Distance Coaching

Some SAPT Video Highlights: Post-Rehab Deadlifts, 1,000lb Prowler Drags, Pistol Shenanigans, and More

I have a number of topics I'd like to write about, but they'll have to remain on the back burner for a little while due a few pressing deadlines occupying my time. I know a few of you are waiting for me to do a Q & A based on a few email questions that have been sent my way; I'll be getting to those soon, I promise. In the meantime, hope you enjoy!

1. The other evening, I was shootin' the breeze with a couple of our interns, when the topic of pistol squats became infused into our dialogue.

I made a sarcastic comment to Chavez, along the lines of "Hey, why don't you try a pistol squat to a box jump, I think that'd be really easy." (Translation: I can think of a thousand activities that would be safer than attempting a pistol squat to box jump, one of which being throwing yourself into a lion's den with a T-bone strapped to your face, and another being hopping into a live volcano.)

Well, next time I'll learn to hold my tongue, as apparently Chavez doesn't back down from a challenge, no matter how outrageous it may be:

2. Many of you know Conrad from this story that Coach Tadashi wrote up on Conrad entering his first powerlifting meet just a couple months out of his second total knee replacement surgery. (Mind you, the two operations took place within a year of each other.)

Well, we have been continuing to help him along with his post-rehab training, and needless to say he has been doing spectacular, along with recently celebrating his 65th birthday to boot.

Just this past week he hit a 2-rep deadlift at 225lbs + 60lbs chains, so, using our arithmetic skills, that gives him 285lbs at the top of his pull. As you can see, he still had PLENTY of room in the tank to spare. Good stuff!!!

He's come a long way with his deadlift technique over the past few months. Sure, he could extend his T-spine slightly more, and pack the neck, but I give him three green lights for the time being.

3. One of our prior high school athletes, Carson, has been enrolled in our Distance Coaching Program since he left for college last Fall. Throughout his first 12-week distance training cycle with SAPT, he added an impressive 35lbs to his prior deadlift max (410lbs).

Here he is ripping a solid 445 pounds off the ground. I'm saying he'll have 500lbs in his grasp well before he graduates college!

Way to go, Carson.

4. Big Joe - even though he's an "endurance athlete" - finds anything involving heavy weights, or a challenging task, unconditionally palatable. Mix the two together and you get a 1,000lb Prowler Forward Drag by Big Joe from last Saturday morning:


5. Here is Sheik, a cat who resides in the same dwelling as Kelsey and I. The other day, she insisted on refusing to allow any Hershey's kiss to remain alive while she still walked the Earth. She inexorably hunted down and destroyed them all, no matter how many continued to slide across the table in their efforts to pass her by.

That's all for now. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Some More Female Awesomeness: Achieving Her First Bodyweight Chinup

All of us coaches at SAPT always get fired up about females making awesome progress in the gym (see A Witness to Female Strength and Some Female Pushup Goodness for a couple examples). There's something ridiculously cool about them realizing just how much they can achieve in the weight room, and how empowering it is for them to continue to make progress in that sphere. A few months ago, we started working with a young woman, Meredith, who signed up for our Distance Coaching program. Upon asking her what a few of her specific goals were, she replied with:

"I feel like I could use some help in designing a program and also most importantly to make sure I'm doing everything correctly. I realize that now is the time to do this because its only going to get more difficult as we get older.

One goal of mine is to master a pull-up. As a former dancer, my upper body strength my whole life has been pretty weak. I have tried using the assisted pull-up machine and have progressed to assistance of 20lbs but then when I try to use just the pull-up bar, I am nowhere near where I need to be. I think Ryan would be impressed if someday I could master a pull-up :) "

(Note: Ryan is her husband, an awesome dude whom I actually had the pleasure of meeting a few months ago.)

Given that one of Meredith's primary goals was to perform a complete, non-assisted chinup (she had never done it before), we embarked upon a program with a "chinup specialization" component in order to help her reach this goal.

Well, merely two months into the program, I received the video below of her performing not just one, but two bodyweight chinups, along with an email from Meredith:

"Steve -

Thank you so much for your help in achieving my first ever pull-up! Honestly when I signed up for the 3-month distance coaching program, I thought I would get stronger, but I never imagined being able to do not just one but two pullups within my first 2 months of training. I have really enjoyed the distance coaching and the programs you have created for me. I feel a sense of accountability to make sure I get all my workouts in each week and for once, I actually look forward to my workouts and seeing what I can accomplish each day. Thank you so much for all your help and I can't wait to see what the next 3 months holds for me!

- Meredith"

In a word: Awesome!!!

The point I want to derive from this is that Meredith's success is NOT primarily attributed to some magical program I wrote for her (while popular opinion may hold that SAPT performs magic, I,  personally speaking at least, was never instructed by Dumbledore over at Hogwarts), but rather, her success stemmed from the fact that she attacked each and every training day with focus, determination, and confidence. Also, once a month, she showed up at SAPT to go over the proceeding month's programming, to ensure that her technique was sound that she was executing everything correctly.

