Rib Cage Motion, Neuropathy, and Aerobic Training


Click here to download the notes

Recommended reading

Here are some books and articles mentioned in this month’s Q&A:

Other posts

I have talked at length about the infrasternal angle. See “Choosing Corrective Exercises for the Upper Body”.

Choosing Corrective Exercises for the Upper Body: Why scap push ups won't fix winging shoulder blades

This Q&A’s Children

FYI: This Q&A gave rise to two other child posts

Common Aerobic Energy Systems Misconceptions
Identifying "Normal" Movement
Are YOU Ready for the Working World? Advice from an 18-Year Industry Veteran

Are YOU Ready for the Working World?

The Big Question: If you could alter the space-time continuum and give your young self one piece of advice about training and/or life, what would it be?

I ask all of my podcast interviewees this Big Question. The clever ones flip it around on me.

It’s a tough question to answer, especially when you’re happy with your current position in life (work, family, friends, financially, etc.).

In this video, I want to discuss:

  • My answer to The Big Question (and why it’s hard for me to answer)
  • What my life looked like in 2002 (and how I made end’s meet)
  • Why I wish I had a mentor at that point (really wish I had taken that gig with the Indianapolis Colts)
  • Why you should BE PATIENT… you don’t need to “be an adult” right away
  • A story of one of our old interns who had a better course of career (and did ANOTHER internship after our’s)

Read More

What Should I Look for in a Mentor?

What Should I Look for in a Mentor?

I remember starting out as a young coach. I didn’t know anything.

But then I met some people I looked up to. Mentors. They took me under their wing, teaching me the ins and outs of coaching and gym etiquette. I learned how to get strong (and deadlifted 545lbs).

Mike Robertson sumo deadlifting 545lbs.

Eventually, I grew away from them. I became my own coach. I spent time around powerlifting gyms and around rehab gyms. I found a way to mesh the two, forming a newly cohesive type of training. I saw the importance of both and went off on my own.

Robertson Training Systems was born. I wrote articles for T-Nation. Then for my own site. I trained people in gyms. I trained teams. I trained people in their homes.

Then I opened a gym. I’ve worked with professional athletes from all different sports: MLS, NBA, MLB… all kinds of athletes.

None of that would have been possible if I didn’t have the right mentors early on. The people who help you find your Way before you know what your Way is.

I want to help you find your own mentor. Do you know what to look for?

We’ll discuss:

  • The importance of age difference.
  • What wisdom means in a mentorship.
  • How having wisdom is different from having knowledge.
  • The power of telling someone they are wrong (or, at least, uninformed or insufficiently thoughtful)
  • The importance of freedom and why you aren’t supposed to just be a Dolly the Sheep clone of your mentor.
  • Why you BETTER be a better coach than me when you’re my age.

Read More

The Thorax Becomes the Pelvis

docendo disco, scribendo cogito
I learn by teaching, I think by writing

I was feeling fired up, so we decided to go a little long on this month’s Q&A. Hope things aren’t too repetitive or boring for you, and — PLEASE — as always, ask any questions below. If something wasn’t cleared up, I can work on my explanation and try again soon.

Make sure to download the notes to help follow along and, if you get lost, there are some other videos linked below that should help you out.

Also worth noting: I decided to give drawing on screen a shot this month. Did you think it was helpful?

Read More

How to Set New Year Resolutions with Mike Robertson

Set New Year Resolutions

I start every year out by looking back over the last twelve months to see how it went. What happened, where can I improve, etc. The only way you can know where you’re going is by first knowing where you’ve been.

Hopefully you take this video a learn more about me.


I wanted to show you this process so that you can use it for yourself. I’ll walk you through EVERY step I did when evaluating my 2017 goals and setting my 2018 goals.

2017 Year End Reflections

  • Thoughts and reflections about 2017
  • The goals I set for 2017
    • Business goals
    • Finanacial goals
    • Physical goals
    • Mental goals
    • Family goals
    • Spiritual goals
    • Lifestyle goals
    • Relationship goals
  • The wins, losses, and others of 2017
  • A sneak peek into my actual schedule (this was a big issue for me)
  • Most importantly, how I’m going to enact those goals


How do you simplify your life? Leave a comment below.

2018 Plan for World Domination

  • My BIG focus for 2018
  • The strategies and tactics that I will use to stick to my big 2018 focus
  • Outcome goals vs. process goals

How can I maximize my time on my favorite things?


What are your favorite things? How do you maximize your time on these things? Or do you consistently do things you don’t like? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Cutting Biomechanics: How pressures, pelvic position, and performance are related

Cutting Biomechanics

Note: This post has a free quiz below!

Impromptu IFASTU. Let’s talk about the bootydo [30:30].

