Home Posts tagged "Maximum Strength" (Page 2)

Maximum Strength Works for Females, Too!

I received this email this weekend from a very satisfied female Maximum Strength customer.  It should put to rest any doubts about whether or not this program works for females: Dear Eric, Hello, I'm Kelsey Doucette. I'm a 22 year old (female) powerlifter and aspiring Olympic lifter. I just finished your Maximum Strength program. I made splendid gains. Beginning:                              End: Body weight: 113                     Body weight: 115 Squat- 200                              Squat: 205 Deadlift: 265                           Deadlift: 260 Bench:  115                             Bench: 135 Pull-ups: 15 lbs extra               Pull- ups: 25 lbs extra Broad jump: > 5 ft                   Broad jump: 7.5 ft You're probably wondering about the squat and deadlift numbers (and why I'm ecstatic about them). Allow me to explain.  Right before I began your program, I just started physical therapy for my hips. Among a myriad of problems (I was considered "a train wreck" by the therapists) one was that I had weak adductors, hip flexors and poor (I mean REALLY poor) glute activation. I also had horrendous hip mobility. I started your program and noticed a difference within the first two weeks just from doing the mobility warm-ups and foam rolling. Not only did your program inspire me to lift like a real strength athlete (I am a former body builder. I decided I liked lifting better than posing) but also to aggressively attack my hip issues both with knowledge and actions. It was about half way through your program when during a squat I felt my glutes activate. I was so excited I jumped up and down in jubilation once I finished my set. The same thing happened with deadlifts.  So I guess you could say I squatted 205 and deadlifted 260 WITH glute activation, which I consider a major accomplishment from where I started. My conclusion is that even though my numbers didn't change a whole lot (at least on the two lifts I really care about. I think i was just sick of benching less than a plate and that's why my bench went up so much) I feel like a much more efficient lifter. My muscles are firing in synchrony like they're supposed to and I'm now on my way to busting my former lifting plateaus. I also understand my body a lot more and I'm enthusiastically devouring as much knowledge about strength and conditioning as I can. Thank you! Sincerely, Kelsey Doucette


Click here to pick up a copy of Maximum Strength yourself!

Read more

Summer Interns Gone Diesel: Installment 2

It's time for another intern end-of-summer finale.  Alex went the other night, but tonight, it was Phil "Gunzzzz for Hire" Gauthier's turn to work his mojo on this medley (his effort put him in second place, just behind Alex's time). Phil also completed the Maximum Strength program with some big gains in size (over ten pounds) and strength while fixing up a bum shoulder this summer and turning himself into one heck of a coach.   Some credit goes out to Phil for: a) doing this circuit after he'd already trained lower body easlier in the day (including a HUGE front squat personal best) b) rocking his high school colors (Go Maynard!) and NOT wearing a Power Rangers t-shirt and spandex (watch the video; you'll understand) c) naming a professional hockey player as his emergency contact ("Sorry, Mom!") d) doing better push-ups than in the first go-round f) giving us an even better frame of reference from which to appreciate just how bad Roger got dominated later this afternoon (more on that in a future blog; stay tuned)... So, without further ado...

Give our man a little love in the comments section!  I know you're out there, Maynard!

Read more

Summer Interns Gone Diesel: Installment 1

Earlier this year, I introduced you to the "before" videos of our summer interns.  Needless to say, they weren't pretty. The good news is that they've gotten a lot better over the past three months, and to prove my point, we'll be featuring each of them individually over the next few days.  First up, we've got the guy who went from Alex "Nash and Burn" to Alex "Straight Nash, Homey."  Over the summer, Alex added 12 pounds to his frame, and some serious poundages to all his lifts (don't have the numbers in front of me, but let's just say that we were all stunned to see him front squatting 300+ pounds the other day).  He got 3/4 of the way through the Maximum Strength program. Below, we've first featured his original video, and then the subsequent video from just a few days ago.  First, I should mention that we put the cage/net back up in our facility, which effectively shortened the sled distance - so we just added some sledgehammer and kettlebell swings at the end.  Second, you'll notice that the weights on the sled are on the front, and not the back; this subtle change in positioning makes the exercise exponentially harder (especially on the floor and not the turf).  Third, you'll notice that his push-ups look a heck of a lot better, particularly with a ton of fatigue.  Fourth, he doesn't look like a newborn horse when doing the overhead lunge walk with the keg. Fifth, he doesn't stop at all to rest; he just crushes it.  Sixth, and most importantly, chicks want him, and dudes want to be him.

