Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Weak Get Eaten

Here is a workout we hit the other day. This is guaranteed to make you jacked and strong. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

1. Chain BP 5x80% 3x87.5% 1x92.5% 1 or morex97.5%
2. Log C&P 2xMax
3. Pull Ups 60x
4. L-Raises 4x10
5. Pistol Pushdowns 3x20
6. Run The Rack Curls 2x
7. Heavy Side Bends 4x10
6. Barbell Complex (deadlifts, bent rows, hang cleans, push press, back squat): 4 sets. Perform 10 reps of each exercise. Rest 60 sec. b/t sets

Have a great Christmas and remember the importance of this great day. It is to celebrate the birth of Christ and to spend time with the ones you love.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Conditioning Part II

There are many aspects to programming the conditioning of athletes. You have to know when the season starts, what type of energy system they use, if they have any conditioning test they have to perform, and how good or bad of shape they are already in. These are crucial in developing a successful program.

Ideally you would want to do conditioning separate from the actual workout so that they can maximize growth from their workout with proper recovery and nutrition. After a workout their glycogen stores are depleted and they need to start generating the anabolic process by getting in the proper nutrition to start protein synthesis so their body can repair and regenerate. That is the purpose of the training to get bigger, stronger, and faster so why waste a second with conditioning when they should be focused on recovering.

That is the ideal situation, but if you are training athletes in your gym that will most likely never be the case. They want to get in and get out with out having to come another day or session to get conditioning in. If that is the case then you have to maximize their time with weight lifting and then conditioning to follow. We have our guys do conditioning that will complement their training. So if it is leg day we will have them either push the prowler or pull the sled.

If there season is 4 months away than do not even worry about conditioning, just focus on getting stronger and bigger. Once it hits two months before season then we start to incorporate conditioning unless they are extremely out of shape then we would start 3 or maybe even 4 months out. This just depends on the person and their situation.

Every sport requires certain energy systems. You have slow oxidative, fast glycolitic, and ATP-PC. Most of your athletes play in an ATP-PC and fast glycolitic sport, so you have to prepare them for that. The key to achieving this is to have as much capacity in both systems and to reduce the factors causing fatigue.

If the sport requires these two systems to be used during the game, than you must train your athletes to reach the highest levels possible in order to master their sport. You have to have the exercise mimic the actual sport in duration and intensity. The high intensity conditioning will increase the glycolitic enzymes in all fiber-types which will increase the amount of ATP that can be generated. It will also increase the speed at which PC can be degraded, so that faster ATP turnover is possible. If they play football have them do a conditioning exercise for 5-7 seconds and than rest. At the beginning of the conditioning program make sure you give them a good amount of rest and than the preceding weeks either lower the rest, increase the reps, or increase the weight. This will allow them to strive for something new every week when it comes to conditioning. It is just like ME days when you are trying to break records.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Conditioning--When and How?

Now that football season is coming to an end, many kids are looking to get stronger and faster for next season. There are a lot of things that going into preparing kids for the next season and conditioning is one of those things that is usually not done right. I am sure a lot of you have seen on youtube people pushing the prowler until they puke or have heard of some of the ridiculous conditioning test that some athletes have to perform. Every team has their own way to do things, I just don't agree with most of them. Here is a few key points that you must know to maximize the athletes training.

1. Don't start conditioning to EARLY in the offseason. This is a crucial mistake that I see a lot of coaches make. Give the kids time to heal up after season and give them time to get strong and fast. I will wait until 6 weeks out from their season. This is all you need to get into shape. More than that you are over doing it.

2. Don't make their speed work turn into conditioning. Many coaches fall for this one, they think by running them into the ground until they can't move anymore will make them faster. You have to treat speed drills like max effort work in the gym. You need to make sure they get full RECOVERY before starting the next rep. Speed is speed and conditioning is a whole other beast. Treat it that way and you will see incredible gains.

3. You have to PROGRAM their conditioning like you do their weight lifting. There has to be a rhyme and reason to what you are doing. Start off light and with long rest and than gradually increase weight or reps and decrease rest as their conditioning progresses. Have a goal that you want them to make and that should be accomplished at the end of their conditioning cycle.

4. BUILD their conditioning from the end to the beginning. This kind of goes with number three but when designing their programs start with the last day and have that be their test day and build the program all the way back to the first day.

5. Make the conditioning SPECIFIC to their sport. This means that football players should not be running miles for conditioning. The max football play last around six seconds and have a rest in between plays of 25 to 30 seconds. This should be the basis of their conditioning.

There is a lot more that goes into conditioning but if you follow these five steps in programing offseason conditioning and your athletes will excel at their sports because they will be able to outlast the opponent, because that is where the game is won in the fourth quarter or the last inning or the last mile.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Guest Post

It has been some time since my last post, I have been busy with football season ending and finals for myself. I am back to posting regularly and I have a bunch of good stuff coming up in the near future. Here is a guest post from Mike Montgomery. He is an endurance athlete who competes in 5ks, road races, triathlons, and just completed a 1/2 Ironman.

Can’t never Could

As endurance sport athletes, for most of us, our goal is to just finish. The events that we choose to do are usually just as mentally tough as they are physically and finishing is just as important as winning is to a normal athlete. I use the term “normal athlete” because there is nothing normal about us!

The one thing that I always hear when talking to people about endurance sports is negativity. “You can’t do that”, or “you can’t finish”, or my all time favorite, “you can’t win”. Most of the time those comments are coming from people that also “CAN’T.” They can’t get off their butts. They can’t handle failure. They can’t attempt the seemingly impossible. They can’t do what I can do. And most importantly they can’t believe!

