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The Beauty of the Bell Curve

By | Training | 2 Comments

By Austin Baraki, MD, SSC, ft. Leah Lutz “You refuse to settle for mediocrity in those around you, and you relentlessly push people to be the best version of themselves.” I received this compliment recently from a friend and client of mine, and it got me thinking. It got me thinking about my own experience with training, as well as the hundreds and hundreds of folks I’ve coached in the pool and on the platform. I reflected on all the lessons I’ve learned and I thought I’d write about it to provide some helpful perspective, especially for all the new…

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Starting Strength Camps in Australia

By | News, Training | 2 Comments

Tom Campitelli and I are going to visit Australia this January to hold a series of extended Starting Strength Camps. While camps normally cover one or two lifts, we will be spending approximately eight hours to go over the squat, press, and deadlift at each workshop. The hallmarks of Starting Strength instruction are the excellent quality of coaching and the favorable trainee-to-coach ratio. This tradition is continued with our Australian camps. We will go over the reasons why we teach the lifts as we do and then we will coach you on the platform to reinforce the material. The camps…

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The Fatal Flaw of (most) Physical Therapy

By | News, Training | 6 Comments

By Austin Baraki, MD, SSC This past week I was alerted to a new article in the journal Physical Therapy by Falvey et al. titled “Rethinking Hospital-Acquired Deconditioning: Proposed Paradigm Shift” (abstract, thanks to Dr. Scotty Butcher for the tip). It is an excellent piece in one of the leading Physical Therapy journals that provides evidence-based practice recommendations, and is worth the read if you have journal access. Many of the concepts in today’s discussion were previously covered in the sarcopenia article series on this site (starting here), but I’d like to re-iterate some of the points made in this…

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September is Strength Month

By | Training | 5 Comments

By Jordan Feigenbaum If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably have a vested interest in things pertaining to training, nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle. As such, I’m banking on the fact that you are likely “THE EXERCISE” or “THE HEALTH” person amongst your group of friends and I’d like to exploit that. Two weeks ago over at the Starting Strength website, Mark Rippetoe suggested that instead of the forum members trying to get him on a podcast like Joe Rogan’s, that we all do something proactive. He remarked: “How’s about you guys do something harder — and…

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Training in the Dark

By | Recovery, Training | 15 Comments

By Jordan Feigenbaum “Just keep putting in the work. You’ll be fine. You’re strong. You’ve got this. Focus, Jordan.” This was just some of my internal dialogue on the 25th of September last year (2014). I had just gotten done with some squats, which felt terrible at the time. They were heavy, painful, exhausting, and just about every negative descriptor you can conjure up- I was feeling that.  Those feelings pretty much describe my training during much of that particular meet prep, but then something even more unusual happened. I remember laying down to do some pin bench presses and I…

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The Double Funnel of Programming

By | Training | 7 Comments

By Jordan Feigenbaum This post was inspired by a recent Facebook post of another coach, Jacob Tsypkin, owner of TZ Strength when he mentioned the idea of optimal exercise programming resembling a “Funnel.” This triggered a previously stored memory where I read of Canova and Gigliotti, two very prominent international-level endurance coaches, in the book The Science of Running. As an aside, that book is an excellent read even if you don’t care about endurance sports at all. It’s very well written and both the coaching and physiology in there are world-class. Now let’s get back to the funnel. In this model,…

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What Happens When a Powerlifter Goes to the CrossFit Games?

By | News, Training | 3 Comments

By Jordan Feigenbaum About two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending my first CrossFit Games, held every summer since 2007 in sunny southern California. Let me just get this out of the way- I had a GREAT time. Truly. If you’re a fan of strength sports like Olympic lifting, strong man, or powerlifting then you’d absolutely love attending the Games. Imagine an exciting version of any of the above sports and you get a taste of the Games experience. It’s that good, both the crowd and vendor area are spectacular, and if you don’t read the rest of this…

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Exercise Recommendations in Primary Care: A Quality Improvement Initiative

By | News, Training | 5 Comments

By Jordan Feigenbaum, Emily Sanchez, Brandon Schabacker, and Movicque King Updated 3/30/2016 Readers, I’m posting part of a quality improvement project I’ve been working on that I’ve referenced in an upcoming interview. I’m putting this on the website so people can access it, if needed, in the hopes that exercise- specifically resistance training and high intensity interval training will become more widely recommended at the doctor’s office. That said, this article by no means encompasses my thoughts on optimizing exercise recommendations in the primary care setting. Rather, those thoughts will be fully fleshed out in detail at a later date….

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GainzZz™ in Clinical Practice Part IV

By | Nutrition, Training | 5 Comments

By Austin Baraki Sorry for the delay, folks! I’ve been busy graduating from medical school :). We’ve made it to the fourth, final, and most important article in our series. Before we begin, let’s briefly review what we’ve covered so far. In our first article we defined sarcopenia as a loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength/performance, and discussed the mechanisms that contribute to muscle protein breakdown. In part II we showed how to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS). We then looked at how this translates into muscle hypertrophy, and proved that “it’s never too late” – no matter how…

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GainzZz™ in Clinical Practice: Part III

By | Training | One Comment

By Austin Baraki In our first article we defined sarcopenia as a loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, and discussed how disuse, poor nutrition, neuromuscular changes, hormonal status, and chronic inflammation contribute to loss of skeletal muscle protein. In part 2 we explored a few mechanisms that stimulate muscle protein synthesis including resistance exercise, dietary protein (especially leucine), and several hormones/cytokines. We then showed how this process translates into muscle hypertrophy, with consequences for the atrophic/elderly population that proved “it’s never too late!” Today we’ll examine a few factors influencing skeletal muscle “quality,” then discuss the clinical diagnosis of…

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