LEO Training: Strength & Conditioning | Endurance | Health | Performance | Injury Prevention | Joe DeLeo

Strength, endurance, health and injury rehabilitation advice from host Joe DeLeo, NSCA-CSCS, FMS, SFG I . This is your podcast resource for top notch tips, strategies, information and stories from strength & conditioning, rowing, running and other endurance sports as well as expert information on nutrition, health and wellness that can be applied to everyone from elite athletes to exercise enthusiasts. This podcast will feature interviews with elite and amateur athletes, strength and endurance coaches, health & wellness experts, and injury rehabilitation professionals. If you are looking to improve your health, strength, and fitness while simultaneously training smarter this podcast has something for you! Train Smarter. Get Stronger. Move Better. Race Faster. For more information and resources, go to
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LEO Training: Strength & Conditioning | Endurance | Health | Performance | Injury Prevention | Joe DeLeo








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May 14, 2017

My guest this week is Jon Engum. Jon Engum is a 7th Dan Kukkiwon Certified Taekwondo Grandmaster and holds Master rank in Hapkido and Kumdo.

He is the author of Flexible Steel, Creator and Chief Instructor of the Flexible Steel system, owner of Jon Engum's Extreme Training, Engum's Academy of Taekwondo and  a StrongFirst Master Instructor who teaches workshops, courses and certifications worldwide.

Jon and I catch up after I recently attended the Flexible Steel Level I Seminar in New York City.

Interview Topics:

  • Jon's background in martial arts and roots in kettlebell training
  • Why he started Flexible Steel
  • How Flexible Steel is different
  • The 3 S's
  • My experience using Flexible Steel post workshop during a training session and my results
  • Handstand Pushups--> Military Press
  • Single Arm Clean & Jerk for MMA Fighters
  • and much more!

Show Notes:


May 7, 2017

My guest this week is Dr. Evan Johnson, Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology in the Department of Kinesiology and Health at the University of Wyoming. Dr. Johnson focuses his research interests on the physiological mechanisms and overall health benefits related to optimal hydration, physical activity, and heat exposure. Dr. Johnson earned his B.A. at The George Washington University, his M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Connecticut. In this interview we take a hard look at some of the scientific literature out there around some key topics that have been getting a lot of in the last several years. This is a great opportunity to look beyond some of the marketing that companies and products put forward and have a better grasp on the science. Check out the topics below to see what we discussed.

Interview Topics:

  • Dr. Johnson's Career and focus for his coursework
  • What prompted us to have this podcast (my Instagram post on grip strength)
  • His research on hydration
  • Wearable technology for weight loss
  • The altitude mask
  • and much more

Show Notes:

Apr 30, 2017

LT 069 | Kelly Manzone - Movement over Aesthetics

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This week my guest is Kelly Manzone. Kelly is a wife and mother who utilizes a variety of different modalities to improve strength, flexibility, and fitness. Above all Kelly integrates all of these different disciplines to live a life of movement. We cover a variety of different topics in this interview and there is something for coaches, trainers, and the layperson to takeaway from this conversation.

Interview Topics:

  • Kelly's intro/background
  • Integration of various disciplines such as the mace, kettlebell, stick mobility, original strength
  • Movement over Aesthetics
  • GS Planet & Vintage Strength
  • The fitness industry has forgotten about women over 35
  • Kelly's response to dealing with serious health issues include a back injury and GI
  • GS and Hardstyle
  • Competing at the Arnold Classic

Show Notes:

Apr 23, 2017

LT 068 | Greg Hughes - Integrating Technology into Collegiate Rowing

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Earlier this year I had the pleasure of catching up with Princeton University Men's Heavyweight Rowing Coach Greg Hughes at the 2016 Joy of Sculling Conference. Greg teamed up with rowing biomechanics expert Connie Draper to give a great presentation on the integration of different types of technology into collegiate rowing. This is a fascinating look at how coaches and athletes can use data from the boat such as force curves, individual data such as heart rate variability and heart rate, and GPS data to become better informed about how to execute during training as well as enhance our ability to recover between training sessions.

Greg has had tremendous success as an athlete and a coach.  Here are just some of the highlights of his career.

Greg Hughes begins his eighth season with the Tiger heavyweights in 2017 and has guided Princeton to a 16-2 record over the last two seasons, as well as medals at both Sprints and IRAs both season. Last year, Princeton went 8-1 and won medals in its top four boats at postseason regattas; the varsity boat took silver at Sprints and bronze at IRAs, its best postseason performance in a decade.

Since 2013, Princeton has made every grand final at Sprints and IRAs, and it hasn't finished below fourth in either.

As the heavyweight coach, Hughes has led Princeton to an 48-14 record, including an 29-13 mark in the Ivy League. He has also helped several of his individual rowers to international success, including 2016 captain Martin Barakso, who was a member of the Canadian Team at the 2015 Senior World Championships. Many of his rowers have competed at the U-23 Worlds annually, including eight current or incoming rowers at the 2016 Championships.

Hughes, a former Ivy League and national champion rower with the Princeton men’s lightweights, took over as head coach of the men’s lightweight crew in 2006, following the retirement of his former coach, Joe Murtaugh. In his first year, Hughes turned a team that had gone 2-7 in consecutive seasons into a program that went 5-3 and earned a bronze medal at nationals.

