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Eric Bach

13 Training tips to Relieve Knee Pain

14308297 - male athlete on floor clutching knee and hamstring in excruciating pain on white background

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Knee pain is miserable, especially when you’re trying to build a bad-ass, athletic body. And chances are if you routinely lift heavy, jump, and sprint, then your knees have barked at you a time or two.

Even more frustrating, knee pain occasionally comes out of nowhere to throw a wrench in your training, making life and lifting miserable. But, should your knee pain be a sporadic pain in the ass, it’s time to get rid of it. First, get checked out by a doctor if you think the injury is serious.  This blog is not meant to treat, cure, or prevent an injury, but only speaks to my experience as a coach and athlete. Moving on. 

This article gives you the tools to get your knees healthy, so you can get back to crushing your workouts. 

And if you’re one of the lucky few who’s never battled knee pain?

Even better. Follow my lead, and you’ll be a lot less likely to bust up your knees while still building and strong, athletic body.

Here’s a list of training tips to relieve knee pain for your workout repertoire.

Change your Jumps

Jumps are excellent for staying athletic and powerful.

The problem?

Jumps are stressful on the knees, especially multi-response jumps and broad jumps.

Multi-response jumps are multiple jumps performed in rapid succession, rather than one at a time. The problem here isn’t always the jump, but fatigue and a breakdown in technique. Most lifters rush their technique and end up minimizing hip and knee flexion on landing, shocking the joints rather than absorbing impact through the muscles.

Broad jumps are a standing long jump. While great for explosive horizontal power, lots of lifters only jump out, instead of up and out. If you just jump out without a focus on getting vertical height, you subject the knees to tons of shear stress at high speeds. No Bueno!

Either drop broad jumps if you have knee pain or focus on jumping “up” as much as out, with a low volume of two sets of three jumps.

Knee Friendl(ier) Jumps

Static Jumps:
Static jumps require you to start loaded, just like the bottom of a squat before jumping. In this position you negate the storage of elastic energy, making the static squat jump a great way to build static strength and explosiveness.

Plus, since there’s no countermovement, the jump is less complex. This minimizes the chance of poor takeoff and landing technique, like the knees diving in (valgus collapse).

Box Jumps: Box jumps offer a reduced stress on impact due to the box while allowing you to work on technique. Pause and stick each landing, then step off onto a shorter box. Don’t be one of those nimrods jumping backwards off the box for time, that’s idiotic and a good way to jack up your shins, not your vertical. 

Medicine Ball Back Toss: While not an actual jump, back tosses use the same explosive hip extension pattern as jumps. They’ll still get you explosive and athletic, but with much less stress on your knees. 

Hip and Glute Activation Warm-Up

One problem with sitting on our asses all day is that it decreases muscle activation in the hips and glutes.

Not only does this zap us of booty gains and more Jessica Biel-esque backsides (which is a terrible thing for Mankind in general), it’s a recipe for knee and back pain. 

So, in the best interest of humanity, knee pain, and back pain, spend more time activating your dormant glutes. 

During your warm-up, hit gluteus maximus and gluteus medius activation. This provides greater support to the knee (and lumbar spine) once it’s time to workout.

Pick one exercise focused on hip extension and one exercise on abduction and add them to your warm-up for 1 set of eight reps each. Instead of rushing, pause and hold position at the end range of every rep for activation.

Hip Extension Exercises (primarily gluteus maximus, also the hamstrings):

2:1 Supine Hip Thrust:

Hip Thrust:

Quadruped Hip Extension:

Hip Abduction Exercises: (Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, and Tensor Fascia Latae)

Clamshell: Bonus points for gazing into the eyes of passersby:

Lateral Band Walk:

Quadruped Fire Hydrant:

Hit the Bike

I get a ton of clients recovering from knee injuries via local PT’s and soft tissue practicioners. One habit working across the board for knee pain and performance is hopping on the bike for 10 minutes before training.
Activation drills are great, but we tend to fall in love with mobility and stability drills at the expense of basic warm-ups.
Before your training, spend a few minutes increasing body and tissue temperature while lubricating the knee joint on the bike.
Wear layers to speed up the process, break a light sweat on the bike, then move onto your activation drills and dynamic warm-up.

Improve Hip and Ankle Mobility

It makes perfect sense: When our knees hurt, we should focus our attention on the knee, right?
Not exactly.
With most injuries, problems can originate above or below the joint. In this case, a lack of mobility through the hip or ankle can be the root cause.
Hip and ankle mobility are common struggle points across the board. Thus, it would behoove oneself to improve hip and ankle mobility for performance and injury reduction.

Try these mobility drills out as part of your warm-up.



Wall Ankle Mobilization:

Put ya Thang Down Flip it and Reverse it

Yes, this is a Missy Elliot line, but I’m talkin’ about lunges. Forward walking lunges and short stance split squats lead to higher tibial inclination and shear stress. That’s a complicated way of saying the further your knee goes over your toe, the more stress there is on the knee. Now, that doesn’t mean the knee tracking forward is a bad thing, far from it. But, if you suffer from knee pain, I’ve found it best my clients reduce shear stress.
In the first picture, the knee pushes further forward over the toe when stepping forward. This hits the quads harder, my stresses the knee.
When knee pain strikes, reverse the movement to keep a vertical shin.

Deload and Change Stances

A lot of injuries are the result of never backing off exercise intensity or changing movement patterns. To be a strong badass, you shouldn’t be a one-trick pony. Get strong with multiple techniques of the big lifts.
If you’re a powerlifter it’s fine to specialize. Otherwise, change foot position, bar position, and technique on your lifts to eliminate weak points and imbalances. I wrote a full article on micro progression here.

Otherwise, follow a periodized program like and back-off heavy weights every six to eight weeks.
To eliminate the confusion, follow a program like my Power Primer 2.0 to make consistent, injury free gains.

Widen your Squat Stance

In narrow and high bar squats, the knee tends to pass the toe, increasing, shear stress at the knee. Unless you’re blessed with exceptional dorsiflexion and genetics, this can add up to excess stress and pain.

It’s a double-edged sword, but widening your stance and externally rotating your feet shifts loading to the hips and lower back. This hammers your glutes, hamstrings, and adductors, but also stresses your hip and lower back joints. In excess, neither is good, so switch up your squat stance to prevent overuse at any particular joint.

Hip Dominant and Hamstring Work First

Since deadlifts are more hip dominant, you’ll decrease shear stress at the knee while giving the glutes and hamstrings a huge training effect. Since most of us train what we see in the mirror (hi abs and biceps), anterior-posterior balances are common. Deadlifts and posterior chain dominant exercises fix that in a hurry.
Still, be careful and note how your knees react, as compressive loading during deadlift lockouts is still stressful. If this is the case, test out stability ball hamstring curls for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps before training, or avoid axial loading for a few weeks. 

Do Reverse Sled Drags

Sled Drags are one of the best ways to build massive quads without aggravating your knees. Use them before, during or after training for pain-free quad training and building massive legs.
You’re able to hit a huge training volume without a ton of joint pain as there is no eccentric stress. You’re pulling a sled against weight and the resistance of friction, making reverse sled drags one of the best pain-free quad builders.

Front Squats Instead of Back Squats

On one hand, front squats use a narrow, quad dominant stance that leads to more shear stress than most wide-stance back squats.
But, you’ll use less weight and thus, decrease compressive stress on the knee.
This provides an interesting trade-off. Every knee is unique, and some people struggle with heavy compressive loading whereas others have pain from greater shear stress.
Nothing in training is absolute and what works for me might not work for you.

But, the decrease in loading (and compressive stress) might let you train hard without knee pain. 

Add Single Leg Work

Single leg work is tricky. Too much, and you’ll overstress the knee.
But, more often than not, years of heavy squats and deadlifts have left you ripe with asymmetries and imbalances that if unattended, trigger pain and injuries.

I’d advise first getting to the point when your knee pain is no longer present. Then, add single leg work back in to address your weak points. 

Unilateral exercises like lunges, single leg RDL’s and pistol squats attack these imbalances by:

-Increasing balance and proprioception
-Training the lateral subsystem and knee stabilizers (adductors, abductors, deep spinal stabilizers)
-Providing a change of pace in your training

Start with reverse lunges and long-stance split squats. Then, use exercises like 2:1 accentuated eccentric pistols to a box to improve muscle activation and eccentric control.

Possible Supplementation to Improve Joint Health and Inflammation Markers

Make sure you’re covering your foundational basics first. That means sleep, eating high-quality food, and focusing on recovery. 90% of the time, this is what’s missing.

But, in the case you’re looking for an extra boost, these supplements might help.

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin (for their possible joint-regenerating effects). I like Stronbone from Onnit.
  • Fish oil supplements (to help balance fatty acid profile, battle inflammation, and arthritis)
  • Curcumin (to battle inflammation and soreness)

Admittedly, research is all over the board on joint supplements, but when I’m in pain I’m willing to test supplements that “might” make a difference. This is your call. 

Reduce stress, sleep, and eat well first, but understand joint stress is part of the game with heavy training and you might need to an extra hand.

If it hurts, for the love of god stop doing it.

A few years ago, I was sprinting, jumping, cleaning, and squatting heavy on the regular. Even after a chronic knee injury, I kept slamming my head into the wall.

One of the best lessons I learned from Coach Loren Landow was to take my ego out of it.
Amidst my bitching, he asked, “If your client had the same injury, would you do (insert exercise)?”

The lights went off.

Ask yourself the same question. If you don’t have clients, pretend you’re programming for your mom.

Even if you “win” and tough it out with a steady dose of Advil and Biofreeze, you’ll lose the long game.
Remember, what goes around comes around, especially when training through pain.

Don’t be a hero, no-one cares about the time you squatted through pain when you’re laid up after getting a scope and looking stone-eyed at three months of rehab.

Training Tips to Train Around Knee Pain

These exercises and tips aren’t only for those of us with bad knees, they’re essential in prevention. After all, the best way to prevent pain in the first place to take proactive steps. Anf if you think an injury is serious make the smart move and go see your doctor. And that means knee friendly training to stay healthy and performing like an athlete for the long-haul.

P.S. I know this was a ton of information. If you found it useful, please share and pick up a quick and easy knee prevention guide. It’s Free.

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How to get Shredded for Summer

shredded doorway

Can you lose fat and get shredded in 30 days? 

