pirformis table top stretch

Mobility and Stretching Photos for Clients

Foam Roll Calf

foam roll calf

Foam Roll TFL

tfl foam roll

Foam Rolling Inner thigh

Foam Roll Piriformis

foam roll pirformis


Calf Wall Stretch

wall calf stretch


Calf Stretch Lower calf soleus

calf stretch 2

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
aka couch stretch

kstar couch stretch








Inner thigh Straddle Stretch


Pirformis Stretch “Table Top Stretch”

pirformis table top stretch

Why do I suck so much? Self Worth in building a better self

If you miss this lift you’re a piece of shit. If you fail you are weak.

This is the motivation some of us lifters use to determine our self worth when it comes to our sport/fitness endeavor. Sometimes we are conscious of it and most of the time I believe it is unconscious.

For people trying to lose weight and get lean, a common motivator is the thought, “I feel feel fat.” Some of the leanest and ripped people think like this.

“Why do I suck so much.”

Dissatisfaction with vanity, dissatisfaction with physical capabilities are all forms of negative motivation. A powerful motivator. Disgust is a powerful motivator.

Over the years I’ve experienced lots of different emotions. Ups and downs are part of life. Same goes for how we look, how fit we are and how strong we are. When you are young, you have the grit, speed, wit and energy to really prove these thoughts wrong.

Some of us suffer more than others to get there. There are people out there that put themselves in the pain cave and find a way to relish in the suffer fest. Crossfit does come to mind. Though it is this suffering where we find ourselves reborn. To survive the ordeal, the training session, the wod, the powerlifting meet… etc…

In powerlifting it’s really about moving more weight. Going for a new personal record to Squat, Bench and Deadlift a heavy weight for more reps.

In the pursuit of six pack abs, shaping a better looking physique hours are spent in the gym doing cardio doing lots of reps.

For what reason do some of us do these things? To not feel fat? To prove to ourselves we don’t suck? We can either run towards something positive or we can run away from something negative. The dog chasing you that’s about to bite your ass, and you run like hell from it. Then there is the big, bright positive goal or dream. The motivation of pain chasing you or affecting you or the motivation of pleasure pulling you forward.

Quite often we will run faster and harder from pain and disgust than we will ever run towards being better.

It’s so easy to criticize and say to someone,
“you’re lean enough.”
“you’re strong enough.”
“you have enough money”

The challenge lies in being able to balance it for you. The magic in being human is that it’s your choice how you will write your rules for what you want.


Ryan’s Deadlift Seminar for Training Staff and Glute Anatomy Review

Apologies for any typos, this is a draft of the final article but is also an outline 

Deadlift Variations to be discussed

1.) Conventional Deadlift & Pause Deadlift

2.) Romanian Deadlift

3.) Stiff legged Deadlift

4.) Sumo Deadlift

5.) Deficit Deadlift

6.) Snatch Grip Deadlift

7.) Clean Grip Deadlift

8.) Block pulls and Rack pulls

“Deadlifting wrong is like driving on the highway on 2nd gear. You might get from point A to point B, but you’ll do it at cost that is often not worth the amount damage it would do to the engine.”

The most important thing

It’s important that you prioritize the spine. It’s quite common that our clients have very tight hamstrings that prevent them from reach the bar in the ideal position without rounding the lower back. Under most circumstances it’s best that a client squat down to the bar to position for a deadlift then tighten into their hamstrings. The purpose of all of this is to maintain neutral spine.

Context for Deadlift talk

Competition Deadlift for Powerlifting & Crossfit

Training specificity is paramount. Why are you teaching the deadlift for what purpose? In powerlifting you’re trying to maximize all avenues of leverage to lift the most amount of weight following the rules of the sport. The judge will say “platform ready.” You attempt your lift. You cannot use the top of your thighs to help the weight up. This is known as hitching.

In crossfit there are powerlifting type like ladders but hitching is allowed. It’s part of the sport.

In crossfit and work capacity type events, reps is the goal in the shortest period of time. As in powerlifting you’re trying to be efficient, but instead of a single repetition, you’re doing over multiple reps.

As you know I’m not a crossfit expert, but in multiple rep (especially high reps) there are 2 things I think about when it comes to using all the rules to your advantage. Bouncing the weight off the ground (touch & go) and rounding the the upper back. The rounding of the upper back “rule” works in powerlifting also. It helps reduce range of motion. Getting a rebound from a touch and go bounce along with a rounded upper back will allow for the shortest distance of travel possible.

