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CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Drew VerHagen

We welcome St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Drew VerHagen to this week’s podcast. Drew speaks to overcoming injuries, developing as a pitcher in Japan, and how he attacks both offseason and inseason training and throwing. This episode is timely, as my new Thoracic Outlet Syndrome course debuted earlier this week, and Drew details his experienced with both the diagnosis, surgical intervention, and rehabilitation for his TOS.

A special thanks to this show's sponsor, Ancore Training. This cutting-edge training innovation serves as an amazing replacement for cable columns and functional trainers, allowing you to train important movement patterns at a lower price point, with invaluable portability, and while taking up less space. We have multiple units at both our facilities and love them. Head to www.AncoreTraining.com and enter coupon code CRESSEY at checkout to save 10% on your order.


You can follow Drew on Twitter at @DrewVerHagen and on Instagram at @DrewVerHagen.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Ancore Training. Ancore is an attachment that rigs up easily to power rack, support beam, or wall mount. Once it’s set up, you can do chops, lifts, rotational patterns, presses, rows, and a variety of arm care exercises. Basically, if you can do it on a functional trainer or conventional cable set-up, you can do it on Ancore – but at a dramatically lower price and with much less space taken up. For these reasons, it’s a perfect addition to baseball facilities and home gym that might have limited space and budget. And, we have multiple units at both Cressey Sports Performance facilities.

Perhaps most importantly, Ancore travels extremely light; you can throw it in a backpack or suitcase and not even know it’s there. I know of coaches and players that are taking these units on the road to overcome underequipped weight rooms and hotel gyms.

When all is said and done, it saves space, money, and headaches while also offering the benefits of portability.

To learn more, head to www.AncoreTraining.com and enter coupon code CRESSEY at checkout to save 10% on your purchase.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we'd be thrilled if you'd consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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MRIs vs. Movement

As many of you know, earlier this week, I spent three days at a huge sports medicine conference organized by Mass General Hospital in conjunction with the Harvard University Medical School.  It was a great event geared toward sports orthopedists, radiologists, physical therapists, and athletic trainers; I was very humbled to have been invited to present alongside some of the brightest minds in the sports medicine world.  The discussions on surgical technique, physical examinations, etiology of injuries, biomechanics, rehabilitation, and return-to-play guidelines were absolutely fantastic.  The stuff that caught my attention the most, though, actually came in the discussion of imaging - MRIs, MRAs, and x-rays - by some of the best radiologists in the world. Several of these brilliant radiologists made specific points of commenting on how not every abnormality you see on diagnostic imaging constitutes a symptom-causing issues.  A perfect example would be a SLAP 1 (superior labrum fraying) in a baseball pitcher, which is completely normal for 79% of major league pitchers.  Just because the labrum is fraying doesn't mean that the pitcher is going to be in pain; it's a passive stabilizer, and the active restraints (rotator cuff, scapular stabilizers) can get stronger to pick up the slack.  Likewise, just because a player is having shoulder pain and he has a SLAP 1 lesion on imaging doesn't mean that the frayed labrum is the cause.  It could be coming from the biceps tendon or rotator cuff, for instance, and the labral issue is just "there." So what does that mean for strength and conditioning professionals?  Well, as I wrote in Inefficiency vs. Pathology, there isn't a whole lot we can do to effect favorable changes in what diagnostic imaging looks like, but we can go out of our way to ensure that clients and athletes move efficiently and have adequate muscular strength, stability, and tissue quality.


This is actually my exact topic on the Perform Better tour (next stop is Long Beach at the end of July).  If you can't make it to Long Beach, I'd highly encourage you to check out these previous writings of mine: Inefficiency vs. Pathology (noted above) To Squat or Not to Squat An Interview with Dr. Jason Hodges The Proactive Patient
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Maximum Strength

Maximum Strength:

Get Your Strongest Body in 16 Weeks

with the Ultimate Weight Training Program!

“Eric Cressey’s cutting-edge four-phase program, featuring constant progression, variation, and inspiring goals, keeps you focused on increasing strength along with muscle mass, helping you achieve the fittest, most energetic, and best-looking body you’ve ever had – with fewer hours at the gym.”

Results speak much louder than words, though; featured below are testimonials from the initial group of nine "guinea pigs" for the program:

“One of my problems in designing workouts for myself was choosing the protocols. Strength, muscle growth, endurance, frequency, reps, sets, exercises, etc…there are just too many factors to balance, especially on top of a busy schedule. Too much of one thing usually resulted in an aching injury, or joint pain for a few days. Overtraining was common for me.

“I have to say that the best part about Cressey’s training system, in my opinion, is the balanced approach. I do not leave a workout feeling like I have pushed a muscle group beyond its ability to recover. And I like hitting upper and lower body twice a week. Training the ancillary muscles has kept me from having any aches or pains since starting the program. My shoulder has not hurt for months. My knees feel great. I feel like the exercises selected, the volume of work, and the mobility warm-ups are doing their job: keeping me healthy, in great shape, and in the gym.

“On the Maximum Strength program, I have actually improved all of my test numbers, my posture and joint health, and I feel stronger and healthier – all in spite of the fact that I’ve been busier at my job than ever before. I also feel that I look better than I have for many years. I was very happy with my results!”

