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Getting Ready To Coach Your First Powerlifting Meet

Jeremy Augusta

'm explaining how the behind the scenes prep work for coaching at a Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting meet. I explain how we come up with our opener, the second and third lifts as well as how we decide where to place the athletes in their category. Everything we do on our training is based off of the Swing Block Method of Training.

CrossFit Christmas List

Jeremy Augusta

The holidays are coming fast and I am sure you guys are thinking about what to get that special athlete in your life. Well, I am here to help you with that. These recommendations are based on a few things, firstly, value. Listen, I have a big family and I understand needing to get the most bang for your buck. SO, everything I am listing here is because I have personal knowledge of the brand and product and I know the value of it compared to similar products to make sure that you get the very best price. Secondly, I own a gym, I am a coach, I provide programming for CrossFit gyms, powerlifting gyms and strength athletes all over the world. These are the same products I recommend to the people who trust me as their coach because they know that I know these products better than most.

Also, to make shopping as simple as possible, everything listed here comes from Amazon Prime. If you are like me, you don’t want to order 100 different things from 100 different sites, so I am going to make this as easy as possible for you. Each time you click, it will open a new window so that you can add it to your cart without losing your spot here. Also, for almost all of these products, they have a ton of different designs than what is just shown in the picture here.

Now that we have that our of the way, lets get to why you’re here. Money savings for the holidays! All you have to do is click the pictures and your there on the product!


Wrist Wraps

First off, wrist wraps. As a coach, I really wish more people would use these. The wrists are a pretty delicate part of the body that can be easily injured. Often, when I do see people wearing wrist wraps, they are wearing a crap brand that doesn’t help any at all. Not everything with a brand name is the best, but in this situation I love the Rogue wrist wraps for CrossFit, Powerlifting, bodybuilding and Olympic weightlifting.

Jump Ropes

OK, if you are going to do CrossFit, you MUST have a decent jump rope. Here is the thing, every jump rope acts differently, even if they are the same brand, they move differently and you have to get used to them. So, here are two I suggest. The first is again a Rogue brand and this one moves really fast and has a light rope. This is better for a more advanced athlete. The second isn’t a big brand rope, but I know from experience it is literally the exact same rope as a Rogue brand, but at a much cheaper price point. The second one is also much heavier and great for learning. Need to pick between the two? Here is a good way to guess for the person without asking them. If they were buying a phone and the phone was exactly the same except one is bigger and one is smaller, which could they pick? If smaller, get the S1, if the person would want a bigger phone, get the Rx down below this one.


This rope moves really, really fast and is great for the advanced athlete.

This rope moves really, really fast and is great for the advanced athlete.

Here is the heavier rope. This one isn’t brand name, and that is why I picked it. This is literally exactly like the ones from a company we all know and I am 99% positive these actually come from the same assembly line, but in this case, because you are not paying for the brand name you get the same product at a greater value.


A heavier rope that is great for learning because it gives feedback and is also a fantastic choice for the bigger athlete.

A heavier rope that is great for learning because it gives feedback and is also a fantastic choice for the bigger athlete.

Knee Sleeves

Ok guys, these things are something we all need. They protect your knee, they keep them same and warm and this brand is absolutely the best. Seriously, the very best. I have had a lot of brands, and I have knee problems, this are literally the very best product on the market and they are fairly prices. What I love most about these is they last FOREVER. One of my gym members is a mail man and has bad knees. He has been wearing his for about 2 years every day at work and they are still in great condition. Don’t get cheaper ones, these are the value.

Grips

Hands. They rip, often when you are a CrossFit athlete. Even if you are a newer athlete, it happens and you have to protect them. Gloves suck, here is the issue with gloves, they move and create friction that still makes the hands rip. That is why in the CrossFit games you never see anyone wearing them, however, you do see them with grips on. My wife has ripped her hands more times than we can count, and she has been through just as many grips. A lot of grips suck, but these do not. These are the ones that she wears and they are amazing. When ordering these, get 2 sizes too big so they can have a bit of a folded lip at the top near the fingers, trust me, that is how you want to buy these. I really can’t say enough good things about this one, we have used so many different brands to try and help her hands and this is the only one that has actually done the job we were looking for.

Belts

Belts are a necessity for athletes. Here is the thing, a weightlifting belt is like a seat belt, you may be safe without it, but when shit gets bad, you will be glad you’re wearing it. In my gym we have a rule, anything over 80% the athlete must have a belt on. There are a lot of different kinds of belts, for this writing, I am talking about only one specifically that I personally know and like it a lot based on its value and reliability. This brings is to the brand Harbinger. They have been around forever and make good equipment without trying to overprice the products. This specific belt, I have purchased for my own members. It has great support, it lasts a long time and is a great price point. There are more, fancier belts out there, but for the value, this is the winner.

Sling Shot

Speaking of protection, let’s talk about shoulders. I have a 700lb bench press, my shoulders are shot and they hurt, often. Here is a fun fact, the 700lb bench didn’t make my shoulders hurt, years of wear and tear did. In fact, when I started having shoulder pain my bench press was around 300lbs. So how did I add so much weight when it hurts to bench press? I purchased a Sling Shot. I went about a year without being able to bench, I purchased a Sling Shot hoping it would help with my shoulder pain and I’ll be damned, it works! Seriously, this product is the only reason I can bench press. If you want longevity, or whoever you are purchasing this for does, this is a much needed tool. It forced you to have good form and it takes the pressure off of the shoulders at the bottom of the bench where they are most likely to hurt and get injured. If you bench, if who you are purchasing this for benches, do them a favor and get this. There is a chart that shows you exactly which one to get and do not make the mistake of getting the one rated for a 400lb bench press when the guy benches 200lbs.

