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“Always Do This. Never Do That.”

“Always Do This. Never Do That.”

“Why let one bad apple spoil the whole damn bunch?”
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The internet has made all of us experts on everything. Be it coronavirus, gluten (“bread makers are puppets of the big pharma!”) or the geopolitical situation of the South China Sea.

I know how how to manage my own money. I’ve even read a book or two on personal finance. I know how to spell Warren Buffett. But that doesn’t make me a financial adviser.

Just because we have the access to information layered with our own personal experiences doesn’t make us experts.

I recently read through a long and frustrating thread in a Facebook group for hikers. Someone was asking for advice on what to do with relentless back pain that’s stopping him from hiking.

The typical answers recommended yoga for flexibility or adding specific exercises to improve core strength. There were also a few that recommended getting a massage and at least one who was adamant about not seeing a chiropractor. As in, you might as well drink cyanide. Apparently his back had been forever messed up by a chiro in the past.

These are well meaning people trying to help a fellow hiker. I get it. But reading these black and white replies is a warning exercise for anyone to not rely on advice from people who lack the expertise to give it.

Whenever the answer to something complicated like back pain is an absolute “do this, not that”, without any context whatsoever, it’s clear that the answer is based on purely personal experience.

Something worked, or didn’t work for the advice giver, or someone they know. It reminds me of how Peter Griffin was against getting a second hand car because his friend once bought one and, “Bam! 10 years later, herpes.”

Yes, some chiropractors might make your back (and wallet) worse

There are chiropractors who will sell you into seeing them twice a week for months because your “spine needs adjusting”. Whatever that means. But this doesn’t validate a blanket statement that all the chiropractors will ruin your back.

This goes for any other profession.* There are bad trainers, doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, dietitians, car mechanics, lawyers, fridge repairers… you name it.

Yet, just because we bite into a one bad apple doesn’t mean that the whole bunch is rotten. We just happened to choose a bad apple.

And yes, yoga might work.

But it might also make it worse. For someone whose back pain is caused by hypermobility through the trunk and hips yoga might not be the best solution.

This doesn’t mean that all the variations of yoga are bad. But certain types of yoga might not be the right for them, at this moment.

It’s tempting to believe in a straightforward solution.

We’re drawn to find simple answers. It’s comforting. Be it right or not. And we’re drawn to give simple answers because, whether we do it consciously or not, it makes us feel like we know what we’re talking about.

But the real world is more complicated. Especially with back pain where the real answer is often “well, it depends…”

Ironically, the (internet) answer to this man’s back pain problem was black on white

Towards the end of the threat, as I was just about to give up hope on humanity’s common sense and smash a hammer through my laptop screen before booking a ticket to Tibet to become a monk, there was a sign of hope. A signal leading to a relieving sigh. Words of wisdom from someone who was willing to admit they didn’t know.

“You should probably go get a professional opinion.”

Now, if we could only delete all the other well-meaning, but misleading comments.


*We make an exemption for homeopathy here. This profession has no science backing them up. Zero validity. Save your money. Buy ice cream instead. It’ll probably make you feel better.

Although, ice cream might not be good for some…

Maybe The Flexibility Exercises Are Not Working Because…Stress

Maybe The Flexibility Exercises Are Not Working Because…Stress

“I know the pieces fit ’cause I watched them fall away.”
Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

Ever feel like no matter how much flexibility or mobility work you do you’re just not getting any “looser”. The tension and pain in the body restricts you from doing certain things. Like, when walking around town you feel like a cowboy who just shat their pants and now tries to act cool like it didn’t happen. Well, it did happen. And it doesn’t look cool.

Maybe it’s not the flexibility exercises that are wrong, or that you’re not doing them enough. If you’ve done your best to eliminate the activities that make you tight (hello sitting hunched over a laptop) it’s worth observing your mind.

Hello mind. Remember me?

Enter stress. Not only can poorly managed psychological stress keep your muscles stiff, but it can also trigger and increase pain. As this study states about low back pain, “Having either stress or depression was also significantly associated with greater risk of flare-ups.”

When working with clients I see this highlighted most often in people dealing with the long-term annoyance of low back pain, frozen shoulder or neck pain. It’s not uncommon for them to have a flare up whenever they’re going through a stressful period in their life.

And regardless of what we do sometimes there is only little improvement with pain and tension until the stress subsides.

