This is an AMAZING core exercise for developing power for punching, kicking and running.
The BrinkZone Avenger sets a new standard in push sled function and design.
Anyone who’s followed my articles and numerous vids has probably figured out by now that I love push sleds. After working with people and groups ranging from SWAT teams, fitness models, strong man competitors, body builders, IFBB pro Figure competitors, to Joe/Jane every day fitness enthusiast, it should be readily apparent I think push sleds are the bombe.
I’m far from alone on that assessment, as many of the best known and highly respected Strength & Conditioning coaches, such as Joe DeFranco, Jim Wendler, and Mike Boyle, to name a few, consider sled training an invaluable tool regardless of the athlete or the goal. The longer I use sleds with an ever wider variety of people with varying goals, the more convinced I became that the push sled is the single most effective strength and conditioning tool known to mankind. Push sleds have become very popular as of late, and for damn good reason; they work like no other tool in existence in my estimation. I like sleds so much as an overall strength & conditioning tool I developed an entire program around the sled and dedicated FaceBook page to them, but more on that later. If you’re a regular user of push sleds, you don’t require any convincing from me on how effective a training tool they are.
‘Till now, there’s only been two major options in sleds: a full sized heavy duty push sled for maximal training benefits, or smaller lighter sleds that are easy to transport, but fall well short of the training benefits of the full sized push sleds. The only major drawback of the full sized heavy duty push sled is the fact they’re difficult to transport and store. Unless you have an SUV or pick up truck, they are difficult to virtually impossible to easily transport from your house to the gym, or to the park, or other locations you want to do your sled work, until now…
Enter the BrinkZone Avenger by Slayer Barbell.
Even if you have the ability to transport your big ol’ push sled, they still take up a lot of space in your home or facility. In my discussions with people as to why they didn’t own a “real” push sled, even though aware of their many benefits, being unable to transport them and or store them was the major reason preventing them from owning one. Thus, the concept for the BrinkZone Avenger Sled was born, which offers all the benefits of a heavy duty commercial grade push the ease of transportation and storage of smaller lighter products. Watch how easily and quickly I can assemble the Avenger sled without any tools:
Whether you are a serious athlete seeking improved sports performance or a casual weekend warrior crushing cathartic heavy deadlifts, most veteran gym goers understand that the iron game is a long term investment. The key to success is accumulating hours of consistent quality stimulation over a long period of time.
A serious impediment to obtaining this aforementioned goal is suboptimal tissue quality and impaired movement. In recent years, self myofascial release and foam rolling have swept the strength training community as a means to ameliorate these deficits. Although the science regarding foam rolling remains a contentious issue, many practitioners and athletes consider the practice a staple of proper recovery. Although this article will not discuss the background and science of foam rolling, as the Brink Zone includes innumerable resources concerning the topic, it will instead introduce a new potent tool for your extensive recovery arsenal.
Time to get Buff
One day during a training session, a good friend of mine revealed a car buffer from his training bag. Although I started laughing, as it was typical for this avid engineer to regularly carry spare tools. What did surprise me however, was when he instructed me to apply the device to my adductors. At first I was skeptical, but with some enticing I positioned my foot upon a bench and began to buff the inner portions of my leg. Fighting the urge to pull away, I was instantly stunned by the precise intensity of the pressure. Despite its common use as a car polisher, the newly repurposed tool now functioned as a Brookstone massage wand on steroids. After a few concentrated strokes across the length of my adductors, I instantly experienced relief. My friend began to smile as he realized my astonished delight and subsequent excitement. Soon I was buffing my pecs, traps, quads, calves, and any other area that I could reach. It appeared that this tool provided an enhanced self myofascial release in a fraction of the time. Before I could recommend the tool to my fellow friends and clients I decided to experiment for a month. The results were absolutely tremendous and I expressed to my friend the possibility of marketing a new product. Together we began to research and soon discovered that similar to many other fitness “discoveries,” we were not truly original in our self massage epiphanies.