Silicone Rings

These are another obvious product for the Holidays for an athlete. The knurling on a barbell WILL slowly grind down your wedding bands. Nobody wants their ring to get destroyed, so you have two option. You can either do like I have and get it inked on yourself, or, you can get one of these very fairly priced bands. What I like about this one is that the price is where I want it to be and they have a lot of cool designs. With the price being so low, it is a great stocking stuffer. This is just one I like, but are about the same on the price point, but whichever brand, these are always a great choice.

Change the World With Your Gym, Host a Joy Prom

Jeremy Augusta


Change the World, Host a Joy Prom

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This article isn’t intended to be about powerlifting, teach you how to coach better, or how to get a PR. Instead, its intention is to show how you can make a huge impact on the world.

Each year, my Barton County Strength Club hosts what we call a “Joy Prom.” This event is different from the proms when we were in school because it is a beautiful night we put together for the special needs community. With a little bit of effort and time, you can have a huge impact on some amazing people.

We will host our Joy Prom for the fourth year next February. The first year we hosted it, we had 12 kids show up and for us, that was a huge success. The second year, we had 82 kids. In the third year, we had 160 special needs members of our community in our gym enjoying a party.



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It’s an amazing feeling to help people, and so I’m going to explain how you can do it. You’re going to need sponsors for your event. To get sponsors, granted they love helping you, but you have to remember that they are also making a business investment and need a return on that investment. Whenever you post on social media about the upcoming Joy Prom, you have to market the sponsors at the same time or you will not have any sponsors the next year.

You have to pick a date. I suggest allowing six months to plan and picking a time when there are few school activities going on. That’s how we choose February. We don’t pick this date for the convenience of the guests at the Joy Prom, but with fewer activities going on at school, you’re much more likely to get more help for the night of your event.

When you have your date and time set, call all of the newspapers and news stations. They love hearing that a Powerlifting, CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting gym—whatever you are— is taking the initiative to help the world be a better place. It’s great marketing for your gym and promotes the event so that next year you’ll have more people.

Now that you have your date, figure out what to do with all the equipment in your gym. You can’t have barbells, chains, and kettlebells just laying around during the Joy Prom. What we do is ask a local business that owns a tractor-trailer truck to let us use it for a few days in exchange for being a sponsor of the event. The business always lets us borrow it, and we park on the property, load it up, and lock the doors. To add an extra layer of protection, the driver backs the truck up to the building so the doors can’t be opened.

Now you have a date and you know what you’re going to do with your gym equipment—an awesome start. Next, you’re going to need a DJ. I lucked up as one of my members is a DJ, so he trades me his services for a sponsorship. Call around to the DJs in your area. Explain to them exactly what this event is and ask if they will be willing to trade a night of their services at the Joy Prom in exchange for a sponsorship. You’re probably not going to have to make many calls before someone jumps on board. Keep in mind these guys are booked well in advance, so this is another reason you need to give yourself six months.

Food is an important point. You have to feed these awesome people. This is where the sponsors really matter the most. Finding a restaurant that will be a sponsor can be tricky. Here is what I suggest. Ask a restaurant for a sponsorship of finger foods and drinks. In exchange, you’ll market HEAVILY that they are sponsoring the event and that the after-party for the kids will be at the restaurant. On all of your promotional materials and social media posts, you’ll need to post information about the restaurant sponsor and the after-party. The party can just be getting together later and eating and it brings customers to the restaurant and so its reputation will greatly increase within a community of people who are amazingly tightly knit.

Having a photographer would be awesome. They post photos online with your logo on them. If not, no big deal, especially if the photographer is donating time for the event. If it’s a professional photographer, allow him/her to put a business logo on the pictures in exchange for a sponsorship.

As for the photographs, you’re going to want a backdrop for the photographer or the parents or both. This backdrop needs to show all of your sponsors’ logos. This is the marketing and branding that will give them a return on their investment. Each time a picture is shared on social media, their logo will be shared and everyone will know they are a supporter of this event. This is a must have and you probably won’t get a sponsorship for it, so this is where the cash sponsors come in handy.

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You also have to find a sponsor for the decorations. There is a good possibility that the designer you speak with will see this as an opportunity to show off what they can do and reach a new market. You have to provide them with a return on their investment, though, and market them HEAVILY for their help. It’s not terribly hard to decorate a gym if you can get a bit creative. We have a rig in the gym that can’t be moved. So we wrap it with a colored fabric and it actually looks nice. Inside the rig, we have booths for the participants, such as nail painting, face painting, or games.

This brings me to the next point, volunteers. You’re going to need a LOT of help with this event to move everything out of the gym, clean up, decorate, serve food, and eventually get everything back in the gym. Luckily, volunteers for events like this are easy to find. Figure out how many stations will need people. At my event, we have a person who takes the guests’ names as they walk in. That person runs down the red carpet we have laid out for the guests to walk into the prom area, and that person tells another person whose then announces them on a microphone. This is one of the ways that we try our best to help our guests feel like royalty.

As for the food, you’re going to need volunteers based on how many tables/booths you have. No matter how many people you think you’ll need, add five more, as you’ll need them all.

You’ll also want to consider getting financial sponsorships as well. You never know how many unexpected costs will pop up, and you will have unexpected costs. My first year of hosting an event, we decided to crown a prom King and Queen. Seemed like a great idea until I had a room full of crying kids who didn’t get a crown, so I had to make a mad dash to buy more crowns. That’s just one of many examples, so plan on needing a few hundred dollars on the side for unexpected expenses. This amount should be easy to get from the sponsors.

