Category Archives: Deadlifting

Episode 32

Biofeedback training

This week I’ve got David Dellanave on the phone. David is the owner of Movement Minneapolis and wrote the book, Off the Floor, which he was gracious enough to give you listeners a special discount.  In this episode David tells us all about biofeedback testing and how you can easily implement it into your training.  Pretty powerful but misunderstood stuff.

To Find Out More About David:

What We Cover in This Episode:

  • What is biofeedback
  • How it works
  • How to use biofeedback with your clients
  • Misconceptions of physical culture
  • The most misunderstood exercises from the old time physical culture
  • And more!


Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Off The Floor Program (Fit Pro Podcast special discount)

Get Stronger Faster Program (Fit Pro Podcast special discount)

Dragon Door

Adam T Glass 




Twelve Fit Pro’s That Will Make a Splash in 2014


This is not one of those typical lists of “the top fitness professionals” that you may have seen appearing now that it’s the start of another year. There is a mixture of both big names, up and comers, and some sleeper’s (as I like to term them) that encompass this list. It’s my “Dynamic Dozen” fitness professionals who I think will make a splash (all in their own unique ways) in 2014.

Now before I go through everyone I want to make one thing clear, this is by no means in any order so I don’t want to hear any arguments that someone should have been ranked higher!


Todd-DurkinYou won’t find a more humble and integral guy in the fitness industry, which sadly these days is becoming less and less. If you ever get a chance to meet TD it’s an opportunity you should not pass up, as he has a ton of knowledge and insight to pass on. And you’ll leave feeling fired up and ready to take on the world. Not only does Todd train numberous NFL, NBA and MLB players, an awesome facility called Fitness Quest 10, but he also does a ton of speaking both in the fitness and corporate world.

With his release on his Fitness Business Success System at the end of 2013 you can just feel that Todd’s got some big things ahead for 2014. His website is (and be sure to check out the article he just put out on 137 Ways to Make 2014 Your Best Year Yet)


frank-nashFrank is one of the funniest guys in the industry (if not a bit of a nerd). He’s got a great sense of humour, but even better he’s a very switched on trainer and businessman. He’s got a successful gym called Frank Nash Training Systems in Worcester, Massachusetts, and runs Fitness Click which provides social media help for fitness professionals.

But in 2014 I know Frank is not only making a number of presentations around the US, but he’s also going international as one of the featured presenters at Australia’s major fitness convention (FILEX), along with some accompanying workshops down under. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg for him this year. And where else would you find a nerd who has a social media company but on Facebook at


martin-rooneyMartin has been on a crusade against obesity for the last few years and his Training for Warriors program is set for a ground-breaking year in 2014. With workshops and speaking engagements around the world, making sure you see Martin live should be on your to-do list for this year (you can thank me later). Martin absolutely oozes passion and enthusiasm.

There are not many people who can stand up and talk for 3 hours and leave you wanting more, but that’s exactly what you get every time Martin speaks. If the last 2 years is any indication for what he has in store for 2014, then you should closely follow because everything he puts out is world class. Check out to see when and where Martin will be in 2014 (and I HIGHLY recommend checking out his DOJO, it’s money well invested!).


KhaledNow this is a name a lot of you will have never have heard of, but you will. Khaled is the founder of the NorCal Fitness Summit up in the Bay Area of California. Frustrated that there wasn’t any top notch fitness events up his way he did what anyone else would do and just created one! Last year he hosted the inaugural event and is already assembling an amazing line up for his next one this April. Although he’s not announced the presenter’s I know that Dan John is one of the headliners.

Khaled is one of my sleepers, but he’s a hustler and really wants to help improve the fitness industry so keep a look out for what he’s up to. And if you’re looking for a great event in April go to

Chad Wesley Smith

Chad-Wesley-SmithIf you’ve not heard of the Juggernaut Training System then you better go check out what Chad Wesley Smith has been quickly putting together for the past few years. You’ll be hard pressed to find better information on getting strong (I mean really strong) than on their site

The team of people Chad has assemble are top notch and are the type of people that when they open their mouths you should be quiet and listen. And by the look of it 2014 will be the tipping point for Chad and the Juggernaut team.

Vito La Fata

VitoHere’s another name you may not be familiar with, but Vito has been masterminding and attending high end workshops with some of the biggest names in Internet Marketing (Jeff Walker, Brendon Burchard, Dan Kennedy, and Frank Kern) and has been the “behind the scenes” guy of a couple of industry leaders program launches.

After speaking with him at the end of the year, I know he’s got some big things planned for 2014. So whether you actually know he’s behind it, Vito is going to make some major splashes in the industry this year. Go and check him out at his site

Rob King

rob-kingRob is another one of my sleepers on this list. He is a relentless worker who’s established both an online business and two booming physical businesses in the not so booming province of Newfoundland. And he tends to be at almost EVERY convention, workshop or conference related to fitness. To top this off he is a very modest and quiet guy who is a testament to the fitness industry.

