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Saturday, March 31, 2007


The Kaizen Principle is extremely simple; small but consistent gains over a long period of time lead to amazing results.

I think with regards to our strength, physique or performance goals, forgetting this is a fatal flaw. Far too often we expect huge leaps in progress in the short-term, only to expect little to no progress in the long-term. You always hear about the guy who makes a 50 pound jump in his squat in 6 weeks - how come you aren't doing that?

Because most of the time it's not possible!

Instead, why don't we focus on the guy who has made small but consistent progress over a long period of time? It may not be as awe-inspiring on the front end, but when you imagine the years of dedication it took to get there, it definitely seems more appealing to me. There's something to be sad for "the grind" - slowly but surely attaining your fitness goals.

A great example is Brad Gillingham. Brad is a 2x World Champion in the sport of powerlifting. Brad often attributes his success to having a long-term plan and sticking to it, come hell or high water. He knows that if he can continually add 20 or 30 pounds every year to his squat, bench or deadlift, by the time he's ready to hang it up he'll be known as one of the best ever. (Although I think that part is already cemented in most people's minds!)

Why is it that certain people look the same year after year? Granted, there are numerous answers to this question, but people like this are the rule versus the exception. What holds them back from progress?

One thing I firmly believe is that not enough people in the world BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES! They are doing the right things: Adequate nutrition, training and recovery. But for whatever reason, they simply don't believe that over the course of time, they are going to succeed or achieve their goals. The saddest fact is this isn't only true in training, but most aspects of their lives. They simply don't believe they can live the life of their dreams.

Make it a focus over the next couple of months to see small but consistent progress in everything you do, but especially with regards to training. Add a couple pounds to the bar. Crank up the intensity on the HIIT. Dial that diet in a little bit more. With some small but consistent progress, you'll start tapping into your long-term potential.

I'll leave you with this quote from the great Winston Churchill - take it to heart and start making progress today!

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.

- Sir Winston Churchill

Stay strong

Friday, March 30, 2007

Hanging at the Shelbourne Clinic

(Note: Before I get into this, I'm not going to divulge a lot of information because I'm not sure if I should. Instead, I'm going to talk about the "feel" of the experience instead.)

Last week I got to spend an entire day hanging out at the Shelbourne Clinic here in downtown Indianapolis. If you are unfamiliar with knees, or simply not a knee-geek like me, chances are you might not have heard of Dr. Shelbourne. Let me tell you this: There are good knee surgeons, and then there are GREAT knee surgeons. He is one of the best, but it doesn't stop there.

Dr. Shelbourne has an amazing set-up; every person on his staff is on-board with regards to the rehabilitation post-surgery. I've seen many rehab or training settings where the therapists and trainers bicker and contradict each other in a never-ending power struggle. Here this simply isn't the case. Each and every therapist follows the same protocols, ensuring that every patient gets top-shelf service and care.

What the have are systems in place that allow them to be super-successful. While each and every person on their staff was both friendly and knowledgable, they can easily hire and train new staff members because their entire protocol is based around systems. If patient X comes in with Y problem, then you do Z. Not only is there less room for error, but patients will get consistently better results. It doesn't matter which therapist you see on a given day because they are all operating from the same system.

Finally, it's always refreshing to meet a surgeon as down to Earth as Dr. Shelbourne. The consumate teacher, he was always filling us in on how to better serve patients/clients, things we should look for, and even mechanisms of injury. I thought I was in heaven when he said "Wanna see how an ACL ruptures?" Needless to say, he's got some fascinating insight into the topic.

Regardless, it was an awesome experience and one that I'll never forget. If you (unfortunately) should need knee surgery in the future, I would HIGHLY recommend checking out Dr. Shelbourne - you'll be glad you did.

Stay strong

Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Article Up

It's your lucky day - I'm posting twice!

I had a new article go up this week at T-nation, and the feedback has been excellent. Check it out here if you haven't seen it yet:

The Hips Don't Lie: Fixing your Force Couples

Stay strong

The Justin Ware Project

The Justin Ware project has entered Phase II!

Justin has made amazing progress over the past couple months. His mobility has improved dramatically, and his body's ability to stabilize appropriately are 200x better. It's almost as though he's moving in a different body than he had before Christmas.

At this point in time, it's time to crank things up a notch.

Since Justin is such a good project (and because I threatened to beat him with my foam roller), he's agreed to let me use him as an example. We're going to track month-to-month changes, and hopefully show some pretty dramatic improvements in his strength and physique.

This weekend we're going to start cranking up his training program, along with developing primary goals for the next three months. We'll do all the routine stuff (before pictures, body fat, etc.) so we can track the progress. When it's all done, I fully expect to see some dramatic changes.

Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of "The Stickman!"

Stay strong

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's not THEIR FAULT...

In my old age I'm trying to become more tolerant; to try and see other people's point of view as well as I see my own. It's not easy, but at least I'm trying!

One excuse that I hear all the time, though, and I still can't understand is this:

"It's not their fault they eat the way they do, they have kids."

Now let me preface this by saying I do not have kids yet, so maybe I'm just speaking from my soap box. But think about this...

I understand that kids want to eat certain things that aren't healthy for them; as a kid I often remember eating gummi bears and drinking soda pop for lunch! But here's a question you need to ask yourself if you find yourself in this situation:

Who taught your kids to eat unhealthy items in the first place?

If YOU are the one that taught them these poor dietary habits in the first place, then you have created your own monster. Kids don't have much choice as to what they eat; YOU choose for them. So if YOU are choosing hamburgers, french fries, soda pop and milkshakes, it's YOUR fault that they've chosen to like those foods.

As well, when you go grocery shopping, YOU choose what goes into your cupboard or refrigerator. If you choose Cheese-It's, cold mocha-lattes and turtle cheesecake, please don't blame it on the kids - they only like it because YOU TAUGHT THEM TO LIKE IT!

Just a little food for thought - in our excuse heavy society, I consider it a goal to find better coping strategies rather than better excuses.

I'm putting on a training seminar in Ft. Wayne tomorrow, so I'll be sure to write-up a full recap later this week. Have a great weekend and train hard!

Stay strong

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Article Up

All -

It was a long day today - I spent the entire day down at the Shelbourne Clinic in downtown Indy following the good doctor and his staff. Needless to say, it was an AMAZING experience that I'll tell you all more about later!

In the meantime, here's my latest article at T-Nation; since my Hardcore Lunge article was so well received, I thought I'd pen another "exercise technique" piece.

Perfecting the Romanian Deadlift

Let me know what you think!

Stay strong

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bulletproof Knees

It's been a long time in the making, but the Bulletproof Knees manual will be fully proofed and ready for production within the week. Woo-hoo!

If you enjoyed my article, 18 Tips for Bulletproof Knees, you're going to love the manual. And for those of you who saw my presentation in LA, this is going to take all that information to the next level.

Beyond all the info, I've outlined a specific template to help get you started on the path to long-term knee health. Not to toot my own horn, but I think this is a product that's not only going to benefit fitness professionals, but the interested fitness enthusiast as well.

Stay tuned to the blog and I'll let you know how things come along!

Stay strong

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pyrros Dimas Workout

No deep thoughts today, but I thought you all might like some motivation before your next workout.

How about a 83kg lifter front squatting 200 kg (440 pounds!) for easy doubles?

Stay strong - GET STRONGER!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Massive Motivation

I caught this on the web yesterday and it inspired me to really start cranking my training up.

The body has been feeling great and I want to make a few waves before I move on with my training.

Here's the incomparable Ed Coan in a recent training clip. Not only is Ed probably the greatest pound for pound powerlifter in the World, but he's coming back off a patellar tendon tear and looking freaky strong.

Most importantly, look at how smooth and efficient his stroke is - we should all be taking notes!

Stay srong

Monday, March 12, 2007


Synergy is an amazing thing. While we all know that 1+1 does not equal 3, we also can't argue that synergy seems to occur.

Synergy is very evident in writing and personal projects. I've been extremely lucky to work with two amazing guys (Bill Hartman and Eric Cressey) on several projects in the past. It should come as no surprise that all of these articles and products have been wildly successful as well. While we've all done our own thing independently, something special happens when you put a group of like-minded individuals together to work on a single task.

The concept of synergy is evident in our training as well. As many of you know I'm doing some body-comp work in lieu of my upcoming travel to Cancun. While my short-term training goal has been to improve body composition, I've also seen a favorable carryover to my strength training and even my diet. It would seem counterintuitive, but I'm more focused on ALL my training and diet now than in the past few weeks. And that's saying something.

But most importantly, the best carryover I've seen are improvements in relationships with family and friends. You know how some times things just feel like they are going well? It's not a coincidence; everything affects everything, either positively or negatively.

Make it a commitment to constantly find and utilize positive synergy in your life. Training not going well? Try spending some extra time with your family or friends. By changing one aspect of your life positively, you create a tide of well-being that will spillover into other aspects as well.

Stay strong

Friday, March 9, 2007

More updates

- I just sent my Bulletproof Knees manual off to my copy editor for the second revision. Barring any major setbacks, this thing is getting close!

