This past weekend I was in attendance at the Outlaw Strength Camp in Kansas City.
I must say that out of the dozens upon dozens of different workshops and strength clinics I’ve been in attendance of in the past, this one has got to rank up near the very top.
First off, the coaching staff in attendance were all TOP NOTCH individuals.
Lead by Rudy Neilson of Outlaw Crossfit and Spencer Arnold, both of these guys are not only great coaches, they’re awesome people (who are also pretty damn nutty).
Not one dull moment took place over the weekend.
One of the coaches included Jared Fleming, who happens to be a FREAK (can you say f8%king STRONG and EXPLOSIVE!)
That’s a 518 lbs FRONT SQUAT @ around 200 lbs bodyweight.
And how about this…
Yeah it’s a running box jump, but you can’t deny the POWER.
Besides meeting some great coaches and making some new friends, I was able to break some PR’s in the process…
Here I Tied my Snatch PR (245)
And here I hit a NEW Clean and Jerk PR (325)
These numbers aren’t even close to where I want them to be, but that’s why I’ll continue to work my ass off to get them better.
I feel 255 and 345 coming here real soon…
Bottom line is, I took a TON away from the weekend and it was an absolute BLAST.
Either way, out of the pages and pages of notes I took, I thought I would share 9 of my Top Outlaw Strength Tips so here we go…
#1 – Want MORE MOBILITY – Try this Old School Drill…
I thought it was a bit surprising when most of the coaches said to “F*&k your balls, foam rollers, and bands! Throw those things away, you don’t need them!”
I was a bit taken back as most coaches who know a thing or two about mobility are 110% behind these tools (me being one of them).
While they didn’t mean to totally throw out doing your soft tissue and mobility work, I can see their point.
Don’t get too caught up in humping a foam roller all freakin’ day.
If you want to improve your squat, put some freakin’ weight on the bar and sit in the bottom of a squat.
Your body will react accordingly.
Here’s a good little drill right here…
It doesn’t get much simpler than this.
Just make sure of a few things…
- Stay in good form – chest up, back tight, knees out, weight in the heels, ass squeezed
- Don’t go too HEAVY – Use weight that will help push you down into the bottom of a squat but NOT crush you
- Use this at the end of your training sessions or after you’ve warmed up a bit to help improve your squat mobility.
- Hold for anywhere from 30 secs to 2 minutes (just be ready for some major lactic acid burn)
The added mobility you gain overtime with this old school drill will transfer over to other lifts as well.
Just make sure to give this a shot because the more time you spend in the bottom of a squat, the MORE MOBILITY you’ll gain in the end.
#2 – Deadlifts are Dead?
Something that I found to be very interesting was how much little focus they put on the deadlift.
While the deadlift is one of the BEST lifts for building powerful muscle and pure strength, it’s not always the best movement to have within your program too frequently.
Well mostly because it takes anywhere from 3-5 days to fully recover from a HEAVY deadlift session. Not only do heavy deads typically cause a lot of muscle soreness, they also tax the hell outta your Central Nervous System (CNS) as well.
If you’re someone who trains 4-6 days a week with a lot of volume and you continually do this with a drained CNS, that’s when over-training can become a major issue.
So what’s the solution?
Heavy to Moderate Power Cleans
One of my favorite lifts, the power clean is not only jut as good as the deadlift in regards to building more muscle and strength, it also helps build tons of explosive speed and power (when you do it with correct form and technique of course).
What I found to be interesting is how even a missed effort at a heavy power clean can still be of great benefit to you. Yeah maybe you missed the lift, but you still got in a heavy and fast pull off the floor which is what you would have done with a heavy deadlift either way.
Bottom line is, with power cleans you’re able to train fairly heavy (not so heavy that it taxes you to the point that a 1 rep deadlift would) and with speed.
Whenever you can combine both speed and strength together in one movements, you’ve got a lethal combination.
As a BONUS, power cleans can also be trained with more volume with less risk.
What’s funny about this is how I just recently went on a deadlifting hiatus for about 6 weeks (I was afraid I was going to lose all of my strength during this time), but when I came back, I was still just as strong with my deadlift if not stronger.
Now, while I’m definitely NOT ruling out deadlifts for good (which I would NEVER do), just make sure you allow yourself enough rest in between heavy deadlifts sessions if you’re going to do them, especially if you’re training with LOTS of volume.
Your body will thank you.
#3 – Conditioning Is Complete Chaos… Or Is It?
One of the things that I couldn’t have agreed with more was with how the Outlaws talked about Conditioning.
While a lot of times what may appear to be totally random, it’s actually not.
It’s what I’ve come to call in the past “Controlled Chaos” and what may seem like total randomness, isn’t that random after all.
