Bookmarked 3: Charlie Weingroff, Danny Camargo and Mike Boyle on the FMS, Developing a High Performance Program, All Things Olympic Lifting and Coaching Kids

Highly recommended viewing from three of the best Coaches in the world.

CVASPS Podcast-Episode 67: Charlie Weingroff, A Case For The Functional Movement Screen
Never have I heard a more reasoned position for using the Functional Movement Screen.

”There is value in understanding if the joints of the body, can get into the ideal positions to absorb and adapt to stress of your training.”

Developing a Full, High-Performance Program from the Ground Up, with Charlie Weingroff |
A high-performance program brings a team of rehabilitation and performance professionals together under a common set of principles directed toward success. In this session from the 2015 TSAC Annual Training, Charlie Weingroff discusses how to create a high-performance program that can be highly successful and valuable.

The JuggLife | Danny Camargo: From Athlete to Coach |
Danny Camargo once one of America’s most talented Junior lifters, now he is one of the most talented Coaches in the World. Danny’s discusses his career as a lifter and coach, his gym Oly Concepts and his philosophies on programming.

Mike Boyle – What I Learned From Coaching Kids, Again
Pioneer Strength Coach Michael Boyle talks about the lessons he learned from coaching kids again.

”Big lessons? Small goals, small victories. Rome was not built in a day. The big key for me was to not get frustrated and to keep the girls improving and engaged. I had my eyes on the off-season.”



The Benefits Of A Pre-Activity Movement Screen


Once the athlete or client’s training goals have been established it is important that we as coaches identify potential limitations and risks that may impact our chances of success.

Simple logistical constraints such as availability of training time and equipment can be a limitation and need to be considered, however these are of lesser importance than reducing the risks that are inherently involved with training in the weightroom or practice.

Before seeking enhancements in fitness, the Strength and Conditioning professional’s primary concern is injury prevention. If a client or athlete is hurt through the training process it will be necessary to place restrictions on their program which may slow the rate of improvement towards the goal. For the athlete or client, an injury can mean diminished movement capacity and quality of life. Injuries can lead to missed practice and missed games, lost opportunity and income, and perhaps the end of a career. These are all very possible scenarios and all parties involved should be leaning as close as possible to the side of prevention.

In order to attenuate the likelihood of an injury occurring we need to be aware of the factors that heighten risk. As it relates to endeavours of physical activity, it is documented that the main contributory factors to injury, in order of greatest to least are:

1. Previous injury
2. Right vs left side asymmetry
3. Motor control deficit
4. BMI
5. Poor training Choices

Knowing the evidenced predictors it is imperative that we use a system of screening and assessment that identifies these factors before implementation of a proposed training solution. Such a process would be highly influential toward addressing an individuals needs, maximising the return on our efforts and minimising future risk.

We use the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) as the first step of our appraisal process. The FMS is a system to evaluate current movement quality for people who wish to increase physical activity. It is designed for those that do not have pain or injury as a way to prioritise further assessment where necessary, and help decide the appropriate entry point for an individual onto the training path. It is simply the beginning of the information gathering process.

FMS what

The screen is composed of seven fundamental movement patterns and three clearing tests that require a balance of mobility and stability and place the individual in extreme positions where deficits in these areas are noticeable. The FMS aims to set a minimum standard of movement competency, provide insight into potential movement problems if the baseline is not met, and guide appropriate exercise selection and progression. If an individual can not display an easy access of fundamental movement availability as per the FMS criteria, then the training program becomes dialed to match the outer reaches of the individuals current ability. A low FMS score does not necessarily exclude an individual from the training process. It simply means that our exercise selection is directed towards not exploiting those areas where limitation is present. Advancing into higher-stage activities with a movement foundation that is poorly prepared incurs a greater training cost and if the athlete is not injured, at best there will be a higher need for recovery to offset the increased physiological price and a reduced level of preparedness can result.

Low Score = You can still go, you just might need to go a little slower for now
Low Score = You can still go; you just might need to go a little slower for now

The screen is an objective, reliable and repeatable baseline standard of movement, that filters out many of the contributing factors to damage risk such as poor movement quality, right-left asymmetries and presence of pain. The FMS is not a diagnostic tool, however, presence of pain while undertaking the screen is a red flag that requires treatment by a medical professional until it is resolved.

