articles

by Alec Enkiri | 10/20/20

I first discovered the glory of owning my own personal home gym over a decade ago. I had been working out for about a year at the time and I knew I wanted to keep getting stronger, keep building muscle, and eventually reach my own potential and I decided it didn't make too much sense to keep paying gym dues - that would in short order exceed the cost of outfitting my own gym - and keep wasting time commuting to and from the gym every day for the next rest of my life when I had a perfectly viable garage available that could house whatever equipment I wanted or needed.

by Alec Enkiri | 9/8/20

The true secret to building HUGE legs fast is the 20 rep squat protocol, also known as "breathing squats" or "widow-makers." In hardcore training circles there is an almost mythical aura surrounding this training method. Simultaneously, it is both feared and revered. The idea itself is about as old school and gritty as can be: take a weight that you can do 10 reps with on the squat and then once you have reached 10 reps....do 10 more! Part way through this set you'll learn why some people call these "breathing squats." If you don't survive the ordeal then your friends will learn why others call them "widow-makers."

by Alec Enkiri | 1/17/20

It's pretty widely regarded at this point that lifting weights and getting stronger is highly beneficial for athletic performance enhancement when implemented properly. The myth of the inevitably "muscle bound" athlete who can't move correctly has been pretty well dispelled in recent years as there has been a clear cut distinction drawn between bodybuilding style training and generalized strength training, with many of the ideologies of the former now considered a no no for athletes who are looking to enhance movement capacity. However, even though the question of efficacy has been resolved, there is still often great confusion amongst athletes and trainees about how to implement this strength training properly in order to reap the greatest possible performance enhancing benefits on the playing field.

by Alec Enkiri | 1/10/20

The push press gets no love. The bench press is still everybody's favorite upper body exercise (for whatever reason), and the incline press, and weighted dip, and seated overhead press, and strict standing press all seem to take priority over the lowly push press in most people's training. This is a shame because in one fell swoop the push press accomplishes more than pretty much all of these exercises could ever hope to accomplish. Not only does it make you look like a badass, but it actually turns you into one as well. Today I'm going to explain to you exactly how it does this and why the exercise is so damn awesome and should be utilized as an integral part of your training.

by Alec Enkiri | 12/20/19

The Supertotal is the term for the unofficial combined total of an individual's powerlifting total and Olympic weightlifting total. So the 1RM for the squat, bench press, deadlift, snatch, and clean & jerk all added together comprise the Supertotal. There is no official Supertotal event that I'm aware of, but a big Supertotal is a surefire way to let the world know you are a badass strength athlete. Here is a program to help you maximize yours.

by Alec Enkiri | 12/13/19

We've all got really weak hamstrings - and that's bad. Unfortunately, however, it's easy as an avid strength & performance trainee to kid yourself into thinking you don't have this problem. You might say:

But I can deadlift 500lbs for reps!

Or

My RDL, and my good morning, and my kettlebell swing, and my weighted hyperextension are all leaps and bounds stronger than anyone else's that I've ever seen in person, so how on Earth could I possibly have weak hamstrings???

But I bet you do.

by Alec Enkiri | 11/22/19

The kettlebell swing is an amazing yet misunderstood and overall very poorly utilized exercise whose full potential for bringing on the sweet, sweet gains is seldom ever reached. It's a rare sight these days to see someone perform a kettlebell swing for a purpose other than as part of some sort of "metabolic conditioning" circuit or Crossfit style workout. This is a shame because it leads to a very myopic view of the exercise. Yes, it can be beneficial in this regard and we can all thank Crossfit for pulling it out from total obscurity and into the more mainstream fitness culture, but the real benefits of the exercise do not pertain to fat loss, or conditioning, or anything of that ilk. No, the real benefits of the exercise...