If there’s something in life you want to do, you can do it. Don’t let anybody tell you any different. The only thing stopping you is you. Pick something that you don’t think you can finish and go for it! If you’ve never ran, run a 5k. Scared to swim? Do a triathlon. If that sounds easy do something bigger. But whatever you do, do it to finish and the feeling you get when you cross that finish line will be like nothing you’ve ever felt before. I promise you!

I recently completed a half-ironman triathlon and when it was over and everyone asked how i did i simply told them, “I finished.” In endurance sports finishing is winning and if you don’t believe it, try it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Some More Deadlift Technique

Here is a quick video from Smitty over at This is a great video and will teach you a lot. Enjoy and don't forget to answer the questions in the post before at

Friday, November 20, 2009


Just wanted to get some readers feedback. I always enjoy hearing what the people have to say about training subjects. Just anwser the questions in the comments section. Thanks for the help guys.

What exercises set/reps are the best to build explosive strength?
How many days a week do you train them?

P.S. Working on some killer post that will be up soon. Stay Strong.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Client Transformation

As you know from reading this blog I have a client who does triathlons and he just completed a 1/2 Ironman over the weekend. He has worked extremely hard and has never missed a workout. We design his running, swimming, biking and lifting program based on heart rate training. This has been an extremely effective way to train him because he used to just run, bike, and swim as hard as he could with no real plan in mind. This is a common occurrence, to want to train all out everyday because you think it is right. Now that he is training smarter and not harder he has knocked off 8 mins in his sprint tri's in just 3 months of training. Did I also mention he was dieting the whole time. I just wanted to say congrats to him and his brother for competing the 1/2 Ironman. Here is a picture of him before he started training and one he took this weekend. This is roughly a three month transformation.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tony Montgomery

Here is my video, I learned a lot from my second show and will come out bigger and better for the next one.

Justin Poma

Here is Justin Poma in his first show.

Signature Fitness Strongman Contest

First off I would like to say congrats to all the winners at the show and to my training partner Justin Poma for placing fourth in the novice division. Now onto the show, I got there at 9:30 for weigh-ins and tip the scale at 215, which is about right. They went over the rules at 10:30, but that did not matter because they changed everything as the day went on. Initially it started out with 6 events but we only finished with five. I hope you can see where this is going. Before I get started with the breakdown of the show I want to say that the three guys that beat me would have done so regardless, so hats off to them and to Dave Beers who won the LW open division. Now to the events;

1. Log C&P for reps- One clean and then rep as many times as possible in 60 seconds. The weight was 220lbs with a Slaters true log. The clean was easy and smooth and then the presses felt good. In training I usually get 6-7 reps, here I managed to get 9 or 10 but only 8 were counted. This put me in 5th place, so not a good start for me.

2. Deadlift Medley- We had a trap bar with 515 for three reps, than a fat bar with 465 for three reps, and ended with a barbell with 565 for reps until time ran out, we had 75secs. First lift was good, felt a little heavy, but pushed them out. The fat bar went really easy so I decided to go into the barbell without resting a second and got it to my knees and than just ran out of gas. I gave it a few more tries and could not get it past my knees. 565 is my max deadlift so I was hoping to hit one or two, but I did not wait to catch my breath and regroup. I got 4th in this event.

This is where the problems arise the tire flip sled pull was a disaster. First they did not test the sled and when it came down to it no one could push it, so they changed it to a pull. The tire was supposed to be 600 but instead they did not feel like moving the tires so we got to flip and pull the same as the heavies. It ended up being a 750 tire flip for 75' not 50' and a sled pull fro 75'. This also took roughly three hours to finish.

3. 750 Tire Flip/ Sled Pull-It was about an hour and half after my deadlifts that this actually started, which is not good. Regardless of the situation this is not my best event by far and realized that after this attempt. I ended up flipping the tire one flip before the finish and my legs were fried. I need a lot of work at this event and I will practice it religiously from here on out. I placed 6th in this event.

4. Farmers Walk- An hour to two later and thirty lbs heavier we were off. This was initially supposed to be one straight shot because they deemed it too dangerous to go down the incline. When push came to shove they decided it would be easier to not have too continue to reset the farmers then to worry about safety. It was up an incline and then down. No clue how many feet because that changed about four times. I finished it in 30:35 secs; this was good enough for 5th.

5. Stone for Reps 250lbs stone for reps over some height on a yoke bar. The show started at 11:00 it was now 5:30. I got it 7 times and was ready to go home. This effort was good for 4th. I finished the show in fifth. Not the best showing but I learned a lot about what I need to work on and will perform better at the next show.

I was not making excuses for why I lost; I lost to guys who were just better than me on that day. I am just trying to show you how the show was a cluster and it really killed the energy from everyone. I will post a video of the competition for myself and for my training partner Justin. Thanks to BSN for supporting us and thanks to my family for all the help and support.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Here we go Again

I am about to head up to Orlando for the big show tomorrow. There will be two competitors competing from Samson S&C and we look forward to having a good show. We will Post videos and pictures of the day and will have a full meet write up for you. Also we have two more athletes competing in the Miami Man on Sunday. They will be doing their first 1/2 Ironman and we wish them all the best on Sunday. Since I will be gone all weekend I will leave you a video of my first contest to check out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Top 7 Exercises to Increase your Bench

1. Bench Press- This may suprise some people but the best way to build a big bench is to actually do it. You will want to change up rep schemes and sets, but the more time you spend on the bench the better your technique will become because you are always tweaking it to find what is best for you.

