Syatt Fitness: The Week In Review (9/28/2013)

by Jordan Syatt September 28, 2013

Good morning and happy Saturday!

Today I’m going apple picking at Millburn Orachards and – I’ve gotta be honest – I’m pretty damn excited.

Apple picking has been a favorite pastime of mine for as long as I can remember. Climbing to the top of every tree, munching on every kind of apple, and washing ’em down with fresh apple cider….it doesn’t get much better than that.

But first I’m off to my Dynamic Effort Bench Press session and then out to eat with my Powerlifting Team.

It’s gonna be a good day 🙂

I hope you enjoy this installment of Syatt Fitness: The Week In Review and have a wonderful weekend!

Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal.


Articles By Jordan

How to Progress the Glute-Ham Raise

How to Do Dumbbell Rows


Daily Strength Lesson’s


Monday’s Strength Lesson: Want to improve your *insert lift here*? Here’s the secret: Do it more frequently.

Too many lifters are constantly searching for the magical method/program/technique/supplement/etc to improve their *insert lift here.*

Sure there are finer points to everything but the reality is this: if you want to get better at something, start doing it more often. Make it a habit. Do it so frequently that you can recite step-by-step how to do it in your sleep.

“But what about overtraining? We don’t want to burn out the CNS, ya know!”

Doing it frequently doesn’t mean it has to be done heavy every time. Think of it as practice. No, think of it as *perfect practice.* Sometimes go heavy, other times go light. Regardless of the weight being used, make sure you’re lifting as fast as possible while maintaining perfect form.

Perfect practice makes perfect.

Remember that, and go practice your *insert lift here.*


Tuesday’s Strength Lesson: Dumbbell Rows should be a staple in nearly everyone’s training program.
While they’re a relatively simple exercise, many trainee’s (and even coaches) miss the boat on proper technique and, consequently, don’t reap all the benefits they have to offer.

Want to make sure you’re doing them properly? Watch this short video outlining my exact coaching cues for Dumbbell Rows


Wednesday’s Strength Lesson: One of the most effective, albeit overlooked, methods to improve strength performance is increasing self efficacy.
Self efficacy (similar to confidence) is ones belief in their own ability to complete a given task.

It might sound arbitrary and unrelated to lifting but let me ask you this: How many times have you approached the bar nervous and wondering “Am I going to hit this?” Or worse…”I don’t think I can hit this.”

Most, if not all, of us have had this experience with the barbell. The difference between those who make continued and drastic progress vs. those who stagnate and quit is often their level of self efficacy. In other words, those who truly believe they can hit a certain weight will be far more likely to hit it then someone who doesn’t believe in their own ability to do so.

How do we improve self efficacy?

There are countless ways to do it but, to name a few:

  • Social modeling: Watch and mimic others who have already succeeded in the task you are trying to complete.
  • Stop missing lifts: The more you fail the more you ingrain bad habits and limiting beliefs. Stop missing lifts so often and start practicing to succeed!
  • Understand there is no “perfect” method/technique/etc: If you know and appreciate this then you’ll be far more likely to acknowledge your own skill set.

Enjoy this Strength Lesson? Want to learn more about self efficacy? “Like” this status and I’ll make it a point to write about it more often and how it can help you in all aspects of life – not just lifting.


Thursday’s Strength Lesson: We’ve all heard the cue “knees out!” It’s supposed to reduce stress on the knees, improve technique, and enhance overall performance. While it’s a great cue and I use it often, I prefer to cue my athletes to “spread the floor apart.”
What many coaches don’t realize is that there are different categories of cues; notably, internal focus and external focus cues.

Internal focus (i.e. “knees out!”) causes us to think about our body relative to itself.

External focus (i.e. “spread the floor apart!”) causes us to think about our body relative to our environment.

While both have merit, research has unquestionably shown that external focus cues are significantly more effective than internal focus cues. That being the case, I’ve been in the process of switching most of my cues to a purely external focus.

Regardless, the external focus cue “spread the floor apart” is one of my all-time favorite cues for improving Squat and Deadlift performance. Want to see how it’s done? Watch this brief video.


Friday’s Strength Lesson: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”


Recommended Reading

  1. My Take On CrossFit via Lee Boyce
  2. Is Clean Eating a Scam? via JC Deen
  3. But Wink: What Is It? What Causes It? And How Can It Be Fixed? via Bret Contreras
  4. What You Need to Know About Gird via Mike Reinold
  5. Why Your Legs are Jacked And Your Butt Is Not via Joy Victoria
  6. Interview with Alan Aragon via Karen Pendergrass
  7. Does Overtraining Exist? via Patrick Ward
  8. Progressive Nutrition Strategies via Dr. John Berardi
  9. Take Sodium Reduction Advice with a Grain of Salt via Andy Bellatti
  10. 50 Amazing Fat Loss and Fitness Tips via Tom Venuto
  11. The Low Down on Levers via Dean Somerset
  12. The Deficit – How We Lose Fat via Leigh Peele
  13. Power, Full Squats, Correlations, and Training Studies via Bret Contreras
  14. Can Depth Jumps Acutely Improve Maximal Squat Strength? via Chris Beardsley
  15. 8 Great Philosophical Questions That We’ll Never Solve via George Dvorsky

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