If you’re dealing with persistent pain get diagnosed by an allied health professional first.

That’s your physio, chiro or osteo. I hate to be all doom and gloom, but you want to make sure the pain isn’t there because of something more sinister.

Besides, once cleared and diagnosed you’ve removed the added stress of worrying about the unknown.

Combine stress management with your training plan

Different tools for different minds. There is no a universal solution for each person. But here are few that I’ve found people having the most success with when managing stress.

  • Prioritise sleep. I know I said there are no universal solutions. But poor sleep is a major piece in why people feel like rusty cowboys. Which makes sleep a universal solution.
  • Daily meditation or mindful breathing. Could be one minute, could be ten. Here’s my favourite no-nonsense meditation app.
  • Daily walks outside. If possible, somewhere away from traffic, concrete and excessive noise. So ideally avoid walking on a busy road that circles a highrise housing a kindergarten. Even short walks make a difference.
  • Laugh often. A short daily clip from Ricky Gervais should be prescribed as medicine.

Yes, working on flexibility is important

And we should keep at it. But sometimes we need to look beyond of what’s going on with our bodies. If we’re doing mobility exercises over and over again without seeing any change it’s worth checking what’s going in that mind of ours.

Walk Away To Come Back Stronger Another Day

Walk Away To Come Back Stronger Another Day

Strength, power and cardiovascular fitness forms the foundation for longevity. And these qualities have to be constantly nurtured to stop them from crumbling. They need the integrity that comes from frequent practice.

Yet there is a point of diminishing returns. A point of too much. Be it chasing some random ego-driven numbers with weights, running ourselves to the ground on the trails, or pushing that one extra set or rep when it clearly doesn’t matter.

Should I stay or should I go?
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Strength, power and cardiovascular fitness forms the foundation for longevity. And these qualities have to be constantly nurtured to stop them from crumbling. They need the integrity that comes from frequent practice.

Yet there is a point of diminishing returns. A point of too much. Be it chasing some random ego-driven numbers with weights, running ourselves to the ground on the trails, or pushing that one extra set or rep when it clearly doesn’t matter.

As I am closing in on a full decade of working with clients, and twenty years of training myself, this is one of the guidelines I try to drill into people’s heads (including my own) the most:

It’s okay.
You’ve done enough.
Walk away.
Come back another day.

Not only is it a solid advice, it also rhymes. Which in itself is a great thing in any sentence. And means that because of the poetic beauty in it, it shouldn’t be argued with.

Listen to the sweet whispers of your body.

This can be tricky, and sometimes we abuse it to get away from doing the good quality work. It’s a skill to differentiate between mentally not feeling it and feeling off physically. A skill that usually gets better as the training age increases.

What often acts as a good guide, unless you’re feeling like an absolute dirt, is just starting the workout. Just by completing the movement prep and the first set of training can bring a newly found glory to the body and mind. That’s a sign to keep going.

The opposite is true too. If after the movement prep the body and mind still feel like they’ve been a pinata for a bunch enthusiastic kids high on birthday cake while practising their latest karate moves, it might be better to walk away. Literally, a walk instead might be a good idea.

Only quality reps matter.

It’s often that “one more set” that will leave us feeling like a bag of runny donkey poo for days, even weeks. Injuries, muscle strains and general shadiness usually happen in the vicinity of trying to do a few more.

Quality reps deliver results and leave you feeling semi-fresh. Piling shitty reps on top for the sake of quantity usually does nothing good, but leave you tired. And being tired is not a measuring stick for the success of a training session.

Compare previous results before “I’ll do one more”.

Checking what you’ve done in the past can act as a guide to whether you should do more. If you’re feeling great and one more means just a bit better than in the previous workouts, go at it. Be great. A savage, if you must. Whatever adjective that gets you going will do, really.

If you’ve already done a bit better than before it might be better to walk away. You’ve done enough. Insert the rest of the rhyme here and whistle away.

And if you’re constantly feeling like you’ve been run through a meat grinder it’s time to investigate what’s up.

If you’re like most of us it’s unlikely that you’re training too much. But it could be that you’re training too much for what your body can handle with whatever else is going on in your life. And it often comes back to the basics of not enough sleep and food, of too much stress.

Let’s do just enough to keep getting better.

