A couple things I want to pass on today:

I’ve been reading Eric’s stuff ever since I caught the “personal training”/”info junkie” bug about half way through my personal training course at the YMCA in 2006. Because of his knowledge and having achieved so much at a young age, I’ve always viewed him as a mentor in that respect.

Anyways last week, Eric let the cat of the bag on his new product (Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look, Feel, and Move Better) which will be released on September 21st. Yesterday he released the first video clip from his product. Its 7 minutes of info most everyone could use prior to a squatting session. There are also some variations I haven’t seen of the drills, so it got my mind working too – my clients always enjoy me talking like this….

Without further ado, check it out HERE!!

Also, take a look at this blog post from Tony Gentilcore who coincidentally enough, is one of the other big dogs at Cressey Performance. He discussed the difference in swing technique – a “hip snap” swing vs. a “squat” swing.

In all honesty, this was a mistake I was making with it until I returned from Providence, and since then I’ve had to re-visit the pattern with my clients to clean it up. It has also lead to some adjustment in my progressions and how I train a proper hip hinge pattern, which to me is a big positive. Also, one of my clients mentioned this last night, so I think it bears repeating – For the guys out there, do NOT be afraid of hitting your “special area” with the dumbbell! Think more of the wrist being drawn down to that area.

That’s it for today! Check out those links and Tony’s special blend of information and entertainment on his blog!

Within the last couple weeks, Mike Boyle had a short video put on the interwebz to promote his upcoming product. If you have any interest in fitness, you have most likely seen it already — specifically the one about not using conventional squats anymore.

Since I’m an opinionated young man of 23 years, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the stance taken in the video instead of just embedding the video on my own blog as a means to generate traffic. (the link is above though)

If you’ve been following my blog since before my recent summer blogging hiatus, you might remember some of my posts where I’d discuss my history of back pain and squatting, so I will get it out of the way now and say that because of my personal training experiences I’ve agreed with much of Mike’s stance on conventional squatting more than many people I’ve talked to about the issue.

That said, I’m also currently squatting and will keep them in the next phase of my training which begins next week. Herein lies one big point I see with this squat/don’t squat debate. I’m not my athletes/general pop clients. I don’t mean it to sound as though I’ve got some special body genetics or three nipples, but to illustrate that different people have different goals and this affects exercise selection. For instance, I am willing to take more risk with my own body than an athlete trying to get an athletic scholarship because if I get hurt in training, my dreams aren’t potentially unattainable.

The thing I keep coming back to with exercise selection is does it work – if so, is there something that works even better? When dealing with clients this means I’m not just looking at whether an exercise will get results, but also the amount of risk associated with the exercise (which as you might guess can vary). Some ways this can vary is how comfortable I am with someone’s technique or has their core strength improved to a level I am comfortable with.

In another conversation I had, it was mentioned that not squatting is arguably as blasphemous an idea in my profession as one can get. Yes tradition can teach us a lot, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean that the best ways to do soemthing have already been thought of. Its possible that the best way has already been figured out, but its also possible that it hasn’t, which isn’t something we will know as a fact until the profession is dead or humans no longer exist.  A third option is that maybe its just a semi-conscious desire of mine to come up with an original idea to contribute to the field of strength & conditioning, but it is because I am always looking to find how I can provide a better service and results to my clients.

I will close this by saying that I don’t know who is right — the squat camp or the don’t squat camp, and frankly it doesn’t much matter to me. This reminds me of an article I read about a month ago ranting about how those who subscribe to the functional training camp aren’t training athletes right (this coming from a trainer of the muscle training camp). All I could think about after I read the article was why I wasted my time reading it! Trainers in both camps get great results in the athletes they train, so does someone really need to be right and another wrong? I would worry more about the trainer who can’t justify their programming decisions.

But like I said, I am relatively new to these political matters, so all I’m hoping to offer is a fresh and probably somewhat naive look at this issue which has been getting a lot of airtime among trainers and fitness professionals.