I’ll cut to the chase. The answer is “yes, you can still get shredded this summer. ”

But it raises the summer dilemma: choosing between getting shredded for the beach and the delights of beer and barbecue.

What does all this have to do with the choices we make on the road to becoming our best selves? Everything, as I recently discovered. My choices were starker than most, at a time my training had stagnated. I had to undergo the rigors of hard dieting for a recent photo shoot.

What I learned along the way was a revelation. And it can help you. Because I’m a lot like you: imperfect.

Here’s my story. It concludes with how I can help you apply what I learned. You, too, can get shredded fast.  

So please read until the very end.


Willpower is a Finite Resource

Willpower is the power to create change, even when you don’t want to.  

It’s the grit to suck it up and head to the gym at 5:00 am, even though you didn’t get to sleep until midnight.

Or switching to club soda after a single beer when your buddies are still ordering round after round of the good stuff.

And while these all appear like simple decisions, they’re not easy. Examples include your decision to take the train instead of driving to work. Or picking out your outfit. Or deciding what to eat for lunch (mmmm broccoli.)

My surprising suggestion? Automate.  Here’s how:

Set a morning routine and stick to it. For me, this is waking up and heading to the gym for 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio. After a few days, it’s  no longer a decision. It’s just something you do.

Set a deadline. How far away is that wedding or special event for which you want to look your best?  Start working towards it. If there’s no event or deadline, create one! This will encourage you to say no to the chicken and waffles temptation and stick with the egg white frittata.

Prepare. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t change to accommodate your decision to change your body. Like you, I went to a Memorial Day cookout. My friends were hanging in the pool, playing beer pong, and crushing handfuls of chips, burgers, and dogs.No, it wasn’t fun passing on a good time, but I made the best of it. I prepared for the razzing by telling told most of my friends I wouldn’t be drinking. Any shit-talk was over and dead before we got there. Then, I made a few steaks —  enough to be part of the event without being the macro-counting dweeb in the corner.  

Increase Training Frequency

Train more to get better results. Duh! It’s hard to beat this for a statement of the obvious.  Less obvious is why this is so: momentum and physiology.

First, training more reinforces your goal. We’ve all missed workouts. Suddenly, one missed workout turns into to two and you realize you’ve eaten like shit for a week. Keep the momentum going in the gym and good decisions expand from there. Hit foam rolling sessions or cardio between lifts. Warm up. Do something — anything —  to build momentum.

Second, increase the physiological responses to training. That means you’ll activate muscles and burn stored carbs and body fat more often. Since muscles contract with training, you’ll increase protein synthesis to hold onto lean muscle. You’ll increase exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC), leading you to burn more calories when you’re resting.

Try four 30-45 minute lifting workouts, two high-intensity conditioning workouts, and two low-intensity cardio workouts builds momentum maximize discipline and accelerate fat loss.

Example Week

Monday: Upper Body Push

Tuesday: Low-intensity CV, 30 minutes, P.M: Low Sprint

Wednesday: Upper Body Pull

Thursday:  Lower Body

Friday: Sprint

Saturday: Total Body Lift

Sunday: Low-intensity CV, 30 minutes

Drinking Really Jacks You Up

While it’s possible to drink — even get drunk — and still make progress, it’s a slippery slope. More often than not, a night out sends momentum barreling away from your goals. You know what I mean. Five drinks later and you’ve got an acute case of the “fuck-its.”

You wake up to an empty pizza box, skip your workout, and spend the next day on the couch. Now, I’m not saying you can’t drink. You’re a grown up. YOLO. But be reasonable.

If you drink, go with a vodka and soda with lime.

Or try a
Nor-Cal Margarita: 
2 Shots MezCal. Two full limes, squeezed. Club soda to chase.

Tip: Keep it to 3-5 drinks per week, max, and avoid drunk food. Want more guidelines? Watch my dude John Romaniello explain God Mode.

Do Shorter Workouts

When you’re dieting down, your workouts exist to maintain muscle, testosterone, and metabolism. That’s 95% of it. Keep the workouts short, sweet, and to the point. Each week had two upper body days, one total body day, and two conditioning days. Plus: 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio 3-4x per week.

But the workouts weren’t long. Many of my lifting sessions were 45 minutes from warm-up to cool down.

If it’s not essential, eliminate it. Pay close attention to your rest periods. Save for lifting heavy once per week to hold onto strength, keep rest periods 45-60 seconds on most exercises.Yes, you’ll have to drop the weight a bit at first, but you’ll eliminate a lot of wasted time scanning Facebook between sets.

Focus on the task at hand.  Get wired in knowing your workout is short, and put in high-quality work. Focus on the essentials. Eliminate the trivial junk.

Lift Heavy Once Per Week

During fat loss diets, most people jump into endless circuits and short rest periods. This is a mistake.

While some high-density work is okay, you’re better off keeping lifting for what it does best: Improving  anabolic hormones and muscle retention. You’ll get stronger as your diet creates a caloric deficit to burn fat.

Once a week, use a compound lift and push the weight for 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps. I chose the chin-up and front squat, but you can pick whatever you like as long as there is an upper body and lower body exercise.

Fasting, Hunger Pangs, and Dietary Discipline

I love to cook and eat. A lot. So it was hard to stick to my macros when dieting down, especially since I’m the primary chef at the Chateau Bach.

I adopted an intermittent fasting protocol, abstaining from food for 16 hours every day, and eating only in eight-hour windows. There are sacrifices in all diets. Skipping big meals with my wife, Lauren, was not something I was willing to do. So fasting during the day allowed more flexibility at dinner.  #Marriagegainz

Beyond sipping BCAA’s and creatine throughout the day, three strategies help me stave off hunger and stay disciplined.

Hydrate like it’s going out of style.

Most folks still mess up and don’t consume enough water. Aim for ½-1 oz of water for every pound of bodyweight.  Beyond the metabolic and health benefits of proper hydration, additional fluids will help you feel fuller, longer. If you’re still struggling, try carbonated water. The carbonation takes up more volume in your stomach to make you feel full and gives you a kick of flavor.

Eat “Clean”

I admit, I hate the term, but for simplicity, eating “clean” means natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein, rather than Ben and Jerry’s and stacks of poop inhibiting quest bars. Natural foods give you more bang-for-your-buck and fill your belly full of essential macronutrients and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. They are less calorically dense. Translation:  despite crushing three cups of spinach, they’re low in calories. So stock up on veggies and lean protein.  

We’re All Way Different

Dietarily speaking, your kindergarten teacher was right when she said you’re a special little butterfly.

But she didn’t know she was referring to your diet. What we all need to remember is what works for me, won’t necessarily work for you. That’s why actual experience working with humans—not just an IG account of half-naked selfies—is so damn important..

On one side of the scale image an ex-athlete, muscular dude.

He’s sort of a douche, so we’ll name him Chad.  

Chad has trained for ten years, is strong as an ox, but needs to lose the beer gut.

On the opposite, we have your aunt Mary.

Mary has been dieting for years.

But it’s yo-yo dieting. Mary has gained and losing the same 20 pounds like it’s going out of style.

There’s no way in hell that the basic “ bodyweight/lbs x12” calculation to determine calories works evenly for both Chad and Mary. Chad’s actually a bit easier in this case and will drop body fat fast if he lays off the burgers and beers for a few weeks.

But not poor Mary. She’s been dieting for years and as a result, her metabolism is jacked up and her metabolism is down-regulated. 

Basically, that means she’s been in a deficit so long her body holds onto fuel and her hormonal systems are jacked up.  

In this case, even calorie calculations that are considered very restrictive (10x BW/lbs for fat loss) is a lot of food for your poor aunt Mary.

This all brings me to my point:

If you’ve been dieting long-term, there’s a good chance you need to repair your metabolism.

Eat a well-balanced diet for a slight excess. Yes, this is a mental mind-fuck. I get it. And yes, the scale will go up—but that’s taking one step backward, repairing damage, and setting you up for ten massive steps forward.

Fitness Photo’s and Cuttin’….This Shit Ain’t Natural

I’ve never thought myself a “bodybuilder” or physique dude. To me, training has always been about building a better high-performance machine. But, I still train for vanity because, in the end, I want to look awesome in a t-shirt, and butt naked.  Or for a photo shoot.

So there was nothing natural about my photo shoot preparation.

But my basic approach didn’t change. It has always been to get amazing results through the ruthless execution of the basics.

Those fitness models in the magazines? The Ryan Reynolds in Blade or Brad Pitt in Fight Club?

These physiques we see and idealize are the result of incredible dedication. They work hard for a time, but the results are mostly short term.  

Ordinary people like my clients have the same issue. They can’t sacrifice their careers and family life to look their very best all the time.

I had the same issue with my photo shoot prep. But  I was feeling stagnant in my training. And I wanted to better understand the industry I work in, all its glory and craziness.

If you’re  dropping fat, depleting  your body, and improving  insulin sensitivity… you become ultra-receptive to both training and a higher calorie diet.

If you’re struggling to build muscle, your best bet is to dial back and go into a cut, getting to 6-10% bodyfat.  Then, ramp back into a muscle building diet. You’ll find your body is adding muscle, not fat, and at a much higher clip than before.

Diet down to boost your ability to build muscle. It’s cheat code for gains.


A few months ago, my brain was spinning. My business was growing, but I was spending all my time working with my clients to the detriment of my own training. I wasn’t in bad shape. But I wasn’t accountable until I set an ambitious  goal. Going through an aggressive fat loss phase forced me to take action and be accountable.

Finding Out What It’s Like

I have no intention of ever competing in bodybuilding. And I no longer play competitive sports. So the discipline required for the hard cut was essential to best serve my clients and readers.

I needed to better understand their struggles.

You see a “beginning photo” and a final shot. But but you don’t see the 5:00 am workouts or 1300 calorie struggles after a killer sprint session. And I won’t mention again manning the grill on Memorial Day while your friends and family drink beer and hot dogs, knowing you’re relegated to chicken and broccoli.

A Personal Challenge to get Shredded for Summer

Life is pretty cushy in 2016. Our biggest concern is what other people think of us, not whether we’ll have a fire to stay warm, or be able to impale a rabid Saber Tooth tiger before he rips your arm off.  

To grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, we need a challenge.

Adaptation must be forced.

It doesn’t come naturally.

Changing your body and going all in is one way to do that. When times get tough, you must persevere, kick the resistance in the face, and keep on  truckin’.