Chris Paul - Danbury, Connecticut

Added five pounds of body weight, increased broad jump by six inches, box squat by 80 pounds, bench press by 30 pounds, deadlift by 50 pounds, and 3-rep max chin-up by 10 pounds.

“The Maximum Strength program took me to the next level of performance with my lifting. After using a variety of programs focusing on fat-loss and hypertrophy and having limited results from them it was great to see such solid increases in strength and physique changes from the program. In addition, the program focus on dynamic flexibility and foam rolling has resulted in an injury free training cycle and major flexibility and posture improvements. I would highly recommend this program and book to anyone wanting to make real progress with strength, performance and body composition.”

Dan Hibbert – Calgary, Alberta

Increased body weight by 14 pounds, broad jump by seven inches, box squat by 80 pounds, bench press by 30 pounds, deadlift by 70 pounds, and 3-rep max chin-up by 27.5 pounds.

“Bumps, bruises, dedication and commitment have lead to amazing gains in both strength and mobility. The Maximum Strength program is for anyone who has a desire to be better in their physical conditioning tomorrow than they are today. It is well written program that provides a variety of exercises and training parameters that keep you interested in going to the gym. Each month of the 4-month regime was a new break through and, in many cases, plateau-busting gains. Four months of your time is an easy investment to make in a program of this caliber.”

Gabe Wilson – Houston, TX

Gained 12 pounds, added 55 pounds to his box squat, 35 pounds to his bench press, 30 pounds to his deadlift, and 27 pounds to his 3-rep max chin-up.


About Maximum Strength: -Co-authored by veteran fitness journalist, Matt Fitzgerald, who is renowned for his humorous writing style and ability to relate complex training strategies in simple terms -4 progressive four-week phases designed to make you feel stronger and more athletic than ever before -Each phase is complete with mobility warm-ups to keep you healthy and prepare you to train safely and effectively -Recommendations for supplemental cardiovascular training based on YOUR body type -Nutritional guidelines to follow to optimize performance -A chapter on important considerations on how to plan your own future training -Tips on mental preparation for training -256 pages -Over 200 illustrations to accompany in-depth exercise descriptions -Foreword by world-renowned nutrition expert, Dr. John Berardi

“I've lifted for a long time now – but I have never trained until now. I was lifting like a bodybuilder to be an athlete and while it helped at first, it hurt in the long run. If I had this program when I was younger I think I would have been much better off. The mix of mobility and soft tissue work has helped me with all my old injuries and the periodization has helped me stay stronger for longer than ever before. The Maximum Strength program helped teach me a lot about how to train for a long-term goal and it will help me even more in the future.”

Ryan Gleason – Derby, Connecticut

Lost seven pounds and 4% body fat, increased broad jump by seven inches, box squat by 90 pounds, deadlift by 60 pounds, and 3-rep max chin-up by 15 pounds.

“I was sick of messing about in the gym, changing programs every week to some different one I saw online, I was stuck on the same weights on the same lifts for ages. Eric's program helped me focus on building strength, which has always been my main aim. I still play a lot of recreational rugby and I'm 100% certain that I'm stronger and better at it thanks to the program. Eric's program covers all the bases: strength, conditioning, and mobility. I was extremely impressed.”

David O’Neill – Cork, Ireland

Gained five pounds of body weight while dropping body fat percentage, and increased broad jump by six inches, box squat by 55 pounds, bench press by 22 pounds, deadlift by 33 pounds, and 3-rep max chin-up by 11 pounds. What those "in the know" are saying about Maximum Strength:

“Eric does an outstanding job of pulling from multiple disciplines to maximize athlete performance. No fancy machines or gimmicks – just barbell, dumbbell, and body weight movements that are proven to be effective. Maximum Strength is a must-read for anyone serious about increasing their maximal strength and overall performance.”

Sal Alosi - Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, New York Jets

Maximum Strength is a guide for those who truly want to make meaningful changes to their bodies. Eric Cressey has created a program that will challenge any individual to push themselves to levels they have never been before. In the years that I have known Eric, his goal to help people achieve maximum performance and get the most out of their bodies has never wavered.”

Michael Irr - Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Charlotte Bobcats

Maximum Strength is a must-read for any person that is serious about changing their body. The easy-to-follow, detailed program is sure to deliver fantastic results!”

Shawn Windle - Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Indiana Pacers And for Those Looking to Drop Body Fat?

“To say that I was very pleased with the results of this program would be an understatement. The active recovery and stress management approaches always had me ready to go for the next training session, when in years past I was constantly feeling run-down and less enthusiastic about training. The mobility work really helped me improve my form. This program encompasses so much that is needed for proper training, yet manages to focus it all together to yield the best results I have ever experienced. Now, at the end of the program, I’m much leaner and the strongest I’ve ever been.”

Jeremy Lisenby – Rowlett, TX

Lost 2.5 inches off his waist, and added 6 inches to his broad jump, 30 pounds to his box squat, 15 pounds to his bench press, 40 pounds to his deadlift, and 12 pounds to his 3-rep max chin-up.

