The Project: Health Wellness and Psychology

Powerlifter Mastermind John Flagg Discusses: The Essentials of Powerlifting, Programming for Powerlifters, Common Mistakes Coaches are Making, the Drawbacks of Only Bench Press, Squats, and Deadlifts, the Importance of Unilateral Training to Build Abs, an

November 22, 2020 Mahdi Al Oun, John Flagg Season 1 Episode 209
The Project: Health Wellness and Psychology
Powerlifter Mastermind John Flagg Discusses: The Essentials of Powerlifting, Programming for Powerlifters, Common Mistakes Coaches are Making, the Drawbacks of Only Bench Press, Squats, and Deadlifts, the Importance of Unilateral Training to Build Abs, an
The Project: Health Wellness and Psychology
Powerlifter Mastermind John Flagg Discusses: The Essentials of Powerlifting, Programming for Powerlifters, Common Mistakes Coaches are Making, the Drawbacks of Only Bench Press, Squats, and Deadlifts, the Importance of Unilateral Training to Build Abs, an
Nov 22, 2020 Season 1 Episode 209
Mahdi Al Oun, John Flagg

In this episode we talk about a lot  of bout powerlifting and it’s benefits and drawbacks. 

We also discussed unilateral training and how beneficial that could be for developing strength and stability through core movements.

John also breaks down the fundamentals of programming for a power lifter and how important it is to put in some variety and novelty rather than just sticking to the big three movements. 

Support the show (

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we talk about a lot  of bout powerlifting and it’s benefits and drawbacks. 

We also discussed unilateral training and how beneficial that could be for developing strength and stability through core movements.

John also breaks down the fundamentals of programming for a power lifter and how important it is to put in some variety and novelty rather than just sticking to the big three movements. 

Support the show (

Episode - John Flag

Wed, 11/18 8:05AM • 1:06:24


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with your hosts make dirty, and many a lot of strength and conditioning coaches in high schools in the United States, Europe, and over here, they basically don't know what they're doing at all. I mean, 80% probably don't know what they're doing when it comes to strength



and conditioning. When it comes to getting better on the field. Nothing's ever going to replace the skill practice of the actual sport, everything that we should do should just support that. I don't think you have to sit here and create wild super sets or new exercises that are some weird functional variation of what they're already doing on the field. Keep it simple,



most power lifters, all they're doing is dead lifting, squatting, and bench pressing all week, and they don't do anything else. And that to me, I'm like, but why? Like you're neglecting so many movements that can complement your benchpress like, why are you not doing an incline press.



She's like 78 man, and she's a multiple time world record holder in a weight class. She looks like your grandma going up there and she goes deadlifts like 340. And you're like, there may be an age limit to like your performance standard, but there's no actual age limit.



All this and more today's episode. Hey, everybody, welcome to this episode of the project. And today we're talking with a weightlifting, powerlifting strongman rehabilitation coach all around badass. I mean, you're a big boy, man. You're a big guy. I mean, you look like lift some serious weight, and you got the brains to back it up, which is pretty unique in your field of powerlifting weightlifting strongman, so john Flagg, welcome to the show. It's a pleasure to have you on straight up from Maryland. Dude. Thanks for coming on the show, man.



Absolutely. Thanks for having me on. I've been excited about this one ever since. You know, I started listening to some of your shows getting ready for it. So excited.



Oh, that's awesome. That's awesome. My wife wanted to jump in. She's Go figure. She's the powerlifter Oh, no, the crossfitter she's a little petite Kuwaiti woman you know, she's like five, four. I don't even know how much she weighs. She killed me if I talked about her weight, so I'm not going to do that. I want to be in the doghouse for the next week. But she's putting up some decent numbers right now with her. You know, she just broke her arm. She was doing a walkout with I think 315 so she did her 315 walkout and she's a low bar. I mean, I didn't even know there was a low bar high bar. I just kind of went in grip and rent man, you know, but she's low bar. So when she went to Iraq, I guess it's snapped her all night and like shattered. She's got plates all in her arm. She just made it back. And today she was doing her deal. And she goes on reloading at 117. Is that good? I'm like, honey, most guys can't lift 117 kilos, you know, like, and that's 117 kilos. What is that in pounds? Like one? 265 272 65 ish. Yeah,



yeah, I'm terrible at that conversion in my head. I need a chart still.



Like most men can't do that. So she was she was pumped. She's like, why are you gonna do it? When I have work? I'm like, wow, sex for you. But



the time to change just makes it difficult. You know? Yeah, I'm just gonna take the day off. She wants to talk about powerlifting.



I know, right? Well, we at six o'clock here. She's a trainer at a gym. So she starts work like late afternoon. And, you know, with the whole Corona thing and everything. We're a little weary about it. But she's pretty cautious and safe. So we're not we're good. Give me a little bit more of a background on you. How did you get into fitness? How did you get into weightlifting? And then how did you get into rehabilitation.



So it all started with rehab, actually, I'm a certified athletic trainer. And when I was in grad school at Penn State, I kind of came up with the theory that if my athletes were bigger, faster and stronger than your athletes, then the likelihood they're going to get hurt is less. So I just started running with that. And my general philosophy changed from reacting to injury to preparing basically. So we went from your normal typical athletic training room to I would do treatments in the morning. And then I would spend from like 11 to two, just working out with the team. Now granted, they had a strength conditioning staff and stuff like that. But a lot of these guys were the ones that were coming back from injury. So I tried to bridge that gap to then get back to the strength coaches. And at that time when I was working, my second year there I had a really good relationship with that staff. So we just we started cranking out exercise, just get them stronger, get them faster. And then when I left there, I just kept running with that and started working on a clinic get now outsourced to a high school. You know, I had been lifting the entire time myself and just continue To try to carry that that through until, you know, I kind of got hooked up with Quinn, henyk and clinical athlete. And that's what really kind of took it off. So from there, you know, that was probably seven or eight years ago, I started rebuild stronger, which is my online coaching company that I do powerlifting, weightlifting strongman through, and started to drive that home. Like, now, the best way for you to probably deal with injury is to modify your training, and continue to take steps forward as much as you possibly can. And through that experience, I just started doing the whole spectrum. It's like, Okay, well, now, now you're healthy. Now what? Like, you didn't have a coach before. So, and then they'd be like, well, what am I supposed to do with training? It's like, Okay, well, then I'm just gonna have to start coaching you that started with weightlifting, I had a club eight years ago out of a gym, when I was actually still being a weightlifter, trying to be a weightlifter. And then I had my first child, JoJo is six years old now and three hour long sessions with a kid at home don't really work. Yeah, so transitioned back to powerlifting and doing some strongman stuff and started coaching that as well. And since I mean, I've got I've got 60 athletes online, I've got a live team of 20 have been to strongman nationals, USA w nationals with athletes, I've been to USA PL and uspa nationals, hundred percent raw is a really small Federation over here, the two world champions in that Federation. So it's been at this point, 12 year journey to get to where I am right now. And honestly, I wouldn't trade a second of it.



