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Hi all, we’re less than 2 months away, registrations have been coming in for this event so if you haven’t signed up yet be sure to do so soon! Information is in the PDF below




2015 SUNY Cortland Strength and Conditioning Symposium

It’s here! We’ll here on March 28th but that’s no reason to not start getting amped up now. Here’s our line up with more great details to follow


conference flyer – registration sheet

For any questions please contact me at

Jump Squats to Bust your Squat Plateau

The following is a guest post from Eric Bach, if you’re interested in submitting a guest post email me at


Key Points

  • Squats and Squat Jumps are nearly identical biomechanically, meaning a transfer in ability
  • Stick to Single response jumps. Multi-response jumps are far more demanding, advanced, and difficult to program.
  • Jump Squats are an ideal speed-Strength Movement


It’s happened again: The dreaded plateau and few plateaus are as frustrating as the squat. The weight feels amplified, the groove is off, and you’re lacking “pop” in the movement.

What gives?

The common problem is this—you’re strong, not explosive. Being able to generate force and doing it quickly is key in the transition from eccentric to concentric in the squat (gettin’ outta the hole), maximizing your squat, and translating strength into athleticism.


Luckily, this is trainable. Being strong and not explosive is corrected through proper planning.


To maximize gains in muscle, performance, and strength you need to work multiple modes of performance on the force velocity curve, not just maximal strength. It’s time to power up your performance and jump over your squat plateau.


Enter the Force Velocity Curve.

 Force Velocity Curve

 force velocity curve

The force velocity curve is a hyperbolic graph that shows the relationship between force and velocity, an inverse relationship between weight (force) and the velocity (speed) that you lift the weight. The heavier the weight the slower movement (absolute strength); conversely, the lighter the weight the faster the speed (speed) of the movement. These qualities make up opposite sides of the spectrum, with speed-strength, strength-speed, and power making up the middle of the curve.


If you’re training to maximize your squat you need to spend a good amount of time towards the maximum strength end of the curve. In addition, you need to add speed to your repertoire by emphasizing speed-strength.


Speed Strength exercises are synonymous with high power outputs. They both produce a super-high power output compared to longer duration, lower velocity counterpart maximum strength. Compare a tractor trailer and a Ferrari– It’s great to have a ton of horsepower, but for high-performance it’s best to generate horsepower rapidly.

Power= Work/Time

In this case explosive exercises are best using loads between 20%-85% for multiple low-rep sets is best. (Baechle & Earle, 2008). If I were a betting man I’d wager you’re already using a sub-maximal squat day plus multiple warm-up sets between 50-80% 1-rm. If you’re lifting every rep like it’s your max you’re already getting sufficient volume with strength-speed. The missing piece is lighter, more explosive work.

Speed-strength movements will address this with high-velocity movements movement against a small external load. Enter the Jump-Squat: The jump-squat is an ideal selection to boost your squat for one major reason: biomechanical similarities. Jump squats train an explosive transition from eccentric-to concentric against a light load with explosive triple extension.


Here are my two favorite variations:

Barbell Jump Squat: Barbell jump squats are ideal if your concern is pushing maximum weight. Use the same foot position, bar placement, and technique as you do in your squat workouts. I’m not a huge fan of these outside the “powerlifting” crowd because it’s tougher to fully extend the hip and make a sound landing. Keep loading light, I stick to the barbell and no more than 20% 1-rm. Barbell jump squats are very stressful with additional compression and stress on the body.



Jump Squat No Countermovement with Dumbbell: Dumbbell jump squats are my ideal pick for those looking to boost their squat with a greater emphasis on triple extension and landing mechanics. I prefer these with everyone except power lifters. The lack of counter-movement shows greater “starting” strength and power versus a countermovement jump.




Jump Squat Considerations:

Like anything else you must take careful consideration with exercise selection. Haphazardly throwing exercises into your program because the “interwebz” said so is potentially ineffective, and even dangerous. You wouldn’t just start playing full-contact Football without proper conditioning and technique would you? Take the following into consideration before adding jump-squats.


If you’re not conditioned to jumping: Condition the tissues to the impact of jumps with hops, jumping rope, and low-intensity squat jumps focused sound landing. Learn to control pronation of the foot—allowing the foot to “dive in” can lead to valgus collapse on the knee. Unless you’d like to groove higher risk of ACL injuries do it correctly before emphasizing weight.


