Rebel Performance Radio

Welcome to Rebel Performance Radio

The weekly podcast for educated meatheads trying to suck less as coaches, athletes and humans.

Episode 18

Published on:

17th Feb 2020

RPR Episode 18: Bryce Lewis

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Bryce Lewis, 3 time USAPL National Champion and founder of The Strength Athlete, joins the show today to talk about onboarding clients, developing coach-athlete relationships, weak points, and the psychological side of peaking.

Bryce found his way to the world of powerlifting after spending time on the forums when he was looking to increase his volleyball performance. Like many of us, he ended up enjoying the training more than the sport, and hopped on stage a few times in some bodybuilding shows. At this point he felt drawn to the heavier side of lifting, and found a talent in powerlifting and hasn’t looked back. Bryce founded The Strength Athlete in 2013, which provides a comprehensive powerlifting coaching service to clients around the world.

Bryce has had a passion for neuroscience and incorporates this into his coaching services and content at TSA. We dive in talking about the mental sides of training, including psychology and anxiety in powerlifting, and if throwing a garbage bag over the weights can improve your performance on a lift. Bryce discusses his techniques to get an athlete past a mental barrier on a certain lift. Many athletes will ramp themselves up to hit a big number but cannot get themselves to train consistently for reps at that number on day to day sessions, but Bryce tries to bridge the gap between peak performance and sustainable training. 

Next we dig into the onboarding and assessment process TSA uses. Bryce kicks things off gathering demographic, training, and nutritional data as well as questions on stress and mental health. He will also request videos of all the big lifts and then hop on a conference call with the client to go over everything. This leads to the topic of client buy-in during the first couple months, as programs may not work for everyone and a remote coach will not always get it perfect right away. Bryce recommends keeping communication extremely open and bouncing ideas off the client to increase buy-in. If an athlete isn’t connecting well with a certain exercise, this communication will allow the coach to find another option and increase long term results.

This leads us into identifying weak points, addressing them, and programming to eliminate them. Bryce talks through his mixed feelings on weak points and what may or may not need to be addressed. For example, if an athlete has a slow and fast part of a deadlift, but their 1RM continues to increase, there may be no issue to address. However, a technique or positional issue may be worth addressing to improve movement efficiency and ultimately a larger 1RM. 

On this note, we also discuss the variability in individual athletes and the importance of handling compensatory patterns in the right way. Coaching these can be tricky in that if an athlete is not in pain there may be no reason to change anything about their positioning. Commonly, coaches will try to correct an athlete’s mechanics, when instead we should be looking at what they’re doing right, why they’re doing it in the first place, and be objective if any change needs to even take place. We discuss training patterns that are specific to sport, but training movement variability that leads to success outside of a given sport.

This leads us into athlete monitoring and the wide variety of things that can impact performance. Bryce tends to collect a few subjective recovery scores, but he likes to focus on performance as a primary metric. Are weights generally moving up or down, and what is the overall emotional tone of the client in weekly check ins? Most importantly, a coach shouldn’t get lost in the bar speed or HRV of an athlete without even paying attention to performance on the field. Most importantly, he wants an athlete’s subjective experience to match their objective outcomes in order to create consistency within an athlete’s training program. 

Lastly, we dive into the psychological side of peaking for meets and athletes that hold themselves back, when physically they are more than prepared. Bryce prefers to address these concerns as early as possible so nothing needs to be tweaked when gameday comes. For example, he may incorporate a ritual or breathing exercise before a high load lift and have the athlete practice that throughout the entire cycle of training. However, he emphasizes the need to help the athlete understand their response to competition day and use it to their advantage instead of trying to eliminate the response all together. Bryce does want his athletes to get stuck on the outcomes, but to learn to follow their specific game day procedure and utilize backup plans when needed. 

Enjoy and hit that subscribe button if you learned a thing or two.

Episode Highlights:

2:00 – Bryce’s background

7:00 – The mental side of training

14:20 – Bryce’s onboarding and assessment process

21:00 – Identifying weak points

30:00 – Compensatory patterns in athletes and how to coach them

37:00 – Athlete monitoring & feedback

47:00 – The psychological side of peaking for meets

53:45 - Bryce’s recommended resources

Links and stuff:

Episode 17

Published on:

10th Feb 2020

RPR Episode 17: The Dudes

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Welcome to the first Dudesome episode of Rebel Performance Radio. As some of you already know, Rebel Performance and Compound Performance have joined forces. Going forward, the co-hosts of the podcast will be James Cerbie (Director of Primates), Kyle Dobbs (Director of Beards), and Matt Domney (Director of Meat). Although we will continue to bring on guests, we will also do individual shows with just us 3 dudes. Today, we talk shop, answer questions, give insights on our philosophies, training, coaching, cueing, exercise selection, business development, and more.