Sports are about pushing human limits, sports have their risks. I’m not debating weather this is safe. I’m simply talking about how to use the rules of the sport to your advantage.

Deadlifting for your clients

Conventional Deadlift and RDL are the 2 movements that are most useful for clients in our gym. For those interested in olympic lifting, doing a clean grip style deadlift will also be useful.

The approach of what a deadlift should be viewed as is follows: picking something off the ground with a flat back (or neutral spine). This is is by far the most useful thing you can teach a client when teaching the deadlift. Can you touch the ground without compromising spinal position?

Glute Aesthetics from Deadlifting

Who doesn’t want a nice butt? Based on the way the gluteus maximus muscle fibers run, deadlifts are the best way to build the “shelf” of the glutes. Others might disagree, but that’s my opinion. This is all deadlifts. Sure squats work also, so that’s why do both. Some clients will progress better with one movement better than the other. Progression is important because muscle size is related to how much you can lift. For the purposes of this conversation usually means 3 rep max or a 5 reps max. A 1 rep max is great, but most people are not skilled enough to do a 1 RM safely.
10/2/14 Update:
There is more to this article..but I wanted to post it sooner. It will be updated at a later date after I give my talk.



Solutions for Low Bar Squats and Elbow Pain [Part 1]

In this video I review some solutions to reduce my elbow pain during squats.

If barbell squats weren’t hard enough, the last thing you want to encounter is upper body problems for primarily a lower body movement. Lateral elbow pain and medial elbow pain are common issues that occur when trying to make gains in the gym.

In the past, my elbows have bothered me before when doing squats, but after time off, foam rolling and voodoo flossing it’s gone away. Now that I’m much stronger, elbow pain has reared its ugly head once again, but this time it’s worse.

Medial elbow pain or inner elbow pain is sometimes difficult pain to describe (at least the type I have). It happens mostly on my left arm and it’s not a type of pain that you can grind through.  Fortunately, my front squats have gotten much better because of it. So at least there is a silver lining to this injury.

I’ve come across some explanations about medial elbow pain as a form of tendinosis, which is slightly different than tendinitis.

I’ve searched far and wide on youtube for solutions to this problem. Paul Carter of Lift Run Bang has a popular youtube video that talks about fixing your low bar back squat, although it’s helped, it hasn’t quite solved my problem completely.

I bought a program called Fix My Elbow pain by Rick Kaselj, although the program has helped me make some progress it still wasn’t enough to fix everything. So I’ve decided to make my own video series on this specific topic.mes squatting heavy with elbow pain.

If this blog post helped you, be sure to share it!  Also check out the next blog post on Elbow pain and squats.




Front Squats: A Break Through Thought for staying UPRIGHT longer

the video above is a video version of this blog post

How to Front Rack Better for Front Squat Beginners

This journey with the barbell has been one of the best experiences of my life. With fitness and performance is was about marathon running and cycling, but now it’s all about the barbell.

The barbell will beat you up and will tell you’re a piece of ****. It’s a truth teller. You either conquer it or it conquers you. This inanimate object I’m falling in love with is the barbell.

Front squats. Mutha F’ing front squats. I hate. I hate them less now because I’ve had an incredible break through that has allowed me to front squat better. This is specific to the front rack, olympic style front squat.

*The break through tip*

As you begin to lower the bar you thrust your elbows up high and hard as you descend.

The common cue is “elbows up!” But when you’re inflexible and have poor mobility (AKA the broken leopard), the phrase ‘elbows up’ has very little meaning and is hard to comprehend. It’s really hard to do when you’ve had very little experience in the position.

However, if your front rack sucks as much as mine does there is one way you can use the ‘elbows up’ cue. Keep your elbows in the same as you begin the decent. It may sound simple and may sound obvious, but if you have the same problem i have; if you try to keep your elbows in the same position as you lower your body will stay up right a split second longer.

I don’t typically like squatting heavy in front of a mirror, but on occasion my circumstances in my gym don’t allow me to flip the rack around. Elbow pain has made it so I can’t back squat, and for whatever reason front squats is an alternative.

While facing the mirror I tried focusing on keeping my elbows in the same relative point in the mirror. It feels kinda feels like you’re flexing your lats forward, shoving the bar into your throat with medium force and using the initiation of the decent allow your elbows move up slightly. Because of the short abrupt decent, the bar decreases its pressure against your shoulders allow you to inch your elbows up a millimeters. If anything, it keeps them upright for a split second longer.