Know I have no idea what Rob has planned for 2014, but I’ve got a feeling whatever it is he ends up doing we’ll finally notice it. I’m excited to see what Rob comes out with, so jump over to his site at

David Dellanave

David-DellanaveHow can you not like a guy so obsessed with deadlifting he wrote an entire book on it? Over the last 12 months David’s name has been showing up more and more all over the Internet, as well as in some major fitness publications which leads me to believe there is a lot more to come in 2014.

David is probably smarter than he gives himself credit for, along with a great sense of humour, which has him poised to make some waves this year. Make sure to check out his stuff on biofeedback at his site

Rick Mayo

rick-mayoRick has quietly gone along building up a reputation as the go to guy when it comes to implementing a training business based on group training. If you’ve ever heard him speak you’d have to agree that you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who packs more information into 90 minutes than he does. He blends the training geek with the business savvy like no one I’ve ever seen.

And he does all this without any ego and little bit of southern charm. If you want to improve your business in 2014 then you NEED to make it to an event where Rick is speaking (check out for some events he’s at). Be sure to check out his other site as well.

Josh Henkin

Josh-HenkinCalling Josh a sleeper for 2014 would almost be an insult. Although he’s very well know for his Ultimate Sandbags and his great educational program Dynamic Variable Resistance Training, he tends to stay under the radar with his laid back, unassuming nature. I’m predicting big things for Josh and his team at Ultimate Sandbags for 2014.

There has been a lot of work and focus put on creating an outstanding course, both the content and the experience, and I think that this will be the year that the DVRT program explodes across the globe. If you haven’t check him out go to or go check out some of the 100’s of video’s Josh has up on his youtube page ( Mark my words, 2014 is the year of the Ultimate Sandbag.

AJ Roberts

AJ-RobertsAJ knows how to use the Internet to dramatically improve your business, in which he made 7 figures in his early 20’s. Having worked with some of the top Internet Marketers on the planet, he knows his shit. He’s also been a world champion powerlifter, so it’s safe to say that when he puts his mind towards something he gets it done.

And AJ has now dedicated himself to the fitness industry this coming year, so I can only imagine the kind of affect he will have on it. That and he’s set his mind on now competing in bodybuilding! It will be an interesting year and I’m very excited to see what AJ has planned. So make sure you check him out over on Facebook where I know he’s at on a daily basis (

Scott Rawcliffe

Scott-HeadShot-smallI know, I know. I’ve included myself on this list but here me out. The reason I did it was because I’ve set some lofty goals for the upcoming year and plan on achieving them. Over the last 12 months I’ve spoke at some of the top conventions in the world, along with talking at a number of private facilities and have set the intention to improve the fitness industry.

I plan on doing this by bringing the fitness community closer together with my upcoming podcast specifically for fitness professionals (Stay Tuned). And by focusing on simplifying everything from business building to Facebook marketing to programming and exercise prescription for fitness professionals. Clearing the muddy waters of fitness for lack of a better term.

So I look forward to helping bring you the best and brightest minds in the fitness world and sharing my journey and everything I’ve learned along the way.

I’d love for you to tell me who you’d like to hear on the podcast or what topics you’d like to see covered. And if you want to be the first to know when the podcast goes live make sure to go over to my Facebook page and LIKE it.

Here’s Your Content Packed Guide to Exercise Regressions and Progressions just for reading this post

3 Simple Tips for the Deadlift


At a recent in service I was giving for a local PT Studio I came to the realisation that sometimes what I think is common knowledge for personal trainers is NOT. Now before you think that I am about to get all high and mighty I will be the first to admit that there are many people out there that are much smarter than me. But one thing that I continuously hear when I’m speaking to other trainers is that I make things easy to understand.

Now I’m not sure if that’s because it’s an actual gift that I was given, or if I’m just not smart enough to make it anything other than simple. Either way I’ll take it as a compliment and try to give you some quick, simply fixes for improving your clients deadlift.

Tip #1
Figure out which style suits your client.

Over the years I’ve learned that one style does not fit all when it comes to deadlifting. Some of your clients will have no problem doing conventional deadlifts yet struggle with sumo deadlifts, while others will be the exact opposite.

Baring that your client isn’t going to be competing in powerlifting I think there is a simple way to chose the best style for your client to use. It’s the one that they don’t look awkward doing. It’s as simple as that.

If your client struggles to get in the right starting position or can’t keep an arch in their lower back with one of these variations, give them the one that looks natural. I could go into all the reasons why, but you don’t have time to listen to my ramblings (I’m impressed that you’ve actually got this far in my article).

Get your client to try a couple conventional deadlifts and a couple of sumo’s. Whichever one looks more natural is their new style.