We kick things off with a brief introduction from Matt and continue to discuss the new structure of Rebel Performance and the 2 headed monster that we are creating. We want to bring you the best of athletic development and trainer education while providing a platform and tribe to help you unlock your potential. 

Kyle will be on the trainer development side, while James and Matt will be on the athlete development side. This leads us into a discussion on Rebel Performance’s typical clients and the balance of life, work, and training. The primary advantage that Rebel provides is creating high performing, well-rounded athletes that don’t feel like poop the rest of their day. Training for these clients should not take away from the rest of their lives and should actually enhance it.

This leads us into a specific breakdown of the AMRAP program (available on TRAIN) and the classification of output-driven and sensory-motor exercises. Output driven exercises will be what we want to progress and train - your meat and potato movements like squatting, benching, and pulling that not only give you that tremendous bang for your physiological buck, but allow you to continue to TRAIN and exceed performance goals. These are the things we track and measure improvements over time, and quite frankly, keep us coming back for more. 

The sensory-motor work, while less systemically taxing (and maybe not as sexy), is your opportunity to patch up the holes in your positional strategy using constraints and time under tension while challenging your ability to find and feel the right muscles. It’s a different kind of “hard” than what some may be used to. The sensory-motor work allows you to maintain and manage a better position that’s going to let you push your output-driven work harder the next time. We’re keeping your main lifts the main lifts and your accessory work the accessory work. As Matt put’s it, we want you to “mash more where it counts”.

Next we jam on open-door and closed-door training sessions, and gaining control of the gas pedal on your sessions in order to get the adaptation you want. Some people are always pedal to the metal, while others never reach anything above a 7 RPE. The key is to know when each type of session is appropriate. With the AMRAP program, we use question mark sets or amrap sets for you to put in the work needed for that day to drive adaptation. This form of autoregulation allows you to strike when the iron’s hot, or back off when needed. 

Perhaps the main component that a program like AMRAP touches on is getting you wins early and often, boosting your confidence and using the total amount of work done as that ‘dopaminergic driver’ to keep effort high where it’s needed while working on other qualities using very specific strategies. 

Next we discuss the Rebel Performance “Fill The Board” events that will be training meetups around the country at member gyms. The first of which will be at the Top Strength Project in Rhode Island. These will be a fantastic way to discover the potential you have when you’re in an awesome environment and push past any mental barriers you may have.

We then move on to some Q&A about video games, hip IR deficits, stability/mobility for functional movements, feeling things on accessory vs output work, strength and injury for runners, Starting Strength’s Trap Bar take and Matt’s rebuttal, and David Weck. 

Enjoy and hit that subscribe button if you learned a thing or two.


Episode Highlights:

3:00 – Matt Domney Introduction

5:00 – New Structure of Rebel Performance

14:00 – Output Driven vs Sensory Motor exercises (AMRAP program)

26:00 – Open and closed door training sessions

38:00 – Rebel Performance Fill The Board events

44:00 – Q&A

Links and stuff:

Episode 16

Published on:

3rd Feb 2020

RPR Episode 16: Mark Fisher

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Mark Fisher, Super Human Unicorn, joins the show today to talk about all things life and business, including marketing, sales, learning, processing information, and time management.

Mark Fisher is an in-demand international speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. 

His core expertise is helping business owners achieve financial success and personal freedom through community building, leadership development, and creating healthy organizational cultures. He's also excellent at playing with puppies.

Mark and his “non-sexual life partner” Michael created Business for Unicorns in 2016 and have since worked with clients like Sony Music,  Sylvan Learning, Novus Surgical, and the ACLU, as well as many of the leading fitness studios across the US and UK. They are also proud alumni speakers of TEDx Broadway.

In addition to their consulting and teaching through Business for Unicorns, Mark and Michael also co-founded Mark Fisher Fitness, one of the most successful gyms in the history of the fitness industry. MFF has two physical locations in Manhattan and was recognized as #312 on the 2015 Inc. 500 fastest growing companies in America, as well as one of Men's Health's "Top 20 Gyms in America."

