Austin Baraki

Dr. Austin Baraki is a practicing Internal Medicine Physician, competitive lifter, and strength coach located in San Antonio, Texas. Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, he completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the College of William & Mary, his doctorate in medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Movement Variability: Should we eliminate it, or embrace it?

Our attempts to understand and explain complex systems commonly involve reductionist analysis, whereby a system is broken down into its component parts for easier understanding. Theoretically, after analyzing and understanding each of the individual components of the system, we can “add” these understandings back together in a linear fashion and emerge with a complete understanding […]

The Barbell Medicine Guide to Osteoarthritis

Have you ever been told you have “arthritis” in one of your joints? Do you know anyone who said they have “bad knees” or who underwent surgery to replace a joint? Given how common osteoarthritis (OA) is across the world, the odds are that the answer to at least one of these questions is “yes”. […]

Abnormal Labs in Exercise Part I: Kidney Function

We frequently receive questions from lifters who see their doctors and get a variety of screening tests done, including bloodwork. Interpreting lab data accurately can be a tricky endeavor, particularly for individuals who lack training in clinical medicine. Simple comparison of results against the lab reference ranges, for example, is a recipe for problems ranging […]

Where should my priorities be to improve my health?

People are bombarded with conflicting and confusing information from multiple sources on health related topics. This makes it hard to recognize who to trust, what information to believe, and what to apply to your own life in hopes of improving health and longevity. With this resource we hope to target a handful of behaviors and […]

Pain in training: What do?

So you’ve been training, but have started experiencing pain. This is an extremely common experience that we get asked about on a daily basis. Essentially, the question is “Doc, what do I do?” Before we begin, we should point out that this will not be a philosophical magnum opus on pain and the human condition. […]

Crepitus: Expectations vs. Reality

Crepitus is the menacingly-named phenomenon of noises produced by a joint during movement. It is common to hear snaps, crackles, and pops when flexing or extending a knee or an elbow. At times, these noises can be accompanied by a sensation of mechanical stiffness. When combined, these can cause distress, evoking deep-seated fears people have […]

Navigating Potholes: My Back Pain Experience

The Shoulder, Part I: Scapular Dyskinesis

The shoulder joint is complex, and pain affecting its use in daily activities and sport is common. This article series will review common shoulder diagnoses, critically assess the associated narratives provided to patients, and describe their impact on real-world outcomes. We will begin with the assessment of the scapula and its movement. The interaction between […]

When Logic Fails: Part 1

Take home points: In the context of complex systems, logical analysis can be useful in generating hypotheses, but not for drawing conclusions with a high degree of confidence, because there are almost always confounding factors that have not been discovered or accounted for. We must therefore always be cautious with the claims and conclusions we […]


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 […]

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 […]


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