In each of the next three seasons, Princeton’s winning percentage would improve, and the Orange and Black would win at least one medal at either the EARC or IRA championships. In 2008, the Tigers rose to No. 1 in the national rankings, won its first Goldthwait Cup over Harvard and Yale since 1999 and placed second at the Eastern championships.

In 1999, Hughes co-coached the U.S. lightweight men’s 2- and the heavyweight 2+ at the World Championships, with the latter winning the gold. He co-coached the U.S. men’s eight and the men’s pair at the Under-23 World Championships in 2000, where the eight won a bronze medal. The next year, Hughes assisted Murtaugh in coaching the U.S. lightweight eight that won bronze at the World Championships. In 2002, Hughes coached the Under-23 men’s eight to a gold and the pair to a bronze at the World Championships. He also led the U.S. 4+ to a bronze medal at the 2004 World Championships. In 2005, Hughes coached the US men’s 4- which finished 4th at the Under-23 Worlds, and he coached the U.S. men's 4+ to gold at the 2007 World Championships.

Hughes was a four-year lightweight rower under Murtaugh. A 1996 Princeton graduate, Hughes was undefeated in all of his four regular seasons and won two Eastern Sprints titles. He was an All-Ivy League rower on the 1994 and 1996 national championship lightweight crews. He served as team captain in 1996 and won the Gordon G. Sikes Award for the greatest contribution to Princeton lightweight crew. He would go on to be an alternate for both the 1997 and 1998 lightweight U.S. national teams.

Interview Topics:

  • Intro/Background as an athlete
  • Greg's path to coaching
  • Firstbeat
  • Peach System
  • Catapult
  • High Performance Initiative at Princeton University
  • Accounting for the rigors of an academic schedule with student athletes
  • Peaking for high performance in college rowing
  • and much more

Show Notes:



Apr 16, 2017

This podcast interview has a very special meaning for me personally. I got to sit down and interview Dr. Perry Nickelston who is the person who inspired me to start this podcast. He gave me the belief that it was possible and planted the seed in my mind that it was something I could do. I've had the privilege of learning from Dr. Perry twice in person. The first time was at the RockTape FMT 1 & 2 Seminar and the second time was at his workshop, Primal Movement Chains. This is a phenomenal interview and was a ton of fun. We cover a ton of ground and we also discuss Dr. Perry's upcoming book being released later this year.

Dr. Perry Nickelston is a chiropractic physician with nineteen years in the trenches helping people get out of pain. He is the owner of the Pain Laser Center in Waldwick, New Jersey, which specializes in Deep Tissue Laser Therapy for pain relief and healing, and the owner and director of Stop Chasing Pain, an education company dedicated to teaching people how to move better and take back control of their lives from pain. He is an international speaker and teacher on movement, pain, laser therapy, and corrective exercise programs and the creator of the “Primal Movement Chains: Moving Beyond Mobility” courses, which are taught all over the world. He is also a writer and columnist for numerous fitness and health industry publications; a Master Instructor for Rocktape, Neurokinetic Therapy, Functional Movement Screen, and Selective Functional Movement Assessment; and a board member for the AIMLA American Institute for Medical Laser Application.

Here's what you will learn in this interview:

  • Dr. Nickelston's background and journey as a teacher and clinician
  • The story behind the 'Stop Chasing Pain' name
  • Dr. Perry's approach to movement, training, and health
  • Most common types of pain he sees in his clinic
  • Why Stability Rules the Movement Road
  • Training stability by making someone more stable not less
  • Speed Hides Need!
  • Why pain is a protective mechanism and recognizing that movement does not lie
  • Primal Movement Chains Workshop
  • Stop Chasing Pain - The Book
  • Amino Health Care
  • and much more!

Show Notes:

Apr 9, 2017

Mike is the founder and owner of Skill of Strength. In his thirteen plus years as a Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach, he has trained clients of all ages and abilities including athletes represented in MLS, NFL, MLB, UFC Bellator MMA, CES MMA and other local mixed martial arts promotions.

In addition to providing performance-based training, Mike specializes in training clients with prior injuries including low back pain, shoulder, hip and knee injuries, and virtually any type of movement dysfunction. He works closely with local chiropractors, physical therapists and muscular therapists to ensure his clients are getting the best care possible.

In addition to running Skill of Strength, Mike works as a consultant to several other gyms where he runs in-house seminars for their staff. He is available to present on strength and conditioning related topics including, but not limited to, kettlebell training, barbell training and functional movement.

Mike also works for Pavel Tsatouline’s company, StrongFirst. He is a StrongFirst Senior Instructor (Kettlebell Instructor) and SFL instructor (Barbell Instructor) for StrongFirst. In this position as Senior Instructor, he leads teams of other instructor candidates during StrongFirst certifications and runs one-day user courses at Skill of Strength and other gyms.

Mike also recently accepted a position as an instructor with Functional Movement Systems (FMS).