Because of this I can confidently front squat 270lbs now. I hope it helps you on your strength journey.



5 Reasons to Sumo Deadlift Instead of ?

Why the SumoDeadlift

This is the first time sumo deadlifts actually felt right, much better than 7 months ago. Although the heaviest I lifted in this session was only 382lbs, it’s the first time I felt like I was using more of adductors and quads to break the weight off the ground vs my low back and glutes.

I’ve been dedicating 1 day a week to doing 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps.

1.) When you can’t squat heavy sumo deadlift

My squat sessions have been non existent because of my medial elbow pain. As a way to build and maintain my quad strength, front squats have been my replacement, but when you think about it, sumo deadlifts is a decent alternative to getting some heavy squat work in. Far from ideal, but it’s hell of a lot better than doing leg extensions and leg presses when your primary goal is to get good with the barbell.

2.) Work on deadlift muscles at a different angle

Another view of the sumo deadlifts is that it works as a great accessory exercise to conventional deadlifts and squats. Sumo deadlifts help strengthen your adductors but they also help promote a more “knees-out” position for squatting and conventional deadlifting. Of course in conventional deadlifts you don’t really push your knees out a ton, but you definitely use hip torque get those femurs to turn away from each other.

3.) Give your low back a break but still work improving your deadlift strength

If you’re a really good conventional deadlifter, sumo deadlifts is a great way to build your deadlift muscles without frying your lower back. One of the big advantages of a conventional deadlift is it allows you to get good acceleration with your low back and upper back muscles. Some people will disagree with this (probably richard hawthorn would), but when you’re back is sore or just not feeling up to snuff, pull sumo to still work on the posterior chain muscle group but with less dependency on the spinal erectors.

4.) Invest in something you might need down the road

I want to deadlift 700lbs at a bodyweight of 198lbs some time in my life. I may hit a plateau for a few years as Dan green did when he said he got stuck around 300kg (660lbs) doing conventional. So I figured why not invest some time now. I can’t really squat, so I’ll sumo deadlift instead.

5.) Sumo deadlift stance may be similar to your competition squat stance

As you can imagine, if you squat with a wide stance, there is much more carry-over from your squats to your deadlifts and your deadlifts to your squat because you’re training positions that are very similar to one another.

These are just my opinions and view points as of this moment. At anytime they could change as I learn and experience more things lifting this barbell. Do you agree or disagree? I’d like to hear your thoughts. Comment below on this post or on the related youtube channel.

Thanks for reading, remember to share this if you feel it will be useful to someone you know.



strength vs technique photo blog post

Strength vs Technique for Deadlifts

There’s training for technique and there’s training for strength. In the world of powerlifting, there is a lot of overlap and it’s pretty difficult to separate the two, but I will try to distinguish the two in this blog post. In a manner of speaking, technique is basically cheating. Not cheating in the LITERAL sense, but try to hang on while I try to explain. (the video below is this blog post in words, kinda)

Let’s talk about a domain where there are no competition rules like that of powerlifting.

Chopping the tree down with a butter knife would take a long time. An axe would be faster. A chain saw would be faster than that and a bulldozer would even faster. In a sense, you’re cheating your way to chopping the down the tree.

Chopping down the tree is very much like doing a heavy deadlift, squat or bench press. For the sake of discussion, we will focus on using an axe to deadlift. There is a specific way in which you can use the axe that will provide the most efficient movement pattern to get the deepest cut and strongest strike.

For the deadlift there is a specific pull position that allows for the most power and leverage.

When you’re trying to get the most out of something it is best to understand how you will approach the act.

Technique is all about trying to get the most out of your resources. Your specific leverages, strength and weaknesses are unique to me as they are to you. Understand these facts allow you to keep the bar path vertical and short.

This is optimum performance and optimum leverage a max lift.

Strength is the raw ability to move a lot of weight. In many people, a person’s strength will out weigh their technique

An example of this specific to me is my ability to power clean. With optimal technique using the hips I will have a very difficult time power cleaning 225lbs (102kg). However, if you allow me to use my deadlift strength from the ground, using more lower back and give me more time to accelerate, I can get one really ugly pull of that same weight. Eventually I will demonstrate this in a video.

