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Deadlift Cue: Bias To The Heel During The Slack Pull

Deadlift Cue: Bias To The Heel During The Slack Pull

In our deadlift setup, we need to hinge, we need to drive through our midfoot, and we need to keep our shoulders over the bar. But that is a lot easier said than done. I’ve started noticing though a trend that specifically I find many efficient sumo pullers are doing, whether they realized it or not, to accomplish all 3 tasks at once. Above I have 4 of my lifters with a full speed and slo-motion breakdown of their pulls (CLICK HERE). Sean is the most obvious, but what you can see is all 4 lifters in their setup, specifically during the slack pull, bias their center of mass back initially over their heels to a degree. This helps them to accomplish the task of keeping their hips back, aka the hinge. It gives them room to keep their shoulders over the bar versus biasing out in front. And then from there, you can see in the slo-motion video that it all compounds into their initial starting position being directly stacked over their midfoot. Especially in the sumo deadlift, as you wedge it tends to create forward momentum. So the cueing of slightly over biasing onto the heels initially allows their center of mass to shift to their midfoot as they go through the wedging process. In the case of these 4 lifters, all 4 have had issues at times of over wedging and shifting their center of gravity too far forward over their toes. And the correlating issue for each of them was actually starting too much over their midfoot during the initial slack pull. Because then once they wedge, the forward momentum carried their center of mass forward of their midfoot. Now does this mean everyone should do this, no, and I specifically have sumo pullers highlighted here as I see it is  less common with conventional lifters. But what I do believe is if the common thoughts of hinge, drive through the midfoot, and keeping the shoulders over the bar are just not clicking, then simplifying your thought process to an initial bias to heels prior to wedging could be a helpful tool. 

Powerlifting Coaching: The Business Side – Part 2

Powerlifting Coaching: The Business Side – Part 2 – CLICK HERE

It is time for part 2 of the Powerlifting Coaching: Business Side series, and honestly this is the one I was really excited for. Part 1 touched on setting up a general business and service structure, but part 2 really dives into what I’d consider the meat and potatoes… In my latest Youtube video, I cover the aspects of marketing, business expansion, and accounting that will be vitally important to helping powerlifting coaches grow their business from the ground up. Marketing in particular is where I believe even some experienced coaches have room to learn, as it is a very misunderstood topic. At a very basic level, most think of advertising and marketing as the direct promotion of your business with ads, giveaways, “3 spots open” story promotions, and more. But really that is the least effective form of marketing, and the bread and butter is what is unseen. The marketing that works helps guide the consumer’s thoughts and behavior and presents them with something of value. Whether that be in knowledge, entertainment, emotion, or something of tangible worth, rather than constantly asking the consumer to give you something. Within marketing in particular I look at how to establish a niche and target audience, how to find your position with that niche, how to market to your target audience, how to leverage your strengths, and the tools to use to accomplish these tasks. I tie that all in with how to get a foothold within your local and state powerlifting community and expand that nationally in a strategic way. I also briefly touch on some accounting principles, and then tie that all together with a case study of how I progressed from coaching a couple friends for free 6 years ago to where I am now. Click the link above to view!



1 Drill To Know Your Optimal Wrist Extension

1 Drill To Know Your Optimal Wrist Extension

A foundation of bench press technique is to keep the bar centered over your wrist joint and elbow as much as possible, just like in the squat and deadlift you are trying to maintain your center of gravity over your mid-foot. In the bench press, that center of gravity is creating a stacking position of the barbell over the wrist joint, elbow, and shoulder in the starting position. The degree of wrist extension that is optimal though depends much on your grip width, anthropometry, and the degree to which you are needing to internally rotate the hand. In general, the narrower the grip you have, the less you will bias in IR, and the wider the grip in relation to your body, the more you will bias into IR. In the videos above (CLICK HERE), you will find a drill I use often with my athletes to help them find what is their optimal wrist extension. Maybe from here we make slight adjustments, but for most this will give a really good baseline of where you should start. Also, for a more detailed explanation of grip setup in the bench press, make sure to check out my YouTube video on In-Depth Bench Technique. Lastly, as a small side note, notice how my grip internal rotation and wrist extension affect range of motion. This is something that would be much better talked about by Sean Noriega who is the bench grip master, but there is a reason you see a lot of high arch/max grip benchers using very internally rotated hand positions with large amounts of wrist extension (IE the Japanese grip)…it cuts range of motion. Now that is not optimal for everyone, but something that is worth understanding in the nuances of bench technique.