Mike’s true passion is working with Mixed Martial Artists. He currently trains over a dozen local fighters including several title holders. He runs a website dedicated to the art of strength and conditioning for fighters,

Mike’s credentials include:

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association – Certified Personal Trainer – (NSCA-CPT)
  • Strongfirst Senior Instructor
  • Strongfirst Barbell Lifter- (SFL)
  • USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach- (USA-W)
  • USA Track and Field Coach (USATF)
  • Functional movement screen certified specialist (FMS 1+2)
  • Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist (CK-FMS)
  • FMS Assistant Instructor


Here is what you will learn in the interview:

  • Mike's background
  • Skill of Strength's Intake Process for New students and clients
  • Correct vs. Corrective exercise
  • Training clients coming back from low back injuries
  • Progressions & why regressions are doing your work twice
  • MMA programming
  • Why Movement prep should be skilled based
  • Efficiency vs fitness
  • The importance of the weight shift in the pistol
  • and much more

Show Notes:


Apr 2, 2017

In Episode 065 I had the honor to sit down with Brian Carroll a legend in the sport of powerlifting. Brian and I met this past February at the McGill 2 seminar. After chatting a bit during the weekend I asked him to be a guest on the podcast. I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of Brian's book 10/20/Life. 

Brian and I discuss his career, his book and how you can apply these principles to your own training.

Here is a bit more about Brian's background:

A competitive powerlifter since 1999, Brian Carroll is one of the most accomplished lifters in the history of the sport. After suffering a debilitating back injury in 2012—including several broken bones—Brian used his 10/20/Life principles, which incorporate the methods of world-renowned lower back specialist Dr. Stuart McGill, to return to competition with a 2610 pound total winning both the 242 open & the overall at the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival.

Career Highlights:

  • Holds, or has held, multiple world, national, and state records in the 220, 242, and 275 pound weight classes.
  • One of few lifters to attain a professional powerlifting total in three different weight classes.
  • One of even fewer lifters to be ranked in the top ten in three different weight classes at the same time.
  • Ranked second in the world in the 275 pound class with a total of 2730 and a historic 1185 squat—a then-world-record that, although since broken, most still consider to be the true record due to depth issues.

220 Class:

1030 squat, 633 bench, 755 deadlift
2375 TOTAL (10th best of all time).

242 Class:

1064 squat, 785 bench, 780 deadlift
2610 TOTAL (3rd best of all time).

275 Class:

1185 squat, 825 bench, 800 deadlift
2730 TOTAL (3rd best of all time).

Brian has also totaled more than ten times his bodyweight in three different classes, and both bench pressed and deadlifted over 800 pounds in two different classes. In his career, he’s totaled 2500 over fifteen times. Since 2005, Brian has not slipped out of the top two in the American rankings in both the squat and total, and he’s been ranked number one in both categories at 220, 242, and 275 pounds. With 35 competition squats over 1000, spread over three different weight classes, he’s indisputably one of the best squatters of all time.

Here's what you will learn in this interview:

  • Brian's background and career in powerlifting
  • The reason for writing 10/20/Life
  • Dr. Stuart McGill
  • Why this book is a philosophy and principle based, not a program
  • Balance between training and life
  • Four phases of a warm-up
  • "Availability supercedes ability"
  • Why you must take the mindset that "Every lift is the same, no matter the weight."
  • The Gift of Injury

Show Notes:

Mar 26, 2017

In Episode 064 of the LEO Training Podcast I had the honor to sit down and interview Dr. Volker Nolte. Volker and I met at the 2016 Joy of Sculling Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Dr. Volker Nolte is the head rowing coach and assistant professor at Western, where he teaches biomechanics and coaching. Since 1993, Nolte’s leadership has led the men’s rowing team to 11 Ontario University Athletics Championships and four Canadian University Rowing Championships. Since 2010, he is also the head coach for the women’s program. In the 2011-12 season, Nolte coached both the men’s and women’s teams to OUA championships. In the 2013-14 season, Western captured both the OUA Men's and Women's titles again. In addition, the men's and women's teams were both 2013 National Champions, winning titles at the Canadian University Rowing Championships. The 2014-15 season saw the women take their second consecutive OUA, and National titles, while the men placed second at Provincials and fourth at Nationals.

Nolte’s work as a coach was recognized several times over his career. He received the Award of Merit from Rowing Canada Aviron in 1996 and the International Rowing Federation (FISA) in 1998, the President’s Award from Rowing Canada in 1998 and was the 3M Coach of the Year in 2001. In 2006 and 2007, he was awarded Coach of the Year from the Canadian University Rowing Association and was the first Western coach after Jack Fairs who received the Jack Fairs Coaching Award of Merit in 2009. In 2010, Nolte was presented with the Coaches’ Recognition Award from Rowing Canada.

Nolte’s expertise is documented many times through invitations that he receives from rowing programs all over the world. The latest acknowledgments came through invitations from New Zealand Rowing (2007), US Rowing (2008) and the German Rowing Association (2010). He has also been invited to guest-coach both famous Boatrace Crews Oxford (2006) and Cambridge (2010) in years when they won their races. In addition, he was the lightweight men’s national team coach with Rowing Canada from 1992 to 2000. His national team crews won an Olympic silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games, two World Championship titles in 1993 and 2000, and several more medals at World Championships.

