Monday, September 20, 2010

The IPT Blog has moved

This blog can now be seen at

Thanks for the support!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Featured Recipe: Veggie Fajitas

Sauté the peppers onion and garlic in olive oil, top with cilantro, cherrie tomatoes, and salsa of choice. Guacamole- 2 large ripe avacados, one small-med tomato diced, diced onion as desired, juice from one small lime, tablespoon minced garlic, salt, pepper, and cilantro to taste.

Modifications- add veggie meat or black beans and rice, quinoa with taco seasoning would also be nice, daiya cheese, jalapenos for those that like some spice.


Friday, September 10, 2010

This is Amazing

I want to hang out with this guy. I would buy him endless amounts of beer to perform tricks for me on demand.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

:30/:20 Finisher

Nothing fancy today... just hard work at the end of a training session. We did this for 3 continuous rounds.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Complex Training

When I think sport, I think strength and power. I hate the term "sport specific" but when I sport specificity I think complexing. A complex is when you pair two exercises together, a strength exercise followed by a power exercise of the same movement pattern. It is a great way to develop some power through a little fatigue. I personally think complexing is one of the greatest methods for training MMA and BJJ athletes. There are endless variations to complex training but I am partial to few. Here are a couple examples of some complexes that we use at Impact Performance Training.

TRX Inverted Row/Rope Slam Complex:

Single Leg Squat/TRX Single Leg Hop Complex:

On a side note.... We are now doing our single leg squats in the fashion above. We hold Kettlebells in the racked position rather than reaching out with dumbbells. It's a bit harder this way so you will have to adjust to lower weights. If the KB's get too heavy we combo with a weight vest.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Featured Exercise: TRX Prone Reach

This is another great anti-rotation exercise on the TRX. The key here is that your hip stay stable as if a glass of beer is sitting on your low back.... don't spill the beer! Allow the TRX rest the shoulder of the stabilizing arm (unless you are looking to create more of a demand for shoulder stability. If so, proceed with caution as it is very unstable). You can make it more challenging by coming further under the anchor point or by changing the width of your feet. The closer your feet are together the harder it is. But remember... don't spill the beer.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coach Dos' New Cardio Strength Training 2 DVD Set

My good friend Robert Dos Remedios just released a new 2 DVD set and as always it is content rich. This 2 DVD set contains almost 3 1/3 hours of footage! Coach Dos’ highly acclaimed CST lecture and hands-on presentation that he gave at the 2010 Perform Better Summit in Long Beach, CA. Also included are all of his lecture slides PLUS 9 snatches and beer interviews with some of the biggest and best in the fitness biz! Lastly, we have packed in 11 amazing, real-time metabolic training sessions!

To celebrate the release of this long-anticipated DVD set type in “dirty30″ in the ‘coupon code’ area to receive a 30% discount (a $24 savings!) off the $79.95 price. This coupon will be valid for ONE WEEK ONLY (until Sunday Sept. 5, 2010).

Order your copy here


Featured Recipe: Walnut and Bean Patties

Many of you may or may not know that I am a vegan. Yes.... I lift weights, I am a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and I am a vegan. Some of you are probably thinking that is a weird combination but to me it is a perfect combination.

I receive a good amount of emails from coaches and athletes asking questions about veganism and athletics. The main question is where do you get your protein?? My answer continues to be.... "from everything except dead rotting carcasses and animal secretions" (I stole this from Chris Hannah of Propagandhi). Seriously, the protein thing is silly. You can get more than enough protein from a plant based diet. This post is not going to cover why it is a myth that vegans don't get enough protein. What am going to do is introduce a new entry on vegan recipes. These will mostly be compliments of my wife as she is possibly one of the best vegan cooks I know. Please feel free to give these out to your clients or use them yourself to enjoy the great tastes of a plant based diet.

The down side to these recipes is that my wife cooks on the fly (no pun intended) so many times these recipes are made up on the spot. The upside... they will taste amazing every time!

About 1-2 cups beans or one 15 oz can blended or smashed by hand. A mix of black, kidney, and pinto. About 1/3 Cup finely chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup of diced celery, 1/4cup diced onion, minced garlic, pepper, and salt to taste. Mix in fine bread crumbs as needed until you are able to form patties. Brown in a pan w 2-3 table spoons olive oil. Sage and parsley are also nice to add if desired.

