Getting to the Bottom of a Great Pistol Squat: 3 Tips to Improve Yours

The pistol squat is one of the hallowed movements among fitness lovers—especially bodyweight aficionados. While they’re not for everyone, if they’re in your repertoire you want them to be as clean as possible. A great pistol is smooth like a hot spoon through ice cream and effortless like this is how I always pick up […]

Consistency Trumps Intensity—The Continuity of the Training Process

Adapting to load is what makes us stronger. But because training loads can be manipulated in so many ways—intensity, magnitude, repetition, duration, frequency, direction, speed, acceleration, exercise, equipment, sequence, rest, etc.—some people get paralyzed by the seemingly overwhelming options; frozen by the insecurity of making a wrong choice. Too many do nothing. Others bounce around, […]

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 […]

Are You Training in Your Now or in Your Then: Residual Self-Image

“Your appearance now is what we call residual self-image. It is the mental projection of your digital self.” Morpheus from the Matrix The Matrix trilogy provided not only groundbreaking special effects but also quite a few insights into “self” as Neo navigated his journey. Questioning reality in some ways, but also what it means to be “you.” […]

How I Became a World Record Holder

Training for a world record requires grit. Many may approach the challenge preparation by continually pushing for more “burn.” But there is another effective, sustainable, and arguably superior way. Training to avoid (or at least delay) the unfavourable internal conditions that lead to failure or reduced performance. And it doesn’t just work to break records. […]

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 […]