Episode 24: Interview with Greg Nuckols

Although the field of Sports Science is relatively young, and despite the inherent limitations in studying human performance, we have many Ph.D.'s to thank for our best current evidence. There’s Brad Schoenfeld, Mike Israetel, Eric Helms, Alan Aragon, and Greg Nuck — Wait,  Greg Nuckols doesn’t have a Ph.D.?

If Greg, age 26, doesn’t have a Ph.D., what makes him so well respected by the larger field of Sports Science researchers? What makes him such a credible source that thousands would subscribe to his digest of the latest literature, in “MASS Research Review”? Furthermore what’s led 14 Million people to his blog, “Stronger by Science”?

If you’re thinking it’s due to his wizened bearded appearance, or due to his near 2,000lb drug-free powerlifting total, we advise that there’s more to Greg than meets the eye.

In this episode, we catch up with Greg to discuss how, with a curious mind, skepticism, and logical reasoning, he’s niched himself as a leading fitness writer and a trusted source of fitness knowledge. Additionally, we also discuss progress in the gym, and what to do when progress has stalled.


 From Greg's Instagram, as referenced to in the show.

From Greg's Instagram, as referenced to in the show.

Episode 23: Interview with Bret Contreras "Evidenced-Based Considerations for Coaching"

Although Bret Contreras is known popularly as the "Glute Guy", due to his innovation and expertise surrounding glute training,  Bret's accumulated tremendous experience, education, and coaching skills in most Sport Science matters. Therefore, we spend less time in this podcast discussing the glutes, and more time talking about coach development.

In this episode, Bret highlights how important it is for a coach to consolidate personal training experiences,  as well as client experiences, with the best available systematic research. Despite the advancement of Sports Science research, the coach must understand its limitations, as there is still so much up for debate. Ultimately, however, Bret explains how this evidenced-based approach helps create a complete picture for how one might approach the client in front of them.

To conclude the podcast, Bret also shares his thoughts on what it takes for fitness professionals to create long-lasting, and sustainable careers in the industry.

Make sure to send us any questions you have through Instagram (strengthratio) or Facebook (Strength Ratio LLC). 

Episode 22: Power & Speed Development

In episode twenty-two of the Strength Ratio Podcast, Dr. Eric Sobolewski, aka "Professor of Swole Sciences", joins us to discuss both power and speed. Eric begins by defining these fitness characteristics before clarifying their subtle, but distinct differences. The podcast then offers practical examples of how to train power and speed, and how this fits into our own ABC Training Model.

Lastly, Eric shares insight as for how to train power during volume training phases. This information will be of tremendous value to sport of fitness and to endurance athletes.

Make sure to send us any questions you have through Instagram (strengthratio) or Facebook (Strength Ratio LLC). 

Episode 21: Thoughts on Muscular Symmetry

In episode twenty-one of the Strength Ratio Podcast, we discuss muscular symmetry for strength sports, fitness sports, and endurance sports. We first reference science-based literature on the topic, which is currently inconclusive in finding correlations between symmetry and a decreased probability of injury. In doing so, our hope is to reduce fear around asymmetry, especially when it is subtle. In his article, "How Important is Muscular Symmetry for Strength Sports?" author Greg Nuckols states, "our bodies aren't symmetrical, so we don't lift things symmetrically." 

This is not to say that you can't take measures in training to promote better symmetry, especially if notable asymmetry exists that prevents you from meeting certain standards in your sport. On the contrary, we offer actionable training feedback for how you can offset the little imbalances that naturally manifest themselves as part of being human using intelligent, periodized programming.


Episode 20: Programming Techniques (Straight Sets, Cluster Sets, Rest-Pause Sets, and Supersets)

In episode twenty of the Strength Ratio Podcast, we explore how you can tailor your rep schemes to best suite your goals, schedule, and enjoyment. More specifically, we analyze the latest literature behind straight sets, cluster sets, rest-pause sets, and supersets. This episode will teach you why each of these rep schemes are effective, how to best apply them for a desired adaptation, and how to train them in the context of a larger periodized plan.

Episode 19: Interview with Michael Ray M.S, D.C "Science & Semantics for Treating Chronic Pain"

In episode nineteen of the Strength Ratio Podcast, we’re joined by Michael Ray, Chiropractor, and owner of the Shenandoah Valley Performance Center. Mike relies heavily on both science and on semantics in his treatment of chronic pain.

First, Mike explains why pain is a complex topic. In fact, the greater field of researchers who study pain have not yet agreed upon a working definition for "pain". This is because the latest research challenges what was previously a physical/structural definition, alone. We know now that a more accurate definition must consider that which is psycho-social, as well. The research has explored topics such as fear avoidance behavior, client expectations, past experiences, and personal narratives in the role of pain perception. Mike uses this literature to not only reduce fear around pain and to promote self-efficacy, but to also combat "silly BS".

