Posted by Tony Montgomery under General  on Oct 27 2015

TM: Tell the readers a little bit about your background.

PJ: Like many other folks, I started off in this field as an athlete. I was what some would call a slow gainer. I never really got too big, but I gained some size and power. I went off to college and started to accumulate some injuries. I tried to walk on and didn’t make it, so I started to train some more. I realized I loved it and stuck with that and then walked on to the track and field team. I threw shot and discuss for a while and then discovered and fell in love with powerlifting. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in physical education. I ended up being conned into working at a local gym that really didn’t exist. I lived in the closet of the gym for three years. After the first year, I owned the gym and turned it into a successful powerlifting and bodybuilding gym. After that, I went back to school and finished my master’s degree and got a job as a strength coach at a small university. I took on the responsibilities of the whole athletic department. After that, I decided to take a graduate assistant position at the University of Tennessee for one year and then became an assistant strength coach at the University of Miami. While there, we won a few national championships and had an extremely successful team. I also worked in the private sector and spent twelve years working with the Miami Project to cure paralysis. Now I’m a professor at Florida Atlantic University.

TM: Tell me a little bit about your time with Dave Pasanella?

PJ: Dave played two years at Northern Arizona and then transferred to Georgia Tech and played two years as fullback. He then became their strength and conditioning coach. I was an outside consultant for him and his program. We also had a business together called Superior Performance, which was one of the first Sports Performance facilities in the country. Unfortunately Dave passed away and it never took off. We set up a camera so we could analyze the athletes’ squats on a big projection screen while they performed them. We were able to fix things much better that way. This was by far the best component to our success in the weight room.

TM: If you could design a weight room for high school athletes, what would it consist of?

PJ: With high school athletes, number one is to not get involved with the fancy glitter. The best investments are sound bars and weights. Solid benches and a bunch of power racks. Power racks are the most efficient. In the 1980s at UCLA, I saw a modular system where they just had a rack and an adjustable bench with a power bar and a pulling bar with bumper plates and free weights. That’s how I would set it up for high school athletes. A place to do squats, bench, chins, dips, and pulls. Start with the basics and don’t get caught up with the machines.

TM: What is your philosophy on training football players in the high school setting? Do you start with the weight room and then go into on the field speed and agility training?

PJ: Now we know that there is this joker called the force velocity curve. With this concept, when pushing the most weight, we are usually moving the slowest. If it’s lighter, we move our fastest. But we will never be at our fastest speeds, so we’ll have a lower force production. In the concept of specificity, we’ll infer that if we want to move fast, we can only do so when we are moving light weight. Most developing athletes use slow, crude, strength training. 3-8 reps moving relatively at a slow pace will increase their force production at all velocities. For developing athletes, you need to focus on three factors—technique, technique, and technique. Stay within your technique and push like hell. You must have patience because if there was a better technique than what you did on your first rep, you should have used it on your first rep.

The second thing I learned from Doug Furnas when I was at the University of Tennessee is to not set unrealistic goals. If your program tells you to get five reps, get five reps. Never miss a rep. In powerlifting, the goal is to go nine for nine. If you look at the very best, they tend to be very consistent. So I would say the first step is to use slow and controlled movements and keep your goals in a progressive nature but in a realistic frame so you can get your reps.

If you’re going to do power work in the gym, make them basic power movements. I don’t think Olympic lifting is a realistic activity for most coaches to share. Olympic lifters do multiple sessions per week and there is a lot of technique involved. With high school athletes, I prefer to use a power pull or a high pull as opposed to dive bombing under a bar. The idea is that we do strength, hypertrophy, and some power work in the gym. We don’t do speed work in the gym. We do that outside. We don’t do as much overloading. We won’t go any higher than 10 percent of body weight. You can do this with a weight vest or pull a sled. We want to turn our gains into speed and do more movement oriented tasks. I think that the best training for lateral movement is a game of pick-up basketball. This will make them work harder and be more competitive when it comes to speed and agility training.


TM: How would you go about conditioning high school athletes? Start right off the bat or wait until the season is approaching?

PJ: It depends on who your athletes are. I would say no more than two weeks and those two weeks should be active recovery workouts. The time for aerobic exercise is when you retire. If I saw a ball player running or walking, they would be punished. I believe in the old school periodization. For example, in January, we started a strength/hypertrophy phase up until spring ball. Once spring ball came around, we turned it into an in-season maintenance phase. Once spring ball was over, we went into a strength phase until summer started. Over the summer, we focused on power/speed/strength, but we didn’t do any running until the 4th of July. It only takes six weeks to learn the neural aspect of running for the big fellas. If it was a speed guy, it would be a little different. Maybe go let him run track for maybe 10 weeks. This will prepare them to go all out at camp.

TM: Is there any such thing as sport-specific lifts in the weight room or is it just hype?

