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Books, DVDs and Downloadable Video

Lots of bits and pieces getting caught up after crawling out of the new DVD tunnel nearly two weeks ago. Let me do a quick recap in case you’re waiting on something that may have been wrapped up recently, or will be in the next few days.

  • First, Gray’s new DVD status—shipment arrives Friday and we’ll get the preorders out of here Saturday morning. All US shipments going priority mail will arrive between Tuesday and Thursday; here’s the order link if you want to get a copy on order for pre-Christmas delivery.
  • Slightly jumping the gun here because I have more video files uploading right now, but since I know people have been waiting for these, here are the downloadable videos currently ready. The others are either uploading or will be ready by the weekend.
  • Update for Kindle reader fans: Michael Boyle’s Advances in Functional Training and Dan John’s Mass Made Simple are now at Amazon.com in the Kindle store, and Gray Cook’s Movement is uploading now.
  • I have the epub files for these and will upload to Barnes & Noble and other outlets next week.
  • Dick Tyler’s classic, West Coast Bodybuilding Scene is at the printer; we’ll have the print book in stock in about a month, and the ebook available slightly before then. The Brother Iron ebook formatting will be done shortly, too.
  • In case you missed it last week, I grabbed some nuggets from the lectures so you can get a notion of the information quality that makes up the new Perform Better Long Beach Summit Lecture CD set. Check out this line-up, some of my favorite speakers in the world right here!
  • And finally, I have an update on Mandy. Last week she moved to rehab facility to begin her recovery journey — she’s doing well and has made new progress since arriving just a few days ago. I know she and her family would love to hear we’re thinking of them as they spend Christmas half-way across the country from the Texas they call home.

Here’s the direct address to Mandy’s room.

Mandy Trept, Unit 101
c/o Rancho Los Amigos
National Rehabilitation Center
7601 E. Imperial Highway
Downey, CA 90242

The Miles For Mandy event is this Saturday. The tireless organizers would appreciate your financial support, 100% of which — because they hustled up sponsorship money to cover event costs — is going to Mandy to help with her needs.

Here’s how to donate:

Now that was a mess of links! Just pick the one you need, eh?

Lyle McDonald review of Dan’s Intervention DVD set

We got a very nice review of Dan’s Intervention DVD from Lyle McDonald. I know Dan will be very pleased to see this one!

“Dan John’s new DVD seminar set Intervention is an absolute must-see product for any and all personal trainers who are trying to figure out how to deal with a variety of clients.  Dan takes his 300 years of personal experience in the weight room and manages, in the span of only 3 hours, to condense his encyclopedic information into a scheme of client analysis and program design that can be followed and applied easily.  As always, Dan avoids jargon and technical details and focuses only on the practicalities of what works, introducing concepts such as the role of age, the 4 quadrants of training, the spiral, increasing the size of your cup, realistic repetitions and so much more.    Questions are asked and answered and important movements are demonstrated properly by either Dan or seminar attendees.

“The production is good the video and audio clear as a bell (which is not always the case with products like these).  In addition, Laree Draper has gone the extra mile with the DVD production.  Hard to read points (Dan is scribbling on a whiteboard) are placed to the right of the screen along with PDF handouts that come on the disks themselves.  As well, every time Dan mentions a product or website in his seminar, a link is shown at the bottom of the screen for those wishing to seek out more information in addition to what Dan presents.

“Any trainer or coach who works with a variety of clients who differ in age, training status, needs, etc. should buy and watch this disk in its entirety.  Then watch it again to make sure you got it all.  Just an amazing product all around and one that I can not too highly recommend.”

Lyle McDonald

Perform Better Long Beach Summit Lectures

Now available on CD and MP3
26 lectures, each an hour or longer, including a PDF of the slides from each presentation

I love going to conferences. I love being saturated in a learning experience, and love being with a group of people passionate enough about a topic to spend the time and money to get to a workshop or summit weekend. But when I get home, the truth is I usually go back to work as normal, and fairly often what I learned gets left in the hotel across the walkway from the convention center. The only way this doesn’t happen is if I use the material as soon as I get home, or if I get a refresher very soon after the event.

Taking notes in a live event doesn’t actually work all that well for me. Oh, I take plenty of notes…but I either can’t make any sense of them later, or worse, I sometimes don’t even open the notebook after I get home. (I’m embarrassed to say that, but it’s true.)

Last spring, I had this same conversation with Chris Poirier, the guy who puts together the Perform Better conferences, and we hatched a plan to record the Long Beach lectures and put them all on CD. This way attendees can review the material at home, and even pick up the lectures they missed while they were tossing med balls at Todd Durkin and hopping around one-legged trying to follow along with Mike Boyle.

Even better, those of you who missed the top industry speakers this year can now hear these lectures at home. I know next year’s Summits will be great, but those lectures will all be different—if you missed the lectures this year, that learning experience is gone. Here’s your opportunity to catch up with your peers in the personal training and strength coaching fields: 26 lectures, nearly 28 hours of state-of-the-industry education.

For the fun of it, I grabbed some nuggets from the lectures so you can get a notion of the information quality that makes up this CD set. Sample some of the sounds and atmosphere of the 2011 Long Beach Perform Better Summit via the mp3 snippets below, and note that these are MP3 files, which means the sound quality will be a bit lower than that of the actual CDs.

Check out this lecture line-up, some of my favorite speakers in the world right here! Note: If you’re on a mobile device that blocks flash, you can listen to the clips via this SoundCloud.com link.

Mark Verstegen: Barefoot Training, Benefits, Pitfalls & Progressions

John Berardi: Compliance: How to Get Your Toughest Clients to Follow the Rules

Lee Burton: Understanding and Implementing Corrective Movement Strategies

Dan John: The Four Quadrants of Lifting

Martin Rooney: Get Fast, Get Fit, Speed Training for Every Client

Brett Jones: Dynami Equals Power

Robert Yang: Breaking the Fatigue Cycle

Mike Boyle: Success Secrets

Nick Winkelman: Athletic Profiling, Periodization to Maximize Individual Performance

Gray Cook: The Movement Code

Greg Rose: Training Windows for Young Athletes

Diane Vives: Trimming the Fat on Functional Training for Female Athletes

Chuck Wolf: Regress Before Progress: Post Rehabilitation Program Design

Robert Dos Remedios: Building Better Athletes, Athletic Performance Training

Rachel Cosgrove: Creating Breakthrough Results with Female Clients

John Graham: Developing Practical Programs with a Scientific Foundation

Todd Wright: Dominate Your Space, A Spherical Model of Training

Sue Falsone: Head and Shoulders

Alwyn Cosgrove: Fat Loss Programming and Coaching

Ed Thomas: Functional Club Swinging

Todd Durkin: Maximum IMPACT in the Fitness Field

Brian Grasso: Long-Term Sports Training Development Models

Bill Parisi: The Five Biggest Mistakes I Made in the Personal Training Business

Vern Gambetta: Teaching Speed: Theory and Application

Dave Jack: From Good to Great

Thomas Plummer: Evolve or Die, Five Trends to Define Your Career

Here’s where you can order this fabulous CD lecture package:

2011 Perform Better Summit CD package

Gray Cook: Applying the FMS Model to Real Life Examples DVD Set

4-disc DVD set, a joint project from Movement Education Group and Functional Movement Systems

This live workshop, filmed in HD video using four cameras, took place during Perform Better’s Long Beach pre-conference workshop, August 2011, and features Gray Cook assisted by Brett Jones. Their most recent DVDs, Kalos Sthenos, Dynami and Club Swinging Essentials, covered how to do specific exercises right. This one flips that idea and instead covers how to pick the right exercises. It’s a comprehensive 4-disc Applying the FMS Model DVD set that will fill in the blanks and answer your questions about using the Functional Movement Screen when working with your clients, athletes and patients. Although different people have a variety of programming needs, we all require a baseline movement map to enhance safety and maximize results, and this workshop lays down that foundation.