I love it. That's amazing, dude, that's an amazing background. And I think I'm gonna go right at the beginning. And let's go to high school athletes. And I threw that in some of the questions that I sent over to you. Because after reading into your profile, looking at your BIOS and everything online, I figured You're the man to answer some of these questions. And, you know, we take high school athletes, I think for granted these days, and a lot of, you know, strength and conditioning coaches in high schools in the United States, Europe. And over here, they basically don't know what they're doing at all, to be honest with you. And even in the United States, in Europe, I mean, 80% probably don't know what they're doing when it comes to strength and conditioning. They have them cleaning and jerking. And most of them just learned it because before it used to be back squat deadlift, and bench press, and the benchpress was king. And then so many guys are getting pec tears, they couldn't figure it out. It was like the pecs are too tight, man, you know, you wind that shit up so tight, they're gonna tear back. So what's your take on some of the the do's and the don'ts that's happening at the high school level with strength conditioning coaches? Sorry, it's a loaded question, dude. But we tend to do that on the show.



How big of a soapbox, do you want me to stand on? First off, I want to just acknowledge the difficulty that I think a lot of schools are put into. We're talking about coaches, strength coaches, even skill coaches, even even the actual team coaches, that are volunteers, basically, a lot of them are teachers or people that work at the school, who if they didn't do this, the team would exist. Like, let's be honest, we can't all be dematha Catholic, who has a paid staff that all make six figures. You know, we're not LSU we're not, we're not these big college teams, or big high school teams that are private schools. So they got to worry about teaching and putting the lesson plan together on top of trying to figure out how to do this stuff. The first place that I'm critical when it comes to developing youth athletes in general, is there isn't a long term plan as the foundation. And what I mean by that is like, do you have a lot of strength coaches that will say, the clean and jerk and the snatch are not beneficial for athletes? If you're looking at that in a year, if all you have is a year to work with a kid, I'd agree with that. 100% there's too much skill. Yeah, we can get more out of that kid in a year span, and not try to teach him to have the most complex barbell movements.



You see a lot of coaches going to that now because it's been popularized by we were talking about this before the show started by CrossFit. Olympic weightlifting is gaining a lot of popularity. And I cringe when I see some of these strength and conditioning coaches having their kids do cleans and it's a reverse curl man. Like, you have no idea that kid has no idea. And they're happy. They're cleaning 250 pounds. And I'm like, but you shouldn't be doing that at this stage don't have to get the movement, right, learn it. They don't have to exactly learn it.



And the crazy part is like if you pump the brakes, and you say, Okay, look, we're going to actually nail the technical aspect of this and the learning aspect of it. That'll carry over into skill practice in your sport, because they'll start to realize like, Oh my gosh, it takes repetition. It takes focus, it takes intent. It teaches them how to train. Yeah, so if you have a year, I probably would wouldn't teach them the Olympic lifts, you can do the same thing with a med ball and jumping and throwing in a



couple other things. 100% Yeah,



but if you've got these freshmen, oh my gosh, like teach them the basics, make it as part of your warmup. By the time they're a senior, they're going to look really good. And they're going to get all the benefit out of those lifts. At that point, you don't need to clean 300 pounds to create more power as a 200 pound linebacker in high school. But you can do that as a portion of your lifting, and then squat and deadlift and do all the other kind of things that you need to do as part of a total program. The thing is, you have to as a coach, look at that and say, I've got four years with this kid, instead of I've got four weeks. This kid Yeah, that's where the ball is dropped. First. Second? For a lot of them. It's a part time job.



Yeah, yeah, that's very true. Yeah, you're



right about that. If we were to create resources and stuff like that, then it'd be much better. But even



with the big schools, I mean, I've seen a lot of them doing these moves. I had one of my ex athletes, you know, I was a baseball coach 15 years at the senior, you know, high school level, you know, I played college ball, I got my search through xo. So I learned a lot through exos, you know, that model, which has a lot of prehab and rehab in it, you know, they're very well thought out. Yeah, a lot of combine athletes have gone through there. And my philosophy that this kid called me up, because coach, you know, I'm doing a clean, I can clean 200 pounds now. And I was like, send me a video, send me the video. And this is a kid I trust and he trusts me, I was like, Look, best thing you could do is, you know, stop doing a clean with a barbell, go to a trap bar and do the clean with that, you know, just get rid of that movement of flipping the you know, doing the reverse curl, so to speak, and the catch, get rid of the catch, because all you're gonna need is the triple extension, you get that power source. Once you get that I mean, that's really where athlete athletes, you know, baseball, basketball, football players are going to get the most bang for your buck. Would you agree with that of using the trap bar, and I learned that years ago, of you know, it's basically kind of like a chap trap bar jump, but you're getting that triple extension, all the same movements as a clean, but you just you know, you're getting the triple extension, you know, hips, shoulders, everything's going up in the air. So what would you say that, would you agree with that for younger athletes to take away that diminishing return?



I would Yeah, I mean, it all depends on the timeline that I have in front of me. If I don't have a ton of time, or I'm just trying to develop like a look. This is what you need to be able to do is to accelerate in this plane, then a trap bar, like jumping type deadlift, or you ever seen the jammer? That's definitely a specialty piece of equipment. More like a hammer. Yeah, it's like a incline leg press with a shoulder press attachment at the top. So they're on an incline and they push into it. Yes.



Yeah, dude, that was in my gym like 20 years ago. Yeah. And I said, Dude, I have not seen one of those and they



got repurposed as like a football specific strength conditioning piece of equipment, really. I mean, those are pretty cool. The thing for me from like, a long term, sorry, not



to cut you off, but I used to use a shoulder press machine at the gym. I mean, 20 years ago, we had jammers but for some reason it wasn't popularizing the gyms anymore. And then you know, I went back to the gym and I don't know like 2009 and I was like, Man, I wish I had a jammer so I just grabbed the shoulder press machines that they have at the gym you know, you know what I mean? loaded on the side Oh, and I just started doing the movement with that and work just as well same thing it's a little tip for kids going to gyms you know those the Globo gyms and shit



all I love being creative in the gym with the equipment. But you look at that sort of thing. And I think the other benefit of learning especially the clean less the snatch the snatch, I honestly I'm not entirely sold on that being like this huge athlete developer, but at least like a hang power clean. The other benefit other than triple extension is that stretch relax phase and being able to take force. Yeah, so when that bar comes back down, we're actually being able to take force into the body taken under control, and then redirect it



with football players. Definitely baseball players in my opinion, not so much. Really, because they don't absolutely they don't absorb force.



