How to Train Your Marshmallow Mind: Why Will Power Matters


What if I stuck you in a small room with a marshmallow? What does that have to do with Will Power? What does Will Power have to do with your life or lifting heavy barbells? — find out in today’s episode of the Samurai Strength podcast! If you were alone in a small room with […]

Shakespeare vs the Poverty of Convention: Sonnet 130


My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red, than her lips red: If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And […]

New Coaches: Need Help? We Get It – Super Total Cert. Now With Payment Plan


Chris Duffin and I set up the Super Total Certification to help NEW coaches get as much good information as they can — so that they can help more athletes. However, in the real world, new coaches are often struggling financially! I never want that to hold you back from something you honestly can benefit […]

The Losing of the Way: 10,000 Years of Decline


“Hard times make discipline difficult.” — Yung-Chia This is a line from The Song of Realizing the Way which is attributed to Yung-chia, but was likely written by someone else, after 700 C.E.. In the compendium The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader, the editors, Nelson Foster and Jack Shoemaker have this to say about […]

Shoulder Mobility, Zen Mind, Contest Prep, & a bit of Sumo – This Week in Weightlifting Academy


Below is a collection of Video Lessons I put up on Weightlifting Academy this week. Mobility & Strength Training: Shoulders, T-Spine Hanging Hollow-Body Drill — for shoulders, low-back strengthening, and t-spine: Flying Swan Pulls — for advanced shoulder work: Zen Mind Training More Zen-Mode — It’s time to stop acting like a “Bro”. Less #Beastmode, […]

Oblivion & Freedom: The Point of Meditation Training


“One sits in oblivion … In order that one may learn to walk in freedom.” — Winston King The point of meditation isn’t to contemplate or figure anything out. The point is to train yourself to deal with nothing. Only then can you deal with something. Meditation is the act of training the physical structures […]

I Don’t Have Time for the Fast Lane: The Job of Teachers & Coaches


“Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I […]

Win First, Then Strike – Takano Sazaburo: Quote


“Don’t win after having struck, but strike having won.” — Takano Sazaburo Takano Sazaburo was a swordsman born in 1862, and considered one of the major founders of Kendo. Now go lift something heavy, Nick Horton PS. The photo is of Tamara and Richard in their ‘merica singlets. 😉 They’ve clearly won without needing to […]

Daggers in the Sky: Macbeth & the Problem(s) of Correlation


“Macbeth did not murder Duncan because he saw a dagger in the air: he saw the dagger because he was about to murder Duncan.” — A.C. Bradley Suppose you notice a correlation between two (or more) things or events. The two most common mistakes you’re likely to make are: Believing there is a causal connection […]

Less #Beastmode, More #ZenMode – Weightlifting Academy Episode


“When your opponent is hurrying recklessly, you must keep calm. You must not be influenced by the opponent.” — Miyamoto Musashi In this case, your enemy is your own mind when facing discomfort and pain that you know is good for you. Calm in the face of pain is the seed that flowers into success. […]

Living the Simple (Recursive) Life – Hegel: Quote


“The religiousness and the ethics of a limited life — of a shepherd or a peasant — in its concentrated inwardness and its limitation to a few very simple circumstances … has infinite value, and the same value as the religiousness and ethics of a cultivated cognition and an existence rich in the extent of […]

Terminator Snatch Pulls: Fix Your Technique & Build Strength – Weightlifting Academy Episode


Can you fix technique and build strength at the same time? Of course! Try this style of snatch pulls, done in “Terminator” (read: precise) style! The name is just for fun, and to make the point that I want you to be as meticulous as possible. Other people call it by other names (Dan Bell […]

Groucho Marx on the 1st Time He Had Sex


“I remember the first time I had sex… I kept the receipt.” —Groucho Marx Which serves to justify what Irving Berlin had to say: “… the world would not be in such a snarl, had Marx been Groucho instead of Karl.” Now go lift something heavy, Nick Horton

Substituting Emotions for Thoughts – T.S. Eliot: Quote

TS Eliot

“When there is so much to be known, when there are so many fields of knowledge in which the same words are used with different meanings, when every one knows a little about a great many things, it becomes increasingly difficult for anyone to know whether he knows what he is talking about or not. […]

Jerk Mobility & Positions Drill – Weightlifting Academy Episode


Practice how to optimize your Jerk Positions, and start fixing your mobility with this variation of the “go your body forward” drill. The Jerk can sometimes cause new lifters pain in the shoulders and/or in the lower back. Two big possible reasons are: Your positions on the jerk suck. Your t-spine mobility sucks. Use this […]

Nice Comment & a Lesson About Training for Weightlifting


Here’s what Olympic Weightlifter, Chris, had to say about one of my contest-prep programs: This is the 4th meet I’ve prepped for using the 4-Week peaking program from the old Iron Samurai blog. Results speak for themselves: Comp PR 127kg snatch, lifetime PR 160kg clean and jerk. PR 287kg total and qualified for American Open! […]

How to Bulgarian Split Squat – Weightlifting Academy Episode


Build your foundation so that you can squat heavier, more often, safely. Athletes are notoriously lazy. They avoid the “small” stuff (the work they know they should be doing) because they’d rather spend their time doing the “big” stuff like squats, snatches, etc. Then… they get hurt doing something that shouldn’t have been a problem. […]

Coaching, Secrecy, & Insecurity


“If you’re secure in your knowledge, you don’t have to hide it.” — Dan Inosanto1 The field of Olympic Weightlifting (and other strength sports) suffers from something not unlike what you’ll find in the traditional martial arts: an inane tendency towards secrecy. I keep telling you that there are no secrets. That’s true. However, many […]

The Freedom & Relaxation of Training – Moy Yat: Quote


“The purpose of Wing Chun Kung Fu is to lead you to be free and relaxed. This can never be achieved if you are tied physically and emotionally to techniques. You must free yourself from dependence on mechanical expression and trust your body, your Kung Fu to protect yourself.” — Moy Yat From Moy Yat, […]

3rd Pull Speed Drill – Weightlifting Academy Episode


It’s time to STOP “dropping” under the bar, and finally learn how to PULL yourself under the bar. “Dropping” or “diving” is not only wrong, it is so dangerous that if you keep doing it in my gym, I will literally kick you out. (Not joking.) Instead, learn how to ACTIVELY pull yourself under the […]

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