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Exercise Selection: How to Use the Sensory to Intensity Spectrum

Sep 24, 2020

Have you ever gotten stuck when trying to choose what exercise to do?

You're staring at dozens of options, but don't know which one will do the trick…

  • Should I do a back squat? What about a front squat? Or maybe a zercher squat? Or how about a hack squat?
  • Should I do something unilateral or bilateral?
  • Should I worry more about load, velocity, or feel?

And then once you choose one, how do you know if you've made the right choice?

Do you have an "exit strategy" in place to quickly adjust on the fly if things aren’t going well?  (This is huge if you want to choose exercises that boost performance without creating pain).

I've been doing this for years now, and even I hit this wall sometimes.

This is why I built a system to make exercise selection much easier using my sensory → intensity spectrum.

Obviously, having a strong background in anatomy and biomechanics is a prerequisite to get really good at exercise selection. Still, I'm going to teach you a system...

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The Force-Velocity Curve: How to Become a Powerful Athlete in 5 Steps

Aug 27, 2020

Learning how to use the force-velocity curve is a one-way ticket to “powerville.”

In other words, it’s how you become stronger than the person that’s 20 lbs heavier than you but faster than the person who’s 20 lbs lighter than you.

You can think of it as a middle linebacker.

An athlete that has to take on linemen 50+ lbs heavier than them, but still run with backs and receivers that are 30 + lbs lighter.

Today, I’m going to show you a simple 5 step process to make that happen, but first, let me ask you two questions:

  • Have you ever gotten stronger but failed to get more powerful?
  • Have you ever PR’d your squat but then saw ZERO improvements in your jumps, sprints, and/or throws (i.e., athletic things)?

It’s wild the number of times I have conversations with athletes who are PUMPED about hitting a big squat PR, but then become depressed when they see no improvement in things like a vertical jump, 10-yard acceleration or 40-yard dash.


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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 45: Greg Robins

Aug 24, 2020

This week on the show we welcome Greg Robins to talk about motor learning, creating, and small sided games. Greg also shares who some of his influences are in the field and what he’s learned from his mentors along the way, making for a great well rounded discussion. 

Greg is currently the co-owner of The Strength House, located in Worcester Massachusetts, where he works with powerlifters, adult general population, and youth athletes primarily from ages 13-18 years old. He is a coach through and through, spending his time writing programs and on the floor. Greg started strength training as a highschool baseball player when a coach recommended that he train at Mike Boyle’s Strength and Conditioning in the offseason. Greg would go on to get recruited to play college baseball and took the opportunity to become even more serious about his training, which led to him trying to learn as much as he could through independent research and lots of trial and error. 

One of...

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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 44: Mike Sirani

Aug 17, 2020

This week we welcome Mike Sirani to the show to talk about his experience as a young trainer going from doing internships to opening and growing his own facility, how he’s dealing with the COVID situation, and how to avoid overcoaching. 

Mike currently owns a fitness facility in upstate New York called Capital District Sport and Fitness, which he opened in June of 2018. Prior to that, he lived in Boston for 7 years having graduated from Springfield University located in western Massachusetts, later interning at Cressey Sports Performance and then working at Pure Performance Training for 4 years. 

We first dive into how Mike went from interning and working at different facilities to eventually opening up his own and some of the lessons he’s learned since. While many people get swayed by programming and periodization, Mike says that those are only 5% of running a training business. The rest is understanding finances, sales, and relationship building, which he...

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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 43: Dr. Andy Chen

Aug 10, 2020

This week on the show we welcome Dr. Andy Chen, a physical therapist based out of New York City, to discuss principles, systems, adaptability, environment and constraints, the blending of performance and physical therapy, the importance of filling empty buckets, being patient when progressing a client, manipulating the task at hand to provide different learning opportunities, and the growth mindset needed for developing your own model.

Andy started lifting weights in his senior year of highschool, entering a local bodybuilding held by the school’s wrestling coach and gaining 30 pounds in the process. Andy continued to train but didn’t have a real focus on academics until he experienced his first injury in his senior year of college that required him going to physical therapy. From that experience, he grew to love the practice of physical therapy and went on to get his Doctorate from the University of St. Augustine. 

