go visit that person. It’s that easy. Well, call ahead first, but you get the point. If I were a brand new coach starting all over again, I would save the money to visit a different coach every month or every two weeks for a year. I can’t imagine how that would accelerate a young coach’s knowledge base.

STRENGTH UNIVERSITY VIDEO CURRICULUM

THE PERFECT WAY TO GROW IN KNOWLEDGE DURING THIS TIME OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

It's finally here... Learn about technique, programming, assessment, and coaching from a master. For strength coaches and for athletes, these 53 videos (7 hours and 56 minutes of footage) will prepare you to understand the main lifts for maximum performance and safety. Get ready to learn...

I did that very thing without even planning it out. I have always followed my gut, and that has really helped me in becoming a better coach. Early on when I was in Colorado Springs, I would visit Champion Health almost every day because Coach Charles Poliquin, Dr. Mike Lehey (A.R.T. Founder), and the crew from T Nation (Tim Patterson, TC Luoma, and all the boys) were there. I am sure that I drove them crazy, but I had so many questions. They were making a good living in the world of strength and fitness, so they had the answers and held the keys to unlocking the doors to my dreams.

I could have sat around, made up some rumors about them, and grown bitter towards the world – but instead I got to know them. I helped them in as many ways as I could. I actually brokered T Nation’s first affiliate deal, gaining them access to the World Gyms in Colorado Springs to sell their Biotest products (which were new then). That landed me a six-week internship with arguably the greatest strength and conditioning coach of all-time: Charles Poliquin.

I did the same when I wanted to meet Louie Simmons. I drove to Columbus, Ohio – and I visited Westside Barbell. I did the same thing with Martin Rooney, Coach Joe Kenn, Wes Barnett, and so many others. When MuscleDriver USA came to town, I put my wife in the car, drove down, and visited. That ended up landing me a professional Olympic weightlifting coach job along with two years of learning from Coach Glenn Pendlay and five years with Coach Don McCauley. I think that I have made my point.

Coaches, hear me when I say this: if someone is killing it in your little section of strength, shut your mouth, humble yourself, and learn from that person. Then and only then will we further the cause as strength coaches.

You owe it to your athletes to gain every bit of knowledge that you can. Who cares about your ego? Odds are if you consider yourself the smartest strength coach in America, you probably aren’t even close. The ones producing are too busy trying to get better to have the time to convince others of their status.

You guys probably don’t even know Coach Kevin Simons or Coach Jonas Sahratian. You know why? It’s because they are too busy learning and winning instead of proclaiming their status of greatness on the Internet. The same goes for Coach Gillespie. He’s 62 years old, and he’s driving to hang out with me in hopes he might learn a little more.

Step 3 Anecdotal Evidence Really is the Best Evidence

Now it’s time for you guys to learn a little bit of awesomeness. While we were at Outback Steakhouse, we started talking about Coach Gillespie’s own training and his coaching. FYI, he was one of the first adopters of velocity based training even before my man, Coach Bryan Mann.

He was telling me that “it was his theory” that the last reps of the last set was actually the training effect. He went on to say that he didn’t want to get anywhere near failure most of the time because he didn’t want to teach his athletes (or himself) to be slow.

I laughed and told him that in 2017 (Pareja-Blanco, et al., 2017) his theory was confirmed. They found that velocity losses of 20% or less produced greater hypertrophy in fast twitch fibers versus the traditional 40-60% that bodybuilders might experience.

My point is that guys like Coach Gillespie have data on thousands of amazing D1 and Professional athletes to confirm their “theories.” Coach Gillespie was very good at referencing the correlations between changes in his program and athletic measures like 40-yd dash times and noncontact injuries.

When he was at the University of Washington, his teams were notorious for winning with fourth quarter comebacks. Before some of you say that it was the head coach or the great recruits, the coaches were made aware of his direct effects when they let him go and those wins disappeared in the same season. They were so aware that Coach Gillespie won Pac 10 Strength Coach of the Year, and he was asked to come back to the team.

However, it was too late. The Seattle Seahawks saw the effect he had, and they hired him. Look, strength coaches can have major impacts on teams if they are good at their job. I hear a lot of you downplaying that, and it makes me wonder if you are actually good at your job. If you can make athletes stronger, faster, and more resilient, then you can impact a team in a major way.

He told me so many other nuggets that I am already applying, but here’s my main point to all of you: You really should focus on monitoring your athletes in as thorough a way as possible so that you too can learn to draw those correlations. You will need to learn the difference in correlation and causation, so pay attention in stats class, guys.

Or don’t do any of that, and guys like Coach Gillespie will just keep winning.

I want to close by saying thank you to Coach Gillespie for coming to see me. I cherish two relationships in this strength and conditioning world. The first is obviously Coach Joe Kenn, and now Coach Bill Gillespie has earned that loyalty as well. It was an honor that you valued me enough to drive and hang out with me, and to hear you say those kind words about me in front of my athletes and colleagues was the greatest honor of my career. Thank you also to Sorinex for creating this position that I believe to be so crucial for improving the quality of coaches in America as well as improving the and nurturing a culture of community and growth. That shows all of us coaches that your values are right where they should be.

STRENGTH UNIVERSITY VIDEO CURRICULUM

THE PERFECT WAY TO GROW IN KNOWLEDGE DURING THIS TIME OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

It's finally here... Learn about technique, programming, assessment, and coaching from a master. For strength coaches and for athletes, these 53 videos (7 hours and 56 minutes of footage) will prepare you to understand the main lifts for maximum performance and safety. Get ready to learn...

Your Questions Answered (and Team Update) – The Barbell Life 368

It’s time once again for my favorite type of podcast.

We get to the questions that YOU have asked.

I love talking with amazing guests, but I always wonder if the conversations I love are what listeners love.

But with these Q&A podcasts, we KNOW we’re helping people.

Plus we have a brief update on the incredible meet results that we’ve been seeing lately (and what we’ve learned from it).

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* Fully Customized Programming

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LISTEN IN TO TODAY’S PODCAST AS WE TALK ABOUT:

  • Constructing a powerbuilding program
  • Recommendations on not using pre-workout supplements?
  • Recovering from sore low backs
  • Training as you get older
  • How to train as a male cheerleader and rodeo athlete
  • and more…
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