Archives For squats

Well, I found out this past week that I passed the NCSA-CPT (National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer) exam!

I wrote it in December and just got the results via email after submitting my CPR/AED card. They'll be mailing the certificate to me in the next few weeks.

As for the exam itself, it was really a pain in the ass to write. The exam location, which was York University, was in another city, and the time started at 9:00 AM ending at 12:00 PM. Meaning, to make sure that I could make it on time, I had to stay overnight at a hotel to write this exam.

The desks were tiny, probably the smallest desks I've ever used as an adult. The width of the writing surface of the desk was probably as wide as a single sheet of paper. Sitting in a chair made of wood for 3 hours was literally a pain in the butt, and having my head down looking at test for 3 hours was a pain in the neck. I train my neck on a regular basis, but this was tough, even for me! My neck was sore after, and I'm pretty sure I had a neck pump after the exam.

As for the test itself, it was challenging. It was a 150 question multiple choice test, with about 35 questions that required you to watch a video before answering the question from the exam booklet. There is no practical component like the Can-Fit-Pro Personal Training Specialist, or PTS test (I was required to train a mock client in front of another trainer).

Unless I'm mistaken, the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) exam is the same way (all multiple choice with no practical component), meaning just about anybody who is a good text book reader and test taker can obtain these certifications, with the exception that the CSCS has a requirement of a bachelor's degree in any subject.

This would be the second training certification I've obtained in the past 10 years. The first one was Can-Fit-Pro PTS. I let that one expire because of a career change. I really should have kept up with it though.

I also obtained a 3M National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) many moons ago during the dot-com bubble in 1999. Yes, I am probably older than you think 😉

As far as my opinion on certifications go, in the end, they're really just a piece of paper saying that someone has paid the appropriate fees and have managed to pass a multiple choice test (or whatever the test format and requirements happens to be) that is based off of the textbook and other materials provided by the certifying agency. It doesn't mean that they actually workout train themselves on a regular basis, or have worked with clients in the past (unless those happen to be required for the certification).

It is what it is.

Now I have to keep up with these CEU (continuing education units) that continue to make money for the certifying agencies will...err...continue my education.

However, I suspect that most of my "education" in the future will come from under a heavy barbell, and coaching others.

Anyways, check out these articles!

  1. Knowing Squat About Squats by Alex Schuld, Howard Hensen and Ryan Atkins
  2. Why I Train by Charles Staley
  3. Fuck Your Forum by Paul Carter


Well I totally missed on the 350lbs reverse grip bench press last Friday due to pain radiating from my shoulders down my arms, but I did manage to get a 520lbs hook grip deadlift PR (video).

Anyways, check these out:

  1. The Chaos And Pain Guide To Brutal Squats by Jamie Lewis
  2. The Coaching Eye by Stef Bradford
  3. Gods of War: Ramon Dekkers by T.P. Grant

Dammit, I hurt my lower back earlier this week (or maybe last week?), so I'm forced to go low volume and low intensity on squats all week. Essentially I have no choice but to take a de-load week for squats and deadlifts.  I've also switched to high bar squats from low bar squats because I don't feel as much pain during the movement.

But this hasn't stopped me from hitting a bench press PR yesterday! Video here.

Anyways, here's a few articles you should read and an interview you should listen to:

  1. Where Have All The PR's Gone? by Aimee Anaya Everett
  2. Deadlifts: Which Type Is Best for You? By Mike Robertson
  3. Just f'n train, just get f'n strong. Idiotic by Paul Carter
  4. Always Hungery by John Welbourn
  5. Reduce Home Gym Noise by Gregor
  6. Big Without Strong Is Nothing by Tony Gentilcore
  7. Alex Navarro, Mark Bell and Jesse Burdick Interview at


  • 405lbs: 1
  • 355lbs: 5,5,5

Overhead Press

  • 180lbs: 5,5,5,5,5
    • Power cleaned the bar into position before pressing


  • 405lbs: 3,3
    • I noticed the bar had a noticeable bend after my first set. After the second set, I checked the other bars in the gym that I regularly use, and they were all slightly bent. I don't recall seeing this when I first started training at this gym...


  • 215lbs: 2,2,X
  • 205lbs: 1
    • My presses were lopsided for some reason. Left arm was higher than my right arm, and my body was leaning in one direction. This made my back feel strange. I didn't hurt, just felt weird.


  • Skipped - I didn't want to aggravate this strange feeling I was having in my back from doing overhead presses.