It appears that Clint Darden and Brett Summers had discovered the massage technique years ago but were largely unnoticed. Their original article can be read here. In relation to introductory self myofascial release techniques, this guide can be viewed in conjunction with Mike Robertson’s PDF here for added completeness.
Creatine is one of the few dietary supplements that have a very solid scientific support for its efficacy in increasing strength, explosive performance and muscle mass. So the question in not whether it is effective, but rather how to supplement it to reap maximal effectiveness?
There are several theories on how to take creatine; some say you should load and then lower the dose to maintenance, while others say you can get good results by a constant low dosage regimen without loading. Yet others say you should cycle the creatine and take breaks from it in between cycles. And then we have the issue of dosages and how to ingest it. In addition, there is a lot of confusion about the myriad for creatine forms that claim to be superior over the gold standard creatine monohydrate – the form that was used in research which proved its efficacy. Are the new fancy creatine-super-duper formulations really worth their price? Let’s tackle all theses creatine issues here…
Yes, some people are non responders to exercise while some are “super” responders. A recent study looked at 1000 people put on the same exercise program. The results, which I discuss in this vid, may shock you!
This is a very interesting area of research. We all know people who do the same exercise as we do, yet either don’t seem to benefit much, or benefit far more than we might expect. Having trained hundreds at this point and or communicated with many thousands more, I have seen that first hand.
The Triceps are no pushover…they need serious workload to build substantial mass and strength. They can take a beating and kickbacks just won’t cut it. If you want big, strong arms, you need to press, and you need to press HEAVY.
That’s where this exercise comes into play…it’s a variation of the Close Grip Bench Press, the classic mass-builder for the triceps.
Most twisting ab exercises are TERRIBLE for your lower back…seriously. Any oblique work you get out of them is offset by the potential damage you can do to your spine with a loaded twisting movement.
The deep muscles of the core (the obliques and transverse abdominis) are best worked in an “anti-rotation” capacity…which means working AGAINST that twisting movement that is so damaging to the lower back.
That’s where this exercise comes into play…I call it a 2 Dumbbell Ball Twist, but in reality it’s a ball ANTI-twist.
The Rumble Roller Takes Soft Tissue Work To The The Next level
Like many people, I have my fair share of aches & pains, tight muscles, and hard earned small injuries and such. Like many, I have been using a foam roller for soft tissue work or SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release) work to improve sore muscles, tight muscles, and general recoup. I generally do my foam rolling in the morning for 15-20 minutes while the oatmeal cooks and coffee brews. It gets me ready for a day at the computer also. I also use it at the gym before workouts, a few times per week, and I find doing so reduces DOMS. Foam rolling is often referred to as “the poor mans massage therapist.” In terms of time and $$$ spent, it’s a no brainer in terms of benefits you receive. If you’re not using a foam roller regularly, you should be, like starting yesterday!
As time goes on, one notices the standard foam roller not as effective, and or, they start to break down, and a replacement needed. Some seem to last longer than others. Enter the Rumble Roller, which takes foam rolling to another level and seems to last far longer than the standard rollers. I was going to make one of my usual videos talking about the benefits of foam rollers, and why the Rumble Roller superior, but coach Charles Staley – who has some great articles here on the BrinkZone – did such a good job of it, I decided to use his vid on the topic. If interested in more information, I purchased both the standard length and shorter smaller (12″x 5″) travel length HERE
Personally, I prefer the standard (blue) firmness Rumble Roller. Highly recommended if you already use foam rollers, not recommended for those new to foam rolling for soft tissue/SMFR work as the Rumble Roller is very aggressive. Watch coach Staley’s excellent vid on the benefits of foam rolling, and why he likes the Rumble Roller over standard rollers in particular.
This is a VERY simple trick that help you squat without pitching forward and turning the squat into a bad-looking Good Morning.
Most standard weight training exercises operate in an up and down, forward and back plane of movement. But that leaves out the very important lateral component…and if you play any sports that require movement left or right you NEED to target those movement patterns as well.
That’s what this exercise does.