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Gus's Barbell Club

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Dissecting Health Habits

By Gus

Learning to cook is hard. Like all skills, it takes a lot of practice and experience before you feel confident in what you’re doing. You’ll eat some less-than-tasty meals in the process. But most overlooked is that learning to cook isn’t just about the cooking. In fact I’d dissect it down into at least seven […]

Active Rest

By Gus

Different philosophies abound in the world of fitness. Just like the Cynic versus the Epicurean of ancient Greece, the CrossFitter and Powerlifter care a great deal about their disagreements. To the outside world, both appear to be zealous on trivial matters. To the un-thinking, joining with either would be significant upgrade to their direction in […]


By Gus

Simple thought today: lock out your knees at the top of your squat. Lock out your elbows at the top of your press and bench press. Every rep. Rhythm One argument I’ve been told for not locking out every rep is how it affects the rhythm of multiple reps. By stopping short of lockout the […]

The Matchup

By Gus

One of my passions is chess. As chess players compete in tournaments, they earn a rating of their performance. If you’re playing an opponent rated much higher than you, and win, your rating will go up significantly. At the time of the game, you were “under-rated” and the math needs to correct that. Win against […]


By Gus

Improving a skill relies upon feedback. Ideally you find an objective measure that correlates with the skill, and chart that measurement consistently. As the metric improves, you can be confident your skill improvement was a driving factor. This objective feedback is invaluable as evidence of where your efforts have brought you, but fall short when […]

Training and Life

By Gus

A hallmark of training at Gus’s Barbell Club is emphasis on consistency. A typical adult with specifically lofty aspirations could easily require over 2 hours of training five days a week. High-level athletes could double that for skills practice and conditioning. Most American adults train zero days a week. It is the opinion of the […]

Simple Training

By Gus

Every athlete should use the simplest program that progresses them toward their goal. Think about advocating the opposite: “Every athlete should use the most complex program that progresses them to their goal.” It doesn’t even pass the sniff test, right? Many people changing their habits assume it must be a complex or difficult. Ten different […]

Choosing Growth Again and Again in Strength Training

By Gus

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again. Abraham Maslow The Event Strength Training begins with creating stress. You create a stress event for your body to endure, eliciting an adaptation as you recover from that stress. […]

Good Form? Safe Form? Efficient Form.

By Gus

The methods advocated in Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd Edition (“the blue book”) maximize efficiency in the chosen lifts. With the goal of strength training being to increase force production, any inefficiency in the technique creates an artificial limitation on the lifter’s strength. If an improvement in efficiency allows for a greater load to […]

A foggy gym.