Bobby is owner of 1RM Performance, a premier training facility in San Diego. A Jersey born strength coach who lives with passion, he is one of the few strength coaches to blend the science of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization with today’s latest sports performance models. Bobby believes that blending these two concepts allow his athletes to see the greatest gains, move most efficiently, ultimately creating monsters on the field and in the gym. His foundation as a strength coach is based on the two ideas, “the little things are the big things” and “to never stop growing” in the gym and in life.
Improving your deadlift technique and increasing the amount you can deadlift is as easy as engaging your lats. Being able to engage your lats while dead lifting will make or break your ability to pull heavy weight. Up until last week, I was struggling to maintain tension in my lats throughout the whole pull. This problem had single handedly slowed my progress for the upcoming power lifting meet. If you can’t fire your lats while deadlifting, you don’t have a prayer to keep your chest up or be able to drive throughout the entire pull. An inability to keep your chest up will result in flexion of the spine (think Hunchback of Notre dame). Any flexion of your spine can lead to damage to the passive support structures; in other words, low back pain, chronic injuries and so on.
Should baseball players train on unstable surfaces? Should baseball players depend primariily on yoga and stretching int heir off season programming? Should baseball players be training in the 12 to 25 rep range?
Unstable surface training should be banished from the strength and conditioning world. I mean truly banished, never to be seen again! Physical therapy and athletic training - fine, but a strength coach or personal trainer trying to make an athlete stronger and more powerful – NO! Get your feet on solid ground and stop prescribing exercises. PLEASE!
Front Squat vs. Back Squat
The difference between the front squat and back squat. As promised, I will continue to answer myths and misconceptions of the different squat variations (with only a few tangents). For this installment, I will focus on the difference between the front squat and the back squat.
Battle of the Squat Part 1:
Back squatting and Front squatting, high bar squats versus low bar squats, whats the difference? Does it really make a difference if the bar is behind or in front of your head? Should certain athletes back squat while others should front squat? How do you even perform a squat properly? We will look at all those questions while we take a look at two tremendous exercises: the back squat and the front squat. They have a bunch of similarities, but also have a few major differences. Hold on to your seat because we’re about to dive right in.
How to bench properly
It’s Monday at the gym which can only mean one thing: “chest and tris” for 90% of the typical gym goers in America. Nearly every one of the chest and tri doers will start their workout with a variation of the bench press, whether incline or flat, dumbbells or barbell. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I use to split up my workout routines like the rest of society, before I came to the brighter side. Now this post isn’t meant to make fun of people that split up workouts this way, it’s meant to be educational. By the end of this article you should actually know, or at least have a better understanding, of what muscles you really recruit while benching and how to bench properly.
As some of you know, I wear 2 hats: the first being Bobby Congalton of 1RM Performance, the loud strength and conditioning coach telling at you to “add more weight”. The second being Robert Congalton, a researcher in the War Fighter Performance Department at the Naval Health Research Center San Diego. One of the perks of holding a position on a military base is having the option to train at the gyms (you could imagine they are pretty sweet).
What motivates you?
What is the motivating force behind your work out? Is it to lose weight? Is it to win a bet you have with someone? Is it to be “jacked and tan” like the guys from jersey shore? Is it to be a better athlete? Or is it your way to replace something that you have given up? Here in San Diego, I have begun to notice just how many different reasons people have to work out. Yes, the majority of people’s goals are to be lean and to lose weight - as you can tell by the line of 20 people waiting for the cardio equipment at the local 24 hour fitness. Yes, some just want to have abs, big arms, defined shoulders, and a big chest - as you can tell by the ill use of the squat racks. Then there is the aerobic room full of guys doing traditional ab exercises till they’re lying in a puddle of sweat. I thought I heard it all until I met three guys who, by talking to in passing, shared personal motivation I will never forget. All three of the guys use to be an addict of some type. No, not an exercise or food addict, but a drug addict, alcoholic or both.
Why anabolic hormones do not play a role in skeletal muscle hypertrophy.
Imagine a total stranger walked up to you, knowing you stay up to date on current strength and conditioning and fitness knowledge, and preceded to tell you that the increase in the big three anabolic hormones Growth Hormone(GH), Testosterone(T), and Insulin like Growth Factor (IGF-1) associated with resistance training has nothing to do with hypertrophy. You, like me, would probably drop your jaw and demand to see studies, or at least have someone explain it to you!
The reward of being strength and conditioning coach
There aren’t many professions out there where you can have a profound impact on a kid’s life that lives 3000 miles away... Here’s a quick story that will explain.