Bulldog Strong

"To be better today than I was yesterday"

Just 5 Absolutely Random Strength & Conditioning Tips…

Okay, I stole this from Ben Bruno and his new article on T- Nation. Be sure to take a look at in here. (9 Random Training Tips)

But I promise, these are MY 5 Tips. This is short and sweet before I get the weekend started! And here they are…

1.) PULL before you PUSH

Set up your workouts and supersets so that you are doing your pulling exercises before your pushing. In short, it warms up your back and rear part of your shoulders which is really is the foundation and platform in which you push off of. If you do not do this, you will notice a huge difference right a way when you switch the order in your program.

2.) Feel great? Lift BIG!
Sometimes it just pays to listen to your body. If you have a lot of energy and are ready to move heavy weight, GET AFTER IT! This is a great time to set a new PR. But you also have to listen to your body when you feel like tired or worn out. This is not the time to GO BIG. Keep the weight lower and up the volume or number of reps that you perform. These are the days that you just “get your business done” and get our of the gym to recover. Don’t try anything crazy on these days.

3.) My current SUPPLEMENT LIST
Whey Protein
Vitamin D-3
Fish Oil
BCAA – Preworkout
Core Fuel – Recovery

4.) Deadlifts fry your CNS (Central Nervous System)

Big lifts like squats and deadlifts really take a toll on your body. Just as it is important to do these when your fresh
and full of energy, it is just as important to take it easy the day after and let your body recover. Don’t be a tough guy and muscle your way through it.

5.) SQUEEZE the Weight!
I think one of the most overlooked training tips is the grip. Not just when you are deadlifting or carrying a heavy load, but when you are pushing and pulling weight on a certain exercise, grip is important too. If you SQUEEZE the dumbbell or bar you will trigger more muscle in your shoulders and back to help with moving the load or weight. Trust me, if you don’t do this already, it will sure increase your strength right away!

There they are! Completely random and off the top of my head. Try them out and see what you think.

Have a good weekend!


Train what you CAN’T see

Go to a commercial gym and look around at what the most common exercises are.

Bench Press
Tricep Extensions
Leg Press
Machine Press
More Curls
And more curls…

My point ?

All those exercises train the muscles in the front of your body and are also the muscles that you can look down and see on yourself. While it is important to train these muscles groups, it is more beneficial to train the ones that you can’t see.

Which are…


It is also important to note that you should pull more than you push. Meaning that you should perform more pulling reps than pushing reps. The easiest way to do this is to do one or two more pulling exercises than pushing.


Chest Supported Row
Glute Ham Raise
Reverse Lunges
Pull Ups
Inverted Row
Bulgarian Lunge

You Tube each exercise for explanation, because YOU TUBE is awesome.

Now, go start PULLING!

Program for Ex-Husker Athlete

Now, this guy is still athletic and is just freak strong! Has some shoulder issues from competition in the shot put and a car accident has left him with some issues with his lumbar spine. His goal is just to lose a few lbs. and get fit. I am going to play this program pretty safe since I am not around him to make any assessments. Plus, he just wants to train pain free and feel good about himself! That is not to say that this workout won’t be a butt kicker! Some key points I want to stress! 1) Pull to Push ratio of at least 2:1 2)Thoracic Mobility 3) Single Leg Work and lots of it! 4) Anterior Core Strength!

Just alternate between Workout A and Workout B with at least one day of rest between each workout. So do not workout on on consecutive days.

This is a 6 week program.

Warm Up:
Yoga Plex
Lunge Matrix
Band Pulls
Shoulder YTLW Circuit

Below is the workout

Workout A
1A) DB Row 5x5E
1B) Side Laying Windmills 2×12

1C) MB Rotational Wall Toss 3x4E

2A) Reverse Lunge 3x6E
2B) Push Ups(Weighted) 4×4

3A) DB Swings 5×8

3B) Kneeling Walkouts 3×8

Workout B
1A) Chest Supported Row 6×6
1B) Bird Dogs 4x6E

2A) DB Plank Rows 3xAMAUCAD (That stands for as many as you can do)
2B) Barbell RDL’s 3×8

3A) Alternating DB Incline Bench 4x3E
3B) DB Walking Lunge 4x8E

4A) Farmer’s Walk 3xDistance (Use DB or Trap Bar)

Weekly Randomness – Stuff you have to check out – 11/7/11


This guy has been coaching for years and has been in the trenches. If your goal is to train safely and to see great results you need to study his stuff! Take a look as he discusses proper rep schemes, hip hinge tech, and basic human movement categories…

1.) Human Movement

2.) Reps! How many sets and reps should you be doing?

3.) Hip Hinge

And just to make you laugh! Watch the worst exercise EVER!

That is it for this week!

Coaching Tip # 1 – Kids Teaching Kids

Here is the first coaching tip I have for you. I hope to make this a common post here on this blog. It will also be neat to compile a list of different “tricks” I use. As most of you know, it doesn’t matter how much a coach knows, he/she will not be very successful if found principles and structure are not taught throughout the program.

Strength and Conditioning Challenge: Teaching technique

Here is the issue; most programs will have 40-50 basic movements you will introduce. First, you have to teach the 60-70 kids each movement. Second, they most likely they will forget several of these, or at least need a refresher. Third, they will need to be coached and adjusted through each movement several times. Take a second and do the math on how many times you will teach a new lift?
Done? Now, you must do that each time you have a new program or adjust the program throughout the year, so take that X 4 or 5. WOW….