2. Military Press- In order to increase your numbers you have to have strong and big shoulders. You want to do strict presses not "push" or "jerk". This exercise needs to be done in the 8-15 rep range and should be performed after your main lift.

3. Pull Ups- A big and strong back is essential for a big bench. Believe it or not you use your back in the bench press. Having strong lats will propel your bench because your lats are essentially what lowers the weight to your chest. Control it down with your lats and explode up with your triceps.

4. Triceps Death- This is a great way to increase your hypertrophy in your triceps. Here is a video of one of our athletes performing this exercise.

5. Speed Bench- Using submaximal weight on the bench with accomadated resistance and lifting it as fast as possible will get you past your sticking point off your chest. Here is a video of speed bench with mini bands.

6. Board Presses- By utilizing a board when bench you will be able to target those sticking points 3" to lockout. Your will be able to overload your triceps with more weight then normal because you will have decreased your range of motion. This will build immence lockout strength.

7. Cambered Bar Bench- To increase your bench you have to hit all ranges of motion. After doing limited range of motion with board presses you must incorporate extra range of motion. This will help you with overcoming your sticking point off your chest were so many people get stuck. With speed bench and now cambered bench you will have no problems breaking through your plateaus.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Samson Strength Training

Here is a video of the last couple months of training leading up to my next strongman show on November 7th. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Breaking Plateaus

There will come a time in your training when you feel weak and no matter what you can't get stronger. This happens to everybody and it happens all the time. The answer to this is to add some variety to your workout. Change your main lifts whether it is the bars, rep scheme or the whole exercise all together. We rotate squats and deadlifts every two weeks and we change from cambered bars to SSB bars and back regular bars. We have found that instead of lifting for your basic 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps on accessory work to start incorporating in timed lifts or a set number of reps. We have our athletes throw in 30sec shrugs for 3 sets from time to time. As far as reps go have you athletes perform 100 dips throughout the workout in between sets or go 10 sets of 10 or 5 sets of 20. You get the idea switch things up make up some type of competition and keep their body guessing. WARNING do not get to fancy with things though keep it within your program and exercises that are tried and tested.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Develop your Weaknesses

About a few years back when I was playing football I always had a problem with hamstring pulls. No matter what I was doing my hamstring was bound to pull. First it was the left, after it healed then it was the right. I knew something was wrong and it was time to reevaluate my training. So instead of doing Olympic squats I started doing box squats. I pulled the sled in an upright position and drilled my heels into the ground. The most effective thing I did was buy a Glute Ham Raise from Elite and used it religiously. Now it is a major part of our program. We use it with just bodyweight or we add weight to either the front of our chest or the back of our neck. The movement I really love to do on it is to add some bands to the bottom loops and knock out 4 sets of 10-15 reps. Since using this piece of equipment my squat and deadlift have increased dramatically and I have not had any hamstring problems in years. Here is a quick video to show you how to perform this exercise. Notice how the chin stays tucked the whole time. This is very important to making sure that this stays a glute ham raise and not a back extension into a glute ham raise.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free Workouts

Its time to get in the best shape of your life. One free week of training at our new facility. This is a can't miss oppurtunity and it will only last until the end of October. We will help you reach any and all your goals. Fat loss, getting back in shape, and getting strong in a awesome atmosphere. Give us a call at 7729409990 to set up an appointment.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Time to get Creative

I know in this economy we can't afford the nice things in life. Like all those fancy machines you see at the big commercial gyms. Here is a quick video demonstrating two exercise you can do with minimal equipment and very minimal cost, but is extremely effective. The first exercise is band rows. We just girth hitched a band to something sturdy and the other band through that. Perform a high number of reps on this somewhere between 20-30. Next are triceps extensions with blast straps, which you can get from Elitefts. We perform 10-15 reps of these and we superset them with band rows. Give them a try next time you go to the gym and be prepared to be hurting the next day.

Dips 2.0

Dips are a cornerstone in our upper body days. We cycle weighted dips and BW dips weekly. Here we are working up to a heavy 6 reps and then a drop set to BW. We ended up with eight chains for a total of 160lbs. This will add some solid muscle to your frame and will jack up your bench by 20 to 50lbs if done right. Check out the video and leave some comments to let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Strongman=Explosive Power

A lot of coaches like to have there guys do olympic lifts to build explosive power, such as the snatch and power clean. Now I am not saying that these are useless in a program, but I am saying it is not the most pratical lift to have your athletes do to develop explosive power. As a strength coach you always have to weigh the pros and cons of the lift and being that these lifts are an olympic sport in themselves and you have twenty to thirty guys training at once, so you really can not check everyone's form. The risk of injury do to incorrect form is great in this instance. All these movements are, is triple extension movements. Now if you could substitute those movements for a safer and more efficient one than why would you not. For explosive movemnt we have our athletes perform triple extension movements such as plyometrics, tire flips, and atlas stones. Here is one of our athletes performing box jumps followed up by some atlas stone lifts. Take a look at his box jumps and tell me that he is not explosive and he has not performed an olympic lift since he has been here.

Post comments and let me know what you think.

Why we Deload

I think a good deload week is needed in your training program if you are lifting heavy day in and day out. I like to deload based on feel, but that is because I know my body very well and know when to shut it off. For beginners though I would recommend planning it out in your training roughly every fourth or fifth week. It will help out tremendously with your lifting. It gives you a week long mental and physical break. I also like to deload the week before a contest too. It really sets you up to peak at the show. Here is a sample of one of our deload weeks we like to perform here at Samson S&C.