A properly executed movement screen provides a unique perspective, and in this workshop Gray shows us how to use the basic technology as a tool to develop programming unique to each individual. But it’s much more than a movement screen discussion, because what Gray is best at is seeing how people move, how we learn to move, and how we re-learn movement. He’s gifted at explaining what most of us don’t even see, and you’ll find yourself pausing the video over and over to stop and ponder concepts that he makes sound obvious, but that you’ve never considered.


Only about a third of the room had been through the Functional Movement Screen workshop. You don’t need to be FMS certified or even use the screens to benefit from this material. Certainly people who use the screens will get more practical use from the workshop, but Gray’s off-the-cuff pearls and insights? Over and over I found myself stopping to think through these simple-sounding ideas.

I was at the live event, listened to the audio file, edited the text file and worked through the video seven or eight times, and each time I discovered something new, something I missed the other times or that had a deeper meaning as I got more familiar with the ideas. For many trainers, strength coaches and medical professionals, this material could be the key to how you work with clients patients and athletes in the years to come.

The workshop covers the age spectrum of fitness clients, post-rehab clients and athletes of all levels. With tremendous insight and enthusiasm, Gray discusses the logic of movement that all of us share. And because this movement logic is common to all of us, you’ll be able to apply this new material in your work the very next day.


4-disc DVD set—nearly 4 hours, plus bonus material
Filmed live at a Perform Better Summit Workshop

Disk One
Standard Operating Procedures
Movement Matters
Squat Discussion
Stabilization and Repatterning
Our Movement History

Disk Two
Functional Movement Screen Review
Scoring the Screens
Filters and Key Points
Live Screens
Scoring Criteria
Programming the Results

Disk Three
Screen Results Analysis
Order of Screen Priority
Hip Hinge and Deadlift Strategies
Movement Motor Learning
Movement Principles
Self-Limiting Exercise

Disk Four
Extra corrective strategies footage
Full lecture in MP3 audio format for listening in your car or on your portable device
A 61-page typeset transcript of the lecture
Movement Principles excerpt from the Movement book
FMS scoring criteria and verbal instructions
Presentation slides PDF
Video clips from Gray’s Powerpoint presentation
Self-limiting activities chart


you can order via this link.

Project status updates

Dropping in with a quick status update (a real one, not a facebook one), because things are looking clear enough to toss out some time guestimates.

The postman carried away the Perform Better CD set on the way to the replicator yesterday; this was one of the three big jobs on the slate, nice to see that list move to two. This is a set of 26 CDs containing the audio files of each of the sit-down lectures from the Summit in Long Beach a couple of months ago. It also includes a data DVD holding a slide presentation pdf from each lecture, plus a folder full of mp3 files of the lecture line-up. That line-up lists some of the best presenters in the field, and soon you’ll be able to listen to their most recent lectures in your car, from your computer or on your iPod. These will only be available at the Perform Better site, and they should have them in about three weeks.

Second in the project list, and now next up, is Gray Cook’s new DVD, which should ship to the replicator in about three weeks, well in time to hit your Christmas list if you plan ahead. This is the live workshop we filmed in Long Beach; it’s four DVDs, plus the audio file of the lecture, a transcript pdf of the lecture, and a pdf of the presentation slideshow. This is step two after learning the Functional Movement Screen — what do you do with the screen results? Gray, with help from Brett Jones, shows example live screens, then we watch while the two of them make corrective recommendations. We also included extra video of him teaching his newest corrective techniques, plus an overview of the full screening system. This will be available on our site, on the FunctionalMovement.com site, and at Perform Better, our partner on this project.

In the ebook department, we’re about a week away from having Dan John’s Never Let Go available on the Barnes & Noble site (it’s already on Kindle). We’re a couple of weeks from having Michael Boyle’s Advances in Functional Training live on amazon.com as a Kindle book, and on bn.com as an epub. By the end of the month, you’ll see Movement in electronic format, and also Dan’s Mass Made Simple.

Toward the end of the month as these get wrapped up, I’ll shift attention back to the audio lecture website we talked about last summer. There are about 35 lectures almost ready to go live, and another 12 recorders in the field. We’ll launch the site by early December with 50 newly recorded lectures ranging from bodybuilding to Olympic lifting, iron history to supplements, hormones to wheat allergies… kettlebells to football strength to physical rehabilitation. Most of these run about an hour, and will be available as an MP3 file with a transcript pdf for $6.95. It’s a wonderful collection; you’re going to love it.

THEN comes rest, am I right?

Pearl/Draper Transcript, a Mandy Trept Project

Dave and I went to Oregon to visit Bill and Judy Pearl in the fall of 2005, and recorded a conversation between Dave and Bill that I made into a booklet to include with the Pearl/Draper Bash 2005 Seminar DVD. Today I formatted the transcript for pdf and kindle, added some of my favorite images of the guys, and uploaded it for sale as a benefit for our Mandy Trept fund.

In either format, this 20-page pdf (13,000 words) sells for $3.49. 100% of the proceeds will be deposited into our fund to help out with Mandy’s rent for a couple of months and the family travel costs while she’s in the Bakersfield trauma center.

It’s a donation, but I think you’re going to get a kick out of the conversation, too. I sure did.

Here are the links:

Via pdf from davedraper.com

Via Amazon Kindle

Here’s the Paypal link to make a direct deposit of any amount. We’ll close this in a week and mail the check next Tuesday.

Forgotten Secrets of the Culver City Westside Barbell Club

Dave Yarnell
Excerpts, reprinted with permission of Dave Yarnell

When I was recently asked about potentially doing a podcast about the original Westside Barbell crew, I thought it would be a great opportunity and agreed after learning a few details. I did a bit of research on these guys and wrote about them in my most recent book, “King Squat, Rise to Power”. I thought it would be a good idea to bone up and learn everything I could find about Bill West and his associates, and how they influenced the strength game in their time and are still an influence on the power game right to this very day.

All of us in the game are deeply indebted to the original Westside crew for all of the foundations that they laid in paving the way for what has become powerlifting and strength training doctrine.

While Bill West is a name that is familiar to many, even most lifters these days, not many know many details about the original Culver City California version of Westside Barbell or the many tremendous lifters and even bodybuilders that were associated with this crew in some way. A cursory search via any of the standard internet search tools will turn up a few tidbits, but a lot more work was required to gather all the information which I will present here.

My initial efforts left me somewhat frustrated, and if you have been wondering why there is not  much stuff out there, or at least why it is so hard to dig up.

~Dave Yarnell

Here is an excerpt from the Bill West section

The tremendous success of Bill and his friends and their revolutionary techniques did not go unnoticed. The famous bodybuilding entrepreneur, Joe Weider, realized Bill’s genius and from 1965 to approximately 1971, Bill wrote a series of articles in Joe’s magazine outlining the techniques that he popularized and that would later be used by virtually every powerlifter from then until the present day. Here is the impressive list of articles which revolutionized powerlifting—

1.) Dec. 1965 – Muscle Builder Magazine, “The Touch System”
Bill told of how the touching of the hands on the lifter in all three powerlifts helps him psychologically and physically get used to heavier weights.

