Random Thoughts


Hi Fitness Friends! I have some good reads, good views, rants, before/after pics, and glute training feedack to share with you today. I hope you enjoy it!

Good Reads

Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy

My new book Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy is #4 in Weight Training and #4 in Training & Conditioning on Amazon!

Strength & Conditioning Programming Flowchart

Remember that crazy flowchart I posted a while back that was too disorderly to comprehend HERE? One of my readers (Mandy Woodhouse) was kind enough to redo this chart and send it my way. Much better! Click HERE for a pdf.

The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitspiration” Photos

read more

Squat Biomechanics: Butt Wink – What is it, What Causes it, & How Can it be Improved?

Proper Spinal Alignment

“Butt wink” is a common issue for the majority of squatters. But what exactly is butt wink, what causes it, and can it be improved? If so, how?

Proper Spinal Alignment

In the video below, you will learn:

  • The biomechanics of squatting pertaining to the lumbopelvic hip complex (click HERE to see another video on the biomechanics of the LPHC during other exercises such as the hip thrust and back extension)
  • Length changes in two-joint muscles during the squat (hamstrings and rectus femoris)
  • The importance of ankle dorsiflexion mobility to prevent low back rounding (click HERE to read how limited ankle dorsiflexion causes knee valgus as well)
  • How anatomy influences hip mobility
  • Why motor control and not just hip flexibility is critical for optimal performance
  • Why properly functioning glutes are critical in the squat (click HERE to read why they’re critical in a lunge as well)
  • Why daily goblet squats are a good idea (click HERE for a good article and video on goblet squats)
  • Why rock-bottom full squats aren’t for everyone (click HERE to read more about proper squatting technique)

read more

Average Female Strength Gains Over a Six Month Period

My client Sammie after 6 months of training

I decided to create this graph so women, personal trainers, and strength coaches could gauge their progress in lower body strength exercises and create expectations, goals, and benchmarks. The graph below represents the hypothetical average lower body strength gains for a woman who trains with me two times per week.

My client Sammie after 6 months of training with me


Let me make some clarifications before posting the graph.

  • I didn’t take actually calculate averages; this is hypothetical.
  • These strength levels are in the 3-8 rep ranges.
  • Obviously someone training with me is going to see a lot quicker progress compared to someone training by themselves or training with a crummy trainer. There’s an art and science to developing maximal strength, and the majority of individuals just don’t understand it. 
  • Obviously these are just averages. While the deadlift and hip thrust are more consistent, the squat varies dramatically, mostly due to anthropometry, starting fitness levels, and age. Cases in point:
  • My girlfriend Diana (weighs around 120 lbs) was squatting 225 within 6 months of training with me, but she was already in good physical shape from rock climbing and she also has a good build for squats. I trained a client several years back who took several months just to be able to perform a bodyweight low box squat due to age (she was in her late 50′s), poor mobility, and inferior strength in her knees and posterior chain. I had to start her out with ultra-high box squats where she barely squatted down, but at the six month mark, she was performing goblet full squats with a 30 lb dumbbell for 10 reps.
  • My client Sammie (weighs around 125 lbs) was hip thrusting 385 within 6 months of training with me, but she was already in good physical shape from working out, and she is a natural at hip thrusting. Older clients might just get to 135 after 6 months of training with me as they’ll progress a bit slower than younger clients.
  • My client Karli (weighs around 125 lbs) was deadlifting 275 within 2 months of training with me, but she was already in good physical shape from working out, and she is a natural at deadlifts. Older clients might only be deadlifting 135-155 lbs after 6 months of training with me.
  • Obviously heavier individuals will have an absolute strength advantage compared to lighter individuals; this graph assumes around a 120-150 lb weight range.
  • Not everyone can full squat or conventional deadlift properly due to anatomical mobility restrictions or prior injuries. Most can squat to parallel over time, and most can safely perform box squats. Similarly, most can perform rack pulls from below the knees over time, and most can safely perform trap bar deadlifts.
  • These averages are for individuals who train with me twice per week. If they trained more often, their progress would be greatly fast-forwarded. In fact, if they trained 4 times per week, I imagine that progression-rates would double.
  • This graph assumes a starting point of 0 lbs (just bodyweight) for squats and hip thrusts, and 45 lbs (just the bar) for deadlifts. This is a typical starting point for a brand new beginner who is in good health but new to strength training. Diana, Sammie, and Karli started off with heavier weights due to good prior fitness levels.
  • This graph also assumes proper form. Obviously you could just “get someone better at sucking” by adding weight to their crummy movement patterns, but time must be taken to develop proper squat and hip-hinge patterns. Hip thrust patterning isn’t so hard though as it doesn’t require as much mobility, stability, or coordination.

As you can see, graphs that report averages can be useful but they don’t paint the entire picture. Nevertheless, hopefully this graph will provide you with some insights.

read more

Get More From Your Sprint Workouts

Today’s article is a guest-post from Lee Boyce (see his BIO below) on warming-up for sprinting. I hope you like it!

The one thing I’ve noted when it comes to sprinting advice in fitness articles is that the advice is simple – go sprint.

It often jumps straight to the workout, and ignores the people who need more direction on how to do it effectively and how to best prepare for an effective sprint workout. Over the past couple of years, I’ve personally tried to release content that caters to this exact crowd – the athletic lifting enthusiast with no formal training in sprinting, but has a desire to do so in their workouts.

read more