Bit I’ll admit it. During the cut, I sometimes wanted to quit.  And I fucked up a few times. Poppin’ bottles until four A.M. (because “networking”)  was not a good idea. Neither were the missed a cardio session or taking cheat meals a little too far.

But in all cases, I looked in the mirror and asked, “Really? Is that all you’ve got?”

Then I got back on track, made up the workouts, and kept moving forward one meal at a time, one workout at a time.

Push yourself. You’ll be amazed at what you accomplish mentally and physically. ‘

shredded, eric bach fat loss, fat loss, shredded for summer

How to get Shredded for Summer.
It worked for me. And it can work for you. Here’s How.

I’m giving you my top secrets to build your best body in the next Month 

Willpower is limited. That’s why having a coach is so important. Together, we’ll create the perfect plan that improves your life, rather than consumes it to build your ultimate body.

Apply Now: Only Five Spots Remaining  

The Power Primer: How an Embarrassing Story lead me to focus on Athleticism


( First, I have a story. Honestly,  it’s not a story I like to tell because it was embarrassing and a difficult time. Still, I’m sure you can relate.

At the end, I’ll tell you about my latest Workout, the Power Primer 2.0. The Power Primer is three full workout programs (36 weeks) of top-notch programming to help you build a body that performs like a top athlete…and looks good naked. But I’ll get to that later.  ) 

As a kid athleticism was never an issue.  I played a ton of sports, ran around the neighborhood making forts and playing pick-up games.

But, I was small and weak. Puny even. Especially compared to my classmates.

As a result, I was timed. I lacked confidence in how I looked, and how I performed playing sports.

This built up until at all once, it came to head.  It was high school gym class in late October. In Wisconsin, the frigid temperatures meant the ground was rock solid. Every time you hit the ground, it felt like falling on a pile of rocks.

We were playing flag Football…where the idea is to pull a flag rather than tackle each other into oblivion. Well, that’s the idea anyways.
Being a smaller, fast dude I was playing safety. My job was to run anyone down who might score.

The other team lined up and through the ball to Jason. Jason was the token overdeveloped, terminator of a dude that dominated every sport. He caught it and sprinted in my direction.
Soon, I was in the last place a puny unconfident dude wanted to be: between Jason and the end zone.

Jason had two options; race past me, or run through me.

Naturally, Jason decided I provided less resistance than a blade of grass. So he lowered his shoulder and sent my helpless corpse tumbling to the turf as he gliding to the end zone.

I looked up at the overcast sky. I heard the jeers. And then I lay there ,motionless for a moment.
Physically, I was a mess.

My wind was gone. I felt like I’d been punched in the gut.

My body ached and throbbed after getting tossed like a lifeless doll across the turf.

And that was just the start.

Mentally, I felt weak, pathetic, and insignificant.

I peeled my carcass off the grass, stumbled to a knee, and caught my breath.
As I stumbled to the sidelines, chin down and arm cradled at my side, the jeers and taunts grew louder.

I walked away from everyone: friends, teachers, and classmates.

I stood there, staring blankly into nowhere. I just wanted to be alone.

The skin on my cheeks tightened and my eyes got big. I held back tears of embarrassment. But my cheeks blushed, illustrating exactly how I felt inside.

eric bach, power primer, the power primer, the power primer 2.0, athleticism, power primer, the power primer, eric bach power primer

Fuck it.  

Why was I even bothering with this stuff?

Then, I snapped out of it. Instead of moping around and feeling sorry for myself, I got pissed.

Pride, passion, perseverance.

I heard the voice of an old coach saying these words. Whenever a game got tough, that was his credo.

That did it. It was a turning point.  Why let some asshole like Jason ruin me?

From there on, I dedicated myself to training.

To getting bigger, stronger, and better. To forge a body and will harder than iron.

Fast forward eight years. Sixty pounds of muscle and a ton of enhanced confidence later, I was a coach.

Sixty pounds of muscle and a ton of enhanced confidence later, I was a coach.

Helping athletes and other dudes get strong, jacked, and athletic was my passion.

And then it happened.

I was at a seminar, working with other trainers and a handful of coaches on sprint technique.

Problem was, I hadn’t done much in the way of sprinting, jumping, or sports in a few years.

Competitive and intramurals sports were over.

Now, I relegated my fitness to lifting heavy shit and the bi-monthly sprint workout.

We all stood in a line, facing the instructor, and began a skipping drill.

I tried my best to mimic the drill he covered, but to no avail. I skipped awkwardly, like a teenager who had just finished his growth spurt. Bewildered by my lack of coordination, I lost focused and stumbled over my own feet.

What in the fuck was I doing?

Rather than the athleticism I’d had my whole life, I looked like a convulsing teenager who had just seen his first FULL BOOB.

The same crushing embarrassment took hold. My skin flushed. This time, I cracked a joke.

It was my new coping mechanism. But I wasn’t really fooling anyone, least of all myself.

Despite a fake smile and a few jokes, my gut wrenched. I stood there, embarrassed and dumbfounded.

Sure, I was strong, lean, and pretty built. But where had all l my athleticism gone?

Further, I asked what’s the point in all this heavy lifting, counting macros, and dedication if we ignore the basic idea of improving athleticism?

That’s the problem I’d set out to fix. First for myself, and then for hundreds of clients who wanted to be the total package: strong, lean, and athletic.
Today, more than ever, many of us are weak. Many kids drop out of sports by age 12.

Overprotective parents don’t help. Neither do sedentary desk jobs.

Neither do sedentary desk jobs.
And despite the increasing popularity of fitness, actual sports and athleticism are quickly going down the shitter.

shitters full

The resultt?

A fair number of strong and lean bodies, but piss-poor athleticism and power.

To steal from Nate Green’s masterful rant titled “For the Guys who Don’t Workout.

“But you gotta understand the gym doesn’t define me. I am not my broad shoulders. I am not my six-pack. I am not my freakin’ biceps.”

Sure, your broad shoulders, six-pack, and biceps are great. But you deserve more. You deserve a capable body and the unconquerable will that comes with building athleticism and powerful performance.

And that means changing your training to incorporate values of athleticism, namely, explosive power.

After working with hundreds of clients, I’ve found that adding in explosive power to be the best method for getting what we all want: a strong, shredded, and athletic body.

That’s exactly what these five exercises deliver: a blend of strength, athleticism, and explosive power to unleash your inner athlete.

By adding these five movements alone into your training, you’ll be light years more athletic than the average meathead.

5 Power Primer Exercises to Build Athleticism

Jump Rope

Jump ropes aren’t a stupid tool you force-fed in Elementary school. They’re a badass old-school tool that boosts athleticism and shreds bodyfat.

Let’s dive into boosting athleticism first.

Jumping rope develops speed, agility, and coordination for sports. Sprinting is great too ( and I’ll cover it later), but for dudes who haven’t run around the block in five years, jumping into full-speed sprints is asking for injuries.

You wouldn’t jump into near-maximal lifting after a long layoff, would you?

Nah. You’re smarter than that.

The same philosophy applies to sprints. You must first condition your joints and ligaments, especially the Achilles tendon, for high-speed impact.

Even better, the jump rope is a one of the safest conditioning tools for two reasons:

First, jumping rope is a self-limiting exercise, meaning that when your form breaks down the exercise ends.

To be successful skippin’ the ole’ rope, you’re forced to stay in an aligned, joint stacked position, stabilizing your core under the load of movement.

bach performance jump rope, athleticism, power primer, the power primer
This teaches your core to hold position under movement while preventing the chances of overuse.

Second, jumping rope is low-impact despite a high number of foot strikes. This keeps the joint stress low and conditions the Achilles tendon for explosive movement. Achilles tendon injuries are alarmingly common in weekend warriors.

The jump rope provides one of the best prevention tools around. It is exceptionally effective both as a low impact athleticism and conditioning tool. For most, jumping rope two or three times per week for 10-15 minutes provides a huge boost.

Squat Jump

The squat jump is one of the best exercises to improve your power and get more athletic, especially if your gym doesn’t allow Olympic lifts. Squat jumps mimic the squat and a vertical jump, bridging the gap between jumping in sport and squatting in the gym.

In the short term, these explosive exercises improve your workouts by activating high-threshold motor units to fire and recruit more muscle during training. This means you’ll be able to lift more weight and stimulate more muscle growth and strength during workouts. 


In the long-term, you’ll recruit more muscle fibers with less effort.

This makes it easier to call all more muscle to action and smash heavy weights, thus helping you build a strong, lean, and explosive body.

How to do it: There are three phases: loading, exploding, and landing.

Loading: Set up with feet about shoulder-width apart in an athletic stance with arms up at chest height. The loading phase uses downward arm swing with flexing at the hips and knees to load your legs.

Exploding: Swing your arms up while extending your hips and knees, taking off on the balls of your feet. Extend the arms overhead and aim to extend the body with the ankle, knee, hip, trunk, shoulder, and ear all aligned.

Landing: Bend your knees into a squat position and absorb force evenly through the foot. Keep your chest and head up, looking straight ahead.

How many: Three sets of five reps with 60-90 seconds rest. Perform on a lower-body training day, before a squat or deadlift.

Hill Sprints

Sprinters have some of the world’s best bodies. And while correlation does not equal causation, sprinting is a basic skill in sports and gets you shredded.

So what’s the key?

Sprints create a physiological response like high-intensity weight lifting.
In sprinting, your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and hips generate insane amounts of force while your spine stabilizes and transfers power.
This builds stronger legs and youthful athleticism while triggering a massive hormonal shift in your body.

eric bach, power primer

Three hormones that help you look better naked are affected by sprints:

Testosterone – The major masculinizing hormone in your body. Greater testosterone levels improve your energy, improve sex drive (wee!), build stacks of lean mass, and cut body fat.

Growth Hormone (GH) – GH is released in response to large muscle contractions and is further stimulated by training without full recovery.

Triggered by metabolic stress, the stressful environment when you’re gasping for air and muscles are on fire, GH is referred to as the fountain of youth. GH slows the aging process, aid in fatty acid metabolism, and boost protein synthesis.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity – Huge muscular contractions stimulate improved insulin sensitivity, which improves markers of cardiovascular health, builds lean muscle, and carves body fat off your body.

Further, improved insulin sensitivity improves nutrient partitioning. That means your body improves at breaking down nutrients for energy and muscular recovery rather than fat storage.

What to Do: Hill or incline sprints are best as they reduce injury risk. The hill makes it mechanically impossible to over stride, decreasing the risk of the dreaded hamstring pull.