When the event is over, you want to get everything back in the gym. You’ll have many people all in a great mood and all willing to help. You’ll want to use this opportunity to get the gym back to how it should be or it will take you hours longer later.

So, here is the hardest part of this kind of event: Reaching the community who can benefit the most. You need to contact schools, look for Facebook groups, and search the Internet for groups that work directly with special needs individuals. For me, this was the absolute hardest part. As I said earlier, the first year we had 12 attendees, and two years later we had 160. Word will spread.

Guys, that’s it. I won’t lie: it’s a lot of work with zero financial return, but you’re not doing it for the money. This is an event you do because you want to make someone feel special who could never do anything to repay you. My next event is in February, and I would love for you guys to do one at the same time so that, together, the strength community can have a big impact on the world.

If you have questions about this or want help, call me, email me, whatever, as I’ll be more than happy to help you host your Joy Prom. Heck, I’ll come and help you put it on if that’s what you need.

I hope you guys will take me up on this challenge of putting on a Joy Prom. It’s really an amazing event.


See the original article at EliteFTS

Pay Attention, CrossFit Box Owners

Jeremy Augusta

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For those who have been paying attention, there is a change happening in the fitness industry, and for those CrossFit box owners paying attention, there is an opportunity to capitalize. Guys, the industry is changing again, and now is the time to move on it. I'm going to show you how.

A few years ago, thanks to CrossFit, USA Weightlifting exploded in popularity. As a weightlifting coach and the admin of the USAW coaches forum on Facebook, both others and I are well aware that the sport of weightlifting grew so popular because of a mix of CrossFit and social media. As weightlifting grew in popularity, the CrossFit gyms that added weightlifting-specific programs began to see their memberships grow—and their revenue. As the memberships grew, these gyms (the smart ones with good coaches and weightlifting programs) began to win meets, their lifters began to grow in popularity, and the prestige and reputations of these gyms grew as places where winners trained. Many gyms now have dedicated USAW certified coaches. Those who didn't create weightlifting programs missed the bus. They missed out on income and missed out on greater success.

 

As both a weightlifting and a powerlifting coach, I've had my feet in both of these worlds while watching changes happen within all of the CrossFit gyms through which I provide strength training and competitive CrossFit programming via the American Strength Club. A lot of money is available for these gyms IF you know how to reach them before your competition does. Fair warning, chances are that your competition is already making the move.

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Powerlifting is growing at an incredible rate at the grassroots level. For gym owners, powerlifting is the new Bitcoin of membership growth. If you have a solid strength program, you can market it and increase your revenue and member count right now. There are a couple ways to do this.

First off, your current members already need this new strength program. Unless you've been lying to yourself, you know that CrossFit favors the strong. Even the CrossFit Games site directly points out this important aspect: “Games athletes are also stronger in the power lifts, and the differences nearly reach statistical significance. This all suggests that strength, especially the ability to apply that strength dynamically, is the biggest difference between a Games athlete and a regional athlete.” Not offering a true strength-based program is not only a disservice to your competitive athletes but also it guarantees that they will never reach the top.

Starting a powerlifting-based strength program has more benefits than just the awesome aspect of making your athletes stronger. It provides them with many more competitive opportunities as well. This is true not just for the best of the best but rather for every one of your members.

A powerlifting meet provides an opportunity to get on the platform, to do your best, and hopefully, to break a few records while you're at it. A lot of options exist for you when you go to compete. Athletes can choose to compete in the open category, which means no restraints in age or ability exist, or they can compete in age- and experience-based categories. That 40-year-old soccer mom at the gym who would never consider competing in a CrossFit competition is a lot more likely to compete in a powerlifting meet against women who are her age, her weight, and have the same experience as she does. That's something she can get excited about. So, not only can you take your top athletes to sharpen their skills but also you can take the average member and help him or her to feel like a rockstar.

 

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For example, I have a 71-year-old man who was inactive for 30 years before joining my gym. In the powerlifting program, when he started, he couldn't bench press a barbell. As his strength went up, he got more and more excited about the workouts, and he now has the national bench press record for his age group. At 71 years old, he gets excited about competing! When he gets to the meet, he competes against other guys his age, and they all have a fantastic time together. We get to take this man who will never do a pull-up or compete in a CrossFit event and give him a reason to celebrate himself through strength training. It's a fantastic feeling not just for him but also for you as a coach. Keep in mind that guys like him are the ones who are telling all their buddies how amazing the workouts are and how much fun it is to be at my gym. And that leads to referrals.

Another way to use this to grow your gym is that you now have a way to market to people who already know you are there but until now haven't been interested in what you offer. Think about this: That globo gym up the road has plenty of members and keeps growing. If you go inside of it, what you're going to find is a lot of people lifting weights. Many of these people have no technique and don't know what they are doing, but they are lifting because that is what they enjoy doing. They know that if they go to your CrossFit gym, they will be asked to run, to do those weird kipping pull-up things, and to do cardio, and they don't want to do this. You do not offer something that appeals to them, so they give their money to another place that does. They want to lift, to become stronger, and to become healthier without having to figure out how to do a double under. These guys already know that fitness is important, and they know that strength is important, but they are giving their money to somebody else at a cheap-ass globo gym up the road that doesn't even teach them how to perform the lifts correctly. This almost feels sinful, doesn't it? The way you reach these people is by having a program that appeals to them, and that's exactly what you're going to do. Now, you create your Barbell Club, which is a powerlifting-based program, so it appeals to these people. These guys already bench press, back squat, and deadlift, so you're going to market to them how to do it correctly and safely, and they are going to get much stronger.

