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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...
Life with a Busy Schedule: Getting to Your Fitness Goals

Life with a Busy Schedule: Getting to Your Fitness Goals

Life with a Busy Schedule: Getting to your Fitness Goals Life can get busy. As a business owner, I can attest to this – sometimes it feels like there’s not enough hours in the day. As such, taking care of yourself and your fitness can be hard to prioritize. So today, we’ve come up with some easy tricks you can implement into your daily routine to make staying on track much easier. Schedule your workouts and prep time – Just the same as you would schedule a meeting or doctor’s appointment into your calendar, do the same with your workouts and meal prep. This is actually one of the great reasons why hiring a personal trainer can be so beneficial to adherence – you now have 1-5 blocks per week where you have exactly 0 excuses as to why you shouldn’t be at the gym kicking butt! Even if you don’t have a trainer, the same concept applies. Bulk Prep – you know what they say: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! One easy way to plan for diet through a busy work week is to set aside a couple hours every Sunday (or whatever other day you have off during the week) to plan out your week’s menu, grocery shop for all the necessary ingredients. Then, bulk prep any ingredients that you know you’ll be using a lot (and that won’t spoil). Some easy ones for bulk prep are: a pot of rice, chopping all your vegetables for easy access, marinating your meats, and cooking your meats a few days in advance. Frozen veggies are...
5 Tips: For a Gym Newbie

5 Tips: For a Gym Newbie

You know what they say, “by the yard, it’s hard, but by the inch, it’s a cinch”.  With this in mind, we thought we’d introduce a new series – one which focuses on quick, actionable change that can be made to any routine. The whole idea is to make you a stronger, healthier, and more positive version of yourself. So here it goes: Keep Dietary Strategies Simple: diet fads are nothing new. But starting a fresh routine can be intimidating. Atkins, Keto, high carb, low carb, high protein, vegan, vegetarian… we’ve heard them all. With the plethora of choices, you can get stuck in “paralysis by analysis” – like having too many cereal options at the grocery store, standing in the aisle, unsure about which to pick… We’ve all been there, right? At the end of the day, the NUMBER ONE determinant of bodyweight is energy balance – the amount of fuel you input vs. the  energy you expend. As long as you’re running at an energy deficit, a balance, or a surplus, you can reach your weight loss, maintenance, or gain goals, respectively. From there, you can optimize your protein/ fat/ carb intake for even more optimized results. Feel the Motion (Sight is for Suckers):Struggling to feel a muscle work in a certain exercise? Common trouble areas such as the lats and low traps (the muscles used in upper body pulling motions: rows, face pulls, and lat pull downs). A simple fix to this issue is closing your eyes (We know… it sounds weird, but bare with us). Have a friend/ trainer/ stranger (don’t be shy) place their...
February Client of the Month: Dylan Buckley

February Client of the Month: Dylan Buckley

This month’s featured client is Dylan – a fairly new client to StrongerYou (he’s been with us just shy of 4 months now). Despite the short timeframe, Dylan has made exceptional progress by pushing himself and trusting the process. His original goals were to drop some bodyfat and be able to climb the stairs without having to stop to catch his breath. He now makes easy work of prowler pushes and has lost over 20lbs. When I started working with Chad my goal was simple, lose weight. After just four months of working with him I couldn’t be happier with how it’s going, losing over 20 pounds in that time. Working with Chad hasn’t only helped me lose weight but as by-product has helped me improve my mobility, strength, and posture. It by no means has been easy work, working out 3 (sometimes 4) times a week, watching calorie intake and doing extra mobility work at home but I wasn’t looking for a quick fix. I wanted a long term fix, something manageable that won’t let me fall back into old bad habits. Overall the experience has been enjoyable, sure there are aspects of the training that are hard and I hate the thought of doing (split squats been one!) but like everything in life if it’s worth doing it’s going to be hard, and it gets easier down the line. With the huge personal progress I’ve made in the first 4 months I’m looking forward to what the next 4 months, and beyond, bring. -Dylan Buckley One of the coolest parts with working with clients like Dylan is...
The Benefits of Tandem Training

The Benefits of Tandem Training

Gym time with a trainer is an excellent route in achieving your fitness-related goals. But for some, it can be intimidating and difficult to commit to. Tandem training is a first-rate option. This is due to a variety of reasons: a lower cost per person, increased motivation, the ability to try partner-required exercises, and a less intimidating start to your fitness journey. First off, a 2:1 trainee-to-trainer ratio allows your partner to sustain your motivation. They act as a “fitness sponsor” – holding you accountable. Let’s say one day you’re feeling run down after a long week at work –  considering skipping your workout (you can always come back on Monday and make up for it, right?).  You message your training partner and say you aren’t feeling well and want to skip. Since you would be unfairly leaving them to workout alone, they might tell you to suck it up. You’re in this together, after all. At some point down the line, you might run into the inverse scenario. This is why many programs use this approach with great success. Not only does tandem training increase program adherence and motivation, but it’s also an affordable option. In fact, training prices for 2:1 training sessions are (on average) 25% LESS expensive per person. This style of personal training also allows you to try new exercises – ones you wouldn’t be able to do in a 1-on-1 training setup. Exercises such as a seated partner medicine ball toss require 2 trainees and can be an effective (and fun) way to develop your core musculature. Last, but certainly not least, tandem training...
January Client of the Month: Andy Gibb

January Client of the Month: Andy Gibb

Our first Client of the Month for the New Year is Andy Gibb! He’s been working with us for nearly a year now and has made phenomenal progress. His hiking and mobilty have both improved greatly and he’s found a way to love his workouts even though he’s more of an outdoors kind of guy. “I’ve been working with Matt for 7 months now, with a goal of general strength and mobility improvements. Although I have no specific targets for strength or weight loss, I figure that a proactive approach to keeping fit will serve me better in the long run. And it’s nice to rediscover that being fit inspires me to stay fit. My initial skepticism of personal training was quickly dispelled by Matt’s calm approach, maintaining a steady routine and focusing on form to keep me making progress. And while I’d rather be outside hiking, backpacking, or snowshoeing, I’m surprised by how much I look forward to that hour in the gym each week, with its tangible feel-good factors of worked muscles and the sense of improvement over the previous session. It’s given me greater all-round strength, increased mobility, and improved balance, all of which help me to keep doing what I enjoy most- spending time in the backcountry. – Andy Gibb” It’s a pleasure to work with you, Andy. Looking forward to hearing all the cool hiking stories you have this year come hiking season! In the meantime, enjoy your new SYPT gear. Want to be featured as our next client of the month? Check out our personal training methods and take the first step towards...