Further, running up a hill shrinks the distance your foot covers to the ground, decreasing joint stress.Sprint twice per week, as an individual workout or after a lift.
After a warm-up, sprint all out for eight – twelve rounds of sprints.

Here’s a sample six-week progression:

Weeks One and Two: Sprint 15 seconds, rest 45 seconds
Weeks Three and Four: Sprint 20 seconds, rest 40 seconds
Weeks Five and Six: Sprint 25 seconds, rest 35 seconds

High Pull

I love cleans, but for a lot of lifters, years of heavy loading and poor thoracic mobility make it impossible to catch the bar with the elbows up. Enter the high pull.

The high pull uses explosive hip extension, teaching the glutes, quads, and hamstrings to generate insane amounts of force while your core stabilizes your spine and elbows drive the bar up.

As a result, the high pull helps you develop explosive athletic power and builds a jacked and athletic body. After a few weeks of high pulls, you’ll notice thicker glutes and hamstrings to pair with thick traps and cables for forearms.

High pulls are great on both upper and lower body days. Since they’re explosive in nature, make high-pulls the first exercise you do in training to get more athletic with sets and reps like 3-4 sets of 3-6 reps.If you want to add a bit more size, add them after your main lift for 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps.

Clean Grip Reverse Lunge

Most lifters have tight hips, achy knees, a weak upper back, underactive abs and tons of asymmetries between their legs. If I told you I had an exercise that takes care of all these ailments and makes you more athletic and resistance to injury, you’d say I was full of shit, right?

Well, I’m not. The clean grip reverse lunge is that exercise.


Stronger thoracic extensors: Are you hunched over your smartphone reading this?

Tsk, Tsk!

Bad posture is an epidemic and we’re all guilty. To improve posture and shoulder health we need to train the traps, serratus, levator scapulae, rhomboids, and lats to hold position and prevent you from flexing forward. Holding the bar in the clean grip does exactly that.

eric bach, power primer, the power primer, the power primer 2.0, athleticism, power primer, the power primer, eric bach power primer

Less Knee Stress: Holding the barbell on the front of your body limits the weight you can use. That means less joint compression on the knee and spine.
Further, stepping backward keepings your shin vertical, limiting shear stress on the knee. By reducing shear and compressive stress, you’ll keep happier, healthier knees.

Better Abs: Holding the bar on the front of your body forces your entire core to engage, keeping your vertical so you don’t fold like an accordion.

Fix asymmetries: The clean grip reverse lunge requires dynamic stabilization and single leg strength. This works the major muscles in your leg and what’s termed the lateral subsystem, a group of neglected muscles (quadratus lumborum, adductors, and glutes) to stabilize each leg and generate strength.

Medicine Ball back Toss

The medicine ball back toss is one of the best exercises to get more athletic for two reasons:
1. You get to throw stuff.
After a long day, or just for the hell of it, it’s fun to throw heavy stuff around.
2. Explosive Hip Extension.
Explosive hip extension is the driving force behind taking off in a sprint, maximizing your clean, squat, or deadlift, and jumping. Adding a medicine ball is just another way to add explosiveness to the same movement pattern while having a bit more fun.

Instead of squats or deadlifts, add medicine ball back tosses in the beginning of your workout for 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps.

The Power Primer 2.0 is here!

Most lifters fall into the trap of endlessly pursuing one goal at the expense of all other training parameters.

That’s fine for elite athletes. But for the rest of us, we’re after the total package.

There’s no better tool to bridge the gap between the body you want and the athleticism you deserve than my latest program The Power Primer, 2.0.

I’ve created eight months worth of programming to get you Strong, Shredded, and Athletic. This isn’t a program for athletes.

It’s for those of us that refuse to accept pathetic athleticism a the cost of building your best-looking body.

It’s time to bridge the gap between athleticism and aesthetics.

It’s time to unleash the Power Primer and build your leanest, strongest, and most athletic body to date.

For less than you spend on protein powder each month, you’ll have all your workouts expertly planned, organized, and guided by a custom video guide from now until 2017.

Get the Power Primer Today

Athlete Strong in 12 Weeks, Power Primer

1. Gould D, Petlichkoff L. Participation motivation and attrition in young athletes. In: Smoll FL, Magill RA, Ash MJ, eds. Children in Sport. 3rd ed. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics; 1988:161-178.

Four Training Splits to Build an Athletic Body

The Power Primer

We’ve both been there. Your bar speed is explosive on every rep, and you’re adding strength regularly.

Your skin is tighter, shirt sleeves stretching, and muscles bulging as you’re building muscle and losing fat simultaneously.

You’ve got tons of energy, feel athletic, and are crushing your training.
Then WHAM. Like getting hit by a semi, your progress comes screeching to a halt.

Suddenly, your joints ache. Without four cups of coffee, you’re unmotivated, mentally foggy, and exhausted. You get through one or two easy warm-up sets and you’ve had enough–the gym is the last place you want to be. Suffice to say, your training sucks.

Except for the occasional finisher, brutal conditioning workout, or off day you should make constant gains and enjoy training. That’s why when your training takes a sharp dive off the deep end and your progress stalls it’s time to change.

Not just your grip or your stance. Nor a change from front squats to back squats.

No, I’m talking a monumental shift. A new training split. Yes, your long-term training principles should remain constant, but you need new methods. As long as you’re adding weight to the bar, moving like an explosive athlete, eating well, and sleeping enough then a new training split is what you need to build an athletic body.

The Power Primer, athletic body


And despite what some coaches say, there’s no one size fit’s all approach to training splits. A bodybuilder shouldn’t train exactly like an athlete, nor should a powerlifter train exactly like a weekend pavement pounder. Your training depends on your goals, energy system requirements, schedule, and individual differences.

That said, let’s review the best splits to help you build a stronger, shredded, and athletic body.  I’ll explain the good and the bad of each, giving you the knowledge to pick your next training split for an athletic body.

Either way, a new program is exciting—renewed motivation will have you attacking each workout with eye-splitting intensity.

Decide your goal, stick to sound principles, and pick the training routine that best fits your goals.

Upper Lower Training Split

Upper-lower training splits are a novel progression for total-body training splits to allow more recovery and training volume. Upper body and lower body days alternate for 4 workouts in a 7-day training split.

Pros: Upper-Lower training splits are a great progression from total body training and work well with most populations looking to gain size and strength concurrently. Upper-Lower splits allow greater training frequency for quicker learning and mastery while still using significant loading, aka big ole’ weights like a boss. Upper-lower splits offer a moderate training frequency and Moderate-high volume for gains hypertrophy.

Cons: There are unbalanced training times with upper body workouts taking much longer than most lower body sessions. Upper-lower training splits offer shorter recovery time between training sessions compared to body-part splits, which may hinder recovery if you’re not getting enough sleep, working on tissue quality, nor eating enough steak. 

Lower body training is brutal; doing it two times per week might be too much for the weak minded.


Monday: Upper Body (Push Strength Emphasis)

Tuesday: Lower Body (Squat Pattern Strength Emphasis)

Wednesday: Off/active recovery

Thursday: Upper Body (Pull Strength Emphasis)

Friday: Lower Body (Hinge pattern strength Focus)

Saturday/Sunday: Off

Total Body Training Split

Total body training splits are maximally efficient and train the body as a unit rather than it’s component parts.

Pros: Total body splits are maximally efficient for those short on time and looking for full body stimulation. High frequency of stimulation for muscles and moderate training volume suits many goals, such as fat loss, strength building, and muscular hypertrophy. Total body training is good for building an athletic body and allows movement training like sprints.

Minimized “fluff” forces workouts to focus on the essential, not 13 variations of lateral raises. Total body workouts are great for beginners, fat loss, and general health. It’s easy to integrate other training modalities around total body routines as most movements and muscles are hit during each workout.

crossfit, training splits, build an athletic body, athletic body, power primer, power primer 2, eric bach power primer

Cons: Low intra-workout volume will minimize metabolic stress related hypertrophy, so it’s not the best for your sweet, sweet biceps gains.

Plus, stronger lifters tend to struggle with recoverability from training legs 3x+/week. It’s a difficult split to train more than 3-4x per week without knowledge and self-awareness for auto-regulation.

Among all programs, these are the universal “best” for most busy dudes. They cover all your bases and eliminate the fluff. 



1.Power Clean 5×3

2.Bench Press 3×6

3.Lunge 3×8-12

4a.Farmer Walks 3×30 seconds

4b. Dips 3x 30 seconds timed set

Tuesday: OFF/conditioning


1.Push Press 5×3

2.Deadlift 4×6

3.Chin Up 3×8-12

4a.Plank 3×30 seconds

4b. Biceps Curl 3x 30 seconds timed set

Thursday: OFF/conditioning


1. Back Squat 5×3

2. Bent Over Row 4×6

3. Dumbbell Bench Press 3×8-12

4a. Kettlebell Crosswalk 3×30 seconds

4b. Hip Thrust 3×12

Saturday/Sunday: Off/Conditioning

3. Push-Pull Training Split

Push/Pull Training splits break training up by movement pattern. The movements on the posterior side of the body are predominantly responsible for pulling actions like deadlifts and chin-ups while the front/anterior side of the body is responsible for pushing actions like push-ups.

Unless you’re a glutton for punishment and want to try legs four days per week, pair legs on pull days.

Pros: Push-Pull routines are suitable for intermediate-advanced trainees. Push-pull routines are an economical way to train and allow for flexible planning. Moderate training frequency is better for skill acquisition, meaning you’ll learn movements and exercises faster.
You can combine push-pull routines combine with other training splits to create hybrid programs like an upper-lower push-pull routine.

Cons: Push-pull splits are limited with athletic populations unless you break up upper and lower body sessions. In this case, it becomes difficult to maximize training efficiency. Push-pull routines are a bit advanced for beginners looking to maximize their gains.


Day One: Pull (legs/hamstrings, back, biceps, lower back)

Day Two: Push (chest, shoulders, triceps, legs/quads, abs)

Day Three: OFF

Day Four: Pull (legs/hamstrings, back, biceps, lower back)

Day Five: Push (chest, shoulders, triceps, legs/quads, abs)

Day Six: OFF

Day Seven: OFF

4. Intensive/Extensive Training Split


These are my favorite.


The intensive/extensive split bases training splits on the neural demands of a workout. For example, a heavy/explosive day is often followed by a metabolic/higher volume day.