With a relatively low key long weekend, I’ve been able to catch up on all my blog readin’  (even finding some new stuff to read!!) So here’s a recap on what I found really interesting and of a high quality (I know, I know, objectivity at iots best!!)

1) Mike Reinold (if you havent heard of him) is a physical therapist and athletic trainer. Part of his work includes working with the Boston Red Sox. Anyways earlier this week, Mike began a new blog series on patellofemoral pain. If you are not a trainer or of a similar field to Mike AND/OR do not get giddy about anatomy, then his stuff may not be for you…however if you DO enjoy learning some anatomy, you can’t go wrong with Mike’s blog. What the series has looked at so far is why PF pain is so misunderstood when it is so common, and where is the pain really radiating from (and why).

Click the link (…if you dare…??) >>PF Pain and more!!!

As a trainer, I believe reading things from folks with this sort of background is a great addition to my knowledge and skill set in that it let’s me know about issues so that I can know when I have to refer out to someone else. Also if someone is post-rehab and I’m training them, I shouldn’t just be guessing about how to (hopefully) keep them out of rehab/from going back to it.

2) Adam Ringler is a masters student at Michigan State specializing in strength and conditioning while interning with their strength and conditioning department. I’ve recently started to converse with him, so upon checking out his website, I found not only a clean looking site, but also several great blog posts on the front page! His writing is very clear, concise, and that all important skill of making things seem simple without giving a “dumbed-down feeling”.

Check out Adam’s site HERE

So thats it from this weekend. Let me know if you’ve found Mike’s and Adam’s sites useful or interesting — and of course if you guys have been reading some good stuff which I havent mentioned, throw that down in the comments section below!!

If you have tomorrow off, ENJOY!!


Hey guys, here’s the first of 2 posts for today (first time for 2-a-day posting on my blog I think)

Anyways there have been some exciting things going on at SST lately (the gym I worked at the last 2 summers)!!

A few weeks ago they were named one of the top 15 speed training facilities in North America!!

Also they have opened up registration to their first-ever FAST Certification program!! If you or anyone you know are/would be interested in this opportunity please click the link below which takes you to the SST website, where there is a page with all the details for this program!

>>FAST Certification Info <<

In case you’re wondering, FAST is short for Functional Applied Speed Training, so in essence in the certification, participants will be taught the SST system for creating fast athletes!

I’m also coping the promo email for you below:










Again here’s the link to the website:

>> FAST Certification Info <<

If you know of other trainers who might be interested in this opportunity, please feel free to pass this information on to them!

A couple days ago I wrote about a conversation which lead to me re-thinking my training philosophy as it applied to lower body training — specifically the use of lunges. This has actually been happening quite a bit since I’ve come back from Mike Boyle’s Winter Seminar. Its not so much that I’m thinking that a lot of my beliefs about training are wrong, its more of a case of whats my real reason for using something.

I spend quite a bit of time reading training articles each day (aside from things I need to read for school), and as such, if some coach who had experience and results to show suggested something I was willing to try it. What I’ve come to realize mroe lately is that when people ask me about a certain part of my programming, I don’t say “well because Coach A suggested it”, but my explanations still were a little incomplete. In trying to justify my philosophy, I realized that I had to justify it better…which has meant that I’ve gone back to really find otu why do I beleive something works.

One of these things was the use of the olympic lifts in training athletes. I didn’t use them before my Christmas break, but since then I’ve become pretty enamoured with them. They couldn’t do any wrong! However in writing a couple papers right this month on the topic, I’ve been forced to really take an objective look at their use, which has made me start to realize how this whole training for power should fit together.