They don't absorb force, but like a volleyball player, yeah, where you go to block, it goes back over it comes back over towards you. You got to reload and jump again. Hundred percent. Yeah, basketball, like especially down in the paint. I mean, you're gonna have somebody land on you. You're gonna it gets messy in there. One that a lot of people don't think of, you know, from an American type of audience rugby. Yeah, there's some context for what's out there that a lot of people don't think about soccer is another One you're trying to shield the ball off, and somebody comes and smacks into the back ear. These are all sports again, will it replace playing the sport? No. But it's going to give you the general capacity to be able to take advantage of the time you're on the field is probably how I should say best.



And that makes sense. I've actually talked to a lot of strength and conditioning coaches on teams, and they're like, Look, my job is to make sure this person doesn't get hurt. That's the first and foremost thing is to make sure they don't get hurt. And to build their volume according to the season, especially in season. Here's like, yes, there is that rule of thumb that we go by of, we want to maintain during that period, but the maintenance period, Mike, one of my buddies said, it's not really a maintenance period that I go by, I go by the volume, you know how many games they've had that week. And at the same time, I still want to keep them within 90% of their one rep max. Because, you know, they'll gain strength during the season. But you don't want them to lose anything by just you know, using bands and whatnot. So what would you say to that? Would you agree, disagree? I mean, where do you stand on that statement right there.



I'm 100%. With that statement, okay, I can't stand when we switch from hard training outside of practice, to, for lack of a better word, ticky tack kid glove Bandy crap, that doesn't actually make your athletes better. And it drives me crazy. keep them focused, keep them training hard, monitor that volume, and the total workload based off their practices, because just like you're talking about, you don't want them to decondition as the season moves on. And when we start talking about reducing injury risk, the best way to do that is to expose them to repeated training loads, and get that chronic training high, we want their fitness level as high as possible, we don't want to start like pulling away and making it so they decondition because then they're going to be at an increased risk. We don't want to do that. We don't want to, like take our hands off. That's when we want to kind of it's got to be balanced and injuries are gonna happen. You're never going to make somebody bulletproof. But if you manage it, well, they're going to perform at their best late in the season and in playoffs, and stay healthy. He can't



back off that makes total sense and managing well. And I think you brought up a good point. I know I'm kind of all over the place here. But I'm having fun geeking out on some of this shit. Yeah. And I want to throw Golden State Warriors. And you know what they did when they revolutionized I think basketball and training because they introduced a lot of technology to sports in general, when it came to conditioning, I forget the name of the device they were using, which was like it took their speed, heart rate, everything. And it funneled all that information to their strength coaches, so that they knew how much volume in what the volume capacity was during practice. So they could base their gym routine off of that. And to me, I was like that shits absolutely genius. And they're like, well, if someone gets, you know, 35 40,000 steps in a day, you don't want to go and make them run, you know, as their second session for that day. You know, it just makes no sense because they've already been on their feet all day. They've already been doing Pio metrics by jumping all day. So now what are we going to do? It's more of the rehab and prehab. And you know, a little bit of load here and there, but they take all that into consideration. And Golden State were the first ones to use the Halo. Not sure if you've heard of that. Yeah, I used one of them. I don't know if it worked, or if it was just like, you know, placebo effect. But what do you think of technology, and the integration that we're gonna see at a high school and college level?



Man, I'd love to see it more frequently. A lot of this is actually rooted in European soccer. So if you want to, like super geek out, you can go and look at the huge debate right now between Tim Gavin and Franco and Paul azhari. There are two researchers that are basically looking at what we're talking about right now, which is balancing training load over time. And they work with, you know, Australian rules football teams, they work with rugby teams, mostly professional soccer teams, and that's where you started seeing kind of what you're talking about. Golden State used heartrate monitors and GPS locators and that sort of thing to track. distance in practice, miles per hour, top miles per hour, average miles per hour during practice. Yeah, you can track their average heart rate, their heart rate variability, you can track their sleep. Always think back to remember Chip Kelly, the football coach from years ago.



No, really? No. Was it Oregon for a long time and then



he went to the Eagles. Yeah, he did the same thing like tracking everybody sleep and all that stuff. And I'd love to see that stuff starts to spill into high school. Just for some simple stuff, uh,



I use a whoop, yep. I'm familiar with the whoop drove me fucking nuts, man. I hated that whoop did yeah, I wanted to smash it like it kept saying, well rested, I'm like, dude, I slept for eight hours, you know, and I honestly the only thing that stood true to me was the heart rate monitor, you know, it sucked waken up, you know earlier than everybody, but I'd strap it on, take my HRV, you know, go into one of my apps, and I would have that bass line the average over a week or seven days, and then I knew what my HRV would be, that was more accurate to me than the whoop in the Apple Watch, those two just drove me nuts for the



whoop for me. Like, I'm a lifter, it's never gonna say my strains very high, because it just goes off heart rate. But for me, the value has been in its ability to track my actual sleep time. So for like high school athletes, as a coach, if you put them on a team, and you have a kid complaining that everything sucks, and you look and he's sleeping three hours a night, because he's playing Madden, and like, the accountability there is huge. Like, okay, I know you're not sleeping, or they just take it off, they could just, you know, yeah, that's true, that is true, not be compliant at all, I think there's power behind some of that technology in regards to just giving kids the ability to actually look at their own habits, and how that correlates to performance. You know, we've talked a lot about just the physiological aspect of performing but not the psychological, these kids have to have buy in. And if you can start them young, on understanding that my sleep, and what I eat, have an impact on my performance, and actually give them something cool technology wise to help them like track that, then they'll be used to it when they get to college. And they've got this GPS tracker that shows how many steps they take during the day, and in practice, and their top speed when they're running, like all the other stuff. And then when it gets to the pros, and they're basically an experiment, and then they'll be like, Oh, my gosh, this is so much cooler.



Now let's jump into college athletes. And let's talk about the strength and conditioning there. Because that's another place where I just cringe when these guys are getting paid. You know, a lot of them get paid top dollar, especially within the fitness field, so to speak, you know what I mean? And, I mean, again, you know, the clean in the hand clean is like a weird staple that I've seen surface over the last five years. And it's like, you have no business doing a hand clean into a straight up wind sprint, you know, go do a back squat into a sprint, you know what I mean? or do some Hill sprints before you even do that? And I'm like, why are you doing this, and we're talking this is this is a D one school, I saw a strength and conditioning coach doing a hang clean into a sprint with his athletes in a D one school. And I'm just thinking, what is the purpose behind this? And there are so many different things that I was like, Alright, you could do this differently. What's your opinion on that? And the management we see right now strength and conditioning at the college level?