In 1966 Bill wrote the following articles in Muscle Builder Magazine—

2.) The Bench Squat: How to make attempts feel lighter by squatting on a high bench or box

3.) Triceps Power Cheats: How to cheat on the triceps extension to produce higher poundage

4.) Powerlifting Aids: This was the first written account on wrist wraps, elbow wraps, knee wraps, flat shoes for the squat an deadlift, wide part of the belt in front for the squat and sponge rubber pads on the chest for benching

5.) Incline Power Rack Presses: How to properly use the power rack and incline press to isolate middle sticking points in the bench press

6.) The Extended Deadlift: How to provide a greater range of motion in the deadlift by placing blocks under the feet

7.) The Touch System in Bench Pressing: How to place the hands on the bench press bar which one’s partner is using to assist in a sticking point. This is now called forced reps.

8.) Using the Touch System in the Deadlift: How to make one’s deadlift feel lighter by using a physical assist from one’s partner

9.) Lockout Prones for Power: How to increase one’s bench press using the power rack

10.) Build Power with These Rack Deadlifts: How to increase one’s deadlifting using the rack

11.) 775-lb. Deadlift: How I Did It: The deadlift training philosophy of Bill West and George Frenn

Note that most of these articles were actually written by others, most often Armand Tanny, though the concepts were strictly those of Mr. West & crew.

Peanuts West, deadlifting from blocks

*Joe DiMarco told me that these blocks were solid planks, 9 inches thick, 12 inches wide and 3 feet long, with a 5/8 inch rubber mat on top, and that these served their purpose for about 20 years or more! He said most of the crew had the bar just around the bottom of the Kneecap at the bottom, and these were often done along with stiff legged deadlifts.*

This author defies any powerlifter to say he has never used at least one of these techniques at one time during his career. Practically all powerlifters today use a routine or power aid that was popularized by the great Bill West, Joe DiMarco and George Frenn. The Original Westside crew’s genuine and unselfish interest in helping others has created a science that has lasted and prevailed even unto the present day, and a lengthy list of records by male and female lifters who have used his techniques. On behalf of every powerlifter who has ever broken record, personal or otherwise, using techniques whose origins were unknown until now, this author would like to extend thanks to Bill “Peanuts” West.

Author’s Note: It is unfortunate that the author of the above article seems to have completely overlooked one of the key guys in the Culver City equation, Joe DiMarco, but his input will not go on unrecognized if I can help it.  Bill was a great personal trainer, and was thrilled when anyone made a gain, as if it was his own gain. While Bill was a great motivator and was the “sparkplug” that fired up as many as a dozen other lifters during a training session, he was not big on writing down programs or any sort of deep analysis of a program, which was more Joe’s role early on, and then as Frenn became more educated he began to analyze why their system was working as well as it did (this was around 1965, according to DiMarco).

A bit of the section on George Frenn

“It was then, almost as an afterthought that he held out his hand. “I’m George Frenn,” he said, still very quiet and polite, with no hint of expectation that I’d even remotely recognize the name. I later told some friends that I had done a squat workout with George Frenn, but I neglected to mention that I took 3 plates a side and then bowed out.”

Deadlifting Theories of George Frenn
by Ron Fernando (1981)

As older followers of Powerlifting will recall, PL in the early 60’s was popularized by George Frenn of North Hollywood, Ca. Frenn has always been outspoken regarding his theories and their application. Indeed, he has every reason to be, since his 2100 lb total (853 [actual weight] – 520 – 740) was years ahead of his time. There are some who may argue that there were excessive wraps – even ‘bed sheet technology’, used in the squat and that the depth was not what it should have been, and in the bench press the use of elbow wraps (a legality in those days) might give a rather distorted view of his total. Regardless of these arguments, few can voice any doubt as to the authenticity of Frenn’s deadlifting and back power. The 775 he pulled was a record, and in addition, Frenn exhibited awesome displays of back power in Olympic lifting movements which enabled him to be a success in that field as well. Oh, and let’s not forget that he was a bonafide Olympian, who for a time was the ranking hammer thrower in the United States and one of the tops in the world. Reliable sources indicate to me that he still has the ability to throw better than 225 feet in the hammer and 42 plus in the weight throw (an event in which he still holds the world record!). His powerful back has enabled him to successfully bridge the three rather diverse worlds of powerlifting, Olympic lifting and weight throwing. I had a chance to speak with George at length about back training and here are some of the pertinent points of the interview.

PLUSA (Powerlifting USA magazine): George, from the years of experience that you  have described, would you give your views on the deadlift.


FRENN: Basically, there should be one main philosophy behind deadlifting, something that I have shown countless times and that many of the other great lifters have shown. That is, the willingness to continually lift heavy weights. You have to mentally, emotionally train yourself to pull those big numbers, regardless of the time of year it is.

A good analogy would be that you cannot train yourself to throw a 16-lb ball 230 feet until you can throw a 14 lb 230 feet. Peter Karpovich was very succinct in his theories – in order to get stronger, you have to lift progressively heavier weights.

PLUSA: Well, what about cycling – that seems to be the most logical approach towards peaking out and avoiding overtraining.

FRENN: From what I know about cycling, I personally don’t believe in it per se. Yes, of course, I realize that one cannot (especially in the beginning stages of his career) lift max 100% weights every session – however, even a beginner can respond well to utilizing 85% of max for a certain number of reps. Cycling is fallacious to me because it seems that the environment controls the lifter – you have to control the environment. By building up a physical ‘bank’ of strength and emotion by simply doing the lift with heavier and heavier weights, one can always ‘peak’ for any given meet. For example, I entered (and won) the YMCA Nationals in 1976. Prior to the meet the very best that I had pulled in the deadlift was 585×5 reps. Yet by drawing on these reserves in my ‘bank’ I was able to pull a 765 that day.

A little of the section on Pat Casey

I’m Going to Bench Press 600 Pounds!
by Pat Casey, as told to Bill Pearl (1964)

Strength is something that has fascinated me ever since I was old enough to realize that some people are stronger than others. Even as a young boy I can remember trying to pick up heavy objects just to see if I could do it. This is probably a normal thing to do because most youngsters admire strength. Yet, this is something that I have never seemed to outgrow. I still admire strong men and have always trained with the intention of becoming stronger than anyone right from my first workout, which was over eight years ago. I started training when I was 15 years old and weighed around 180 pounds at the time. While in high school my goal was to do a bench press of 400 pounds or more before I graduated. During my senior year at Washington High School in Los Angeles, at the age of 17, I was approximately 40 pounds heavier in bodyweight and was able to do a strict bench press with 420 pounds and this with a two-second pause at the chest. Previously I felt that if I could do a 400 pound bench press I would be well satisfied. But now I find myself changing my goals and striving for higher poundage.

Pat Casey

I wanted to bench press 500 pounds before I was 20 years old. Again I reached this goal. In my mind I hoped that someday I could become the world’s champion bench presser, and this is the goal I’m working towards now. During my career I have collected much material on the exceptionally strong men in the weight field and have studied and pondered their training programs in an effort to extract anything that I felt would benefit me.

In this category were Marvin Eder, John Grimek, Buster McShane, Doug Hepburn and Paul Anderson, just to name a few, all of whom have been a great deal of help to me in reaching my goal. Personally I feel that Marvin Eder was one of the strongest men, pound for pound, I had ever heard about for overall strength. In fact I tried to fashion my early training after his. Also, I always admired Doug Hepburn, who actually was not a big man at the beginning of his weight lifting career (weighing  approximately 160 pounds), nor was he any stronger than the average person. But because of his tremendous drive he was able to add well over 100 pounds of bodyweight to his frame and became one of the strongest men in the world. Anyone who can take 500 pounds off the rack and press it overhead has to be strong! Buster McShane, a lifter from Belfast, Ireland, has been the British Empire 165 pound weightlifting champion a number of times. He also has done an official bench press of 450 pounds at this bodyweight.