PJ: The only sport-specific movement for football is playing football. In training, we want to manipulate the factors that we think are important. Those factors are going to be related to joint movement and lines of resistance. It should be sport similar movements and velocities. It is impossible to train the shoulder at the velocity of throwing the football. You don’t want to just work the movements that are most predominant in the sport because 95 percent of the time, you can. But at the other 5 percent, we get in odd angles. People get hurt, so we want a wide variety.

TM: Would you train each position differently?

PJ: No. I remember several times, to the dismay of Coach Johnson, we had Vinny Testeverde coming out of the squat rack with 500 lbs on his back. Everybody squats from the kickers all the way to the defensive linemen. There might be some slight changes, but in general, most of the movements are the same. No matter what the sport, they all have to move straight ahead really fast. Occasionally, they have to stop and change directions and every one of them will get hit. The more heavy damage and pounding you cause your body through training, the more we develop the capacity to generate and recover. Any time you get DOMS, you’re developing the capacity to protect yourself. Now with that being said, I would change things slightly with throwing athletes and cut out the overhead pressing. But everything else would generally be the same.

TM: As far as recovery, what would you have your players do?

PJ: Number one factor of recovery is to get enough sleep. The eight hours of sleep generalization is inadequate. The average person should get nine. When I competed and trained heavy legs, I needed to get at least 12 hours of sleep. Preparation before you train is vital. This includes prehabilitation, mobility, and stretching. In addition, it’s important to get out and do other things, perform daily activities. Sit in a whirlpool and get some cold water therapy.

TM: What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome with your players?

PJ: Them. Psychologically, these guys would defeat themselves before we even started. We had to work on cognitively restructuring the brain, and to do that, we had to talk about the issues. You can have All Americans still hearing that voice from their dads telling them they’re too clumsy or weak. Until we talk about that and bring it out, it limited them. We started by setting goals in the gym. We tried to get more reps or lift a heavier load. Everyone had to write everything down. We found that to be quite effective reinforcement. Number one it showed them that somebody gave a damn because I wrote each workout out by hand. We didn’t have Excel back then, so I wrote out all 315 athletes’ workout sheets. Then we adjusted on the fly and set goals for each phase for what we expected them to accomplish. After we did that in the weight room, it was much easier for the position coaches to prepare the athletes. So be sure to set realistic goals.

Posted by Tony Montgomery under General  on Oct 24 2015

I am sure by now everyone has seen or heard about the Michigan vs. Michigan State game. One of the craziest endings to a game, with 10 seconds left Michigan State is down and for all accounts done for. Michigan had the ball and decided to punt it away and the punter dropped the snap and fumbled into the arms of a Michigan State player who ran it back for a touchdown as time expired to win the game. It was amazing to witness as the odds of them being able to do that was .02%. So why do I bring this up on my blog because its not just about the game or the ending of it. It reaches far beyond that, it is what lead into the game and what was instilled in these guys before the season ever started and what society for the most part seems to lack these days. The ability to never give up and never give in. We are in a society these days where things are just expected and so much whining about what is deserved without the application of hard work. So many people want things and very few people work for them, so when things get tough which in life they will thats inevitable the ones who have free loaded and have this sense of entitlement will crumble under the pressure. They don’t know what its like to work and to know things are earned not giving.


The Michigan State team from day one under coach Dantonio was taught to not give up and to play with every ounce of being until the clock says 0:00 and they did  just that and that perseverance will carry over to the real world as well. Its that mental toughness that will carry you through certain moments in your life when things seem like they are getting worst and worst and there is no end in sight remember 10 seconds. You have 10 seconds left you can either play it with everything you have until time runs out or you can quit and give up because the odds seem to high to over come because you start to feel sorry for yourself and blame people. You can either fight to the end or you can look for that hand out. Never give up and never give in, because regardless of the outcome if you go all out for those last 10 seconds I guarantee you something good will transpire and you will become better because of it. You start quitting now you’ll be a quitter the rest of your life because trust me life doesn’t get any easier and there will be a  bunch of barriers and walls in the way but those walls are not place to deter you from your goals, they are placed there to see how hard you are will to go to break them down.


Mental toughness is forged through hours and hours of practice, you have to decide ahead of time that you will overcome this is not a skill this is your heart and desire. You become mentally tough because you have decided that nothing in life is to hard, that all these obstacles are not going to knock you down but rather they are there to build you up and make you better. But you have to decide that now, not when it presents itself but right here and right now. You must know everyday that you will not give up and not give in. It’s not going to be easy and nothing worth having ever will be but with mental toughness you can get it done. 


“I don’t care how hard you fall, fall on your back, because if you can fall on your back you can look up and if you can look up you can get up.” Eric Thomas

Tagged motivation  coach  Time  sports 
Posted by Tony Montgomery under Diet  Training  Nutrition  on Oct 17 2015

Offseason a time to try new things make big improvements and shock the world!! Or a time to get fat, become lazy and to under perform!! Which route you choose is up to you but I guarantee only one will bring a desirable ending. From an athletes perspective this is the time to add some good quality size, maintain a certain level of condition and to improve the parts you need to in order to bring a better package to the stage. Far to often though people underutilize this time and eat like crap find excuses to miss workouts and inevitably find themselves in a hole they can't dig themselves out of. It all comes down to having a solid game plan in tact and a desire to get better. You can't just be laser focused only during a prep you have to be on it all day everyday in order to keep up with the best of the best.

