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BARBELL MEDICINE

With You From Bench to Bedside

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An Open Letter About Leaving Starting Strength

In late February, 2018 of this year, after a series of back and forth emails, I informed Rip et al that I was resigning from Starting Strength. Since then, there has been a large amount of chatter on the Internet about what happened and what’s next. This letter aims to address both topics.

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Our team of professional coaches will guide you through both nutrition coaching and online program design with remote coaching. With oversight at every level, you will be assigned a team of people making sure you get the best service.

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Coaching & Consulting

Our team of professional coaches will guide you through both nutrition coaching and online program design with remote coaching. With oversight at every level, you will be assigned a team of people making sure you get the best service.

Learn More

Latest From The Blog

Nutrition
July 20, 2018

How To Measure Your Waist Correctly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuwS7uL2s3I&feature=youtu.be If you've been paying attention to our latest podcasts, articles, Q/A's, and other content then you've likely heard us discuss the importance of waist circumference in determining who is a good candidate for weight gain and who could stand to lose a bit of weight. Waist circumference is a quick, low-cost piece of data with reams of scientific evidence relating the distance around your abdomen with health outcomes like premature death, diabetes, heart disease, stroke risk, etc. While the aforementioned disease processes have many variables contributing to their development and burden, we have large, well-designed studies showing that males…
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RecoveryTraining
July 6, 2018

Navigating Potholes: My Back Pain Experience

I’ll spare you my lengthy back pain origin story and set the scene in 3 bullet points: Pre-back pain, I was a pretty killer athlete with a promising future in powerlifting and strongman. Also pre-back pain, I partially tore my hamstring tendon, which led to hamstring and hip pain. I rehabbed my way back to the platform from this injury, but its lasting impact lay in the consequent mistreatment of my back pain by medical professionals. One day in the Spring of 2016, I “tweaked” my back on a heavy axle deadlift in a strongman show. I finished the competition…
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Training
June 23, 2018

Fear, Catastrophizing, and Training

Introduction Regular followers are likely familiar with our interest in a “biopsychosocial” approach to both training and injury, particularly the modifiable psychological factors that can have significant effects on performance, recovery, and subsequent adaptation. One important phenomenon we discuss frequently in the context of acute injury and persistent pain is catastrophizing. Catastrophizing is a complex psychological process (sometimes described as a cognitive distortion) in which an individual appraises a situation in a maladaptive, excessively negative way -- for example, immediately thinking of the “worst-case scenario”. It consists of three fundamental components: 1)    Rumination, e.g.: “I can’t stop thinking about how…
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Training
June 14, 2018

Novice Bench and Press Plug-In

Note: We published this protocol in the Barbell Medicine newsletter in March of 2018, but have since added some additional context, explanation, and recommendations for this intervention. Be sure and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest content! A novice lifter is someone who can add weight to the exercises being performed each time they train, typically every 48 hours. Ideally, the increased load functions as both a display of the strength previously developed as well as a training stress designed to facilitate further improvement. As the novice phase comes to a close however,…
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Uncategorized
June 6, 2018

She lost over 25 pounds and stepped on stage. Here’s what she learned.

Prologue  Alexis Irwin has been a client of mine for some time now. Together, we've successfully added hundreds of pounds to her lifts in total and improved technique, but the weight loss end of the bargain was always a little harder for some reason. Fast forward to late January when Alexis approached me about competing in a bikini show. If you're a faithful Barbell Medicine reader you know this isn't really my forte', as I've only prepped a handful of clients for this sort of thing. That said, I thought it would be a good way to boost compliance for…
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Nutrition
May 18, 2018

Does YOUR metabolism change with weight loss?

Yes. Your metabolism changes when you lose weight. Some of these changes are good, e.g. decreased fasting blood sugar, improved cholesterol measures, decreased storage of fat in places you don't want it like your liver and waist, etc. Not all of the metabolic changes are good however, and in recent times there has been much discussion and handwringing over the role of metabolic adaptation (sometimes referred to as "metabolic damage") in the setting of weight loss. The idea is, given that body mass is controlled by the balance of energy expenditure versus energy intake, that in periods of caloric restriction,…
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Training
April 1, 2018

A Novel Approach For Replacing USELESS RPE

It has been said that using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is useless for strength and conditioning, which has caused quite a stir between the Barbell Medicine crew and other coaching organizations because we had been using this tool with our clients to manage loading, training fatigue, and the intensity of conditioning efforts up until very recently. New data has come to light that have forced us to reevaluate our stance on RPE and ultimately replace it with a novel method that we've been working- The Baraki Exertion Scale (Figure 1). Figure 1: The Baraki Exertion Scale is visually represented…
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Recovery
March 21, 2018

Placebo Sleep?

A 2014 paper by Draganich & Erdal studied the effect of sleep on cognitive functioning in 164 undergraduate students - with an interesting twist. Participants were given a questionnaire in which they ranked how deeply they had slept the prior night on a scale of 1-10. Subjects received education about REM sleep and cognitive function, then were intentionally deceived by the experimenters to believe that measuring certain physiologic parameters would allow calculate how much time they spent in REM sleep the night before. Subjects were attached to various sophisticated-appearing monitors, and were allowed to watch their brainwave activity by EEG…
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News
March 12, 2018

An Open Letter About Leaving Starting Strength

In late February, 2018 of this year, after a series of back and forth emails, I informed Rip et al that I was resigning from Starting Strength. Since then, there has been a large amount of chatter on the Internet about what happened and what’s next. This letter aims to address both topics. To really understand what happened we need a brief backstory about the beginnings of Barbell Medicine. From 2008-2012 I was working as Director of Education for a large personal training company in Missouri while also coaching full-time and completing my Master’s Degree in Clinical Anatomy and Physiology.…
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Training
February 22, 2018

The Importance of Singles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6PU3mr0qy4 A little over one year ago I reached out to Austin Baraki in desperate need of coaching. Thankfully, he didn’t hesitate to accept the task and we immediately got to work. At first, he “triaged” my situation by correcting a number of technical errors that he observed after watching some of my training footage. After that, he made several changes to my current training routine; cutting out a lot of “fluff” and putting more emphasis on the things that mattered: the main lifts and their close variations. All of this made sense but one aspect of the program that…
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Featured Media

Your doctor is wrong about creatine. Jordan and Rip discuss common misinformation and conventional medical wisdom about creatine, the insulin spike resulting from protein consumption, and muscle protein synthesis on Episode 40 of the Starting Strength Podcast.

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