10/04-10/10 Deload Week
Felt pretty beat, so I decided to deload and really work on form and speed

10/04 Upper Acc.
Push ups-5x15
Pull ups- 3x10
DB Military Press- 3x10 55lbs
Band Pullaparts 100reps
Band Pushdowns 100reps

10/06 Lower Acc.
SSB- 240x5, 260x5, 300x5, 330x3, 350x3
BW Lunges- 10each leg
Kettlebell Swings- 3x10 50lbs
Sprinter situps- 2x10

10/08 Upper Acc.
Log C&P- 140lbsx5x5 Worked on form
Incline DB Press- 65x10, 75x10, 85x10
DB Rows- 60x10, 70x10, 80x10

10/10 Sled Work
Just going to pull the sled around for about 30 minutes.

Added ROM

There are hundreds of ways to tweak an exercise to hit different muscles and to recruit more motor units. Here at Samson we like to add a little more range of motion to our exercises. You can do this with a lot of your exercises. We like to elevate the lead foot when doing reverse lunges or bulgarian split squats. We do stiff leg deadlifts off of a 12" box and deficit deadlifts off of a 2", 4", or 6" mats. This added range of motion may make the exercise a little harder but that allows you to recruit more motor units, which is what you want when it comes to lifting. Here is a video of some deficit deadlifts. The reason for these is to hit the hamstrings and glutes a little harder. This added range of motion will let you work on your weaknesses, such as lagging hamstrings and glutes. Enjoy the video and leave some comments below.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Worlds Strongest Man

As some of you may know the Worlds Strongest Man took place this last week. The results are in and here is how the top three turned out.

Savickas wins WSM 2009

1. Zydrunas Savickas
2. Mariusz Pudzianowski
3. Brian Shaw

This is not official and regardless everyone should watch the show on ESPN anyways. It was an epic battle and it came down to the end for 1st and for 3rd.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Grip it and Rip it!!!

Just wanted to make a quick post about an innovative way to do develop a super strong back and grip. I saw these being used by diesel crew and had to try them out. They really work your grip, back, biceps, and core. Awesome movement and if you get a chance check out for some amazing videos.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tighten Up!

The core is by far the most important part of an athlete’s body. It allows you the stability to make cuts, jump high, throw faster, and hit harder. It is also a much neglected body part in most strength training programs. When it is included it is called functional training and they use wobble boards and buso balls. We have found that a mixture of heavy abs training twice a week with abs circuit training twice a week has done wonders for our athletes. After implementing this into our programs we have guys lifting heavier and running faster. Here is a video of one of our athletes performing an abs circuit with a keg.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Deadlift Technique

I have been getting a lot of questions lately about increasing your deadlift. The first thing I would tell you is to practice your technique. After my next contest I will go on a three week hypertrophy/technique phase of training. If done properly it will give you the most increase in your deadlift. There are a lot of common mistakes when doing a conventional deadlift that we will dispel right now.
1) Jerking the weight up. This will put you in a bad position and will have you start your lift off with a rounded back.
2) Not getting air the correct way. You are supposed to expand your abs and tighten them, not expand your chest.
3) Pull the bar straight up. I see a lot of people fully extend their legs before the bar ever leaves the ground this is a clear sign of weak legs.
Those are the three most common mistakes; here are some things to fix that.
1) You want to pull the tension out of the bar before lifting it.
2) When getting air your stomach should expand not your chest.
3) Pull the bar back and drive your heels into the floor and try to pull through the floor.
Here is a quick tutorial on what I am talking about. I hope you can learn something to help you perform better. Feel free to ask any questions and post some comments.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tour the Facility

We are just about done with everything and we are expecting our new equipment within the month. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Today was a huge day for Samson S&C. We had three of our triathletes go down to Miami and dominate the Key Biscayne Trilogy Triathlon today. Mike Montgomery, Rick and Susan Weidner have been training with us for the last two months and have really made some excellent gains. Rick was shooting for finishing in 1hr and 30min and he finished in 1hr and 24min, great job today. His wife Susan was shooting for 1hr and 40min and finished in 1hr and 30min, another great job. Mike was shooting for 1hr and 1min and managed 1hr and 23secs and took home fifth place. Congrats to those three athletes and we expect much more from them in the near future. Now sit back and enjoy some football and your family.

Here is some of their training that got them to be where they are today.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Football Power

It is football season and all my athletes are cleating up and hitting the field. It is an awesome feeling to see your guys out there busting their butts on the field and making a name for themselves. These are the same ones who never miss a workout and come to train hard everyday. I find that the worst thing you can have at your gym is someone who complains about everything. These are the same people who need you to hold their hand through the entire workout and can not motivate themselves. These people will pollute your gym and ruin your reputation. There comes a time when you have to put the money aside and say enough is enough. This is when I tell them this gym is not the place for you and send them on their way. Sorry about that little rant, now on to my football players preparing for an Elite Combine next year. Here is a video of one player performing a Max Effort Upper Body day, check it out.

Now normally I would not have any of my football players perform heavy push presses, because you do not want to beat up their shoulders any more than necessary. With this football player, his season was over a year ago and he has already graduated, so there is no football for him in the foreseeable future. He came to me to prepare him for a combine in May and he is an experienced lifter with no shoulder problems. He has also been with us for a while, so with all that being said we feel comfortable going on a three week wave of push presses.

