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Back in 2015, I had Starting Strength coach Matt Reynolds on the podcast to talk about barbell training. At about the same time, I started getting online coaching from Matt for my own barbell training. A year and half later, I’ve made some incredible gains with my strength and hit personal records that I never thought I’d be able to attain. Thanks to Matt, I was inspired to have recently entered my first barbell competition, and deadlifted 533 lbs, squatted 420 lbs, and shoulder pressed 201 lbs at the event. And perhaps best of all, my body has stayed healthy and I haven’t been injured in the process.

Because guys frequently ask me about my training, I’ve brought Matt back on the podcast to walk listeners through the programming and nutrition plan I’ve been following for the past 18 months. We discuss how Matt customized my programming, and why he started me with the novice Starting Strength program even though I had been barbell training for a few years. We also dig into my setbacks and how Matt adjusted things to help me break through plateaus. 

If you’ve been thinking about barbell training or are currently training and are confused about how to program, you’re going to get a lot out of this episode. Consider me your human guinea pig.

Show Highlights

  • Why Matt decided to sell his gym and do online coaching full-time
  • How online strength coaching differs from in-person coaching
  • The surprising benefits of online coaching vs. in-person
  • What to look for in a good online coach, no matter your fitness domain and interests
  • My own experience with online strength coaching — from novice to now entering competitions
  • Why you want to stay as a weightlifting novice for as long as possible
  • Why gains are harder to come by as you are able to lift more
  • The stress-recovery-adaptation cycle
  • The downsides of lifting more weight
  • How my diet changed as my lifting programming changed
  • What is DUP programming? And how it helped my up my game
  • How signing up for a powerlifting competition changed my programming
  • My post-competition programming and recovery period
  • What “work capacity” is and how it’s worked into coaching strategies
  • My unlikely hamstring injury

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

If you’re looking to get stronger than you ever thought possible, check out Starting Strength Online Coaching. If you’re not ready to jump into online coaching just yet, at least pick up a copy of Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe


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