Nolte received both a Physical Education Diploma (1976) and a Civil Engineering Diploma (1979) from the University of Saarbrücken (Germany), and a Ph.D. (1984) from the German Sport University in Cologne (Germany) in Biomechanics.

He is an internationally acknowledged expert in biomechanics. Together with his expertise in the coaching field, he frequently presents at scientific and coach education conferences worldwide. His research includes coaching and biomechanics of high performance sport, especially rowing. He is also a distinguished researcher in the field of sport equipment. He co-holds international patents for isokinetic training machines and his developments range from special measurement tools up to new boat designs in rowing. His research has produced many papers in refereed journals, articles in various publications and the popular book “Rowing Faster”, now in its second edition (2011).

Nolte is an experienced rower, representing his home country Germany at several World Championships and he is still a keen competitor in the Master’s events.

Here is what we discuss in this interview:

  • Dr. Nolte's background, education, and roots in rowing
  • Overview of block vs. random practice
  • Rowing Faster
  • Why the erg and the boat are different
  • The importance of "play" in finding your own stroke
  • The importance of variety and exposure to younger athletes to help their learning and development
  • Why you cannot learn rowing on the ergometer and how balance is a major factor
  • and much more.

Show Notes:

Mar 19, 2017

Episode 063 of the LEO Training Podcast features personal trainer, Levi Markwardt. Levi has a great story to share. He has worked himself back into health and fitness and lose over 100 pounds utilizing bodyweight and kettlebells. He also is the strength coach for a local high school.

Here is what we cover in this interview:

  • Levi's Background and story
  • His background as a wrestler
  • Working with local high school athletes in football, wrestling
  • Strength Endurance work
  • Why breakdowns occur mentally not physically
  • Beginning strength training with bodyweight then utilizing kettlebells then the barbell

Show Notes:


Mar 12, 2017

This week’s guest is Dr. Fiona Wilson. Dr. Fiona Wilson is a chartered physiotherapist with over 25 years of postgraduate experience. She is the former Chief physiotherapist for Rowing Ireland with a particular interest in low back pain and injuries in rowing. She is a regular contributor to and has authored a few articles in the past year regarding low back injury mechanisms and rehabilitation.


Here is what you will learn in this interview:

  • Fiona Wilson’s Background
  • Potential Pain triggers and injury mechanisms
  • Cyclical loading of tissues
  • FAI (Femoral Acetabular Impingement Sydrome)
  • Why there is a disconnect with the research and high performance in the sport
  • Understanding fatigue and how this changes posture and results in moving from the low back vs. the hips
  • and much more!

Show Notes:

Mar 5, 2017

In this week's podcast episode my guest is Dr. Charlie Weingroff.

Charlie is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Certified Athletic Trainer, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  He is currently a Physical Therapist and Strength & Conditioning Coach at Drive 495 in Manhattan, NY and Fit For Life in Marlboro, NJ.  He also is a member of the Nike Executive Performance Council and serves as the Physical Performance Lead and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team.  Prior to returning to his home of NJ, he was the Director of Physical Performance and Resiliency and Lead Physical Therapist for the United States Marines Corps Special Operations Command in Camp Lejeune, NC.    He graduated from Ursinus College with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science in 1996, and went on to earn an MSPT in 1999 and DPT in 2010 from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Beginning in 1998, Charlie spent 12 seasons of professional basketball, highlighted by his time as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach and Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.   Among the highlights of his tenure in Philadelphia was being part of the medical staff that ranked 1st in the NBA in Player Missed Games in the 2005-06 season.

Through rehabbing patients, he subscribes to a movement-based approach popularized by the works of Gray Cook, Mike Boyle, Val Nsedkin, Dr. Pavel Kolar, and Louie Simmons.  In training athletes and clients, he champions the principles of the Functional Movement Screen and sound, evidence-based training principles.  Some of the methodologies Charlie is formally trained in include DNS, ART, Dry Needling, Graston, FMS/SFMA, TPI, and StrongFirst.

Aside from working with patients, athletes and clients, he is also under the bar himself.  In 2007, he achieved AAPF Elite status in the 220 weight class with a total of 1915 pounds. His best powerlifting competition total is 800 squat, 510 bench press and 605 deadlift.

Currently Charlie is available to treat, train, and consult at Drive495 in Manhattan, NYC and Fit For Life in Marlboro, NJ.  Charlie often teaches and speaks internationally and consults regularly with Nike, the Roddick-Grunberg Tennis Academy, Perform Better, and Equinox Fitness Clubs.

Here are some of the topics Charlie and I discuss during our interview:

  • Charlie's background and philosophy
  • Early sports specialization
  • His work with the 76ers and Canadian Men's Basketball
  • Should there be adjustments for a shorter or taller athlete if they are doing the same exercise?
  • HRV and Omegawave System
  • Why evaluation is so paramount and how it is the foundation for your programming.
  • Training = Rehab Model 1,2,3
  • and much more!

Show Notes:

Feb 26, 2017

LT 060 | Emily Bearden & Steve Milles - Five Points Academy

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Epsiode 060 of the LEO Training Podcast features two coaches from Five Points Academy in NYC. Emily Bearden and Steve Milles are both champion fighters who have had great success rehabbing their bodies through kettlebell training and enhancing performance of their fighters using this modality.

