Author: Chip Conrad

Any strength den off the beaten path knows about this move. Gyms that subscribe to strength and performance first, where Kettlebells and bumper plates are ubiquitous but searching for a machine of any sort would prove fruitless. Where iron trumps fluff and the ‘smoothie bar’ is a water cooler hiding in the corner, these gyms know about the Turkish Get Up. It was staple amongst the Physical Culture in counties a bit more to the East of ours, particularly amongst wrestlers and hand balancers about a century ago. But it proved to be hard work, and so, like a collection of...

Any exercise with the word ‘dead’ in its title is bound to have a bad reputation. The Deadlift exists as an irony. Those who treat it like a sin most dire are often the ones who need it the most. If your back or knees are a mess, you’d better learn to pick things up correctly, and that is all a deadlift really is, proper lifting technique for anything. The medical community denounces it strongly while its street credibility grows through word of mouth and proven results. Although the common perception of this lift is of a giant bar being handled...

If I were King for a day, I’d alleviate so many issues, fears and apprehensions about training by simply replacing the word ‘exercise’ with the word ‘movement.’ The squat, feared, revered and misunderstood, might then be seen as an essential part of life instead of some evil force that causes bad backs, bad knees and destroyed egos. Whether intimidating or simply technically challenging, the squat is too often ignored, abused or badmouthed by folks who should consider them something special and essential for anyone’s toolbox. But let’s rethink the squat as a movement, not just a massive intimidating exercise. And...

Freedom Scares You - Because it means responsibility - Jello Biafra Responsibility. We often busy ourselves with so much erroneous shuffling-about that we forget about the true responsibility of self. 'Freedom' is a very large banner being waved right now, but it starts from within. Instead of a giant blanket between 'good' and 'evil,' let's focus on the individual, and the freedom we sometimes need for and from ourselves. Socio-political ideals be damned, let's talk about fitness. What happens in the gym isn't our concern right now. Let's assume there's PLENTY of information about the training itself, but what happens between workouts?...

In my article Routine vs. Ritual, I mention that a workout should never be a routine. Routine meets base requirements so we can then get on with important stuff, while a ritual inspires and creates progress. The modern workout routine is steeped in aesthetic conquest, gleaned from years of too many Muscle and Fitness magazines promoting workouts that zoom in on body parts for the main purpose of pageantry. Someone following these common ideas may look prettier but will have little function to their movements, since the body works as chains, not as parts. Larger movements involving multiple joints seem to...

Traditional bodybuilding practices focus so much on parts and pieces, trying to work on muscles as isolated entities that magically grow only when picked on individually. There in lies an irony. This protocol backfires, since the muscles we usually try to pick on simply aren’t strong enough to move the weight we load them with, so the body, in it’s constant quest to be helpful, must call upon the bigger muscles to assist. The classic cases of this would be the lateral raise and the bicep curl. If the lateral raise were to actually focus on that medial head of the...