This also corresponds with conditioning.

So, a workout focused on jumps, cleans, heavy squats, and sprints is neurally demanding as it drains your nervous system. Without ample recovery between intensive training sessions, you’ll feel like garbage and injury risk will sky-rocket.

Instead of back-to-back heavy, you’d want to make your next session higher rep, less intense (in terms of loading and explosive exercises), and focused more on the pump.

Three or four days of training per week works best.

Pros: Intensive/Extensive training splits are advanced programming strategy for athletes looking to take the next step. Great for building an athletic body and training movement skills like acceleration in coordination with resistance training. Intensive/Extensive splits offer a sound progression for developing greater levels of performance.

Cons: Intensive/extensive training splits are advanced and complicated to design. IF your primary goal is to look great naked, you’ll want to eliminate *some* of the movement training and focus more on higher-rep work for better muscle building. Workouts are longer in duration on intensive days due to neural recovery demands of intense exercise.

Get Athletic an Athletic Body:

This example uses a Push-pull split (mentioned above) with movement training if you’re a competitive athlete.

Monday: Speed work (before if competitive, conditioning if non-competitive athlete), Olympic lift+ compound push exercises

Tuesday: Metabolic/ change of direction (before if competitive, conditioning if non-competitive athlete), Pull Emphasis

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Speed work, Olympic lift+ compound push exercises

Friday: Metabolic focus, pull emphasis in weight room

Saturday/Sunday: Active Recovery

 training splits, build an athletic body, athletic body, power primer, power primer 2, eric bach power primer


Look Good Naked:

This is focused on keeping you athletic, but a bit more on body composition so you look hot.

Monday:  Olympic lift+ compound push exercises, Heavy and explosive. Light conditioning.

Tuesday: Pull Emphasis, high rep (8-15+) and hypertrophy focused. Hard conditioning.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Olympic lift+ compound pull exercises. Heavy and explosive, light conditioning.

Friday: Pull Emphasis, high rep (8-15+) and hypertrophy focused.

Saturday/Sunday: Hard conditioning 1x, active recovery


5. Primary Mover + Opposing Supersets

Also known as non-competing supersets or agonist, antagonist supersets these training splits work opposing muscle groups together. For example, a dumbbell bench press and a chest supported row.

Pros: Non-competing supersets are good for building muscle and achieving training balance.

You don’t want to be lopsided or injury prone, right?

Increased blood flow to antagonist muscle groups may improve performance and metabolic stress-related hypertrophy. Non-competing supersets are flexible and can allow for 3-6 days of training based on training age. Supersets are easily done to maximize training efficiency.

Cons: Difficult to integrate movement skills, but you can easily use jumping rope or sprinting as conditioning as a second workout.  A bit advanced for beginners and tough to recover from for older dudes.


Monday: Chest+ Back

Tuesday: Legs optional Shoulders, sprints

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Chest/Back, sprints

Friday: Biceps/Triceps

Saturday/Sunday: active recovery/off


Training Split Considerations:

Above all else your training must be specific to your goal. IF that means getting jacked and athletic, then stop wasting your time on useless body part splits.

No matter how #beastmode you go– you won’t be a stronger, leaner, and more athletic by spending half your time curling in the squat rack.

How much time will you dedicate to training? Regardless of how “busy” you are you still have 24 hours like the rest of us. I don’t say this to be a dick, but it’s true.
You have the time to prioritize training if you want your dream body. Regardless, weigh how committed you are and pick a training split you know you’ll crush. For most dudes, that means crushing a total body training split so they cover all their bases.

Remember, a so-so training split done consistently is better than the best training split done inconsistently.

Training Experience: How strong and experienced are you in the gym?

For most guys, they’re best off crushing total body or upper lower training splits to get strong, explosive and athletic. Still, make sure you’re varying training as you gain strength and experience to prevent plateaus and minimize joint stress.

Recovery: The body is an integrated system. Rather than looking at recovery based on how your muscles feel you must take into account everyday stress, the nervous system, sleep quality, and nutrition.

For example, for a the past few years I crushed training in a high-end performance facility. That meant tons of sprints, jumps, throws, coffee, and explosive demonstrations. All these short, high-intensity bouts added up quickly, and I had to dial back heavy lifting, sprints, and jumps.
Now that I train fewer clients, write more, and demo less, I’m more recovered and can train harder more often.

Stress is systemic, everything counts and should be factored into your training.

Your Training Split to Build an Athletic Body

If your current training isn’t helping your build an athletic body, then  you need to analyze your training, recovery, diet, and supplementation to fill in the gaps.

It doesn’t need to be complicated– find a program that fits your schedule, allows hard, athletic training, recover, and stick to it for the next 12 weeks. Then, reassess things once gains slow down and revisit this article to shock your body into new growth.

thePowerprimer athlete strong

>> Get The Power Primer here <<

Most lifters fall into the trap of endlessly pursuing one goal at the expense of all other training parameters.

That’s fine for elite athletes. But for the rest of us, we’re after the total package.

There’s no better tool to bridge the gap between the body you want and the athleticism you deserve than my latest program The Power Primer, 2.0.

I’ve I’ve created a Full Eight Months worth of programming to get you Strong, Shredded, and Athletic. This isn’t a program for athletes.

It’s for those of us that refuse to accept pathetic athleticism a the cost of building your best-looking body.

It’s time to bridge the gap between athleticism and aesthetics.

It’s time to unleash the Power Primer and build your leanest, strongest, and most athletic body to date.

Think about it.

For less than you spend on protein powder each month, you’ll have all your workouts expertly planned, organized, and guided by a custom video guide from now until 2017.

Get the Power Primer today.

1. Gould D, Petlichkoff L. Participation motivation and attrition in young athletes. In: Smoll FL, Magill RA, Ash MJ, eds. Children in Sport. 3rd ed. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics; 1988:161-178.

Fitness Guide to Parkinson’s Law: How to Lose Fat Faster


Flashback to 2014.

My days all started the same: Up at 4:00 a.m., a cup of black coffee, and heading to the gym.

Then, in a caffeine infused blitzkrieg, the day was on. Clients from 5 am to 6 or 7 pm, with a few one-hour breaks.

These one-hour breaks were a godsend. Besides getting off my feet, they were long enough to do meaningful work but short enough to create a sense of urgency.

Bach Performance was a baby at the time, a spot for me to explore my brain and write about fitness to help my clients, friends, and family. But, despite a lack of time, I made big moves.

Fast forward to today: Bach Performance is my full-time job. Rather than five or six days and 50 clients, I hold a limited clientele with three to four days and 25-30 sessions per week.

My schedule is self-determined, and more or less, I do what I want every day.

But that also leaves me more time than I’m used too. There are no extraneous demands on my time, so common sense would say I would get exponentially more work done, right?



Logically that makes sense, but we live in an illogical world.

If everything worked as it seemed, we’d lose stubborn belly fat on the Twinkie diet….as long as calories were in check. By following progressive overload and adding 5 lbs on the bench press, we’d go from a Zero pound bench to 520 lb bench in two years.

That isn’t always the case.

Until six months ago, I had all the time in the world. I didn’t have as many client deadlines and let time slip through my fingers.

Instead of spending my time writing programs, I was geeking out to BroScience videos.

Or reading every Packers’ article on Bleacher report.

Or, #ing my face off on Instagram.

Then, the question hit me like a cold slap in the face: Why wasn’t I hitting my goals?

It wasn’t having too much time, it was a lack of urgency with the limited time I did have.

I’d fallen prey to Parkinsons Law. Coined by famous Brit Cyril Northcote Parkinson, Parkinson’s Law sits at the forefront of productivity hacking and is the focus on Parkinson’s book, Parkinsons Law: The Pursuit of Progress(1).

P.S. Get your free eBook 25 Expert Tips to Master Muscle Growth here. Offer expires 10/31/16.

Parkinson’s Law: ‘Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

Parkinson’s law means that if you give yourself six weeks to tackle a project that you can handle in one week, procrastination seeps in, the task get’s complex, and you’ll freak out until it’s done.

The same meaningless, productivity-zapping stress happens with fitness.

In particular, fat loss around the New Year.

Tell me if these proclamations sound familiar:

This year, I’m going to lose 20 pounds and look awesome in my swimsuit.

Reality: You can do this in two or three months.

This year, I’m going to workout consistently.

Reality: This year is a long time. Focus on working out consistently this week, then each of the following.

By assigning the right amount of time and focus to a goal, you’ll decrease stress and the complexity of said goal, increasing your chance of success.

I’ve seen Parkinson’s law crush the fitness goals of hundreds of people, all under the pretense that there’s always tomorrow.

There’s not. We’re guaranteed nothing and time in a finite resource.

It’s time to have a sense of urgency, working smarter and faster, rather than longer and harder. Here are the action steps you need to accomplish your fitness goals in less time.

P.S. Get your free eBook 25 Expert Tips to Master Muscle Growth here. Offer expires 10/31/16.

Set Tight Deadlines

Deadline set by teachers, clients, or bosses have an immediate sense of urgency. Still, it’s a new ballgame when deadlines are self-imposed. We struggle to attach the same focus and intensity on self-imposed deadlines.

This is what cripples most people from the start—they aren’t aggressive enough on their gameplan.

Try This: Designate time to your goal:

Three months to lose 10 lbs. of body fat.

Then cut it in half.

Six weeks to lose 10 lbs. of body fat.

“Goals are often something to aim for, rather than always achieve.” Bruce Lee

An aggressive deadline forces aggressive action, which this is precisely what you need. Channel your competitive streak and apply it to fitness.

believe, lose Fat Faster

If you’re a gamer, pretend you’re on a time sensitive mission.

If you’re an athlete, pretend it’s six weeks until the season starts, and your roster spot and workout bonus (there’s a reason for these) depend on it.

By attaching a sense of urgency and competition to your goal you’re setting the table for high-quality action and rapid progress.

Define your M.I.T.’s for the Following Day:

Pick the 1-3 Most important tasks (M.I.T.’s) you will complete towards your goal.

You have six weeks to lose 10 lbs, so we’ll start there.

Number One: Track your food and hit your macros (Mike Vacanti has an epic post here). Diet is king for fat loss, after all.

Number Two: Perform your Fat Loss workout, such as Blended Training for Fat Loss.

Number Three: Walk 10,000 steps.

Of these three steps, hitting your diet is the most important task for losing ten pounds, followed by your workout and extra activity.