P.S. I learned the triceps death from Joe Defranco when I went up there to train it is a great way to build up triceps strength and endurance.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Max Effort Lower Body

Like I have said numerous times on this blog we like to do a conjugated periodization protocol for everyone in our program including my self. This consists of a max effort upper and lower body and a dynamic/repetition upper and lower body days. We will go from training 3 to 5 days a week depending on how close the upcoming season is. Here is a video of me and some football guys doing some serious Max Effort work check it out.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dynamic Upper Body

About a week ago I posted an article on dynamic effort for lower body. Today we move onto dynamic effort upper body. Dynamic lifts are using submaximal weights and lifting them as fast as possible. We like to do that using accommodated resistance with chains and bands for the bench press and log presses. Our athletes also perform plyometrics on dynamic days such as med ball tosses, partner tire pushes, sledge hammer chops, overhand med ball throws, and plyometric push ups. This is the wave we set up for upper body days.

Week 1: Ballistic Bench w/ mini bands 50% of 1RM- 6x3
Week 2: Ballistic Bench w/ mini bands 55% of 1RM- 6x3
Week 3: Ballistic Bench w/ mini bands 60% of 1RM- 6x3
Week 1: Med ball Slams - 10x5
Week 2: Plyo Push ups- 10x3
Week 3: Partner Tire Pushes- 10x1

Here is some Samson Athletes performing ballistic bench with a mini band and some med ball slams with 20lbs.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Facility

Here are a few pictures of the new facility. We will have new equipment shipped throughtout the next month. I will post more pics when everything is set up.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Accommodated Resistance

Accommodated resistance is a great way to improve on your lockout strength and overall strength. It allows the athlete to lift heavier weights at the top of the lift. This works with the athlete’s natural strength curve. When the weight is at the eccentric portion or the part where the athlete is the weakest, the weight is at its lightest. On the concentric portion of the lift the weight starts to increase until it is at its max weight at the top of the lift or where the athlete is at their strongest. You can use bands or chains for the accommodated resistance. This is only used by our advanced athletes, this is not for everyone. Check out this deadlift video using chains for my resistance.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bodyweight Progressions

A lot of the athletes we get are pretty weak when they first arrive. Some can barely do a pull-up. There are certain bodyweight progressions they can go through to build that up instead of doing 10 sets of 1 jumping pull-ups. We have our athletes perform inverted rows and bodyweight scarecrows to really improve their upper back strength. Here is a video demonstrating those two movements.

The inverted row with feet elevated is a progression from feet down. Once they get strong at that we can add weight to it with chains or a weight vest.
The scarecrows shown are being performed with 40lbs of weight and are an advanced version of the bodyweight scarecrow.

P.S. Pictures of the new building will be up today and weights will be moved in.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It is all about Technique

I am always looking to bring my game to the next level, so I am always after new techniques to improve. I found this great video showing proper technique on the log press. Watch it and see your numbers increase tremendously.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bigger and Better

As of tomorrow I will be purchasing a 2500sqft warehouse. I will be posting pictures and videos of the place. It is a huge move for the business and we are excited to say the least. It is time to bring this gym to the next level. Are you ready to bring your game to the next level? If you are ready then sign up and get ready for your monsterous transformation.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Get Up

Building maximal strength and hypertrophy is a staple in our programs. We also harp on building explosive strength and athleticism in our athletes. We incorporate an upper and lower body dynamic day. Dynamic lifts are using submaximal weights and lifting them as fast as possible. We like to do that using accommodated resistance with chains and bands. Our athletes also perform plyometrics on dynamic days such as box jumps, broad jumps, and vertical jumps. We like to break these up into three week waves. It would look something like this:

Week 1: Squat w/ bands 45% of 1RM- 8x2
Week 2: Squat w/ bands 50% of 1RM- 8x2
Week 3: Squat w/ bands 55% of 1RM- 8x2
Week 1: Broad Jump- 10x1
Week 2: Box Jump- 10x1
Week 3: Squat into Box Jump- 10x1

We will continue to do waves like this with all kinds of variations. Here are some athletes performing plyometrics.

Squat into Box Jumps

50" Box Jumps

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sport Specific Conditioning

Football season is fast approaching, so it got me thinking. How the high school football teams are training these days? I took a drive down to my old school and sat in on a conditioning practice. I was absolutely blown away at the drills they were and were not doing. At the beginning of practice the coaches had the kids do a 1 mile timed run. After practice is done they performed 300yd shuttles. In the game of football most plays last on average 4 to 6 seconds, so why have your players do monotonous distance training for a sport that lasts 4 to 6 seconds. The best conditioning drills for football is playing the actual game. Having your players run routes or doing specific drills geared for football. I have my athletes in the offseason run tempo runs and 6 to 10 second prowler pushes with 25 second rest to mimic the game clock. Here is another conditioning drill that I performed at Defrancos Gym with his NFL crew.

The sprint only last 4 to 5 seconds with about 30 seconds rest in between. We did about ten of these for conditioning. Now if guys in the NFL are doing these types of drills why do high school coaches think it is best to do 1 mile timed test to condition. Because they did it in school so it must be right. Do your research and help improve your player’s performance not hinder it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pressing Power

In order to make your bench press go up you have to factor in a lot of things. Form is a major one, motor unit recruitment, triceps, shoulder, and chest strength are also invaluable for a strong press. Here is one of Samson's football players performing 2 Board Presses to bring up his triceps strength.

He went close grip on those as well to really put emphasis on his triceps. This is a major weakness of his that we will continue to make strong. I will keep you posted on his gains on and off the field.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grip Strength

As many of you know who read this blog, I was having problems with my grip. It gave out on me in my 13th rep of deadlifting at my last show. Well I have been working on it and these are the exercises I have found to be the most useful. First off is the actual deadlift it is phenomenal for building a good grip. Hex holds and Captains of Crush are also very valuable. High rep shrugs and DB rows not only kill your grip but they also fry your back and traps. Here is a video of me doing some plate pinches with the stone trainer. 115lbs for 5 sets of time.

