Perform Better 3-Day Summit

This past weekend I spent 3 days in Long Beach learning about strength, fitness, business and coaching from some of the best.  I had a great time. To put it simply, I can’t get enough of this stuff.  In this post I will attempt to give just a few key points or ideas that I picked up from some of the presentations that I saw.  A true summary would take me days but hopefully these are some of the gems.

Dan John – The Four Quadrants of Lifting:

Dan John is one of my favorite coaches to listen to.  He is so logical in the way he does things.  He isn’t looking for pretty or cute training, just effective.  And, just when I start to over-think things or analyze too much, Dan John says something genius like “I don’t know anything about anatomy but I know what I don’t like”.   Here are a few of the points I thought were important.

– The role of the strength coach is can be fuzzy depending on the situation.  He might have the strongest football team in the state but they might also go 0-9 if they can’t execute or the coach makes poor play calls.  However, when it comes to helping an overweight client lose weight, the impact of the strength coach is much more clear.

– Aerobics classes become useless because it’s easy for the person to adapt.  As the person becomes more efficient the class is now obsolete.

– Don’t hurt people in training and keep the goal the goal.  Sometimes people complain that their training or trainer is boring.  More importantly, ask them if success is boring.  Is winning boring?  Dare to do the boring things to become great.

– Training to failure, aka practicing missing reps, will get you good at missing reps.  Practice success. (sounds oddly like the 80% Rule in effect at Ambition Athletics!!)

– Typically women who have met their body composition goals are strong.  They are often able to do at least 3 chin ups and squat and/or deadlift 135 lbs. for 5 reps.

– All training can be broken down into 6 things: push, pull, squat, hinge, loaded carry, and get-ups.

Lee Burton – Corrective Movement Strategies:

– Identify the person’s biggest problem and focus on it.  Once you achieve a positive short term response, use that new mobility and learn to keep it.

– The #1 priority is to push people but don’t screw them up.

– Achieve a short-term positive response to correct someone’s movement.  Then figure out how to make it a long-term adaptation.  Then, don’t screw them up and continue to re-check.


Todd Wright – Dominate Your Space

This was a hands-on presentation from Todd.  I found it to be awesome.  What I got out of it was a much better understanding and appreciation for what movement and agility really are.  I think that many coaches, myself included, train agility with ladders, cones and hurdles.  Although this can be effective Todd helped me really see things from the inside out or the ground up so to speak.  We practiced many shuffling, skipping and other locomotion drills throughout a series of progressions.  It seemed so basic yet had great progressions (two things I love) to really build from easy to hard and slow to fast.


Dave Jack – From Good to Great

I had never seen Dave speak before and to be perfectly honest I had no idea who he was.  However, Dave put on a great presentation that really made me look at coaching from a different perspective.  According to Dave, in the dictionary definition of great, character and quality come before knowledge and experience.  Although knowledge and designing the perfect program are extremely important, so to is being there for the people in your facility that have put their trust in you, whether it means being a mentor for a kid as he grows up or being a shoulder to cry on and understanding that there is sometimes more to life than training.

– Mike Baltren

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