THE LATEST ARTICLES

10 Reasons to Avoid Training to Failure

Do you remember when you started lifting weights? I do. My very first workout was a biceps workout with Chris Read, a senior, and the 140lb starter on the wrestling team, who was built like a mini-Ah-nold, at the base gym (RAF Lakenheath, England). I was a gangly, 15-year-old sophomore. We did straight bar curls. […]

Mobility for a Stronger Barbell Front Rack

Brett Jones, StrongFirst Director of Education, has a saying, “I can be talked into just about anything.” Brett is referring to your individual context for doing something—the reason WHY you choose to do what you are doing.  The same question can be applied to your barbell front squat training:  Why are you doing front squats? […]

Four Sinister Success Stories

If you’ve read Simple & Sinister by Pavel, you understand the amount of work it takes to attain the “Simple” goal alone, and how much more work and dedication it takes to reach the “Sinister” goal (both goals are shown in the table below). This article outlines the training plans of three of my students […]

Minimalist Kettlebell Training for Maximal Returns in BJJ

Last year, the primary focus of my training shifted. For my entire adult life, I had been both a strength enthusiast and a martial artist—in that order. When things started to open back up and I was able to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) regularly again, I decided to swap these priorities. I would, for the […]

Optimizing the Kettlebell Military Press Grip—For You

“All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.”—Max McKeown We all know, hopefully, that learning is an ongoing process that is never complete. After 20 years of kettlebell training, we continue to learn, and our most recent lesson might just help a lot of you with your military press goals. What led […]

The Paradox Breathing Crunch for Stronger Abs and Bigger Lifts

An Excerpt from Deadlift Dynamite The paradox breathing technique, developed in the USSR by opera singer Alexandra Strelnikova for applications obviously unrelated to lifting, will teach you how to tense your abs while “packing” your belly with air. Lie on your back with your legs straight.[i] If you are top heavy, anchor your feet under […]

Kettlebell Deadlift ➔ Barbell Deadlift

An Excerpt from Deadlift Dynamite If you know your way around the kettlebell, you have an unfair advantage when it comes to learning barbell skills. Start with a barbell half-deadlift because it is less demanding of skill and flexibility. And it really teaches you to drive the hips forward, an essential element of Andy’s competition […]

How I Trained to Become a Guinness World Record Holder

“Strength has a greater purpose.” The very famous words of our leader, Pavel Tsatsouline, ran through my mind over and over. I had lost my older brother to suicide the Summer of 2021 and felt a burning desire to “do something about it.” That’s when I found an organization at West Bend High School called […]

Keeping A Resilient Back as We Age

Meeting Pavel for the first time about twenty years ago changed my life. It is a story that has been told in these pages before. I was impressed with this quiet gentleman who knew so much about training systems far from the American tradition. We discussed the eloquence of Russian sport science that produced performance […]

A Strength Plan for Professional Soccer Players

In team sports, soccer being a prime example, the time available to train an athlete’s physical strength is quite limited. The majority of training is spent performing tactical and technical sport related exercises. Keeping this in mind, I planned a new strength program for Renate Calcio, one of Italy’s professional soccer teams, around two fundamental […]