So there's one term I absolutely hate. It's called sports specific training. I hate it. Yeah, I agree that bastardize to a point that it's not even what it is. Because I mentioned earlier, when it comes to getting better on the field, nothing's ever going to replace the skill practice of practice of the actual sport, everything that we should do should just support that. I don't think you have to sit here and create wild super sets or new exercises that are some weird functional variation of what they're already doing on the field, just expose them to the basics. And I think that is where I run my critique and keep it simple. I understand that, as athletes get more and more and more elite, we feel the need, or the pressure to come up with something special to get them that next little bit. Unfortunately, what's actually necessary is to stick with the basics and continue to train really hard.



100%. And



if you look at some of the top coaches out there, that's what they do. They just keep it simple. And they train really hard. And everything stays consistent. And they have systems in place. Because this is what happens. You get that athlete who's an absolute stud and he says he's bored and he starts becoming uncompliant put a system in place to make sure that doesn't happen. That may be actually sticking one of your interns on that kid and making you know, sticking on his hip and I don't know talking about the best movie he saw over I don't know, figure out the personality quirks of that kid to keep him bought in. But keep it simple, train hard. And then from the other end of the spectrum as other coaches. I think we get really critical when we see the hype days when we see the YouTube videos and we say all they're doing Just doing this craziness. Now that's probably like one day out of the year where everybody decides to just go max out their cleans. And they start screaming and cranking up the music. That's not the actual days look like either. Yeah, so we don't want to paint with a broad brush. I think there's a lot of coaches doing great stuff out there. But just like the medical field, we see the medical field people get swept up into some wild stuff, man, that if you ask them why they're like,



I don't know.



That's fitness in general these days. Like, there's so much shit that I see. I'm like, why, you know, like,



there's so much gimmick and snake oil, hundred percent, you know, stick with the basics, and train hard.



I want to go back to sports specific training, because, you know, I've been baseball coach for 1516 years now. And there was that buzz and I bought into it, I'm not gonna lie, I bought into it. This was like four or five years ago. And it was, you know, all like, yeah, you know, mimic throwing a baseball with friggin the cable machine. And, you know, I tried it, whatever. And because if I'm going to do that, and I'm telling my athletes to do, and I need to try it first, in my opinion, I always said, I'm not gonna make you do something unless I've done it myself, or I can do it. And then it dawned on me, I was like, Why the fuck am I having them use a cable machine to mimic throwing a baseball, when I can just go say, go do some long toss for 1015 minutes. And it's gonna give you probably more benefit, because you can work on your accuracy. And, you know, there's so many other aspects to throw in a ball are doing what you said that reoccurrence in a sport from actually doing the sport and a different variation to build that strength. And you know, as a catcher, I built my arm strength through throwing from my knees. And Coach frannie always told me is like, dude, throw from your knees, you're gonna teach your body, how to move on its own. So you can generate that force from your glutes. And sure, shit that worked. So I tossed the cable machine, you know, probably like six weeks into trying it out. And I just think it's funny that you bring that up, because it's still being used today. And I just think it's horseshit. And do you see it veering out anytime soon? Or just picking up more steam?



I think it's probably peaked, but I don't think it's going anywhere. Yeah, you know what I mean, it's fancy, it's cool. Athletes love it, they think it's like, going to take them to the next level. And it's already typically something they're good at. So if you take something you say, you know, you're good at this, let's make it marginally harder, they're typically going to buy in pretty quickly. But just like you said, we start looking at how you get better at a skill, you add a constraint. So in soccer, if you want your athletes to be like quicker on the ball and have a better first touch, you make the field smaller, hundred percent and baseball, if you want to strengthen a certain proportion of somebody's throw, you take away the other half. Yeah, you just throw your knees cool. What bothers me when it comes to sports specific training, is we do like you're talking about the cable stuff, right? Like, oh, let's overload the arm. And let's do this. But we've thrown out I'll use pictures as a great example, because this is the one I like to get all pissed off about anyway, you're talking about an athlete, that if it takes them longer than one second, to throw that ball, something's wrong. And they do that between 70 and 100 times. And our typical Cornerstone training modality for those individuals are running polls. Why is long distance? low load cardio the answer for these kids, they should be running short sprints, and a lot of them a quick five to 10 meters sprint, that should be the energy system training. That's like the most specific you can do. That's energy system training for that.



Hundred percent. Yeah, that



is absolutely specific to the task, and then you just haven't go through. And that's the you know, they're like, dude, I didn't feel gassed at all. And I was like, 95 pitches in? Yeah. Your legs stayed underneath you because we just ran at five times. Your scripts. Yeah,



you did a run five miles. Larry. It was funny because what I was in high school or when I was in college, like I pitchers go run. It's like, Alright, why are they running for an hour and a half? What's the point? Why? Well, Roger Clemens said no, not Roger Nolan. Ryan was like strong, like strong legs. Clements have the same thing. So I guess coaches were probably like, easiest thing to do to build legs is run. But you know, in reality, it just all do as gas your athletes. So makes total sense. Dude, you're right.



You know, I keep building a foundation. I get that 100% but long distance running for a lactic acid athlete and just a short burst athlete just doesn't make a ton of sense as a continuous thing. If they're coming off and have done anything, and we're just starting spring training. Okay, yeah, go for a little run. get loose. get your heart rate up a little bit. That's gonna go to the wayside pretty quickly. Yeah, it's never understood it.



No, you're totally right now I mean, let's move on. A little bit here, because we're gonna get into strongman and Olympic lifting, right, that's coming. I was just, I'm just priming right now. And what about the semi pro athletes that we see I see a lot of it in Kuwait, especially where you see the fighters, you see the crossfitters. You see, the runners, the sprinters the this, the that, and a lot of the coaches that I see they're like explosive training, explosive training, box jumps, box jumps. But after 15 box jumps, it mitigates all the work you did after the first three, would you agree or disagree with that?



Hundred percent? Again, we're just talking about training the correct energy system. Yeah, 15 bucks Jones, if the box is like 12 inches high, but I mean, we're still talking about cardio, like, after that 45 seconds to a minute length of time, you're not doing explosive power development anymore. And it shouldn't be that taxing explosive power development shouldn't be exhausting. If you don't have the capacity to create that much output for that long and be able to recover from it. Your brain is basically going to be like, Nah, can't do that, bro, you got to make it shorter, I'm going to slow down, it's one or the other, you no longer get that benefit. You're not training what you're trying to train



unless you're a crossfitter. And we talked about this before the show, and we could dive deep because I'm a crossfitter. I started CrossFit three years ago, a Masters athlete, I never believed in CrossFit. I always thought it was an easy way to get hurt. But then I started realizing the beauty of CrossFit as someone at my age that still likes to compete. I love strong man to death, but I'm just not strong enough. I'm just it's not their turn to CrossFit. And it's my wife's the power lifter.



