Episode 42: Alex Harrison on Concurrent Training (Part 2) and HIIT "High Intensity Interval Training"

Alex Harrison, Science Consultant of Renaissance Periodization, joins us again to discuss Concurrent Training. Alex references the graph below, from the symposium review “Concurrent exercise training: do opposites distract?” by Coffey and Hawley, to explain the interference effect for both trained, and untrained populations.

Our topic then turns to HIIT “High Intensity Interval Training” for both endurance athletes and for CrossFit athletes. We dive into the physiology behind improving VO2 Max and discuss, at greater length, frequency and pacing considerations for this style of training.

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Episode 41: James Hoffmann on Volume Landmarks for Hypertrophy, Power, and Strength

James Hoffmann, consultant for Renaissance Periodization, joins us again to discuss the volume landmarks of training. In Episode 31, James discussed the volume landmarks in the context of field sports and CrossFit. In this episode, however, James focuses on recoverable abilities for hypertrophy, power, and strength.

This episode also involves volume landmark considerations for endurance training, and which endurance intensities best pair with hypertrophy, strength or power in a concurrent training plan.

Episode 40: Eric Helms on Microcycle Progressions for Volume & for Strength

Episode 40 welcomes Eric Helms, PhD in Strength and Conditioning and author/coach for 3D Muscle Journey.

This episode focuses most notably on microcycle progressions for hypertrophy training, wherein Eric shares his thoughts on the weekly evolution of loading and volume for training health and longevity.

The evidence that he provides for such progression has us rethinking the rate at which we add total work to our athletes’ hypertrophy cycles, so as to be more in line with our own sustainable training practices. 

This episode also touches upon microcycle progressions for strength that echo Mike Tuchscherer’s (Ep. 39) training practices . In fact, Eric credits Mike T. and the influence that Mike has had on his own considerations for strength training methodology. 

Episode 39: Mike Tuchscherer on "Emerging Strategies"

Episode 39 of the Strength Ratio Podcast features acclaimed powerlifter and coach, Mike Tuchscherer. Mike is also the founder of Reactive Training Systems (RTS). Reactive Training Systems is an online coaching, programming, and content provider for powerlifters.

This podcast is centered around RTS’s hallmark training methodology, which Mike has coined, “Emerging Strategies”. Emerging Strategies (ES) was created in response to the inherent limitations behind periodization theory, as well as to the individual response to training. As its name implies, this system “emerges” from the athlete’s response to training in a bottom-up fashion, as opposed traditional top-down periodization schemes.

Mike defines the necessary terms for understanding ES, such as the “Developmental Block”, “Pivot Block”, and “Time to Peak”, and how these aspects of the system are largely individualized. Furthermore, Mike provides anecdotes from some of his highest performing powerlifters that highlight such individualization, and how the system may lead to seemingly unorthodox training, or competition prep.

Other topics include, per their significance to ES, Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and the Bondarchuk-Exercise Classification model.

Episode 38: Max Aita of Juggernaut Training Systems

Episode 38 of the Strength Ratio Podcast features Coach Max Aita, who has spent nearly two decades in both Weightlifting and Powerlifting. Max has produced numerous senior national medalists in Weightlifting, as well as world record holders in Powerlifting.

We first learn how Max’s coaches, including  Steve Gough (USA), Ivan Abadjiev (BUL), and Boris Sheiko (RUS), shaped Max’s current training systems.

Next, Max discusses the relationship between weightlifting specific technique and weightlifting specific strength. “They’re not two sides of the same coin,” he explains, “you have to learn how to train them both.” 

Lastly, as the interview was conducted just one day prior to his departure for IWF World Championships in Turkmenistan, we asked Max about training/coaching psychology around major competition.

We hope you enjoy the show!

P.S. If you’ve enjoyed the show, and would like to learn more from Max, we strongly recommend his two ebooks: “Strength Development for Weightlifting” and “Weightlifting Technique Triad” (visit store.jtsstrength.com).

Episode 37: Mike Molloy of M2 Performance Nutrition

Mike Molloy, owner of M2 Performance Nutrition, joins us for Episode 37 of the Strength Ratio Podcast.

Mike, who has worked as a nutrition coach for nearly a decade, explains how his one-on-one coaching has evolved from writing macro prescriptions, alone, to now involving lifestyle and behavioral coaching to better address the psycho-social influences of dieting.

