I had a new article published on T-Nation yesterday sharing tips to make squats more user-friendly.
As great of an exercise as squats may be, they’re not very user-friendly.
For an exercise to be considered user-friendly in my book, it has to meet three criteria:
1. You have to be able to do it well.
Most people suck at squatting. If you’re looking for evidence to back up this claim, just walk into just about any gym around and watch people squat. It’s ugly.
2. Your joints have to be able to tolerate it.
If you have any knee or lower back issues, chances are heavy squats exacerbate them.
3. It has to give you to training effect you’re looking for.
Powerlifters aside, most people squat for quad development. However, the manner in which they execute the squats doesn’t do a very good of working the quads and turns it more into a posterior chain exercise.
With that in mind, here are some ways to make squats more user-friendly.
Read the article HERE.
As I post this blog. I’m on the train down to New York City to go to a wedding for two of my best friends on Sunday.
From there, I leave bright and early on Monday morning and fly from NYC to Los Angeles, where I’ll be starting my new job at Rise Movement on Tuesday.
This morning I put my car on a truck to be shipped to LA, so assuming it doesn’t fall off the back of the bed, I’ll have that by the end of next week.
Judging from the looks of things though, that’s a big “if.” Fingers crossed!
On Friday I said goodbye to my grandmother, which was really tough to do. We are really close and I see her at least once a week, so I’m really going to miss her and miss that time together.
Last night I went out for dinner with my mom, and we said our goodbyes today as she dropped me off at the train, and that was really, really hard as well. I’m not ashamed at all to say that I’m a momma’s boy, and it just so happens that she doubles as my best friend, so it’s going to be hard being across the country.
I may or may not have cried saying goodbye to both of them. Ok, I did, but I’d lie about it under oath.
On Wednesday I also said goodbye to Steve Bunker (affectionately known as Bunk), who has been a mentor to me as a coach, my friend, my lifting partner, and really, he’s pretty much been like a dad to me for the past three years. I’ve spent more time with him in the last three years than anyone else, and I’m really going to miss him too.
Here’s Bunk in all his glory. I’ll blow this one up a little bit.
Sorry ladies, he’s taken. I probably would’ve cried saying goodbye to him too, but he’d have slapped me and told me to man up. We did hug it out though.
I’m going to miss everyone from MBSC a lot. It’s been great to learn from Mike Boyle himself, and Bob Hansen and his wife Diane have been very supportive of me. Really it’s been a great experience all around, and I’m leaving with a lot of fond memories and a lot of great lessons learned. I’ve grown really close to the kids I train and my personal training clients, so again, it’s been tough to say goodbye.
For my friends, family, co-workers, and clients reading this on the East Coast, I just want to say thank you and ask you to please stay in touch, and I’ll do the same.
As tough as it is to leave, I can’t wait to get started at my new job at Rise Movement. It’s a great gym in a great area, and the people working there are all super nice, friendly, and smart. It’s really a top-notch facility, and I’m very excited to start. I think it’s going to be a great experience. Big things coming!
I went out last week to find a place, so that’ll make the transition easier with that out of the way. I have a sweet view from my apartment, so that’s cool too.
I can tell it’s going to be an adjustment moving from New England to Los Angeles, but I’m excited to check it out and see a new part of the country and meet new people and new clients. So far I really like it.
A lot of people have asked me if I’m nervous about packing up and moving across the country by myself.
Hell yea I’m nervous! But I also know that if you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone and stay complacent where you’re at, you’ll never achieve big things in life. So off I go.
For those of reading this in LA area, hit me up. I love meeting new people.
And if you’re in the area and looking to train with me, hit me up too!
For the rest of you, I’m going to do my best to just my blog updated as I start this next new chapter of my life. I’m also going to keep up with the articles and hope to continue with the videos as well. Actually, I was just going through my computer and found over 25 videos I still need to upload, so don’t worry about that.
I’ll be taking pictures too, which you can follow HERE.
Have a great weekend!
I had a new article published on T-Nation yesterday about something that I call The Countdown Method.