I told you before, and we were just about to start recording. I love CrossFit. I'm not a crossfitter I did a hero WOD once, and that was miserable. But it's given a platform for the sports that I love, weightlifting, powerlifting, and strongman in particular, to where a lot of people are converting over from CrossFit. And it's it's been a huge boon for the sports that I know that I'm so supportive of so CrossFit as a whole, or, you know, whatever you want to call it, I think has been a net positive, very big net positive, not just from the activity level, but also for people focusing on like, their nutrition and the recovery and like all the other things that come with it, it has been a bit more of a holistic approach to to fitness.



It's true. No CrossFit did I think CrossFit woke you know, the gym yuppies back up about the squat, the deadlift and got them dead lifting and squatting. And I mean, from 2001 or 2000, to about 2009 the gyms I went to, I don't think I ever saw anyone squat, like the squat rack would have dust on it. You go to deadlift trainers, I know you're gonna hurt your back, you're gonna hurt your back. And during that period, I don't think I ever saw anyone deadlifting in my gyms. And then CrossFit came around, it got popularized. Now you see everybody dead lifting and squatting right now. And it has revolutionized like you said, it's done so much for so many sports. And now, speaking of sports, all right, let's talk about Olympic lifting before we get into strongman. So what got you into you know, Olympic lifting?



Ah, this is a great story. So, my brother is seven years younger than I am. And he has built a completely differently. I'm five foot seven to 70. Yeah, my brother is six foot two, six foot one, but 185 pounds soaking wet. And in this story, he's about 160 pounds. Wow. So I've been powerlifting for a while. I've been doing the what everybody else did t nation and 531 and you know, all the other fun stuff. And every holiday, we would get together and we would train. He come home from college and I'd come home from my parents live on the eastern shore of Delaware. So we go out there and we'd work out and one day, we decide to do that and he takes a barbell, and he sticks it out over his head. And he sits down in a completely perfect overhead squat and I was blown away. I was like, I want to do that. And he goes, Okay, cool. I started doing Olympic lifting. While I was a college while I was at Virginia Tech. I was like man, hook me up. So he directed me to. I have three copies of this book. Two of them are completely worn out. The coach and athlete guide to Olympic weightlifting by Greg Everett and catalyst athletics. It's possibly the greatest American weightlifting book. So I read it from cover to cover. And I started following Frank Rothwell on YouTube. And I watched every World Championship and Olympic championship from beginning to end from 1973 all the way I think it was like 2009 when I first started doing this, and I just started coaching myself, I just started figuring it out, fell in love with it started competing, a co worker, and I started a club. And we started coaching people. And you know, for a while there, we had 1516 people, you know, kind of clipping away, it was a blast. It wasn't until my daughter was born, that I'd stepped away, just because of the amount of time that it took to train for it. But it is still something I do honestly, like in the offseason, I always come back, like let's see what I can snatch. And it's miserable. I want to tell you one thing, direct correlation, the bigger your bench gets, the worse your overhead position for snatch is going to be. It's awful.



I believe that my coach doesn't even because I have a CrossFit coach, you know, just because I'm not a pro. And, you know, if I program for myself, I seem to over program, if that makes any sense. Like I'm a guy, yeah, I'll throw this and I'll throw that and then all of a sudden, like, I'm working out. I'm like, Jesus, I'm gassed. And it's because I threw everything in the kitchen sink in there. So I have a coach to keep me in line. So I yeah, I mean, it makes sense. Especially if you're a zero to 100 type of person, you know, and I don't benchpress and I asked him the other day, I was like, am I ever gonna benchpress again, he's like, Look, dude, you don't need to work your pecs, you have to torn labor items. There's absolutely no point in ruining what you've built for your overhead position. It's not going to help and it makes total sense what you're saying because it tightens everything up. It's not really a big deal, I think in CrossFit, especially. But for power lifters, it's a huge deal. I mean, you got a shitty benchpress my wife, she'll kill me if she hears me saying this. She's got a crappy benchpress. And she's trying to get a better she's come a long way. But that's story for another day, man. But anyway, sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off on your story.



No, no, I mean, that's pretty much it. You know, that's, I've still coached it ever since I've got a couple mentors that I've worked with Leo taught and being one of them. East Coast, gold helped me, you know, learn the ropes to coaching. And ever since then, man, you know, I love it.



So what are some of the keys in European to getting a better overhead position,



spending time in it? I think that's the thing that everybody doesn't do is they gravitate towards a bunch of mobility work, they gravitate towards, you know, bands, and rollers and a lot of other stuff where really spending time in your overhead position is probably one of the best ways to build it. So what does that actually look like, because I'm a big fan of like, practical advice as well. Let's say you're going into an overhead squat, and you feel like you start to lose that position at a certain point in time. When the bar is over your head, you're good, you start to come down, torso starts to lean forward, or whatever it may be. And you start to lose that position. And what you need to do, as part of a warm up, as you're getting used to your snatches and stuff, is get that bar overhead come down to that position where you start to lose it and stay there like pause for like 10 seconds, and spend time in that position to come out of it come back down into it. I think a lot of mistake a lot of people make, there we go. That's the way I wanted to start that sentence. mistake a lot of people make is they constantly think that it's always just a tightness and not a lack of skill within a position that your brain is going to regulate so much of what you do. If you spend time there and make it so that you're more comfortable and you build skill there, then the likelihood that you're able to not only get there, but get there and maintain it under duress, which is during an actual snatch, the more likely you are to be successful long term.



That makes sense. I love that you said pause work. I mean my coach drills me the pot and I fucking hate it. I hate pause or



nobody likes pause or tempo.



It sucks dude, pause and tempo. It's something like ah, why am I doing this? Then it's like alright, I know why I'm doing this you know and it just spent ages sucks cuz he'll be like, Alright, warm up snatch with the barbell and then you know, stay in the snatch position for five to six seconds or three to four seconds. And it's like doing that four or five times Believe it or not, you get fatigued as fuck, yeah, you really do get fatigued and it Prime's, you it primed me. And now he doesn't even tell me what to do with my warm ups anymore. Because now that I've learned what the warm ups entail, I do my priming work with the barbell. And like you said, Here I get comfortable in that position. And if I do that priming work and I, you know, sit with the bar overhead for five seconds and I do five reps of that. When I go into my snatches, it's a breeze. I don't lose it at the bottom. That's such a good point you brought up



the other thing that one of the reasons I love Paul's in tempo work. We mentioned a little bit before about injury and creating better positions and skill. One of the really cool things about tempo work that you kind of alluded to there is the intensity of it. artificially increased. So you may be working with like 50% of your best. If you put a five second eccentric on the way down, that 50% is going to feel like 80%. So all of a sudden, it's like you're getting really good quality work in with lighter weight. And not if you have like a janky shoulder, or you know, you got a tweak that you're working yourself through or something like that. It's a great modification in a way to continue to train as opposed to just, oh, can't snatch or can't do these movements anymore. No, you can slow it down at a pause where it becomes painful, sit there for a little bit and let that adaptation happen. And you don't have to always work with 80 to 90% of your one RM you can actually work with 50 or 60. In some cases, 40% of your one RM still get great work in and feel like you actually did something, which is huge, from the mental aspect of training. Because most people when they're having difficulties, and they're frustrated, they walk away from training sessions feel like they didn't do anything, and then they get pissed off. And then it just



