Complete and Utter Randomness

Just a few random thoughts that have been running around my mind and some training videos for everyone out there. Random Thoughts:

  • I’ve been struggling as of late when it comes to high school weight training either as a class or after school for sports.  It seems to be very few and far between that you have sport coaches/weight training teachers who know what they’re doing in the weight room (I’m not saying all of them).  Just talking to athletes about what they do in there blows my mind such as maxing every three weeks with terrible form, crumpling under the barbell during a squat or rounding their back and hitching a deadlift just to get the weight up.  Most of these kids can’t do a bodyweight squat correctly, why are they maxing with a barbell on their back?  I’m not trying to make people angry but it just seems ignorant when there is so much good/free information everywhere that would help these coaches and their athletes immensely.  I attribute this to one of two things, they are to prideful to admit they don’t know what they are doing or they just don’t care to find out that what they are doing is wrong and harmful.  Either way it’s unacceptable.
  • The previous thought kind of led into the idea of being average. I’ve heard people for as long as I can remember talk about how they are better than “average” or that they don’t want to be just “average”.  I always thought that thinking like that was arrogant, or that they felt they were superior.  I used to be of the mindset that in order to be above average you had to be something like an astronaut, sports superstar, movie star, bill gates, you know things along those lines.  I’m assuming I thought that way because from the time I was in elementary school to the end of high school that’s what I felt I was, just average.  Why? Because I was led to believe that’s what I was by OTHER people. It wasn’t until college when I started taking my physical education and exercise science classes that I started to realize that I wasn’t “average” and that I never want to be “average”.  I started becoming more confident in my intelligence and through weight training I became more physically confident, and most importantly I stopped listening to negative people.  This all lead to me understanding that it’s OK to NOT want to be average.  Nobody should want that.  Whatever it is that you are currently doing you shouldn’t be satisfied with being average at it.  Whether you are a student, strength coach, teacher, sport coach, attorney, grounds keeper, etc. you should STRIVE to be better so you can look back when it’s all said and done and be able to say you left your mark.  Anyways the reason why this all got sparked was because I’ve been hoping this is the message that I am instilling in the athletes I work with.  There is enough negativity in the world and I REFUSE to be a negative influence when it comes to working with these kids.
  • My last thought as of late is that I want to buy a truck. Really not for any other reason than to buy a Prowler to leave in the bed of the truck just so I can always have it on hand in case the mood strikes to push it.  Weird right?


And without further delay, here are some videos to take your mind off the incoherent rant you just read….

Here are two of our female high school volleyball athletes.  I think they are just realizing that they are really strong.  SAPT is really proud of all their progress…

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The next video is of one of my training partners and GMU’s S&C graduate assistant John Delgado.  He’s currently doing Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 and he decided to get real squirrely with this 315 deadlift for what I believe is 13 reps…

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The last video is of me getting in some work for my upcoming powerlifting competition.  My training is going really well and my squats and pulls feel really fast and smooth (bench is still feeling a bit weird and wild).  I’m about 7 weeks out from the Richmond Open and I am getting all sorts of jacked up about it.

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30 Things I Want to Share

I started this post back in September when I noticed that I was exactly 30 years and 30 weeks old, thus, the 30 points I want to share. I hope you enjoy this one... going back and rereading what I had written, I realized this post was better than I originally gave it credit for. Lots of things I've learned about training, coaching, and life throughout!


  • I’ve discovered that with every moment older I get, the less and less interested in material objects I become. I guess this is how real adults are able to buy things like vacation homes and afford retirement.
  • Weight training does not make women gain weight, unless they are eating like they want to gain weight.


  • Considering the cost of gas consumption when purchasing a car is one of the greatest financial lessons my parents ever taught me. It is also the reason why we own a Prius.
  • Imposing a strict tempo is probably the most important change I’ve made in my programming over the last 4 years. Prior to that I really had very little appreciation for how powerful training the eccentric and isometric portions of every movement can be.
  • Knowing you can provide well for you children is hugely satisfying.


  • I frequently feel that only a handful of trainers/coaches in the world actually know how to teach a squat correctly.
  • A professor I had in undergrad once told me "a Bachelor’s degree simply shows you have the ability to commit to something and finish it over a long period of time. The people at your first job will still have to teach you what you really need to know." It’s all about experience.
  • Certifications mean very little. It’s, again, all about experience.
  • Everyone who lives in and around DC should check out the National Arboretum. It’s a beautiful and relaxing place to unwind.
  • I recently read a running book that did a much greater job explaining the importance of working at your current pacing level (i.e. % of 1RM for weights) than any weight-training book I’ve ever read. The book is Daniel’s Running Formula.
  • Every trained female should be able to perform at least 3 pull-ups. I used to make excuses for myself about why I would never be able to do them… then I smartened up and figured out a great pull-up progression (see #9). After a bit of time, I found myself doing sets of 10 dead-hang pull-ups.
  • Mel Siff’s Supertraining is still the most comprehensive book about anything ever written. My mind is blown every time I crack that book open. How someone produces a work like that is beyond my understanding.
  • You can tell a great deal about how parents raise their children by how their kids act in the face of a challenge.
  • “If you want to be fast, you have to move fast.” This is referring to bar speed in the weight room.
  • “You will pass out before you die.” Another great weight room quote from a mentor of mine.
  • If you’re unsure about set/rep schemes as they relate to percentage of 1RM. You MUST read Tim Kontos’ article on Prilepin’s Chart. I continue to reference this when I need solid guidance on final decisions in volume and intensity.
  • Working to become less egocentric is an important endeavor to improve overall satisfaction with your life. For example, women who avoid the free weight area of a gym because “all the guys stare at me.” No they don’t. Get over yourself.
  • Coaches (strength or sport) who become frustrated at athletes easily are not well equipped to be teaching in the first place. We’re teaching more than how to set a screen or do a pushup, we’re teaching life skills.


  • Not having spent any time around babies before having one, I never really knew what the big-deal was… I get it now!
  • Everyone should consider wearing shoes that have a zero drop or a very low drop. I don’t like the term “barefoot” shoes because you’re not barefoot. You still have shoes on they just don’t have any elevation change from heel to toe.
  • You will be better off if you make an effort to go to sleep and wake up at around the same time every day (yes, weekend days are still days, so they count towards this).
  • You don’t have to yell at athletes and put on a big show to get them motivated to perform. Just treat them calmly and with respect. Get excited when appropriate.



  • I fully believe in the idea and pursuit of the American Dream.