Program Conservatively: Adding too much too soon will hinder your results, not help them. Take into account total training volume, loading, and rest periods when programming jump squats into your training. A progress such as 3×5, 4×4, and 5×3 works well to coordinate lifting intensity with jumps.


Jump Mechanics are vital: Take-off should emphasis driving through the entire foot, triple extension, and a vertical joint stacking of the entire body. Your body should be a straight line from ankle to ear, not leaning forward.

Here’s an example:


On the landing you must bend the knees and hips to absorb impact. Joints should be stacked and feet landing even on each jump. Stick and hold position for each jump to reinforce good mechanics—incase you want to be an athlete off the platform, bro. Pay attention to pronation of either foot (picture), where the foot goes the knee will follow.

Re-set and jump again, all these movements should be single response, not multi-response.


Resiliant Trunk: For transfer of force you need a strong mid-section, that’s why core training is so important. During counter-movements and landings of the jump the trunk should stay engaged and rigid. Avoid bending and kyphosis as they will lead to poor hip extension/ poor power, and poor landing.


Stick to Single Response Jumps: Jumps are very stressful on the body and most people struggle with their execution. That said, single response jumps are the safest way to go for most people. Multi-response jumps (jumping multiple times without sticking the landing and resetting) will expose weaknesses in mechanics and require great relative strength. Prescribing them to you without seeing you jump would be ignorant and irresponsible. Stick to single response.


Incorporating Jump Squats


Day 1: Squat: Speed-Strength+ Maximum Strength

Dynamic Movement and (optional) movement skills

1a. DB Jump Squat 4×4 w/ 10-20lbs external resistance

1b. Plank 4×45 sec

2a. Heavy Squat 5×2-3 @ 85-95%

2b. lateral band march 5×8

3a. Bulgarian Split Squat 3×8-10

3b. Palloff Press 3×12

  1. Sled March/ Prowler Push

Day 2: Upper Body Push/Pull

Day 3: Deadlift: Strength-Speed + Speed-Strength

Dynamic Movement and (optional) movement skills

1a.Barbell Jump Squat 3×5 w/bar

1b. Side Plank 3×30 sec.

2a. Speed Deadlift 5×3-5 @40-75%

2b. Fire Hydrant x8

3a. Barbell RDL 4×8-10

3b. BW Glute Bridge 4×12

  1. DB Walking Lunge 2-3×8-12

Day 4: Upper Body Push/Pull

Wrap Up

Squatting big weight takes much practice doing just that—you must emphasis maximum strength. But, when the dreaded plateau hits you’ll need to take your programming to the next level. Step back and evaluate things—what’s missing? Explosiveness.

Emphasize jump squats over your next few training cycles and get on the explosive path to a bigger squat.



About the Author: Eric Bach, CSCS, PN1 is a strength coach, author, and fitness consultant in Denver, Colorado. Eric has been featured in publications such as T-Nation, Muscle & Strength, eliteFTS, and thePTDC. He is owner of Bach Performance where he coaches clients take control of their lives, helping them become stronger, shredded, and more athletic. Get your Free copy of 101 Tips to Jacked and Shredded and a Free Jump-Start E Course Here.






SUNY Cortland/ Golisano Childrens Hospital Charity Deadlift Event!

Hi all!

On November 22nd at 8:00pm Cortland will be hosting a charity deadlift event for Upstates Golisano’s Children’s Hospital. It’s going to be a good time for a good cause. The cost is 25.00 and we’re capping the number of participants at 50. Download the PDF and mail the information to me at 87 Lincoln Avenue Cortand NY 13045





How bigger glutes may improve the squat and deadlift

“Strength is a product of muscular action initiated and orchestrated by electrical processes in the nervous system of the body. Classically, strength is defined as the ability of a given muscle or group of muscles to generate muscular force under specific conditions.” (Verkhoshansky 1)

– Verkhoshansky and Siff


There are so many factors that contribute to how a person expresses strength. Some factors cannot be changed, such as limb length. For example, short arms would be beneficial for the bench press but not the deadlift (Keogh). Other factors can be controlled such as muscle hypertrophy and more effective nervous system stimulation.