Remember to have the smooth side facing out on both sides.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Smashing PR's

Deadlifting today for a new one rep max and set a new PR. Once I put some more weight on and perfect my form I will be smashing 600lbs real soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tricep Strength

A key ingredient to a strong bench or OHP is strong triceps. There are many ways to build them up but I have found that basic dips are a good foundation. The variation I like to use is weighted dips with chains. This is something you have to progress up too, so do not try them right off the bat. Check them out.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Building a Big Back

Today was my event training day. I performed 700lbs tire flips, Atlas stone lifts up to 280lbs, hand over hand prowler pulls, and finally prowler pushes.
The hand over hand pulls are a killer exercise that builds a strong back, grip, biceps, and core. It will also kick your butt if you are not in good shape. It is a great movement to incorporate into any program. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pressing Time

Doing some log presses in preparation for the upcoming show.

Than I hit some floor presses with chains.

Leave some comments let know what type of stuff you want me to post up.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Worked up to a 3 rep max today on deadlifts. Then hit some Box Squats and Zercher Squats. I finished it up with Farmers Walks and Heavy Banded Abs.

Leave comments and let me know what you think.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Yesterday Samsons own Mike Montgomery shatters his previous best time in the Key Biscayne Triathlon by three minutes and thirty seconds in just four weeks of working with me. We managed to lower his resting heart rate 7 beats per minute and drop over 3% body fat. Next up for him is the Miamiman 1/2 Ironman.

Strongman Training

The events for my next show were just posted and look like this.
Log Press for 60secs
Deadlift Medley
Tire Flip/Sled Push
Hand over hand sled pull
Famers Walk
Atlas Stone Load
Here is a video of me doing some event training this past weekend.

Post comments let me know what you think.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Doing Work

Samson athlete preparing for the 1/2 Ironman in November and getting ready for the police academy. Check him out getting after it today.

I would not recommend trying to out run this police officer.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Explosive Power

The dynamic effort method is something we like to incorporate into our training programs here at Samson S&C. The dynamic effort method is the lifting of sub maximal weights as fast as humanly possible. We like to use alot of plyometrics to achieve this but we also incorporate some 1 arm DB snatches. This helps our athletes become super explosive and creates alot of power in thier hips and glutes. Here is one of our football players performing some 1 arm DB snatches, just 7 months after ACL surgery.


Samson Strength and Conditioning

Upper Body Strength Training
Lower Body Strength Training
Speed & Agility Training
Plyometric Training
Strongman Training
NFL Combine Preparation
High School Combine Preparation
Police, Fireman, Military Training
On-site seminars
Powerlifting Training

Bottom line is we help athletes become bigger, stronger, and faster. Come check us out and prepare to go to the next level.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tri Training

Here is a circuit workout performed by two of my triathletes.
Push Ups x 15
Walking Lunges x 12 Keg
Seated cleans x8 15lbs
Pull Ups x 6
Hammer Hits x 60 seconds
Burpees x 12
Ball tosses x 12
Box Jumps x 10
Repeated circuit 3x Mike 145bpm rest/ Randy 140bpm rest

Monday, August 3, 2009

Friday is the Day

Friday the gym opens and the people will come in normal and leave as freaks of nature.
Here is a poem that I stumbled across on the internet...

Down this road, in a gym far away,
a young man was heard to say,
"No matter what i do, my legs won't grow."
He tried leg extensions, leg curls, and leg presses, too
trying to cheat, these sissy workouts he'd do.

From the corner of the gym where the big men train,
through a cloud of chalk and the midst of pain,
where the noise is made with big forty-fives,
a deep voice bellowed as he wrapped his knees,
a very big man with legs like trees.

Laughing as he snatched another plate from the stack,
chalking his hands and monstrous back,
said, "Boy, stop lying and don't say you've forgotten,
the trouble with you is you ain't been SQUATTIN'."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Big Day Tomorrow

We are finally moving and I am relieved. I will have new videos and posts up for you real soon. I also start my training for my next show in November on Monday. I will keep you posted on training and diet.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

MMA Strength

Q: Hey coach, my name is Jason and I have been training MMA for about 6 months and I have been feeling really fatigued lately. I think I am overtraining I practice MMA 5-6 days a week a lift 4 times. I was wondering what you have your MMA athletes do for strength training.

A: Jason,
Not knowing your diet or having trained you before it is hard for me to tell you what is going on. It defiantly sounds like overtraining. Remember the best way to get better at your sport is to actually do it, so I would continue to train your sport 5-6 days a week. I would cut your strength training down to two days a week.
This is a base template I like to use for my MMA and wrestlers while in-season,
you can plug in what you need. You mainly want to work on bring up your weaknesses. You want to separate them by about 3 days Ex. Monday and again on Thursday. Just choose one out of these and rotate every 2 weeks.