Thanks for reading

strength vs technique photo blog post thumb

boss of bosses powerlifting,boss barbell powerlifting meet, boss barbell deadlift nerd

Deadlift Reflection on missing 600lbs

sorry for all the typos, sometimes when i write something it never gets published, so i’m posting in it’s full imperfection.

Elliot Hulse said in a recent video, “the stories we tell ourselves.”  And when I missed my first ever try at a 600lbs deadlift, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed, but NOT heartbroken.

I had it.

All I could think about was what went wrong.

The bar got away from me.

In technical barbell speak, the bar moved away from my body.  In truth it wasn’t that the bar move away from my body, the real truth is that it was the other way around.  My body moved away from the bar.

In a conventional deadlift, when technique break down, one of the most common errors is the hips rising too soon.  When the hips shoot up to fast in a heavy conventional deadlift the knees and shins will move away from the bar.  As Mark Rippetoe says, “Heavy weights want move in vertical lines.”  It’s possible to correct the bar path by pull the bar back in, but at near max weights, perfect form is the only way the lift would be completed.

“Once I grab the bar I’m not going to let it go.”

That was the thought running through my head.

As my left knee completely locked out I did everything I could to bring the bar back in, but it was too late. I lost most of my leg drive and I was running completely on back strength.  I felt some of my spinal erectors begin to stretch out as I lose some tightness and that’s when I let go.

If I had stronger lats and stronger lower back muscle I would’ve been able to pull the bar in to correct my bar path.

Building strength is a really great way to give yourself error room.

In barbell lifting, whatever you lack in technique you can make up in strength. This is probably why the Westside Barbell conjugate method works so well.  Variety builds strength.  So all I can really think about now is working on all the special exercises that would allow me to get stronger.  To fix my error by getting stronger.  I’ve always wanted that lower back hump that I’ve seen on impressive physiques.  It looks like their low back is rounding, but the reality is that their spinal erectors are just jacked like a bicep.

Another view on correcting my 600lbs deadlift is to bias my program by improving my technique.  Work on timing and technique.  Increasing strength is always a priority, but technique is essentially improving leverages by using timing.  Time the deadlift better.

It’s obvious that both strength and technique are important but which way should I bias my program?  More technique focused or more strength focused?  That’s my interpretation of what I heard Dave Tate say on a youtube video: Concurrent or conjugate

Concurrent style of training is training the main lift as in competition.  My limited exposure to powerlifting’s finest has me in the age where Dan Green is really popular.  Dan Green’s training philosophy if more of a concurrent style of training. Focus on doing the main lift and keep trying to get better at it, then use accessory work to build up that main lift.

Dave Tate comes from the school of Louie Simmons’s Westside Barbell.  The ever so popular conjugate method.  I think the one on bodybuilding.com forums I saw gain popularity was “WSFSB.” Which stands for Westside for Skinny Bastards. I believe it’s a version of conjugate method.

I personally prefer concurrent training.  Get better by practicing exactly what you’re going to do in competition.  The exact technique that will be used for a powerlifting meet.

Unfinished blog post to be finished upon request, msg me on www.instagram.com/ryansaplan

boss of bosses powerlifting,boss barbell powerlifting meet, boss barbell deadlift nerd

deadlift 551

Are you Strong Enough to a Powerlifting Meet? Judge for yourself after you read my experience

Share with someone who might be thinking about doing their first powerlifting meet. Another one of my popular blog posts is the one of my first meet.


A powerlifting Meet, a Play by play experience from a lifter.

6:36am I was wide awake. I was surprised of how I felt considering I had some trouble sleeping.  I didn’t feel nervous, but I’m pretty sure I was.  I had some caffeine a little later than usual the day before and was wondering if that was the reason.  I probably felt so alert because of the mild adrenaline pump that was to come for my powerlifting meet.

Unlike the morning of my first powerlifting meet, I was much more calm and focused.  The excitement wasn’t getting the better of me.  The main concern is how well I would squat today.  A few weeks ago I pulled some spinal erectors near my SI joint (I made a few videos about my injury).  Effectively irritating my SI joint which took about 12 days to recover.  

I went downstairs into my home gym to foam roll my stiff tissues with a kettlebell handle and get some mobility work in. It takes me forever to warm up to squat.  It would be so easy to not squat, but after seeing Brandon Lilly squat 110lbs months after his injury I was determined that my problem was nothing but a scratch.  If it came to be, I would squat at least 135lbs.