Emily Bearden first became interested in personal training while earning a BFA in Dance and Choreography, a course of study that required mastery of kinesiology, physiology, anatomy and dynamic alignment. Emily is also an internationally ranked competitive thai boxer, holding the professional World Champion belt in muay thai for the WKA, two US Championship Belts and was a member of the US Team to the International Muay Thai Federation Amateur Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. And she loves dogs, too. Emily holds the following certifications:
  • StrongFirst SFG Level II Kettlebell Instructor
  • StrongFirst (SFL) Lift Barbell Instructor
  • AFAA certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor
  • Post Rehab and Conditioning Specialist with the American Academy of Health and Fitness Professionals
  •  TRX Group Suspension Training Course Instructor
  • Primal Move Coach
  • Esquerre Fitness Group Advanced Stretching Techniques
  • Asst. Instructor by the Muay Thai International Association

Steve Milles has competitive and coaching experience in muay Thai spanning more than two decades. As a competitor he won a bronze medal representing the US at the International Amateur Muay Thai Federation World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. After turning professional Steve captured the World Kickboxing Association and International Sport Kickboxing Association US Champion belts as well as the Intercontinental Champion title for the US Muay Thai Association, battling current and former world champions in North America, Europe and Asia. He retired with a professional record of 20 wins, 8 losses and 2 draws. Steve holds the following credentials in addition to his impressive fighting background.

  • StrongFirst SFG Team Leader
  • Tactical Strength SBS
  • FMS Level 1 Functional Movement Specialist
  • CICS Indian Club Specialist
  • GroundForce Method Level 1 Instructor

Here is what you will learn in this episode:

  • Emily & Steve's background in fighting
  • How the kettlebell helped them rehab from injuries and improve performance
  • How Five Points Academy integrates strength training with their fighters that are competing
  • Before and after effects of utilizing the kettlebell into a fighters program
  • Why is endurance important to a fighter?
  • Vegan diet as a fighter and its benefits
  • and much more!

Show Notes:

Feb 19, 2017

This week's guest is world renowned kettlebell expert, Steve Cotter.

As the Founder and Director of IKFF, Steve Cotter draws from an extensive and diverse background as a champion athlete and cutting-edge trainer to develop some of the most complete and exciting programs in strength and conditioning today.

Throughout his lifelong study, Steve continues to research and implement the most effective training methods in kettlebells, martial arts, qigong, strength and conditioning, athletics and human performance fields. He constantly improves his skills and abilities to benefit, teach and motivate you.

Named to Men’s Health Magazine’s “100 Fittest Men of All-Time”, Cotter shares his years of experience as a martial artist, world-class athlete and fitness coach to design and supervise programs for those who take their training seriously. While each client is unique, a common theme always presents itself in Steve’s training programs; an unyielding focus, unparalleled intensity and precise attention to detail.

Working tirelessly to share his passion for teaching as well as fitness and health, Steve teaches on 6 continents and has developed qualified kettlebell fitness instructors representing over 60 nations and growing.

Here's what you will learn in this episode:

  • Steve's background and education
  • Steve's book and home study course, Kettlebell Training
  • Travelling around the world and how to deal with the effects on your body
  • Attitude and Mindset
  • Different types of kettlebells | cast iron vs. competition bells
  • The history of GS
  • Strength Endurance and Strength-Power Endurance
  • Hardstyle and Girevoy Sport differences
  • 3 Most important things when training with kettlebells
  • Power Output in Athletics
  • and much more




Show Notes:

Feb 12, 2017

LT 058 | Bryan Volpenhein - From Walk on to Olympic Champion

Episode 058 is sponsored by Finish Line Shell Repair

Subscribe & Review : iTunes | Stitcher

US Rowing Men's Head Coach and Olympic Gold Medalist is this week's guest on the LEO Training Podcast. Bryan Volpenhein is a three-time Olympian and 2004 gold medalist in the men’s eight. He is responsible for the men’s high performance sweep squad and works to develop, select and prepare the team for international competition. 

In this interview Bryan and I discuss rowing from multiple angles - both that of an athlete and a coach. This is a fascinating look into the spectrum of his experience as a collegiate walk on to Olympic Champion.

Here is what you will learn in this episode:

  • How Bryan got started with rowing at The Ohio State University
  • Club Rowing Teams and how they are different
  • Transitioning onto the National Team
  • Discussing the elimination of freshmen rowing and the impact on the sport
  • Individualized Training in a Team Environment
  • Why Communication is one of the most important elements to coaching
  • Having patience and not setting barriers for yourself and how this relates to performance
  • Food!
  • 4 things everyone should know how to do when cooking.
  • and much more!

Show Notes:

Feb 5, 2017

LT 057 | Dr. Anders Ericsson & Dr. Robert Pool - Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Subscribe & Review : iTunes | Stitcher

In episode 057 I sit down with authors Dr. Anders Ericsson and Dr. Robert Pool to discuss their book Peak. Let me tell you a little bit more about both of them.

Dr. Anders Ericsson is a Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University who is internationally recognized as the world's reigning expert of expertise. His research focus on the psychological nature of expertise and human performance.