 

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Here's a surprise for you: You may think that the ideal client in this category is male, but you're absolutely incorrect. Women are starting to flood powerlifting. In fact, when I spoke to the powerlifting federation, USPA, I was told that in the past three years, it has had an increase of 40% in lifters, almost all female, and many come from CrossFit gyms, the same CrossFit gyms that already figured this out before you did. Women find powerlifting empowering! For a woman, getting stronger, picking up heavy weights, and being independent is exciting and makes her feel like a badass. Don't believe me? Check your Instagram feed.

It's time to restructure your facility so that you can increase your revenue and boost your membership. We've seen the change happen before, and it is happening again. The bus is here, and you're either going to get on it or be left behind.

 

See the article originally published on EliteFTS

How To Set Up Bands In Your Gym

Jeremy Augusta

For those who follow The Swing Block Method, using bands for accommodating resistance is a big part of our strength training program. Below is a step by step guide  to help you set these up. 

Accommodating resistance is the use of chains and bands to increase the force velocity curve. The body is made up of lever systems. When you're at your lowest on the squat, your lever system is it it's weakest. That's why you see “bros" in the gym doing quarter squats because that high the lever system is at their strongest. It's harder to use full range of motion so they simply won't and happily let their knees pay the price without getting full results. Remember, partial reps mean partial results.

The way I prefer to set up bands is by placing anchors in the floor that fold up and down for easy access. These can go under the mats and not be seen, or you can do like I have and cut out the mats from around them. Cutting out the mats just makes access to them easier. They are in no way a tripping hazard and in fact, you can do double unders on them and they would never bother your rope. Here is a link to the ones I use. 

 

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You can also set up bands using heavy dumbbells or even a couple 45lb plates, but since this is a big part of our training, it's how I prefer to do it. 

When connecting your bands for the cleans or deadlift, you will want to pull it through itself and on the other end use a carabiner to connect it to the next anchor. Make sure you use the same kind of carabiner on each side. These are the ones I use. If floor anchors are not an option, it is easier to use very heavy dumbbells than lifting plates. If you do use a dumbbell, brace it with plates, like chocking a wheel. 

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When using these for cleans and deadlifts, you will need 4 on each side, 2 on each side of the platform, as wide as the platform, then 2 more about 3 and a half feet apart in length. This gives you enough distance that you can lay the bands out long ways and connect them without having any slack in the band. When it comes to bands, slack is your enemy. If youre using weights to hold the bands in place, make sure they are heavy enough to not move during the movements. 

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Once you have your anchors and bands in place, it's time to find out how much tension you have. Here is the thing, each website you order bands from will say it has 60-80lbs of tension, or 40-100lbs, the thing about that is it is complete bullshit numbers. The weight of the resistance from the bands change as it stretches more. So how do you know how much tension you have? You have to measure it for each of your movements so you understand how much you have at the top. It's only important to know these numbers if you care about how much weight you're moving. That's sarcasm, yes it's important to know these. 

So, how do you find your band tension? Ok, you're going to need a scale that isn't digital. A digital scale will not be able to read the resistance properly. Trust me on this, I've tried many times with a digital scale, it won't work. First thing, get your scale and a barbell, stand on it. Once you have that weight, You will want to then put the bands over it and hold it in the position of the movement, if it is a deadlift, hold the deadlift with the bands while standing on the scale, if it is a clean, stand up in a front rack position. You will want to do this with one band on each side, and then both. 

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Setting up for the back squat is a bit different. First off, you need to have the anchors close enough to your rig so that there isn't a lot of pull from an angle that can pull an empty barbell from the pins. You also have to pull the band through itself so that both ends of the bands go on the barbell. Doing it this way will make sure that there is zero slack at the bottom of the squat. As mentioned earlier, with bands, slack is your enemy. 

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Zero Slack

Zero Slack

The more tricky band resistance to measure is for the bench press. The way to get this tension, again while using the bands doubled through without having slack at the bottom, is to lay on the bench and hold the bar up at lockout and have someone mark the height with chalk on the rig. 

 

Notice the chalk mark on the rig at the height of the barbell. 

Notice the chalk mark on the rig at the height of the barbell. 

After the mark is made, have the athlete hold the barbell at the height of the mark while standing on the scale, remember, the weight of the band tension is the difference of the athletes weight with an empty barbell and the weight of the athlete with the barbell at the movement height with the bands attached. 

 

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So there you have it. For each kind of band you use, you will want to redo these steps, even for each different brand of band because the way they are manufactured could be different. If you are looking to get new bands, click here to find some of the cheaper ones to begin with. 

If you are wanting to have an effective program using bands, wanting to create a barbell club, a full competitive program for your gym or just to become on the the strongest people on earth, join our program to make the greatest gains of your life. 

 

Free Attempt Sheet for Powerlifting and USAW Meets

Jeremy Augusta

Coaching a meet is a stressful task. Running the backroom, keeping an eye on warm ups, keeping track of attempts of multiple lifters, it is a lot. To help take some of this stress away, much in the same was as helping to take programming off of your plate, you have the option to use the same template I use at all my meets I coach at. We normally have athletes competing in a strength sport of some kind at least a few times a month ans sometimes with over 2 dozen lifters at any given event, and this template has been an important tool in keeping organized. 

 

If you find this tool useful, as I am sure you will, consider taking hours of your week back by taking programming off of your plate for a free month. 