I practiced wrapping my knees as well as using my newly aquired iron rebel wrist wraps the day before.  They still needed braking in, but they were better than the Valero wrist wraps that I ended up returning  to Sports Authority.

pink rhino iron rebel wrist wraps

They were pink, only color left

7:45am We leave to Vacaville to Old Skool Iron.  My very pregnant hungry wife was nice enough to drive.  I do a video blog on the way there.  It actually helps me relax.

If you’re there supporting a friend, significant other or family member, it’s best to get there early so you can get good seats.  This was only my second powerlifting meet (at the same location), and it felt awkward to film because it was jammed pack (not to mention it was raining back in Feb).

It seemed pretty normal to have a camera person film their friend while they did their attempt, so even if you don’t get a good seat up front you should be okay.  However, with a pregnant wife, I wanted to make it as easy as possible so that she wouldn’t have to keep going back and forth.

8:17am  I arrive and do a last minute equipment check of an elbow strap brace I use for squatting.  It helps reduce the medial elbow pain when I squat. It’s a band-aid for poor shoulder mobility.

Photo Jun 16, 5 37 25 PM

They said it was too long and it can’t have velcro, bummer.

I talked to the USPLA organizer for the meet, Steven Denison.  I previously sent an FB message to him about not squatting.  He seemed a bit erked that I changed my mind last minute (again).  I’m going to make a guess that there were a lot of last minute changes including several that didn’t make weight.  This caused a slight delay in the first flight from starting.

Here’s  a video a video of a subscriber that follows my youtube channel.  Nick, strong guy. Killed it on the squats.  He cut down from 220 down to 198lbs.

I did a short warm up by working with 185lbs and 225lbs.  Sets of 3-5 reps.  The most important thing I finally figured out was my set up under the bar. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to squat in a way that didn’t give me elbow pain while simultaneously staying tight in the upper back.  As I get under the bar, I touch the place where I would do a high bar squat, then slide further forward while squeezing my shoulder blades together for a low bar squat.  Simple, but a routine I’ve forgotten.

A lot of powerlifters who I follow on youtube and listen to on podcasts don’t seem to emphasize set up enough.  Setting up to me is like looking through the crosshairs of a sniper rifle.  You might be out of bullets (or saving them, like saving strength) or not ready to shoot your target, but you can still check to see how things look.  You can pay attention to where your hands are around the gun.  Where your finger is in relation to the trigger.

In the case of the barbell in powerlifting you can practice set up everyday.  Why not? Practice unracking the barbell.  Practice deadlifting with 135lbs. Practice how you take your breath in.

That what I did for 5 days leading up to my first meet.  I was over prepared, and that’s why I did so much better.

Squat 1st attempt

3 white lights!  The white lights indicate each judge giving a thumbs up or down.  One on each side and one in front.  After the lift is completed, each judge will credit the lifter with a white or a red light.  You need 2 out of the 3 lights to be white for the lift to be good.

There was something wrong with equipment.  My socks were too high.  In raw classic there needs to be 2 inches above and below the knee wrap of exposed skin.  I also forgot to take off the elbow wrap I was using.  I felt bad about that because they said no earlier. I was just using it in warm up.

Squat 2nd Attempt

After each attempt you either had to go to the desk to give your next attempt numbers or someone one will come up to you after your lift to ask what you wanted to try for on the next attempt.

It’s crazy how “light” the weight felt.  Something about the environment and all those people watching you lift that gets the adrenaline going. 297lbs felt almost the same as 363lbs.

Squat 3rd Attempt

When it’s your turn to go up, you’ll hear the announcer say something like:

“Jon is up, Ryan is on deck, Billy is in the hole and Tim is 4 out.”

When you’re in the hole (or 3 out) you need to go up there and start wrapping up your knees and wrists (if you’re using any).  When they say “4 out,” it goes by really quick.  And if you’re nervous it will be like a blink before it’s your turn.  There’s usually a seat up front next to platform for setting up your knee wraps.  Your coach will either wrap you up or you’ll just wrap yourself up.

I wish I practiced using wrapping up my knees more.  I really didn’t use them much because I was planning on going with knee sleeves or just no knee support at all, but changed my mind last minute.

I’m so glad squats were over.  The most stressful lift and arguable the most dangerous.

