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Placebo Sleep?

By | Recovery | 9 Comments

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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An Open Letter About Leaving Starting Strength

By | News | 62 Comments

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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The Importance of Singles

By | Training | One Comment

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 stood…

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The science of where YOUR pain comes from.

By | News, Recovery, Training | 2 Comments

Longtime followers will be well aware that chronic back pain is a widely prevalent, complex, and often disabling problem (see here, here, and here). A wide array of specialized interventions have been developed over the years, and many of these have taken hold in clinical practice without strong evidence for their effectiveness. This paper discusses recent data from trials on radiofrequency denervation as a treatment for selected patients with chronic back pain. The idea is to identify a suspected structural “nociceptive driver”, such as an arthritic facet joint or sacroiliac joint. This peripheral focus of noxious stimulus is often also…

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Barbell Medicine QuickStart Guide

By | Nutrition, Training | 3 Comments

Introduction Welcome to the Barbell Medicine Quick-Start Guide. Whether you’re here for the first time or a long time reader, thanks for joining us. We’re hopeful that this resource will be useful for you and we’re pumped that you’re here and ready to make some changes to your training and nutrition! First, a brief aside about Barbell Medicine for the uninitiated. As of this writing, Barbell Medicine is comprised of Jordan Feigenbaum MD, MS, SSC, Austin Baraki MD,SSC, Leah Lutz SSC, Alan Thrall SSC, Vanessa Burman RD, and Jessica Griffith RN. The company was formed officially in 2011 with the…

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Press Like A Pro: The Classic Press

By | Training, Weightlifting | 5 Comments

“How do I increase my press?”- The Internet Fresh on the heels of the 2017 USSF Fall Classic, a strengthlifting meet that contests the press instead of the bench press seen in powerlifting meets, there has been a big uptick in folks asking how to increase their press. After seeing some of the big presses this past weekend and the increased interest in USSF meets, I thought it would be timely to discuss some of the things I’ve learned about the press and how to improve it. For perspective, I took my press from 118kg (260lbs) to 125kg (275lbs) at a…

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From the Newsletter: A Word on Salt

By | Nutrition | 6 Comments

If you’re reading this, please raise your hand if you’ve heard the phrase “Americans eat too much salt” or, alternatively, that we should “cut back our salt intake”? Show of hands? Ah, yes- seems like everyone has heard that or even possibly said that perhaps. However, what does the evidence say about salt intake and chronic disease? The current World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation is that we take in 2000-2400mg of sodium per day, with some organizations like the American Heart Association suggesting that we should take in <2000mg of sodium per day. For reference, sodium and salt are not…

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Podcast: Should Kids Be Strength Training

By | Training | No Comments

This is a transcription of the podcast, which is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, or YouTube. But first, a brief comment on this topic. This is an 11,000 word “article”. Yea….it’s lengthy, but we only have scratched the surface. To be crystal clear incase you don’t listen to the hour long podcast or read every nuanced bit below, kids should be exposed to the lifts, but they can’t really train until they’ve matured hormonally. What this means is that it’s very safe for kids to get under a bar, add a little weight and squat, press, deadlift, power clean, and bench press…

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The Barbell Medicine Seminar: Explained

By | News | No Comments

We are very excited about our upcoming Barbell Medicine Seminar (Next one in Tempe, AZ in March 2018 Click Here For More Info). For those who still aren’t quite sure what the weekend will involve, we wanted to talk a bit more about the idea behind the project. For the past several years we have emphasized the importance of strength training for health and successful aging. We’ve written a number of articles, given lectures, and recorded podcasts discussing strength & conditioning as they pertain to various health conditions. However, we still get questions on a daily basis from folks working through…

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Q/A with Dr. Baraki and Dr. Feigenbaum

By | Nutrition, Training | 3 Comments

    Dr. Feigenbaum:                Hey, welcome back to the Barbell Medicine Podcast. I’m Dr. Feigenbaum, I’m joined here with Dr. Baraki. This is another Q&A episode, and we like doing these things- Dr. Baraki:                              Or episodes. Dr. Feigenbaum:                Episodes, potentially. [00:00:30] We have a lot of questions to get through, so we’re going to have a slightly different format this time. What I will do, is I will play moderator, the first tank-top wearing moderator that the internet has ever seen, and I will read the question. I’m going to give Dr. Baraki one minute to respond, I have a…

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