The Restorative Power of Nature

The Restorative Power of Nature

Maybe my most lamest new-age title so far. I couldn’t resist. Great view though.
Photo by John Silliman on Unsplash

Worry not, I am not turning into a naturopathic charlatan recommending people to snort a combination of celery powder and dragon tears thought a cinnamon stick to cure a nasty case of donkey breath.

But we can agree (as does science) that getting outside does something wonderful to us. Like with all the living things, being a human is better with a daily dose of outdoors.

Staying focused on the drops of rain hitting our face as we navigate through a national park. The calming effects of silence during a bush walk and feeling reinvigorated as we plunge into the cold water while canyoning.

Feeling invigorated as the pulse ramps up during a hilly trek. The intoxicating sense of fresh air rushing through our lungs when sprinting the last five hundred meters.

The sense of stress subsiding as we break for a meal and stare into the distant stillness. Taking in the peaceful view from far above the tree tops.

That’s why we keep showing up. That’s why we train. For the promise of being able to soak in the nature with all our senses.

Aviation Fuel for Motivation

Aviation Fuel for Motivation

Ummm, where’s the nearest petrol station? I need to pee.
Photo by Kristjan Kotar on Unsplash

During times of uncertainty many struggle with direction in training. Redirecting our focus on to a majestic goal can be like throwing aviation fuel to a nearly extinguished training fire.

Choose a challenging end goal

This should feel slightly unreachable, but not utopistic. Think climbing the Everest base camp vs jogging across Sahara without stopping for a pee. A goal that spikes you with nervous energy. Something that excites you about what’s possible when you really try.

Think about something you’ve always wanted to do.

It could be exploring one of the great treks of Australia, hiking Machu Picchu, two week’s of trekking in New Zealand, or doing the Forrest Gump across the US (with water).

Involve someone else in the end goal

We are more likely to stick with a training goal when the alternative is letting another person down. Make a promise that you will want to keep. Even better, make a promise that will be emotionally painful to break.

If your friend is fitter than you make a pact that you will join them on this once in a life time adventure. If your fitness levels are on par train for it together. Keep each other accountable.

Sign up and pay for the end goal (if possible)

This can be tricky in the lord’s year of 2020. We don’t know what the future holds for travel and expeditions. But there are still things you can do.

Invest in hiking gear. Buy a tent. Get that expensive beanie from Patagonia. Whatever. Pay good money for something that you’d hate to see go to waste.

Set milestones by working backwards from the end goal.

If you’ve got 12 months to prepare, what needs to happen every month, or every two months for you to reach your goal? Lay them out and share with your accountability partner.

Set action orientated weekly goals.

Milestones are immovable. They don’t come to us, we need to get to them. What are the actions, habits and rituals you need to put in place to hit these milestones?

This could be strength training on specific days. Short rucking during the week and longer walks on the weekends.

Drill deeper on your weaknesses and start working your way up.

One To Rule Them All

One To Rule Them All

Exit light. Enter night.
Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

When improving our health and wellbeing we can get sucked in the vortex of trialling different easy-to-implement habits. Less snacking, cut down alcohol, avoid the foods that grow on red desert sand, or removing carbs because:

“That guy on Instagram said so and, see, how lean is he?! I think I can see the outlines of his kidney.*”

Often we bounce from one habit to the next with no progress. Frustration boils over and we heave arrows of blame at anyone we can think of. Our limited willpower, unhealthy circle of friends, and our mum eating too much toothpaste when we were in the womb. Everyone gets their fare share of blame.

The struggle is palatable because we gravitate towards shallow, surface level habits. Don’t get me wrong, these have their place. But they need to be suspended on a thick foundation. We can’t hang these habits on air and wishful thinking. Heavy branches need a thick trunk.

And there just so happens to be a clear reason why the trunk is on the thin side for most people who struggle. And it has nothing to do with how much toothpaste your mum ate.

You’ll need to lie down for this

The lack of sleep is the magnifier of all our weaknesses and negative traits. Every single thing in life is a drag when we’re tired.

Navigating the world on limited sleep highlights our not-so-wonderful personality traits. Irritability, anyone?

It clouds our judgement. Be it with food, alcohol, or relationships. It makes following every other habit a drag. It makes training sessions feel like trying to do breaststrokes in quicksand.