“Not only did I improve my strength on all major lifts, I also lost a significant amount of body fat and became much leaner in the process. My body composition progress became evident to me when I had to have my business suit pants taken in by a tailor (usually, the opposite occurs). Needless to say, I was pleased.

“One of the most significant changes I noticed throughout this program was my increase in mobility. When I woke up in the morning, I didn't feel as stiff and creaky as I had in the past. I also didn't take as long to get properly warmed-up before a workout. Overall, I just felt stronger and more focused.

“Finally, I would say that even during the tough days, and weeks, one of the motivators was that I knew the program was written by Eric. I've read his articles and witnessed the results he can get for his clients. Throughout the entire program, I felt confident that what I was doing was not only safe, but effective.”

Jake Chatterton – Onslow, Iowa

Lost 11 pounds while increasing broad jump by 19 inches, box squat by 50 pounds, deadlift by 15 pounds, and 3-rep max chin-up by 10 pounds. Anytime you can drop significant amounts of body fat while actually gaining strength, you’ve done an awesome job!

So Who is this Cressey Guy, anyway?

Eric Cressey, MA, CSCS is the president and co-founder of Cressey Performance. Specializing in athletic performance enhancement and corrective exercise, Cressey is a highly sought-after coach for healthy and injured athletes alike from youth sports to the professional and Olympic ranks. Behind Eric’s expertise, Cressey Performance has rapidly established itself as a go-to high-performance facility among Boston athletes – and those that come from across the country and abroad to experience CP’s cutting-edge methods.

Cressey received his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science through the University of Connecticut Department of Kinesiology, the #1 ranked kinesiology graduate program in the nation. At UCONN, Eric was involved in varsity strength and conditioning and research in the human performance laboratory. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

As an invited guest speaker, Eric has lectured in four countries and more than one dozen U.S. states. An accomplished author, Cressey has written three books and more than 200 articles, and co-created two DVD sets.

A record-setting competitive powerlifter himself, Cressey has deadlifted 650 pounds at a body weight of 174 and is recognized as an athlete who can jump, sprint, and lift alongside his best athletes to push them to higher levels – and keep them healthy in the process. His competition bests for the squat and bench press are 540 and 402 pounds, respectively.

Want to be More Athletic? How does a 36-inch broad jump (standing long jump) improvement in four months sound?

“After four months, I am pleased with my results, but not completely satisfied because I know that the knowledge I’ve attained with this program will lead to continued gains for years to come. Did I get stronger? Absolutely! Do I want to continue? Most definitely! The program Eric has pulled together has inspired me to continue lifting, because it showed me results are possible if you put in effort. The program is the smartest and most fun I have completed. It’s been the best four months I've spent at the gym.”

Mike Czobit – Mississauga, Ontario

No change in weight, but increased broad jump by 36 inches! Also increased box squat by 40 pounds, bench press by 15 pounds, deadlift by 50 pounds, and 3-rep max chin-up by 10 pounds.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dr. John Berardi


Chapter 1: Why Stronger is Better

Chapter 2: Building Strength

Chapter 3: Maximum Strength Program Overview

Chapter 4: What to Expect

Chapter 5: Maximum Strength Warm-ups

Chapter 6: Phase 1: Foundation

Chapter 7: Phase 2: Build

Chapter 8: Phase 3: Growth

Chapter 9: Phase 4: Peak

Chapter 10: Nutrition for Maximum Strength

Chapter 11: The Muscle Between Your Ears

Chapter 12: Maximum Strength for Life

So with all this in mind, what are you waiting for?

Click here to order Maximum Strength for just $18.95 on our 100% secure server.

Don't take it from me, though; take it from guys like Doug Adams who have experienced Maximum Strength first-hand:

“At the beginning of the Maximum Strength project, I had an idea of the type of training I wanted to do in the gym, but no concrete plan or ‘map’ for how to get there. I was completely clueless, which is why I volunteered to be a part of the test group for this program. I wanted to blindly follow a program from someone who knows what they’re doing. Do every workout, as written and on schedule, I told myself. Keeping to those words proved to be beneficial because I made great improvements in strength, technique, and most of all, attitude.

“With the attitude, there comes a sense of independence, almost to the point of non-conformity. Now I am coming to a stage in my lifting career where I am beginning to question what is told to me. I am asking myself “is this really the best thing for ME to do TODAY?” I am not going to say I have all the answers now, because I do not. I have been pointed in the right direction to where I want to go. If I happen to get a little lost along the way, I can always ask for directions.”

Doug Adams – Middle River, Maryland

Order Maximum Strength Now!

Gained 12 pounds and increased broad jump by seven inches, box squat by 25 pounds, bench press by 30 pounds, deadlift by 40 pounds, and 3-rep max chin-up by 22 pounds.
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Maximum Strength F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m unsure about pre-testing some of these lifts heavily when I haven’t been performing them for an extended period of time to learn the technique. What do you recommend?

A: I’m not married to the idea of having everyone pre-test.  In the grand scheme of things, this program is based on the premise that you have some resistance training experience – but are looking to take it to the next level. That said, I realize that a lot of beginners are going to be buying this book, too – so we need to take that into account, particularly with pre-testing. If you’re in this situation, you have four options:

1. Spend 3-4 weeks practicing technique – following the descriptions in Maximum Strength – and then pre-test with conservative weights.