As Strength and Conditioning practitioners, we would like to know if joints can get into trainable positions that we need to meet our end goal – where training those positions only contributes and does not impair movement or system, and produces a more robust and prepared performer. In under fifteen minutes, the FMS can provide an answer. It is a first stage audit of our exercise choices and a guide for best practice.


Lauren and Bella


Gathered here are some of the better reads that I’ve come across recently, bookmarked in one convenient location to refer to later. I hope readers will also find something interesting and of benefit as well.


”As complexity raises, meaningful statements lose precision and precise statements lose meaning.”
Lofti Zadeh

10 Leaders Share The Habits That Help Them Be Freakishly Productive
From Entrepreneur

Resources To Keep Yourself Updated
By Iraki Nutrition

Peer Leadership: 8 Thoughts On How To Make The Most Of An Opportunity, Others And Yourself
Guest post by Greg Robins of The Strength House and Cressey Sports Performance on

Building Bridges: leveraging Your Employer To Enhance Your Personal Brand

5 Habits Of Effective Coaches
also from Greg Robins

8 Must Read S&C Articles

from Science For Sport

Five Resistance Elements that Develop Athletes
from Carl Valle at SimpliFaster

Why and How We Program Breathing Exercises 
By Kevin Carr of Movement As Medicine

Periodisation for the Everyday Athlete
by Mike Robertson

Wellness Monitoring
From Greg Dea and
from Mark Watts at EliteFTS

A Simple Approach to Running Analysis for Clinicians
from Chris Johnson at Zeren PT and Performance via Mike Reinold

Solving the Riddle of the Shin Splint
by Ken Jakalski

Nervous System Training 101:The Creation of Superhuman Strength and Athleticism
from Joel Smith and

3 CNS Hacks For a Better Workout and

Jeff Moyer Q&A on Strength Training Dose and Transfer
from Joel Smith at Just Fly Sports

Guidelines for the General Preparation Phase 

Writing the General Preparation Phase

and Free Downloads
By Coach Nick Newman

Purposeful GPP: Applying Science to Your Conditioning
From Bryan Mann at EliteFTS

from Science For Sport

Agility In Team Sport: How To Crack the Code
by Carl Valle at SimpliFaster

Barriers to Championship Performances  and again

from Altis and FreeLap USA
from Freelap USA and Altis

The Terms Of The Deal
The Scientific Principles Of Strength Training
By Dr. Mike Israetel of and Juggernaut Training Systems

Top Ten Must Reads: #10 – #6
Top Ten Must Reads: #5 – #1
Via Juggernaut Training Systems

What Are The Real Elements Of ”High Performance?”
From Chris Gallagher at Freelap USA

Setting Rehabilitation Goals And Reducing Energy Leaks With Movement Efficiency and
Retraining The Injured Athlete, High Performance Training For Sports on The Strength Coach Podcast
with David Joyce

Just Load It
by Erik Meira

Warm Up And Motor Concepts and
Developing a Full, High-Performance Program From The Ground Up
By Charlie Weingroff

Talking About Warm-Up?!?
From Dustin Imdieke of Altis

Warm Ups
from Science For Sport

Your Warm-up Doesn’t Need to Be That Complicated
from Jesse Irizarry at Strength Theory

A Guide To Movement Prep
from Nick Winkelman at Exos

Get More From Your Sprint Workouts
via Bret Contreras

How To Warm Up Before Your Workout

from Robbie Cannon via My TPI

Daily Undulating Periodization & Performance Improvements In Powerlifters
A research review from Patrick Ward

Becoming A Strength And Conditioning Coach
From Michael Favre Via NSCA

6 Ways To Simplify Your Coaching For Better Results
From Eric Cressey

The Ultimate Conditioning Guide

Conditioning And Mental Toughness

3 New Conditioning Rules

The Truth About Injuries
From Joel Jamieson of

You Need Long Duration, Low Intensity Cardio
By Mike Robertson of Robertson Training Systems

Reactive Strength Index
From Science For Sport

Velocity Based Training
From Carl Valle Via Freelap USA

Beast Blog contains a tonne of great content on performance tracking.