And it reduces our concentration and takes us away from doing deep work. Just ask anyone with a newborn.

There’s a reason why parents with newborns are content at not taking on the world** for the next 6-12 months. Life is twice as challenging when lived through drooped eyelids.

Some of us live through their lives as if there’s been a newborn at home for the last ten years. Sure, there are some odd balls who claim to function on four hours of sleep. And tell everyone about it on Twitter. Like, uh I don’t know, Donald Trump.

But I think that he too could use couple more hours of sleep. To help him act less like a newborn himself.

Anyways. For the next month, instead of trying to improve your eating and exercise habits, focus on improving the quantity and quality of your sleep. This will radiate ease into everything else you’re trying to do.

How to improve your sleep

Most of us need around 7-10 hours of good quality sleep per night. If you have the luxury to sleep as much as you can (most of us don’t) try not setting your alarm for the next week and see if there are natural sleeping patterns you’ll notice.

But before you bury yourself in the fresh sheets and blankets, get your house in order:

  • Spend money on a good bed and a pillow. Whatever “good” means to your body.
  • No caffeine after 3pm. Or earlier if caffeine kicks you into overdrive.
  • No screens 90-120 minutes before planned sleep time.
  • No alcohol before bed.
  • For busy brainiacs do a mind dumb on a notebook to clear your thoughts. Make a pact with yourself to come back to them in the morning.
  • Keep the bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Earplugs might help if your neighbours are dicks.
  • The bedroom should be a sanctuary only reserved for sleep and sex (and a book if it helps you to wind down).
  • Aim to be asleep by 10pm. Plan your evening accordingly.

That’s a start. None of us is perfect. I know I sometimes use my phone in bed. And tend to have an alcoholic beverage on Saturday while watching Netflix right until going to bed.

If you aim to follow that list on most days you might find that there is a different person hiding behind those sleep deprived eyes.


*I don’t get this. It’s like asking a guy with a great hair to cut my hair.
**Although, caring for a newborn is harder than taking on the world.

The Tax On Chasing High Performance

The Tax On Chasing High Performance

The greatest athletes at the peak of their careers are not necessarily healthier than an average punter. In fact, they might even be worse off because of the toll their sport is taking on the body. Leaning too heavily on performance will have a negative effect on health. And there’s a tax the high level athlete will eventually have to pay for their success.

Similarly, the most aesthetics pleasing body is not always the healthiest. A six pack is not the pinnacle of health. It too often comes with a tax on health.

The tax might not be due tomorrow. But there’s no escaping the reality that one day this price for success needs to be paid back. It’s the price for sacrificing health and longevity for a relatively short term goal.

One-dimensional goal: winning. Two-dimensional outcome: success with the tax on health. Great, if that’s the goal. High level athletes are ok with the sacrifice. Winning is worth the tax. That’s how sports work. That’s how you make it to the top.

In high paid athletes the tax isn’t necessarily a problem. Inconvenient? Sure. But apart from collision injuries to the head, they will have the money to pay most of the tax later in life.

But what about those of us who are not highly paid athletes? We can’t think like the athletes do. We can’t sacrifice overall wellbeing to win the ultra competitive local wrestling competition every year. It’s probably not worth the sacrifice. We can’t afford to pay the tax.

And even if we can, it’s worth asking, is this performance goal worth the price? There’s no right or wrong. But I know where I stand*.

Focus on being a healthy, well functioning human first. Have a bendable, but unbreakable foundation. Add performance (whatever this means to you) as much as you can without reducing function and health.

Let someone else win the wrestling.


*in the stands. Having a beer.

After taxes.
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash
What Kids Can Teach You About Movement

What Kids Can Teach You About Movement

Dandelion. A great song.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

On our daily walks with our son, I often have to lure him to keep moving forward. With a combination of “there might be a digger around the corner, “maybe we can see a motorbike or a blue bus, or “let’s go and see if the puppy is there today.”*

We also make the walk about collecting leaves and the fuzzy dandelion seed “flowers” which keeps him going for a good while. And I get it, for a two-year-old walking on a flat ground for the sake of just walking is probably as exciting as listening to someone analysing the intricacies of cricket is to me.**

But eventually the kid’s had enough, I lift him on to my shoulders and we keep going. That is until we come to a spot that’s not flat. Be it a grassy hill, an uneven trail to bounce along, or a set of intimidating stairs. Like an emperor on his high chair, he demands to get back on the ground and walk.

