Staying Fit While Deployed

Having spent 20 years in the U.S. military, most of it during the Global War on Terror, I’ve seen my share of deployments. I rotated into combat zones seven times as a Navy SEAL, twice as a member of Team 2, and five times as a member of the Tier 1 SEAL unit. Staying fit […]

Kettlebell Simple & Sinister Quest: Through Adversity to the Stars, Part II

(If you missed the first part of Pavel Macek’s S&S quest, read it here.) Sinister Quest Continued “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”—Leonardo da Vinci, 1452. My failed “Sinister” test attempt wasn’t a failure—it was a lesson. I went back to the drawing board, deloaded, focused on perfecting my technique, and gradually started to climb up […]

How to Deadlift a Barbell Every Day

“If something is important. Do it every day.”—Dan Gable. The most feared and revered barbell lift. The most neurologically taxing exercise. The “king of all lifts.” The list of ways to describe the barbell deadlift goes on and on. In December of 2021, the question that wouldn’t leave my mind was: “Is it possible to […]

A StrongFirst Protocol for Mountain Hunters

I exist in a dilemma. One of my favorite pastimes is Western hunting, usually in the mountains. I love the animals, love the physical beauty of the terrain, and I love the challenge. The problem is that I live, work, and train on a coastal plain—low and flat. For two decades, I struggled to find […]

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. […]

Kettlebell Simple & Sinister: Tips for Heavy Goblet Squats

“I like my weights heavy and my squats down low.”—Anonymous The kettlebell goblet squat is THE “squat for the people.” The prying goblet squat from our Kettlebell Simple & Sinister curriculum is a great mobility drill that will unlock your hips and pelvis. A regular goblet squat (without prying) is an excellent foundation for the […]

Kettlebell Simple & Sinister Quest: Through Adversity to the Stars, Part I

“If the Way is high, accordingly it has a great number of obstacles.”—An ancient saying I will be honest—I can’t think of a better foundational strength and conditioning program than Kettlebell Simple & Sinister (S&S). Three mobility drills, two main lifts, and stretching. Done. Rinse. Repeat. Reap the tremendous benefits of this simple, yet very […]

Avoid the Traps of Intuitive Training

An Excerpt from Iron Cardio By Brett Jones, StrongFirst Director of Education “It’s a trap.” —Admiral Ackbar Intuitive programs can fall into a few traps: Always intense Always increasing Increasing reps per set Not doing the math Chasing the clock Always Intense The “always intense” trap is the sneakier of the five. You think you […]

Timed Sets

An Excerpt from American Weightlifting by Glenn Pendlaywith James McDermott and Mike Prevost A note from StrongFirst: Although the author is speaking of the Olympic barbell lifts, “timed sets” can be successfully applied to the deadlift and some other lifts. I got the idea for timed sets from Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell, who uses […]

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? […]