I love this article from Jason Brown / Dr Rusin!

It’s well presented and communicated, its sits well with all the ethos of what I deliver and what my clients experience, in whatever resistance training setting.


My blog post commenting on this is for those curious about CrossFit, ‘functional training’, Olympic Lifting, Barbell & dumbbell work, those who may be training for health but also those training for performance.

There are many facets of the use of the kettlebell as another tool in which I see marked benefits and results which my clients see, do and feel!

The majority of my clients always laugh or question when I answer them with how I want to be training myself much better at the moment, that I can get a lot stronger/fitter/athletic, that in fact I am serious!

I rarely comment on CrossFit because I havent earnt the right- I haven’t put myself through a block of training – but this was a conscious decision! CrossFit has always interested me, but we know injury stats speak for themselves. (…So the last thing I wanted to embark on with my injury history) There are plenty of athletic movements I am still working upto myself!
Like anything, there is great coaching & programming practice and not so great practice out there.
It’s interesting observing from the outside how CrossFit is evolving and changing its approach.
I’m aware of the vast number of lives changed for the better, and the remarkable community about it.

Widening the foundations, ensuring enough mobility, stability and strength first, before power, before endurance, progressively building up an order of progressions of exercises first, this is nothing new, just quality training.

When I work with clients looking to increase power , including Olympic lifting, we’ll do it in a highly controlled way.
Whatever we’re doing quality always over quantity, and adequate rest.
If we ever go for strength-endurance or power-endurance, we still have to be sensible and put the weight down and stop the reps before we do a bad one, as past that point and doing a bad rep you’re just not being effective (never mind injury risk) It’s not worth it! Obviously save that risk for that one moment in your season/year/career in the actual sporting race/event if you need to?! We shouldn’t ever get hurt training in the gym!

I will teach someone the barbell snatch if they have ticked off several key boxes first that mean it’s safe for us to do it, and that they’ll get plenty out of it!
There’s no point setting about learning the snatch if there’s more to gain with simpler power exercises first!
The wider the foundations the higher the peak.
If we plateau…widen the foundations
The demands , rewards and adaptations promoted from the barbell snatch ofcourse can’t be replaced! Nor those respectively from the Clean & Jerk.

There are so many benefits to these exercises, so many training principles for safe effective progressive overload which my clients are well aware of and will find in common here!

Always at your own pace… I’m very much used to healthy in-house competition from coaching rowers and swimmers… In the resistance training setting, just focus on yourself! Compare notes of each other’s own progressions after the set!

I dont have many clients who I load-up in overhead squats,
but I do find lots of shoulder & thoracic spine mobility/stability benefits to working people in the overhead squat with a dowel (stick!) We will often incorporate these into warmups before kettlebell or Dumbbell where people are their overhead work, or before Circuits.

You know I love single-sided work…! Be it for working on imbalances or for athletic performance… For most sports you need to be good single sided.

I love how it’s this one…
And I love how the Burpee is the bonus! Come along to any of my sessions and ask my clients if I prescribe anyone burpees… 

If you want to learn or make sure you’re performing any of these exercises correctly, find your current strengths and weaknesses, or want some guidance with how to programme your training effectively, drop me a line, let’s book you in for a session!

Press ups!

Something I find I work with a lot with my clients in the 1-1 setting and the group setting is scapula control and ‘core’ control. Developing both is important to enable you to press effectively, in any direction.

Proper press ups are bloomin’ hard!

(I won’t reveal my small number of personal maximum reps anticipated here currently out of embarrassment for lack of my own training lately!)
To get the most out of a horizontal press, ie. Maximum function, maximum recruitment of the upper body and trunk, leading to maximal strength (think Force), and importantly to maintain healthy shoulders, the scapulae need to be retracted, the elbows should be close to the body, and the trunk region (think cylinder all around from the belly button), particularly abdominals, and transverse abdominals.

Breathe wide and deep and maintain control here to help co-ordinate all around the shoulders, arms and chest area for the pressing motion.

Being able to press with confidence is important in so many ways in daily life as well as in lots of sports, so do them with intent!

Amy, developing a 'good amount of reps' at a 'good height', at Berkeley Fitness Personal Training Studio, BS6
Amy, developing a ‘good amount of reps’ at a ‘good height’, at Berkeley Fitness Personal Training Studio, BS6

How to develop your press!

This is the other major facet I work with you on.
There is no point struggling with poor form, forcing things, giving maximal effort but getting poor results.
Over a period of time, starting with regressed versions/options, we eventually get you to a quality full press up.
There are many ways to do this, but the best way is to use a racked barbell.

Setting the height to challenge you and your form just enough, over many reps total, will then lead you to next session (eg. a few days later) to be able to lower the barbell height, (making it harder, ‘it’s physics’ :) and complete presses here, with fewer total reps until fatigue/loss of form…
Over subsequent sessions increase the number of reps at a given height, and then lower the barbell height again…
Repeat this process well and enough and consistently and guess what… YOU WILL eventually be able to attain a full press up off the floor!..

…For healthy shoulders and a functioning upper body you MUST balance out pressing with pulling!…

If you want to know more about any of this drop me a line!

If you think more detailed guide would be useful let me know and I’ll make one!