The bigger the stairs, the better. He loves going up and down, mostly with a struggle that he can just manage without falling. He finds walking more fun when it’s challenging. Because it’s novel.

And, that’s how he learns.

As adults, we tend to get stuck on doing the same exercises and same jazzercise classes for years on end. We only focus on getting the sweat on while ignoring our movement skills. Adding a sedentary work environment to the mix doesn’t help.

And this doesn’t really bother most people. Until it does. It’s usually a slowly increasing nagging pain or ache that over time becomes a persistent companion in training, and even everyday living.

Most people’s solution is to seek help of a professional, do some exercises for a while and then return to what they’ve always done. And then repeat this cycle over and over again without ever really fixing anything. I get it, we’re all busy.

But, a better option would be to get off that cycle by copying what kids do. By leaning into the basic movements we’ve forgotten and now find challenging. We could proactively put these movement problems into a judo arm lock*** before they get a hold of us.

Instead of only focusing on what gets you sweating, focus on what’s difficult. And I guarantee you’ll break a sweat doing them. These movement, whatever they are for you, will feel like you could fail at any moment.

With enough concentration you manage to get them done. And you’ll get better.

Just like a kid learning to walk up and down the stairs does.


*These are not lies. We see those things on most days.
**I get it. There are sticks, it goes on for months, and you like tea.
***I hope that’s a term. I’ve never done judo. Except the verbal version.

Noticing

Noticing

The purpose of training our body at the gym is not to become better at training at the gym. No, we train so we can live a better, more fulfilling life outside of that space of bright lights and soulless pop music.

Similarly, the reason for meditating is not just to get better at being present during the daily 10 minutes of practise. The reason we do it is to have the benefits of the practise spill into the rest of our day.

The positive effect meditating can have to those roughly thousand minutes we spend awake each day is stronger than anything else we could learn. It gives us the power to set the tone for each moment and each interaction we’ll have.

Noticing a mood being present without letting it consume us. Instead of dwelling in a negative feeling for hours, or even days, we can acknowledge it being present and then do the hard part of letting it go. This will have a direct effect on the quality of our life.

Noticing the feelings of anger arising before reacting. That split second we spend noticing between feeling anger and reacting to it can’t be overestimated.

Noticing a cycle of thought keeping us in it’s grip. And being able to let go of it. Seeing it as a passing cloud instead of it being a part of us. With diligent practise of meditation all this can be untangled in matter of seconds.

We have the power to notice thoughts arising. To be curious about them without dwelling. To observe them with interest instead of making them part of us.

It won’t always be perfect. It won’t always happen in seconds. But the more we practise, the quicker we can let go of the thoughts that control us.

In the end, that’s what our whole experience is. Thoughts.

Photo by Anastasia Taioglou on Unsplash
Why I Rarely Use Barbells

Why I Rarely Use Barbells

Chains. Metal.
Photo by John Salvino on Unsplash

The gym-less self-isolation training hasn’t been a challenge for most of my clients. Not because any of them have proper gym set ups at home. But because when we train at the gym it’s mostly with kettlebells, dumbbells, resistance bands and bodyweight. Stuff that’s easy enough to set up at home.

Sure, there are some aspects we are now missing. Cable pulley system-machine-whatever-you-want-to-call-it, the power work with medicine balls, trapbar deadlifts and the access to landmine exercises. The last being just about the only thing we use barbells for.

I’ve gradually used less and less of barbells over the years. And it’s probably been three or four years since I’ve cut them out almost completely for new clients*.

Barbells emphasise a one dimensional view on progression

Go heavier. That’s really it. You get better by increasing your numbers. Sure, you can add pauses and all the other stuff to get stronger. But focusing on barbell lifting emphasises increasing the weight on the bar. That’s a fact in people wired in barbell lifting.

Great for powerlifters competing in lifting the biggest possible weights, but not so much for people who just want to be and look fitter and healthier. Let’s face it, how much does a healthy adult really need to lift anyway?

Using barbells makes people more prone to injury

All the barbell lifts are way too easy to load excessively heavy. Because it’s possible to pile on the weights with the bar already elevated in the rack, you don’t have to bypass the body’s self-limiting brilliance: the need to build a base of strength to get the bar into the starting position.