Base hits lead to runs the same as homers do, and over time, many more runs. Focus on consistent wins on MIT’s and you’ll achieve your longer-term fat loss goals.

Own the A.M.: Be proactive, not REACTIVE.

Willpower is highest in the morning and the best time to take care of your M.I.T.’s.

This is the time to be proactive and take massive action towards your goals, rather than react to the demands of others.

Personally, my writing is 200% better at 5:00 A.M. than 5:00 P.M., when I’ve answered emails and had meetings. Later in the day, I’m much more concerned with what I’m going to eat for dinner and Snapping pictures of Rocky on SnapChat (bachreric, btw ;).

Yes. This is a real unicorn mask.
Yes. This is a real unicorn mask.

If I don’t own the morning, my days aren’t productive.

In Fitness, the same principles apply. My 5:00-8:00 am clients have historically been my most consistent clients by a mile, and it’s due to more than caffeine.

They’re proactively working out before the chaos of the day gives them a reason to skip.

The same applies to your diet.

If you wait until the end of the day to track your macros, you’ll skip it or way overshoot your numbers.

I can’t stress this enough, but for 90% of people getting up and nailing your workout early is a game changer.

There’s a reason Mike Vacanti trains Gary Vaynerchuck at 6:00 A.M., or that Phil Knight crushes his workouts at 5:00 A.M., and Richard Branson all workout early in the day (3).

As the day goes on more important work crisis come up and give you an easy (albeit lame) excuse to skip your training.

Eliminate the issue and start training early in the morning. These tips here will help.

Eliminate Distractions

“It’s hip to focus on getting things done, but this can only happen when we remove static and distraction. “ – Tim Ferriss

In today’s fast-paced world, having internal focus is a rarity.

It’s sad, but true.

Rather than falling prey to internal A.D.D., take action and eliminate the noise.

To get anything meaningful accomplished discipline alone won’t cut it. Instead, take action to end distractions. To get work done, use websites like Self-Control and throw your phone in another room.

When you’re working out, leave your iPhone in your bag pick up a don’t skip more than two songs and leave your phone in your gym bag.

For fitness information, pick out two websites and eliminate the rest. Program hopping and yo-yo dieting are huge reason people never see results. Don’t even risk falling in love with the next big fad diet.

Most programs from good coaches work well, follow them to their completion and eliminate distractions.

We’re an ADD-ridden bunch and we’ll get lost for hours on LOLCatz if allowed. Eliminate distractions and focus on the essential.

P.S. Get your free eBook 25 Expert Tips to Master Muscle Growth here. Offer expires 10/31/16.

Attach a Reward

All goals are reward driven.

There’s an emotional key behind every goal whether it’s more confidence, better health, finding love or being more attractive.

There are also external rewards. As psychologist B.F. Skinner puts it, positive reinforcement strengths a behavior by providing a reward for completing a task.

In school, this could have been a pizza party for turning all your homework in on time.


pizza, lose Fat Faster, Parkinsons law

Or, getting A and a star sticker on each assignment.

“The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.“ BF Skinner

As external rewards apply to fitness, I won’t advocate pizza for reach workout, but you can attach external rewards.

Small rewards like a compliment from a coworker or social reinforcement on Facebook are important.

Bigger rewards, like winning cash in a transformation content, buying new clothes at the end of a diet, or going to the beach for a long weekend and kickin’ back a few cocktails in your new bikini, are also important.

Whatever your goal, understand what emotionally drives your decision. Then, apply extrinsic rewards that reinforce and motivate you to take massive action. With an aggressive timeline, social support and rewards push you to achieve more in less time.

Take Action and Lose Fat Faster

Parkinson’s law is more than a productivity theory for entrepreneurs, it’s a thought process that forces you to take positive action in all areas of life.

Set a tight deadline, focus on the essential, take action, and set-up rewards to make it happen.


Are you struggling to set goals, hit deadlines, and build your best body?

Sick of spinning your wheel and not seeing results despite your hard work?

Join Bach Performance Elite Online Training for the expert coaching, accountability, and motivation to build your best body. Only two spots left this month, apply here: Elite Online Coaching 



Links and Helpful Resources:

  1. Parkinsons Law: Read the Full book here.
  1. Bruce Lee: My daily reading is Striking Thoughts. Be like water my friends.
  2. Seriously, check out this list of Successful people who workout early.
  3. Tim Ferriss: Four Hour WorkWeek
  1. We all need a basic understanding of Human Psychology. This article and this book are good places to start


The Fitness Myth That Kills Progress


There is a fitness perpetuated by the fitness industry.

No one is innocent.

Not me, you, expert coaches, powerlifters, athletes, CrossFitters, bro’s and lady bro’s.

It leads to information overload and the frustration of pulling your hair out and worrying that you’re doing it all wrong. It leads you to ditch your diet for the next cure-all diet plan, the next perfect workout, and another 6-week empty promise.

You’re constantly bombarded with information, leading to yo-yo diets, overuse injuries, and ineffective training.
You know the feeling. When you’re sitting with your coffee, digging into your reading list.

Your hands jitter, your mind races like a meth-laden hamster stuck on his wheel. More often than not, you’re …do I have it all wrong? 
Am I not doing enough?

I read squats are good, let’s do 10×10 instead of 3×8.

Sprints too, how about hill sprints after squats? We fall into a trap that if “some” workout is good, then doubling its intensity or volume is even better.

Which all leads me to the title of this post: The Biggest Fitness Myth Killing your progress.

If a little is good, then more is better.

Applied outside of fitness justifying the “for more is better” idea seems ludicrous, but logic is perpetually ignored when it comes to training.

If two beers gets you buzzed, then let’s drink six and a do Power Hour!

If you need you need to get from home to work and back, a Honda will do, but why not a Porsche? Who cares if the lease is as more than your rent #yolo.

Neither of these (well, maybe beer) sounds like a good idea.

So why do we ignore common sense when it comes to training?

Now, we have power clean timed trials and box jump competitions and ultra-complex hybrid programs like Carb-cycling complex training cross-pollinated with German volume training.

Yep, it’s really shitty.

Quality has gone out the window, overtaken by the endless chase for excess under the false premise that more is better.

Quality Over Quantity: The Key to Crushing the Biggest Fitness Myth

Training is a double-edged sword. One part is stress to produce a training stimuli, while the other half is recovery. But hard training rarely, if ever is the missing component. Quality training and recovery are.

The harder you train, the more you must recover. Conversely, when you train hard without an adequate focus on recovery, you’re taking one step forward and two steps back.

Obviously, you want to make gains as fast as possible. That’s why I’m going to cover the sexy process of training and adaptation, giving you the strategies to keep your training fun, effective, and maximize your time in the gym.

Want to Simplify your Fitness and start making progress today? Click Here.

How to Make Progress in the Gym

Making progress requires the stimulus from training and adequate recovery to make you stronger, leaner, and hotter.

Side note: How fucking awesome is this picture?


Without recovery, there won’t be progress!

GAS: General Adaptation Syndrome

Back in the day, a smart dude named Hans Selye described what’s now known as the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). The body responds to a state of responses (one workout.) It also responds to adaptations (a collection of workouts.) All this happens after exposure to a stressor, the training itself.

This is where it gets real. Your body goes through three stages from training and recovery:
* There isn’t enough stress to stimulate change (undertraining)
* The perfect amount of stress and recovery, contributing to the holy unveiling of gains (perfect)
* and the last one, too much stress with insufficient recovery. This leads to…death, (overtraining.)

Per the examples above, it’s best to shoot for the middle– optimal training and recovery. So the real secret is training and recovering enough to stimulate, but not annihilate your body.

The keys? Consistency and micro-progressions.

Consistency Over Time Gets you Massive Gains

Saying consistency is key is not as sexy as saying: “100x sit-ups/day gives you those sexy v-lines on your tummy that look really good on spring break, ” but ask yourself:

What are you goals?

What are your actions, or what are you currently doing to make big things happen?

Now, do your actions match your goals?

Match your actions to your goals.

Now, keep doing them for weeks, months, and years. Applied to your training, these simple tips will these simple tips will get you leaner, stronger, more muscular, or more athletic. Whatever your goal is, crush it consistently.

Stick with a Body Composition Goal for at Least Twelve Weeks

One of the questions I ask my coaching applicant is, “If we were to meet in twelve weeks, how would you want your body to change? ”

Ask yourself the same question right now, and write it down.

This creates the picture of where you want to go and pushes you to focus on one clear goal: losing fat, building muscle, building strength, or improving athleticism. Now, that doesn’t mean they can’t make progress in all these areas. But having a singular focus sets you up for success.

Even more, all goals take time to see what works. Your diet needs 1-2 weeks, and training 3-4 week before you can really see how your body is adapting.

Want to Simplify your Fitness and start making progress today? Click Here.

Making changes before that is a mistake. Once you’ve given your body time, then make small changes to push results.

For fat loss, this could be finding the right caloric deficit to trigger fat loss and get the scale moving.

For building muscle, it could be finding you need 500 more calories, not 200 more calories to make the scale budge and actually pack some meat onto those toothpicks hanging from your shoulders.

Without a singular focus, it’s impossible to make serious progress in any direction. In essence, you go one mile wide, and one inch deep.

Spend time to find what’s working, then go all out for twelve weeks in one direction.

Stick With a Program for 4-6 Weeks, Minimum

Per my last point, keep a body composition goal like losing bodyfat or building muscle for at least twelve weeks before switching gears. Within that time frame you have options and can change programs, but keep each for 4-6 weeks as long as they’re still focused on the primary body composition goal.

To quote Dan John, “Everything works for six weeks.”

Four to six weeks gives you the stimulus you need to train and adapt, yet a view of the end to keep you motivated and entertained with your programming.

Further, the effectiveness of many programs takes one or two weeks after its completion to become apparent. Without completing a program, you never give your body a chance to super-compensate and make progress.

On a side note, everything I mentioned here applies to a diet, whether it’s IIFYM, intermittent fasting, or six meals per day. You must give your body time to adapt and results to take hold.


It’s best to stay consistent with your lifts and rep schemes for the duration of a program. Program hopping has kept tens of millions of people smaller, weaker, and fatter. Conversely, a few basic programs have made millions stronger, leaner, and bigger by doing less, but better.

Within a program, keep the changes small. The right amount of change prevents boredom to keep you motivated while too much blurs your goal and prevents adaptation. Here are the best micro-progressions.

