Strength and Conditioning Q&A with Jordan Syatt

Strength and Conditioning Q&A with Jordan Syatt

Hi Jordan, Following on from our brief facebook conversation here are the questions I wanted to ask you. They are generally training based and also on your life experience/s, as I would love to gain insight into how you both progressed and continue to progress as a strength and conditioning consultant.    Q1- What caught your eye about powerlifting? Have you always done it as a sport?    Powerlifting, in no uncertain terms, saved my life. Stuck in a University setting that I loathed more than words can describe, Powerlifting gave me the outlet that I so desperately craved.    I loved that body composition wasn’t the main purpose of training. I was tired of only training to look good naked. It wore me out physically, mentally, and emotionally. Powerlifting changed my focus from training for looks to training for performance. This was a DRASTIC change in mindset and – oddly enough – helped to improve my physique while getting stronger than I ever imagined possible.   I also loved the unique aspects of the sport. For example, there’s no one to blame but yourself. You either hit a personal record (PR) or you don’t. It’s not the fault of your teammates, coaches, or anyone else…it’s all on you. Not that stagnation is bad or immoral either. Not making progress doesn’t make you a bad person…it just means that you didn’t do something (or several things) well enough to ensure that you succeeded. It’s all part of a learning process that – in my opinion – helps us to become more accountable.    It’s also unique in that the competition is truly...

Exercise Video of the Week: Assisted Dip Machine Tricep Extension

  In last weeks’ Exercise Video of the Week I discussed the relative importance and contribution of the triceps to Bench Press performance. I also provided a video outlining one of my favorite tricep accessory exercises, The Rolling Dumbbell Tricep Extension, and have since received an outstanding response. Keeping with the theme of tricep development, in this weeks’ Exercise Video of the Week I’ve provided a new exercise which I decided to name The Assisted Dip Machine Tricep Extension. I hope you enjoy the video and, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please leave them below. Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal. -J  ...

Exercise Video of the Week: Rolling Dumbbell Tricep Extension

  When Bench Pressing do you fail off the chest or just below lockout? If you answered just below lockout, keep reading because this post is specifically meant for you. If you answered off the chest, keep reading because this post will keep your Bench Press from stalling in the future. Of the three prime movers in the Bench Press (pec major, anterior deltoid, & triceps), the triceps are likely the most under appreciated muscle group. Despite showing significantly high EMG activity and greatly contributing to overall Bench Press performance, most trainees neglect to train their triceps effectively. Enough is enough. It’s time to start giving the triceps the attention they deserve. Over the next few weeks I’m going to provide video tutorials outlining several of my favorite exercises for tricep development. Keep in mind, when building the triceps for Bench Press performance the most important part is the area surrounding the elbow! Sure, the lateral head (i.e. the part that looks like a horseshoe) might look cooler/more aesthetically pleasing, but it has little to no impact on the Bench Press. As such, when training the triceps for a bigger Bench it’s necessary to focus on the medial head and area surrounding the elbow. In this Exercise Video of the Week I outline The Rolling Dumbbell Tricep Extension. I picked this move up during my time training at Westside Barbell and like it for numerous reasons, including: It absolutely destroys the area surrounding my elbows. It provides a decent stretch for the lats which is great considering many lifters are extremely tight in that region. You don’t need to use a lot of weight...

Exercise Video of the Week: The Dimel Deadlift

Warning: The Dimel Deadlift is a beast. Done properly it will set your glutes/hamstrings on fire and cause the worst (or best?) Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) you have ever experienced. That being said, it will improve your Squat and Deadlift. It will shape an irresistible booty. And it will increase your overall bad assness (yes, it’ s a word). Interested? Read on: The Dimel Deadlift is a partial range of motion (ROM) Deadlift variation that closely resembles the Romanian Deadlift (RDL). While the two variations are similar in nature, there are a couple key distinctions which need to be made: When performing the Dimel Deadlift, the bar should only be lowered 1-2 inches below the knee cap whereas during the RDL the bar should descend as low as possible while maintaining proper form. The Dimel Deadlift is meant to be performed as quickly and explosively as possible whereas the RDL should be performed more slowly and under control. In addition to the distinctions mentioned above, there are several cues and tips which I’ve found to be helpful when teaching the Dimel Deadlift: Drive through the heels: Not the midfoot and not the toes. Your weight should be dead center on your heels the entire time. Flex the lats: The bar should stay as close to your body as possible throughout the entire movement. Flexing your lats will help to pull the bar inward. Make the bar rattle: Every time you lock the weight out you need to squeeze your ass as hard as you can while driving your hips forward. Done properly, your hips will hit the bar causing the weight to rattle. If...
6 Little-Known Bench Press Tips to Improve Your Strength

6 Little-Known Bench Press Tips to Improve Your Strength

The loud speaker switched on and silence fell over the crowd. Barely able to control myself, I sat restlessly on the edge of my seat anticipating the announcement. Distracted by the overwhelming silence, I turned just in time to see the announcer place the mic beneath his lips and say: “Dave Hoff will be attempting 945lbs. Load the bar to 945lbs.” Without hesitation the plate loaders began stacking weights onto the bar. The standard 45lb plates weren’t used since the bar wasn’t long enough to fit them all. Instead, 100lb plates had been specially made to accommodate the superhuman strength of the competitors. As Hoff approached the bar I analyzed his every move. I took in everything from his movements and breathing patterns to his psyche-up tactics. I didn’t want to blink for fear of missing something important. I captured every moment of the lift as a mini snap-shot in my head. I took note of everything: where he placed his feet, how far apart his hands were, at what point he took a big breath, and how long it took him to lower the weight. Hoff successfully Bench Pressed 945lbs for a new World Record – the lift took 7 seconds to complete. I was blown away. How in the world could he Bench Press so much weight? I began asking questions, experimenting, and searching for unique ways to improve the Bench Press. The old rehashed information didn’t interest me — I knew there was more out there, I just had to find it. After several years of research, practice, and experimentation I’ve accrued 6 little-known tips to...
Training Percentages Made Simple