Ericsson has studied expert performance in domains such as medicine, music, chess, and sports, focusing exclusively on extended deliberate practice (e.g., high concentration practice beyond one's comfort zone) as a means of how expert performers acquire their superior performance.

Dr. Robert Pool combined his history, physics, and mathematics degrees with his love of writing to successfully transition from mathematics professor to renowned science, technology, and medical writer. He has taught science writing at Johns Hopkins University and has worked as a writer and editor at the world's two most prestigious science publications -- Science and Nature -- and hundreds of his works have been published in the top publications in a variety of fields, publications that include Discover, New Scientist, Science, Nature, Technology Review, Forbes ASAP, Think Research, The Washington Post, FSU Research in Review, MIT Technology Review, and so on.

This interview is about much more than their book though! We go deep into skill acquisition and how we all have the ability progress through deliberate practice. Here's what you will learn in this interview:

  • Introduction & Background of Dr. Ericsson and Dr. Pool
  • What is practice?
  • What are the 3 types of practice?
  • Why talent and natural ability are not the determining factor for high performance
  • How to achieve a high level of expertise by utilizing deliberate practice
  • Malcolm Gladwell and Outliers
  • Clearing up confusion about the "10,000 hour rule" and what does it really mean?
  • How a coach or layperson can break down a skill into actionable steps to improve their performance
  • Peak - The Book
  • and much more!

Show Notes:

Jan 30, 2017

John Harrison has an amazing story to share and I was thrilled to have him on my podcast. He is a father of four children. By the time John turned 30 years old he was over 300 pounds. At 41 he is now at 200 pounds. John lost well over 60 pounds through unconventional training methods including kettlebell training, mace swinging, sandbags and others.

John is an SFG I through StrongFirst and a licensed massage therapist through the Pennsylvania Institute of Massage Therapy. John shares his road to health and fitness and how he has successfully lost his weight. He also shares his approach to working with his students and clients by incorporating the Functional Movement Screen, soft tissue work, and strength training to really provide a totally integrated approach.

Here is what you will learn in this episode:

  • Intro/background
  • Success with convention methods of weight loss (running, elliptical, etc.)
  • How unconventional training methods of weight loss (kettlebell, mace, sandbag) made the difference.
  • Journey from HKC to SFG and pursuing massage therapy
  • Integrating FMS, massage therapy, and strength training into student's training sessions
  • Rik Brown (Mr. Maceman)
  • Don Giardafino
  • and much more

Show Notes:


Jan 22, 2017

Today's guest is a legend in the strength and conditioning community. Mark Reifkind has been training and coaching for 40 years! He has been an outstanding athlete in multiple sports including gymnastics, powerlifting, bodybuilding, ultra-running and is well known around the world in the kettlebell community.

Mark first started working with kettlebells in 1998 around the same time Pavel Tsatsouline is credited with bringing them to the west. He started the first kettlebell gym in the United States,  Girya Strength in 2003. Mark has also rehabbed from some serious injuries including a complete knee replacement and shoulder injury during his gymnastics career.

Here is what you will learn in this exclusive interview:

  • Mark's athletic background across multiple sports as both an athlete and coach
  • His shoulder and knee injuries and how he rehabbed them
  • His presentation on total knee replacement
  • Sarcopenia - muscle mass loss as you age
  • The Lost Art of Training
  • Important bio-markers for strength and health as you age
  • His return to StrongFirst
  • and much more

Show Notes:

Jan 15, 2017

My guest this week is Dr. Bryan Mann. Dr. Bryan Mann is the Assistant Teaching Professor of Physical Therapy and was the Assistant Director of  Strength & Conditioning at the University of Missouri from 2004 -2016. Dr. Bryan Mann has been competing in the sport of powerlifting since 1996. He has many powerlifting accolades to his name in raw, single-ply, and multi-ply lifting. He is a researcher and author, having written several research publications dealing with training in Division 1 athletics, specifically football. He has written three books, most notably the Complete Guide to Powerlifting for Human Kinetics with co-author Dan Austin.

Here's what you will learn in this episode:

  • Dr. Bryan Mann's background in strength & conditioning
  • Why stress is a syndrome
  • Social media as a stress
  • How to program for a few hundred athletes
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • "Dont confuse highly trained with genetically endowed."
  • Cal Dietz
  • Velocity Training
  • and much more

Show Notes:

Jan 1, 2017

My guest for Epsiode 053 of the LEO Training Podcast is Dr. Kenneth Jay. Dr. Kenneth Jay is the author of the Cardio Code. Kenneth is from Denmark, and is the author of several books including the Viking Warrior Conditioning, a scientific approach to forging a heart of elastic steel, and the applications of the theory behind proper VO2max training. He works with athletes of all ages and demographics and teaches his Cardio Code Seminar around the world! Here is what you will learn in this episode:

  • Dr. Kenneth Jay's background in health and fitness
  • His PhD work
  • The Cardio Code
  • Keyboard athletes
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Weight training is not cardiovascular training
  • Why having a high heart rate is not cardiovascular training
  • Heart Morphology
  • The energy system does not determine if an activity is cardiovascular it's the activity at hand
  • and much more!