makes it a cycle. Like I know, I know. You're 100% of that, like that's so true. Now, I mean, we're talking about snatches. We're talking about the overhead position. And I think one thing that a lot of people neglect in their training is snatch deadlifts, doing, you know, from the snatch position, a snatch deadlift, in my opinion, once, when my coach had me doing it, I was like, all my shit, this is fucking revolutionary. Like, why are people not doing this all over the world, because it's an easy movement to do doesn't require that much mobility, and it's basically a deadlift for the listeners. It's a deadlift with wide arms, like you're gripping the bar as close to the rings as possible. And within reason, but you do that your back is gonna light up like no out there. And just a piece of advice, get the lockout first, in my opinion, lock your back out and then do your deadlift. And it's revolutionary. What do you think of that? And do you see that emerging later on, especially for power lifters,



I already use it for power lifters. I use it frequently with power lifters, the upper back is a common weakness in all strength athletes, and being able to lock in the upper back the snatch position, you're at a huge disadvantage. The other thing is because of the width of the arms, it's pretty much like a deficit deadlift, because you have to get lower to get into the correct position. So it teaches you leg drive off the floor, it teaches you how to lock your back in better, it wrecks your upper back, I mean, traps, middle traps, your rear delts all that stuff gets worked. I love it as a movement and weight lifters strongman athletes and power lifters all use that in my programming, because like you're talking about it's a game changer for a lot of people hundred percent and



I want to shit on powerlifting programs. I know you'll probably outsmart me and this is gonna be easy, totally fine. That is fine, dude. But because it drives me up the wall. My wife's programming, just her coaches, my coach, my coaches, you know, specializes strengthing conditioning, ex rugby player, cross high level competitive CrossFit athlete, he was ranked like in the top 20 of the UK. So Rob's no joke when it comes to training. I think he's a programming genius too. And his program for is completely different than what I see with most power lifters in our region, which is all they're doing is dead lifting, squatting, and bench pressing all week, and they don't do anything else. And that to me, I'm like, but why? Like you're neglecting so many movements that can complement your benchpress like, why are you not doing an incline press, you know, an incline press. When my bench wouldn't budge? I went to incline when I went to incline. Dude, I swear to God, I saw a 15 kilo jump in two months. And I'm bewildered by that. Can you answer that question for me? And sorry if I should on the sport a little bit, but oh, no, no, no, it's the assholes that starting strength that do those movements and only those movements? It's like, what the hell, dude, you're just gonna do three movements? That doesn't make any sense. Like, yes, you want to become good at it. But that doesn't mean that's all you do. Any gummy bears. Christ sakes.



So this is a topic I talk about pretty frequently, especially with my coaches and with my athletes. powerlifting as a sport, that what has gotten popular is over specificity. Like you've got to train specific. Yeah, well, the sport is squat bench and deadlift, it makes sense that you should really focus on the squat bench and the deadlift. But what about variations of the squat? What about variations of the benchpress? What about variations of the deadlift? I'm a conventional puller, so I'll only pull conventional you mean you'll never pull Sumo.



Yeah, ever Yeah,



or like at least a moderate stance like Ed Cohn used to, you're not going to try like a floor press, what if you identify a weakness Are you just going to continue to do the same movement over and over and over again and hope it fixes itself? No, pick a movement, that's a variation of that movement to attack your weakness, like you're talking about. So, two of the common places that people have a weakness in their benchpress are their anterior delts. And the triceps, a lot of people will triceps. But you mentioned use an incline press, incline press hammers, your anterior delts. If they were a weakness, and you hammered him with incline press for a block, you're going to come back and that weakness is going to be pushed down the line of performance. And now you're going to be able to feel the gap in your actual competition press, you have to sit here and identify weaknesses and then pick the variations to attack them. The over specificity of the sport in general, as what is led to what you are observing. And that's just, I'm just gonna keep benching, I'm gonna keep doing comp bench, I'm gonna keep squatting the same way, and hope that my weaknesses just kind of take care of themselves with a ton of volume or whatever it is they decided to do there. Instead, use variation and use, you know, some of your accessory work to attack those weaknesses. And don't automatically think that that means you're all of a sudden going conjugate, or Westside like it's some bad thing. Anyway, be flexible with that stuff. And you'll see constant growth, as opposed to smashing your face against the wall, trying to do the same thing over and over and over again, I know. And



that's honestly, that's where I credit my coach and my wife's coach Rob, where he does have her doing a ton of accessory work. And yes, she has long sessions. But she went into her first meet, and she blew them away, she came in second place in her weight class. For her first meet, she had the strongest deadlift out of all the women in her weight class above her weight class and everything. She was strong all around a very well rounded athlete, except for the benchpress. And I think that has a lot to do with just genetics. And Nia, she's got a tiny little arms too. So yeah, they've grown sense. And her benchpress has come up a lot. I mean, he's the only other coach where he was like, Look, we're gonna do it this way. We questioned it, we both me and hey, a question this for a while, looking at the other programs that were out there. And I said, Look, I see it as he's working on the whole picture, not just those three movements, and unilateral training, all of that is going to complement whatever else you're doing. And I'm a big believer in, you know, ditching the barbell for a while and going to dumbbells, you know, and kind of working on the right, left and balance. And I love what you said, coming from a power lifter, because I thought I was nuts. And I think a lot of people just follow the whole, you know, the craze of just do this. And I'm sure you've seen injuries happen because of it also, and can you talk about that a little bit. I mean, what could happen if we are just deadlifting, three times a week and some of the things that might come up,



I think the biggest thing is it becomes really difficult to manage your training and recover effectively. When we start talking about injury risk, the biggest thing that I like to get people to really conceptualize it as is all of it, pretty much everything you talk about is an overload injury, that you took an exercise or load. And it exceeded the capacity in that moment of the tissue that got injured. Now sleep has to do with that hydration has to do with that all these other factors have to do with it. But if you're only exposing yourself to certain environments, then if you get a little bit out of position, or if you then we start to see like, okay, the risk is higher, that doesn't mean that you're automatically just going to go and get hurt if you lose position. That's not what I'm saying. I'm definitely not one of these, like everything has to look perfect advocates. But for most people, a broad spectrum of training is necessary to increase performance and decrease injury risk. I will say that if you are super, super elite, you don't have a lot of space for that. But if you're Ray Williams, and you're squatting for reps, 900 pounds, there's just not a whole lot more your body can actually do a 900 pack. Yeah, yeah. And I think that's what's made a lot of this stuff popular is everybody wants to train like the pros. Everybody wants to train like



the elite, but but they're the 1% of the 1% of the 1%. Like genetics has a huge factor and they already had that ship built in them.