Plyometrics- 8 sets of 1-3
Box Jump
Split Lunge Jump
Depth Jump into Broad Jump
Box squat into box jump
Depth jumps (onto box)
Light tire flips

ME Upper Body movement- Work up to a 3-5 rep max
Weighted Chin-ups or Pull-ups (alternate grips)
V-grip rows
Flexed arm hang for time (vary all 3 grips / add weight if necessary)

Posterior chain lower body movement- 3 sets 10-12 reps
45-degree hyperextensions
Glute-ham raises
Romanian deadlift
Forward sled dragging, upright posture (3 sets of 30 yards)
Kettelbell swings

DB press variation- 3-4 sets 10-15 reps
Flat DB bench press (palms in or out)
Military DB Press
Incline DB bench press (palms in or out)
DB floor press (palms in)
Push-ups (wearing weighted vest, bands, or chains)

Lat/Upper back superset Group 1 and 2- 3 sets 12-15 reps
Lat pulldowns (various bars)
Kroc rows
Barbell rows
Seated cable rows (various bars fat bar rec.)
Grappler rows
Renegade Rows

Group 2
Rear delt flyes
Face pulls
Seated DB cleans
Band pull-aparts
Band walk aparts

Abs circuit 15-20 reps 3-4 sets of 3-4 exercises per set


ME Lower Body Movement- Work up to a 3-5 rep max
Box squats (various Bars)
Free squats (Various Bars)
Front Squats
Straight bar deadlifts
Trap Bar deadlifts
Tire flip
Stone Load

Rep Upper Body movement 3 sets 10-20 reps
Push-up variations
Chin-up variations
Log Press

Unilateral lower body movement-2-3 sets 6-8 reps
(keep reps low and weight moderate, it will save your legs)
Bulgarian split squats
Barbell reverse lunge
Walking lunge
Zecher Lunge
Step-ups (box height slightly above knee)

Shrug variation super-setted with rear delt movement- 3-4 sets 8-12 reps
Group 1
DB shrugs
Barbell shrugs
Chaos Shrugs
Farmer Walk Shrugs

Rear delt flyes
Face pulls
Seated DB Cleans
Band pull-aparts
Grip training- Usually some kind of grip medley 3-5 exercises 2-3 sets

Heavy Abs- 5 sets 10-15 reps

Friday, July 24, 2009

Moving to a New Location

I am in the process of moving my family and gym. I will have new videos up and some new posts after the move. I will be located in Port St. Lucie Florida. Contact me if you want to train or if you have a question. Take care and Lift Strong.


If you are coming from I-95 South take exit 121 and head west until you reach a roundabout and take 1st exit onto COMMERCE CENTER PKWY. Go 2.8 miles on COMMERCE CENTER PKWY and make a left onto NW SETTLE AVE. Enter the second industrial warehouse and look for bay B-8.

If you are coming from US-1, jump onto PRIMA VISTA BLVD and head west until you reach a roundabout and take 1st exit onto COMMERCE CENTER PKWY. Go 2.8 miles on COMMERCE CENTER PKWY and make a left onto NW SETTLE AVE. Enter the second industrial warehouse and look for bay B-8.

If you are coming from I-95 North take exit 126 and head east until you reach GLADES RD and then turn right at GLADES RD. You will make a left onto COMMERCE CENTRE DR then follow that until it turns into COMMERCE CENTER PKWY and make a right onto NW SETTLE AVE. Enter the second industrial warehouse on the left and look for bay B-8.

Samson Strength & Conditioning LLC.
2127-2131 NW Settle Ave
Port St Lucie, FL 34986-3228

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Separate From the Pack

This is the story of how I got to where I am today:

After serving four years in the Marine Corps and one tour to Iraq I was finally done. I served my country valiantly and fought for my freedom. I said to myself it is time to let loose, so I did exactly that. Five months and thirty pounds of fat later I was a mess. I became another statistic, another face in the crowd. I was one of the sixty plus percent of overweight people in this world.

This was something I thought would never happen to me. I was raised to standout from the crowd and excel in life. I let myself, my family, and more specifically my wife and kids down. I took a good long look in the mirror on August 12, 2008 and knew it was time for a change. On that day I took my life in to my hands and decided to make numerous changes. First one was to set a goal and than pick a date to do this in. I enlisted the help of Elitefts own Shelby Starnes and expressed to him my concerns and disappointments. I told him my goal was to get down to single digit body fat and wanted it done in three months. It was a long a grueling process but I knew it had to be done. I had to take myself out of the majority column and into the minority one. Three months later my goal was met and man did it empower me to achieve more.

Still after all this there was something inside me that said do more, be the best. I decided again that this was not good enough for me. I needed something bigger something more fulfilling. So I set my sights on a strongman contest sometime in July of 2009. This gave me eight months to transform myself into a strongman competitor. I knew this would give me enough time to prepare mentally and physically. I set up my template to focus on my weak points while continuing to build on my strong ones. My template was pretty basic because I did not know what to expect at a competition.

I continued to do carb rotation and managed the micros and macros myself. Training days I consumed a healthy 3600 calories and on the low days I consumed 2800 calories. I monitored my weight and made adjustments as I continued to progress. I was not worried about putting on 30lbs of muscle and increasing my deadlift by 100lbs. That is impossible to do in the short amount of time provided to obtain my goal. I knew if I stuck to my plan and made small improvements than I would be fine.