Show Notes:

Dec 26, 2016

In Episode 052 of the LEO Training Podcast I interview Jack Carlson. Jack is an entrepreneur and international coxswain. Jack is a three-time member of the United States rowing team and a World Championships bronze medalist; he has won at Henley Royal Regatta, the Head of the Charles Regatta, and Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. Jack has trained under coaches Henry Bailhache-Webb and Richard Spratley at Oxford Brookes Boat Club, a High Performance Centre for the British team and, along with Leander Club, one of Great Britain's two most successful rowing clubs.  In North American competition and U.S. trials, Jack is proud to represent the New York Athletic Club - the spiritual home of elite amateur sport in the United States. In 2014 Jack published the book Rowing Blazers which is now available for sale.

Here is what you will learn in this episode:

Show Notes:

Dec 18, 2016

In Episode 051 of the LEO Training Podcast I sit down with Dr. Tim Simansky. Dr. Tim Simansky is an international lecturer, entrepreneur, strength coach, and sports chiropractor. He is most notably known for his involvement in the functional fitness community where he has made a niche in the rehabilitation, injury prevention and performance enhancement of functional fitness athletes.

Dr. Simansky has been a member of the CrossFit Games Athlete Services at both the Regional and Games level since 2012. He has acted as the East Regional co-director of Athlete Services since 2015.

Aside from his physical participation in CrossFit Dr. Simansky maintains a constant virtual presence as the founder of Through his involvement in WODdoc Dr. Simansky has been honored with the opportunity to lecture both nationally and internationally.

Here are some of the topics we discuss:

  • Dr. Simansky's background and education
  • How did WODDdoc get started?
  • The most common injuries Dr. Simansky sees
  • Common rowing injuries in crossfit
  • Movement Summit & RockTape
  • Pop up clinic in Kuwait
  • The Injury Lottery
  • "The only worthless knowledge, is the knowledge you don't share."
  • Sara Hendershot, Rowficcient and rowing in Crossfit

Show Notes:

Dec 11, 2016

This episode's guest is rowing coach Marlene Royle. As a competitor, Marlene has won major titles in sculling and sweep rowing including a US National Championship, a Collegiate National Championship, and a Head of the Charles title. She was awarded the Melissa Hale Spencer Award at the West Side Rowing Club of Buffalo in 1980 and the Beverly Jean Cook Award while on the Boston University Rowing Team in 1982. She also served as Boston University Crew's Varsity Women's Captain in 1985. In 2000, she set two world records on the Concept2 Indoor Rower. She is a registered occupational therapist, in addition to being educated in physiology, massage therapy, and strength training. Royle’s publications include: Tip of the Blade: Notes on Rowing, Skillful Rowing, and Technical Drills for Sculling. Tech Tips is Marlene's column on the Craftsbury Sculling Center website and her column Training appears monthly in the international journal, Rowing News.

Marlene was among the first coaches in the United States dedicated to masters rowing. For 20 years she coached at the Craftsbury Sculling Center and was the center’s associate director from 2004-2006. From 2005-2009, Marlene was the head coach at the Florida Rowing Center. Currently she coaches at the Whistler Rowing Club, Florida Rowing Center, and offers camps and lessons by arrangement. Marlene is married to Russian author, Sasha Sokolov.

Here is what you will learn in this episode:

  • Marlene's background and education and how this formed her foundation for teaching the rowing stroke.
  • Why she has chosen to focus on the masters demographic
  • Student of occupational therapy, massage therapy, physiology, and strength training
  • The importance of posture in the rowing stroke and why is is the foundation toward transmitting power
  • Hip hinge vs. spinal flexion
  • Using the "diamond frame" | shoulder to oarlock and oar to rigger
  • and much more

Show Notes:

Dec 5, 2016

In this podcast interview I speak with strength coach and owner/operator of Empowered Strength, John Odden. John spent the early part of his career working in a cardiac rehabilitation clinic and physical therapy clinic. John also endured some severe shoulder and neck injuries as well as scoliosis. As a result this shaped his approach to training for himself and for his students and clients.

Here is what you will learn in this episode:

  • John's history and background
  • Experience in cardiac rehab and physical therapy clinics
  • What John incorporates into assessments and evaluations to get a more informed picture
  • Ultimate Athleticism & Max Shank
  • Why a breathing issue is a core issue
  • Andrew Read's Beast Tamer
  • Ian King
  • Highland Games
  • Charles Poliquin
  • Loaded crawls are a staple in his training and why

Show Notes:


Nov 27, 2016

In Episode 048, I had the opportunity to interview Sue Falsone. Sue is a pioneer in the rehabilitation field and we cover some very important ground discussing the shoulder and cervical thoracic junction - two key areas that are either not functionally properly or prone to injury.

Sue Falsone was born in Buffalo, NY. She received her bachelor's degree in physical therapy from Daemen College in Amherst, New York. She continued her education by earning a master's degree in human movement science, with a concentration in sports medicine, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sue has presented at state, national and international level conferences in areas focusing on pillar strength, integration of physical therapy and performance training, and comprehensive kinetic chain assessment and rehabilitation. She's a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy (SCS), a certified athletic trainer (ATC), certified orthopedic manual therapist for the spine (COMT) and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Sue worked at Athletes' Performance for 13 years, last serving as the Vice President of Performance Physical Therapy and Team Sport. She worked with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 6 years, last serving as head athletic trainer and physical therapist. She holds the distinction of being the first female head athletic trainer in any of the four major sports in the United States (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA).