We corresponded for several years; passing information back and forth that we felt would benefit one another in improving our bench press. Little has to be said as to why I admire John Grimek. I don’t know of any bodybuilder who has not had Grimek as his idol. Here is a man who has held numerous weightlifting titles and a physique that is ideal. He not only has the physique that is Herculean in appearance but has the basic power to back it. I have talked to many of the top physique stars and they all seem to agree that John has done more for bodybuilding than any other person, and has set many of the standards that we follow today. Paul Anderson has always been admired by me because of his exceptional strength and the way he can toy with such tremendous weights. This always amazed me. I find it hard to believe that anyone can do a full squat with 1100 pounds, when my back nearly breaks under 600 pounds. He has given all of us power lifters many goals to shoot towards.

Last July I set an unofficial world’s record in the bench press with 541 pounds at San Pedro, California. My official world record was 530 pounds. This was made in Pasadena, California during 1963. My goals have changed again, however. I am now shooting for a 600 pound bench press and I am confident that I can do it with the training program I am following. In the past few years I have changed my training program many times with the idea of finding ways to increase my power in this lift. Lately I have confined most of my training to four different exercises, and these four seem to help me more than all the others I used to employ in the past. These exercises are: (1) the incline press with dumbbells, (2) parallel bar dips, (3) triceps press on a flat bench, and (4) the regular bench press. I have achieved maximum gains in the bench press while using these exercises. In my own case I use very heavy weights, low repetitions and repeat each exercise in several sets.

To order securely, go here, please. To see Dave Yarnell’s other books, go here.

Gray Cook’s Movement in Paperback

Published as a hardcover book in 2010, Gray Cook’s Movement: Functional Movement Systems, Screening, Assessment & Corrective Strategies is now available in softcover, $49.95. The books shipped from the printer Monday and will be in stock Friday.

Gray Cook's new book
Movement: Functional Movement Systems
Screening, Assessments & Corrective Strategies

by Gray Cook
with Lee Burton, Kyle Kiesel, Greg Rose & Milo F. Bryant

I can say with confidence: Anyone who trains, coaches or treats individuals or teams will find value in this text.

Chapter 1—Introduction to Screening and Assessment
This introductory chapter builds the foundation you’ll need to fully understand the purpose of screening movement. You’ll learn the concept of movement patterns and how to recognize these patterns in action, as well as the history and primary goals of movement screening.

Chapter 2—Anatomical Science versus Functional Science

The next 16 pages expand on the differences between authentic movement and scientific anatomical function. The functional systems of muscles, joints and ligaments are covered, as are the fascial matrix, breathing and the neuromuscular network. Understanding movement deficiency and dysfunction and how these develop will illuminate your work, and clarify your explanations to your athletes, clients and patients.

Chapter 3—Understanding Movement
In Chapter 3, you’ll gain an appreciation of the natural laws of basic movement before specific, with an overview of how to use screening, testing and assessment to classify movement proficiency or deficiency. You’ll also get a summary of the differences between the two systems, the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA).

Chapter 4—Movement Screening
Where in your intake process should you screen? Can you screen an injured client or athlete? This section will help you place movement screening in your existing business model, or it will show you where your program structure might be improved.

Chapter 5—Functional Movement Systems and Movement Patterns
This summary explains the differences between the two systems, the FMS for fitness professionals and strength coaches, and the SFMA for medical professionals. You’ll get a brief look at the systems, and finish with an appreciation of primitive and higher-level movement patterns.

Chapter 6—Functional Movement Screen Descriptions
The chapter used to cover the FMS will teach you the seven basic screens in detail, including where to stand, what to watch for during the movements and how to plan your modifications. You’ll get a description of each screen, the purpose of each, tips for testing, implications and photographs showing how to score each test.

Chapter 7—SFMA Introduction and Top-Tier Tests
The top-tier assessments of the SFMA are covered in these 26 pages, which contain a discussion of the overlying considerations of functional versus dysfunctional and painful versus non-painful, the overriding criteria of the SFMA system. The seven elements of the top-tier will direct you to the breakout tests found in Chapter 8.

Chapter 8—SFMA Assessment Breakout Descriptions and Flowcharts
Taking 58 pages and 66 photographs to cover the SFMA breakouts will serve to remind medical professionals of the individual assessments, and at the same time make fitness trainers and strength coaches aware of the tests used by professionals to whom they refer clients and athletes. The rationale for each of the breakout regions will pull the process together for you as it simplifies the overall approach.

Chapter 9—Analyzing the Movements in Screens and Assessments
Chapter 9 teaches how to analyze the various test results. Using the tests of the Functional Movement Screen as the base, you’ll learn what mistakes most beginners make in screening, how to distinguish between stability and mobility problems and how to determine asymmetries. Here you’ll get your first introduction to reverse patterning (RP) and reactive neuromuscular training (RNT), two of the primary corrective tools of the Functional Movement Systems arsenal.

Chapter 10—Understanding Corrective Strategies
This begins the wrap-up: What do you do with the resulting screen and assessment information? The 20 pages of Chapter 10 comprise the performance pyramid and how to use it to form your corrective strategies. Understanding the differences between correct and corrective exercises, between challenging versus difficult, and having a selection of self-limiting exercises in your exercise menu will give you confidence as you assign and program exercises.

Chapter 11—Developing Corrective Strategies
Now that you’ve discovered dysfunctional patterns in your clients, athletes and patients, the next section will guide you in the corrective decisions that make up the three primary categories of mobility, stability and movement pattern retraining. You’ll get comparisons of conditioning and corrective exercise, movement prep and movement correction, skill training and corrective prioritization, and understand when each is appropriate.

Chapter 12—Building the Corrective Framework
This chapter provides a checklist for your corrective decisions: pain, purpose, posture, position, pattern and plan. Even though every person’s movement is unique, without this framework, your corrective path will not be as clear as it could be. You’ll also become familiar with the basic structure involving special considerations and populations that may make up part of your client or patient base.

Chapter 13—Movement Pattern Corrections
Chapter 13 builds on your knowledge of basic mobility and stability corrections and movement pattern retraining. Using passive, active and assistive techniques, you’ll be able to help your clients, athletes and patients recover lost mobility. Understanding stability and motor control, transitional postures and using facilitation techniques such as reactive neuromuscular training will give you the tools to challenge that new mobility. You’ll also become proficient at rolling after practicing the material in this rich chapter.

Chapter 14—Advanced Corrective Strategies
Finally, in the 24 remarkable pages of Chapter 14, you’ll learn how to make corrective exercise an experience. This is how corrective exercise actually works in the human body, and the thorough discussion found in this chapter will teach you how to create this for your clientele. Using PNF, RNT, reverse patterning, conscious loading, resisted and self-limiting exercises, you’ll grasp the concept of the manageable mistake zone, and you’ll be able to use these ideas and techniques to stand out in your crowded professional field.

Chapter 15—In Conclusion
This wrap-up section pulls the material together for one last review of where the industry is now, and where it’s heading. When you finish this section, you’ll have a complete understanding of the 10 principles of the Functional Movement System. These principles will guide you in learning and training authentic movement.


  • Michael Boyle: Joint-by-Joint Concept
  • Gray Cook: Expanding on the Joint-by-Joint Approach
  • Greg Rose: SFMA Score Sheets and Flowcharts
  • Laurie McLaughlin: Introduction to Breathing
  • Gray Cook: Introduction to Heart Rate Variability
  • Gray Cook: Functional Movement Systems Team List
  • Gray Cook: Early Perspective and the Jump Study
  • Phil Plisky: Core Testing and Functional Goniometry
  • Lee Burton: FMS Scoring Criteria and Score Sheet
  • Authors: FMS Verbal Instructions
  • Gray Cook: Conventional Deep Squat Evaluation Process
  • Patient Self Evaluation Forms
  • List of Illustrations
  • References
  • Index

About Movement, head of the Russian Kettlebell Certification and author of Enter the Kettlebell! Pavel Tsatsouline wrote, “Once a decade comes out a book that you will keep reading, rereading, and crowding with notes until it falls apart. Then you buy a new copy and enthusiastically start over. In the 1990s it was Verkhoshansky and Siff’s ‘Supertraining.’ In the 2000s McGill’s ‘Ultimate Back.’ Enter the 2010s and Cook’s ‘Movement.’ It is a game changer.”