Every competitor who steps on that stage has aspirations of becoming a pro, but when you turn pro at 23 years old there is a lot of pressure to see what you are going to do next. This pressure can crush people or they can thrive off of it and use it for fuel. How you react to that will say a lot about how far you can take things on your path because bodybuilding is definitely a sport that requires confidence and the ability to thrive under pressure. So 4 months after winning her Pro card Kaylie is working hard on bringing a better package to her Pro debut, one that will be her best to date. 


As athletes we know that the hour or two spent in the gym is a small portion of the day but it is a large portion of what makes you great. That ability to get in there day in and day and push your body to its threshold is a hard task. For Kaylie we back off cardio for while and have her bumping her training up to 6-7 days per week. Her rotation looks like this:

Sun- Shoulders

Mon- Back and Hamstrings

Tues- Chest Heavy

Weds- Legs Volume

Thurs- Chest/Shoulders Volume

Fri- Legs Heavy

Sat- Back


Trying to let her workouts and food do the work and allow her to grow and bring up the body parts she needs to to make an impact at her debut. As far as diet goes we needed to get her metabolism normalized and her body for that matter, a long prep can take a lot out of you and do some crazy things to your body. So having her do a carb cycling approach while slowly bumping up calories and after 4 months she has made some solid improvements. So for the next 4-8 weeks we are doing a mini cut to get her to lean out a bit and resynthesizes her insulin and really to see how her body adapts to a different dieting approach she’s not use to. After this mini diet it will allow us to see how well it works and allow us to gauge a good time frame for her Pro debut. I’ll be posting videos as much as possible of her journey on my page so make sure you check it out and also be sure to follow her on IG @kayliebaby_ifbbpro

Posted by Tony Montgomery under General  on Oct 06 2015

Q: How and why did you get into powerlifting? What are your numbers?
Brandon: I got into powerlifting because I was tired of bodybuilding as a sport. Everyone was super cocky and thought they were better than everyone else . I felt like everyone was against each other. I got an itch for powerlifting after I went to my first meet about a year and a half ago to support some friends from barbell brigade . My current platform numbers are 650/440/688 .

Q: Where do you train at and what does your training week look like?
Brandon: I train at Barbell Brigade . Full of the most humble , friendly , loving people you will ever meet. I normally like to train 3-4 times a week. I have a squat , bench, and deadlift day . The 4th day I'll normally use as a bodybuilding type day.

Q: How do approach lifting and programming? Does it change much from offseason to meet prep, if so how?
Brandon: Most of my training is always heavy lifting . More sets, low reps. Everyone's body's work differently . Some people can't handle training with heavy weight . Some people benefit more from more volume style of training. I just prefer to lift heavy all the time during meet prep . Off season I do calm down with all the heavy lifting . Normally in odd season I'll focus on weak body parts and do a lot of bodybuilding type training.

Q: Best advice you can give to a lifter?
Brandon: Stay consistent . Everyone expects to see progress so soon. It takes time. Be patient. Bust your ass every day . Eat big. Lift heavy weights.

Q: What drives you to come to the gym day in and day out?
Brandon: I just love it. It truly has become part of my life. I've taken weeks off from the gym before and I hated it. It feels weird not going to the gym to train. I've been lifting for about 7 years now. Once you've put in that kind of time it just becomes addictive.

Q: Give you best advice on how to improve these:
Squat: strong core and a fat booty = strong skwaats
Bench: lots and lots of accessory work for chest and tris. Don't be lazy. It matters .
Deadlift: Pull to the moon !!!

Q: What is the biggest mistake you see lifters make these days?
Brandon: Too many people worry about what other people are doing. Find what works for you . Master it!

Q: If we had a pose off between you, Larry, and Adam who would win?
Brandon: Papa Larry. He has quads from the GODS!!!!

Q: How important is it to have these guys as training partners? Do you feel you need a good training partner or partners?
Brandon: Me and Adam have been training together for the past 4 years now. We both met when we were 20 at a LA fitness. We both made the move to barbell brigade when we decided we were gonna give powerlifting a shot. That's where we met LARBear ( Larry). He has been helping us out with our training ever since. He took us in as his baby cubs and helped us master the basics. These two guys are the best . When we are training it's all about the weights. Heavy metal and a lot of yelling at each other. It's a great atmosphere to be in. After training it just turns into a love fest. I love these guys !

Q: Who is your favorite powerlifter and why?
Brandon: I really admire the Lillibridge brothers . I think it's really cool that they get to share powerlifting as a family.

Q: What do you have coming up and where can people find you/get ahold of you?
Metroflex Oct. 4th
Shooting for 1873 total
Instagram : @scuubbee