And, not to mention, while she knocked her chinup goal out of the park, she's also well on the road of "Picking Up Heavy Things" by hitting a pretty impressive Trap Bar Deadlift PR, nailing 140lbs for six reps:

In exchanging a couple emails with her husband, Ryan, he told me, "Since she started with you guys she hasn't missed a single training day and has been completely dialed in when she gets to the gym. She's working extremely hard and is focused and believes in your program. As you can see, she's getting awesome results. Hopefully you can use her story to help others experience what she has achieved."

I hope this serves as some encouragement to you reading what can be accomplished when you set your sights on a goal (be it a heavy deadlift or squat attempt, fat loss goal, or simply being able to lift pain-free), and refuse to waver in your quest for that particular accomplishment.

Free Training

Experience our distance coaching system for 2-weeks absolutely FREE!!!  That’s right, we’re opening-up the vault so you can try a taste of SAPT goodness for yourself:

  • 2-weeks (6-sessions) of carefully balanced and scientifically backed programming. This program is designed to mobilize, strengthen, and condition a moderately active adult!
  • Step-by-step, in depth coaching cues to ensure you’re performing the movements correctly!
  • Training videos presented in HD and accessible via most mobile devices!

To receive your 2-weeks of free programming and access to our online database of exercise videos click HERE. Fill in the relevant fields and indicate “I’d like to try the 2-week free Distance Coaching Trial,” and a SAPT rep will be in touch with you shortly to provide you your program!

On a final, and unrelated, note - as I am posting this, I am drinking the worst "fresh" cup of coffee ever. It tastes like I'm drinking a coffee flavored wet paper cup and it is NOT good.

This is a call to arms against New Year’s resolutions!

Ready to freak-out…New Year’s resolutions are right around the corner!!!  Did you just break-out in a cold sweat?  Did you just un-tuck your shirt to more seamlessly blend the muffin top into your lower extremities?  Are you slowly moving towards your snack drawer to dispose of the various half-eaten processed delicacies stroon about…ya, I’m on to you.  Folks, this is a call to arms against preventing what you really want for yourself; to once again have a waistline; finally beat your friend “Svelte Jerry” in your weekend tennis match, and not worry about your knee exploding in the process; to not live in fear of your annual check-up.

My friends, climb aboard the SAPT rowboat, and like GW crossing the Delaware, we’re gonna sneak-up and ambush our opposition...failed New Year Resolutions, no more.  Don’t wait for the bleating attempts by surrounding commercial gyms to wrangle you into some membership you’ll never use, because at that point it’ll be too late (I’m a poet and didn’t even know it). 

HEALTHY HABITS MUST BEGIN NOW.  Trust me, it’s the only way you’ll be able to curb, and defeat, your unhealthy infatuation with snickerdoodles, the little cookies with Hershey kisses on top, and the latest “housewives” series?   You know why, because GOING COLD TURKEY ON JANURARY 1ST DOESN’T WORK!

What you need is plan, something to guide you through the season of endless fruit cakes.  Perhaps something like an SAPT individualized training program?  You need some motivation, and a sense of accountability.  Perhaps the knowledgeable SAPT staff and encouraging-positive room dynamic created by our semi-private training model would do the trick?  What you need is a reason to have only a small slice of cheesecake instead of the entire pan?  Perhaps knowing that the SAPT Prowler (our weight sled) is in your metabolic finisher tomorrow and you’d rather not taint our pristine turf with bits of graham crack crust and heavy cream (too far (?)…probably)?  Perhaps viewing the incredible physical transformation of SAPT’ee lifer, Ron Reed, in the video below will stoke your fire:

Ladies, and gents, the solution is simple, set yourself up for success by enrolling in one of our adult training structures.  We understand that change is difficult, but as it’s been proven to us time and time again, with a little help and guidance, SAPT’ees can accomplish some pretty amazing things.  Let us help you.   

Cue “Rocky” soundtrack,


What you’re not getting from your three easy payments of 19.99…

My main qualm with most “at-home-on-your-own” training protocols is that there really is no “quality control” component.  As you’ve heard us reference countless times on this site, the intended benefit of an exercise is only realized when execution is correct.  Improper execution of a movement will yield less than optimal results, and the potential for injury.  Check-out the two video clips below of one of our distance clients, Frank. 

You’ll notice in the first video he’s significantly more disjointed and off-balanced in comparison to the second (watch again).  Well there’s a reason.  After receiving the following feedback from me he was able to lock-in the form much better: 

Watch your video closely and you’ll notice that every time your back knee touches the ground heavy, your lead leg (the knee) shifts inward slightly, meaning the glute med didn’t quite fire on time to absorb the force.  The reps that are beautiful, you’ll notice there wasn’t the slightest deviation of the knee. Think 'front-knee-out' every repetition.”

Watch the videos again, did you catch it?

Frank’s, reply:

Wow! I never would have seen that!  It seems so clear now!  I never understood why some reps seemed so hard…excellent feedback!

This is something that would have gone unnoticed by most, and certainly in a scenario where the only coaching feedback you receive is your dog incessantly barking at you while your knee slips into valgus…and the tape just keeps on rolling…

Start receiving the attention to detail you deserve by clicking HERE…