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Drop The Excuses and Build Your Aerobic Base

Apr 19, 2020

It's time to put the excuses aside and start developing your aerobic system. With less available options (and likely more time), you have the opportunity to build your aerobic base now in order to express higher levels of output later. 

By Matt Ferrara, BS, CSCS

Now, more than ever, is the time to work on developing a base level of aerobic fitness.

With so many lifters without a gym or stuck at home without equipment due to Covid-19, one of the biggest bang for your buck training goals to chase right now is a base level of aerobic fitness.

No, I’m not saying you need to build the aerobic system of a marathon runner. That amount of specialization and training volume spent on the aerobic system will most likely hamper the strength and muscle mass gains that I know you are after.

What I am saying is that taking a month or so to develop an aerobic base right now will have drastic benefits for your training, body composition, and overall health when you get back...

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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 26: Will Crozier

Apr 13, 2020

Will Crozier, world’s strongest respiration nerd, joins the show today to discuss all things getting strong. From the importance of maximizing muscle in your weight class to looking outside the traditional powerlifting realm to break through training plateaus, Will offers a unique perspective and whether you’re a powerlifter or not, this episode is a must listen.

Will found the gym in a traditional way around 11 years ago, dabbling with his buddies from work and quickly took a liking to it. His initial foray into “real training” was through bodybuilding. However, within a few years he quickly found that he really liked lifting heavy (and disliked dieting), which led to his discovery of powerlifting. Due to having a solid base of muscle mass to begin with, Will took to powerlifting very quickly - breaking the Australian record for the deadlift in his weight class at the time in his very first meet - and realized it was his calling. Now as an elite level...

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Static Stretching is Dead: There's a Better Way to Build Resilience and Improve Performance

Apr 12, 2020

Static stretching has long been a part of training culture, but perhaps without enough investigation on it's efficacy. Read on as to why your time may be better spent elsewhere in seeking to build more resilient high performance athletes. 

By Ryan VanNieuwenhuyze

For years, it has been common thought that athletes and lifters of all kinds must stretch before training or competition, not only to improve performance, but for the sake of injury prevention as well. This line of thinking has been espoused by coaches, physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and many other qualified professionals. The implementation of static stretching before training has become so pervasive in the athletic and lifting cultures, that it is something that is hardly even questioned. But, should this be the case?

Injury Prevention or Risk Reduction?

The first thing that needs to be addressed is the notion of “injury prevention.” Unfortunately, you can never...

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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 25: Tyler Friedrich

Apr 06, 2020

Tyler Friedrich, Director of Olympic Sports at Stanford University, joins the show today to share his wealth of knowledge in collegiate strength & conditioning, talk about coach development, culture, training methodologies, and data collection in collegiate sports.

We kick things off discussing Tyler’s background and how he found training. Tyler found the weight room through playing football in high school and college and always wanted to go into the industry. After a few internships, he decided he wanted to become a Strength & Conditioning coach and found himself working at Dayton as an intern, GA, and eventually became a full time employee. This led him to Arizona State University and finally Olympic sports at Stanford. “Olympic Sports” in collegiate S&C typically means everything except football, and Tyler currently oversees 35 of Stanford’s 36 sports. 

This leads us into a discussion on the unique job security situation for collegiate...

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Eat Like an Athlete: High Flux Your Way to Apex Performance (And Get Jacked in the Process)

Apr 05, 2020

As an aspiring meat monkey, a high flux diet can be the difference between you crushing PRs in the gym, building a monster engine, and increasing overall jacktitude or floundering about in a low energy state.

Learn why eating more and doing more is the holy grail of long term performance and body comp.

It doesn’t matter who you are, if you are trying to lose fat and maintain it long term and the only tool in your toolbox is to lower calories…you are screwed. Straight up. Many of the simple stories that we constantly see usually start and end with that ONE thing:

  • You just need to eat less. 
  • You just need to workout more. 
  • You just need to move more.

Is it really that simple? Yes and no. Although many of these interventions work, initially, it isn’t very helpful to consider them THE answer. This especially starts to become a thin argument when we look at people as individuals, with different genetics, different environments, and different...