Making barbell squat into a self-limiting exercise.
Imagine if before even trying squatting the weight you’d have to clean it into the rack position. But no. With a squat rack all the trainee has to do is to walk under the bar, create tension against it and walk it away from the rack.

And that’s why I like goblet, and front squats with kettlebells.
There is no way most people can lift as heavy when the weight is held in front of the body. The pull forward is just too great. And there’s the grip strength which adds another element of difficulty to the lift.

Smells like goblet squat spirit.

Besides, for this to even work, you have to lift the weights to the starting position first. Another safety check to pass before earning the right to squat with them.

What about barbell loaded hip thrust?
I love the hip thrust. But not with a heavy barbell. A heavy weight sitting on my hips? Trusting that my back and pelvis can handle it? No, thank you.

Besides, there is something off-putting about loading things so heavy that you have to use a cushion to reduce the pressure of it on the body.

The case against barbell loaded bench and overhead press.
I refuse to help someone get heavy dumbbells in the starting position of a dumbbell bench press. If you can’t get them there yourself, you haven’t earned the right to press with them.

Compare this to barbell bench press where people can just load the bar and un-rack it. Regardless of it being too heavy or not.

Benching with a barbell also forces the hands and therefore the shoulders to follow a specific pattern. Where as when benching with dumbbells or kettlebells (one arm floor press) the hands can rotate freely. It just feels nicer for most people. Same goes for overhead press variations.

Deadlifts make an occasional exception to the rule.
Most people feel better using a trapbar instead of barbell when deadlifting. Compared to barbell the trapbar allows the weight to travel closer to the mid-line of the body, which just feels nicer on most backs.

There is the occasional client who still works on barbell deadlifts, just because it feels better for them. But these clients are few and far between. Even still, we often elevate the weight off the ground for them.

But what about when your arms get tired before your legs?

Most people’s argument against using goblet or kettlebell front squat is that it’s usually the arms that get tired before the legs. That it’s impossible to go as heavy with kettlebell front squat compared to barbell back or front squat. True.

And on that note, here’s a snippet from Charlie Weingroff’s The Concept of Lowest System Load:

Effort does not equal results.  We know this.  And Newton’s 2nd law says force is force is proportional to the mass of an object along with the acceleration of motion.  In theory, there has to be more mass of the kettlebell to increase more force.  But there can also be more acceleration.

For instance, in performing a proper hard style KB swing with 20-30% of the individual’s bodyweight, force plates register almost 4x bodyweight.  A 200 lb man can swing a 24 and create 800 pounds of force into the ground.  I am guessing there are many more 200 lb individuals swinging 20s, 24s, and 32s than pulling 8 and 9 wheels.

So the example here suggests that we MAY be able to accomplish ONE of the same things using an implement of 15% the load.”
– Charlie Weingroff

As I mentioned earlier, something happens when the weight in your hands is held further away from your body’s base of support. Because your centre of gravity shifts forward you need more strength relatively to the weight you are holding, which creates an experience of a harder lift.

The exercise will be harder to complete, but it is likely easier for your joints and nervous system. By driving the weight up fast, you should be able to get similar benefits with lighter weights. Making the return of investment much higher. If this matches your training goals, you win.

And if you get to a point when the grip really becomes the limiting factor, switch to single leg variations. One leg requires less loading compared to two.

Safer alternatives for barbell lifting

Squat alternatives

  • Kettlebell/dumbbell goblet hold or kettelbell rack variations for squats.
  • Split squats, lunges, rear foot elevated split squat to reduce the load on the back (load one leg, one back vs two legs, one back) and the grip.
  • Single leg squat variations.

Deadlift alternatives

  • Trapbar, kettlebell and double kettlebell deadlifts.
  • Single leg deadlifts.
  • Skater squats.

Hip thrust alternative

  • Single leg hip thrusts.

Bench press alternatives

  • Dumbbell bench variations.
  • 1-arm kettlebell floor press.
  • Push up variations.

Overhead press alternatives

  • Landmine press variations.
  • 1-arm kettlebell press variations.

My clients are not powerlifters

Hence we do whatever works so we can get to them to their goals in the safest, most efficient way possible. And for most, barbell doesn’t fit into that equation.


*Unless the barbell lifts are something that the client want to do and get good at. Then we work on them like any other.