Change Stance or Grip Every Few Weeks

The more advanced the lifter, the more variation they can handle and in some cases, need. But I’m not referring to completely changing exercises and technique like moving from a back squat to front squat.

Instead, make small changes within an exercise.

Move from your bench press grip in two inches.

Narrow up your squat stance.

Externally rotate your toes slightly on a conventional deadlift.

A slight change is enough to change muscle recruitment patterns to break a plateau without completely changing your program.

Cover Diet Basics First

Eat one “fist” size servings vegetables with every meal.

Drink half your body weight in oz of water.

Eat 1 g of protein, or 1 “fist” size serving with every meal.

Until you’re doing those three things, you don’t need supplements. On the note of supplements…

Add One New Supplement at a Time

Most of my fellow trainers will nod their heads in agreement when I say: we get more questions on supplements than all other fitness related topics combined.

Like making changes in training or a diet, the best way to tell if something is working is only change one factor at a time.

Say you read an article recommending you take Athletic Greens, Creatine, Whey protein, and fish oil as supplements to improve performance and health.


Rather than taking them all right away, do it this way:

Day 1-7: Start with a Greens Supplement

Note any changes: More energy, clearer skin, better digestion?

Day 8-14: Add in Whey Protein

Note any changes: Less muscle soreness, improved performance?

Day 15-30: Add Creatine

Note any changes: Improved strength and power, Increased bodyweight, Improved cognitive function?

Day 30-40: Add Fish Oil

Note any changes: Less joint pain, better cognitive function?

Even seven days isn’t a long time to adjust to a new supplement, especially with supplements predicated on health like Greens or Fish oil. But, If you don’t test each product individually you’ll never know how you react.

If you don’t know how you react, then you’re throwing money away, or attributing success to something that just doesn’t work for you.

Pick “One” Free Training Day Every Two Weeks

Once every two weeks on a Saturday, train completely free from your program.

This isn’t the time to go find a 1-rep max; rather, time to play around with a new technique, 6 bicep curl variations you’ve been craving, or work on exercises that are “fun.” Rake an hour and do curls, lateral raises, and calf raises if it makes you happy.

Hell, go spar and join a fight club, just enjoy yourself.

nutrition myth

The best bodies are built by those who work in the direction of their goals. And at the same time, find joy in working towards achieving your six-pack, new deadlift P.R., or adding ten pounds of sweet, sweet gains.

It’s rare to find someone consistently doing things they hate, so give yourself a break and have fun training. You’ll build a wave of momentum that keeps you working hard and consistent.

Overcoming the Biggest Fitness Myth

If a little is good, then more must be better.


Higher quality work and intelligent training and nutrition to support your goals is better.

Consistently crushing workouts that support your goals is better. Then, make micro-progressions to stay motivated, keep training fun, and build a bad-ass body.

A final note. Are you part of our private Facebook group yet?


Click here to join us. It’s free. And will help you look better naked 🙂

Our community is focused on simplifying fitness so you build your strongest, leanest, and most athletic body…without all the information overload.

How to Develop Rotational Power

athletic d

What is rotational power? And why is it important for athletes, trainers, and people who want to improve their athleticism?

Kennet Waale explains in this extended guest post that comes complete with videos, tutorials, and a sample workout.

Over to you, Kennet.

Developing rotary power can improve hitting real world strength, overall athleticism, agility, and even straight-line sprinting speed.

Yet it is neglected. What gives?

All movements involve some level of rotation.

This happens either through a concentric muscular contraction creating the rotation like a swing, or by controlling the movements in an eccentric manner followed by an isometric contraction. The ability to create and transfer these forces come from efficient movement and the ability to disassociate and integrate the torso and hips at the right times.

Why The Consensus Is Wrong

There’s a common belief that improvements in the gym will lead to improvements on the track or field, or in daily living. This will happen in an exponential and linear way. All that’s needed is strength exercise, which will be highly transferable.

There is some truth to this. But there is also an unfortunate reality: the exercises we perform in the gym in no way replicate how power and forces are often created on the athletic playing field (Shepherd 2004; Siff et al. 1998).

But it’s complicated.

If you are an Olympic weightlifter or a powerlifter, the transferability from strength exercise to your sport is obviously high. On the flip side, planning is tricky when dealing with rugby or soccer players who run a lot and have frequent changes of direction.

Questions To Consider

How do you get strong?

Improve motor unit and muscle fiber recruitment (using more muscle fibers) and improve technique.

This increases your ability to produce force and hoist bigger weights. But would this be a worthwhile endeavor from a pure power production point of view if,  for instance, an athlete couldn’t transfer the added strength into his sprinting technique?

Would getting stronger in big lifts like the squat really make performance that much better if it didn’t improve sprinting technique?

Consider these questions:

  • Does the athlete have to overcome a large initial load such as a second rower in Rugby? Or an American example, is this person a lineman and has to overcome a defensive lineman?
  • Is the athlete a 100m sprinter and only has to overcome gravity – bodyweight and some frictional forces?
  • Do you play golf or baseball, where you need rotational power and strength? 
  • What is the predominant energy system requirement – is it ATP-PCr or Aerobic? Basically, do you play explosive sports or longer-duration sports?


Strength and power production are important. But past a certain baseline level, they won’t  improve performance unless they are sport-specific. 

Stability, general strength and pure rotary movement exercises are all important components of developing rotary power. This can be done through the use of various tools such as bodyweight, cable machines, resistance bands, kettlebells and barbells.

Disassociation of the Thorax and Hips

Disassociation is the ability to separate two corresponding regions of the body. The movements needed to produce rotational power (i.e in golf and baseball) come from adequate levels of disassociation.

Athletes who know how to disassociate the torso and the hips will increase the distance between the shoulders and hips as they turn.

This will maximize the rotational components and allow for powerful coiling and acceleration of the body for better power performance.

Disassociation without the ability to fully control acceleration and deceleration will not improve performance. It is therefore of utmost importance that you pay attention to integrating the torso and hips, too.

Use these two drills to improve your disassociation.


Integration of the Thorax and Hips

Efficient force transmission is a key component for power development.

Integration of the body can be as simple as practicing technique, like swinging a baseball bat to help the muscles used in rotation fire together faster and more efficiently.

Have you ever seen Charles Barkley’s’ excuse for a golf swing?

That’s poor dissociation–highlighting a need for better movement efficiency.

For Fitness Nerds Only: A Graph!

I was first introduced to the concept shown in the graph below while I was still at university.  It describes the stimulus, recovery and adaptation over time for various aspects of training.

 SRA Graph

Curve 1 in blue describes technique training. This would be considered to be higher skill and low intensity for beginners,  and lower skill and low intensity for those more rounded. The recovery time is short and the adaptations take place with little to no recovery  needed (due to the little demand from external loads.)

Curve 2 in red describes hypertrophy training. This requires slightly more external load and volume. Technique is still an important focus, but the recovery time is slightly longer due to the increased intensity and volume. This makes the second curve either a lower skill and high intensity,  or higher skill and low intensity. It depends on the level of development of the client. The recovery time is slightly longer and the frequency is set to 2-4 days per week.

Curve 3 in green describes maximal neural output and force production. The curve requires a high-intensity level and can be classified due to the recovery time from the stimulus. Depending on the level of development and sport at hand, this can be either classified as a high skill and high intensity or lower skill and high-intensity curve.

Building Anti-Rotation and Rotational Stability

Stability is a key component in maximizing efficiency of movement. Many of the people who walk through the doors at our facility partake in a rotary activity. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Rugby athletes are two examples. But, everyday folks training move and look better naked also experience rotation daily and must be stable to prevent injury.

Beyond injury prevention, we want to improve force transmission from head to toe throughout your body.

This helps you maximize power in rotational movements like a golf swing.

But there’s a catch: You must first be stable to prevent rotation before maximizing rotational power. 

Below is a list of exercises that you could implement to maximize the stability foundation. If short on time – these are also excellent fillers in between other main exercises

Supine Exercises:

Cry Babies

1/4 Turkish Get Ups

Quadruped Exercises:

Bird Dog w/Cone

Bear Crawls w/Cone

Sidelying Exercise: Sidelying Pretzel Presses

Bridging Exercises: 1/2 Turkish Get Ups

Glute Bridge Marches

1/2 Kneeling Exercises: 

Half Kneeling Cable Chop

Tall Kneeling Exercises: Tall Kneeling Pallof Presses, Tall Kneeling  

Medicine Ball Chops and Lifts

Half Kneeling Isohold

Bilateral Exercises: Pallof Presses,  Figure-X Pallof Presses

Unilateral Exercises: 

1-Arm & 1-Leg Rows

Rotary Planks To Wall

Hip Airplanes

Int/Ext Medicine Ball Rotations

General Strength

General strength is one of four categories that dictate rotary power development.  One factor here is the improved force transmission (active and passive stiffness) between your upper and lower body when performing squats and deadlifts. Basically, not flexing or rotating your spine to both prevent injury and improve strength.

The best general strength exercises are still your major movement patterns. Throughout the entire body these stimulate growth, which gives muscles their greatest cross-sectional area and thus, increases power potential.

That means still get strong with your squats and deads, but don’t rule out unilateral exercises.

Good choices include: one arm dumbbell bench press,  Bulgarian split squat,  normal split squat,  one-leg hip thrust,  and single arm row.

Rotary Movement Exercises

Rotary movement exercises involve small levels of rotation in the thoracic spine, but a strong, stable, lumbar spine. All of these exercises all stem from a powerful hip drive. Below is one of my favorite rotary exercises, the 1 arm lateral KB Clean.

1-Arm Lateral KB Clean

Putting It Together: Programming

How should you use all this to create an efficient training program to look better naked and perform like an athlete?

  1. Perform a warm up that is dynamic in nature and which could include diaphragmatic breathing. The warm up should include exercises targeting torso and hip disassociation.
  1. Move on to the integration and stability exercises. Pick two exercises from the categories outlined that fits the individual(s)’s needs the most. I personally highly recommend the two effective exercises; Bird Dog w/Cone and 1/2 Turkish Get Up.
  1. Choose two exercises that will fall under the general strength banner. Take into consideration the needs of the individual and the potential sport. A deadlift and a one-arm dumbbell bench press will never go wrong.
  1. Pick two or three rotary movement exercises as assistance work to further reinforce and improve pure rotary power development. If you work with athletes who need to be “compact” such as boxers or MMA fighters – Rotary Squats and Lateral Swings are a good combination. The same logic can be applied to improve rotation in recreational sports, like beer league softball, if that’s your thing.