by Alec Enkiri | 11/15/19

Let me tell you a story that is 100% true. I had these two clients last year who came to me with roughly equal strength levels on the squat. Both guys had PR's in the mid 300's and both shared the same goal of breaking the 400lbs barrier. Client A is happily continuing to make progress under my tutelage to this day and has, to date, squatted 440lbs. That represents a gain of roughly 90lbs in about a year and a half now. I'll take that any day. Client B, who is no longer with me, came to me frustrated due to being stuck in a long plateau where he had been unable to make progress for quite some time. Continuing that narrative, he left me after 12 weeks with the same PR that he came to me with. So why did these two trainees experience such vastly different results?

by Alec Enkiri | 11/1/19

One of the primary methods of training practiced by bodybuilders that has bled into pretty much all other forms of general weight training and fitness culture amongst the casual fitness crowd is lifting weights with a prescribed tempo in order to maximize time under tension (TUT) within each set and therefore, hypothetically, maximize muscle hypertrophy. However, if your objective in the weight room is to build as much muscle and strength as possible then tempo lifting as a training modality is not going to be congruent with your goal. The primary reason for this is due to a lack of adequate training intensity and, consequently, chronically insufficient levels of muscle tension.

by Alec Enkiri | 10/25/19

How much can you squat? A lot? Okay.

But how much can you power clean? A lot? Cool.

How much do you weigh though? Also a lot?

Okay, then let's try this...How high can you jump?

If you answered "a lot, alot, and a lot" to questions 1-3, then the answer to question 4 will be "not very" because the power to weight ratio is everything.

by Alec Enkiri | 10/11/19

With the advent of social media and the re-introduction of raw powerlifting federations, powerlifting and powerlifting style training have exploded in popularity in recent years and become somewhat of a niche phenomenon. This has had many positive effects on the fitness community as a whole. However, this rapid explosion in popularity has also brought with it a great deal of confusion in regards to what the aims of strength training actually are vs. how they relate to the SPORT of powerlifting. Today I want to address one of these points of confusion and that is the widespread total conflation of generalized strength training with powerlifting training.

by Alec Enkiri | 9/27/19

"We're going to go war with the weights and every training session is the next battle. It's you against the barbell and the gym is the Colosseum. You're fighting for your life, and the kicker is you won't win every battle! That's simply not feasible. However, your effort, your energy, your intensity dictates the ultimate outcome. You can lose the battle and walk out of the arena bloodied and bruised and beaten, but still living and ready to fight another day..." The mindset that you choose to approach your training with is going to have a profound effect on its long term outcome - how much muscle and strength you're able to build when it's all said and done. Tricking yourself into believing this little white lie can help to propel you past the masses and closer to your ultimate goals.

by Alec Enkiri | 9/10/19

Jump squats, also known as weighted jumps, are a fantastic way to build power and explosiveness in the legs and hips. They work the explosive triple extension of the lower body joints in a similar fashion as the Olympic lifts, however, due to their ballistic nature they provide the body with a slightly different training effect that makes for a great complement to this style of training for any athlete looking to maximize power development. With a very short learning curve and plenty of freedom to tinker with loading protocols, the exercise is also both versatile and highly accessible, making it a great addition to any training program that's focused on explosiveness.

by Alec Enkiri | 8/29/19

The Olympic lifts are the ultimate paradox when it comes to performance training. They are considered a magical tool that can skyrocket any athlete's strength & power to new heights - making them faster, sharper, and more explosive. Yet, at the same time they are considered to be fairly high risk, outright dangerous, and nearly impossible to master to a sufficient enough degree to actually garner any of these benefits without, at a minimum, severely detracting from training in some other area. But what if I told you there was an alternative? What if there was a way to get ALL of the benefits of these lifts, and even more, without ANY of the drawbacks that make them so controversial in the first place...

by Alec Enkiri | 8/4/19

Ever wondered what really separates the wheat from the chaff? "Genetics" may be the cop out du jour, but the mind is what truly either propels you to new physical heights or leaves you frustrated and stagnant. If you can train uninhibited by the mind then you can reach highs you never thought were possible. The trick is learning how to tap into this state at will for the times when you really need it most.