Save Your Members Money While Adding Value And Increasing Your Income

Jeremy Augusta

Save your members money, add value to yourself and increase your income

I do this every year for my gym at Christmas time and other holidays. 

The way to do it is affiliate marketing with your website. It isn't pyramid or multi level marketing. It's setting yourself up with affiliate accounts through merchants you know your members will be buying gifts from. When ever you see websites posting reviews or talking about a product, this is what they are doing. I prefer the site shareasale.com. You create your account and then you search through 1,000's of available merchants and pick the ones that align with your target market. There are some big names on there, Reebok, CrossFit, Adidas and about any you can think of. 

This is how I do it. I create the affiliate accounts and got the links needed. I then made a page on my website and called it "fitness Christmas list". It was a list with custom links and reviews of many, many different products I know people who workout want. I had probably 30 different products from different companies listed. I share the page on social media and made it a Facebook ad as well. 

What happens is once the person clicks the link they are tracked with a cookie. The cookies last normally 30 days. So say a person clicked a link to a pair of Reebok shoes but didn't buy them. If they came back to Reebok 3 weeks later and purchased a shirt or shoes, whatever, I still received 10-15% commission because the cookie was active. This adds up to a lot of commissions coming in to me from the shareasale site. 

The way you can save your members money is because you'll get early access to black Friday, Cyber Monday, Memorial Day and other sales to prep your site. Also, a super big perk is that you also get commission on your own purchases which makes your Christmas cheaper.

I know this isn't exactly programming related, but it is a way to help your members and to increase your bottom line. More income means a more successful gym, more successful gyms mean a better sport for us all

Unique Marketing For Your Facility

Jeremy Augusta

Here is a unique marketing strategy that I think can work well for a lot of people. This involves setting up a strategic partnership with a local coffee shop. Not a Starbucks but a small family owned shop. 

A lot of small shops don't actually sell a lot of black coffee, their sells come from other products. The customers who do buy black coffee are normally men between 25 and 45. A normal small shop will sell about $50 of black coffee a day. Here is how you use this information to gain members and market. 

Offer the shop to buy the first $50 worth of black coffee on whatever day you pick. I would go with a Monday. They will get the opportunity to market that on that day coffee is free and provided by you! That will drive them sales and get them more shares and likes on Facebook. With each cup of coffee they put your business card into the sleeve so each person that you purchased coffee for will know it came from your gym and they will have your business card in their hands. 

So for about $50 you will increase your marketing reach by using the coffee shops marketing. You will get more likes on Facebook, you will create a greater brand awareness and people who don't even know you (yet) will have an appreciation for you because you bought their morning coffee. 

It's very cheap and effective marketing that will get you in front of a new group of people you may not already reach.

Using Snapchat to market your facility on the cheap

Jeremy Augusta

 

Ready to get more social media engagements and likes for a fraction of the normal cost of marketing?

If you're not familiar with Snapchat it has a ton of filters for taking pictures. It also has a way to create your own for marketing purposes. This feature is called geofilters. A geofilter is a picture filter designed by you that you can pay a small fee for that will be available in a specific area at a specific time frame set. You can edit these in many different ways with your own wording or logo or both. There are two ways I have used these with great success.

1) In the gym on a day everyone is excited about a WOD or a max, make one of these filters by going to Snapchat from your desktop (this only works on desktop to set up). We will use a day where me max for an easy example. This past Monday I created a geofilter that had my logo on it and it had the words "MAX OUT MONDAY" on it. I posted on the whiteboard and in the members only group to check their Snapchat filters. I had 150ish members come through the door Monday and all day long my members had their phones out taking pictures. All day the local Facebook feed and Instagram were filled with pictures my members took with the filter, tagging each other and the gym. It wasn't just pictures of the lifts but of them smiling and having fun, those are the pictures that get good interaction on social media and makes the gym look like a place others want to be. The total cost to have my member marketing the hell out of my gym, about $4.

We also use bands a lot (no need to start that debate here) and I create a filter that says "BANDS OUT GUNS OUT". Members share the pictures and people see the bands and ask about them. This would give you an opportunity to engage somebody who hasn't yet been inside your gym but is interested and asking questions. Bands work for me, you could be creative, it is simply a way to not only market but start a dialog with prospective members. 

2) You can use geofilters for local events, especially sporting events. My town bleeds football. Our team is called the Tigers. I'll set up geofilters for the football games that says "Good Luck Tigers From American Strength Club". You can also do this for festivals, county fairs, college basketball games, even Times Square in NYC on New Year's eve, any event where there will be many people in a small area.

I use this tool often, sometimes more than once a week and it never costs more than $6 or $7 at most but it gets my logo and message shared over many social media platforms. It is a very cheap and effective way to get in front of a lot of people.

I don't use Snapchat myself except for talking to my wife, you don't have to be on it at all to make this work. It is actually a very simple process you do directly on their website and takes about 5 minutes from start to finish.

We're looking people who want to break world records!

Jeremy Augusta

We're looking people who want to break world records! Seriously, after capturing 200 state and national, we want more. Either local or online team members, we want people who want to become the strongest they possibly can be and break world records with us.

If you fit into one of the following age and weight categories, contact me NOW, but only if you're willing to work your butt off for amazing results and glory.