For example, and as citied in greater detail in the episode, Kaymen et al., recently discovered that subjects who maintained their fat loss versus those who re-gained their body fat had 30% more “available social support”.

Indeed, Mike offers general macronutrient recommendations for active populations. However, Mike takes even more time to discuss the significance of individual variation on the success of a dietary program such as the aforementioned social support, exercise frequency, type of of exercise, and one’s psychological relationship with food/history of dieting. We believe that these factors highlight the importance of having a nutritional coach for those who are currently struggling with their diet.

We hope you enjoy!

Episode 36: Mattie Rogers & Danny Camargo

Episode 36 of the Strength Ratio Podcast features World Championships Silver Medalist, Mattie Rogers, and her coach, Danny Camargo, who’s earned Level 5 Senior International Distinction.

We begin the episode by discussing their latest competition, the American Open Series III. Mattie and Danny provide insight into the obstacles they encountered leading up to the meet, and how they overcame them. We discover that the strength of their relationship has, despite challenge and set back, been defined by their deep trust and ability to communicate. We also learn how, over time, they’ve created a collaborative process in which it’s not Danny alone steering the ship as Mattie blindly follows. 

Conversely, while Danny puts in a lot of time and concerted effort into Mattie’s program, Mattie often contributes equally to its daily adjustments and edits due to her training maturity and technical awareness. Mattie is also the first to say that, since beginning her weightlifting career, not a single decision has been made without Danny.

We hope you enjoy the first podcast that Mattie and Danny have shared together!

Episode 35: Zach & Kyle's Reflection Episode

In Episode 35 of the Strength Ratio Podcast, Zach & Kyle review the major talking points of the latest five episodes. The topics discussed in this episode include the gut microbiome, athlete monitoring, and the relative frequency of high versus low intensity exercise in a concurrent training plan.

So, if recently you’ve been unable to tune in weekly, you can catch up on what you’ve missed in Episode 35!

Episode 34: Alex Harrison - A Journey from Power To Endurance

Episode 34 of the Strength Ratio Podcast features yet another team member of Renaissance Periodization, Alex Harrison. Alex received his Ph.D in Sports Performance from East Tennessee State University.

As an Olympic Hopeful in bobsled, Alex had trained many years for improved power. In fact, if you look through his social media, you'll see mesmerizing vertical jump abilities, as well as highly impressive numbers in the power clean, power snatch and push press. Alex, therefore, begins the podcast by discussing the fundamentals of power training, as well as the foundational importance of relative strength - namely strength relative to one's bodyweight.

After his career in bobsled, Alex leap-frogged from training for power related sports to now training for endurance sports. In the latter half of our discussion, he explains the significance of relative strength for endurance athletes, how to improve one's VO2 Max using high-intensity interval training, and the approximate ratios of high versus low-intensity cardiovascular training for optimal fatigue management for endurance athletes.

Episode 33: Jacob Reed on Athlete Monitoring

Episode 33 of the Strength Ratio Podcast features another team member of Renaissance Periodization, Jacob Reed. Alongside his peers, Dr. James Hoffmann (Episode 31) and Dr. Mike Israetel (Episode 18), Jacob received his Ph.D in Sports Performance from East Tennessee State University.

In this episode, Jacob joins us to discuss athlete monitoring. Like the App Store, Jacob creates a list of the “Top Paid” and the “Top Free” ways to monitor progress and biofeedback. 

This list includes an evaluation of products from companies such as Polar, Garmin, and Fitbit. It also involves information about non-purchasable monitoring methods, such as athlete questionnaires and daily rate of perceived exertions. 

Jacob also mentions how this data can be used in excess, and that when best understood, the data simply helps us make better training decisions. It is not used to replace the training process or the coach-athlete relationship.

Episode 32: Jeff Nichols (CSCS*D, TSAC-F*D) on "Purpose, Process, and Love"

Jeff Nichols, former Navy Seal and Strength & Conditioning coach of roughly twenty years, joins us to discuss his shared views on sustainable training as well as process-based perspectives and mental toughness. 

Jeff's current business, Performance First, emphasizes "purpose, process, and love". Tune in to Episode 32 to learn how these three pillars have informed Jeff's personal and professional accomplishments!

Episode 31: James Hoffmann on Volume Landmarks for Sport

James Hoffmann, who holds a PhD in Sports Physiology, is a consultant for Renaissance Periodization. Jame's contributions to the field of exercise science have had a notable impact on our education in, and programming for, sports performance.