Training Percentages Made Simple

  Do you know how to train using various percentages of your 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM)? When you read an article that mentions speed squats at 60% 1RM or bench press clusters at 85% 1RM do you understand or does it look like another language? If you have no idea what training percentages are or how to incorporate them into your programs then you’ll definitely want to read my latest article on T-Nation, Training Percentages Made Simple. Within the article I outline what percentages are, why they’re important, and how to use them effectively. I also include a sample training program based on Westside Barebell’s Conjugate Method. You can access the article by clicking here: Training Percentages Made Simple I hope you enjoy the article and, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please leave them in the comments section at the end. Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal. -J...

Exercise Video’s of the Week: 3 Goodmorning Variations to Boost Your Total

  In this installment of Exercise Videos of the Week I’m going to take you through three individual variations of the Goodmorning. The Goodmorning is possibly the single best exercise for the overall development of the posterior chain and, performed correctly, has an incredible carryover to both Squat and Deadlift performance. I hope you enjoy the videos and, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please leave them below. Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal. -J     Arch Back Goodmorning   Stop and Go Goodmorning   Wide Stance Goodmorning vs....
Jordan Syatt on Building Strength [Q&A]

Jordan Syatt on Building Strength [Q&A]

  Happy Friday afternoon! I hope you’ve got some great plans set up for the weekend especially since it’s SUPER BOWL WEEKEND!!! I don’t know why I used all caps there…to be honest, I’m not even excited about the Super Bowl. Most of you know I’m from Boston and considering the Pats are out I could care less who wins. Regardless, I’m wicked [yea, I say wicked] excited for the food, fun, and festivities all throughout the weekend. Anyway, if you have a couple minutes of spare time either today or at some point over the weekend you may want to dig into my Building Strength Q&A that I did over at www.conFITdent.com. My good friend and colleague Jeremey Duvall set up the interview and I think it came out great, if I do say so myself. You can read the interview by click HERE. I hope you enjoy the Q&A and, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to leave them below. Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal....
Recap of the 2012 IPA National Powerlifting Championships

Recap of the 2012 IPA National Powerlifting Championships

  This past weekend I competed alongside 5 of my teammates from the University of Delaware Powerlifting Team at the IPA National Powerlifting Championships in York, PA. As a friend, teammate, and coach…I was blown away. It’s impossible to articulate how inspiring it was to watch each of my friends achieve their goals, break personal records, and offer unconditional support to one another throughout the entire 2-day competition. Every one of them performed with an extraordinary level of excellence which can only be attributed to their hard work, dedication, and relentless will to improve. I consider myself exceptionally fortunate to be a part of the UD Powerlifting Team and I’m very excited to share each of my teammates’ success. In the following paragraphs I’ll introduce each competing member of the team as well as provide their lifting stats so you can see how much they’ve improved since joining the club… It truly is remarkable. Finally, at the end of the article, I’ll recap my personal experience at the IPA National Championships, my current training-related goals, and how I plan to achieve these goals over the coming months. Enjoy!   Name: Joe Weight: 214lbs I met Joe over 3 years ago within the first month of my Freshman semester at The University of Delaware. Joe was wearing Converse All Stars. I was wearing Converse All Stars. Joe was Deadlifting. I was Deadlifting. It was a match made in heaven. Along with two of our friends who have since graduated, Nick and Dan, together we established the UD Powerlifting Team. At the time, Joe weighed roughly 170lbs and could barely total 500lbs between his Squat,...
How to Work Up to a 1 Rep Max: A Simple Method for Maximal Strength

How to Work Up to a 1 Rep Max: A Simple Method for Maximal Strength

This article was originally featured in Australian Men’s Fitness Magazine How to Work Up to a 1 Rep Max A 1 repetition maximum (1RM) can be simply defined as “the maximum amount of weight an individual can lift in a single repetition for a given exercise.” Establishing a 1 rep max can be of extraordinary benefit for a variety of reasons, not least of which includes understanding which weights to use based on the desired outcome of training and having the ability to track progress over time. As such, most (if not all) trainees ranging from high level strength athletes to the general population would do well to know their 1 repetition maximum and how to test it. Simple though it may seem, many trainees are unsure of how to safely and effectively work up to test their 1RM. Some common questions and areas of concern are: How do I warm-up to test my 1 rep max How many warm-up sets should I do before I attempt a 1 rep max How many reps should I perform per warm-up set? How long should I rest between warm-up sets? How much weight should I use for each warm-up set? How much weight should my first 1 rep max attempt be? Fortunately, the process of working up to a 1RM is far easier than many trainees make it out to be. As such, the rest of this article will answer each of the questions listed above and provide a simple and easy-to-follow guide to help you lift maximal weights with minimal risk. Warming Up for a 1 Rep Max (1RM) Warm-ups in...