Perform Better, Long Beach 2011

The remarkable presenter list from the Perform Better Summits is truly a who’s who of strength and conditioning experts, each one a headliner. These two-and-a-half day conference events, held annually in Providence, Chicago and Long Beach, are broken up into four lectures per 75-minute time block and, as I noted last year, it’s an internal fight to choose. Imagine my pleasure at having not only permission, but actually orders to move between lecture rooms to monitor recording equipment! Get this: Chris Poirier, the guy behind these stellar Perform Better events, gave me the lucky task of recording the lecture sessions for a 27-CD live-recording set. Assuming my work next month goes as planned, you’ll see the CD recordings of these outstanding lectures on their site in about six weeks.

This assignment gave me something else, too: upfront access. Through Dave’s history in the early bodybuilding scene and in my work with guys like Dan John, Michael Boyle, Gray Cook and Lee Burton, I do have unusual connections to some of the leading experts in the fitness field, but recording the event added another element of entry. You’ll see more discussion of this as we begin to talk about our new audio lecture site featuring many of these speakers and their peers, set to launch early November. I’ll keep dropping hints for another month or so as we build up the content—specifically when we have about 50 lectures recorded, edited and transcribed for the audio product library.

We began the Long Beach immersion on Thursday by filming Gray’s four-hour pre-conference workshop as he built upon the movement screening foundation by showing the attendees what steps to take after the initial screen. What do you do with the screening results? This was where he answered that important question.

After a brief introduction to the Functional Movement Screen for those who weren’t familiar with it, several of his colleagues ran audience members through screening, and then Gray and Brett Jones reviewed the results and provided guidance on what each person would do next.  Gray and Brett are a hoot together, solidified by a 15-year friendship and a love of teaching, and, as always, Gray was simply brilliant and a joy to watch. We had three cameras on hand to capture the event,which you’ll see available on DVD in early November.

The next morning, early Friday as I hauled recording equipment from the hotel to the near-empty, still quiet Long Beach Convention Center, the first person I bumped into was Ed Thomas, whom you may remember from Gray and Brett’s Club Swinging Essentials DVD as the guy responsible for keeping Indian Club swinging popular here in the States.


As it turns out, he’s been an inversion advocate since the early ’70s when he made a trip to Santa Monica and discovered Franco Columbu hanging upside down from a pullup bar. That was the trip when he met Dave at Joe Gold’s old gym, a meeting that made an impression on him which he told in a story that choked me up through the grins.

Last year on Gray’s recommendation, I bought an inversion table, but it made me nauseas and I quickly gave up on it. Ed, a passionate teacher, spent about an hour with me over the course of the weekend, gave me a vestibular green light and showed me how to get my feet high and my head low. It’s a wonderful feeling that we’ll be talking more about here as he prepares his forthcoming inversion instructional material.

There were about 900 energetic people scurrying between the four conference rooms, but no chaos other than an errant fire alarm, and even that only gave the speakers fodder for laughs and presented no problems. The Summit’s lecture topics ranged from barefoot training to speed work, professional business guidance to nutrition; from kettlebells to ropes, women to youth and rehab to Olympic weightlifting. Regardless of niche, no one went away unsatisfied.

The event ended for me mid-day Sunday, when other than the Perform Better crew doing tear-down, I was the straggler in the convention center. By then I was carrying such a load of priceless treasure that I couldn’t bear to haul it through the maze of air transport. What if I lost track of a hard drive of film footage? These things happen in airports! With a canceled flight and a rental car, the drive home would let me keep my eyes on the film and audio footage packed tightly into barely zip-able bags. Interesting, this turned out to be a settling way to decompress after four days of activity, and whenever possible future recording trips are likely to include a calm drive home.

While the lectures were fabulous—highly recommended for anyone in this profession—for me, events like this are all about the camaraderie. It’s wonderful to sit back and watch the connections, excited chattering as trainers and coaches from Michael Boyle’s StrengthCoach.com forum meet for the first time in person, or presenters make instant decisions to collaborate on future events or projects. I got to see Gray, Lee, Brett and Mark Cheng meet Craig Liebenson for the first time after years of mutual appreciation, and looked on as Dan met Todd Durkin and re-connected with Ingrid Marcum and guys like Charles Staley and Thom Plummer. And even though he was only there one day, Michael, as always, was a crowd-pleaser with his happy laugh. But of course, that could have been because when he makes his quick-turnaround travel plans, his stay somehow always includes the free-beer social. He’s definitely a hit at free-beer socials.

It’s a remarkable blessing, and believe me, I do not take it lightly.

On Target Publications:Ebooks and Downloadable Videos

I’m back with a new status report, a couple of additions, changes and a comment about audio lecture products. This is a fast-changing marketplace; it’s a blast to be a part of, and is keeping me on my toes. It’s also keeping me locked in at this desk, which is sort of the opposite images and I guess the toes metaphor fails. Let’s go with keeping my brain buzzing, because that is for certain what’s going on lately.

The Digital Progress

The progress with digital files here has been huge, and includes downloadable videos and ebooks—

Dan John: Intervention DVD, split into the same videos as the three discs, these in MP4 format, and separately, the MP3 audio, typeset transcript and handouts, $20 for each piece here at ejunkie.com.

Michael Boyle: Advances in Functional Training, ebook in PDF format, $21.95

Dan John: Mass Made Simple, ebook in PDF format, $9.95

Bill Pearl, Dave Draper: Q&A Seminar video, $14.95

Dave Draper: Your Body Revival, ebook in Kindle and EPUB (Nook), $9.95

Dan John: Never Let Go, ebook in Kindle format, $9.95

Dave Draper: Iron on My Mind, ebook in Kindle, $9.95

The Delays

In the current state of ebook flux, formatting for ebooks is something of a nightmare. While it’s true there are no print costs for ebooks, the time and expense is in extra formatting, partly because the major e-readers all use a different format and the pages have to be set up for each. For our books, though, it’s a little worse because those that have two-columns (the 8.5×11 books) have to be completely redone to fix a 6×9, single column format, and those with images or tables need to be re-worked also. That’s why this ebook conversion is taking longer than you, the authors or I would like. We’re getting the easiest stuff first, and I’ll keep plodding along on the rest.

Video turned out to be more difficult than expected, too. My intention was to make all our videos available, and in as many different formats and qualities as possible. We’ll get to the other formats, but will have to stick to the lower quality because it appears few of us have connections or browsers robust enough to handle files greater than 2gb. Normal DVDs are 4.7gb, and you can see that the quality is going to be lower. Most people using downloadable files are probably watching on a computer monitor or laptop… or phone… and in that case, the quality of these HD video will be excellent.

In the middle of that experimentation, I filled and subsequently crashed our website server. My favorite techs at our hosting company, Hostasaurus, fixed us up by deleting some old files and are building us a new, larger-than-average server. Once we’re moved over, I’ll have more room for video format experimentation and will get back to work on converting and uploading the rest of our DVDs.

The Forthcoming

Simmering in the background, the rest of the formatting, for sure, but you’ll also see a flutter of activity about Gray Cook’s Perform Better Pre-Con workshop DVD, which we’re filming in Long Beach in about three weeks. Around and through all that, our new lecture site is at a full boil, set to launch mid-September. We’ve got about 10 lectures ready to go, and another 10 recorded or nearly recorded. You’ll see about 25 audio lectures available for download or CD when the site goes live. I’m very excited about this one and will keep dropping hints as we move along.