Tip #2
Create Tension

The biggest reason I see people in the gym fail at deadlifts (because of course my clients would never do this) is their inability or lack of knowledge, to create as much tension in the body before the lift.

(speaking of deadlift fail….I just couldn’t leave this video out)

You may be wondering what I mean by this and it’s pretty simple.

1) Squeeze the bar hard

2) Try to bend the bar (causing tightness in the lats)

3) Get as much tension in the hamstrings without rounding your low back

These are the three main keys that I believe will help you clients in their deadlift. As the weight gets heavier, it’s these energy leaks or lack of tightness, which will cause their form to go to crap. If you can teach them to create as much tightness in their lats and hamstrings as possible you’ll probably start to see much better form without having to say anything else to them.

Tip #3
Focus on the Horizontal

You’ll be amazed at how many people think of the deadlift as a vertical pull, but in reality if you think of it as more of a horizontal hip drive, you’ll be amazed at the ease of a once heavy weight.

An analogy first used by Mark Rippetoe was thinking of your hips as a bow and arrow. And this kind of ties in to Tip #2. If you build the tension in the hamstrings by pushing your hips back, it’s like pulling back on the bow. The further back you pull the bow (create tension in the hamstrings) the more force it will exert once you let you (drive your hips).

Try this the next time you deadlift. Create the tension in the hamstrings, and then instead of thinking of pulling the bar off the floor, instead think of driving the hips forward.

If the lift doesn’t feel a lot lighter, you’re doing something wrong.

So those are my three quick tips for helping improve your client’s deadlifting. Hopefully this helps you with your clients, but like always make sure you try these things out first so that you can better coach your clients. If you’ve got some quick tips that you like to use I’d love to hear them below.

Deadlifting with Dellanave


Do you know anyone so passionate about deadlifting that they accept an offer to do an interview the day before their wedding? Well let me introduce you to David Dellanave……and yes that’s exactly what he did!

David just released his new ebook called Off the Floor, and it’s a manifesto of everything deadlifting! And as you can see he’s no slouch when it comes to the lift, as he holds the World Record for the Jefferson Deadlift in the 202lb class.

In our interview we talked about everything from what’s the easiest deadlift variation to teach, back pain and deadlifting, how to gauge people’s readiness to train, along with what’s David’s favourite non deadlifting exercise and most importantly… to keep your wife and mistress (the deadlift) happy at the same time!

Just click the link below to listen to this great interview from an amazing trainer. And David is pretty good too!

3 Easy Ways to Improving Your Deadlift


There is no better true test of a person’s strength than the deadlift. And that’s probably why a lot of people never do them, because they are just too hard. So today I’m going to share 3 simple tips on how you can start improving your deadlift.

The first way to easily improve your deadlift is simple.

TIP #1 Try to bend the bar.

Yes, you read that right, I want you to try to bend the bar! When you grip the bar, imagine that you are a competitor on the World’s Strongest Man and try as hard as you can to bend the bar in half. Your elbows should end up pointing back and your lats should be as tight as they can possibly get .

Another good cue I like to use with my clients to get them to activate their lats is to squeeze their armpits, as if they were trying to hold a towel in their armpits. I’ve even used this as an exercise, where I put a side of the towel under each arm of my client, have them squeeze while I try to pull it out.

The reason why you want to contract the lats is that we want to create as much tightness in the body as possible. This allows you to handle greater loads without rounding your back, and possibly injuring yourself. The better you become at learning how to create maximal tightness in the body the higher your deadlift numbers will get. And the reason why I use the term “learn” is because lifting maximal loads is a skill amongst itself.

Getting tight may sound easy to do, but until you try to create (and maintain) tightness while trying to lift maximal weights, you have no idea. And I say this from experience. As one of my mentors, Mark Buckley, has told me numerous times, everything changes under load. Truer words could not be spoken!

And what an appropriate time to watch one of the funniest deadlift fails ever:

TIP #2 Improve Your Grip

The next thing you can do to improve your deadlift is to improve your grip. If you’ve ever been told you shake hands like a girl, you need to start here. That is, unless you actually are a girl, then it’s understandable. You are only as strong as you weakest link, and grip strength is typically the weak link with most people. Lack of grip strength can prevent you from reaching your deadlift potential.

Doing some heavy farmers walks or throwing on a pair of fat gripz onto your dumbbells will definitley help develop some grip strength.

One thing you do want to be wary of is how often you are adding in heaving grip training. Grip training can be very taxing on your nervous system, which takes considerably more time to recover than your muscular system. Doing either too much of it, or doing it too often could burn out your nervous system actually limiting the loads you will be able to handle. Once a week is a great number to start at, which will see your grip strenght improve in a matter of a few weeks.

TIP #3 Stop Deadlifting!

