5 Tips to Dominate in the Weight Room

There are a lot of little things that play a huge role in the weight room. They aren’t necessarily deep enough to write full blog posts or articles about each individual tip,  so here are four that you can utilize right away to increase your performance.


1. Avoid the Pre Stretch:

This is one that I learned quickly as I was just starting to deadlift and trying to pass 225 without my spine shattering. And to be honest, I still see this mistake far too often. Close your eyes and visualize it with me…on second though open them up so you can read this…Someone has a 4-5 rep max that they are going to try and get 3 good reps out of. They chalk up or get their wrist wraps on, pyche them selves up a little with some deep breaths and the latest Lady Gaga single, then grab the bar.After that they should be ready to lift that bar off the ground immediately…Instead you see people grab the bar (by the way…from here until the lift they are stretchign their hamstrings, and protracting their scaps).

Let’s break this down a little more and go through the seconds leading up to the lift where they are just doing an ugly toe touch.

0:01…grab the bar
0:02…make sure their feet are in the right position
0:03…reset their grip on the bar
0:04…tighten up their stomach
0:05…make sure their grip is still ok
0:06…recheck their feet
0:07…butt down
0:08…arch back/retract scaps fire lats
0:09…check out the hot girl or guy walking by and see if they are witnessing how awesome you are
0:10…deadlift with no speed and sometimes never get the weight off the ground.
(You should spend less time checking me out because I deadlift more than you.)

Am I exaggerating a little bit? Sure, but I bet you can walk into almost any gym and find someone that grabs the bar with their legs straight and a rounded back while it takes 10 seconds to actually lift the bar off the ground. And that whole time they are stretching their hamstrings reducing the power their can produce.So what should you do? Spend no more than 3 seconds holding onto the bar before lifting it off the ground. Take the following steps:

1. Confirm you are happy with your feet position
2. Tighten your “core,” stomach, whatever you want to call it
3. Grab the bar
4. Chest up shoulders back arch your back, drive heels into the ground
5. Lift

Don’t f*ck around, get set then lift. Just yesterday these tips helped one of the coaches at MBSC go from getting pinned at 315 to knocking out 5 reps at 315 like it was nothing.This tip also holds true for other lifts like chin ups (when people just hang there for 5 seconds before starting their reps.LIFT WITH A PURPOSE.2. Make Use of Variable Resistance and Assistance to Break Through Plateau

Variable resistance is any resistance that changes throughout a rep. The most common examples are bands and chains. Think band resisted push ups, chain squats, band assisted bench and chin ups.

When you use variable resistance you can make the load heaviest at the end range or finish position (top of a push up, squat, deadlift, etc). Basically where the band is longest. With Variable assistance you are making the load heaviest at the starting point (top of a chin up when your chest is at the bar) basically where the band is shortest.

My favorite are band and chain resisted push ups, simply because the push up is THE BEST loaded horizontal pushing exercise we have for shoulder health and reinforcing proper scapulohumeral rhythm.


3. Dynamic Effort

Eric Cressey just dominated this subject with his recent t-nation article, so just go read that: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/training_speed_to_get_strong

4. Farmer Carries

Far too often do I see grip strength being the limiting factor in athletes and clients deadlifts, chin ups, and dumbbell exercises. This should never be the case. And don’t resort to straps and weight lifting gloves that should only be used by 100 year olds. (And FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT USE BATTING GLOVES!!! WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE WHO WEAR THOSE?)

Oh let me list the benefits:
-Grip Strength
-Shoulder Cuff Health
-Hip Health and Alignment Promotion
-Promoting Proper Posture
-Core Activation
-Looks Bad Ass

(You can even just throw some plates on some barbells)


You don’t need special farmer carry bars, although they are great to have, just grab two heavy ass dumbbells and walk 20 yards, turn around, and walk back. I think the round trip is vital, one of the hardest parts of doing farmer walks is controlling the weights your turn around and head back to the starting point. Just make sure to turn equal amounts each way.

5. Challenge Yourself

Do something to take you out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. This is another reason why having a training partner is so important.

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1 Response

  1. Nathen says:

    Hooah for the Vibrams!