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 […]

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 […]

Kettlebell “What The Heck” Effects and Training Firefighters

Background Physical preparedness is one of many attributes that firefighters need in order to execute their job in a safe, effective manner. Although the job of structural firefighting is the same for both career and volunteer, the ability to maintain physical preparedness is not. Unlike career firefighters whose work schedules allow them to meet the […]

Young, Light, and Strong

Introduction After spending my teen years being bullied and feeling inadequate, I decided to stop listening to all the other voices and listen to my own. I wanted to chase something that no one would think was possible: to be the youngest and lightest Beast Tamer in the world. This meant that I would need […]

“Step Up” Your Adventure Training

Do you like good food? I mean really good food? I love great food! Have you ever had an epic meal that was so good you could recall exactly when and where it was, even years later? The best meal I have had in years was during my visit to Italy with my comrades from […]

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 […]

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 […]

Get Stronger with One Kettlebell

Backstory In January 2021 I led the programming section at an SFG Level I certification. I wanted the attendees to grasp some programming concepts and be able to create an effective program with just one weight. So, I decided to build on what I had heard Fabio Zonin, StrongFirst Certified Master Instructor, discuss regarding a […]

How to Achieve Your First Pistol Squat

The pistol squat is one of the best exercises to develop strong, flexible, and resilient legs, but it also requires skill, practice, and consistency. When I started practicing pistols in 2005, I didn’t have a roadmap or a solid progression, I just kept practicing until it got easier. Once I got acclimated to training pistols, […]

How I Achieved Five Reps of the Iron Maiden

The Goal The idea of the Five-Rep Iron Maiden was planted in my head back in 2018 after completing the Iron Maiden Challenge at The Dome in Chicago. Training for something as big as Iron Maiden takes years of practice and after training for something for so long, it’s hard to be “finished.” Ben Eisenmenger […]