We first dive into the differences in the...

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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 42: David Grey

Aug 03, 2020

This week on the show we welcome David Grey to talk about rib cages, the pelvis, isometrics, coordination, and the pillars of human movement. 

David is a rehab and performance specialist who found his way to his current profession by being an athlete himself who was plagued with injuries and searching for better solutions than what was being provided. What started in his words as a selfish endeavor eventually led to him helping friends and now he works with people from all walks of life from high level athletes to general population. 

We first dive into David’s big rocks when assessing people and his view of what basic human movement is. The first thing he looks at is gait - from walking to breathing - and the ability to access certain ranges of motion with your joints. David is quick to point out that he doesn’t view himself as a “mobility coach” but someone who helps people achieve these ranges of motion through improving things like coordination,...

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How to Get Jacked in 6 Steps: An Athlete's Complete Guide [2020]

Jul 28, 2020

So last week I was hanging out with some friends on July 4th and like all good barbecues, we started talking about getting jacked.

Well, the conversation turned that way when someone pulled out old training videos of Dorian Yates because he has a new documentary coming out called The Original Mass Monster.

And I don’t know about you, but I can’t look at someone like Dorian Yates without wondering what’s going on underneath the hood. Obviously there’s some exogenous pharmaceutical aid, but from a practical standpoint, how do you go about filling your skin suit with muscle? How do you get jacked and look like a real-life superhero?

While we jammed on this topic around the grill (to the chagrin of our girlfriends, fiance’s, and wives) I realized that people need an easier way to think about hypertrophy.

Yes, you can make it really complicated and get lost in the weeds of cellular mechanisms, but from a practical standpoint, is that really helpful? Does...

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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 41: Ryan Patrick

Jul 27, 2020

This week we welcome Ryan Patrick to the show to talk about training! We get into Ryan’s background, his experience being a part of the Silverback Project, concurrent training, and filling the buckets for high level athletes.

Ryan has been the owner of Peak Fitness and Sports Training in Kentucky for 10 years, serving adult gen pop clients and high level professional athletes alike. Ryan has competed in powerlifting and in recent years has enjoyed training himself like an athlete, having met James through the beta version of The Silverback Project. 

We first get into Ryan’s evolution as an athlete and coach. Having started off with a bodybuilding background in highschool and dabbling with training through college and post college, Ryan discovered powerlifting in 2014. While powerlifting helped rekindle his enthusiasm for training, he missed being an athlete and found himself not identifying with the idea that you’re washed up once your highschool playing days...

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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 40: Alex Cartmill

Jul 19, 2020

On this week’s episode we welcome Alex Cartmill from the Personal Trainer Development Center to the show to talk about how they help trainers transition into building more successful businesses. We talk about imposter syndrome, the importance of providing value, selling and understanding your customer, how to avoid getting lost in the weeds as an online trainer, and why you need to launch before you’re ready.

Alex is currently the head coach of the Online Trainer Academy, which is a business development program for personal trainers. He helps coaches, gym owners, and nutrition consultants transition their business online while also overseeing his team of 8 other coaches. Alex developed this program with Jon Goodman, the founder of the PTDC, in 2016. Just two years prior to that, Alex was a personal trainer who was interning under Jon - starting with odd jobs and then getting paid as the company’s social media director before getting the opportunity to develop the...

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Rebel Performance Episode 39: Ali Gilbert

Jul 13, 2020

This week on the show we welcome Ali Gilbert to talk about all things men's health including testosterone, psychology, sleep, training, and why less might be more to start seeing progress.

Ali is a fitness professional living in Greenwich, Connecticut working with clients both locally and remotely. She got her start working in golf fitness back in 2008 by initially bartering training for golf lessons. Since more men seek out training for golf, she worked with a mostly male clientele from the beginning. Ali quickly noticed how many men just weren’t taking care of themselves and there were a lot of misconceptions around men’s health. 

We first dive into what got Ali interested in men’s health to begin with. When working with her clients early on, she saw a need for better education on the topic and had a difficult time finding a trusted source that she could refer out to. After seeing so many men suffer from issues related to low testosterone levels, and the...

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