When it comes to conditioning, there always needs to be some sort of purpose or “method to the mayhem” behind what it is you’re doing.
If BIG results are something you’re after, this has to hold true within your training.
If you know you’ll be squatting for strength on Tuesday, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to have a conditioning session filled with a ton of squatting type movements on Monday.
Doing this would hinder your strength work for the next day quite a bit.
For someone that might not be very experienced at programming, this can be tough to grasp, but what it all comes down to is “checks and balances” in regards to movements.
It’s important to note that I’m not saying you can’t get away with squatting two days in a row, what I’m simply saying is to be SMART about how you program out your training sessions.
If you look at the course of your training week, what you want to make sure of is if you’re properly balancing out your movements.
While your conditioning work can and should be more random, just make sure it compliments what you’re doing strength wise and not going over the top.
To make this easiest for you, always program out your STRENGTH work first, then program in your conditioning work in later.
Doing this will allow you to program your “Chaos” in and around the most important parts of your training, which is STRENGTH.
#4 – STOP Regressing Your Movements
Regressing movements all the time will NOT make you better at the movements you suck at.
When people regress double under’s, they go to single under’s.
YES, this seems logical regression, but when you truly think about it, is it ever going to get you better at doing double under’s?
So what do you do?
#1 – PRACTICE the movements you suck at more.
#2 – DON’T regress the movement.
That’s the easy route out.
So, if a certain movement comes up within a workout, even if it kills you (and your score) make sure to attack that movement as is.
Doing so will FORCE you to practice this movement even more and like I mentioned above, even if you spend the whole damn workout on one single movement, it’ll get you that much better.
This holds true for a lot of “skill” based movements like double under’s, muscle ups, pistols, and hand stand push up variations and can also be applied to a ton of other movements as well.
Of course, there’s always a time and place for when you should regress your movements properly.
This would be applied mainly towards heavily weighted Olympic Lift variations and strength based movements because if you’re not yet strong enough for certain prescribed loads, you’re just not strong enough so you need to be SMART about it.
In this instant it’d be much more effective and SAFE to train with a bit lighter load in order to get stronger and more efficient at the movement.
However, I say there are some definite times when you should stay at the weight prescribed. It all just depends.
For example, lets say a workout looks like this…
5 Rounds Of:
a) 6 x Power Clean @ 185
b) 12 x Box Jump @ 30 inches
Let’s say you know your technique is solid and your level of overall strength is there for the power cleans, but you know your lacking in the conditioning section. If this is the case, I would say go for it at the prescribed weight of 185.
WHY not play it safe an regress in weight???
Well, while you’re conditioning might not be where it needs to be just yet in order to go at an extremely fast pace for the entire workout, you’ll still get a benefit from training heavy and at the prescribed weight than going down in weight. You’d just have to go a bit slower on the workout, but in the end you’d benefit overall and your conditioning would come in time 😉
In the same instant, let’s say your 1 rep max power clean is 185. This is when i would strongly recommend you regress down the prescribed weight.
Overall, the Bottom Line here is to Toughen the F*&K Up (be SMART) and stop regressing your workouts all the damn time just so you can go a bit faster. If the weight is truly too heavy, drop it down, but if it’s something you can handle, grab that sh*t and go!
#5 – Everything is Everything
Something I really resonated with was the overall motto of the camp which was “Everything Is Everything”.
What this meant was that “everything” you do in training no matter how small or large it may seem to be in the overall scheme of things, matters.
For instance, when you front squat, it’s not just get yourself stronger in the front squat, but also to get you strong in everything else it will transfer over to.
So, this means that when you get better and stronger at front squatting, you’ll also be getting yourself better at squat cleans, thrusters, f*&king wall balls (I hate these things), overhead squats, and of course, back squats. In addition, you’ll also get all of the other benefits which can include increases in power, speed, athleticism…
All good stuff.
Main point here is to FOCUS in on what it is you’re training at all times no matter if it seems pointless or not because it always matters.
Stop looking at what you’re doing as single parts and start looking at it as a whole, connected unit.
There’s so many different ways you could spin this idea with the main thing to understand being that Everything has a purpose.
Treat this as such and you’ll continue to progress ahead with your training results.
Here’s to becoming an UNSTOPPABLE BADASS…
Live and Train Aggressive!
PS – Make sure to drop your thoughts, comments, and questions below.
I want to hear back from YOU.
I’ve got stacks of notes with a TON of other great tips to share so if we can get to over 25 comments on this post, I’ll throw up some more great tips from Outlaw Strength Camp in a Part II.
Let’s make it happen!
PPS – To become a BADASS, you need to train like a BADASS.
This system has been PROVEN effective time and time again with 1000’s of people across the globe.
It’s time YOU join them.
==> Become a BADASS