Even More #Gainz Bra

185 lbs on bench press ...

135 lbs on deadlift ...

32 reps of pull-ups

22" of broad jump

These are the total gains achieved by 10 athletes over a ten week training period. If I mention that none of them were newbies ... one word should come to mind ...

If I also mention that most of them were conditioning for football camp at the same time, you should be even more impressed.

How Dom walks his dog ... If he had one ...

Without further adieu, I am going to continue the Advanced Training tradition of sharing with you the top 3 #gainz in each our testing categories.

Enjoy and be humbled ...

Power Points: 3 Biggest Gains

  • Smith:                        0.930 to 1.070 (.140 gain)
  • Alberino:                   1.142 to 1.239 (.097 gain)
  • Olsen:                        0.968 to 1.065 (.097 gain)

DEADLIFT: 3 Biggest Gains

  • Alberino:           355 to 385     (30 lb gain)
  • Sarno:                435 to 460    (25 lb gain)
  • Ruszkowski:      315 to 335    (20lb gain)

Pull-Ups: 3 Biggest Gains

  • Smith:              25 to 34       (9 rep gain)
  • Sarno:              32 to 38     (6 rep gain)
  • Mazalatis:        22 to 27     (5 rep gain)

Broad Jump: 4 Biggest Gains

  • Mrezcko:           100.0" to 106.5"          (6.5" gain)
  • Alberino:             99.5" to 105.5"       (6.5" gain)
  • Minlionica:        109.0" to 112.0"       (3.0" gain)

BENCH PRESS: 3 Biggest Gains

  • Smith:                       280 to 315 (35lb gain)
  • Mrezcko:                  185 to 220 (35lb gain)
  • Ruszkowski:             225 to 245 (20lb gain)
  • Minlionica:               265 to 285 (20lb gain)  

To view everyone stats from 2014, click HERE.

To view the Top 20 All-Time, click HERE.

10 Random Lessons

As our summer training session wraps up, I wanted to leave everyone with 10 valuable lessons we learned over the past 3 months.

Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Leaking Energy is a Waste

"I have competition biceps!!!"

I love that our guys are competitive, but the pendulum has often swung too far to the other side.

For a time, our guys were putting just as much energy into trash-talking and intimidation as they were to their actual training.

We even had one guy scream at another guy as he was deadlifting 425lbs on his test day.

What happened next?

He couldn't move a single pound more for the rest of the day and he missed his PR by 20lbs!

You only have so much energy to expend during a training session.

Do you want to put it into moving weights or telling another guy you are big enough to be his father?

(It should be noted that this same athlete hit a PR with 460 a week later when he was not acting like a horses you know what.)

2. Bad Form Will Come Back to Haunt You

Me: "You need to keep your arms straight on deadlift. You cannot simply pull the weight off the ground with your arms."

Athlete: "Coach, Have you seen my arms?"

Me: "You can get away with brute strength with light weight, but it won't work as the weight gets heavier."

Athlete: "I have competition biceps. Nothing ever feels heavy to me."

This is a conversation I have just about every day.

Unfortunately, most athletes don't believe they can't get away with the same garbage with heavy weight as they can with light weight ... until it is too late.

At best, it is a failed PR on test day.

At worst, it is an injury.

Treat every rep of every set as your max ... even if it is just the barbell.

3. There is No Good Reason to Miss a Lift

Just because you told me you were going to miss a lift, it doesn't mean it is okay.

Sure, you saved yourself the humiliation of being on The Soft List, but you still missed an opportunity to make yourself better.

I understand that people have things like work, finals, and vacation.

But Coach, I was on vacation ...
I understand ... but I don't care.

And either does the weight.

Or the guy who is going to knock your teeth in during football camp.

4. What You Do Outside the Gym is Just as Important as What You Do Inside It

You spend 4 hours a week at the gym.

You spend 164 hours outside of it.

Enough said ...

How Torres spends his weekends

5. Be Where You Are At

Here is another typical scenario from our training sessions ...

We are just about to start Barbell Overhead Squats

Athlete: "Coach, How much weight should I use on seated rows?"

Me: "Seated rows are listed last on your sheet. We are doing Overhead Squats right now."

Athlete: "I know. I just want to know what I should do for rows later."

Me: "Why don't you focus on what you should be doing on THIS SET right now. We can talk about seated rows when we get to it."

The whole point of this dialogue is that you need to focus on what you are doing right now.

Zen ...