Breathe New Life Into Your Performance
From Chris Gallagher Via Freelap USA

A Week At The WAC
Also By Chris Gallagher

Coaching The Individual In The Athlete
From Nick Sheuerman

Coaches Are Not Mind-Readers … The Art Of The Daily Debrief
Insights from Coach Kyle Hierholzer

The 16 Characteristics Of Greatness
From award-winning leadership speaker, Don Yaeger

A Pocket Guide To Coaching Wisdom
From Altis

35 Secrets Of Brilliant Coaches
By Ann Josephson shared on the Strength Coach Blog

Via Negativa
Set And Rep Schemes In Training
Twelve Principles of Agile Periodisation
6 Weeks Running Program for Soccer Players
Running Based Intervals-Velocities Table
By Mladen Jovanovic at Complementary Training

Okinawan Strength: Developing the ‘Iron Body”
By By Dr. Suart McGill via Strongfirst

Exciting Free Content From Dr. Stuart McGill

Human-Specific Training and
The Importance Of Unilateral Training
By Devan McConnell Via Volt Athletics

Commentary From Jeremy Frisch
Saved by Kelvin Giles at Movement Dynamics

Individual Training In A Team Setting

Olympic Lifting For Athletic Performance
From Mark Watts of EliteFTS

Olympic Weightlifting – The Biomechanics
From Strength And Conditioning Research

Olympic Weightlifting
From Science for Sport

Plantar Fasciitis – Important New Research By Michael Rathleff
From Tom Goom, Running Physio

The Complete Guide To Foundations & Fallacies Of Tissue Regeneration
From Dr. John Rusin

Treatment Fundamentals: A Simple Framework To Reconceptualize Pain And Injury Treatment
By Greg Lehman

Back Pain – Separating Fact From Fiction

Core Stability: Winning Popularity, Losing Science
By Ramsey Nijem Fitness

Which Strength Sport Is Most Likely To Cause An Injury?
From Bret Contreras and Chris Beardsley at

Implementing High-Intensity Aerobic Energy System Conditioning For Field Sports
From Dr. Dan Baker Via Freelap USA

Adapting to High Altitude
Via Human Biological Adaptability

It’s All About Motor Control
From Gray Cook at

Rocky Road To The Top: Why Talent Needs Trauma
Dave Collins and A ́ine MacNamara, Sports Med 2012; 42 (11)

The Science And Application Of Coaching Cues
From Coach Sam Leahey

Coaching Movements And Skills
From Nick Winkelman of Exos featured at On Target Publications

Coach Like A Caveman – How The Environment Shapes Our Movement
Also with Nick Winkelman on The Strength Coach Podcast

What We Say Matters – Uncovering the Truth About Cueing (Lecture)
What We Say Matters, Part I
What We Say Matters, Part II
With Nick Winkelman on NSCA

Coaching Cues That Actually Work
With Nick Winkelman Via Stack

Coaching Instructions And Cues For Enhancing Sprint Performance
In NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal

35 Recommendations For Building Better Horizontal jumpers
With Nick Newman Via Freelap USA

A Systems Perspective On Motor Control, Part One
From Todd Hargrove at Better Movement

Notes From Frans Bosch – Transfer Of Strength Training: Implications from The CNS
By Simon Nainby at Underground Athletics

Review Of “Strength Training And Coordination: An Integrative Approach” By Frans Bosch
from Todd Hargrove

McMillan Coaches Guide To Strength Development (Series)
With Stuart McMillan, Matt Jordan and Brett Bartholomew

Gill Apprentice Coach Program – April Highlights 2015

Gill Apprentice Coach Program – May Highlights 2015
By Ellie Spain Via Altis

Another Training Talk With Dan Pfaff part 1
Another Training Talk With Dan Pfaff part 2
By Martin Bingisser at HMMR Media with Coach Dan Pfaff of Altis

5 Coaching Cues To Immediately Improve Basic Movements
From Dean Somerset

How Does Foam Rolling Work? And Why “SMR” Should be Called “SMT”
Via Bret Contreras, aka The Glute Guy

Rest, Recover, Regenerate Part 5: Massage
A great series of articles on rest, recovery and regeneration by Pat Ward

Can Stretching Really Make You A Better Athlete? The Truth Behind Static Stretching And Power Development
From Joel Smith via Just Fly Sports

