Random Thoughts: Help Wanted, Squats, and Can’t-Miss Deals

Posted on by Ben Bruno

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Random Thoughts posts, but I am in one of those moods. Before you read this though, make sure to check out yesterday’s For Your Viewing Pleasure post—one of the best in a long time.

Here it goes.

1. Any site suggestions?

Ok, so it’s been just over a month since I launched the new site. Overall, I really like it, and it seems like things are running smoothly. As is to be expected though, there are a few small glitches, and I am working to get those figured out. I am planning on contacting my web guy in the next week to work out all the kinks, and I want to tackle all the issues at one. To do that, I’d like your help.

Please let me know if there’s anything about the site that you’d like to see improved. For example, I’ve received comments (I don’t call it criticism because I appreciate it) saying that the font can be hard to read and that the RSS feed does not work for some people. That is all extremely helpful, and I will work to fix it.

Any other things like that that I should know about? Please don’t hold anything back. I can’t improve something if I don’t know it’s a problem.

2. Can’t miss deals!

Eric Cressey’s Show and Go is on sale for 50% off, but only for two more days. Don’t miss this opportunity to spring for one of the better and most comprehensive programs I have seen. Since Tuesday I have received three e-mails from readers that have purchased the program and love it. I can’t say I surprised, but that’s nice to hear. If you buy in the next few days, Eric is also throwing in a special bonus about warm-up technique and strategy that I think you’ll love.

You can find out more about the program HERE, or read the interview I did with Eric HERE.

Also, my friend Kevin Neeld is running a sale on his new program Ultimate Hockey Training. Like I mentioned yesterday, this is more than a hockey program, so definitely give it a look. Again, like Show and Go, it’s on sale, so now is the time. You can read more about it HERE.

3. Squatting Experiment

Last week I decided to test my back squat after not really squatting for about two years. In that time I’ve done primarily single leg work with some lighter front squatting and goblet squatting sprinkled in, and I wanted to see how it would translate to back squatting. I put 225 and repped out, getting 35 reps. My previous best was 20 or 21, so I was pleasantly surprised. I have always felt confident that single leg strength carries over to bilateral strength, but it is good to have tangible validation.

Keep in mind that I did these squats after doing single leg work, and it was my third day training lower body in a row, so to say I wasn’t fresh would be an understatement.

Here is the video. I’ll probably write out more of my thoughts in the coming weeks.

4. More Strong Squatting

Speaking of squatting, here is a video of my good friend Courtney rocking out some seriously strong squats, 155×10. Gotta love it!

5. Twitter Q+A

I haven’t been doing much with my newsletter since I started the new website because I’ve been going through a bunch of computer issues, but now that they are (fingers crossed!) all worked out, I’d like to get more going on the front. This Monday I sent out the first newsletter and proposed doing a Q+A on Twitter this weekend where my newsletter subscribers could fire questions at me and I will answer them on the spot. If that’s something you’re interested in doing, make sure to sign up for the newsletter in the upper right of this screen and we’ll get that set up for this Sunday. Sound good? Leave any feedback on this in the comments below.

6. Feedback Wanted

Speaking of feedback, I’d appreciate any ideas and suggestions of things you all would like to see from me here on the blog. I’ve got a couple cool ideas in the pipeline that I’m working on, but I’m always open to new ideas. Articles you’d like to see? Topics you’d like me to cover? People you’d like me to interview? Etc, etc, etc. Let me know what you think below.

That’s all for today. Have a great day!

  • Bensparhawk

    There are a couple things I’d like to see if possible.

    1) your thought process on setting up a program for a client (or group).

    2) everyone always talks about how different and superior their favorite strength coach programs are than other strength coach. So it’d be cool to see two “different” programs reviewed for their similarities even though they may seem totally different. Maybe something that Boyle does vs what Cressey, Dan John, dowdell, or Ballantyne does.

    • Ben Bruno

      Ben, thanks for the thoughts. I’m not quite sure I understand what you mean with question 1, could you please explain? Number 2 is a great idea.

      • Bensparhawk

        Question 1 explanation:

        If Joe Anybody walks into your gym and says I want to add some size and trim up (or anything like that.) What is your process? Do you do an FMS assessment or something else you came up with? Would you use supersets? Would you use a conjugate system, undulating periodization, time under tension?

  • david__001

    That was a beautifully stable squat.

    I see so many horrible squats (shaky, poor mechanics) on YouTube, which makes it doubly refreshing to see such a solid looking squat. The stability and body control are impressive.

    I am also a big believer in the benefits of single leg work (and other so-called “assistance movements”) for improving (i) physical development and physical integrity on a general basis, and (ii), strength and quality of performance in movements such as the barbell squat.

    • Ben Bruno

      Thanks David! I appreciate it.

  • Dbro38

    Very impressive squat video – awesome depth! One thing that might be beneficial to the site is a “Resources” icon with a list of books, dvd’s, websites, etc. that you feel improved your knowledge in the strength and conditioning field. Great stuff Ben, keep it up!

    • Ben Bruno

      Thanks for the idea. Actually, a resources page is in the works.