This was a fun one. Bill and I got to talking the other day about cutting mechanics and pressure moderation in the body. If you want to understand movement, you need to understand how humans manage air.

This post is more advanced. If you find yourself getting lost, you may want to watch Brandon’s intro to biomechanics.

Read More

The Biomechanics of Performance

The Biomechanics of Performance

First questions to ask yourself
  1. What forces are acting?
  2. What direction are those forces being applied?
  3. How big are those forces?

Biomechanics is an essential area of rehab and performance that every coach and clinician should understand, but there is one BIG problem. Ever pick up a biomechanics book? If you’ve so much as peaked at one, you probably saw a ton of technical jargon, physics, mathematics, and endless equations. While the fancy equations might be useful for researchers, coaches need a working knowledge of a few biomechanics principles to really make that knowledge useful in the gym. So, cut out the equations, and grasp the concepts. In this video series, we’ve done just that.

This 4 part video series will go through the core principles every coach should understand to make their training more effective, prevent injuries, and make better decisions when writing programs or adjusting things on the fly.

  1. Biomechanics and Coaching
  2. Essential Concepts for Coaching I
  3. Essential Concepts for Coaching II
  4. Biomechanics for Peak Performance

Anytime I’m working through biomechanics of a movement, the first things I ask myself are:

  1. What forces are acting?
  2. What direction are those forces being applied?
  3. How big are those forces?

Read More

Deadlift vs. Squat - Are you giving your athlete the wrong exercise?

Deadlift vs. Squat

Are you giving your athlete the wrong exercise?

Do you know what changes you get from a deadlift? How about a squat?

These exercises are NOT just for pushing up your lifts: they can create different physiological adaptations in the neuromusculoskeletal system.

Knowing what those adaptations are allows you to choose which is best for each athlete.

See how it impacted an elite volleyball player in this video.

Read More

What to Do After an Internship

What to Do After an Internship

It takes time to study well.

Distraction is a huge barrier to early coaching success. Many of our interns get stuck in “Flavor of the Month” topics and never dive deep enough into one single topic.

One of the biggest barriers for our interns to overcome is also one of our biggest strengths here at IFAST. We have coaches who specialize in their own things: I like to talk about the psychology of coaching, Ty can relate anything to an athlete, Lance does… whatever he does.

This rounds out our business nicely because now we can served different populations at different times of day, maximizing our use of the space we rent.

But for an intern, they spend time with me working on cuing effectively, then Bill mentions something cool about complexity theory and they stop thinking about cuing and start thinking about dynamic systems theory.

…Or they hear Lance say something cool about the neck.

…Or they see Ty structure a drill in a simple, yet ingenious way.

All of these things are interesting and effective, but when you pinball back and forth between them, you never get deep into one topic.

If you hear people on the internet speak in cliches and generalities, they likely fall into this. It’s okay to communicate that way because it connects with certain people. Just make sure that YOU know what you mean EXACTLY.

Listen to the rest of my discussion on this below.

Read More

Final Intern Project: TED Talks

As a final project of their internships, all of our interns are required to put together a 15-minute talk. Why?

  • Public speaking is difficult
  • Public speaking gets easier with practice
  • Forming a lecture is a great way to organize your thoughts
  • Refining something with depth into 15-minutes requires organization and prioritization
  • Most things can be taught in 15-minute chunks
  • Everyone has a unique perspective worth hearing

In this video, I will give you the recap of the three interns talks. Take a peek into what a graduating intern thinks about.

The Science of Big Muscles

The Science of Big Muscles

Part 1 – Occlusion training, drawbacks, and more on hypertrophy

Where’s the beef?

Who cares, were going to build some.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, this isn’t a weird lab experiment I’m running here in Louisville. It’s everything you’d ever want to know about helping your clients pack on lean mass.

Let’s get to the bottom of determining the correct way to breed new muscle children.

In this two part series, we’ll get into who really needs hypertrophy training, what typical hypertrophy work looks like, and the basics of occlusion training. Plus, the science behind it all (because you know I love that s***).

Once we understand all of that jazz, we can determine which clients and athletes need hypertrophy work and how to make it most effective.

Here’s what to expect in part 1:

Read More

Motivating vs. Coaching

Motivating vs Coaching

I don’t know if there’s anything more important than learning to listen to a human being.

Anyone who has worked with a few clients before knows that the highly motivated clients are the most fun.

…But also the most rare.

In this video, we discuss:

  • How even the most excited fat loss clients you have will waver (and how to get them back on the saddle when they fall off)
  • How you CAN’T become a better person without also becoming a better coach (I truly believe this)
  • Are systems important, or is it mostly about your mindset?
  • Why motivating is not the same thing as cheerleading
  • Why motivating is THE crucial skill to develop as a coach, no matter who you’re coaching

Read More