Several months ago I was at the Fitness Summit in Kansas City. Bret Contreras, one of the speakers had a presentation entitled “Contributing Factors to Displays of Strength”. In one of his slides he covered how gluteal hypertrophy can lead to increased hip extension torque. He stated that, “increasing gluteus maximus hypertrophy by 32% leads to 50% increase in torque potential”. As a competitive powerlifter, anything to do with increasing strength peaks my interest so I decided to dig deeper into the biomechanical rational behind that statement. This article is going to examine why increased gluteal hypertrophy may help to increase torque (strength) in the squat and deadlift. First here’s what you need to know: Read the rest of this page »

Is there a most important training aspect to increase muscle size?

A common training goal is to improve body composition, meaning lose fat gain muscle. Beginners to resistance training usually see rapid gains in strength and then subsequent gains in muscle growth. However, as a people advance continually increasing muscle size may be difficult. The best mechanism for hypertrophy has been debated and researched. It is generally accepted that muscle tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage are the cause of muscle growth but it is unknown whether causing more than one of these scenarios is additive or redundant (3). Simply stated, is muscle tension + metabolic stress better than muscle tension or metabolic stress on its own?


Read the rest of this page »

Resistance training or cardio for fat loss? Why not both?

The cause of obesity is a complex combination of environment, behavioral habits and genetics (Paddon-Jones). In the United States, 69% of adults are overweight and 36% are obese (Sword). Obesity is associated with health conditions including hypertension, type two diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hyperlipidemia, respiratory problems and several different types of cancer (Hammond, Sword, Barnes).  Risk of hypertension is 40-60% greater in overweight individuals and two times greater in obese individuals compared to non obese individuals. The risk of coronary heart disease is also greater in obese individuals compared to non obese individuals (Hammond).

The estimated medical cost of obesity is $147 billion dollars a year (in 2008). Childhood obesity accounts for approximately 14.3 billion dollars annually as well. Indirect cost need to be taken into account too. For example, being absent from work and decreased productivity at work because of obesity cost money. Although it is difficult to get an accurate number, the estimated total cost of obesity per year is over $215 billion dollars (Hammond).

Obesity is the result of long term positive energy balance (McQueen) caused by excessive calorie intake and lack of regular physical activity (Paddon-Jones). Excess calorie intake is what makes people obese despite many misconceptions that certain foods make people obese. Therefore an intervention based on decreasing calorie intake through dietary modification and increasing calorie output through exercise should be implemented (other personal characteristics of the client make the implementation of this more difficult than it sounds, saying eat less exercise more without a strategy rarely if ever works) Read the rest of this page »

Why does training with bands and chains work?

Powerlifters have been using variable resistance training with bands and chains for some time now. Variable resistance training has been shown to increase strength, power, and rate of force development of users (Joy). With variable resistance training external load changes throughout the range of motion (McMaster).

get it.. ha … ha

In order to understand why variable resistance training works it is important to understand strength curves. Multijoint strength curves for exercises such as the squat and deadlift are calculated by adding the torques of all the joints in the exercise. Strength curves can be ascending where max strength and force capabilities peak at towards the end of the lift (squat, deadlift, bench press), they can be descending where maximum strength occurs at the beginning of the lift (pull-up, chin-up) or they can be bell shaped (biceps curl) where maximal strength producing capabilities occur in the middle of the lift (McMaster). You’re going to have to look closely to see the image below demonstrating strength curves.

With bands and chains the resistance is greatest at the top of the movement. Since powerlifting movements like the squat, deadlift, and bench press have ascending strength curves where maximal force production occurs near the end of the lift, the added resistance matches the strength curve and may maximize strength gains (McMaster). Read the rest of this page »

Presentation videos

Presentation 1


Presentation 2


An examination of energy expenditure when squatting for reps


If you’ve squatted for reps you probably know that you’ve just done a cardiovascular workout especially as the weight increases. A ten rep squat at 300lbs would leave me gasping for breath with my heart rate through the roof, I have long femurs so the bar has to travel quite far for me to hit parallel ( exaggerating a little on the gasping but you get the point).  Just the other day I completed a pyramid loading squat routine which we’ll examine later in this article.

*Cory confirmed for wearing sunglasses in doors

What you need to know

  • Resistance training places demands on the phosphagen, glycolytic, and mitochondrial energy systems (Robergs) and can certainly be used in conjunction with diet interventions to help aid in fat loss and favorable changes in body composition
  • Could it also help with cardiovascular function? Escamilla et. al stated that deadlifting for 4 sets of 8 at 175 kg would have the lifter expending 3.5 L *O2/min -1 which is relatively high compared with walking, jogging, and other common actives (Escamilla). You can read more about that here.

Read the rest of this page »