  • Fitness lecture audio product website (mid-September launch)
  • Advances in Functional Training, Michael Boyle, Kindle and EPUB editions
  • Intervention, Dan John, Kindle, PDF and EPUB editions
  • West Coast Bodybuilding Scene, Dick Tyler, PDF, Kindle and EPUB editions
  • Movement, softcover and Kindle editions, Gray Cook (et al)
  • Perform Better Pre-Con, DVD set, Gray Cook
  • The Integrated Movement System, Evan Osar, softcover and ebook editions

Don’t we live in amazing times? Busy, packed, yes I know… but oh so great!

Dan John: Hip Hinge, Hinge Assessment Tool

In the turmoil of Dan’s Intervention seminar, as we filmed for DVD, I took in… pretty much nothing. Later, I listened as the attendees gush (it’s true, they did), but it wasn’t until my fourth or fifth pass through the material that the built-in critic who poses as an editor began to subside and the breadth of the material began to seep in. Dan made such an organized, methodical march through a mountain of material—a solid thirty years of learning and coaching—that much later that I realized what a volume of thinking had been so simply laid out. It’s, I guess you could call it… stunning.

Here’s a clip in which Dan shows his newest concept for teaching hip hinging, the Hinge Assessment Tool, HAT.


Included as Intervention
3-discs of workshop lecture
Various handouts, including a new e-booklet on Intervention
Full lecture transcript pdf
Full lecture mp3 audio file

Disc One: 75 minutes
Introduction to Intervention
The Health Lights System
The Fitness Spiral
Absolute Strength
The Impact of a Strength Coach

Disc Two: 67 minutes
Age: Hypertrophy & Joint Mobility
Basic Human Movements
HATE, Hinge Assessment Tool
Squat Patterning
Loaded Carries
Slow Strength, Grinds
The Four Steps
Asymmetrical Training

Disc Three: 70 minutes
The Triad Combinations
Rep Rules
Corrective Exercises
Scheduling Correctives, Strength and Skills
Programming the Elements
Example of Programming for an Elite Athlete
Other Programming Examples
Practicing Intervention
The Warmups
The Intervention Tool Kit

In the Realistic Reps clip below, Dan introduces his thinking behind rep ranges.


Over the course of the editing, I must have watched this seven or eight times, and each time, something else stuck out, some little nugget I’d missed the other times through. That’s one reason I’m especially pleased (giggle to myself from time to time) that we added a a surprise to the package: The entire lecture is transcribed — there’s a PDF of the workshop included on the DVD. And oh, yes… wait for it… we also included an MP3 audio file so you can listen to it again during your flight to Perform Better. Or maybe it’ll have to serve as a week’s worth of commute learning. We’re also going to release the MP3 audio file and transcript as a stand-alone product later this summer.

All Dan’s handouts are on the DVD, plus he’s written new material in a PDF only available on this DVD, to expand on his thoughts since recording the workshop. This is one fabulous package, and we’re so confident you’ll agree, we’ll guarantee it. If you missed the video clips from last week or you’d like to place an order, grab a ride on this link, here.

Dan John: Intervention DVD

Course Correction for the Athlete and Trainer

I’m clawing my way out of a three-month deadzone, that place that swallows everything when a project gets exciting. It’s fun in the depths, and it’s even more fun on the way out… where I am right now. AKA, FINISHED! Dan’s new DVD shipped to the replicator Monday and will be here in just under two weeks.

My expectation is that over the course of the three-and-a-half-hour lecture a realization will wash over the viewer what an astounding amount of material Dan compiled. This is his training and coaching over the decades all distilled into a precisely defined system, an organizational feat that flows so smoothly it takes a second and third thought to recognize how complex the material is because it feels so simple.


Over the course of the editing, I must have watched this seven or eight times, and each time, something else stuck out, some little nugget I’d missed the other times through. That’s one reason I’m especially pleased (giggle to myself from time to time) that we added a a surprise to the package: The entire lecture is transcribed — there’s a PDF of the workshop included on the DVD. And oh, yes… wait for it… we also included an MP3 audio file so you can listen to it again during your flight to Perform Better. Or maybe it’ll have to serve as a week’s worth of commute learning.We’re also going to release the MP3 audio file and transcript as a stand-alone product later this summer.

All Dan’s handouts are on the DVD, plus he’s written new material in a PDF only available on this DVD, to expand on his thoughts since recording the workshop. This is one fabulous package, and we’re so confident you’ll agree, we’ll guarantee it.

Included as Intervention
3-discs of workshop lecture
Various handouts, including a new e-booklet on Intervention
Full lecture transcript pdf
Full lecture mp3 audio file

Disc One: 75 minutes
Introduction to Intervention
The Health Lights System
The Fitness Spiral
Absolute Strength
The Impact of a Strength Coach

Disc Two: 67 minutes
Age: Hypertrophy & Joint Mobility
Basic Human Movements
HATE, Hinge Assessment Tool
Squat Patterning
Loaded Carries
Slow Strength, Grinds
The Four Steps
Asymmetrical Training

Disc Three: 70 minutes
The Triad Combinations
Rep Rules
Corrective Exercises
Scheduling Correctives, Strength and Skills
Programming the Elements
Example of Programming for an Elite Athlete
Other Programming Examples
Practicing Intervention
The Warmups
The Intervention Tool Kit


Click here to learn more or
to place your order for Dan John’s Intervention DVD set.


I am chomping at the bit these days, amped to get after my next project, which will come immediately after Dan John’s Interventions workshop DVD ships to the replicator. What’s missing in the marketplace for strength and conditioning? A choice lineup of audio lectures on cd or for mp3 download!

You should see my desk when a plan like this explodes all over it. Sure is fun, though.

Dan John's Never Let Go, on Kindle!

Meanwhile, Dan’s bestseller Never Let Go is out on Kindle today. There’s certainly been a call for this one. If you’re a part of that wait-list and grab a copy right away, reload it tomorrow because the updated version has a boatload of embedded links that were missing in the original file. Amazon seems to work pretty these e-formats over quickly, but if your version is missing the extra links, send a new copy to your device Friday and you should be all set.

Here’s the direct link: Never Let Go, Kindle Version

Can’t wait to flesh out some of the audio lecture details. I’ll keep you posted!

Functional Movement Screen and Corrective Exercise Progressions DVD Set

Functional Movement Systems, presenters Gray Cook and Lee Burton
2nd Edition, 2009, 2 DVDs, 1 CD

On the CD

The set includes a CD with an 84-page screening manual pdf, plus a 53-minute recorded video lecture in which Gray explains the background of the screening system.

DVD Disk One

Disk One is 46 minutes of new video covering Gray’s introduction, followed by Lee teaching the screening action and scoring of the following tests—

  • Deep Squat (symmetrical stance)
  • Hurdle Step (single-leg, asymmetrical stance)
  • Inline Lunge (split stance)
  • Shoulder Mobility
    + Shoulder Impingement Test
  • Active Straight-Leg Raise
  • Trunk Stability Pushup
    + Torso Extension Pressup Test
  • Rotary Stability

Each of these screen discussions are about five minutes and include Lee’s verbal description, followed by a demonstration of a top-quality test and the lower levels of each. Lee then guides the viewer through the slight differences between each scoring level, telling us exactly what to look for during screening.

The final few minutes of Disk One is a discussion of scoring, using the score sheet in the included manual pdf, and a brief time where Lee and Gray come back together to conclude the specific movement screening coverage.