The sauce is called "Miso Mayo". You can pick it up at Wholefoods. It's amazing!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Matt Leech Wins Not One But TWO Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gold Medals

I'm proud to say that my friend (and business partner) Matt Leech did Impact proud and came home with two Gold medals after competing at the IBJJF in Las Vegas. Matt competed in the Senior's medium heavy and open Brown Belt divisions.

Here is Matt doing some work with a 20 sec armbar....


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Featured Exercise: TRX Stir the Pot

This is a fantastic exercise that Chris Frankel from Fitness Anywhere came up with. We use this in our Anti-rotation progression. It is different than Stu McGill's stir the pot exercise on the stability ball but the name is still fitting.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Interview and New Site at

My good friend Robert Dos Remedios, better known as Coach Dos has a new 'Member only' premium site. This website is rockin'! It is chalk full of workouts, an extensive exercise library, interviews with fitness pros and much more. Seriously do yourself a favor and check it out. Coach Dos just released an interview with me from one of his "Snatches and Beer" segments. I will be honest.... we were both a bit tipsy from some great Oregon brews during the interview. Its definitely a funny interview. Here is a sneak peak of the site.....

Check it out!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More on Training the MMA Athlete

While most sports have a pre-season, in-season, and off-season; MMA does not. Yes you do have training camps before fights where training ramps up and becomes a bit more intense, for the most part you are basically in-season all year round. This often brings up the question "how often should an MMA athlete strength train"? There are several variables to consider here but I would not recommend an MMA athlete strength training more than 3 days per week. Any more than that I would guarantee over training and not only would you sacrifice strength gains but your skill training would diminish also. For most, a three day total body program is going to lend itself the best training results. For some athletes that need more recovery or we need to back of on intensity we will do an upper body/lower body/total body split. This offers more recovery as it is less stressful on the CNS.

The thing I can never relay to coaches about training MMA is the ability to adapt to these athletes at any specific moment. This is the artist part of coaching these athletes and I believe only comes from time and/or actually participating in the sport. What I mean is, you can have a great plan for the day but if that athlete has taken too many leg kicks, is exhausted from 5 straight days of skill training, has a sore back from being stacked up in guard bottom over and over again, etc., your plan can quickly go to the garbage can. These are serious considerations to take into account and require good communication between the coach and the athlete.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Reactive Pendullum

This is a reactive core exercise we use with some of our MMA guys. By reactive I mean that they have respond to the coaches order to stabilize without knowing when the coach will call it out. This is to mimic the unpredictable nature of MMA.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TRX Warm Up

I know! You can't believe it right?!?!?! I am actually blogging. After getting hell from several people at the Perform Better Summit in Providence this past weekend, I figured I should work a bit harder to schedule time to update this blog. All I have today is a great warm up that we do at Impact Performance Training with the TRX. Try it out. I think you'll like it.....


Friday, January 29, 2010

Dan John.... Inspiration

Listening to Dan John speak or reading his book offers several ah-ha moments along with some inspiration. I can't say enough about his book 'Never Let Go'..... I couldn't put it down when I read it. Fantastic quotes like "the goal is to keep the goal the goal" and "if it's important, do it everyday" are now being regurgitated back to my clients and athletes. With that said, hear are some exercises I have picked up from Dan. We are implementing these constantly and I feel dumb for not using them before.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beware of the TRX Imposters!

As you know I am a fan of the TRX suspension trainer. Sadly there is a group making fake TRX's that are low quality and will break on you. These are being sold for about $70 on ebay and such sites. Here is how you can tell if your TRX is one of the fake ones: Is you TRX a fake one?


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Featured Exercise: TRX Rollout Progression

The trick here is to use the pendulum effect as resistance. You can start behind the anchor point of the TRX to make it easier or move past the anchor point to create a more challenging progression.


Friday, December 11, 2009

TRX Core Training for Mixed Martial Arts

Here is an article I wrote for Fitness Anywhere a couple months ago titled "TRX Core Training for Mixed Martial Arts". I am a big fan of the TRX suspension trainer. It is such a versatile piece of equipment that can offer so many great exercises and variations that are not possible on anything else.