They're in a different place. They're in a different place. I love a there was an interview a long time ago Chad Wesley Smith and Elliot alien and ilias outside of the drugs, one of the most insane Olympic weightlifters ever, multiple time world champion Olympic champion, world records all over the place. And they asked him, like, what did his training look like when he was young? And he's like, I just did everything. I'd go into the gym, and I'd pick every exercise that I could possibly do. And then I go play basketball. And they're like, What do you mean, you didn't do clean and jerk and snatch? Like, since you were five? He's like, No, I didn't really start doing that till like eight or nine years ago. Yeah. You know, wait, this is the best of the best. And he's talking about Yeah, it was really general in the beginning. And then you special I started snatching 190 kilos, and they were like, you probably should just focus on this. People. They lose the forest for the trees sometimes. Yeah. When it comes to this stuff. And I get really excited when I hear that your wife is training with multiple modalities, especially like when was that meet that she plays second.



That was this time last year, I want to say October of last year, November of last year was in Dubai. She placed second in her weight class, I think fourth overall. And it was her first meet and then her second meet, which was Battle of the East here in Kuwait. She placed second overall. And the lady that beat her was like a world champion seca. She's like 52 kilos, like her Wilkes is just insane. I mean, like, She's really good. And my wife came in second. And I was, I was proud of shit. I was like, I told her, I was like, Look, you're gifted, you know, this is a sport meant just for you. And she was like, Yeah, I think you're right. And, you know, she's run with it sense. And it's one of those things, Where would she be as good as she didn't do all the other shit? No, I think her and Rob have the perfect recipe going for her programming. But when I see these other power lifter coaches, and, you know, they have all the graphs, their charts, their numbers, they're this, they're that. And I look at the athletes, I look at their programs, and I look at what they're doing on the gram. And I'm like, shit, dude, all you're doing is squat, you know, deadlift and bench pressing, I haven't seen you do anything but that in and it's like, you're going to hit a plateau in my opinion. And then when you hit that plateau, you're going to do the stupid shit to try and get out of it. That's what's gonna get here.



Well, and that's, you know, on the other, the other end of that, I talked to my athletes a lot about training, frustration. Training is not a linear thing. You're always going to hit hard spots and frustrating spots. And it's who you are in that moment that dictates like how successful you're



going to be. Yep.



If you start chasing numbers, and forcing training, and this is, this is literally what you talk about. You do expose yourself to risk and you start making stupid ass decisions. And that's basically all it comes down to. Okay, so I have you plan for a single at RP eight, and you take it to a 12. Because you want this number and that's a bad training decision. Just take the eight build off of it. Keep moving



hundred percent man. I did that shit. Two weeks ago, I fried my CNS. And I was out for 10 days. It was just like my body like saying, look, asshole, we're resetting right now. And it was a stupid decision. But do I regret it? No, because I know I can handle that load. And you know, I'm not getting any younger. So the more I can lift now, before that decline starts to happen. I'm happy camper. Love it. It's funny, because I was trying to explain someone that times out on my side right now.



Oh, man, one of the beauties of CrossFit. Let's just get back to CrossFit real fast. And really, honestly, all the strength sports, I don't think there's an age limit on. Obviously, there are some things that are difficult, you know, squatting to powerlifting depth becomes difficult as some people age, some people know. But you're not going to hit a 700 pound deadlift when you're 65. Right. But you can still compete, you can still go out and have fun. The communities are still Yeah, absolutely amazing to be a part of. And you see, especially in CrossFit, I've really like to see the growth of the Masters, competition stuff and how competitive it's really gotten. But you see it all the time, man, we got a lady out here. She's in Northern Virginia. She's like 78 man, and she's a multiple time world record holder in her weight class. And just,



it's amazing.



It looks like your grandma out there. And she doesn't deadlift like 340. Like, that is awesome, dude, nicest lady. But like, there may be an age limit to like, your performance standard, but there's no actual age limit.



age limit. Yeah, that's true. That's 100% true. Now, before we wrap up here and I saved the best for last and that is strong man. I frickin think the number one modality In my opinion, my personal preference is strong man. And I think that's the one thing every gym should start to take into consideration and doing because it's everything they're like, I don't understand how People don't do it all the time.



So my buddy who, or is the strongman event organizer for our region, he calls it strongman for everyone. strongman has something for everybody. And it's hard to argue that it's fun. It's fun as hell yeah. Cuz it's very random. I hate to use this term because it just gets so burnt up, but it's functional. Yeah, in such a practical way. You know, you're basically picking up awkward things and carrying them around. Like, that's what you do. It's basically yard work. Right builds



a different type of strength.



It does. It builds farm strong, in my opinion, it's all grip and posterior chain and awkward lifting. And then the one thing that can't be overlooked that's a big difference between weightlifting and powerlifting as a strength sport, is the cardio aspect and you have timed events that are typically relays that you have to have some level of cardiovascular capacity to get through. Or not even timed ones like some of the truck pulls. Like it's a distance you got to take a dump truck. Yeah, with you know, was a couple years ago, there was a Halloween event and they put a dump truck, they cleaned out the inside of it and put a whole bunch of trick or treaters in it. had to pull this like a class of third graders and a dump truck. 100 feet and it's like, it's taken two minutes, three minutes to get that event done. It's brutal.



No, it is I think the sad thing why people are turned off is because they see like, you know, Brian Shaw, and they see all these guys, you know, Oprah and all these dudes, you're just pulling planes and shit. And they're like, I can't do that. But in reality, everyone can do that. And it's so functional. And it's so good for you know, the body in general. And like I said, I love to compete. If I could compete in strongman, I would do it, but I'm just not strong enough at my weight class, it would be a waste of time, almost. And you know, I compete to try and win. I'm not gonna lie. So that would just be you know, there are guys that can easily outlive me. You know, it's it's just stopped there for me. But when I stopped CrossFit, I'm going back strong, man.



So I'm gonna go ahead and be a little critical a straw man real quick, so we can get definitely make sure we balance things out.



100% dude, go ahead.



I think one of the difficulties when it comes to making strongman accessible is its randomness to be a gym that can truly support it, the amount of equipment that's necessary to be able to prepare completely is outrageous. And it's such a square footage eater, like it just takes up so much space.



Yeah, unless you have a driveway. Like you have a big parking lot outside the gym, and I've seen some gyms, they pack their strongman stuff into a corner and take it outside.



Yeah, we have a like the the business next to the gym that I go to, is a masonry business. So they actually made like this barrier. So we put all of our stones in it outside. There's some stuff inside we've got yolks and stones and logs and host FL stones and natural stones. Like our gym is very supportive of strong Leo card deadlift platform, like oh,



it's insane, dude, that is absolutely insane, man.