2. Skip pre-testing altogether – and just go directly into the program with conservative weights.

3. Test as recommended in the text – but only do those exercises on which you know you’ll be okay (broad jump, bench press, and 3-rep max chin-up). Then, do your squat and deadlift with conservative weights – stopping if you feel any sort of technique breakdown (although you should always stop your attempts if technique breaks down).

If you are at all uncomfortable doing one of the pre-tests, skip it.

Q: Do you have any recommendations of good online sites where I can download videos of various exercises?

A: Absolutely!

Robertson Training Systems



UI Strength Lab

Weight Trainers United

Q: I noticed that you recommend wearing shoes on some lower-body exercises, but not others. Can you put some general guidelines in place?

Category 1: No Shoes, or shoe that has little heel-lift (e.g., Nike Frees, Reebok Travel Trainers, Chuck Taylors/Converse All-Stars):

Mobility/Activation warm-up drills, all box squat variations, all deadlift variations, 1-leg squat-to-box

Category 2: Any shoes (that said, I like Nike Frees as a shoe you can use for both categories)

All single-leg movements (excluding 1-leg squat to box), all non-box squats

Q: I lack the flexibility to deadlift from the floor; what do you recommend I do to a) modify the program and b) work on my flexibility?

A: First off, you can elevate the bar until you get to the point where you can pull in good form. In other words, instead of all the pulling from the floor, do rack pulls.

As far as flexibility goes, you’ll need to do more of the various ankle mobilizations, overhead lunge walks, and thoracic extensions on the foam roller. I’d also highly recommend that you check out my three-part series, Mastering the Deadlift (you can find links to all three in the T-Nation section HERE).

Q: I tend to round over when I front squat. Any suggestions?

A: It could be several things: poor ankle, hip, or thoracic spine mobility; poor core stability; poor bar position; or faulty breathing patterns.

For the mobility issues, you can follow the suggestions for the deadlift flexibility issue above.

For core stability, keep plugging away at the core stability progressions in the book – and keep practicing your squat technique. That will come in a matter of time.

For your bar position, make sure that you’ve got it up on your shoulder girdle – and not just on your upper arms. It should be touching your Adam’s apple (or equivalent spot, ladies).

For your breathing patterns, make sure that you’re getting your air into your belly, not your upper torso. “Chest breathers” lack core stability, in my experience. Your goal is to make yourself a bit fatter by activating the core musculature and increasing intra-abdominal pressure with air in the right place; this mechanically makes the support for the load on your shoulders even bigger. A good trick is to imagine that you’re wearing a loose belt around your belly, and you want to tighten it up.

Q: The Maximum Strength program is a 4x/week program and you recommended lifting on MoWeFrSa; is it okay to deviate from this?

A: Sure.  My favorite is to lift on Days 1, 2, 4, and 6 - with rest days on Days 3, 5, and 7 (these might be energy workouts for you instead of lifts).  As long as the days are held constant, it doesn't really matter whether Day 1 is Monday or Friday.  Some people can't train on the weekends, too, so it's cool to go MoTuThFr, if you want.

Q: For my foam rolling, how long should I spend on each spot?

A: Generally, you should be at about 10-15s per spot – and make sure you spend a little extra time on any of the “hot spots” you find. That said, if a region isn’t at all uncomfortable, you can skip right over it eventually.  For a little more background, give this article a read.

Q: Also on the topic of foam rolling, I noticed that there are several different kinds of rollers. Which do you recommend?

A: At Cressey Performance, almost everyone is okay starting with the Foam Roller Plus.  Some people who are really balled up might need to start with a basic (soft) white roller.

Q: I lift weights with my upper body, but just run to take care of lower body strength.  Is this okay?

A: Not if you are hoping to build strength and an impressive physique!  How many marathoners do you know with impressive legs?  Not many.  And, to be honest, just because they run doesn't mean that they don't need lower-body weight-training.  I actually wrote an in-depth article on the subject HERE.  That said, do your lower body lifting sessions.

Q: You recommend board presses, but I don't have boards - or someone to hold them. What should I do?

A: First off, I'm a big believer in always making sure that you have a spotter handy when you bench press.  Hopefully, that's something that you can make happen.

A few options for board-substitutions include using a rolled-up magazine or a foam roller cut-in-half.  If you can't do these - and don't have someone to hold them in place, you can just do pin presses (as outlined in the text) instead.

Q: What should I do if I miss a day?

A: Call it water under the bridge and pick it up as soon as possible thereafter wherever you left off.  Often, you can make up a session within the week just by going back-to-back on days when you otherwise wouldn't.  For instance, if you were planning to train MoWeFrSa and couldn't make the Saturday session, you just push it back to Sunday.  I outlined some strategies for flexible training splits in my article, 4 Ways to Stay on Track.

Q: If I'm really pressed for time, can I skip the warm-up?

A: No.  I'd rather see you warm up thoroughly and knock a few sets off the end of your training session than I would have you skip a warm-up and get hurt lifting when your body wasn't ready for loading.