Read article here

Fitness Anywhere Video


Thursday, December 10, 2009

MMA Metabolic Circuit

As you know, MMA is a passion of mine. From a sporting demand there is nothing like it. Many people ask how we train mixed martial artist. The truth is we train them very similar to any athlete. What is very different is our conditioning and in particular our use of metabolic circuits. These circuits are specifically designed to incorporate the demands of MMA in a safe but extremely taxing way. The circuit you are about to watch was performed by two MMA athletes, Bryan Torres and Pro Escobedo. We will do 2-5 rounds depending on the fight (title or non-title) and how far out the athlete is from the fight. There is 1 minute rest in between rounds. Take note that this circuit is done at the end of our training after our power and strength work. The circuit consists of:

Airdyne - 20 seconds @ 90 RPM's
TRX Inverted Row - 40 lbs x 10 reps
Med Ball Slam - 6 reps
Walking Lunge - 50 lbs down/back on turf
Power step up - 5 reps each
Plyo Pushup - 10 reps
Rope Circuit: 20 reps each - Double wave, Alt wave, outside circles, side waves, split jump double wave, jumping jack
Airdyne - .3 mile sprint
Shadow box (look light, look fresh)

Rest 1 minute and repeat


New IPT Facility

Things have been very busy at IPT. We just opened our new facility in Newberg, Oregon a few weeks ago. We still have a bit of work to do to the gym but most of the nuts and bolts are in. Here are some action shots:


Monday, September 14, 2009

Featured Exercise: TRX Anterior Core Progression #1 (Planks)

Here is one of our TRX Anterior Core Progressions:

TRX Plank

Coaching Cues:
1. Maintain “pillar” type stability
2. Do not allow excessive arching at the low back
3. Perform a 30 sec hold. Once proficient progress to the next exercise rather than progressing in time

TRX Body Saw

Coaching Cues:
1. Same as above. Perform for reps or time

TRX Body Saw/Knee Tuck

Coaching Cues:
1. Perform the Knee Tuck without rounding the low back

TRX Walk-Outs

Coaching Cues:
1. Same as above. Imagine balancing a glass of water on the hips. This will create an anti-rotation effect for the core

Fitness Anywhere: Make your body your machine.


IPT Blog Featured as one of TOP 50 Exercise Science Blogs

The Health Hut has featured the Impact Performance Training Blog as one (see # 5)of the Top 50 Exercise Science Blogs.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Strength Coach Podcast Interview with Dewey Nielsen

I was recently interviewed by Anthony Renna on the Strength Coach Podcast episode 42. A few things I spoke about were:

** Being "Brilliant at the Basics"
**"Common Mistakes of a Mixed Martial Artist"
**"Considerations and Training for MMA"
**McGill's Pulsing, Iso-Explodes
**Much More...

My portion of the podcast begins at minute 29.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Featured Exercise: Shoulder Elevated Bridge

This is great hip dominant exercise that we never really found efficient ways of loading. We now simply take a jiu-jitsu belt and load two kettlebells in it.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Brilliant at the Basics

What works best for a fighter? Linear or undulating periodization? Kettlebells or dumbbells? Olympic lifts from the floor or hang? What do you do for GPP? What exercises do you use to train pulsing? Did you grow a beard to look more like Ryan Reynolds (has nothing to do with this article but I do get asked that)?

I get questions like these a lot and usually my answer comes down to “it doesn’t matter”. I am not saying that undulating periodization doesn’t work or kettlebells are worthless. What I am saying is these things only matter once you are “Brilliant at the Basics”. You must first understand a few things:

What is strength?

What is endurance?

What is power?

What is power endurance?

What is speed?

What is agility?

What is mobility?

What is anaerobic and aerobic conditioning?
What are all of these things and how should we train them? Where do these components fit into a program? What order should they be trained? And the most important question, “can your athletes lift correctly”? Everything goes out the window if your athletes are performing the program with sloppy technique. What is the point of flipping tires and swinging sledge hammers (neither of which I do) if an athlete can’t squat, lunge or do a pushup with good form?

To say that the strength and conditioning world of MMA is archaic and in the dinosaur age is an understatement. Some of the things I see coaches do with world class fighters are not just uneducated but they are thoughtless, dangerous and irresponsible. MMA is a strange sport. It is one of the few sports I can think of where a professional athlete will hire one of their buddies, an internet guru, or join a fitness cult instead of hiring a professional and educated strength coach. This is something that continues to baffle me. I am very passionate about mixed martial arts and nothing would please me more than to see more educated strength coaches enter into the world of MMA.