We kick things off talking about finding your niche and identifying the people you ultimately want to help. Many people mistakenly try to cast a wide net and never end up helping the people they originally intended. Mark believes his target audience came about organically, but he certainly attributes the large amount of reading he has done to finding his way. Specifically, the “conscious capitalist” business model drove Mark to believe he can run a business, help people, and still honor his personal values.

We then move on to discuss the consumption and application of information, focusing on reading. While a brute force, quantity oriented approach to reading is certainly effective, it’s important to strategize about your pursuit. There comes a time when it’s appropriate to just sit and read, but there’s also a time that it’s important to pause, reflect, and strategize about how you will put this information into action. Mark splits these categories into books that teach him to think better, and books that are oriented at a specific upcoming task. These strategies certainly vary from person to person and are context-specific.

Next, we jam on time management and specifically Mark’s Time Ninja Course that is available at Business for Unicorns. Time management has a big influence on his MFF clients and contains 2 functions: the planning function, and the execution function. These can be broken down into smaller skills, but when it comes down to it we all have the same amount of hours in one day.

Mark then discusses the two categories of issues that he sees in his coaching business. Clients are most commonly lacking in marketing or their product just isn’t that good. However, we discuss the fact that if you absolutely kill it in marketing, you can get away with a bad product and vice versa. For most of those listening to this podcast, we discuss the uneasy truth that your training knowledge is probably what matters the least. We want to focus on big rocks, and at some point your training is “good enough” and other things will require your attention.

This leads us into a discussion on what makes a person successful, and most importantly defining success on your own terms. We want to focus on the things that ultimately matter to us, and success is going to vary widely from person to person. If you live your entire life trying to fulfill someone else’s definition of success, you’ll never be successful (or happy for that matter).

Lastly, we hit on selling. This is a sticking point for a lot of people and Mark shares his approach to this issue. If you don’t believe what your selling is worth the price, you’re going to have a hard time selling it. The most natural way to kill it in sales is to genuinely believe in your product and practice, practice, practice.

Enjoy and hit that subscribe button if you learned a thing or two.

Episode Highlights:

3:15 – Mark’s Background

10:45 – Finding your niche and putting your personality into your business

17:00 – Consumption and Application of Information

33:00 – Time Management

41:00 – The two big rocks for a fitness business

47:00 – Running a business and finding the right path for ou

52:00 – The important variables in success

58:15 - Successful sales

1:04:00 - Mark’s recommended resources

Links and stuff:

Episode 15

Published on:

28th Jan 2020

RPR Episode 15: Mike Reinold

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Mike Reinold, physical therapist aficionado, joins the show today to talk about systems, principle-based training, how to execute a Performance Physical Therapy model, his approach of Restore-Optimize-Enhance, and breaking down how to progress a specific movement with regard to mobility, control, and load.

Mike appropriately sums up his unique 20-year career into 3 stages: restoring injured athletes, optimizing healthy athletes, and working with gen pop clients. Mike is President and Co-Founder of Champion PT and Performance out of Waltham, MA. With experience spread across physical therapy, athletic training, strength training, professional baseball, and gen pop clients, Mike has an extremely unique perspective in the field and has the ability to integrate aspects of various disciplines to help both injured and healthy individuals.

Mike and I kick things off talking about bridging the gap between physical therapy and sports performance. Mike discusses the fact that many collegiate organizations and even professional organizations do not facilitate collaboration between the rehabilitation and sports performance training departments. Specifically, Mike indicates that the majority of PTs focus on getting the athlete to where they were prior to an injury, which is probably a crappy place to be. PTs/Strength Coaches need to focus on getting them healthy and then continuing to optimize their movement and performance.

Mike then discusses how they accomplish this at Champion PT and Performance. His model begins by identifying what is “broken” and what is suboptimal. Most often there is no major injury to the client’s chief complaint, and it is commonly an arbitrary issue like shoulder pain. This leads to identifying suboptimal areas, and when the client is ready to go under load, Mike moves them to the gym and communicates with the strength coaches about what needs work. The strength coaches will then build off Mike’s recommendations and take the client through their own assessment, which may lead back to physical therapy if necessary.