The Before: Alex "Nash and Burn"

The After: Alex "Straight Nash, Homey"

Alex has already moved back to Minnesota to start a new job; we're really proud of all he accomplished and wish him well.  Give our boy some love in the comments section.

Tonight, the rest of the interns have their "final exams"...

Read more

Stuff You Should Read: 8/10/09

A few good reading recommendations for this week... Sucker Punch: Alwyn Cosgrove - This is a fantastic interview at T-Muscle with one of my best friends and mentors in the industry.  Alwyn calls it like he sees it (which is sadly becoming less and less common in this industry).  He even gives some schmuck named "Cressey" a shout-out in the interview. The Influence of Strength and Power on Muscular Endurance Test Performance - This recent study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research confirms what we already know - but also gives a quantifiable number for which we can shoot when training for something like the 225 bench test - or even in dealing with endurance athletes.  Here are the sentences I like the most: "...the current research suggests that the initial goal of a training program to enhance muscular endurance should be to increase maximum strength to a point that the specific load being lifted during repeated actions is less than 40% of the individuals' 1RM. Subsequent training should then focus on maintaining maximal strength levels and improving local muscular endurance in the specific task." So, if your goal is to get better on the 225 bench press test, unless you've got a 562.5-pound bench press, it's still going to help you to train for maximum strength. And, more significantly to what we see on a daily basis, you need to get fit to run, not run to get fit.  A 200+ pound woman who takes up jogging as her initial form of exercise to lose weight is just asking to get hurt because she is far too weak for the load (at least 800 pounds of ground reactive forces) that is imposed on each leg with each stride. Someone like this would be better off focusing on programs like Afterburn or Warp Speed Fat Loss - which focus on using resistance training, interval training, and nutritional modifications to get unwanted weight off folks.


It's impressive how I brought this entire blog post back to Alwyn in a big circle, huh?
Read more

Random Friday Thoughts: 8/7/09

Back to the Friday randomness... 1.  A few weeks ago, Matt Fitzgerald (my co-author from Maximum Strength) and I filmed a series of "Monday Minute" segements for Competitor.com.  Basically, it's a weekly one-minute exercise demonstration and description along with the rationale for that exercise.  Here's this week's: Wasn't that fun? 2. One of the resounding themes at this past weekend's Perform Better Summit in Long Beach was "invest in yourself."  It's no coincidence that all the presenters at this year's event agreed that devoting time, effort, and funds to continuing education was a huge part of their success.  In a dynamic field like fitness/strength and conditioning, if you're not getting better, you're falling behind. Alwyn Cosgrove wrote a good blog the other day about how he and his wife Rachel have used this mindset to establish one of the best staffs of trainers in the country.  Likewise, Mike Reinold published an essential list of the best titles in physical therapy, athletic training, strength and conditioning, manual therapy, etc. here last week. Just being around guys like Alwyn and the rest of the presenters makes you want to get better and better, and reading stuff like this from Mike reaffirms that mindset.  Not coincidentally, this weekend preceded my twice-a-year book buying shopping spree.  I purchased ten books online last night and can't wait to start devouring them. So, I guess the question for the weekend is, "What are you doing to get better?"  Let's hear what you are going to do in the next week to set yourself apart in your chosen field.  Are you going to read a book?  Attend a seminar?  Watch a colleague in practice or call him/her to talk shop?  If you're not getting better, you're falling behind. 3. This is the most flat-out atrocious piece of journalism I've seen in my entire life: Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin Talk about skewing research to tell the story to which you're clearly biased  in order to generate some controversy!  There is no mention of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or the difference among different types of exercise (steady-state cardio, interval training, resistance training). There isn't any discussion of visceral versus subcanteous fat loss. And, it isn't that exercise won't make you thinner; it's that exercise combined with increased calories may not make you thinner. In other words, exercise is good, but morons are bad. This is a perfect example of a journalist who clearly knows NOTHING about exercise interviewing a bunch of experts and then presenting one side of a story without making some very important qualifying statements (trust me, I've seen this multiple times before when freelance writers have interviewed me for stories for mainstream magazines).  In this writer's case, those qualifying statements should be: a. "Research has shown that exercise in conjunction with a maintenance or reduction in calories does increase fat loss as compared to maintaining or reducing calories alone." b. "I really am in no way qualified to write this article.  In fact, I'm probably not even smart enough to turn on a treadmill, so they just put me on this hamster wheel in my cubicle to make me feel somewhat qualified to discuss exercise."