Q: I'm used to lifting 6x/week; is it okay to add a few sessions to the Maximum Strength program?

A: It's not a good idea.  You build muscle and develop strength while you're resting, not while you're training.  To that end, what you do aside from the sessions should be aimed at optimizing recovery, not pushing you further into "training debt."  Try doing some of the low-intensity resistance training circuits and light cardiovascular work I recommend; you'll be very pleased with how it helps to improve recovery - and makes gaining strength and muscle mass easier in the process.

Q: Can I substitute exercises I don't like?

A: Well, then you wouldn't be doing the Maximum Strength program, would you?

Kidding aside, if you have an injury or equipment limitation you have to work around, by all means, substitute.  However, if you're just taking a movement out because you don't like it, you're shortchanging yourself.  99.99% of the time, the exercises we dislike are the ones we need to do the most to succeed.  Suck it up.

Q: Can I repeat the strength tests in the middle of the program to check my progress?

A: You'll actually find that there are strength tests built in to the program.  They aren't identical to your pre-tests, but will definitely give you regular indicators of whether you're improving.  With that in mind, if you want to test a broad jump here and there, feel free.  And, if you're feeling particularly "fast" with your speed deadlifts or squats, work up to a moderately heavy single to see how you progressed.  DO NOT do this every training session; "pushing it" once a month is okay, but nothing more frequent than that.

Q: I work with a personal trainer; can he help guide me through the Maximum Strength program?

A: I don't see why not.  Then again, the personal training industry leaves a bit to be desired at this point - and you are paying them for their knowledge - so don't be surprised if they aren't amenable to supervising someone else's program.

Q: How soon will I begin to see results?

A: Individual results vary, but they almost always come in this order: mobility, strength, physique changes.  You'll notice that you're moving better in a matter of days, and the strength gains will be readily apparent by the time you come back to repeat exercises in Week 2 of Phase 1.  Increases in muscle mass and decreases in body fat will be dependent on your diet, too, so if you're diligent with your training and nutrition, you should see some noteworthy changes within the first 2-3 weeks.

Have a question for Eric to be featured in the FAQ or Maximum Strength Blog?  Email ec@ericcressey.com with the subject line "Maximum Strength Inquiry."

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Maximum Strength Bonus Page

Maximum Strength Bonus Page

First off, thanks for your purchase of Maximum Strength, and congratulations on making the decision to take your training to an all-new level! The original “guinea pigs” for the program all experienced fantastic improvements in strength, overall athleticism, and body composition – and these trends have held true with everyone who has tried the program since the manuscript was complete.

What pleases me the most, though, is that everyone who has completed the Maximum Strength program has also changed their overall approach and attitude toward exercise. They’re not working out anymore; they’re training. And, they look forward to their trips to the gym because they can see quantifiable improvements and experience how this training carries over to their daily lives.

One of the ways in which this book is different than others you’ve read is its devotion to tech support – and continued education. Matt and I want to hear reader feedback, help you with your questions, and help you to continue to grow during and beyond your Maximum Strength experience. To that end, I’ve pulled together a list of related resources that will make it easier for you to carry out the Maximum Strength program:

Frequently Asked Questions – On this page, you review the Q&A for the questions we’re hearing the most.

The Official Maximum Strength Blog – This free resource is updated daily with Q&As, exercise demonstration videos, postings about various training-related topics, and product reviews.

Eric Cressey’s Free Newsletter – “EC” puts out a weekly newsletter that has grown exponentially in popularity since early 2006.

Magnificent Mobility – This DVD outlines many of the lower-body warm-up exercises outlined in the book. It’s like having a coach in the room with you – teaching you not only what to do, but what common mistakes to avoid.

Inside-Out - This DVD works much the same as the Magnificent Mobility DVD, but its focus is on the upper body warm-up exercises. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone with shoulder problems.

Precision Nutrition – This resource is far and away the single-best nutrition resource available in the world today. Dr. John Berardi is tremendous not only in his knowledge, but in the way he relates it understandably to his audience. I’ve seen countless people make excellent progress with Dr. Berardi’s methods – and it’s one reason why I was so honored to have him author the foreword to Maximum Strength.

Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook - Also a Berardi product, this resource outlines 120 healthy (and tasty) recipes for the fitness enthusiast who wants a good meal without ruining his/her diet.

PoweringMuscles.com – Founded by Matt Fitzgerald, Powering Muscles is a nutrition information resource for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, featuring in-depth articles, interactive tools, discussion forums, and more.

Perform Better – This equipment supplier has just about everything you could need in a gym. They are affordably priced and offer excellent customer service.

Maximum Strength for Life: Recommended Further Reading

Education is a huge part of continuing to progress. To that end, I’ve compiled a list of recommended resources for those of you who are interested in learning more; check out my Recommended Resources Page.
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Unstable Surface Training

Finally, the truth is revealed and you can fully grasp one of the most misunderstood and controversial aspects of the fitness industry…

Unstable surface training has taken the world of fitness and strength and conditioning by storm.   Everywhere you go, you’ll find wobble boards, foam pads, full and half-dome stability balls, and inflatable rubber discs dictating the way people exercise.