Women's open, any age
44kg 97lbs
90kg 198.42lbs

Women's junior 20-23 year old
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.64lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+kg

Men's junior 20-23yo
56kg 123.46
140kg 308.65
140+kg

Men's teenage 13-15
52kg 114.64lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
100kg 220.46lbs
125kg 275.58lbs
140kg 308.65lbs
140+kg

Men's teenage 16-17
56kg 123.46lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
140kg 308.65lbs
140+kg

Men's teenage 18-19
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46
125kg 275.58lbs
140kg 308.65lbs

Women's teenage 13-15
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82kg 180.78lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+kg

Women's teenage 16-17
48kg 105.82lbs

Women's teenage 18-19
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.76lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+kg

Men's submasters 33-39
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs

Women's submasters 33-39
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
90kg 198.42lbs

Men's junior 20-23
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs

Women's junior 20-23
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Men's teenage 13-15
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
100kg 220.46lbs
110kg 242.51lbs
140kg 308.65lbs
140+

Men's teenage 16-17
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
125kg 275.58lbs
140+

Men's 18-19
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
125kg 275.58lbs
140kg 308.65lbs
140+

Women's teenage 13-15
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Women's teenage 16-17
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Women's 18-19
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Men's submasters 33-39
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs

Women's submasters 33-39
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
90kg 198.42lbs

Men's masters 40-44
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs

Women's masters 40-44
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs

Women's open
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
90kg 198.42lbs

Men's open
52kg 114.74lbs

Men's junior 20-23
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
125kg 275.58lbs
140kg 308.65lbs
140+

Women's junior 20-23
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Men's teenage 13-15
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
100kg 220.46lbs
110kg 242.51lbs
125kg 275.58lbs
140kg 308.65lbs
140+

Men's 16-17
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
125kg 275.58lbs
140kg 308.65lbs
140+

Men's teenage 18-19
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
100kg 220.46lbs
125kg 275.58lbs
140kg 308.65lbs
140+

Women's teenage 13-15
44kg 97lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Women's teenage 16-17
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Women's teenage 18-19
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Men's submasters 33-39
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
140kg 308.65lbs
140+

Women's submasters 33-39
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Mens 40-44
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
60kg 132.28lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
75kg 165.35lbs

Women's masters 40-44
44kg 97lbs
48kg 105.82lbs
52kg 114.74lbs
56kg 123.46lbs
67.5kg 148.81lbs
82.5kg 181.88lbs
90kg 198.42lbs
90+

Wrapping Your Wrists To Move The BIG Weights

Jeremy Augusta

One of the things I see in Powerlifting meets that annoy me is the amount of people who just don't know how to wrap their wrists properly. So, here we're learning how to do it correctly. If you're just starting to bench the big weights or starting to compete, this is for you.

 

 

In need of wrist wraps? Try a pair of Inzer wraps that you can get here on Amazon. 

Setting Up To Coach A Powerlifting Meet

Jeremy Augusta

I'm explaining how the behind the scenes prep work for coaching at a Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting meet. I explain how we come up with our opener, the second and third lifts as well as how we decide where to place the athletes in their category. Everything we do on our training is based off of the Swing Block Method of Training.

Swing Block For High School Coaches

Jeremy Augusta

The Swing Block Method is one of the greatest ways to gain strength, and now we're showing high school coaches how to apply it in their weight rooms.

In my previous article explaining how the Swing Block Method works, I discussed using this method for upper-level athletes and made it clear that it wasn't appropriate for beginners. Since publication, I've received numerous emails and messages from high school and collegiate coaches with various questions, which has made me realize this new method needs to be made available in a way that it can be effectively used in a school setting where there is little time and a great number of athletes to cycle through.

RECENT: The Swing Block Method

What is often difficult for a high school coach is that the ability level in the weight room varies greatly from one student to the next. You can have a freshman who has never touched a barbell sitting next to a senior who has a training age of four years that's more skilled in the intended movements. In a perfect world each student would have their own program based on their ability and training age, but let's be honest — this isn't a perfect world, and when you have 40 minutes and 60 kids to cycle through, you're going to be lucky to even get them a pump on most programs. You have championships to win and to do that you need to maximize your kids' strength without killing them for the game Friday. This program is very easy to monitor progress with lots of testing so you can constantly watch to make sure your athletes are improving without any guesswork.

So here you go. The greatest strength gains your team has ever had are coming.

We are taking into account that your first few weeks will be during the summer when you can have more focus and time in the weight room and are not constrained to school hours. During these first few weeks, we will be getting the kids ready for the big weights, but you can't jump right into them. Consider this block to be priming the pump of greatness. We know that max effort training is proven to be the best method of strength gains, but we also must take an account that during a summer off, an athlete's nervous system isn't ready for maximum effort. During the first three-week block we will only care about movement patterns and priming the nervous system. Without proper movement patterns you will not get the most out of your athletes, no matter the program and no matter how experienced in training they are. A summer off will deteriorate their movement patterns. If you're picking up on this program after the season has already started, skip the first block and get right to the real work.

 

For our training, we will be focusing on compound movements that bring up the most muscle groups at once, plus jumping and the hang clean.

In the original Swing Block Method, we complete most of our movements with five sets of varying reps. Because of the time constraints of running so many kids through a workout, we will be basing all of the reps and percentages on Prilepin’s chart. If you're not familiar with this training tool, you can find a great deal of information here. What this is going to do for you is allow you as a coach to get maximum results from your athlete's strength training with lower volume. This will allow you to get through your workouts faster but with maximum results. Using percentages based solely on Prilepin's Chart has another great benefit for you as a coach: the recovery from workout to workout will be faster. It isn't max effort work that beats your players down; it's high volume work. The more reps your players do, the greater the damage to the muscle fibers, the sorer they are, and the more time they need to recover. If they need a lot of recovery time from the weight room it can hold back their conditioning and practice. The lower the volume, the faster they will recover. We are focusing on their strength and explosiveness in the weight room; the conditioning happens under your guidance on the practice field and this will allow them to be 100% for you.