Honestly, I could go on all day ranting and raving about this, but such rubbish journalism isn't even worth my time.  Instead, I'd just encourage you to give up Time Magazine altogether for publishing such crap.  I know I will be doing so. Have a good weekend.
Read more

Maximum Strength Feedback: June 4

Another day, another happy Maximum Strength customer! "Hey Eric, Just wrapped up your Maximum Strength program and I was definitely more than pleased with the results.  I know it's a little weird that I switched up the box height on the box squat.  I switched because the pre-MS box squat was the first time I ever performed the box squat. Here are my numbers: Starting Numbers Body Fat: 16% Weight: 178 at 5'9 Bench: 215 Box Squat (24 inch box): 315 Deadlift: 330 3 RM Chin: BW+35 Broadjump: 87 in. Ending Numbers Body Fat: 10% Weight: 170 Bench: 240 Box Squat (12 inch box): 325 Conventional Deadlift: 403 3RM Chin: BW+50 Broadjump: 96 in. Thanks Eric! Mike Coval"

Click here to find out more about the Maximum Strength program.


Read more

The Anatomy of a Strength Coach’s Desk

The nicest thing about baseball season is, obviously, the fact that I get to watch a ton of baseball and see their off-season dedication pay off on the field.  Another nice perk, though, is that I get about six weeks to gather my thoughts, spend a little extra time on writing/consulting, and just tie up loose ends on little projects here and there. One such project from last week - which clearly wasn't so little - was cleaning my desk at Cressey Performance.  As you can see in the picture below (numerically labeled for the sake of explanation below), it was something that really needed to get done. anatomyofastrengthcoachsdesk 1. Water Bottle...likely from 2003. 2. One of my old business cards - and it's serving an important purpose: covering up the strawberry protein powder stain on #3. 3. Stained picture of my fiancee Anna and I.  For the record, she spilled it, and it was her shake - but this relationship isn't about blame, is it, honey? 4. That's a world record deadlift certificate.  I'm pretty sure it was a 567.5 deadlift at a body weight of 163 in my last meet as a junior back in 2005.  However, I've received so many awards for my devastatingly good looks since then that it's all a blur (kidding, folks; they were all for my charming wit and personality). 5. Fiancee's watch.  I've been engaged two weeks and she's already all up in my business! 6. Packing tape - to keep my mouth shut after my comment on #5. 7. Laptop, and I need a new one.  Suggestions? I'm too big of a wuss to make the leap to a Mac. 8. Ball signed by all of my in-person pro baseball players from this past off-season.  I get hounded all the time for my autograph, so I thought I'd turn the tables on someone. 9. DVD of my presentation from Ron Wolforth's Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp in December.  This set is fantastic, and it would be worth checking out. 10. Digital camera: quite possibly the most useful thing you can have kicking around if you are a strength coach.  It's an awesome way to give athletes instant visual feedback, or to take videos of "team building."