However, there has been very little research done to validate or refute the use of these implements in healthy, trained populations. Trainers, coaches, therapists, and ordinary weekend warriors have essentially been flying blind when they use these implements. That is, until now!

Do you want to know the truth?


The Truth About Unstable Surface Training is the culmination of more than three years of intensive study, research, experimentation, and analysis on my part – combined with my “in the trenches” observations as a competitive athlete myself. Effectively, with this e-book, I’ve outlined and then translated the research to the real-world so that fitness professionals and exercisers can understand how to effectively integrate (or omit) unstable surface training in their programs.

Here's what a few industry leaders had to say about the product:

"I used to advise trainers and other strength professionals that they must always continue to develop themselves and continue their education by reading every book and article and attending every seminar – but I was wrong. My advice now is to be very selective with the resources you seek out and the research and products you obtain. There is so much misinformation in the fitness industry and so much junk on the internet that it's easy to be misguided.

"So what is the right information? Without hesitation, I can say anything from Eric Cressey. His new e-book, The Truth About Unstable Surface Training, is no exception. Learn how unstable surface training originated in a rehabilitative setting and led to one of the biggest controversies in the fitness industry today. I was honored to get a first look at this resources. It was not just the literature review, studies, exercise demonstrations and progressions that were eye-opening; it was the practical applications. As always, Eric provides a thorough explanation of complex ideas.

"If you’ve ever found yourself – or come across someone – using the term “functional training,” you absolutely must buy The Truth About Unstable Surface Training right now!"

Jim Smith, CSCS
Author, Combat Core: Advanced Torso Training

"In The Truth About Unstable Surface Training, Eric Cressey has created tremendous resource - and, in fact, the ONLY resource one should consult on the topic of unstable surface training. Eric's writing sheds light on the correct and incorrect times to incorporate these training initiatives in one's programming.

The best part of this manual? It covers both the scientific background AND the practical application of unstable surface training. If you're a personal trainer, strength coach, or fitness enthusiastic who has used or contemplated using these mediums in your programming, you owe it to yourself to pick up this e-book."

Mike Robertson, MS, CSCS, USAW
Author, Bulletproof Knees

What You’ll Learn in The Truth About Unstable Surface Training:

  • The origins of unstable surface training

  • The problems with research-to-date on unstable surface training, and why you’ve been mislead

  • The difference between balance and stability

  • The five factors affecting one’s stability, and how you can modify them to become a more stable athlete

  • How unstable surfaces alter muscular recruitment patterns – and how you can use those alterations to your advantage or disadvantage

  • The actual science – and research data – that quantifiably justifies or refutes specific uses of unstable surface training

  • Guidelines for when and how to implement unstable surface training to maximize training efficiency and help you avoid wasting time and effort

  • How unstable surface training can help or hinder performance in different athletes

  • How unstable surfaces can increase the risk of injury in some populations, while actually rehabilitating others

  • Guidelines for alternative, more sport-specific instability approaches when unstable surface training is not the best avenue to pursue

  • 21 different stability progression models encompassing over 50 exercises with photos and descriptions

  • How to train balance for maximum functional carryover and superior athletic performance

All in all, you get the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY, and HOW: everything you could possibly want to know about unstable surface training.

If you are a personal trainer, just think of what $39.99 is: far less than the cost of a single session with one of your clients!  When you think about what you're getting - a lifetime of instability training exercise progressions for your clients - this e-book is an investment in your professional success, not an expense.  Just ask Matt McGorry:

"This e-book is the first real objective look at unstable surface training for non-injured populations that I have ever seen. When someone comes along who doesn’t accept anecdotal evidence and industry hype as dogma, it makes a lot of people angry. This manual is going to do just that.

“Cressey uses hard facts and research to disprove what many of the so-called fitness and performance experts have been touting as gospel ever since unstable surface training first hit the market. At the same time, though, he’s objective in pointing out the merits of such training in certain circumstances, outlining dozens of extremely effective, results-based exercise variations that can be scaled to challenge anyone from the novice trainee to the elite athlete.

“If you are a fitness or sports performance professional who is interested in learning about the real world of ‘core’ and ‘functional’ training, then you absolutely must buy this manual.”

