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3 Unsung Movements to Build Strength

March 20th, 2019|0 Comments

3 Unsung Movements to Build Strength

We all know that the major barbell movements are the most effective tools in fitness to build absolute strength and strength speed. Basically, your ability to move heavy weight and your ability to move moderate weight quickly.

I’ll save the regurgitation of why squats, deadlifts, and presses are excellent at that. If you’re trying to get stronger and not doing those regularly, do those regularly. I’m also going to spare you secondary low hanging fruit like kettlebell swings, goblet squats, and dumbbell snatches.

Instead, I’d like to draw your attention to some movements that we see on the board quite frequently and likely don’t view them as strength opportunities. I’d like to highlight how we can perform them optimally and how we can draw out more strength gains from them.

Maybe the barbells beat you up too much. Maybe you don’t enjoy them. Or, maybe, they’re your jam and you need some outside help in getting stronger at them.

Here are four that can help.

1. Banded Pull-Ups
So many of us take enormous pride in being able to do pull-ups without bands, and those who do use bands typically want nothing more to be freed from them. Man, poor bands. All they want to do is help us get stronger and yet, no one wants to use them.

There is an incredible amount of value in performing assisted pull-ups, regardless of how strong you may be. The usage of the band allows us to do them PER-FECT-LY. It allows us to activate our upper back muscles and not just yank with our arms and flail with our legs. It allows the biceps to come in at the right time and not take over the movement from the beginning. It allows us to move slow and create as much time under tension as possible in our lats, the prime movers of the pull-up and stabilizing muscle in nearly every barbell lift.

If you find yourself never using bands and performing average reps in low rep ranges, hop on the bands at a level that allows you to perform the full set unbroken, and focus on all of the above.

2. DB Step-Ups
Single leg work has always been our jam at this gym, and for good reason. It settles imbalances, boosts our core strength, and if we’re using dumbbells, also has the nice added bonus of training the hell out of our grip, which we know is the gateway to the CNS.

I really like the step-up over the lunge for this article, because we often lunge with the barbell so we typically equate that to strength, but sometimes, the dumbbell is forgotten. Dumbbell step-ups do a great job of isolating the single leg, and training the glutes to create forceful extension at the top of the rep. Step-ups tend to work all of the prime movers of our lower body (hams, glutes, quads), and with the added bonus of grip and increased balance demands, it’s a movement you should not be missing when it comes up in rotation.

3. Erg Rowing
Threw you for a loop here, didn’t I? The erg is cardio, right?

Wrong. The erg is strength endurance and power that has a side effect of working the cardiovascular and aerobic system when performed for long duration. There is reason why the fastest rowers in the gym are usually among the strongest lifters. The progression of total body extension in rowing mirrors the extension sequence in Olympic lifting (legs, hips, arms), and every stroke is an opportunity to train our leg and our back strength.

Too many hop on the erg and go through the sloppy motions. Focus on generating power, performing more out of less strokes, and watch you strength increase in pull-ups and all of the major lifts.


Thursday, 3.21.19

First. For Strength.
3 Front Squats @ 60-80%
5 x 3” Eccentric Bicep Curls
Complete 1 set every 5′ for 20′

Then. For Conditioning.
2×6’ AMRAP
6 Goblet Squat Cleans
6 Around the World
6 Push Ups

PHASE 1: Squat Test (Optional) + Row Test (Optional)

  • The One Nutrition Change Everyone Can Make

One Nutrition Adjustment Everyone Can Make

March 19th, 2019|0 Comments

WED: One Nutrition Adjustment Everyone Can Make
Nearly ever person can benefit from more protein in their diet for a number of reasons, primarily due to the following:

–Protein increases your Thermic Effect of Eating, which is to say that you burn more calories by eating more protein. Because protein is the most […]

  • 6-Week Nutrition Revival April 1

TUES: 6-Week Nutrition Revival, Coming April 1 (Part 2)

March 18th, 2019|0 Comments

TUES: 6-Week Nutrition Revival, Coming April 1 (Part 2)
Yesterday we announced the upcoming 6-Week Nutrition and Wellness Revival, and today we dive into a bit more details and hopefully pre-answer a lot of your questions.

What is it?

It is a six week focus on building proper nutrition and lifestyle habits and […]

  • 6-Week Nutrition Revival April 1

MON: 6-Week Nutrition Revival, Coming April 1 (Part 1)

March 17th, 2019|0 Comments

MON: 6-Week Nutrition Revival, Coming April 1 (Part 1)
Since we announced that nutrition would be more widely available and accessible in 2019, everything from a free 12-week guide for all members to paid group coaching, we’ve received progressively increasing interest about next opportunities to take advantage.

Riding off of the huge […]

  • 3-18

This Week’s Training 3/18 – 3/24

March 17th, 2019|0 Comments

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FRI: Muscle “Conditioning” Goals

March 14th, 2019|0 Comments

FRI: Muscle “Conditioning” Goals
You’ll always notice that on muscle themed PSC days like Friday of this programming BLOCK, tier two is still labeled conditioning despite it not being the familiar feeling most of us know around that term.

On these days, we’re primarily achieving two objectives in the second tier.

Muscle […]

  • Front Squat Sweet Spot

THUR: Finding the Sweet Spot on Front Squats

March 13th, 2019|0 Comments

THUR: Finding the Sweet Spot on Front Squats
Front squats are an excellent movement for building total body strength with a target on the anterior half of the body (front). The demand that the barbell in front rack places on our core and quads is much more pronounced than a back […]

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WED: Skaters for Side Butt

March 13th, 2019|0 Comments

WED: Skaters for Side Butt
Plyo skaters are something that we see almost weekly, and at the very least, a few times per month.

–Lateral ballistic movement – all of our ballistic movements are typically performed moving forward or up (sagittal plane). This creates an entirely different demand on the body from […]

  • Why Keto is a Bad Idea

TUES: Why Keto May Be a Bad Choice

March 11th, 2019|0 Comments

TUES: Why Keto May Be a Bad Choice
I’m going to be one hundred percent honest with you. I used to be all in on the low carb, Mark Sisson craze a few years back when everyone swapped carbohydrates for fats. I got to my leanest level of body composition ever, […]

  • Chris, Our Longest Tenured Member

MON: Chris, Our Longest Tenured Member

March 10th, 2019|0 Comments

MON: Chris, Our Longest Tenured Member
I wanted to take a quick minute and recognize a 1,000th Class Award that is pretty special for me, personally. While I deeply appreciate every single member that has chosen to be with us for the time it takes to accumulate 1,000 classes, Chris has […]

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This Week’s Training 3/11 – 3/17

March 10th, 2019|0 Comments