StrongFirst Barbell Certification Boston July 2014

StrongFirst Barbell Certification Boston July 2014

It’s hard to put into words how amazing the StrongFirst Barbell Certification weekend in Boston was.

Going into this weekend I wasn’t sure how much I would really learn, or if I would learn anything at all. I have been lifting weights for over 20 years now and I have competed at very high levels in PowerLifting (winning Canadian Nationals & competing for Team Canada at IPF Worlds in South Africa).

A big reason I signed up honestly was because of the head instructor SFG Master Michael Hartle.

Knowing the level of coaching with StrongFirst after doing the SFG Certification in Utah last year with my friend & mentor Dan John I knew that the coaching from the instructors aline would make it worthwhile.

One of my beliefs is to always be a student and to keep an open mind and have a empty cup approach in training and in life. I can honestly say that what I learned this weekend was mind blowing. I expected to learn very little yet I learned so much. My coaching & teaching will improve dramatically and my own training will be taken to a whole other level after this weekend. I am grateful to meet such amazing people and to learn what I have.

Here are 5 BIG lessons learned from StrongFirst Barbell Certification.

1. Technique First, Then Strength

One thing you hear a lot at StrongFirst and with Pavel is that Strength Is A Skill.  You get good at a skill by practice. They emphasis on cues, set up, position, leverage and more was amazing.  StrongFirst go into great detail about lifting correctly before the bar is even touched and the step by step process of every lift was very clear and concise. We learned a ton of very cool training drills like this band assisted set up drill.  Talk about making your hamstrings get fired up and set up the start position of a sumo deadlift.


2. Importance Of The Set Up

I preach this all the time at HWTC, a good lift is made in the set up. Most times I can tell if a lift will be good by the set up, a good set up makes a good lift. The attention to detail in the set up and really breaking things down was done very well at StrongFirst Barbell.  The attention to detail and the focus on really dialing in tension and set up was a big part of the weekend.  These are very important skills for being strong and becoming technically efficient.


3. Top 7 Lifts For Strength

Over the 3 day weekend we covered in detail 7 lifts.  Zurcher Squat, Front Squat, Military Press, Good Morning, Back Squat, Bench Press Deadlift. We covered the technical aspects of each lift and also went into detail with our hands on for each lift.  The level of instruction and coaching was superb.


4. Barbell + Kettlebell = Bad Ass Combo

Until the StrongFirst SFG Certification I completed last year I had no idea how to use a Kettlebell.  To be honest I thought they were more for parlor tricks than anything, just another fitness fad.

I was wrong, very very wrong.  After the SFG weekend I had a new understanding and respect for Kettlebells.

When you take Kettlebell knowledge and skills and apply it to Barbell training you get a very lethal combination for strength, movement and power. Applying skills and techniques from the Kettlebell flow very nicely into barbell training.   I am excited to combine kettlebells and barbells together in my own training and with my students for maximum results.



5. The Importance Of Teachers/Coaches

Without a doubt the level of coaching and teaching of the StrongFirst instructors and team leaders is exceptional.  Their knowledge, attention to detail, and coaching is top notch. One thing we preach at HWTC is to always be coachable, to always be a student and to always keep an open mind.

No matter how much you know you can never know too much  so always keep an open mind. The coaching/teaching of SFG Master Dr. Michael Hartle was top notch and a big shout out to the Strong First Team Leaders as well.


After two 2.5 intense days of training we finished up with the Strength Skills Test.  I was so happy to pass and become a Strong First Certified Barbell Coach.

IMG_4468 Overall the StrongFirst Barbell Certification was an amazing weekend.  I have already applied some of the skills I learned to my own training and to that of my students. If you are looking for an incredible training experience I highly recommend StrongFirst Barbell.

For more information on StrongFirst check out their StrongFirst homepage and StrongFirst on Facebook.


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