We then dive into the systems that Champion has built for their thought processes. This includes patient assessment, programming, treatment plans, and techniques. Mike specifies that these are mostly philosophies and can be compared to recipes. Each coach and therapist at Champion uses these recipes but changes the ingredients based on the person in front of them. These systems are now available through the Champion Performance Specialist Certification.

From there Mike walks us through his system for shoulder health and discusses the relationship between mobility, control, and load. Mobility has many misconceptions in the industry, but this may involve manual therapy or various other techniques for Mike. Next is control, which is turning on and controlling muscles. This may include isolated strengthening and dynamic stability. From there they move on to loading, which is programmed strength training.

Lastly, we dive more into testing mobility, establishing a red and green zone for a joint, and how to increase the green zone and utilize more exercises in the weight room. Mike refers to the Corrective Exercise Bell Curve. 20% of the time you’ll nail it, 20% of the time you’ll make it worse, and the middle 60% of the time you’ll get transient results.

Enjoy and hit that subscribe button if you learned a thing or two.

Episode Highlights:

3:15 – Mike’s Background

7:30 – Blending performance and physical therapy

12:15 – The Champion PT model

19:00 – Champion’s systemized thought processes

22:00 – Champion Performance Specialist

26:30 – The importance of mentorship

30:00 – Mike’s shoulder recipe

40:30 - Mobility and the Corrective Exercise Bell Curve

48:30 - Mike’s Recommended Resources

Links and stuff:

Episode 14

Published on:

20th Jan 2020

RPR Episode 14: Zac Cupples

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Zac Cupples, rap battle and PT extraordinaire, joins the show today to talk about learning, movement, the squat, inhaled and exhaled skeletons, the foot, the ankle, and why these matter for how you program for your clients.

Zac initially found his way into Strength & Conditioning after trying to improve his Track & Field performance, which eventually led him to become a Physical Therapist.  He’s spent time as an outpatient PT, traveling PT, and PT for the Memphis Grizzlies, and currently tours the country teaching his Human Matrix workshop.  Recently, Zac accepted a new position as the Lead PT and Director of Education at Elevate Sports Performance in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a fellow continuing education junkie, Zac and I kick things off diving down the learning rabbit hole.  We discuss Zac’s “on-demand” approach to choosing what he’s going to study next, the power of teaching, how to go about improving your retention processes, the importance of context and environment, and the need to balance consumption with times of thought and reflection.

Next, we talk about all things squatting vs. hinging.  How to decide whether your client should focus more on squatting vs. hinging, how to decide on the specific squat or hinge variation that should be in your client’s program, and how inhaled skeletons, exhaled skeletons, and the heel wedge tie into the big picture.

For example, we discuss how a simple hip flexion test can tell you to focus more on squatting, and why you’d load someone differently if they have limited shoulder extension vs. shoulder flexion.

All in all, it was great having Zac on the show to provide some much-needed clarity on these biomechanics and movement-based principles.

Enjoy and hit that subscribe button if you learned a thing or two.


Episode Highlights:

4:00 – Zac’s Background

9:00 – Zac’s generalist approach and all things learning

21:45 – Zac’s learning process

27:45 – The squat

39:00 – The current rap battle landscape, in case you aren’t up to date

40:45 – Inhaled vs exhaled skeletons and genetics

53:20 – The heel wedge

1:00:00 - Knee shear forces

1:05:00 - Zac’s seminar and resources

Links and stuff:

•      Zac Cupples:

•      Zac Cupples: @ZacCupples

•      Human Matrix:

•      James Cerbie:  @jamescerbie

•      TRAIN:

•      Silverback:

•      The 4 Hour Work Week:

•      The Ego is the Enemy:

•      Extreme Ownership:

•      The Obstacle is the Way:

•      Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates (Netflix)

•      Make Great Art:

•      I’ll Teach You to be Rich:

•      Bill Hartman’s Intensive:

•      AOMT:

Show artwork for Rebel Performance Radio

About the Podcast

Rebel Performance Radio
A podcast for educated meatheads trying to forge super freak athletes
Rebel Performance Radio is a podcast for educated meatheads trying to forge super freak athletes. Each week we light your brain on fire with some of the top coaches, athletes, scientists, dudes, and gals on the planet to help you suck less as a strength coach, athlete, and human. We talk all things training, nutrition, movement, and lifestyle with a healthy amount of banter, movie quotes, and predator handshakes sprinkled on top. New episodes air every Monday morning. Why not start your week with us?