Here’s a one of the strongest guys squatting ~660 in single ply gear

Bench Press 1st attempt

The general rule about setting your attempts

This is what I’ve heard from many people when it comes to setting attempts.

First attempt should be an easy 3 rep near max.

Second attempt should be your heaviest 2 rep max.

Third attempt should be your PR set.

For me, 265lbs in the gym for a pause bench was not an easy triple, but I know I can pretty much hit that on any given week. The closest to kg was 120kg or 264lbs.

I did a few sets of 2 reps with 225lbs in the warm up room.  I really focused on staying tight.  They didn’t really have any pull up bars (or space for that matter) to set up for my normal mobility routine, so I had to improvise when compared to my standard shoulder mobility routine.

When raw benching for powerlifting, it’s important that you have good mobility to go into shoulder extension and internal rotation.  That just means your elbow going behind your body without your shoulder shrugging forward or up.

The middle part of my lat on my right side cramped up like crazy.  Luckily I got a soft ball to mash that out.

After my second attempt, I learned a lot about myself.  Here’s the thing I learned. I always seem to have an issue with my lock out when it comes to benching.  I’m usually pretty strong coming off the chest after a pause, but for whatever reason, my lock out sucks and on that set I realized what it was.  After my elbow passes 90 degrees I let off the gas pedal bit.  I think it’s unconscious.  When the judge said “bench” I came up with the 303lbs strong and I was thinking, “shit i got this!”  But then hit that invisible wall at the 0:09 second mark in the video.  I slowed down my rep and I don’t know why.  This is where I thinking training with bands or chain might help be stop this bad habit.  I need to focus on following all the way through.

Some may suggest that my second attempt was too big of a jump, and it probably was. I made the jump because in my mind, I can’t hit 300lbs for more than one rep in any given bench day.  Of course, that’s probably psychological, but my other matter of thinking was that if I went for 297lbs, there was a good chance I might miss 303  on the 3rd attempt.   So I just went for a small PR. My experience training is that I have trouble hitting multiple paused reps above 280lbs in the same session.

Once I got stuck, you can see my lips move telling the spotters I’m done. On my 3rd attempt on my previous meet (video starts at 2:44)  I tried to grind for 5 seconds and still failed.  Ultimately I irritated my left AC joint that prevented me from benching and back squatting heavy  for 3 weeks;  so I cut my losses right there.

I learned something very valuable at this meet.  I found out that I don’t follow through aggressively after my elbow passes 90 degrees.  I want to say that around about the 110 degree mark of the bench, I have a subconscious slow down of completing the lockout.  It’s as if I’m a few steps from the finish line and decide to slow down because I’m so close.  The unfortunate reality is that gravity is still working against me and any loss of momentum during max attempts will result in a miss or a really ugly grinder.

This is where I think training with chains and bands could be useful.  Really being put in a condition where I have to fully lockout out the weight.  However, I’ve always felt that training with bands messed with the bar path too much.  If I had a choice, I would bench press with chains if they were available to me.

Powerlifting Meet Deadlift Attempts

Most of my mobility work is done, because for me, squatting has the greatest demands on my flexibility (or lack thereof).    However it’s still good to do a little bit.  Doing the hamstring floss has always been a staple for me.  Gets me into a really good deep hip flexion for a solid pulling position on the deadlift.

I was also creative enough to jerry-rig my own uni-lateral hip thrust.  Hip thrust with bands was an idea I got from Chris Duffin on this video at the 1:40 mark.  A standing banded hip thrust that helps with deep flexion at hips along with an accompanying aggressive hip extension.

The space required for what Chris Duffin demonstrates was not available to me, so what I did was I did it with one leg.  almost like a 1-legged rdl.  It seemed to help a lot.

Warm ups were 135 for 10 reps and 225 for 5 reps.  I did practice singles with 315-365lbs.  I rehearsed my approach, grabbed and ripped.  I always big on form,but when it comes time to max lift, you gotta hope that all your training up until that point falls into place when you grab the bar for an attempt.

It’s almost like you have to fall into some sort of rhythm.  A rhythm of breathing, or maybe like a dance.  Something that puts you mode to walk up to the bar and give your very best physical, mental and technical efforts.

I chose to do a 484lbs (220kg) opening attempt.  I won’t say this is an easy triple, but on any given day I can lift this with 99.99% accuracy.  When I looked at the roster, I was the second heaviest opening lift.  It was satisfying to know that my deadlift was high up there, unlike my bench and squat.