Case Study: The Rugby Player

Below is an example program for a high-level Rugby Player who’s in-season and wants to maintain rotary power. We have also used a similar program set-up with great success with athletes from different sports such as MMA and Boxing.

Warm Up    
Joint Circles



5 minutes Upper and lower body. Try to relax!
Thoracic Windmills 5 repetitions per side Both sides
Glute Bridges 10 repetitions
Bird Dogs w/cone 5 repetitions per leg Both sides


A1) Back Squats or Front Squats


3-5 x 5 repetitions Focus on technique and speed
Rest 2-3 minutes between each set
B1) 1-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press 3 x 6-8 repetitions per side Per side – control the rotation!
Rest 2-3 minutes between each set
C1) 1-Arm Lateral KB Cleans 2-3 x 8-12 repetitions per side Per side – stay tight and keep the KB close!
C2) Landmines 2-3 x 8 – 12 repetitions per side Per side – move everything together not separately!
Rest 2-3 minutes between each round of the superset


Warm Down    
Joint Circles (same as warm up)


5 minutes Upper and lower body. Try to relax!
Diaphragmatic breathing

(lay on your back and breathe into your belly)

2-3 minutes Relax!

Wrap Up

Rotation: whether it’s developing force or preventing it, it’s part of everyday movement.

That means rotational stability and power aren’t just qualities for athletes. It’s for everyday folks who like to hit the links, throw a ball with their kids, and develop a well-rounded, athletic body.

kennetAbout Kennet Waale

Kennet Waale is a facilitator and coach for Movestrong Training Systems, and the co-founder of The Vertex – a multifaceted health facility in Brisbane, Australia.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree in human movement studies as an exercise scientist at The University of Queensland. During his almost eight years of coaching, he has gone to work with athletes up to the Commonwealth and Olympic levels as well as ever day folks wanting to look better naked.






  1. Parchmann, CJ and McBride, JM. 2011. Relationship between functional movement screen and athletic performance. J Strength Cond Res 25(12): 3378–3384, 2011).

2.SHEPHERD, J. (2004) Building Rotational Power: All You Need To Know About Getting In Shape To Perform Zippy Turns On The Hoof, Peak Performance, 197, p. 4-6

3.SIFF, M. & VERKHOSHANSKY, Y. (1998) Supertraining: Strength Training for Sporting Excellence. Johannesburg, South Africa: University of the Witwatersrsand.

4.BAECHLE, T.R. & EARLE, R.W. (2008) Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishing Company.

Turbo-Charge your Workout

photoshoot kettlbell

When I was in college I loved to double my pre-workout. After all, the label said it would supercharge my workout. Therefore, if a scoop was good, three or four would be amazing…right?

God no. I’ve never done hard drugs, but I can imagine my reaction was pretty similar to taking a batch of “goods” from Walter White. I felt instantly muscular and powerful– enough pre-workout and I could run through a brick wall and squat a house. 

I could only imagine how it would supercharge my physique and performance. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way. I ended up with severe adrenal fatigue (college boozin’ didn’t help) and could barely get up without a shot of caffeine to my jugular.

I traded in my  double or nothin’ pre-workout for studying the best ways to add pounds to the bar, optimize workouts, and prime muscles to grow. To my surprise, it doesn’t take an all in one approach– it takes just five minutes before  every workout and prime your body, boosting strength, performance, and muscle. 

That’s exactly what I covered in my most recent article with T-Nation.

Read it Here…Or Scroll Below

A Trick to Make Every Workout Better

You’re an experienced lifter about to knock out your planned squat workout. Lets say we can rate the effectiveness of that workout on a scale of 1 to 10. Got it? This workout received a 7…a C by “grade” standards. 

How can we take this number and increase it to an 8,9, or even a 10 without completing changing the workout?

You probably won’t believe me, but it only takes five minutes. They key is priming the nervous system with explosive work.

With a few tweaks, we take that average workout to a supercharged workout, from a 7 to a 9.

Basically, we took the same workout but supercharged it in five short minutes. How do we do this?
It’s not black magic, but a simple five-minute pre-workout primer. Here’s How: 

Unlock Explosive Strength and Athleticism

After your warm-up and before you start lifting, you’re going to do a few sets of one exercise to stimulate high-threshold motor units. This will unlock more explosive strength. You’ll briefly focus on explosive rep quality to shatter strength plateaus, get more athletic, and activate more muscle fibers for growth.

By adding explosive exercises that are biomechanically similar to your big lift for the day, you’ll ignite your central nervous system (CNS). In geek speak, this enhanced neuromuscular readiness improves motor unit recruitment and “patterning” for your big lifts. As a result, greater motor unit recruitment pulls more muscle fibers into your training, helping build strength and muscle.

Pick the Right Primer for the Training

Once you’ve completed your warm-up, use an explosive movement that will complement your major exercise for the day. Here’s a guide:

If your main exercise is the bench press, do the clap push-up or incline plyo push-up.

For the shoulder press or chin-up, do an overhead medicine ball slam or medicine ball throw.

If you’re going to be squatting or cleaning, do a vertical jump, box jump, or squat jump.

Squat Jump

For a deadlift or clean workout, do a broad jump or kettlebell swing.

Sets, Reps, and Rest

Perform 3-4 sets of 3-5 reps. Focus on max intensity and execution on each rep. Rest 1-2 minutes between sets. And don’t do these like a granny. The faster you can contract the muscles, the more muscle fibers are recruited and the stronger you’ll become. After your explosive movement, continue your training routine as planned.

How It Works: The Geeky Stuff

If you’re like most lifters, you’re well versed in the big strength movements. You have a strong squat, an impressive deadlift, and can hoist a few plates on your bench press. Since you already have a solid foundation, you have the base to build more explosive speed, muscle, and power. Your next step? Improving both intramuscular coordination and intermuscular coordination to accelerate gym performance.

What is Intramuscular Coordination?

Intramuscular coordination is the synchronized firing of motor units. It makes all the difference in the world for someone wanting to move his or her body with grace and agility. It’s the difference between controlling your body like an athlete and flailing awkwardly like a child having a tantrum. When muscle fibers contract in a coordinated manner they become efficient and powerful.

how to box jump correctly

There are three aspects of improving intramuscular coordination:

1.Rate Coding: It’s like the speed of your firing rate (motor unit discharge rate) and capacity to express more strength. Think of going from a single-shot pistol to a full-auto rifle. The rate coding is more powerful on the machine gun.

2. Recruitment: Think of one guy trying to tackle a running back versus seven guys trying to tackle him. Which will be more effective? Seven, of course. Likewise, pulling more muscle units together when performing a lift yields more power and more strength.

3. Synchronization: If you’re rowing a boat, what would be better: four people rowing together or each person rowing at his own pace? Four people in synch naturally. Improving synchronization of muscle units in a movement improves fluidity and helps motor units fire at the same time.

By improving intramuscular coordination, you’ll generate movement faster, use more muscle fibers, and help motor units fire at the same time. To do that, you have two options:

  1. Lift heavier loads
  2. Lift lighter loads faster

In the case of lifting heavier loads, most lifters have this locked down. Between ramping sets through the warm-up and pure strength work, you’re lifting plenty of moderate-heavy loads – 55-95% of your 1RM. For even more benefit, work further along the force-velocity curve with lighter, more explosive movements.

What is Intermuscular Coordination?

Besides the occasional pain of a midnight calf cramp, it’s rare that only one muscle contracts at a time. Generally, a whole group of muscles is activated to produce a movement. That’s intermuscular coordination: the improved coordination of muscles in a specific movement.

In the context of your training, this means improving a squat, deadlift, pulling, or pushing movement. To maximize intermuscular coordination, you must refine the interaction between muscles that control a movement to perform better together. To improve both intra and intermuscular coordination, you’ll need to move lighter weights faster and match the movement with your focus for the day.

Turbo-Charge your Workout

Charging your workout doesn’t require insane amounts of caffeine or completely scrapping your program. With a few explosive exercises you have all you need to prime your nervous system for more strength, muscle, and athleticism. 

Shut Up and Get Strong


High-Rep drop sets, density circuits, and complexes are all sexy training methods that help you crush training plateaus.


But there’s a problem: Most lifters aren’t strong enough to actually reach a plateau. Instead, they’re program hopping, weak, and minoring in the minutia.

I see it with clients all the time:

One week it’s density training circuits to get shredded. Two weeks later, they’re bulking with German Volume Training. These are all great programs when properly planned, but too much exercise and programming variety is hurting everyone’s gains, yours included.

The bottom line is just get strong, that’s nearly always my first focus with new online and in-person clients.  Hit a double bodyweight deadlift. Bench press 1.5 times your weight for reps. Clean your bodyweight.

All of these physiological goals will go a lot further for building a lean, muscular, and strong body than every sexy training methods on the interwebz.

The basics are this:

  • Without a solid strength base, drop sets and crazy finishers are pointless. Stop majoring in the minor and get strong first to build muscle.


  • Building strength makes you more explosive. Strength builds a base for speed and power so you can develop athleticism.


  • Building strength allows you to build more muscle. Focusing on strength means you’ll be able to achieve greater metabolic stress and force muscles to grow.


  • Strength is important to losing fat. Working on strength preserves muscle and increases metabolic rate while in a caloric deficit.

I love variety. Some days I want pizza, and the other days I want ribs. All days I want steak and maybe some bourbon.
In training,  I like to change it up, but I make sure the most important task is covered: improve strength. Sure, bourbon and steak drop sets, complexes, and sexy methods make an appearance, but they’re secondary to strength.

Improve performance and place a premium on strength development and you’ll reach any goal faster.

This article received a lot of positive feedback, with a big shout out from my good friend Dr. John Rusin, as he covered it on the Strength Doc Podcast for his article of the week while adding tons of incredible coaching insgiht.

Listen Here:

Shut Up and Get Strong on the Strength Doc Podcast


Read it Here:

>>>Shut Up and Get Strong<<<

Your 1-Rep Max Testing Made Simple

Expert Tips to Build Muscle, build muscle

A generic warm-up and a few arm swings aren’t enough to make the most out of your training. In fact, if you’re looking to build athletic muscle and strength, then you’ll need a specific warm-up that leads up to crushing your 1-Rep Max (1RM). Keep Reading

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