Re-examining the role of olympic lifting in my training philosophy, I’ve realized that since December, I’ve viewed the lfits as an end to themselves: “they are the best way to build power, so getting good at them is a high priority”. The last week or so, I’ve started realizing that like any other exercise, they are a means to an end (better athletic performance) and that they are just a piece of the process in developing power. With med balls and plyometrics, I’ve started to view all these as ingredients in the same recipe vs. eahc one being their own one-ingredient recipe.

Now I understand this post is fairly abstract especially if you don’t coach/train people, however it is simply something I’ve started to realize lately — which ironically was inspired by a conversation I had with a professor here at Brock. I say that since often times, I may write about how I can’t believe university profs still teach us outdated methods. This conversation has ended up probably being of one of the most beneficial I’ve had here in the last 4 years. It really made me think about questioning things on a deeper level. 

Enough abractness for today, talk to you guys tomorrow!


So the weekend in Boston was GREAT!!!!!!!! Between the presentations, networking, and seeing how Coach Boyle’s gym functions, it was a very educational experience. As you might have guessed, it has given me a ton of blog content, and yesterday as I was busing back to Toronto from the Buffalo airport I had a lot of timeto think of what I would write about. Today all I’m going to do is a recap of the seminar presentations on Saturday and my impressions of the gym.

Presentation recap:

1. Brijesh Patel (Head S&C coach at Quinnipiac) – Strength & Conditioning for basketball

  • Basketball players are a different breed of athlete which presents unique challenges to creating an effective training program.
  • Mobility, stability, and work capacity are the initial priorities
  • Speed and agility – teach shin angles
  • At Quinnipiac, they don’t do cleans so that the players’ shoulders dont get beat up

2. John Pallof – femoracetabular impingement and sports hernia

  • John’s a physical therapist so his presentation was on the clinical side of assessing and training with FAI and sports hernia
  • FAI is a bony issue – training cant fix it
  • Sports hernia is a general term for high adductor/groin soft tissue issues
  • This was very educational in that I dont have much experience at all with the physical therapy side of things
  • This was good to see for me as a strength coach so that I know when to refer out to a PT, AT, chiro, etc

3. Chris Nowinski – Implications of concussions on the brain

  • Chris a former College football player and WWE wrestler discussed the impact of repeat concussions on brian/mental health.
  • This presentation was eye-opening!
  • The VAST majority of athletes don’t know the symptoms of concussions, therefore they are VASTLY under-estimated and under-reported.
  • This would be an invaluable talk for anyone coach, parent, or athlete to hear
  • I think it would be especially important for the young athlete and their parents

4. Mike Robertson – Rehabbing Back Pain

  • Mike is known as a corrective exercise guy, and for good reason — he has great systems in place to get someone from post-injury back to normal function
  • Core strength endurance is of primary importance for people immediately post-injury
  • Dont skip steps (this is something I’m at fault for)
  • More on the last point, I’ve had pieces from each of Mike’s 4 phases in the same phase of my program — not optimal!

5. Eric Cressey – Taking a baseball player from assessment to opening day

  • This was the talk I was waiting for!
  • Eric is insanely smart about the body let alone the shoulder…his level of knowledge is what I strive for.
  • Get a goniometer and use it to assess joint range of motion at the shoulders, knees, hips, and elbow and then compare the measurements from each side
  • With a baseball player, perfect symmetry isn’t possible

6. Mike Boyle – Training hockey players

  • This was both educational and entertaining as the first half hour, Mike was ranting on the state of youth training, the state of training for hockey in canada, the us, and europe, and how training doesn’t really change all that much for athletes in different sports
  • Not much to say about Mike’s presentation other than it seems like when he talks, I can magically learn by osmosis!
  • I learn as much about public speaking and presenting from Mike’s talks as I do about training.

So there’s my recap. I’m definitely going to go again next year, and hopefully be able to stop in and see some other facilities in the area (like Eric’s). I enjoyed meeting people there and beginning to do some face-to-face networking! Anyways thats all for today, over the course of the week, I’ll be blogging about my thoughts from each presentation in more depth.

Good to be back!