Five Energy Leaks to Plug so Your Strength Gains Flow

As we continue our pursuit of strength, we are regularly threatened by a stealthy nemesis that rears its head between us and our goals. Lying dormant from the very beginning of our journey, this common enemy waits patiently for the perfect moment to strike—just as we think we are going to progress and often, costing […]

Where to Go to Get Strong: Creating Your Courage Corner

I first came across the term courage corner when reading StrongFirst Chairman Pavel Tsatsouline’s book The Russian Kettlebell Challenge. During his military service, Pavel saw a lot of starkly different places, from the frozen expanse of Siberia to sleek submarines under the Baltic Sea to the peaks of the Caucasus Mountains. But one thing remained […]

What Mastering Your Bodyweight Can Teach You About Lifting Iron

A common path for our students pursuing the StrongFirst Elite designation is to start with the kettlebell instructor certifications before earning the bodyweight and barbell credentials. All four—SFG, SFG II, SFB, and SFL—earn you Elite status. But the path isn’t written in stone. Our principles transcend modalities so you can get stronger whichever way you […]

Reload vs Plan Strong—What is the Difference?

By Fabio Zonin, Master SFG and Pavel Tsatsouline Earlier this year, we launched “Reload: Your Barbell Strength Blueprint,” a concise e-book featuring individually-tailored, nearly-foolproof strength programming. Some of our readers asked the question that became the title of this article. Here is our answer. Let us start by clearly stating which training philosophy each represents: Reload—American powerlifting cycling […]

Two Swing Cues to Unlock your Power, Posture, and Athleticism

There is a big difference between swinging a kettlebell around and executing a powerful kettlebell swing. The first is common with kettlebell beginners who often start by mimicking what they think they are supposed to do. But learning where and how to focus their efforts, and what that power feels like, well, it leads to […]

The Specificity-Transfer Trade-off

Specificity and transfer are two of the most important considerations for any strength and conditioning program. If you don’t consider both of these variables carefully, you are not really programming at all. Specificity refers to the principle that you get specific adaptations to imposed demands (often referred to as the SAID principle). You get better […]

What Is Your Strength’s Purpose?

We believe that strength has a greater purpose—and that purpose goes far beyond the ability to lift weight or move loads. Being physically strong is great. Especially when you consider the alternative. Being weak is less appealing. But the importance of strength shows itself when it transcends what you do in the gym. The strength […]

What Chocolate Chip Cookies and Guinness Beer Can Teach You About Barbell Basics

On the flight home from teaching a StrongFirst Lifter certification (SFL), I was thinking about the programming section and some of our discussions. One of the questions that always gets asked is: “What about assistance exercises?” My answer is simple—until you have spent at least a year working on the movements that we taught at […]

3 Simple Modifications to Squat When in Pain

Our bodies are built to adapt. How else would we ever develop the strength (mental and physical) to meet challenges or compete in sports, let alone recover from them to be stronger, more capable, more resilient than before? That means that our training can be hard. It should be hard at times. But what can […]

7 Tips to Improve your Heavy Press (Learned from my Failure)

A press is like an iceberg—there’s a lot going on underneath the surface. What can you learn from failure? A lot. Especially when it comes to dialing in a heavy press. Used wisely, failure helps you focus on improving your skill by looking at all the parts that feed success. One man shares seven pressing […]