11. Cell phone.  Yes, I know it's white, but they were out of the black ones, and I needed a phone right away.  I make up for it by being a text message rock star. 12. Keys, which are under something, meaning that I'll probably lose them when I go to leave for the night. 13. Desk: you'll notice it isn't a very nice one, and the reason is pretty simple.  I'm a slob and don't really need anything better. 14. I-Pod, because I'm very 21st century-ish. 15. Waldo (of Where's Waldo? fame).  Actually, it's an envelope I should have mailed to my brother a few days ago.  Crap. 16. Royalty statement for Maximum Strength.  Since we haven't earned any royalties, I guess you could just call it a piece of paper.  Then again, reading these things is like perusing stereo instructions written in Chinese, so I'm assuming they'll always just be pieces of paper to me. 17. Sunglasses, because MC Hammer taught me that you're only cool if you wear sunglasses inside. 18. Two plaques I received for speaking at the Maine NSCA Symposium.  One of them was the first annual Dr. Richard LaRue award.  I definitely need to hang 'em up before I spill something on them. 19. This is a drawer filled with almonds, chewing gum, plastic forks, kryptonite, and Tony's manhood (he'll get it back when he stops listening to techno). 20. Basketball signed by the 2004-2005 UCONN women's basketball team.  A lot of the girls on this year's national championship team were freshmen during my last year on campus.  In hindsight, I never really got much stuff signed by the athletes with whom I worked, but this was one I actually got around to snagging. 21. This month's NSCA Journal, the focus of which was entirely baseball.  Some of it was good (weighted balls meta-analysis), and some was absolutely atrocious (the take on pitchers distance running, to which I am ademantly opposed). 22. Free t-shirts, quite possibly the coolest perk of being a strength coach.  Here, we've got shirts from the SF Giants (Steve Hammond), Nobles & Greenough (Ben Knott), and Stonehill College (Clark Leger).  Thanks, guys! 23. Sticky note...as if a note could actually organize me!?!?!? 24. Journal article on glenoid dysplasia.  I always try to have something right on-hand to read if I get a spare minute. 25. Business cards for local physical therapists with whom we work: it never hurts to have a great network. 26. Business cards for a local sports psychologist (all the CP staff members need to spend time with him to put up with my crap). 27. Dry erase board, also known as the center of my universe. 28. Health history for a client I had just evaluated.  I use my notes to write his program. 29. Signed picture from USA Bobsled driver Bree Schaaf - and it reminds me that I have a bunch of other stuff like this that I need to hang up in my office! 30. Lincoln-Sudbury Baseball 2007 State Championship Plaque.  Bring home another one this year, fellas! 31. Towel - originally brought to work for showering purposes, but it eventually got devoted to towel pull-ups full-time! 32. Boots that I should have taken home months ago when winter ended. 33. Warm-up pants that I always have on-hand in case I need to catch a bullpen.  Putting catcher's gear on top of shorts is not comfortable. 34. My supplement stockpile.  Chance favors the prepared mind, so I try not to ever get caught shorthanded on the calories front at work. Fortunately, this is all pretty cleaned-up by now.  I feel pretty out-of-sorts as a result, though!

Read more

Random Friday Thoughts: 5/1/09

1. First off, a little recognition for the Lincoln-Sudbury baseball team and coaching staff; LS baseball was was ranked #1 in Massachusetts by the Boston Herald this week.  The guys ran their record to 10-0 with a 12-3 win yesterday.  Just about every varsity player on the LS squad trains at Cressey Performance, and when you watch them get after it - whether it's the off-season or in-season - it's no surprise why these guys are doing special things.  Here's are the starting RF, LF/RHP, 2B, and SS getting after it back in early March. You won't find a high school team in the country who trains harder or smarter than these guys.

Keep up the good work, fellas!

2. One of the first things I learned as a writer in the fitness industry was that it was best to avoid writing about religion and politics. Still, I'm going to just come right out and ask: why the hell do we need a photo of a presidential plane with two F-16 fighter jets over New York City, anyway?  Are they trying to sell this sucker on EBay? This one came at a price-tag of $328,835 to taxpayers - and that doesn't even include the wasted wages on the thousands of citizens who fled their places of employment.  Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, this has got to make you want to go elwell on someone (inside joke, but I'm sure the rest of you catch my drift). 2. I've written previously on the tremendous benefits of increasing one's dosage of Vitamin D through supplementation.  In particular, it seems to have a great effect on chronic musculoskeletal issues, particularly in darker skinned individuals in Northern climates.  Well, add one more benefit to the list. According to British researchers, daily supplementation with Vitamin D cut prostate specific antigen levels by more than 50% in some patients with prostate cancer.  This marker is used as an indicator of the severity of prostate cancer. 3. I just got an email with some awesome feedback: "I just finished your Maximum Strength program and had great success! Here are the stats: Pre Max Strength Bench Press = 300 Squat = 350 Deadlift = 425 3 Rep Pullup = Bodyweight + 15 lbs Post Max Strength Bench Press = 335 Squat = 385 Deadlift = 440 3 Rep Pullup = Bodyweight + 55 lbs My weight stayed the same at 195 lbs at 5'10".  Thanks for a great program!!! -James Wigington" Click here to pick up a copy of Maximum Strength! 4. Someone asked me the other day, "when a person presents with little or no level of asymmetry, is it safe to say that no pain = no problem in this case?" My answer would be that it is definitely not safe to say that. While asymmetry is often a good predictor of injury, it doesn't tell us everything about an individual's current state.  A lot of folks have bilateral strength/stability/flexibility deficits, and it's just a matter of where they wind up breaking down first. 5. Movement of the Week: The Spin Kick (pants optional)...