An attentive person could watch the DVD  a couple of times, practice the screen on a few friends, watch the DVD again to pick up the forgotten nuances, practice again and become accomplished at movement screening. However, most likely anyone who becomes involved in screening is going to want to make the trek to a Functional Movement Screening workshop where the guys take two days to expand on this material.

DVD Disk Two

Disk Two is the corrections DVD, just over an hour of video of a young Gray Cook teaching through the Reebok University. Even though Gray’s aged in the few years since this material was prepared and I was initially hesitant, as it turns out, it was terrific. I was anything but disappointed—in fact, many of the corrective ideas were new to me. Excellent tricks throughout.

Lecture—This is an nine-minute lecture in which Gray talks about the reflexive core and use of the Reebok Core Board. He also talks about proprioception and reactive neuromuscular training, again using the core board, but the ideas are the same regardless of the tool used, or if no tools are used. However, the exercise progression section that follows does require a core board.

Warm-up and shoulder mobility progression—The subtleties in Gray’s teaching through this eight-minute warm-up segment are slid in sentence after sentence. Don’t let yourself get distracted by some misguided idea of multi-tasking. Give him your full attention and you’ll be rewarded.

Exercise Progressions—Here we have core board progressions for all of the screens. Each section is a few minutes long and is demonstrated by a guy who moves well. There’s an un-named narrator giving instructions, and neither Lee or Gray appear in this section nor the following.

Movement Pattern Sequences—16 minutes of movement patterning, again using the core board and the athlete to demonstrate with the narrator giving verbal instructions. This reminds me of why the core board was so popular, and I’m struck by how it’s lost favor. Regardless, they sure make great use of the device in this video, and I’m pulling mine back out of the dust pile for some experimentation tomorrow.

Movement-based core training with a med ball—Split into five parts (five minutes of lecture, and twelve minutes of squat variations, hurdle step variations,  lunge variations and field testing), here we see Gray introducing core training with a medicine ball. He’s speeding up the action of core training, moving from slow strength and control with the core board to the explosive use of med ball throwing.

Final Thoughts

This DVD set, after a few weeks of practice, will lift a personal trainer or coach into position as a qualified movement screener. Certainly more practice will clear up fuzzy thinking and hesitation. Still, my guess is most people will want to follow this DVD with a weekend FMS workshop, not because the DVD doesn’t offer enough, but because once you’ve started down this path, you’ll probably want more as soon as you’ve mastered the initial training.

You can order this from Perform Better at this link. The cover image is different — I think it’s the first edition cover still in use, but the product will be as described above.

Functional Anatomy: Myofascial Slings DVD Review

Anthony Carey
Filmed at IDEA, 2008, 1 hour and 43 minutes

Anthony Carey, of Function First, is a terrific resource for our corrective exercise learning; I’m a big fan. This is a live seminar dvd in which you’ll learn how the muscles and fascia are connected, how they work together and how the slings influence movement and pain. There are seven chapter sections as follows.

Chapter 1: Function Anatomy: Myofascial Slings
In this section, Anthony provides an overview of how anatomy works functionally as opposed to what we learn in Gray’s Anatomy. He’ll show you how each part of the muscle/fascial system fits together , including how fascia changes with age.

Chapter 2: Characteristics of a Muscle Sling
Here you’ll learn the difference of how we address fascial slings through exercise as opposed to how massage therapists work with the fascial layers with their hands. Anthony spends this section covering the purpose of the fascia and fascial slings, and how they work in movement. Here you’ll see how each element affects the next, including a clear image of how a triggerpoint jams up length in a sling.

Chapter 3: Tensegrity = Tension Integrity
Anthony gives us a short overview of Buckminster Fuller’s concept of tensegrity, and demonstrates how one side of a structure influences the other.

Chapter 4: Examples of Major Myofascial Slings
This section is where we learn how to put Tom Myers’ Anatomy Trains material into action. Where are the slings? How do they work together?

Chapter 5: Examples of Myofascial Lines
And here Anthony explains the Myers concept of mysfascial lines, preparing for the next section of exercise examples to follow.

Chapter 6: Exercise Examples of Slings and Lines
Now we get into action. This is the longest section of the DVD in which Anthony uses at least three points of contact to demonstrate the slings. He’s tweaked some yoga moves to help each person feel or stretch the sling connections. He’s also careful to explain the common errors most people make in joint rotation when trying to feel the work the fascial slings. Many of these are common stretches, some with minor adjustments from stretches you’re familiar with, and others are quite unusual. In the strengthening section, he uses rubber tubing and a medicine ball.

Chapter 7: Summary
This short section is a simple overview of the workshop material.

If you’re not familiar with how to stretch or strengthen along the myofascial slings, this DVD will be extremely useful in your education. Here’s a link to the product on the IDEA site: Anthony Carey Functional Anatomy, Myofascial Slings. Even the yoga experts in the participating audience struggled with a few of his twists—these are not your normal moves.

I spent some time with Anthony at IDEA, which I wrote about here. You can learn more about the myofascial sling action from Chuck Wolf and Tom Myers.

The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf

Robb Wolf, author of the new book The Paleo Solution, is well known in the Crossfit community and its offshoots as a nutrition lecturer.  He’s a sharp guy, a biochemist, and good-natured—an athlete with a good sense of humor who pulled those qualities together to give us this understandable, easy-to-read coverage of how foods move through the human body. This includes the hormonal chemistry, and with a few exceptions over which I admit to having skimmed with eyes glazed (my fault, not Robb’s), he makes the science understandable to even the most stubborn of us.

What I won’t get into is the argument over evolution and whether we’re able to stomach foods created after the Paleo years. There’s a lot of drama over the whole science vs emotion vs food religion, but the truth is, some people have allergies or food intolerances to dairy and gluten and other foods, and for them, a guide like this may be magic. When person finds a simple menu to follow without too decision-making and not much hassle, and after a few weeks suddenly realizes a lifelong bloat is gone, joint aches ease or fuzzy thinking clears up, who cares what’s behind the diet philosophy? If a food that causes a problem is taken away and life gets more pleasant, this diet has worked.

Certainly many people have no problem with dairy and grains, the main focus on the avoidance list, but most likely more people suffer some from these foods than those who don’t. Is it enough of a problem to never eat a crusty San Francisco sourdough smeared with brie again? Did I just give myself away? Hmmm…  Well, the truth is, I’ve gone without grains plenty, and I’ve gone without dairy before also, but I’ve never gone without both at the same time, so I’m not yet ready with the live-person review.

There’s a nice, again easy-to-understand discussion of heart health, and the chemistry and blood tests adults should monitor. It’s good to find these covered by a sharp athlete, giving hints of numbers to look for outside the pharmaceutical industry standards seen in the lab reports. This is true also in his treatment of optimal daily vitamin and mineral intake, and his handling of the often mind-boggling topic of supplements.


This book contains a good-sized section filled with menus and recipes (I read this on an ipad, so can’t tell you how many actual pages this represents). For some people, this will be a helpful and perhaps even an important part. I don’t do recipes much, other than bread, which is off the table on this food plan, so this section didn’t do anything for me. On his website, you’ll find a nutrient density matrix, a quick-start guide and a shopping list. The book isn’t indexed, little goof there, but you can download an index on that book resource page along with the rest of the goods, here.

If you’re a research geek, you’ve probably already done your searching around. If not, here’s a page full of research documents collected by Dr. Loren Cordain.

And you can catch up with Robb via podcasts, coming at you weekly, here.

I’ll say one thing before I go: I sure like him.

Gary Taubes: Why We Get Fat

It’s fascinating to watch the turbulence around Gary Taubes’ new book, Why We Get Fat. The low-fat community is furious over his encouragement of fats in the diet; those on the science side are looking for a knock-out over his anti-calories in vs calories out stance, and even his old fans are put off by his switch from science writer to casual diet author.