- I'm working on a project that's going to be exclusive to my newsletter subscribers. I'm still gauging interest from fellow fitness professionals, but if I can pull this off it's going to kick some serious ass. If you're not signed up, get to it ASAP at www.RobertsonTrainingSystems.com

Other than that, training continues to go well. It's been an unload week, and with it the concomitant feelings of boredom and lethargy. I think I'm starting to see some abs, though, so that's a definite bonus!

Most importantly, I'm glad I've been getting to blog a little more lately. I really enjoy it, and I have a ton of material to work through in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for a special update on the Justin Ware Project as well!

Have a great weekend.

Stay strong

Thursday, March 8, 2007


My good friend Jimmy Smith and I were talking recently about the trend to continue "learning" more. For fitness professionals, it's key to our growth- if you don't continue learning, you'll definitely be left behind.

But at some point, we need to remember the basics.

In our rush to learn more, I think we forget to use or implement the things that WE KNOW work. With the fitness industry ever evolving, there's a tedency to become caught up in all the hype, the new trends, the newest findings. Whatever happened to just getting under the bar and squatting to get stronger?

When it comes down to basics, think super simple - like this:

Don't we know that if our posture is jacked-up we need to fix it?

Don't we know if we want to get stronger we need to keep adding weight to the bar?

Don't we know if we want to lose fat we need to dial-in our diet, build muscle and crank up the intensity of our training?

Keep learning - but don't forget that you already know quite a bit. If you're one of those people who is constantly spinning their wheels looking for the next great diet, routine, or the ever popular "missing link," chances are you'll never make significant improvements to your strength and physique.

When in doubt:

- Step back and see what in your program you can make simpler
- Apply the basic principles that YOU KNOW work
- Train hard and chieve your goals

Stay strong

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


I just posted this on a training forum, but figured it was good enough for the blog! Hopefully it explains why I recommend the use of knee sleeves with weight training. Enjoy!

I guess I’m a little confused as to why there’s so much controversy surrounding this topic. Evidently, everything that’s written in an article these days must be supported by mounds of scientific evidence.

With that being said, here’s how and why I got interested in knee sleeves.

I was originally turned on to the idea by Australian strength coach Ian King. In a personal communication with Coach King, he stated that he had endured 10+ knee surgeries. He also stated that knee sleeves were part of the equation he used to nurse himself back to health and competition. He used the knee sleeves with all of his athletes, who also reported improved sense of well-being.

As if that wasn’t enough, I began speaking with two-time IPF World Heavyweight Powerlifting Champion Brad Gillingham about knee sleeves as well. Brad is not only super strong (over an 850 pound squat and deadlift!), but he’s no young buck either; Brad is over 40 and still going strong in a brutally demanding sport. He stated that the knee sleeves decreased his warm-up time, increased joint temperature and, again, improved his psychological well-being. He went on to state that the following Elite level lifters used knee sleeves as well:

Liz Willette (600+ pound squat as a female)

Greg Wagner (800+ pound squat at 275)

Nick Tylutki (800+ pound squat at 242)

Ray Benemerito (750 pound squat at 198)

Shawn Culnan (800+ pound squat at 275)

Pat McGettigan (Not sure of weights, but super strong)

So right then and there I decided that if I started using these at a young age, it would most likely improve my joint health both now and in the future. But I’m willing to admit that this is all anecdotal evidence, albeit from highly qualified athletes and coaches.

Returning to the rationale for use, there’s basically three reasons that people use knee sleeves:

- Increased joint temperature/improved joint lubrication

- Improved proprioception

- Improved psychological well-being

It’s pretty common knowledge that any time you significantly increase joint temperature, you’re going to improve lubrication at the joint and a decrease in the viscosity of synovial fluid. Yet another reason why warming up is actually good for you.

If you look at the scientific research on proprioception when using knee sleeves, the conclusions are pretty equivocal. The issue I have with these studies (as I do with most weight-training studies) is the fact that they use “healthy” college students to perform the tests. What is healthy? Have they weight trained extensively? Are they familiar with the machines or exercises they’ll be using? If you want to determine the efficacy of a training aid such as knee sleeves, use a well-trained population. I know this is not always an option, but it needs to be stated that this a limitation of most current strength training research.

Finally, while it can’t be assessed or determined scientifically, the Birmingham 1998 study mentioned that 72% of subjects FELT that the sleeves improved their performance. Now I realize this isn’t “scientific,” but is anyone else here ready to refute the psychological influence on performance? I don’t know about you, but if I FEEL like something is going to improve my performance, chances are it’s probably going to help, and it’s definitely not going to do anything to impair it.

I hope this clears things up. I understand what my biases are, but when it comes down to it, I’m always going to lean towards learning from people who are in the field and getting results versus guys in lab coats who are arguing minutia. In my opinion, the list of elite strength trainers and coaches alone was enough to convince me to use knee sleeves and recommend them to the people I train.

Stay strong