  • http://twitter.com/TJMRobertson Tom Robertson

    Would like to see from you anything Olympic weightlifting related. I dont think enough people are taking the time to learn the lifts and there seems to be an unfortunate stereotype (from what ive seen in the UK anyway) that the O-lifts are reserved for elite athletes. Plus, i love them.


    (and say hi from Edinburgh! to your web guy JL, the site looks brilliant!)

    • Ben Bruno

      Thanks for the idea!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6233625 Juliet Gotthardt

    Holy CRAP. 3 straight minutes of perfect squatting with your a** to the floor. Great work. Honestly, I love your blog and you produce some great content. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head to add to it!

    • Ben Bruno

      Thanks Juliet! I’m loving yours as well. Keep up the good work.

  • http://twitter.com/trainingbykeir Keir Wenham-Flatt

    Hey Bruno,

    Nice video. A quick question for you…

    As I understand it, Mike Boyle’s rationale for unilateral work was the low back’s limited capacity as a force transducer during bilateral work. I, like you, experienced years with severe back pain (so bad I couldn’t reach to put my shoes on some mornings) and have now switched almost exclusively to unilateral lower body work, with great results- mostly in part to seeing your success and reading your articles. This suggests to me that Mike’s rationale is correct.

    My question is, assuming Mike is right, shouldn’t your low back still be limiting your back squat performance despite the obvious increase in your unilateral leg strength? It appears not to be, which makes me wonder how your squat performance has improved? Have you dramatically improved lower back strength via other means? Or does the nature of the test expose the lower back less than a purer test of maximal strength like a <5RM?

    Interested to hear your thoughts. Keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Keir Wenham-Flatt

    • Ben Bruno

      Hi Keir, thanks for writing, and great article recently on strengthcoach.com. I’m glad the single leg work is working for you. It’s great stuff and has worked really well for me. I have a few thoughts for what you said. First, I did a light weight for higher reps, so the low back probably didn’t come into play as much. Second, I have done a lot of core work, so that surely helps. Third, I would still consider the squat to be a leg exercise, so stronger legs would create a stronger squat. Fourth, I’ve done a ton of GHR and back extensions to strengthen my posterior chain.

      Great question, and keep up the good work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Robking1 Rob King

    Great new blog Ben, I would go with bigger fonts and maybe a white font, the colors and fonts are hard to read for sure.

    Also you should add “Facebook Comments”

    Keep up the great work and congrats on the squats.


    • Ben Bruno

      Thanks Rob. I’m not what “facebook comments” are? I’ll see what I can do about the fonts.

  • Dean Leach

    Ben Bruno! I’m REALLY liking the blog. I like the background, I’m cool with the font color, could be lighter but no big deal. Your about me at the top is empty which I’m sure your aware of. How about a bio, where you grew up, sports you played( enjoyd the golf stories you’ve told!) In fact the one blog post where you entered a long drive contest in your flip-flops, shorts & a t-shirt was CRAZY FUNNY & is one of my favs. Are you still doing an intern or are you a coach there at Boyle’s? You must be making some chetta if you got a Copter Labs Blog, right? Hahah. What do you do in your spare time, if you even have any! Hahha.

    Oh, how about on the right hand side of your main page you have blog posts that have received the most comments? And one last thing, how about next to the bio, contact tab a tab OR a link to your articles? Or maybe that could be on the right hand side too? I know it’s only a few but would be nice to access them here. I believe you have some at elitefts & T-Nation. If I think of anything else I’ll let you know, bro. Keep up the great content, vids, etc. And thanks for keeping it real, YOU WALK THE TALK. And that meant EVERYTHING. Nice squatting man, great vid.

    • Ben Bruno

      Thanks Dean. I actually forgot about the bio but I’ll try to get to that soon. I also like the idea of linking to my articles. I don’t know how invovled that would be to add, but I’ll look into it. Appreciate the support.

  • Derrick

    Ben, your squat form is flawless. Props! Also you are one strong, fit guy.

    Regarding squat form, I’m of the opinion that the lumbar spine should be in neutral, never flexed (rounded), but also not hyperextended. Yet in the videos that I see of women squatting, their low back is often hyperextended (extremely lordotic) at some point. I rarely see this with men. Do women squat differently than men due to increased flexibility? It’s not a diss, ladies, just an observation/question!

    Blog feedback: Font/background contrast is difficult for my 44-yr. old eyes. Also, could you let each blog post run in its entirety, without having to click “read more”. It’s like watching a sporting event, and then they say, “coverage continued on our sister channel”. Sort of diminishes the value of each blog post.

    Great stuff, Ben. Keep up the good work.


  • ori

    hey man

    1 critique about the site,

    in the good reads for the weeks posts. ON your old site it used to like highlight the ones you clicked on that way i could tell which articles i already read, and somehow it would save it even when i returned to the webpage at a later time. Anyway now it doesn’t do that at all, would be cool if you could get that feature back, makes it much more user friendly, convenient

  • B.Money

    More squats! Are you going to treat us to a high rep deadlift video sometime?