And the last way to improve you deadlift is to stop doing the deadlift. But, how am I going to get better without doing them is what you may be asking. Easy, try adding in some of these assistance exercises; good mornings, sumo deadlft, seated good morning, and box squats.

Did you know that a lot of high level powerlifters rarely deadlift outside of competition? They rely heavily on using some of the assistance exercises mentioned above. One of the main reasons for this is that they don’t want their body to adapt to the exercise, constantly challenging it.

By switching up the hip dominant movement that they are training every 2-4 weeks, it allows them to continue to train heavy without fear of burning out on the lift. Many lifters will continue to see their weight go up on a weekly basis months at a time by using assistance exercises. Hold on, did you say a PB every week? Yup, you read that right! It is not that uncommon to hear of guys setting a new personal best every week, just take a look at Louie Simmons and the Westside crew. The other added bonus of this is that you will actually strengthen many of your weak points in the deadlift without even realizing it.

So, I hope that this has given you some ideas on how to improve you deadlift with these simple tips. In part 2 of this series I will dig a bit deeper on how to improve your deadlift.

Now go do some deads………he is!

Cueing Is Key


What We Say MATTERS!

If you think that just yelling out a bunch of different cues in really helping your clients, then you are in for a rude awakening. If you really want to get the most from your clients and have them finally master the exercises you prescribe then this post is a must read for you.

Have you ever had a client that it seems no matter what you say, they just can’t seem to get it. Come on, you know who I’m talking about, but for this post let’s just call him “Pat”. Every week Pat comes in, and every week it seems like Pat’s never done a push up in his life.

His hips are too high…

He bobs his head up and down likes he’s (well I’ll just let that one be)…

When he gets tired he let’s his hips sag…

ARGHHHH!!! Pat……have you not heard a word I’ve said over the last 4 weeks! is what you want to say. But maybe it’s not Pat’s fault. Maybe it’s the cues you’ve been using? Or maybe we just need to understand how one simple tweak can make all the difference in the world.

Categories of Cues

There are basically two categories of cues; Internal Focus Cues and External Focus Cues. And boy oh boy do they make a difference in making your job easier as a coach!

Let’s start by defining what each one is.

Internal Focus is when the primary focus is on the body, for example the muscles, and the associated movement process, like extend you hips.

External Focus is when the primary focus is on the movement outcome, like jump high, and the associated affect on the environment, such as push off the ground.

And out of these 2; giving a cue with an external focus will win every single time!

Is Having an External Focus Really Better?

The reason why using an external focus when cueing will always out perform an internal focus is that we are telling our client how we want them to interact with the environment. They no longer have to think about what to do, they are just going to react. And isn’t that what we want our clients to do, especially if you are working with athletes, whether it’s professionals or our weekend warriors. If our client has to think about how they are going to cut to the right to avoid the defender on the soccer pitch, do you really think he is going to do it in a timely manner?

And let’s be serious, when we tell our clients to extend their hips, how many of them actually know what that means? We all know what that means, but when has our client ever thought “oh I better make sure to extend my hips when I jump over that rail”?

It Feels Good….yeah!

Now I may have dated myself a bit, but if you know who Tony Toni Tone is, you’ll get it. If you don’t you have no idea what you’re missing. Anyways, back to cueing! When you use an external focus you are talking to people in a manner that makes sense. You are talking with words that bring up a picture or a feeling, not turning on their brain to think about what they need to do.

If I were to cue you to change directions and told you to “Drive the ground away” how does that make you feel? As opposed to “Drive off your outside foot”. You instantly know what to do when I tell you to drive the ground away, but when I tell you to drive off your outside foot you have to think, which foot is that and what do I do with it. Try it if you don’t believe me.

External Focus Cueing 101

Know that you see that an external focus cues may be a better option let’s talk about a simple 2 step process to start implementing them into your coaching vocabulary.

1) Do a quick inventory of all the most common cues you use. Spend 10-20 minutes at the end of your day, or even 5-10 minutes between clients if you have a break and write them down.

2) Simply tweak all your internal focus cues to external focus cues.

Common traits of an external focused cue:

  • descriptive words
  • paint a picture in your head
  • metaphors
  • analogy’s
  • think of what the movement outcome is
  • what are you doing to/with the environment

One Last Example

Let’s look at the deadlift and apply some external focus onto our cueing. Here is a video of Chad Wesley Smith pulling a massive load. The last thing he should be doing is thinking of what his muscles should be doing.

External focus cues:

  • Punch
  • Accelerate
  • Snap the hips
  • Drive the bar
  • Push the ground

Not engage your glutes……extend your hips……c’mon bro it’s all you! Especially not “it’s all you”!!!

Now take this and go implement it into your business. Although it’s great to know this, if you don’t do anything with what you’ve just learned, the time it took you to read this was an utter waste of time. Sorry for the harsh words, but knowledge means nothing if it’s not implemented.