Seven Steps to Strength: Programming as a Science Experiment

Truth comes out of error more readily than out of confusion. —Francis Bacon What do successful athletes not blessed with Olympic genes have in common?—Patience to tweak their training, one variable at a time, until they have found “their” way. Contrast that with a typical trainee who impatiently switches programs before he has had a […]

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 […]

Four Sinister Success Stories

If you’ve read Simple & Sinister by Pavel, you understand the amount of work it takes to attain the “Simple” goal alone, and how much more work and dedication it takes to reach the “Sinister” goal (both goals are shown in the table below). This article outlines the training plans of three of my students […]

How Built Strong Helped Me Achieve Sinister

The Goal: Sinister When I first looked for advice to achieve the Sinister goal of Kettlebell Simple & Sinister by Pavel, the response I received was to focus all your training on swings, get-ups, and goblet squats. I like to listen to others and then make my own decisions based on a combination of research […]

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?” […]

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 […]

Minimalist Kettlebell Training for Maximal Returns in BJJ

Last year, the primary focus of my training shifted. For my entire adult life, I had been both a strength enthusiast and a martial artist—in that order. When things started to open back up and I was able to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) regularly again, I decided to swap these priorities. I would, for the […]

The Best All-Around Training Method EVER

It is a tall order for a training method to live up to the title of this article—but one does. It checks off the following boxes: ☑ Power ☑ Strength ☑ Muscle hypertrophy ☑ Fat loss ☑ “Cardio” ☑ “Work capacity” ☑ Longevity through mitochondrial adaptations ☑ It “gives you more than it takes out […]

Finding the “Easy” in Simple and Sinister…and Life

I believe one of the secrets to thriving in life is seeking out difficult challenges, and then finding the “easy” within them. Let’s think about your diet, for example. Do you want to suffer, deprive yourself, starve, and hate the foods you get to eat in order to improve your body composition and other diet-related […]