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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 24: Joseph Franzo

Mar 30, 2020

Joseph “Joey Flexx” Franzo from Flexx Training Systems joins the show today to share his thoughts and process from years as a successful powerlifter and coach. We dive into all things powerlifting including training, mental side of training, and weight selection at meets. 

Joe found his way to the barbell through sports and specifically football. After a realization that continuing his football career was unlikely, he naturally turned to lifting weights, which quickly became his passion. While training for bodybuilding, he competed in his first powerlifting meet for fun, and immediately was hooked. As a personal trainer since 16, Joe was drawing a lot of attention in the gym with his big lifting numbers and ultimately decided he would start coaching others in the sport. This led to multiple world champions under his command and naturally grew into what is now Flex Training Systems.

We dive in discussing what makes Joe’s process different from other coaches in...

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Fat Loss For Strength Athletes: 5 Steps to Lose the Fat and Keep Your Gains

Mar 29, 2020

Losing fat for a strength or performance based athlete doesn't need to be complicated or strip away your hard earned progress in the gym. Use these 5 steps to lose the fat and keep all of your gains.

One of the things that I frequently get asked about is if it’s possible to make progress in the gym while trying to lose body fat. As a strength athlete, you may find yourself looking to drop a weight class for competition. Or maybe you’re looking to drop some body fat to improve health markers because dying is known to be pretty bad for performance. Or, hell, you just want to look good for the beach. Either way, you’re not about to let your performance slip to just see your abs. 

 One thing to clarify, though, is that gaining muscle while losing body fat is highly unlikely, particularly with the more training experience you have under your belt. Newbie’s going from couch potato to eating protein and doing some lifting? Sure, they’re in that magic...

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Vision Quest: 6 Quick Fixes to Reduce Pain and Improve Performance

Mar 22, 2020

Learn how to assess, correct, and integrate one of the oldest systems in our bodies to unlock movement capacity and improve athletic performance.  

Vision is everything. It is how we perceive the world around us visually, and what we use to perceive threats coming at us from the front. If we didn’t have the ability to see, we would likely be very hindered as human beings from an evolutionary standpoint.

Of course, now we are hindered visually by screens and have developed an inability to deal with the hold that our visual system has on us because we use it for everything. Think about it - you drive, you stare at a screen for hours a day, you coach, you train, and you of course participate in other non meat monkey life activities. That's a lot of input to the system each and every day. 

Many of these things are not something the human eye and brain has evolved to be able to do well. As a result of this, we often see individuals who can’t see...

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5 Steps to Making the Most of Training at Home: The Strength Athlete's Complete Guide

Mar 18, 2020

Don't let the current circumstances strip away your gains. Follow these 5 steps to maintain muscle mass, work capacity, and power while training at home.

With the spread of COVID-19, many strength athletes find themselves gymless and stuck at home with minimal to no equipment at their disposal.

While you won’t be hitting any major PR’s or slabbing on muscle during this time, there are still strategies we can implement to help you hold onto your gains.

In particular, you want to maintain the following to the best of your abilities:

  • Muscle Mass
  • Aerobic Work Capacity
  • Power

So that when things return to normal you can pick up more or less where you left off.

Because what you want to avoid is doing absolutely nothing for the next 2-4 weeks, and have all your performance metrics fall off a cliff.

We are looking to hold on for dear life and minimize your rate of decline.

In the graph below, you want to be on the blue line and you want to avoid the orange line.

If you follow...

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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 22: Katie St. Clair

Mar 16, 2020

Katie St. Clair, creator of the Empowered Performance program, joins the show today to talk about her journey through the fitness world, community building, strength training for women, body image issues, blood sugar, movement, PRI concepts, and intensity in training.

Based out of Charleston, SC, Katie brings a diverse background to the fitness industry, with 20 years experience ranging from athletic training, corporate wellness, personal training, and group mentorship. This has all led to Katie’s current education platform, Empowered Performance, which is a 12-week community based course in which participants learn to train like an athlete but receive the tools necessary to do it in a progressive manner to avoid injuries. She also offers personal training online and in person.Over the 12 week course, participants go through the basics of anatomy and biomechanics as well as how to program the concepts that they’re learning.  The participants use themselves as their...

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