Why We Get Fat

In this new book, Taubes sets out to overview his work from Good Calories, Bad Calories, a monstrosity of a 640-page text that covered nutrition science front to back. While I appreciated the work, I didn’t make it past the quarter mark, and even though I meant to get back to it, so far that hasn’t happened. I’m probably not the only one, and for us, there’s Why We Get Fat.

It won’t surprise anyone to learn his main argument is that carbohydrates are the biggest issue in our fattening society, primarily because of the hormone insulin. We’re both genetically and conditionally acclimated to insulin, both on the production and the resistance side, and he believes regulating that single factor will make the difference between storing fat or not. Not how many calories we eat, but how we relate to insulin, and for the most part, that means using a low-carb diet.

I first did a low-carb diet when I was about 14, 1970, I guess, when the grapefruit diet was popular and most of my meals were a 33-cent packet of lunchmeat and a half-can of V-8. It worked, and I got lean. Six or eight years later, Atkins was gaining steam, right along with Jim Fixx, and both became a staple in my life. Much later, around 1990, the Zone—before there was a book, there were handouts, and I was right there to soak up the diet buzz, this time from Greg Glassman, a long, long time before Crossfit. All of these low-carb, insulin-regulating diets worked for me (long-term adherence is an entirely different issue, and no, Taubes doesn’t help with that part).

The one that worked the best? Adkins-style high fat, low carb. The higher fat is satiating, and most people are never hungry on it, and even with the extra fat, they accidentally go lower calorie without intention. Many people believe that’s why low-carb diets work. Taubes believes otherwise. His bottom line: Fat storage is regulated by insulin. Thus, a low-carb menu is the way to go.

Hey! Didn’t Dave and his group experiment and tell us this back in the ‘60s? Why, yes, I think they did!

In Taubes’ own words, here’s his overview of this new work: The Inanity of Overeating. And here’s a lengthly “Why We Get Fat” webinar, part one of eight:


Dan John: Mass Made Simple

This is Dan John’s new bulking guidebook for those who need to build strength and size. This is a 7×9 inch, spiral-bound lay-flat book consisting of 119 pages of text, followed by a 42-page, 6-week training log.

Tried and true, Dan describes exactly what’s to be done to add mass — what, when and why. Each week’s workout plan is laid out, and each day’s workout is preplanned, every rep scheduled, later to be documented in the fill-in-the-blanks log pages. Here’s an example of one of the log pages:

Dan has adjusted menu and supplement tweaks weekly to match the needs of the week. Once you read this short, clear manual, you’ll know exactly what to do and when to do it. All that’s left is for you to faithfully fill in the blanks of the log sheets and watch the scale climb.

Carefully priced at $19.95, this new guidebook is just what you need to pack an extra ten pounds of muscle on your meaty or not-so-meaty physique. Click here to order Dan John’s Mass Made Simple today.

Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body

Tim Ferriss
474 pages, plus 75 pages of appendices and a 16-page index

You don’t have to tell me—I already know there’s controversy in our field over Tim’s new book, stretching the truth to its absolute limits or beyond and, or perhaps especially, his self-promoting marketing methods. And these negatives have merit, as I’m certain my review partners would happily argue as long as I’d listen. But you still have to give a hat-tip to a regular gym rat who can make it to the New York Times bestseller list with what’s really just a collection of musclehead trial and error. In fact, the publisher in me is speechless at the concept—think of this, a guy writes a handful of articles developed from his elaborate training logs, does some interviews that he thickens up with personal commentary, and ends up with a bestseller solely on his social media efforts and through the force of his personality. A few years ago, this couldn’t have happened, and a few years before that, when the big publishing houses held all the cards, this book wouldn’t have been published at all. This is the power of the internet, and that alone is worth stopping to marvel.

I haven’t met Tim, but I had a personal interest in the book because the biggest chapter was about Gray Cook’s work, which Tim described as “for a high percentage of readers, it will be the most important,” plus there’s a good bit about Tracy Reifikind’s weight loss through kettlebell swings. And imagine my surprise when I got to page 172 and found a rehash of Bryon Chandler’s T-Handle, with Tim’s thanks to Dave for Byron’s work. Oh yes, I laughed, although Dave interrupted my giggling to tell me he did indeed weld one of these at SquareD back in the early ’60s… only he used it for pullovers instead of swings.

I also had a personal interest in the poorly named 4-Hour Body because it’s so rare for someone any of us might bump into at the gym to be a strong presence at a high level of publishing. I simply love that part of this story, can’t get enough of it. And when you think of it, a mainstream bestseller like this is going to introduce literally millions of people to things we take for granted. Most adult readers have never heard of a kettlebell, don’t have a clue what Pose running is and know even less about hormones. There’s value there, no question.

Dan John is leading a book discussion in the forum about Tim’s book, and his latest query was, What ‘sticks’ in this book? And here’s where I might question the value of the book for many people—will they use any of it, or will it  be just a scan on a Sunday afternoon. Now here, I’m just not sure, although I found the section on sleep issues particularly interesting. We’d love to hear your input in the discussion if you’ve tried some of his body hacks, or if you’re planning an experimental journey.

Now for my bottom line: Tim’s a smart guy, often funny, and he’s curious, meticulous, open and bold, an interesting combination that makes for fascinating reading. I suspect I won’t go to town on any of his ideas, but I’m glad to know about them, and I have them all handy here in this hefty tome if I ever want to revisit them. How many besides Tim will take long ice baths? Probably only the athletes who get paid a really lot of money and have no choice. Will his endurance training program get me to the Marine Corp Mud Run without any distance training… hmm… seems doubtful, but since I’m not going to give it a fair try, I guess I shouldn’t comment.

Boris Bachmann on Glenn Pendlay’s new DVD: Olympic Lifting Workshop

Boris Bachmann

If you are like me, a dabbler in the Olympic lifts, you are always looking for good DVDs for instruction. You’ve already bought a bunch of training hall videos from Ironmind and those were, of course, awesome. You’ve bought some books on the subject. You’ve had a little instruction from capable competitors and maybe even a coach here and here. Maybe you were like me and had a father who was an OLer, but you got sick of doing endless lifts with a broomstick…. In any case, you needed a little more – something that blended excellent modeling, explanation, and hands-on instruction with someone who wasn’t already a world-class athlete. Well, here’s a DVD for you – Dave and Laree Draper have put out a new DVD that fits the bill: Glenn Pendlay – Olympic Weightlifting Techniques.

Glenn has a humble way about him and his instruction is crisp and straight to the point. He details his teaching progressions for the Olympic lifts and gives clear rationale for their implementation. His emphasis on positions and transitions is something that as a lifter, I’ve given a lot of thought to, but could never really really “get” with the finer nuances of Olympic lifting – I think Glenn has really opened up some of those details to me with this work. The DVD will be an asset for both trainers and trainees alike who want to improve their snatches, cleans, and jerks, and, in my opinion, is a must-have for coaches who incorporate power-versions of the Olympic lifts for their athletes.

I’ll be honest with you, generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of workshops that are recorded and then sold as DVDs. Often film and sound quality is poor and there is a lot of “filler time” showing the workshop participants. That is NOT the case with any of the workshop DVDs that Dave and Laree Draper have produced. In Olympic Weightlifting Techniques you never get bored watching Glenn working with the participants. The two-hour set of two DVDs has an awesome balance of lessons from Glenn Pendlay, demonstrations by athlete Jon North, and short clips of hands-on instruction with trainees of varying levels of proficiency. I enjoyed all of the segments both as a teacher and learner.


At $44.50, the DVD is a great deal. If you have any interest in improving your own Olympic weightlifting technique, or in seeing how one great coach coaches them, I don’t think you’ll go wrong.

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