Make it a TURBO weekend, everyone!

Read more

Quick Programming Strategies: 4/28/09

I figured I'd start up a mini-series of sorts here where I discuss some of the little changes you can make to programs to get big results. Many intermediate lifters get stuck in a middle ground with respect to heavy loading in their quest to build strength.  Obviously, they know that, as a general rule of thumb, they need to use some heavier loading at least once a week in the 1-5 rep range to build strength.  And, a lot of them (at least those who have read my stuff and other articles at T-Nation and EliteFTS) know that dynamic work - in this case, speed squats, deadlifts, and bench presses - is a great way to train bar speed and rate of force development - all while improving technique with submaximal weights. So, here you have two separate training sessions out of the week: one for maximal loading, and the other for speed.  That said, a lot of these intermediates also are still new enough to the iron game that they can handle a bit more loading in the 85-100% range. With that in mind, I'll often plug in heavy "work-ups" following speed work.  So, a lifter might do eight sets of two reps on the bench press, and then work up to a heavy set of 1-3 reps after those eight sets.  This not only serves as a way to add in some extra volume in the traditional strength rep-ranges, but also allows a lifter to build in some testing to the program and continuosly monitor progress. I'll typically only do this 1-2 times a month, and as a general rule of thumb, it will come in a higher volume week that follows a lower volume week.  So, in my high-medium-very high-low set-up, it would take place during weeks 1 and/or 3. For more strength building strategies like this at a great price, check out Maximum Strength.


Read more

Maximum Strength Feedback: 4/23/09

I got this email over the weekend from a recent finisher of the Maximum Strength Program: "Eric, Here are my results on the Maximum Strength program. Packing Day Standing Broad Jump: 80 inches Bench Press: 225 lbs Box Squat: 295 lbs Deadlift: 385 lbs ------------------------ 905 lbs total for the big 3 3-Rep Max Chins: BW (230) +10 lbs total of 240 lbs ------------------------------------------ Moving Day Standing Broad Jump: 90.25 inches (+10.25 inches) Bench Press: 275 lbs (+50 lbs) Box Squat: 365 lbs (+70 lbs) Deadlift: 405 lbs (+20 lbs) ------------------------------------------- 1045 lbs total for the big 3 (+140 lbs) 3-rep Max Chins:BW (220) +35 lbs total of 255 lbs (+15 lbs) "Thoughts on the program: "This is the first program I have ever completed from start to finish in the few years that I have been lifting. I always got burned out or got training A.D.D. and did something else. Not with yours. "This program was incredible. Not only did it feel great to do a specifically designed program, but it felt great to see my progress as I was doing the program. The gym I worked out in didn't have a power rack-only a squat rack- so I had to do some McGuyver rigging for rack pulls and pin presses. I wasn't able to do the Anderson Front squats and had to go light on the floor presses, but all in all, I was able to stick with the program 100%. "I missed about a week total of workouts due to a couple serious, family emergencies, but I didn't use that as an excuse to fall off the wagon. I pushed through and loved my results. "Thanks for such a great program, and I look forward to the sequel. "David" 5o pounds added to a bench press in 16 weeks?  Not too shabby!

Click here to purchase Maximum Strength for yourself!

Read more
Page 1 2 3 4 8
  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series