Day in and day out I was in a zone. All I could focus on was getting in the gym setting PRs and crushing the competition. Slowly but surely I was putting on some good size and strength. I could not be deterred from my goal and I would not let anything or one get in my way. Finals week in school no problem, neighbors complaining about the noise I did not care. They were the statistic I once was and will never be again. I was obsessed with being the best; I would read any and all books related to strength and performance to hone my skills. I had to learn from the best so; I took a trip up to New Jersey to train at Defrancos. I was there for one week learning from the best and training with his NFL crew. This was an experience that will affect the way I do things for the rest of my life. I loved the feeling of being a rare breed and I wanted more. I continued to set goals and plan my life around the steel. I opened my own gym and am finishing up my degree in exercise science all while continuing to pound the weights and achieve my goal.
The day finally came and a date was set July 18, 2009 the 3rd Annual SW Florida Strongman Show. I competed in the novice division with ten other strongmen. I knew I had my work cut out for me. I was undersized in an open weight class and these guys were on the same path as I was. First up log press 215 for reps in 60sec. Game time, I push out 12 reps and thought maybe I should have tried this before the contest. Second event was the axle deadlift 405lbs for reps in 60sec. I knew this would be my event I blast out 13 reps then my grip gives out. Third event was an 18lbs crucifix hold in each hand. I held it for 1min and 7sec. Going into the atlas stones I was in second place and had to set the time to beat. Just before the judge said go all I could think about was becoming one of the elite and separating my self from the pack. First stone was 200lbs and it goes up like a pillow while the second, third, fourth, and fifth do the same. First time ever touching stones and I lifted 200, 220, 240, 260, and 280lbs like they were my 33lbs three year old daughter. Finished in 15 seconds and waited patiently as the guy in first went. He struggled with them and I knew that right than and there it was mine for the taking. It was time to fulfill the life I was born to live I was separating myself from society from the pack. The scores were in and as they called out my name and everybody cheered for me the guy who took first place I knew my life would never be the same.

I was amazed at the feeling I got when they called my name. That was the validation I needed, that was the separation I desired. That fed me for about two minutes and than I wanted more. Now I am on a journey to turn pro and I will not stop until I get it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Building A Template

Before anything you decide to do, you should have goals set to help you accomplish this task. I have my eyes set on another competition in November and after this last contest I realized some things:
1. I need to work on my grip, because I had more deadlifts in the
rest of my body but not in my grip.
2. I need to work on leg drive for my logs.
3. Build some stones and use them, already working on this one.
4. Put on some weight.
5. Get stronger.
So I will base my training around those things and create a template to improve my weaknesses and build my strengths. So here goes...

Mon: Max Effort Over Head Press 1-5RM
Heavy Triceps 3-5sets 6-10reps
Back 3-5sets 10-15reps
Triceps Finisher 3sets 25-50reps
Circuit Abs 3sets 10-15reps

Tues: Max Effort Deadlifts 1-5Rm
Squat Variation 5-7sets 6-10reps
Grip 5sets of random exercises
Traps 5sets 10-20reps

Weds: OFF

Thurs: Dynamic Upper Body/Heavy Back
Upper Body Plyometrics 10sets 3reps
Back 4-6sets 3-10reps
Triceps 3-4sets 8-12reps
Biceps 3-4sets 8-12reps
Heavy Abs 5sets 8-10reps

Fri: OFF

Sat: Events Training
Will consists of 3-4 events, specifically the ones in my next contest.

Sun: OFF

This template is made as broad as can be. I do this so you can see what a base template looks like for me. I am not subscribing this to anyone, but you can use this same template and cut out my weaknesses and add yours to have an effective base template.

My diet will consist of carb cycling. High carb days will be on training days and low carb days on my off days. Training days I will consume a healthy 4000 calories and on the low days I will consume 2800 calories. I will monitor my weight and make adjustments as I go. I am starting off at 215lbs.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gotta have Heart

There are several elements I have to deal with day in and day out when it comes to training athletes. The one thing though I never deal with is lack of heart and dedication. These athletes give it all they have day in and day out, after their 9 to 5 jobs. Genetics can only take you so far, you have to work hard to accomplish the goals you desire. I had two triathletes compete yesterday in the Key Biscayne Trilogy. It consisted of a .25mile swim, 8mile bike, and 3.1mile run. This is a sport where you are all by yourself. There is no team to compensate for your mistakes. It takes alot of HEART to get through these grueling events. Here is a video of one of my athletes competing in the triathlon.

My wife was the other competitor and she finished in 1:10:34.
The next journey for these two athletes is a half ironman in November located in Miami, Florida. I will post there training leading up to this event.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

First Show...First Place

It was a very good day out in the Florida heat. I competed in the novice division with 8 other competitors. It was by far the most competitive division out there. The show was well put together by Alligators Bar & Grill and the emcee Dave Beers was great as well. Thanks to everyone for all the support. Here is a video of my day in Fort Myers:

P.S. I had two triathletes competing in a competition today. I will post some video of the race later on. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Show Time

As you know my first show is tomorrow, so this got me thinking of a question I get all the time. What should I do the weeks leading up to my show? The way I designed my program is to peak at the show not in a training session. Two weeks out I will set my rep percentages at 90% for my main lifts of the week and hit 1 easy rep. This will let you know were you are at going into the show. I keep the reps and sets of my accessory work around 3 sets 10-12 reps low intensity and moderate volume. The week leading up to the show I do absolutely nothing in the weight room. The best piece of advice I have ever recieved is that you will not lose any strength in a week. I do some walking, stretching, and foam rolling. After a week of rest you should be itching to lift something heavy.

P.S. I will have a video and full report of the show this weekend, so stay tuned.

P.P.S. What did you do today?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Strongman Show

I have my first show this weekend in Fort Myers, Fl. I will be posting a video of the show and the results on Sunday. Than I have two of my athletes competing in a sprint triathlon. I will be posting there workouts along with mine and a few of my football players who are getting ready for an elite combine. If there are any questions feel free to email me.

Welcome to my Journey

My name is Tony Montgomery and this is Samson S&C. I will be providing you with information on sports performance, nutrition, rehab, and many other things. This is old school, hard nosed training, there is absolutely no fluff in what I do. I focus my training on a conjugated method to build strong, fast, and explosive athletes. Follow me on my journey to become a pro strongman and to build the biggest bunch of freak athletes on the planet.