The questions above are basic and that’s the point. The thing that separates a novice from and expert is the ability for the expert to perform the basics extremely well. This is the same thing we tell our BJJ/MMA students and coaches. Beginners always want to learn a flying armbar and spinning kick before the basics. The difference between a white belt and a black belt is being “Brilliant at the Basics”. As I grow older and more educated in fitness and martial arts, I constantly become more intrigued by the basics. Does this make me an expert? I don’t know. What I do know is that every year I feel like I know more and less at the same time. And I like that. It is very apparent that the quest of knowledge is never ending. So I guess it is safe to say that my job will never get boring.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Considerations and Training For Mixed Martial Arts

Some of the training methods presented in this article are a continuation of my article, “Common Mistakes of a Mixed Martial Artist” and others are things that I have learned more about or added to my program over the last year. This should expose some training components that make MMA different than other sports and offer some ideas on how to train these athletes.

Iso Explode – Beyond the use of muscle activation, there really isn’t a large need to train isometrics in sports like there is in combative sports. Watch an MMA fight and you will see isometrics everywhere. The most common isometrics are “yielding” and “overcoming”. A yielding isometric is when you are holding a weight and preventing it from moving, while an overcoming isometric is when you are pushing or pulling an immovable object. I have been using isometrics for a long time and even using iso-explodes for a while. But it wasn’t until my friend, Jon Chaimberg, told me he was using them in exercises (beyond what I was already using) that I started to think of where my program would benefit from implementing iso-explodes into additional movement patterns. Here are three exercises that we are implementing with great results.

Keep reading....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Featured Exercise: Inverted Row Progression

To me, progression is the key to everything. I have a progression for every exercise I program. This is how you continually build success in an athlete or client. Here is a nice progression for the Inverted Row. Every single person that walks in the door at IPT will be doing some version of the Inverted Row.... It's just a great exercise.

Obviously, another progression/variation would be adding a weight vest.

I have become a huge fan of the TRX (what the row is being performed on). We used to only use rings but the TRX is far more versitale and more comfortable than the rings. And the best part is that they adjust so fast. If you travel or do any workouts at home, you need a TRX.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Hip Mobility

Hip mobility is important for many different reasons but two trends that you will tend to see with a loss of mobility in the hips are:

1. Low back pain
2. Knee pain

For those two reasons alone it should encourage coaches and trainers to put an emphasis on hip mobility in their program design.

Here are a few things we do at IPT:


These are all performed as static stretches except for the first one which is "active" hip internal/external rotation.

1. Hip Internal/External Rotation (first 2 pictures)
2. Wall Splits
3. Rectus Femoris Stretch
4. Quadruped Piriformis Stretch (read this for a detailed explanation)


This is one I stole from the guys at T4TG. For those of you familiar with 3D stretching, this offers a nice 3D effect to an already great stretch.


This a one from Mike Boyles "joint by joint" DVD.


The Cook Squat 2 is the progression as raising the arms overhead lengthens the tissue through the body requiring more flexibilty.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Learn More

"I don't have the time to travel".

This is the most common excuse that a trainer or coach gives for the fact that they don't continue their education. Personally, I think it's a lame excuse. Anthony Renna has now made it impossible for anyone to use that excuse. Anthony recently started It is the BEST Collection of Presentations from The World's TOP Strength Coaches, Physical Therapists and Personal Trainers, All in One Place!! Seriously, you can watch these presentations without having to travel and in the comfort of your own home. As Anthony says, "You can watch them in your tightie whities and no one will know". If you are not continuing your education and always striving to learn more, you are in the wrong profession.... do your clients a favor and refer them to someone else.

You have no excuses left....

click me


Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Few Reasons You Are Not Losing Fat

1. Your a closet eater: Does somebody have a little secret? Come on, fess up. It's time to come out of the closet..... seriously!! Come clean!! Your only lying to yourself.

This is not what I mean by closet eater

Okay, quit giggling.... Lets move on. It's the most basic rule in the game of weight loss and weight gain. If you want to lose weight, you MUST be in an energy deficit. In you want to gain weight, you MUST be in an energy surplus. Too many people are hiding in the closet and consuming far too many calories than they should for the goal of fat loss. Here are a couple things you have not been counting.....