In Episode 31, James joins us to discuss volume landmarks of training in the context of field sports and of CrossFit. When training multiple fitness characteristics concurrently, the volume landmarks can be used to inform an athlete's unique needs analysis for better inter-individual variation.

In simpler terms, training becomes significantly more effective when one can identify a) what to improve upon most and b) how much recoverable work it takes to improve it.

James also discusses the efficacy of active recovery modalities such as foam rolling, massage, and stretching.

Episode 30: Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro on the Gut Microbiome

Episode 30 of the Strength Ratio Podcast features Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro, PhD in Human Nutrition and nutrition coach for Renaissance Periodization, who joins us to discuss digestive health and the gut microbiome.

Gabrielle first discusses digestive physiology to explain nutrient absorption and bacterial diversity. Next, she makes clear the influence that diet has on our gut and what considerations this may have for both a healthy diet and for athletic performance.

Furthermore, using the latest scientific literature, Gabrielle explains the known and potential connectedness that the gut has with the entirety of human physiology.

To learn more about Dr. Fundaro, or to recruit her professional coaching services, visit vitaminphdnutrition.com and follow @vitaminphd on Instagram, and Vitamin PhD on Facebook.


Episode 29: Markers of Performance

In Episode 29 of the Strength Ratio Podcast, we discuss how you can both qualitatively and quantitively measure performance over time so as to gauge the effectiveness of your training. We also offer practical programming benchmarks for weightlifters, powerlifters and Crossfitters in the context of a competitive macrocycle.

Lastly, we provide metrics you can use to increase the efficacy of a nutritional plan across body composition goals.

Episode 28: Performance Nutrition - Quantity & Quality

In Episode 25 of the Strength Ratio Podcast, Dr. Sobolewski joins us to discuss considerations for both quantity and quality of food for sports performance. 

Nutrition can seem overwhelming. That’s why Dr. Sobo takes an academic, yet straightforward approach. He begins by speaking about how the quantity of food an individual should eat is dictated by their energy expenditure. He provides more information about how one can easily determine a starting point for their expenditure, and how for performance, one must prevent an energy deficit, especially for highly metabolic sports. He contends that the performance focused athlete would want, instead, to either maintain their bodyweight, or undergo periods of increasing their body weight for improved muscle mass, strength, or power.

Next, Dr. Sobo discusses how the quality of a person’s nutrition can be improved by following one time-honored, scientifically proven guideline: moderation.

Episode 27: A Three Year Reflection - What We've Learned Most

In April, we celebrated our third year anniversary as a company! Therefore, in Episode 27, we identify how, and why, our major training philosophies have changed in this time. We also acknowledge the individuals in the field who've had the greatest impact on our growth. We discuss, most notably, our evolved stance on exercise selection, exercise correlation, and muscular imbalances.

Lastly, we acknowledge the inherent limitations to the research performed in our field, and how due to these limitations, we remain open to changing our viewpoints over time.

Episode 26: Supplements - The Best Current Evidence, and How It Can Help You Save Money

First and foremost, a supplement is, by its very definition, meant to be something added to an already balanced diet. If your diet sucks, no amount of supplementation will help you. Begin by getting your diet right; then, and only then, should you consider taking supplements.

Secondly, it is important to note that supplements are not drugs. If they were drugs, they would only be available by prescription, yet GNC and bodybuilding.com do not require a physician's referral. The definition of a drug is a "chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being." Yes, drugs can enhance your mental and physical wellbeing, but they can also get you disqualified from any major sporting even in the world (steroids, HGH etc.).

In Episode 26, we evaluate the latest literature to help you save money on the supplements that you can do away with, and to also help you consider which select few may be best for your training. 

Episode 25: 2018 USAW Nationals with Kingfield Barbell

Episode 25 of the Strength Ratio Podcast was recorded from Kansas City, host of the 2018 USAW National Championships. Zach was joined by his larger team of National Level athletes and co-coaches, including Anthony Konas, Danny Yeager, and Christopher Yang. These four share in their combined experience at National Weightlifting meets, including the many mistakes that they made early on, the mistakes that they still occasionally make, as well as other lessons they've found valuable in their development.

If, after you listen to the show, you're eager to improve your Weightlifting knowledge, we recommend that you look into Chris's upcoming book "100 Days of Technique: A Simple Guide to Olympic Weightlifting", available June 2nd.



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).