Stretching For Recovery

The Physiological Basis for Tapering in Endurance, Strength, and Power Athletes

The New Science of Embracing Performance Anxiety

Why Do You Lift — Defining Hope, Motivation, and Risk By

Marilia Coutinho at via Elite FTS

The Top Ten Brain Science And Psychology Studies Of 2015

Questioning the Use of Static Stretching Before and After Athletic Activities

Towards A Grand Unified Theory Of Sports Performance 
By Paul Glazier

Attentional Focus and Motor Learning: a Review of 15 Years

Publications By Brad J Schoenfeld via ResearchGate

Mechanisms of Exercise-Induced Muscle Fibre Injury

The Architecture Of The Connective Tissue In The Musculoskeletal System—An Often Overlooked Functional Parameter As To Proprioception In The Locomotor Apparatus

The Fitness-Fatigue Model Revisited: Implications For Planning Short- And Long-Term Training

Stretching The Truth. A Review Of The Literature On Muscle Stretching

Questioning the Use of Static Stretching Before and After Athletic Activities

Effects of Resistance Training in Youth Athletes on Muscular Fitness and Athletic Performance: A Conceptual Model for Long-Term Athlete Development

Understanding The Stress Response
from Harvard health

The Unhappy Truth About Positive Psychology
By Jeffrey B. Rubin, Truthout

A Life Beyond ‘Do What You Love’
From Gordon Morino

US Navy Admiral Bill McRaven’s 10 Lessons From Basic SEAL Training

The Best Job On The Planet (TEDx)
A TED Talk with the exemplary Jeff Oliver

A special mention must be made of Greg Nuckols who puts out a tonne of quality content over at Strength Theory. Highly recommended.

”It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”
W. Edwards Deming


The (FMS) kids are alright: Notes from Functional Movement Screen Level 2

FMS certified LOGO

This past weekend I had the pleasure of travelling to Melbourne, Victoria to attend the Functional Movement Screen Level 2 course instructed by the jovial Behnad Honarbakhsh of Functional Movement Systems and Fit To Train, and hosted by Andrew Read of Dragon Door Australia.

As with all of the Functional Movement Systems material, and being surrounded by such an exceptional standard of movement therapists of various disciplines and experience, the weekends curriculum encouraged some frenetic note taking and sparked more than a few light bulb moments throughout. I’d like to share some quick pearls of wisdom with you here, much of which will be familiar to the FMS initiated.

The course was spectacular in its structure, delivery and substance of content, all of which connected and progressed perfectly after the Level 1 course I had attended in Sydney back in 2010. I am now, as I was then, of the opinion that no matter what you take from system itself, the Functional Movement Systems crew are of an exceptionally high standard of professional, and these courses would do well to become a requirement for all fitness professionals and rehabilitation specialists.

Perhaps, some day.

Setting up the Quadruped Rock with Core Activation.
Setting up a Quadruped Rock with Core Activation.

Pearls, in no particular order.

FMS Training Flow
Identify the corrective pattern
Static Motor Control (stability)
Dynamic Motor Control (stability)
Strength/Conditioning (Load the pattern/Save)

Stability is not strength, stability is reflex driven.

Quality stability is driven by quality proprioception.

Quality proprioception is not possible with mobility restrictions.

Corrective Exercise Essentials
Chopping and Lifting
Deadlifting Variations

You do not need to fix everything, focus on the weakest link(s) in the movement chain.

Maintain the squat, train the deadlift.

Most of the human bodies muscles are angular in orientation, and the majority of individual fibres run at several angles relative to the muscles force generating axis (multi-pennate).
– The body (and brain) thrives on diagonal movement.

Check all four quadrants, work on the most challenging.

Achieve proximal stability for optimal distal mobility.

Check the grip, it has connections to shoulder health.

The diaphragm attaches to a lot of stuff
– Screen, correct and evaluate breathing.

Motor learning occurs from the ground up.

Must have a positive short-term response to obtain long-term adaptation.

I still don’t know anything at all.

FMS2, February 2013 - Agoge Performance Training

Photo source: Fit To Train Facebook page

Place in the sun

PlaceInTheSun-Agoge Performance Training

This month I turned 30 years old, and the approach of this new milestone, along with the frosty perspectives of middle age, brought with it for better or worse, tidings of severe recollection and reflection upon many aspects of my life lived so far.