How can you properly brace your core and retract your shoulders on overhead squats if you are thinking about a seated row?

You can't.

Be where you are at ...

Think about rows when you are doing rows and squats when you are doing squats.

In fact, how many of you are reading this right now while listening to music or watching TV?

6. If You Have Pain, Do Something

Yet another scenario ...

Athlete: "Coach, My lower back hurts."

Me: "What have tried to do to make it better?"

Athlete: "Nothing."

How do you expect to get better if you don't try to eliminate the source of the pain?

I have given my athletes an arsenal of stretches, SMR techniques, and mobility exercises.
We believe in those things so much they are incorporated into each and every one of our training sessions.

Even with that, our guys seldom try any of them until a second before our training session.

At that point, it is too late.

Now I have to have you work on a medicine ball for 20 minutes instead of your scheduled training session.

If something hurts, use the tools I have given you to try to make it better.

If that doesn't work, then come to me for help. (And make sure this all happens well before the training session starts.)

7. Be Happy, But Not Content

I truly believe that the biggest killer of motivation is success.

I also believe that being content with "being able to compete" or "putting up a good fight" is the attitude of losers.

On the flip side, I also believe you need to take time to be happy about success in the gym or on the field.

We have a guy that curses and screams even after he hits a PR.

If you hit a PR, be happy.

Just don't be content with it  ....

Ski after he beat his bench max by 20lbs

8. Never Change a Horse Mid-Race

If you have been using the same barbell or the same spotter for the past 3 months, don't purposely go out of your way to change things on test day.

If you weren't happy with your environment, you should have changed it 3 months ago.

9. Not Everything Will Be Perfect

Life is not perfect.

There are going to be times where you are forced to "change a horse mid-race".

You may not get access to the squat rack you always use, your spotter may be out SOFT, or your favorite barbell may be missing.

Skinny Bar = Sarno's Bar
The same thing may also happen in real life.

It might rain on game day, the opposition may come out with a new offense you didn't scout, or the Borgia's may get cancelled.

Showtime ... Are you serious?

When the horse is changed, you need to be mentally strong enough to overcome it.

Take a deep breath, collect yourself, and use your training.

10. If You Don't Start in The Power Position, Don't Start At All

What is the "Power Position"?

It is when the following are all in alignment ...

Head - Shoulders - Hips

The picture below gives a perfect example of someone who is out of the Power Position.
By looking down, he has broken the chain.

Even if he puts his head back into the bar, he will never regain the Power he has lost.

Might as well cheat on your girlfriend

Trying to get your body back into a Power Position is like trying to get back with your girlfriend after she cheats on you ...

It will never feel the same ...

If you get out of the Power Position, just re-rack the weights.

If your girlfriend cheats on you, get a new girlfriend.

Toughman 2014: The Results

The name "Toughman" came about from the guys I trained 3-5 years ago.
These guys came up with the name "Toughman"

They believed our "Strongman" competition had very little to with being strong and more to do with being "tough" enough to battle through the events.

After some serious thought, I agreed that they were right and changed the name from the "Strongman" to the "Toughman".

Year after year, the name continued to prove itself, as the competition would make almost every athlete quit, vomit, or crumble to the ground.

A Typical Image of Someone After the Toughman

It has even elicited some strange reactions such as laying down in the fetal position or staring into the woods "Blair Witch" style.

Fetal Position
Advanced Training's Version of the "Blair Witch"

Blair Witch's Version of the "Blair Witch"

A fair portion of the 2014 Toughman was no different.

If you watch the video at the end of this blog, you will see the usual aftermath of what happens from the events.

On the flip side, the guys completely dominated the day.

To put things in perspective:
  • The average finish time was 2:41 (2 minutes 41 seconds). This is 24 seconds faster than in 2013 (average time 3:05) and 40 seconds faster than in 2012 (average time (3:31).
  • Not one person tapped out.
  • Not one person went over 4 minutes

For the skeptics out there, the events were no different from that of 2012 or 2013.

2012 - 2014 Toughman Events

I will save why I believe the athletes did so much better for another time.

For now, I will get to what you really care about ...


For the second year in a row, Joe Sarno finished 3rd in the Toughman.

He trimmed a massive 32 seconds off of his 2013 time, by completing the competition in 2:18. (For those of you who cannot add, he finished in 2:50 last year.)

This guy doesn't mess around

In my Toughman 2013 write-up, I wrote the following ...