1st Deadlift Attempt

2nd Deadlift Attempt

How to have a successful Deadlift

I’ve been able to distill my current deadlift approach as follows:

1. Approach the bar, placing one foot with the proper distance from the shin.

2. Position second foot

3. Distance check my shins to the bar. If I were to flex my knees my shins would almost touch it.

4. Squeeze glutes

5. Take a long deep breath into spinal extension

6. Grab the bar with my right (under hand) pulling some slack out of the bar. ~40lbs

7. Grab with other hand (overhand) pull another 40lbs of slack out of the bar.

8.  Take another big deep breath. Getting a double sip of air to increase my abdominal pressure.

9. Knees flex forward

10.  Violently and abruptly extend the knees and hips while simultaneously rocking backwards.

11. Don’t let go

Much of this routine has been learned organically.  Everything happens so quickly.  It’s my “pre lift routine” which would be similar to a pre shot routine that is similar to what a golfer does before hitting the ball.

The hardest thing I’ve been trying to do in training is to approach 135lbs the same as I would a 600lbs deadlift.

One the big mistakes I’ve noticed with many lifters in the warm up room is lowering the deadlift too slowly.  I know for a fact that this waste a lot of energy.  I suppose it might makes sense to do so if you have a bad habit of following judge commands and dropping the bar after a deadlift, but lowering quickly is the only way you can conserve energy.  315lbs is light, but lowering it like a stiff legged deadlift will impact energy usage.

484lbs came up like slicing butter.  Not my best bar path, but definitely easy as expected.  When I went to give numbers for my next attempt, I thought about giving my previous pr of 247.5kg, but decided to PR it try 250kg.  At the time of giving my next attempt, I thought if I missed it I would get a second chance.

A few moments later I realize that was bad thinking.  From when I finished my 1st deadlift opening attempt to my next attempt I zone out.  It was if I had tunnel vision and could hardly hear anything.  I was in a meditative state.  Listening to my breath and keep my nerves calm.

I made commitment that once I gripped that bar I wasn’t going to let go.  I was reminded by an Elite Crossfitter I saw in a video.  It was a deadlift and box jump workout.  315lbs deadlift and box jumps for 21-15-9 reps for time.  The guy that won that event said in a later interview that he made a commitment to not let go of the bar.  315lbs isn’t heavy but 21 reps is a lot of F*cking reps. I think it was Scott Panchick or Marcus Hendren.

(For the record, crossfit doesn’t help strength in powerlifting, but these elite guys have a solid mental game. Hate crossfit or not, it still takes certain level of mental capacity to reach high levels in any sport.)

When I was 4 out, I went up close to the platform thinking about  what Jeremy Hamilton said in an Omar Isuf Video on youtube.  Approach the bar like you’re ripping a head off of a lion.  It’s what I imagined. Putting King Mufasa in a headlock and ripping his head off.

A messy headless lion.

During: I don’t know what happened, the bar just went up.

After: It was crazy watching it. I was in disbelief.

I felt something in my left shoulder get slightly overstretched during the attempt so I chose to play it safe and decline my 3rd attempt. It felt like my subscapularis.  It was a hell of a mind F’ just getting up there for the attempt.

I surprised that I won bronze.

bronze medal powerlifting meet

does this guy even lift?

A great experience, looking forward to the next one.  I got some big personal goals this year.  600lbs deadilft and a 330lbs paused bench.

Thanks for reading, share with someone who might be thinking about doing their first powerlifting meet. Another one of my popular blog posts is the one of my first meet.

Strength is never weakness:)


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Dan’s section: Stan Efferding and Dan Green Seminar Notes Part 2 |Boss Barbell Mountain view

These are the seminar notes I took on 5-31-14 at Boss Barbell in Mountain View, California.  The video below  is me reviewing them.  It’s much better than the previous seminar notes.

I’m going to go to every Boss Barbell seminar I can.  There are so many more tidbits of information you get from being there.  For those that can’t attend, this is the next best thing (I hope).

