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A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles to Powerlifting (Part 2: Bench Press)

A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles to Powerlifting (Part 2: Bench Press)

If you’re a trainer: As with the hips, respect the structure, build a good foundation/alignment, and generally things will fall into place with more complex skills, Train the sagittal plane and restore a “neutral” thoracic spine curvature and ribcage position before dealing with any rotation or left to right asymmetries, If there is an asymmetry, some transverse plane work with a right rotation bias is a great progression once the sagittal plane has been taken care of Favoring some right ribcage/thoracic rotation with a neutral or even left rotated pelvis in other aspects of the training can be useful in restoring balance and improving performance.   If you’re a powerlifter/meathead/just want to lift without feeling like your body is going to fall apart: Bracing is good, but if you can’t get into a good spine/ribcage/pelvis position, you’re leaving some of that brace on the table, Rounding your shoulders isn’t inherently bad, in fact, it can make for an excellent recovery position from regular powerlifting training, Some asymmetrical work for the shoulders can be useful in balancing out your bench press and making it symmetrical. More specifically, creating more right rotation in your warmups may help to balance things out.     If you haven’t already seen Part 1 to this series, I strongly recommend reading that first as it lays down the groundwork for what we are diving into here. Today’s installment in the PRI/DNS to Powerlifting series will focus in on the bench press. One of the central points with PRI is how the human body is asymmetrical. I’m sure you’ve seen people stand in line at the...
A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles in Powerlifting (Part 1: Squat)

A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles in Powerlifting (Part 1: Squat)

TL:DR Version If you’re a trainer: As always, respect the structure, build a good foundation/alignment, and generally things will fall into place with more complex skills, If you don’t already, work on some frontal/transverse plane control work through the trunk/hips… Favoring left hip rotation via left hamstrings and adductors/right glute max in your supplemental work can be a very useful tweak to otherwise symmetrical training If you’re a powerlifter: As much as you think you might be bracing, you can probably do a better job by getting some of the deeper “core” muscle to work in sync with the rest of them by creating better IAP, Asymmetry exists within your body and as such, training symmetrically all the time might not be the best course of action, especially with your accessories. Some of your lower body accessory work and/or warmups should be asymmetrical to counteract this, Instead of mindlessly stretching as a warmup, address the problem head on with some of these asymmetrical exercises I showed above. They’ll not only feel good and get you better warmed up than foam rolling, but they’ll also help you move better and more efficiently. More efficiency=more weight lifted. Hard to argue with that.     For anyone who has trained with me for powerlifting in person over the last couple years, you’ll know that I draw a lot of the stuff that I do outside of the standard exercise programming (percentages, block structure, etc) from the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) and Dynamic Muscular Stabilization (DNS). These are both systems which focus around the role of the diaphragm, and breathing’s impact on movement...
How to Program Your Powerlifting Accessory Work

How to Program Your Powerlifting Accessory Work

The powerlifts unto themselves offer a lot to be gained in the long term with proper planning and progressive overload, though when trained in isolation they can leave some stones unturned when it comes to long term development, muscular balance, and general muscularity. Not to be confused with secondary and supplementary movements such as pause squats, pin press, block pulls, etc. which are generally a derivative of the main lifts, accessory movements are generally smaller/less stressful exercises. This is due to 2 things: 1. They use inherently lighter loads that have to be used due to the nature of the exercise, 2. In the context of a powerlifting program, the goal is not to get the best barbell row (or other accessory lift), therefore it will not be as much of a focus in the program. Before we begin, let’s outline some key components as to why and if you should even bother doing lifts outside of the squat, bench, and deadlift. From a movement quality standpoint, accessory exercises will help to iron out the natural imbalances a powerlifting program will create as well as maintain joint/tendon health. This could be pulling muscles (upper back) that are not strong compared to the pressing muscles in the shoulders (chest, shoulders, etc), or strengthening the abs relative to the back. The idea behind this is preventing nagging injuries from developing in the long run is easier to do if you are proactive about it. From this point of view, I believe every powerlifter should be doing some form of “injury prevention” type accessory work. The second main appeal to accessories is...
March Client of the Month: Jaye Kerzner

March Client of the Month: Jaye Kerzner

Though it can seem that the Client of the Month Award would go to clients who lose the most weight, gain the most muscle, and so on, that’s not always the case. Jaye has won this award for the month of March because of her relentless determination to consistently improve even in the face of setbacks such as surgery and past injuries. I came to Matt with very specific training parameters that I was being tested on for a competitive paddling team – along with a pair of sore knees and some trepidation. In coming to Matt, my overall goal was to be the best that I can be given my limitations, but my specific goal was to be able to bench 100 lb. in my fitness test and to do at least 1 pull up (maybe more).  My fear in returning to a personal trainer was that I was going to feel beat up at the gym physically and emotionally after an already grueling week of practices. I am pleased to report that I have reached my (short term) goals and that I have never felt beat up after a workout – tired and a bit sore maybe, but not trashed. As a 59 year old woman paddling on a team with others up to 35 years younger, I appreciate the accommodations that Matt makes to the exercises that allow me build my strength without feeling punished in the gym. I feel that I am making steady progress, but more important to me, I feel that I am learning the proper way to do the exercises. Matt is...
The StrongerYou Formula – a 6-Week Program to Achieve Your Goals

The StrongerYou Formula – a 6-Week Program to Achieve Your Goals

If the first three months of 2017 are any indicator of pace – summer will be here before we know it. While we’re not in the business of quick fixes or crash courses, we can’t deny that warm weather (and the associated swimsuits, shorts, and tank tops) is a motivating factor for fitness. To help you achieve your goals, we have set up the StrongerYou Formula – a 6-week individualized program to support your success. As we believe in sustainable and long-term effects, this is the perfect stepping-stone to a future of fitness and goal achievement. With the right mentality and commitment, you’ll see results in time for beach season (and will be able to maintain those results into sweater weather). So, what is the StrongerYou Formula? We have set out two options (conveniently named option A. and option B.). With the StrongerYou Formula, we have found that the clients that train at higher frequencies get the best results. Don’t believe us? Check out our most recent client of the month: Dylan Buckley. He trains with us 3 times per week and is seeing phenomenal progress. Option A includes: 6 weeks of 1-on-1 training at a frequency of 3 times a week Goal assessment and check ins Nutritional guidance and diet recommendations Total cost of $1200+GST Option B includes: 6 weeks of 1-on-1 training at a frequency of 2 times a week Goal assessment and check ins Nutritional guidance and diet recommendations Total cost of $900+GST We assist you in accountability, injury prevention, and overall adherence. All you have to do is bring your game face and we’ll do...