Unless Joe decides that chasing girls and going to clubs is more important than football (like 99% of his buddies will), he will dominate future Toughman events.

Joe proved me right by dominating the event.

Unfortunately, 2 other people dominated it more ... giving him the 3rd place finish.

If you know Joe Sarno, you know he is a fierce competitor.

He is so fierce, that he finished the final event (Reverse Sliders) on one leg. In his mind, the pain of moving on one leg was more tolerable than the pain of losing time going back for the slider.

Joe Sarno finishing on one leg

He is so fierce, he wore Superman Under Armour and no one even dared to call him out ...

With that, I know he is not satisfied with his 3rd place finish, even it was 32 seconds faster than last year.

He will not be satisfied until he wins it all.

I give fair warning for those that doubt he can do it ... He is an absolute beast.

SILVER METAL: Robert Alberino

In our "pre-season" rankings, Alberino was predicted to come in 4th.

Obviously, he was not happy.

As the leader in 2014 Power Points, he believed he deserved a whole lot more respect.

Evidently he did ...

Alberino set a new rookie record by completing the event in 2:14 seconds. (The previous best was Joe Sarno at 2:50).

Robert Alberino

2:14 is clearly an impressive time.

It would have been good enough to win last year's Toughman Event... where the winning time was 2:17.

It was good enough to be the 4th best time ever posted since 2012.

Unfortunately it was not good enough to win first place in 2014.

Like Sarno, Alberino is also a fierce competitor.

Like Sarno, there are many who doubt he can be the best.

Unlike Sarno, Alberino is quiet about his rise to the top of the Advanced Training ranks. (Sarno is far from quiet. He is physically imposing and he lets you know it.)

I believe his quiet persona is what make people count him out.

I should say "made" instead of "make".

I think his 2:14 time speaks quite loudly ...

GOLD METAL: Ryan Smith

For the second year in a row, Ryan Smith came in first place in the Toughman.

His 2:04 time was 13 seconds lower than his 2013 time (2:17) and the lowest time ever posted since the current Toughman format was created in 2012 (formally 2:11 held by Eric Heedles).

Ryan Smith: 2013 and 2014 Toughman Champ

Due to his incessant trash talking, Smith winning 2 years in a row was a tough pill to swallow for his competitors.

During Toughman Training, he would refer to the rookies as "The Children" and boast that everyone else should have their own "Toughman Competition" because he already had this one beat.

While his banter drove everyone to get better, he still won the event by a whopping 10 seconds.

And quite honestly, I can see him breaking 2 minutes in the 2015 event.

It is going to take someone with a great deal of talent and a great deal of drive to beat him in future events.

This is going to enrage a lot of people out there ... but face the facts.

When was the last time Ryan Smith missed a training session?

When was going to a party more important than getting better?

When was sleep more important to him than winning the Toughman?

Sleep is for Poor People ... and losers in the Toughman

If you are enraged ... Good!!!

Use that passion to beat him in 2015 ...

Honorable Mention: Joe Ruszkowski ("Ski")

Ski finished 4th in the event with a completion time of 2:35.

Before the event, his peers did not give him much of a chance ... and neither did I. (Of the 7 competitors ranked, he was rated 6th.)

He was battling back from a broken wrist and had been struggling to complete the farmer's walks during our training session.


His 2:35 finish time proved every one of us wrong.

I cannot wait to see what he does next year.

He has a chip on his shoulder that his so big that he just may be able to shock the world ...

Purple Heart: Frank Torres

A blurry picture of Frank Torres

To save his throwing arm for baseball, I removed sliders from Frank's portion of the competition.


To make up for it, I added extra yardage to the other 3 events.
  • The 40 yard Sled Drag and Pull became 50 yards
  • The 40 yard Farmer's Walk became 50 yards (which he did with his left arm)
  • The 80 yard Prowler Shuttle became 100 yard shuttle
Some people thought it would be easier, but I knew it would be a nightmare.

So did Frank.

Rather than beg out of the competition, he took his pills like a grown man.

Not only that, he finished in an impressive 2:36.

It was a bittersweet moment for Frank, as it was the first time he has ever lost a Toughman he has actually competed in.

(I say "actually competed in" because he only competed once before this in 2009. He won that competition and for the past 5 years has been repeating that he is the "Undefeated Toughman Champ.")

All The Stats:

To see all the stats, CLICK HERE

The Highlight Video:

To see how it all went down, watch the video below.