Missing Lifts & Lessons Learned

Not any time soon will you find me as the poster child on how to handle a missed lift.

Like you, I have my bad training days.

I’ll miss a lift, throw something, say a few words I’d never say in front of my daughter, pout a little ….eventually process why I missed the lift, digest it only to try again.

After reviewing some of my failed lifts, it made me realize as a gym owner, as an athlete, and as a coach I need to share this with my members.

Some of them I look back on and find hilarious.

But it shows that even as a coach we go through the same struggles each day as our athletes.

All to often social media is filled with the highlight reels of accomplishment, but not the struggles and failures that got us there.

As if it diminishes the achievement. When honestly it just reflects humility and shows we’re all the same.

Missing a lift can cause a serious mental block for the next attempt. How we deal with that missed lift can impact future lifts.

Record your lifts, to have something to reflect back on. Share it with friends, coaches, or send it to me. So you can learn a lesson from that missed lift, to improve and learn how to deal with it in the future


Best Accessory/Assistance Exercsie : To Build Strength



We’re talking pure, uninhabited strength! You want it, I want it, we all want it.

I’m commonly ask “what’s the best exercises to get stronger”.  Which is irrelevant question, what works for one does not work for all.

That said, I do have a my favorites that have helped me become stronger through the years.

I’m not talking about our traditional lifts, Bench Press, Back Squat, Deadlift.  Or even the advance lifts, Snatch, Clean and Jerk.

More so what exercise are the best accessory work, or some call auxiliary work, to help develop a sound, solid, STRONG base for strength.

The Single Arm Row.

One of the easiest, purist, bang for your buck exercises you can do in the gym.

Single Arm Rows (one arm rows) help us build stronger lats and rhomboids,  In turn allows us to push, pull, and squat more weight.

This is however an exercise EVERYONE seems to do different.  THAT DOES NOT MAKE THEM WRONG!

Different variations of the exercises and different placement allow us to work different muscle groups, allow stronger emphasis and focus on our weaknesses.

If its not something you currently add to your training, I would strongly suggest doing so.  


Hand Placment : Finding The Perfect Barbell Grip

In the beginning, we think its as simple as gripping the barbell and moving the weight.
Or at least I did…
It seems like such an innocent question, but its ask so frequently, its dismissed just as fast.
“Where do I grab the bar?”
I never really thought about how many times over the past twenty years I’ve been ask that question.
I honestly can’t think of any new athlete or new movement where this question has come up.
Yet I’ve always dismissed it as common core lifting 101.
The answer may surprise you, it’s that simple. Whatever feels natural. 
With the understanding that some lifts have certain parameters that are optimal, there is wiggle room.
For some of your most common movements, a universal grip is not only natural, but efficient and consistent!
Take me for example, I use the same barbell grip and hand placement for my back squat, front squat, clean, jerk, and my overhead press.
I also fine when doing push-ups I continue to have the same hand placement on the ground as when I grip a barbell.

Do you find yourself constantly moving your hands for your weightlifting?  It may help improve your lifts!


Bench Press – Your Do’s And Don’ts Checklist

Here we go International Chest Day!

Like any lifter, we all want a big bench press, I still remember the first time I got over 200lbs, I thought I had made it, that I was in the big time.

Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing, I wish someone had shared some bench tips with me. Its not as simple as getting under the bar and pressing it, there are mechanical processes that will DRASTICLY improve your bench press.

Let’s talk about my set up, more of a checklist I use when bench pressing. This is the same bench I’ve used to hit PR’s as high as 385lbs at 205lbs bodyweight.

Here’s what you’ll find necessary for the checklist.

First I want to ensure your bar is lined up evenly. Making sure your weight is not shifting more to one side than the other. Now I’ll get under the bar.

Once I’m under there is a few things that take place. My eyes are in line directly under the bar My hands are in the same position as my overhead press.

My Hips are in contact with bench.  My Thumb is gripped around the bar (no suicide grip) I’ll now use the bar as leverage to pull myself up, set my shoulders into place, I’ll press into the bar pushing my shoulder firmly against the bench.

Bracing my core I’ll arch enough so someone could run their hand under my lower back all the way through.

I will now walk my feet back being on my toes pushing into my body driving my traps further into my bench. In this position you’ll notice my knees are lower than my hips.

Now we’ll drive the bar up, lowering it down across my nipple line.

It’s important to point out that as I’m lowering and pushing the bar my elbows stay in front of or under the barbell.

PLEASE remember to breath!

You may find you’re already doing a few of these. This process has drasticly driven my bench press numbers up. Good luck!