-bulgarian wt lifting team
-has produced 50+ world champions
-maxing multiple times a day
-their method is the far end of the spectrum
-it’s what you’re striving to accomplish
-to be able to handle that kind of work capacity
-Bulgarian Style training is an example of an extreme training style

-Intensity & Specificity of training
-strength has a huge skill component
-coordination and timing need to be built

-life cycle of a human
-baby: dependant on people to feed you and take care of you
-adult: support yourself
-elderly: someone helps you and you become dependant again

*I can’t remember what the point of his analogy was for life cycle of a human life as it relates to training ;/ I was really hungry by that point the seminar and had a little trouble focusing

Photo May 31, 3 51 38 PM

Page 2

-Beginner program
-Starting Strength
-Building Basics

Intermediate lifter

-you start to fail and get stuck around the same place
-fill in all the holes
-address weak points
-like Stan said about nutrition: add in what you’re lacking
-develop your weaknesses
-as you do an accessory exercise to build up a weakness, the carry over lessens and lessens
-should I be doing more deadlifts from a deficit or more from the floor?
-understand carryover from accessory movements
-reduce the liability of the weakness

page 3



Page 4

-it ran its course
-training triceps has ran its course in building your bench
-Accessory exercises are just that, to bring up weak points
-main lift is never replaced

-Stiff legged deadlifts improved his flexibility
*it improved mine too! Should’ve never stopped doing them
-help reduced dan’s knee pain

-how do you know when you should change your accessory movements, you just know
-by the time Dan built himself up to 6 plates on stiff legged deadlifts, it was safe to say that his hamstrings were not weak as compared to other muscle groups

-Dan turned the corner on his bench press when he started focusing on chest strength and not tricep strength
-Dan Green as stuck 425lbs on the bench for a long time

page 5

-front squat
-constantly building skill
-style of bench
-build the skill
-choosing the weight
There are 2 types of maxes
-technical max: the heaviest weight right before your squat turns into a good morning
-absolute max: what you can lift at all costs

-do the things that will make you stronger
-be a better lifter
-be a stronger lifter
-always focus on technique and you will become a great lifter

page 6

-add leverage by wider stance and lower bar position
-by doing this you shorten your spine
-high bar and depth carries over more into sports than low bar
-story about guy with big quads at moscow

Dan green started out by copying
-sam byrd’s squat technique
-Constantine konive (forgot the name) was the lifter at moscow meet he got out squatted

-hack squats to build his lagging quads
-suggested to dan green by sam byrd
-he looks like he’s hack squatting (sam byrd?)

-prioritize a lift is huge when you’re trying to make it better

page 7

-lifts for skill
-lifts for building explosive power
-lifts for building  muscle

-doing a pause squat correctly to have the best carry over
-be explosive after the pause
-start with longer pauses (5 sec +) then as the weight gets heavier decrease the pause
-eric lilliebridge used high bar and got stronger quads,s witched to low bar, widen his stance and improved his leverage
-he was able to use the strength built up and then literally leverage it

-deadlifting from blocks helps improve starting strength

page 8
-improve better start by training from blocks, meant to overload torso
-build your own technique
-sumo deadlift : active flexibility of the abductors
-it’s about the glute medius

page 9
-timing cues, skill cues from doing Stiff legged deadlifts
-SLDL is like a slow motion deadlift
-rehearse when to be aggressive during parts of the deadlift
-it’s what SLDL is good for
-what are you doing to get better in your workouts?
-predictably make progress every workout

page 10
-efficiently faster than fatigue
if you do 405lbs for 1×5 then next week you do 405 for 1×6, you know you got stronger.
-Bench more by benching more article by dan green at JTS strength

-deadlift is dependant on leverage, the least body weight dependant powerlifting movement

-take yourself some where you’ve never been
– rep range for working sets per workout is around 20-30 reps (said by Stan efferding

page 11

-build up your strength by strict pressing
-600# bench press doesn’t come from leg drive, it happens by having a huge chest

-old school training : feet on bench while bench pressing
-slow gradual progress

page 12

-the smarter you get at training you’ll get stronger faster
-getting over the nervousness with heavy weights
-how to lift heavy weights
-same routine
-approach the same way
-ritual of lifting
-practice the same routine in training

-Dan like to approach the bar like an assassin or professional hit man
-attack the bar from the decent
-will smith treadmill quote mentioned by creed
will smith


page 13

-creed deadlift story 2 years ago at super training where he told the story of how dan green ripped his hamstring deadlifting 815lbs

BBSM Strength Template program

BBSM Template – Boss Barbell Strength Method Template
Technically, it’s not bbsm because I’m not being coached by Dan, but if you want to get a good recap of someone who has been coached by Dan, check out this Video by Brand Campbell.