Like a lot of stories about a great revelation, this one starts with a journey through the desert.
I had convinced my buddy Rob to drive the 9 hours to Scottsdale Arizona to attend a workshop being put on by Steve Maxwell. It was called the Training For A Lifetime Workshop and the main reason I wanted to attend it was for the mobility training portion.
At the time I was suffering from a lingering groin injury from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and I was looking for a way to fix it and be able to avoid it again. Steve is unique because he has a long history with both fitness coaching and BJJ training, which made me think that he had some insights into my problem that other coaches might not.
As we drove through the Utah and Arizona desert talking about everything from strength training methods to BJJ techniques and even some politics, Rob and I had no idea that we were heading towards a truly life changing experience. But it wasn’t for the reason we thought we were going for.
Sure, the mobility stuff that Steve showed was great, helping to fix my groin and keeping me injury free since. What really changed my world, though, was when he got to the Strength Training portion of the workshop.
I’ll admit that I didn’t think I was going to get much from it. I mean, I’ve been a strength coach for over 20 years and have been working out for over 3 decades, so it is rare that I see something new.
I’ve also helped produce some pretty good results with a lot of clients, including 3 national champions in various mountain biking disciplines. So I thought I had a pretty good idea about what it took to create an effective strength training program.
Steve, however, showed me that I had been approaching the problem of getting stronger all wrong. With one sentence he changed how I looked at strength training forever…
“The skill of producing tension in a muscle is one thing and the skill of applying that tension to a movement is another.”
After that he showed us his Ramping Isometrics Training Method, which was something I had never seen or heard of before. And after trying a few exercises and feeling tension levels I had never experienced before I knew that there was something really valuable going on with it.
Driving back home Rob and I made a pact to try this new training method for the next 6 months and see what happened. We would keep each other accountable and make sure that we gave it a good, honest effort before making a conclusion.
Luckily for us, though, it didn’t take that long to start to see the results. After a few weeks we could feel the ability to produce and control our tension levels carrying over to our sports and we started to experiment with new exercises, excited to see where this new path to strength could lead us.
That was a little over 2 years ago and in that time I have continued to research isometric training and use that research to help me evolve the program that I emerged from the desert with into a unique training system – The Atomic Strength Training System. As far as I know, there isn’t another training system like it and I hope that it can help to change how people look at getting stronger using Isometric Training.
I want to end by saying thanks to those that helped to influence this training system. Besides Steve Maxwell I was also heavily influenced by Christian Thibaudeau, who has done a lot to keep this old school method alive in today’s fitness world. I also know that there are a lot of people who came before us that pioneered a lot of the methods and concepts I learned from those two sources that I owe a debt of gratitude to as well.
I hope that this program can help you improve your performance and avoid injuries that are all too common with regular training programs. Your training can and should compliment your sport and everyday life, not detract from it by making you sore, tired and open to overuse injuries. That’s what The Atomic Strength Training Program has done for me and I know it can do it for you as well.
Until next time…