Although there is a lot that we still do not know about pain, we know increasingly more about what does not work as advertised, be that a product or a pain management practice. Mike explains why he has chosen instead to use exercise, when performed with the correct loading and volume, as his primary service over other popular practices in the field. Mike also believes that treatment for pain ought to look similar to training, as both require progressive overload, specific adaptations to imposed demands, and improved stress tolerance. Tune in now to learn more!

 To learn more about clinicians such as Dr. Ray, visit www.clinicalathlete.com.

Episode 18: Interview with Dr. Mike Israetel - Practical Sports Science Application & Maximum Recoverable Volume

In episode eighteen of the Strength Ratio Podcast, we’re joined by Dr. Mike Israetel, Head Science Consultant of Renaissance Periodization. Mike's body of work, along with the help of his colleagues at Renaissance Periodization, has had a tremendous impact on our ability to help athletes resolve pain, return to play, and optimize performance.

Mike first answers how his advanced education in Exercise Physiology, under the counsel of acclaimed researcher, Dr. Mike Stone, helped him bridge the gap between traditional exercise physiology textbooks and programs designed to work in the weight room. The conversation then transitions to address the practical implications for, and significance of, training within what Mike has coined “Maximum Recoverable Volume”, or MRV. This is to say that, although training must become harder over time so as to create overload, training beyond what one can recover from is detrimental to performance, and will increase the likelihood of injury.

Ultimately, Mike concludes that with patience, and with a coach who can successfully implement and communicate the scientific principles of training, the athlete can gain confidence that they’re doing the most they need to optimize their performance.

Episode 17: Interview with Alex Viada - Athlete Development using a Concurrent Training Model

In episode seventeen of the Strength Ratio Podcast, we’re joined again by Alex Viada of Complete Human Performance. Alex is back to discuss athlete development using a concurrent training model. 

This episode first highlights the development of an intermediate to advanced level endurance athlete, who, as a novice to weight training, begins training both endurance and strength concurrently. Alex details his methodology for introducing this particular athlete to moving with external load safely, and with intelligent progression. 

Next, the episode explores the development of the intermediate to advanced level lifter, who, novice to endurance training, begins training both strength and endurance concurrently. This part of discussion involves topics that include endurance technique, the benefits of the lifter’s learned proprioception, and breathing. 

Episode 16: Interview with Dimitri Tsoumpas (aka the "Strength Shaman")


In episode sixteen of the Strength Ratio Podcast, we’re joined by Dimitri Tsoumpas. Dimitri attended Weber State University as an offensive lineman, earning Second Team Big Sky accolades in his senior season. After graduating with a bachelors in Human Performance, he was drafted second overall in the 2008 Canadian Football League. Dimitri excelled in the "CFL", where he was nominated as rookie of the year, and also won a championship title. Dimitri even signed an NFL contract with the Miami Dolphins in 2010 before returning to the CFL, where he finished his professional career. In spite of a very successful professional football career, Dimitri claims that his biggest accomplishments occurred off the field, as a powerlifter, where he squatted an equipped 1003 lbs.

Although Dimitri's career as an athlete had come to an end, his career as a coach was just beginning. Initially, he worked as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for his former team, the Calgary Stampeders, for whom he created an ACL injury prevention protocol. This protocol proved very effective in nearly eliminating ACL injuries in his time with the team. Dimitri then transitioned away from coaching professional athletes when, in 2016, he founded "Strength Shaman". He now works with an array of populations to improve performance and overall quality of life, in a way that reflects our own Sustainable Training Model.

To learn more about Dimitri, visit https://strengthshaman.co/ and follow him on Instagram @strengthshaman.


Episode 15: Interview with Alex Viada of Complete Human Performance

In episode fifteen of the Strength Ratio Podcast, we’re joined by Alex Viada who shares with us his insight on concurrent training. Alex, a lifelong athlete, is the founder and co-owner of Complete Human Performance, and author of "The Hybrid Athlete". Alex epitomizes what it means to be a "hybrid" athlete, as he's deadlifted 700 pounds and completed a 50-mile ultra-marathon in a week's time. 

In this interview with Zach Greenwald, Alex answers what it means to be a "hybrid" athlete, and details how his philosophies around concurrent training, as it pertains to training longevity and fatigue management, have evolved over time.

Episode 14: Thoughts on Fatigue Management & Biofeedback

In this episode, we share our thoughts on recovering from and adapting to training for optimal results. We begin by highlighting the importance of adequate sleep, nutrition, and stress management/relaxation. We also discuss how, when these areas are negatively impacted, one can adjust training accordingly to reduce the risk of injury and allow for the maintenance of, rather than the regression of, desired fitness characteristics.

Next, we discuss methods of biofeedback, such as RPE "Rate of Perceived Exertion" and RIR "Reps in Reserve", that can be used to help monitor exercise intensities. An honest evaluation of one's effort can help inform not only pacing and weight selection, but can also help in the evolution of, and prioritization of, an athlete's highest training priorities.

