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. […]

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 […]

Break up with Your Strength Tool of Choice

Back in the USSR many gyms were closed in the summer “for repairs.” Out of necessity, lifters and bodybuilders switched from barbells to kettlebells and bodyweight for a couple of months. When they returned to the bar in the fall, after a brief re-entry most were able to set PRs. If you take a planned […]

Increase Your Pressing Strength and Overhead Stability with the One-Arm Barbell Press

The one-arm strict barbell press is a challenging press that will build strength and muscle stability. Pavel recommended the side press in Power to the People! and this stricter variation is a valuable addition to your strength training regimen.  The prehabilitation and rehabilitation benefits of the strict barbell press are tremendous as the grip and […]

Enter the Barbell Deadlift

Why the Barbell? At some point every person who trains for strength should learn to use a barbell. When it comes to heavy lifting, the barbell reigns supreme. Two hands on a knurled bar with a balanced load; it doesn’t get any better than that when it comes to getting strong. There are also many […]

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? […]

Go Ballistic—The Jerk for Barbell and Kettlebell

The kettlebell jerk is one of the most misunderstood lifts. Many people believe it takes a ton of upper body strength in order to execute heavy weights. This is where the misconception lays. The purpose of a jerk is purely to move a weight from the rack position to the overhead lockout. What makes the […]

All-Around Training for the Tactical Athlete

In the movie “Remember the Titans,” Coach Boone is the new head football coach of the first integrated school in Virginia. The school staff and parents immediately begin criticizing him. As they are preparing to leave for pre-season camp, Boone is carrying his playbook—a very thin portfolio of plays. Assistant Coach: “Awful skinny playbook in’t it?” […]

Bench Press More by Optimizing Your Bar Path

When I teach the bench press during the StrongFirst Lifter Certification, the path of the bar section is one of my favorites. In the deadlift and the squats (Zercher, front, and back), the bar path is generally a straight, vertical line. However, in the bench press, many people curve the bar path from the start […]

Box Clever—How to Unlock your Range of Motion

Serious strength is best built on a solid foundation of fundamental compound lifts, such as deadlifts, squats, and pressing. To ensure safety and maximize the benefits, that strength needs to be accessible across the movement’s full range of motion. Since not everyone starts off with perfect mobility, here’s a simple strategy to make you stronger […]