Tip: Create an atmosphere in which kids are teaching kids!

Think about how you group kids together.

Think about having older kids mixed with younger.

Think about mixing high skill level with low skill level.

Think about mixing motivated/disciplined with others that are lacking.

When you have created a program where you can sit back and watch progress and learning happen without saying a word then you will have a successful program.

Best part of all of this…?

In this atmosphere LEADERS will be made!

Have a good weekend!
-Coach Nielsen

November Edition: Strength and Conditioning Stuff to Watch/Read…

I read and come across a lot of good content! This is the easiest way I can pass it a long to you.

Take a look at the following, hope you learn something while you do so!

1.) If you don’t have goals or a plan, you just as well run in place…follow this link below
Matt Kroc on Setting Goals

2.) Simply put… Anderson Half Squats = AWESOME

3.) Progression and Regression. What level of difficulty should your programming be at? Gleason will give ya something to ponder…

4.) Just because it is about time for it to snow and cold weather to come our way…

That’s it.

Train hard this week.

See ya!

Weekly Randomness 10/25 – Things you need to watch and/or read!

Here are some quick links to things you might enjoy, I know I did.

1.) EC has a Free Webinar. Tons of great strength and conditioning info in this! There just isn’t a better strength coach.

2.) Do you get enough Vitamin D ? You will be surprised…

3.) Athletic Revolution Facility Tour. Dave Gleason does some great stuff with the youth!

4.) Nick Tumminello with a TRX and Kettlebell Superset that you have to try out!

Don’t forget to click the like this button below or share this via facebook and twitter!

Until next time!

– Coach Nielsen

How NOT to lift….

This post is just for fun. I thought you could get a laugh out of this guy. Thanks commercial gym guy for making my day!

My Go To “Top 5”

For as many programs as I write, I always seem to use a select few over and over! Below is my favorite exercises I use in my programming!

1. Dead lift Variation – It would be hard for me to back a program that doesn’t have some sort of dead lift to train the posterior chain. The biggest thing to keep in mind is picking the correct dead lift variation for the particular person. My personal favorites? Hex DL/SUMO DL/Regular DL. If I come across someone who just isn’t ready to Dead Lift due to posture restrictions, poor hip or ankle mobility, and/or lower back issues, I usually turn to the DB RDL’s or the Glute Ham Machine! So, watch this video and go pick something heavy off of the floor!

2. Push Up Variations – There just isn’t a better all around upper body pushing exercise! Not only do you get great shoulder strength development but the anterior core is engaged as the body is positioned in the plank. Plus, since you are pushing the ground it is a great ground based movement. And if you ask me there is nothing better than pushing the ground whether it is with your hands or heals!

3. Single Leg Exercise: DB Walking Lunge – There is a ton of Single Leg exercises I use, but the simplest one might be the best. The DB Walking Lunge is one I can always implement. Not only is it a great Singe Leg movement it also can be classified as a carry!

4. Carries – Farmer’s Walk & Suit Case Carry – If there was a lift that could be classified as a “Manly Lift” it would be the Carry! Talk about frying your CNS and developing your total core!

5. Roll outs/Fall outs: I just can’t express enough the importance of anterior core strength. I use a few different exercises. I start most off on the exercise ball roll outs, move to the TRX Fall outs, then progress to the AB Roll out!

Honorable Mention:
DB Row: Great Horizontal pulling movement that beginners and advanced lifters can use!

Hip Hinge Variation- DB Swings: When talking about athletic development, the hip hinge movement is so important to teach and have your athletes master. DB Swings are one way to get the job done! Just remember it is NOT a squat and raise but rather a snap of the hips!

Smart Strength – Push to Pull Ratio

I hope everyone is enjoying their workouts and training in this heat! Just remember to stay hydrated on the hot days. This month’s article has to deal with your strength program. I will try to be short and get straight to the point. Take a look at the number of exercises and reps that you do in your current program. I am going to assume that you push more than you pull. Don’t worry the majority of people do. Read on to find out why you should PULL more than you PUSH…

First, lets talk about the difference between pushing exercises and pulling exercises. Pushing exercises work the front part of your body (chest, shoulders, quads, etc.). Pulling exercises work the back part of your body (back, hamstrings, glutes, lats, rhomboids). It actually is a little bit more complicated than that, but this gives you an idea of the difference.

This is a chest supported row…

There is no better pulling exercise than the deadlift…

Now, it is very common to see people that perform more pushing exercises than pulling. Trust me, I get it. The bench press, push ups, and hip sled are fun to do! Plus, everyone does them and they are popular. Who doesn’t want to be popular, right?

Here’s the problem, poor posture is something that we see all the time in our society. It makes sense though, If you think about the amount of time we spend sitting and hunched over at a computer at work each day. There is a reason “Momma always said to sit up straight”. The stress that poor posture places on the thoracic spine and lower back is very negative. Also as I wrote in last month’s article, it also effects your pelvic and hip mobility as well.

Want to fix poor posture? Then simply adjust your push to pull ratio. I would imagine most of us push 2 times or 3 times as much as we pull. What we need to do is pull 2 times or 3 times more than we push. So rework your program to a 1:2 ratio, and if you have really bad posture don’t be afraid to change it to a 1:3 ratio. Get to it! You can thank me later, when your shoulders and lower back don’t hurt as much. Hope this turns out to be helpful change to your program.

Train Hard, Train Smart, Train with ME!

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