Episode 13: Interview with Danny Camargo

In episode thirteen of the Strength Ratio Podcast, we’re joined by Danny Camargo who shares with us his weightlifting insight and coaching journey. As a Junior, Danny was one of America’s most celebrated lifters, and now, roughly twenty years later, Danny is respected as one the nation’s most distinguished coaches. Danny has earned Level 5 Senior International Distinction and has coached countless elite athletes in the sport including, most recently, Mattie Rogers.

In this interview with Zach Greenwald, Danny shares his philosophies for coaching athletes, detailing both the technical and interpersonal aspects of his craft. Most notably, he explains how, through experience and with an open mind, these philosophies have changed over time.

Ultimately, we can learn from Danny not only what it takes to effectively coach the Snatch and Clean & Jerk, but also what it takes to foster sustainable and productive relationships with athletes over many years.

Episode 12: Biomechanics & Accessory Work

In this podcast, we discuss foundational biomechanics across squatting, hip-hinging, pushing and pulling exercises to improve both safety and performance. We also provide context around commonly used cues to clarify misconceptions, and that allow you to focus on the most important aspects of sound technique.

Furthermore, we discuss the role of accessory training, and how it fits into our ABC Model of programming.

Make sure to send us any questions you have through Instagram (strengthratio) or Facebook (Strength Ratio LLC). 

Episode 11: ABC Model of Sustainable Training

In this podcast, we share how we program for both strength and conditioning, concurrently. Our ABC Model creates a framework of exercise selection and exercise intensities that help our athletes improve performance, and regulate fatigue over time. Grab a pen and paper for this one; you may want to take notes!

Make sure to send us any questions you have through Instagram (strengthratio) or Facebook (Strength Ratio LLC). 

Episode 10: Cardiovascular Adaptations Part 2

In this episode, we continue our discussion pertaining to cardiovascular adaptations of endurance sports and of CrossFit. This podcast discusses the physiology of the oxidative system, how to train it, and how it supports the anaerobic systems.

Then, we discuss the respiratory system, and how it adjusts during exercises to ensure oxygen delivery and the removal of carbon dioxide.

Make sure to send us any questions you have through Instagram (strengthratio) or Facebook (Strength Ratio LLC). 

Episode 9: Cardiovascular Adaptations Part 1

In this episode, we discuss cardiovascular adaptations of endurance sports and of CrossFit. We begin with a thorough, yet easy to digest, explanation of the body's bioenergetics, known also as metabolism. We break down bioenergetics into three systems: Creatine Phosphate, Anaerobic Glycolysis, and Oxidative Phosphorylation.

Next, we provide further insight into each categories respective training intensities, durations, and frequencies using practical training examples.

Make sure to send us any questions you have through Instagram (strengthratio) or Facebook (Strength Ratio LLC). 

Episode 8: Periodization for Strength

In this episode, we highlight the origins, theory, and distinct training phases of periodization for strength adaptations, as it was popularized in Soviet Russia. In doing so, we provide context for whom, and for how long, this traditional model may work.

We then discuss how one can blend the general characteristics of periodization simultaneously, including general physical preparedness, hypertrophy, strength, power and taper, rather than training each characteristic separately. Ultimately, we argue that for long-term health and performance, the former may be more sustainable for general population athletes while the latter may be optimal for strength athletes with specific strength goals that revolve around a clearly defined competitive schedule.

Make sure to send us any questions you have through Instagram (strengthratio) or Facebook (Strength Ratio LLC). 

Episode 7 - CrossFit Mini-Camp Interview

Our "Concurrent Training" series was put on hold this week, as we interviewed three of our competitive CrossFit Athletes. Natalie Allport, Grace Lilley, and Harrison Bell were all in town for a mini-training camp leading up to the CrossFit Open.

Natalie is a former Pro-Snowboarder turned CrossFit athlete from Canada, and Grace, a Nationally Competitive Weightlifter from the UK, placed 9th in the Meridian Regional, alongside her boyfriend, and "Espirit De Corps CrossFit" team-mate, Harrison.

In this episode, you will learn more about their respective training histories, competitive accomplishments, and training experiences since joining our team.

Make sure to send us any questions you have through Instagram (strengthratio) or Facebook (Strength Ratio LLC), and to follow these three athletes below:

Natalie Allport IG: @natalieallport


Grace Lilley IG: @gracelils

Harrison Bell IG: @dingerbelll

Episode 6 - Strength Training Part 2 "Training Variables"

In this episode, we begin by discussing the stress response to training, and the indicators of training thresholds necessary to elicit a minimum effective dose. Next, we highlight traditional recommendations of strength training variables such as volume, intensity, frequency and time, as well as their effects on size and strength.

Contrary to traditional belief, however, recent advances in human science suggest that we can successfully blend these variables together to improve multiple fitness characteristics concurrently, rather than emphasizing each variable exclusively towards a specific goal! Make sure to send us any questions you have through Instagram (strengthratio) or Facebook (Strength Ratio LLC).