Fruit juice - But fruit is good for you, right? Absolutely!! But eat it, don't drink it.

Alcohol - (holy shit Batman, there is calories in that??). Your excuse may be that you only drink on the weekends. Guess what? All those Porters you've been slugging down have about 200 calories per beer. Time for Go Go Gadget Dewey to bust out some math:

200 calories x 4 beers Friday night = 800 calories
200 calories x 4 beers Saturday night = 800 calories
800 calories + 800 calories = 1,600 calories

1 pound of fat consists of 3,600 calories. You can do the math from here. I think you see what I'm getting at.

Does this count as one or two beers?

Top that of with the late night alcohol munchies.... You know..... Ice cream, desserts.... Rollos :-)

2. You are lazy at the gym: It will take me a couple tries to guess what you are doing for cardio (stupid word)... The elliptical?? No... The recumbent bike. I am right huh? Why is it that these are the two most used (treadmill a close third) pieces of cardio equipment in most gyms? I will tell you, they are the easiest. It's funny, everybody wants results but most people don't want to work hard. Next time you are in the gym (not IMPACT, you won't see lazy there) check out what people are on. It will be this order of popularity:

Recumbent bike
Treadmill (this may tie with the bike)
Stair stepper
Step mill (this is the hardest in regular gyms... remember, regular gyms don't have Airdyne bikes, sleds, slideboards, ropes, open space to sprint, etc)

You will see people spending 30+ minutes doing steady state aerobics (a waste of time) while watch tv. Then those same people hop of that dreaded cardio equipment and wonder why they still look the same they did 3 years ago when they joined the gym. Hello, McFly!!!!!!

And if your saying, "I don't do any of those things, I do step aerobics (*insert silly group class here*) or work out to FIT tv in the morning". The same goes for you. That's one of the reasons your not getting results. At least not the results you want.

Just a little example of working hard in the gym:

We will do this for 3-5 minutes with 1 minute rest. We will repeat it for 3-5 sets. Heart rates soar!!

3. You are in denial: You don't have enough time to work out, lifting weights makes you bulky, health food tastes bad, you have a thyroid problem (this can be real but it is a very small chance), you have bad genetics. The list goes for days. Stop it!! Get to work.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Planks: Longer or Harder?

How should you challenge yourself more on plakning exercises?? You can do two things. Increase the time or increase the difficulty of the exercise. I prefer the latter (once someone can hold a plank for 30 seconds). Plus who wants to do a plank for 1 minute +??

There are endless ways to make planks harder but I do think people can get a little carried away with this. I mean, how hard does it need to be? We program planking exercises in between strength exercises as a rest/recovery exercise. So I have no problem with them not being the hardest exercise in the world.

Here are a few ways to make planks and side planks harder:


Monday, April 27, 2009

Fake Stretching

Stretching is one of those things that people tend to not think about much. They simple just go through the motions trying to look as flexible as they can. What ends up happening is they end up moving through the wrong areas and not stretching the muscles that they are supposed to be stretching. This is called "relative flexibility". It is when the body goes through a range of motion and chooses the path of least Resistance. I simply call it "fake stretching". Here are three areas of the body that people typically use "fake stretching":

Hamstrings - The picture on the left is an example of fake stretching for the hamstrings. The picture on the right is correct way to stretch the hamstrings. The hamstrings don't attach to the lumbar spine so flexing over with not increase the stretch. Instead, focus on driving the tailbone back, hinge at the hips and maintain a tall spine.

Hip flexor - This is so common with hip flexor stretching. Notice the large sway in the back in the picture on the left. This is an anterior tilt of the pelvis. The pelvis should actually move posterior like the picture on the right. Want to feel more stretch? Squeeze the glute of the same side being stretched.

Piriformis - Again, the picture on the left is wrong and the picture on the right is the correct way to stretch the piriformis. If you haven't seen this stretch, you can read about it and see the video here. This is pretty much the only piriformis stretch we use anymore. It is much like the hamstring stretch. Don't round your back. Maintain an arch in the low back and simply kick your hip out to the side.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Plyometric Training

I was having some "writer's block" so I figured I wouldn't write anything and rather post a few plyometric training videos that I had buried in my computer.

Box Jump:

Hurdle Jumps - continuous

Lateral Bound & stick