Matt McGorry
Fitness and Performance Coach – New York, NY

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Unstable Surface Training

<a href=" http://www.1shoppingcart.com/SecureCart/SecureCart.aspx?mid=6545977C-1033-45E0-8380-6BCD6C3B34C8&amp;pid=46c021ce79d07b1c9a2dd571bc10ffbd"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-1200" title="cressey-flat-salespage" src="http://ecressey.wpenginepowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/cressey-flat-salespage-232x300.jpg" alt="" width="232" height="300" /></a><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Tahoma;">Unstable surface training has taken the world of fitness and strength and conditioning by storm.<span> </span>Everywhere you go, you’ll find wobble boards, foam pads, full and half-dome stability balls, and inflatable rubber discs dictating the way people exercise.</span> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Tahoma;"> </span> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Tahoma;">Want to know the <strong><em>truth</em></strong>, in a nutshell?<span> </span>There has been very little research done to validate or refute the use of these implements in healthy, trained populations.<span> </span>Trainers, coaches, therapists, and ordinary weekend warriors have essentially been flying blind when they use these implements. </span> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Tahoma;"> </span> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Tahoma;">That is, <strong>until now!</strong></span> <span style="font-family: Tahoma;"> </span> <em><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Tahoma;">The Truth About Unstable Surface Training</span></em><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Tahoma;"> is the culmination of more than three years of intensive study, research, experimentation, and analysis on my part – combined with my “in the trenches” observations as a competitive athlete myself.<span> </span>Effectively, with this resource, I’ve outlined and then translated the research to the real-world so that fitness professionals and exercisers can understand how to effectively integrate (or omit) unstable surface training in their programs.</span> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href=" http://www.1shoppingcart.com/SecureCart/SecureCart.aspx?mid=6545977C-1033-45E0-8380-6BCD6C3B34C8&amp;pid=46c021ce79d07b1c9a2dd571bc10ffbd">Click Here to BUY IT NOW</a></strong></h2>
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Art of the Deload

The Overlooked Component of Programming?

I often get approached by people asking me to review their training programs.  They generally list several days, each with several exercises and set/rep schemes.  My response?

“Okay, so there, you’ve got one week. What happens when you do that for a few weeks, then hit a plateau, or wind up just feeling overworked and unmotivated?"

With that question, I've basically asked them indirectly if they understand how important it is to fluctuate training stress and effectively incorporate deload phases.  In the overwhelming majority of cases, people look at me like I have two heads - so I decided to put together a special report on the subject to shed some light on the subject and prove to everyone that I'm not nuts.


In this 21-page special report, you'll learn:

  • My Top 10 deloading strategies for athletes and weekend warriors alike
  • How to modify programming in deload weeks to build healthy joints
  • Why taking down weeks is often the best way to build strength much faster
  • How to plan for a big personal best at the end of your deload week
  • Whether complete rest is right or not for you
  • How those with a history of injuries should deload to stay healthy
  • Why some lifters need to deload on volume, while others deload on intensity
  • Why two lifters might deload differently even if they're both want to increase muscle mass
  • Why beginner deloads should be completely different than intermediate and advanced deloads
  • The different strategies for fluctuating training stress from week-to-week
  • Why volume-related overtraining is markedly different than intensity-related overtraining - and how to avoid both kinds of overtraining

Click here to order "The Art of the Deload" for only $19.99 $12.99 using our 100% secure website.

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Magnificent Mobility Reviews

Magnificent Mobility Reviews

"When I popped in the Magnificent Mobility DVD for the first time, I had just finished training and my nagging lower back was acting up again. I decided that instead of just sitting on the couch and watching the DVD I was going to get on the floor and follow along with Mike and Eric and go through every single drill they demonstrated. When you train and coach athletes all day long, sometimes it's a refreshing change to have someone else telling you what to do for once. I did just that and by the end of the DVD my back felt much better and I had picked up quite a few new mobility drills I had never used or seen before. Mike and Eric did a great job with this DVD and deserve to be commended. If you are a coach, trainer or athlete it would be in your best interest to order your copy of Magnificent Mobility today."

Jason Ferruggia

Performance Enhancement Specialist - www.J1Strength.com


“Magnificent Mobility just may be the most practical DVD available at the present time. I say this because EVERYONE can benefit from the information that it contains. I have all of my athletes perform many of the drills outlined in this video before they workut so they're properly warmed up - yet it can also act as an entire workout for the "Average Joe" who sits behind a computer all day and is suffering from low-back & shoulder pain. The possibilities are endless with this DVD. I even learned a couple of new exercises that I perform every morning and they help me get out of some back pain. Bottom line...Get this DVD! It's worth every penny!"

Joe DeFranco

DeFranco's Training Systems, LLC

DeFranco's Sports Nutrition, LLC



"As a consultant to a dozen Olympic, NCAA, and professional teams, I'm always on the lookout for resources that accomplish two goals:

1) Present new or often overlooked information that can make a real difference to optimal function and performance – for everyone from high level athletes to recreational exercisers.

2) Deliver this information in a clear way that's immediately applicable, regardless of the user’s education level or experience.

In Magnificent Mobility, Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson have delivered a product that meets both goals.  Important in its message, clear in its delivery, and amazingly useful – not only do I recommend this product to every one of my clients and athletes, but I actually use the dynamic flexibility and warm-up exercises myself.  This is a must for every athlete and physique enthusiast’s library."

Dr. John Berardi, CSCS

Adjunct Professor: University of Texas

Author: Precision Nutrition, Gourmet Nutrition, Scrawny to Brawny

President: Science Link, Inc., Translating Research Into Results

www.JohnBerardi.com, www.PrecisionNutrition.com, www.ScrawnytoBrawny.com


“With Magnificent Mobility, Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson present a concise, yet highly effective set of dynamic warm-up and mobility drills that will benefit both athletes and fitness buffs alike.  Lack of adequate mobility – especially through the hips – is a major obstacle to the safe and effective performance of many strength training exercises.  Magnificent Mobility addresses this fundamental problem, giving the viewer technical cues as well as explaining the rationale for the inclusion of each drill.  The exercises in this video will add to the quality of any strength training program; I use them myself and with my clients.”