MORE: Utilizing Prilepin’s Chart

We want to focus on compound movements because in a school setting you will have little time to focus on different muscle groups, and compound movements will work many muscle groups at the same time. Compound movements also follow the body's natural movement patterns, unlike machines that create artificial movements while not accounting for the force-velocity curve. The body is made up of lever systems and we want to strengthen those levers in all positions, which is exactly why we will be using bands in some of our blocks.

 

You'll notice there are zero power cleans in this program, which seems to be a staple of high school training programs. As an Olympic weightlifting coach, I understand the movement better than most, so I'll explain why we are focusing on the hang clean only. When doing the power clean, the first pull (getting the bar from the ground to above your knees) is simply to set up the rest of the movement. It makes no difference how fast the first pull is; it simply is there to get the bar in the position for the rest of the work. Other weightlifting coaches may disagree with that statement and that's their incorrect opinion because I'm right. The only way the bar speed from the bottom would matter is if your kids are performing muscle cleans because they have bad form. If that's the case then you're wasting your time anyway on that movement and it needs to be thrown out the damn window.

The Swing Block Method

Jeremy Augusta

Before you begin reading, you'll need to understand that this isn't a “bro program.” For the average gym member, this program is far too advanced. This is intended for serious athletes who are actively competing in their chosen sport. Specifically, this is geared towards powerlifters, Olympic weightlifting athletes, and sports specific coaches needing their athletes to compete at a high level who can also have those athletes monitored and watched closely.

Throughout reading, you'll see terms that you must be familiar with to understand the intended effects of what's being discussed. Following is a list of these terms.

Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is the process of increasing muscle size by increasing semifluid plasma between the muscle fibers. This process greatly increases the size of the muscle but makes the cross-sectional area of the muscle less dense. The muscle will be bigger and weigh more, but there are no strength increases from it because the plasma inside of the muscle is non-contractile. Fluid can fill an area, but fluid cannot contract. A great example of a sport focused on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy training is bodybuilding. While their muscles may be large, they are mostly for show.

MORE: Bigger Is Not Always Stronger: Fallacies of Muscle Hypertrophy for Strength Athletes

While sarcoplasmic hypertrophy may be used for bodybuilding by most, it also has great uses for increasing health of connective tissue, which is paramount for injury prevention. This type of training can also be beneficial for an athlete, such as a football lineman who is in need of increasing weight while adding as little fat as possible or a basketball player who is unusually small and needs the increased weight to not be pushed around easily on the court.

Myofibril/Sarcomere Hypertrophy

This is when we have an increase in sarcomeres, which is what comprises the myofibrils within the muscle. The myofibrils are hair-like structures that are what causes the muscle to contract. While the sarcomeres are what make up the myofibril, from here on out we will refer to this as myofibril hypertrophy.

Accommodating Resistance

Accommodating resistance is the use of chains and bands to increase the force velocity curve. The body is made up of lever systems. When you're at your lowest on the squat, your lever system is it it's weakest. That's why you see “bros" in the gym doing quarter squats because that high the lever system is at their strongest. It's harder to use full range of motion so they simply won't and happily let their knees pay the price without getting full results. Remember, partial reps mean partial results.

Post-Activation Potentiation (PAP)

Post-activation potentiation is the result of a muscle being able to produce more force than normal based on recent muscle contraction. An easy example is if you want your athlete to get a new 1RM for back squat at 300 pounds, you first load the bar with 350 to 400 pounds and let it sit on their back and perform partial reps. You want to let them hold it for 15 to 20 seconds. What's happening in the body is that the nervous system is now used to and prepared to move this much heavier than intended load, and the result will be a much more effective lift when attempting the new, true PR with a lighter weight.

 

In this writing, we will only be discussing the use of bands. While chains work for this and look cool to use, the results are subpar when compared to bands.

Bands train our body to accelerate much faster than free weights can while also increasing power production, explosiveness, and force development, which is great for the development of power. If you're an athlete of any sport, to become a greater athlete you must increase your power and explosiveness. The bands will train the body to control the bar during the eccentric phase of a movement, increasing elastic kinetic potential energy. The body will use that energy through the concentric phase. It's the stretch reflex. When using bands, we don't rely solely on barbells. My athletes jump with them often. My strength athletes perform a minimum of 40 jumps a week using bands setup in different ways for different effects, while my basketball athletes jump a minimum of 40 times a day.

Beyond the force velocity curve, there is a much greater benefit from accommodating resistance, and that is the nervous system response to them. Every response we want from our muscles for any movement is based on how hard they can contract. How hard a muscle can contract is based on the motor units within each muscle, which is controlled by the nervous system. When using bands the load increases with every inch you stretch. The body has to react to this continually increasing load and it does so by making the nervous system recruit more motor units to make the muscle contract harder. The harder the muscle can contract, the more explosive power you get in return.

Supercompensation

Supercompensation is the process in which a workout will break our body down, resulting in an adaptation that makes the body more prepared for the upcoming workloads. The body can only adapt to the load placed on it; supercompensation explains it. Directly after a workout, fatigue sets in and the body at that point is less capable of doing the same work. As the body recovers, its level of fitness in whatever specific situation trained will rise to levels above previous. With supercompensation we continuously build upon that, making the body stronger, faster, or specifically for the intended training effect.