Most notably, those areas which tend to absorb the most and least of my focus from day-to-day, and could somehow be improved upon; my work and my personal relationships, respectively.

I have always enjoyed the ‘end of year recaps’ and ‘random thought’ posts by many of the performance fields leading practitioners and so I have decided to share with readers, my version of highlights thus far from the year now behind us.

I think it’s very important to occasionally reflect and self audit your professional thought processes, to assess growth and to find areas that could be improved upon. With the closing of 2012 upon us, and a brand new year just up the hill, here are some of the things I’ve adapted or refined moving forward.

1. Corrective exercise
In hindsight, I may have spent more time than I should have fretting over trying to correct every barely perceivable movement limitation met, fighting hard for that elusive 21 on the FMS. Looking at some of my older programs, I’m embarrassed to admit they may have been a little corrective heavy, and it would hit me like a tonne of bricks if the chosen volley of ‘fix-its’ yielded anything less than an immediate response. With an appreciation for the ‘everything is connected and everything matters’ foundation, as it relates to human movement, specifically, integration of the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, fascial systems etc, it is easy to become blinded by ones own halo, or momentarily lost in the giddiness of enthusiasm to help.

”Perfection of means and confusion of ends seems to characterize our age.”

– Albert Einstein

I was gratefully reminded that corrective exercise needn’t take up any more than the smallest piece of the workout pie, and can also be incorporated as fillers between rest periods or as part of a concentrated warm-up. Sometimes, with respect to individual limitations, it is ok to still just get after lifting some heavy iron. Some of the cuff sensitive athletes I have seen for example, have responded favourably to loaded deadlift and carry variations, as opposed to the often touted cable IR or ER exercises.

Whilst assessment and reassessment is extremely important, there should also be a training component.

Breathe easy friends, symmetrical 2’s are all good.

This brings me to another point.

2. Less is more
This is often said and yet sometimes scarcely remembered. Appreciating the vast and varied environment of performance enhancement it is easy to become caught up in the chase for, and integration of new information. My renewed focus over the past year as been on distilling down, and crystallising some of the things that I know now, and that have proven successful in the past.

For example, I have regressed much of my core training back to bridge and birddog variations and have further drawn out the progression continuum. I also use more half get-ups and have found tremendous benefit in employing a narrow to in-line half kneeling stance for diagonal and anti-rotation patterns like chops, lifts and Pallof presses. I’ve found that for some people, a half kneeling hip flexor stretch pressing a dowel for core engagement can represent a significant core sequencing challenge. Rather than assuming a foundation of stability and sequencing, and beginning with a more advanced exercise than is appropriate, I’m going to try establishing and strengthening that baseline.

The above mentioned exercises can all be coached quickly and effortlessly. Although I strongly believe there is magic in using rolling patterns in assessment and training, until I can coach them effectively and efficiently, I will opt not to use them.

This is definitely something I am looking to change in 2013.

3. Balance
One of the biggest realisations I came to, expiring my twenties and arriving at the last chapter of 2012, was that I needed to create a more harmonious work / life balance.
2012 has been an incredibly rewarding year for myself and Agoge Performance Training, but it has not been without a significant investment of time and effort, that I left very little available for other important aspects of my life, like personal relationships, travel, writing, and forbid… Play.

This past year I’ve declined more birthday parties and social gatherings than is polite. I’ve refused holidays and have not seen many of my close friends or family for far too long, that when we do finally cross paths all I have to discuss is my work. I love my craft, but I never wanted to become ‘that guy.’ Sharpening both ends of the pencil, exhaustion soon stole in and my enthusiasm began to waver. Recognising this shift in temperament, I decided to rectify this immediately, and loosen the reigns on some of my professional commitments, that other vital areas in my life might again receive due esteem.

”…The sweetest honey is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite.
Therefore love moderately; long love doth so…”

– Friar Lawrence, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Some of the steps I’ve taken to ensure this transition, I will elaborate on further in a future post.

In the meantime, as the sun sets on 2012, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect upon some of the things you’ve learned or refined throughout the year, and how best those new thought processes will serve to make for yourself, and those around you a brighter 2013.

See you on the other side.