I’ve been using countdowns for about the past six months and have been the tweaking and experimenting with the logistics of them, and I think this article will be useful for you to show how to employ them in your own training or with your clients if you’re a trainer.
I’m really enjoying them, and I think/hope so you will too. They’re a great plateau buster in addition to being just plain fun. Or at least I think they’re fun anyway, though I admit to not being entirely normal.
You can read the article HERE.
Also remember to check out yesterday’s post about how to make hip thrusts “ez’er.”
Lastly, if you’re interested in Martin Rooney’s certification course, registration is open until this coming Wednesday so give that a look too. Find more info HERE.
Have a great weekend!
I really like single leg hip thrusts, but once your progress past bodyweight and need to add weight, they can be tricky to load.
My favorite method of loading initially is via draping chains or a weighted vest(or both) over your hips. Like this:
But if you don’t have either those, that’s obviously not an option. Also, some people don’t like using chains, either because they feel they’re uncomfortable (I don’t find them uncomfortable at all personally) or because they think they’re dirty and gross.
So if that’s out, another thing you can do is put a dumbbell on the working leg, as demonstrated by my awesome client Sara:
This works well for some clients, but those with bigger legs will have trouble fitting their thigh in the dumbbell, and it’s very awkward with heavier dumbbells, so you really can’t load it this way too heavy.
So eventually you’ll need to use a barbell, but a lot of clients struggle to balance a full-sized barbell on their hips for single leg hip thrusts.
I saw Bret Contreras use to E-Z bar with some of his female clients for bilateral hip thrusts, so I tried it for the single leg version and it works really, really well because it allows you to load it up with the balance issues of a longer bar.
Here is my awesome client Maureen crushing a set with 85 pounds like it’s nothing. I assure you though, this is crazy strong, as Maureen can bilateral hip thrust 365×5 (see here).
You’ll notice that she uses big bumper plates so that it’s easier to get the bar in and out of position. I highly recommend using bumper plates if you have them, but if you don’t, then it can tricky, especially since most commercial gyms have those preset E-Z bars with the small plates.
I hardly ever go into commercial gyms these gyms so I’ve grown spoiled and never really think of these potential issues. Yesterday I trained Maureen in a commercial gym though and realized that without bumper plates, it’s very difficult to use the E-Z bar.
So I put on my thinking cap and came up with a great solution using two aerobic steps. See below.
You just put the bar on the steps, sit down with your back against the bench, then roll the bar over your hips and go. At the end of the set, you just rest the bar back on the steps and roll it off you so you can stand up without an issue. The setup is a breeze and takes less than a minute, and most gyms will have two aerobic steps laying around.
It worked very well, and it was much easier to get in and out of place. It also still allows for a full range of motion as well.
It’s very similar to my Rack Hip Thrust idea, only commercial gym friendly since you don’t need a rack. You could also use this method for bilateral hip thrusts with the E-Z bar, so for those of you that avoid hip thrusts just because it’s a pain to set up and execute, here’s a great option for you.
Remember to also subscribe to my You Tube page for more video demos and sign up for my free newsletter to the right for updates.
Yesterday I shared three videos from Martin Rooney that served as a lead up to his new online certification course.
Today marks the first day to sign up for the course, so if you liked what you saw in the videos, it’s definitely something to consider signing up for.
If you missed the videos yesterday, you can still see everything that’s covered in the course on the sales page.
Teaser: It covers A LOT of stuff. Like, a lot.
It’s 12 modules in all, and each module is very extensive on its own.
It’s technically a “certification,” but I’d consider it more of an education tool. There’s a test you can take at the end of the course to get the perks of being certified—but even if that’s not something you necessarily care about—it’s still great information. I think it would be a great resource for both trainers and exercise enthusiasts looking to take their training up a notch. It’s not cheap, but considering everything it includes I’d say it’s a very good value and you will definitely learn a lot.
It’s also a great option if you’ve been interested in taking one of Martin’s in-person weekend courses but can’t afford to travel and/or take time off from work.
Registration is open starting today and closes next Wednesday, October 2nd, so if you’re interested you’ll want to sign up soon.
Check it out and see if it’s something you’d be interested in. You can learn more HERE.
← Older posts Newer posts →