This program was born out of a lot of trial and error in working on my own programming over 15 years, and the programming of my powerlifters, weightlifters, and functional fitness athletes.

 

The basis of this program is to move in a linear progression by alternating rep ranges with normal deload and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy phases to allow for supercompensation to take place, while also taking time to focus on high rep, low weight movements to increase muscle mass and strengthen the connective tissue. The reason for staying with a higher intensity for the majority of the time is that the body will only adapt to the stimulus put on it, so we're giving plenty of opportunities to adapt in different blocks while also allowing it time to rest with regular deloading.

This program has many influences based on the coaches and programs that I look to for inspiration, including the Westside Barbell methodMash Method5/3/1Supertraining, and the Texas Method by my good friend Glenn Pendlay, as well as borrowing from my time as a bodybuilder.

You're going to notice that there is constant change in these movements. We never do anything for more than three weeks. This prevents us from falling to the law of accommodation, while also keeping things fresh. According to Louie Simmons, after three weeks of doing the same movements, the body stops getting stronger and faster. Borrowing from his knowledge, we implement that into our program by changing the rep schemes.

You'll see that there are repeating patterns for the different blocks that swing from one to another. You'll be working in rep ranges of five sets of five reps, five sets of three reps, eight sets of one rep, and very high volume/ light intensity work. There are specific reasons for these rep schemes.

WATCH: Table Talk — When to Rotate Supplemental and Accessory Exercises

The lower the reps, the more strength/myofibril hypertrophy focused the movement is, and as the volume increases the more it moves to a sarcoplasmic hypertrophy effect. This is building muscle size and helping to increase the strength and health of the connective tissue.

When we are in the five-rep ranges we are building a combination of strength, speed, and mass. It isn't bodybuilding mass, but there will still be a slight amount of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy taking place. The majority of the benefits from this range, however, will be myofibril hypertrophy. When doing these movements you want the bar to move as fast as possible to build speed strength. The benefit of the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy in this instance is that it will help to stretch out the muscle to make more room for new muscle fibers and for myofibril hypertrophy to take place while you're progressing.

Within the three-rep range, we are focusing strictly on increasing strength and making myofibril hypertrophy take place. This is heavy lifting; we want the body to feel the stress of the weight and respond accordingly. Remember, the body can only adapt to the stimulus placed on it.

The week of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is often one of the most fun for the athletes. This is called the submaximal effort method or the repetition method. Athletes seem to always look forward to this because it's completely different, has a totally different stimulus, and provides a great pump to the muscle. The main reason for this work, though, is that the low intensity/high volume work is good to strengthen the tendons and ligaments, which get stronger at a much slower pace than the muscles. We consider this to be prehab: it's work we do to prevent future entries. Another important benefit is that the high volume work is very beneficial for softening the arteries while working the heart. Heavy weight training can harden the arteries; we need this cardio type work to help soften them so we have that balance for our overall health.

 

When we do the eight sets of one rep, we intend to increase your max lifts every time. This is the max effort method based on Prilepin's chart, which was popularized by Westside Barbell. This is truly max effort work, and within this process, if you want to go for a new max go ahead, but adjust the weight for the following reps accordingly. This is your opportunity to feel like an animal. Before you do your sets, I suggest you load the bar with more than you're going to actually need (except deadlift). If it's back squat day and your working weight is 300 pounds, put 375 or 400 on there, stand up with it, and let your nervous system become adjusted for that weight. When you move the lesser weight your body will be prepared for something heavier and will move much easier. This is also suggested for when attempting a one-rep max. This is called post-activation potentiation (PAP) and is a lesson learned from one of the best USAW coaches, Travis Mash. It is detailed very well in his book the Mash Method.

Each Friday during the five-rep and three-rep blocks we will be getting a new five-rep back squat max, without bands. If you cannot get a new five-rep max, you must do five sets of five at 90% of your five-rep max. We take a page from Glenn Pendlay on this from his very popular Texas Method.

Deloading is an absolute necessity. You'll find many opinions about if you should deload or not, but the correct answer is that on this program we deload and it is a must. The reason is that we are doing a lot of heavy work, often. We have to let supercompensation take place. Supercompensation is the process of the muscles that are broken down recovering and getting stronger. With the amount of work you will be doing, you must deload. How you deload is up to you. I suggest laying off the weights and doing a bit of light cardio, getting a massage, or whatever else you do to relax. When you finish your deload week you will be stronger the next week.

 

In this writing, we will not be going into the accessory lifts. Accessory lifts are intended to bring up your main lifts by targeting your weaknesses. When you're doing your main lifts you are training the lift; when you're doing accessory work you are building the lift. Because everyone is different, I will let you decide on your own accessory work and not dictate it within this program. If you follow a functional fitness type of training method, make sure your main lift is always completed first with you daily workout incorporating your accessory movements in it.

The structure of the program follows with a sample program after. At this point, we will assume you already have a 1RM on all the needed lifts. If you do not, establish one before starting. Once you have completed the program, there are other ways to change the Swing Block Method to suit your needs. If you're gaining a great amount of strength, you will want to double your sarcoplasmic hypertrophy weeks by putting one in the middle of your cycle to increase joint and tendon health.

The most important aspect of this program which can not be changed is the three weeks of work followed by a transition to another rep scheme, with regular sarcoplasmic hypertrophy week, deload weeks, and max effort weeks.

This program has been used by members of Barton County Strength Club with amazing results. Over the past summer by using this method our members have secured over 115 state and national records in both Powerlifting and Olympic lifting.

 

The Swing Block Method

Week 1

  • We take a week to measure strength and set a record on with a five-rep max.