John Sullivan

Performance Enhancement Specialist

Excel Sports & Fitness Training - Waltham, Massachusetts



“With Magnificent Mobility, Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson have introduced a fantastic product that addresses a pressing need in the strength and conditioning community. Insufficient mobility is a huge problem I encounter with athletes in several sports at all levels. A lack of mobility will not only limit performance and make training sessions less productive, but it will also dramatically increase one’s risk of injury. If you want to train and compete at high levels and stay healthy, Magnificent Mobility needs to be in your library.”

Alwyn Cosgrove

Performance Enhancement Specialist



"Eric and Mike's Robertson's Magnificent Mobility DVD is an excellent resource for strength coaches and personal trainers alike.  Unlike other DVDs on the market that just demonstrate exercises, Magnificent Mobility addresses specifically how and why they are done. When you only have ten minutes to warm up a client or a team, these are the best "bang for the buck" exercises.  Performing the exercises in the DVD will help your client/athlete correct muscle imbalances and improve posture and performance."

Sean Skahan, M.Ed., C.S.C.S.

Strength and Conditioning Coach, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim


"I just finished watching Magnificent Mobility and performed over half of the drills as I watched. Yesterday, I competed in the Tactical Strength Challenge and my low back is hammered. I feel MUCH better after the exercises.

"I NEEDED this video PERSONALLY as well as for my athletes. After almost 20 years of hard lifting, wrestling, and grappling, my body is not always feeling its best. Watching Mike and Eric perform the movements with full ROM was an eye-opener and showed me how it looks when someone spends regular time on these mobility exercises. I train predominantly combat athletes who have amassed numerous strength and flexibility imbalances, and these problems obviously limit their true potential. "The anatomy models and the review of each movement are top notch, as is the thorough voice-over explanations. This info is easy to implement – especially since the “dos and don'ts” of each movement are discussed. "Bottom line: I can immediately use this info easily with myself and my athletes. This DVD is key for any coach or athlete because inevitably we get injured. If you want to reduce your likelihood of injuries, then regular mobility training is imperative. Why am I so easily sold here? After two knee surgeries, a shoulder tear, and a body that is tighter than all heck, I NEED this to keep me healthy!”

Zach Even-Esh

Performance Coach for Combat Athletes



“If you've read Eric and Mike's stuff, you know that these are two coaches who know what they are talking about and consistently put out quality information. The Magnificent Mobility DVD falls right in line with their articles.

"The DVD's best feature is the high production quality and the different angles of the exercises shown. The video and the audio are great, and the exercises easy to see and learn. The coaching cues and highlighted body areas are very beneficial to those interested in knowing the 'why' of the various exercises.  The DVD is easy to navigate and is broken down into three levels of exercises, which is ideal for beginners to advanced athletes. Everybody can and will learn something from this DVD; it should be in included in every coach's library.”

Brijesh Patel

Associate Head of Strength and Conditioning, College of the Holy Cross

Co-Founder of S B Coaches College, LLC



“Mike and Eric have produced a professional, high-quality product. Magnificent Mobility is packed full of dynamic mobility drills that if performed regularly, should help to improve your performance and reduce injury risk.

"The video footage of the drills is very high quality and accompanied by audio explanation.  The drills are broken down into three difficulty levels, which allows you to start an athlete/patient/client at the appropriate level and then progress them as needed.  Likewise, the drills are convenient because they can be performed in a short period of time and do not require any special equipment.

"The drills are very comprehensive in nature and really work on the low back/hip and lower extremity kinetic chain.  A lot of injuries and poor performance on compound lifts are due to the athlete's inability to attain or maintain proper technique. This is often caused by poor mobility in the hips or lower extremity kinetic chain. If performed consistently, the Magnificent Mobility drills will eliminate those issues. "I think the Magnificent Mobility DVD is an excellent resource to add to your library. Whether you are a coach, personal trainer, lifter or other athlete, you can benefit from the information and drills on the DVD.”

Ryan Smith, D.C., B.S.

Chiropractic Physician - Columbus, Ohio

Sports Injury, Physical Medicine, and Rehabilitation Specialist


"I am really impressed with the product Eric and Mike have put together; it fills a much needed gap in the training and performance arenas. There is absolutely no doubt this DVD should be in the library of every athlete, from novices to professionals. It's a wonderful resource that is full of practical information that is usable in all settings and situations. I recommend this to those I work with and use the information regularly to increase flexibility, mobility, and help further prepare for training."

Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD

www.MohrResults.com, www.WeaponsforMass.com, www.HumanInferno.com


“Whether you're a strength coach, personal trainer, or everyday ‘weekend warrior,’ you will benefit from utilizing this great resource and implementing it into your clients' training or your own training. Eric and Mike back up their rationale with sound, up-to-date, practical, and scientifically proven information in a format that is easy to follow and comprehend. The sound quality is superb and the picture quality is first-rate. Eric and Mike have really come up with an outstanding product in Magnificent Mobility; this DVD would be an invaluable addition to your training library.”

Tony Gentilcore

Personal Trainer - Ridgefield, Connecticut

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  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series