It's nuts. But it also does, it takes up a large amount of space. So my suggestion to like any gym owners out there that are like man, it would be really cool to provide like some sort of strongman stuff and get a frame, just a cheap like a titan frame, they got one that you can turn into the four corner frame or farmer sandals. Rhodes yoke is great, the y two or the Y three, because it doubles as a squat rack. Yeah, so you've got a yoke to carry. You've got a frame or handles to carry, and then get a good quality deadlift bar. And you're pretty much set. Yeah, you got to deadlift, you got to carry events, and then any other barbell you can use for overhead work. Yeah, you can pretty much on ramp anybody into the basics of strongman stones are also great. They beat the crap out of people, sometimes I love them, but they're difficult to like, keep places to tell



you about it. I walked into your gym a month ago. And they're like, yeah, we're selling our Atlas stones. I was like, Alright, man. I was like, how many guys like 11 I was like, I'll give you 300 bucks for all of them. And I knowingly, knowingly. I know. It's way more than 300 bucks for all of them. Yeah, they were talking from like 65 pounds all the way up to about 200 pounds. He was like, Yeah, sure. He's like, Okay, fine. So I was like, Alright, deal, man. See ya, I load him up at my knee. Sonic stare this thing's 10 years old, if I could back is just bouncing all over. I literally drive 100 kilometers from the gym to my new house in the middle of the desert. And the whole entire backside of my Jeep is sunk into the ground. every bump of feeling that these Atlas balls are flying all over the place, but I was like, I'm not gonna pass up this deal and then my wife and mother walking. They're like, what the hell did you do? What is this? Because I lined them up in my garden. And I was like, Yeah, they could be like a nice little now they weren't having it. Yeah, they're like, take that shit out back



on the lawn ornament that you can live.



Yeah, right, dude. Exactly. And it was like, but it was a good deal and having Atlas stones. It does take up a lot of space. And I think that's why they wanted to get rid of them. But there's a sandbag. I think sandbags are a great alternative sandbags



kegs, I like sandbags, mainly because you can change the load in them if you do it the right way. But yeah, you know, there's tons of alternatives, especially for like a front carry. Yeah, like sandbags, like you're talking about, but I mean, I think the biggest thing is, you're absolutely right. People look at it, Brian Shaw and Eddie Hall and Thor and they're like, Oh, my gosh, I would never be able to do that. You'd be surprised. Yeah, there it is. He's the event organizer. He does an event every year. It's called my strongman resolution. He does it for New Year's every year. And it is novice only and novice scaled. So he actually has novice and then he creates a whole nother division that's scaled underneath novice, that's even easier. That is awesome. Because it's just such an easy introduction for people. So I love the sport, man. I think it's it's a blast.



Do you think you'll ever pick up steam again, like it had in the late 90s? I would say when it was all over TV. And you know, I was too young for it. I think it was mid 90s. And it was all over TV. I remember watching strong man all the time, and then it just kind of died out. It just died.



Yes, I think it will. You know, you look at that timeframe. You had Mario's Panofsky. They had like dominant champions. Yeah, right now, it's back and forth. And I mean, I haven't even seen it on ESPN as much as I used to. I remember as a kid for me, like the 90s. In the early 2000s. It was on ESPN every year like okay, the actual world Strongest Man, I think it will. If you look at the crowds at the Arnold like the in person crowds. They're bigger, but I think it's going to take a little bit of time. The biggest question in the strongman community, though, is when a strongman got to be as big as CrossFit. Sorry, guys. Not gonna happen.






I mean, it's gonna be tough. Because CrossFit, you got to give it to them. They can do it everywhere and anywhere where a strong man like you said, it's just the equipment needed. Yeah, the equipment needed. It's just, I mean, look, I had a yoke made, you know, for half the price or a quarter of the price of what rogue sells it, you know, and that's because I enjoy it. And I'm going to tell my coach and like, Look, dude, I have a yoke. I want to start doing one day a week strongman slash CrossFit. And, you know, just because I love doing it, I think it's the best thing in the world to pick up heavy shit all day. If you were to give one major benefit of strongman to athletes, one movement, from strongman to athletes, saying, alright, this will give you and I know put you on the spot right now, this will give you the biggest bang for your buck, what movement would you give them



carries really heavy carries sandbag?



Or the trap bar carries or dumbbell carries?



I'd probably say Oh,



yeah, now that now I get you think with the sandbag



spot? Oh, I don't know, man. I'm like 5050 on that just because of the grip strength. Yeah, that's needed for the trap bar. But the demand, like the total body demand of the sandbag can be argued to be a little bit more difficult and just getting the sandbag into position. So honestly, if we take the whole movement into account, I'll probably say a really heavy sandbag carry would rank up there towards the top. But you gotta just to qualify what I'm talking about. It's an awkward carry, it's gonna suck your cardio right out the window, and it's gonna put you in a position that is awkward that you're not necessarily used to. So that is the biggest thing for me. There's a cardio aspect. There's a general strength aspect and there's just this awkwardness to it that it's going to expose you to so many different positions. You tell me Have you ever picked up a sandbag in the same way?



No. Again? I don't think so.



You haven't. Like there's times there's like, Okay, I'm gonna throw this over my shoulder because the only place I can get it stable right now. And the next time you're carrying it your chest and the next time like, yeah, a long, heavy carry.






garden style.



Yeah, not totally mad. Dude, thanks so much for coming on the show. We would definitely love to have you back on Bring it on. Yeah, no, definitely. Seriously. I mean, I'd love to have you back on. Hopefully next month. If we could bring you on and we'll have Meg she's an ex crossfitter. She's our movement gut health specialist. So yeah, she's fine. I mean, she'll probably challenge a lot of things, but she'll agree with a lot of things too. So I mean, she's Let's talk about poop. I know dude, that's what I always talk about when Meg poop always comes up, poop always comes up with the worst people to poop or like, you know, strong men and you know the weightlifters? Yeah. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. This was one of the funniest episodes. I've done it a long time, man. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Appreciate that.



It's awesome. I had a blast. Anytime you want me back home and let me know



real quick. How can people find you? what's available online? What social platforms are you on?



I am most active on Instagram. So if you go on Instagram, it's john dot rebuild stronger. That's I mean, if you want to send me a message, I'm an open book. You can chat with me about any of this stuff. You can also find me on clinical athlete that is a network for healthcare providers and coaches that specialize in working with athletes. And then through that I actually have a coaching certification for powerlifting that is launching. It's completely online. It's launching the end of this month, this coming month in November. So look out for that. Awesome, man.



Thank you so much, dude. Absolutely man. Appreciate






Thanks for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, please head over to iTunes to subscribe rate and leave a review. You can also find us on Instagram at the project Kuwait. Thank you and join us next time

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