She served as Head of Athletic Training and Sport Performance with US Soccer's Men's National Team.

She was named a Distinguished Alumni at Daemen College and has been inducted into her high school's Athletic Hall of Fame (Kenmore West).

Her philosophy includes looking at the athlete as a whole person, working with the entire body to create an optimal environment for healing and performance training.

Structure & Function is a consulting and education business for healthcare clinicians, as well as a consulting company for the athlete. Custom courses as well as business advisory are available.Sports medicine department organization is also an area of consult, building a team to be on the same page in the best interest of the organization and the athlete. Physical therapy, movement evaluation and restoration and performance enhancement are also available for the elite and professional athlete, on an individual basis.

Here is what you will learn in this episode:

  • Sue's background and why she was interested in pursuing the rehabilitative field as a career
  • The Shoulder & Cervical Thoracic Junction
  • Structure vs. Function - how they effect one another
  • Sleeping posture and postural education
  • Considerations for program design and looking at offsetting dysfunctional compensations with reps and sets
  • Pavel Kolar - "Old System" vs. "New System" | Flexion vs. Extension
  • Considerations for rowers and baseball players
  • and much more.

Show Notes:

Nov 21, 2016

Cole Summers is a Senior SFG with StrongFirst. Cole's coaching history includes people from all walks of life and abilities, and he has also been a strength coach for Team Canada Women's National Volleyball Team, National Boxing Team members, Pro boxers, Olympic Hockey Team members, NHL and WHA Pro Team Champions, Manitoba Rugby Union, University of Winnipeg Women's Volleyball Team, University of Manitoba Women's Basketball team, and University of Manitoba track. He is based in Winnipeg, Canada.

Since 2005 Cole has been been guided and supported by world famous Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale. Mauro is a scientific genius, MD, and author. He is a former World Champion, North American, many times Canadian National Champion Powerlifter. I follow and highly recommend Dr. Di Pasquale's books "Metabolic Diet", "Anabolic Solutions", and "Radical Diet". His guidance was and continues to be life changing for me and many champion athletes and ordinary folk.

I am personally very fortunate and grateful to have met Cole in person. He was the Team Leader for my team during my StrongFirst SFG I and he had a tremendous impact on me and how I carry myself as a professional.

Here is what you will learn in this episode:

  • Cole's family lineage and coming from a long line of hockey players
  • Sociological and Cultural changes from the 1970's to present day for men and women
  • Teaching women's self-defense beginning in the 1970's
  • Training high school athletes - what's the starting point for them?
  • Do No Harm
  • The Front Lever - Progressions and Training Recommendations
  • and much more!

Show Notes:


Below are some additional comments and remarks from Cole Summers that he sent me after the interview was recorded and requested they be included for you the reader and listener. Enjoy!

"Many of the StrongFirst Leadership, Masters, Seniors and Team Leaders are highly qualified and internationally respected martial arts instructors. These are people I hold in high esteem. I am honoured to call them my friends and I highly recommend people learn from them.

For example, I spent several summers assisting at John Engum’s martial arts survival camp in Detroit Lakes, MN. StrongFirst Leadership Instructors there included Dr. Ricardo Nieves and Dr. Prentiss Rhodes. I was fortunate to take 2 of Peter Lakatos’ Krav Maga seminars at John Engum’s Academy of Taekwondo in Brainerd, MN.

This past May, I trained in Prague with Pavel Macek of KB5 and Practical Hung Kyun.

I’ve attended StrongFirst Certifications at Steve Milles’ Five Points Academy in New York City. I got to witness great fighters training and coaching there.

I recommend any books from StrongFirst and they can be found here.

My favorite exercises are the overhead press and the front lever. The first time I remember pressing a barbell overhead was in Mahtomedi, MN when I was 13 years old. Over the decades that followed I barbell pressed in my basement, at the lake, and in various gyms. I also enjoyed one arm pressing a 70-100 lb dumbbell overhead while standing on a small cliff overlooking the beautiful lake in NW Ontario where the family cabins are located. I purchased many kettlebells for my school and home after Pavel reintroduced kettlebells to the west in 2001. The overhead kettlebell press quickly became my lift of choice. It is also for many, like myself, the most shoulder friendly of the three. The front lever is meditative for me as I mentioned. However, in my experience, the exercise that gives the most bang for the far... is the kettlebell swing!

I regularly use it with people of all ages and backgrounds...high school kids,doctors,nurses,athletic therapists, chiropractors, lawyers, engineers, police officers, musicians, singers, martial artists, hockey, basketball, volleyball, football players and more. After a winter (or several years) of training with me, which includes thousands of swings, my rugby players, male and female, are far quicker and they can repeat this quickness again and again. This is noticeable by everyone at the rugby park and especially their opponents!

The other big bang mainstay in my coaching is the get-up. Several of my high school kids including members of our multiple Provincial Champion varsity basketball team(s) could perform get ups with the Beast 48kg kettlebell. I feel this helped them in many ways including easily ripping the ball from their opponent when fighting for it overhead."

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