Powerlifting Coaching: The Business Side – Part 1

Powerlifting Coaching: The Business Side – Part 1 – CLICK HERE

One of the single biggest reasons for the success I’ve had as a Powerlifting coach is due to my expertise and understanding of the business side. There are plenty of fantastic powerlifting coaches who just frankly have no idea how to run a business. They love coaching, they love powerlifting, but they unfortunately miss the mark when it comes to being an entrepreneur and business owner. I think I am uniquely qualified to talk about this subject because of my formal education background, but even more so, because what I did worked. I am from Springfield, MO where there was no USAPL or USPA presence at the time when I moved there in 2016. I am not strong or impressive as an athlete myself. I didn’t coach anyone notable until recently and when I was getting started I did not have any friends who were notable within powerlifting. But I saw an opportunity, developed a very solid business plan, and if I had to do it over again, I’d do it exactly the same way. So in my latest YouTube series I am going to be giving an all encompassing look into everything that goes into starting and growing a successful powerlifting business. I take a look at developing the business and service structure, pricing, marketing, business expansion, and accounting knowledge you need to start a powerlifting coaching service. As well as give a full breakdown of how I started and grew my business over the last 3.5 years. This will be a 2 part series, and in part 1 that has just been released I’ll be covering the initial steps to becoming a powerlifting coach, setting goals and priorities for your professional career, developing the business and service structure, and how to set, progress, and manage pricing with clients. Some of the info I give will likely be pretty obvious, while some information will be things you’ve likely never thought of (in particular the marketing section coming in part 2). But more than likely most people have never thought of all of these factors in combination with developing a business plan and roadmap from just starting as a coach to making it a full time career. Click the link above to view, and hope you enjoy!

My 4 Keys To Tracking Lifter Data

My 4 Keys To Tracking Lifter Data

With posts I’ve made in the past about particular athletes and the individualization of their programs, it is a common theme that people reach out asking how I am able to sift through the data to spot these things. And honestly, I don’t do anything fancy. Some coaches find utility in more objective data collection, and I definitely do not see anything wrong with that. I have had times where I tracked more specific data and experimented with the latest stress or workload formulas (anyone remember INOL?!). But at least for me, it did not add much value and mostly cluttered my mind with information that wasn’t necessarily that useful. Over time I’ve found myself doing less in the sense of data collection than doing more, which I think is the same for any coach, as they find for them what specifically adds the most value and utility. So for me, I found 4 things to be really important in being able to sift through all the information and being able to pick up on trends within my athletes training. And if you are looking for some content here that is revolutionary or will blow your mind, this probably isn’t it. This is simple, in line with the Michael Sott K-I-S-S formula for success.

1.) I set a hard cap on my athlete count. Like I said, I’m not going to blow your mind, but I am going to be blunt and honest about issues within the industry. While maybe some coaches disagree, I am not sure how in the world I could ever focus on 70+ athletes at a time. The most I have ever coached at once is 35, and honestly for me that pushed my comfort zone a bit. And it was not even due to a total workload issue, it was just so much information to be able to recognize and still deliver equal and exceptional attention to each and every athlete. Now there are definitely coaches who coach more than 30-35 and are able to provide fantastic service, but for me that was my happy spot. Any more and I know that the quality of my service would diminish. And knowing what that point is as a coach, and being accountable to not chasing the temptations of more money or that new stud athlete and going out of your comfort zone isn’t easy at times. But that is a major key in how I’ve been able to sift through all of my athletes training and be able to pick up on data and trends that can be vital to their success.

2.) Something I started about 2 years ago was taking notes at the end of every athlete’s training block for each lift. What I found is that in the short term I could remember things fairly easily, but the multiple times a week I’d be trying to think back to prior blocks, I’d struggle to remember the variables during a certain training block and why it was or was not successful. The easy fix was just taking notes, and being detailed with them. I try to piece together what went well and what didn’t go well each block, notating any outside variables that were positive or negative, technical improvements that may have occurred during the block, and any other relevant information I may want to look back on a year from now. I even color code each lift green, yellow, or red. Green means the block went fantastic for that lift, yellow is that it was average, and red I assume you can guess is that it didn’t go so hot. This allows me to easily look back and find the info I am seeking.

3.) If you watch my YouTube channel, in many of my programming videos I discuss this, but I really try to limit myself to only changing a few variables at a time. I’m sure if you coach people, you can relate with the times where you just have a dozen ideas of what might work, but if you were to try all of them at once it would just be a mess. You might find something that works decently, but maybe you think there is greener grass out there. That is when you need to be careful how much you adjust. The more you adjust, the less you can pinpoint what variable actually was the correlating factor to success. 1, maybe 2 adjustments per lift per block can really help to limit noise and know the why behind the successes or failures of a particular training setup. I could elaborate further here, but if this topic interests you more, my YouTube video “My 3 Biggest Coaching Questions Answered” really dives into this topic. I’ll provide a link in my bio.

4.) This one may sound silly, but I make a concerted effort to provide fun names for training blocks. First, because the athlete likes it and I try to make it personal for them. But second, because it’s much easier for me to recollect on block names such as “Dogs And Training Logs Block 2” or “Get Thick and Squat A Brick Block 4” than it is to remember “Block 23”. Usually block names are used during a specific training period into a meet, offseason, or in the typical programming structure of a mesocycle. It allows me to easily remember a certain meet prep or offseason, and find it quickly within a possible 50+ tabs for an athlete. I know during “Squat More Than Clayton Talks” Heather was in meet prep, and I can find those training blocks immediately for reference. Add that to the block notes I take, and I am able to sift through past data very efficiently to find trends and things that worked or didn’t work in past training.