Want to join a group of people trying to be all they can in all they do? Want me to help you how to get jacked, strong, and lean and stay that way?

No stuff to read today.

I know it's kind of weird I almost always start the week off with some great reading material for you, but not this week.

Instead I am super excited to share with you the experience I had over the weekend and some of the things I learned that might be able to benefit you.

Don't panic though you'll still get my reading recommendations later on this week.

This weekend I had the incredible opportunity to travel to St. Louis, Missouri to attend The Complete Hip and Shoulder Workshop presented by Dean Somerset and Tony Gentilcore. Two of the biggest and brightest people in the fitness industry and who are kind of taking the continuing education realm by storm the way Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson did not to long ago.

The workshop was primarily aimed at fitness professionals who wanted to gain a better working understanding of how the hip and shoulder function, how to assess them, manage them, and ultimately train them, but do it in a way that preserves the health of the joint while allowing our clients to become animals at whatever it is they are working on.

And let me tell you it was not disappointing in the slightest. In fact if you asked me I believe Dean and Tony both over delivered on the workshop considering the amount of money we paid to attend and the value of the information they provided to us. Granted I am sure that was their goal, but trying to do it and actually doing it are very different things. I couldn't speak more highly of the experience I had, the information they presented, or the ability to actually observe them coaching and be coached by them.

It was incredible.

I choose to attend continuing education events like this for one primary reason I want to be the best coach and trainer possible so that I can help the most people possible and I understand that in order to do this I need to have a large toolbox to work with and I can only gain this by going and learning from the best out there.

Tony and Dean definitely fall into that category.

However the workshop is only truly useful if you retain what you learned, can explain what you learned, and apply it. This is the area where most people who partake in continuing education fail.

It's about taking action on knowledge and using it to benefit others not just storing up as much information as you can into your head.

That being said I want to make sure I don't waste the effort and time Dean and Tony put in to coaching and teaching me this weekend.

Thus this post really serves two functions: (1) it helps me review what I learned check my understanding by trying to explain it to others and (2) encourage me to experiment and explore with the stuff that I would otherwise forget and would then go unused. In other words the real selfish reason for writing this post is to help me reinforce all the material we covered this weekend.

I also though would like to provide you guys with some actionable knowledge as well that I learned at the workshop that you can use in your training right sway to get better results and move and feel better.

The workshop was broken down into two days.

The first day was all about the shoulder with Tony presenting and producing most of the content that day. Dean did come in and out, but for the most part is was Tony. And for those who might not know Tony is one of the co-founders of CSP and deals with literally 100's of athletes a week and for the most part those athletes are ones who would be considered overhead athletes. Many of these athletes have shoulders and bodies that are worth millions of dollars in both current and future dollars. So yeah you could say Tony knows a thing or too about how to assess and train a shoulder properly for health.

The second day was mostly all about the hips with Dean doing the presenting and content creation. Again Tony was there and did provide his thoughts when called upon, but for the most part we learned about the hip from Dean. Dean works with a lot and I mean a lot of post-rehabilitation clients with all kinds of funky orthopedic and neurological conditions and medical hx.

Both of their presentations were great. They were funny, knowledgable, excellent communicators and did a fantastic job of providing everyone in the room the opportunity to learn by incorporating auditory aspects, visual aspects, and kinesthetic practice.

While I don't want to get to caught up into the big take-aways for me as far as assessments go just because most people can't relate or use that information, but I will go over it just a bit incase there are other trainers or fitness professionals wondering about  what exactly was discussed and what you can learn from attending.

Tony on assessing the shoulder . . .

The shoulder is really not one joint, but rather four including the Acromionclavicular Joint, Scapulothoracic Joint, Sternoclavicular Joint, and the Glenohumeral Joint. In order to truly assess the health and function of the shoulders all four joints function have to be look at and taken into consideration.

The shoulder should be assessed both statically and actively. That is we should look at how someone first stands and holds their shoulders and then also look to see how the shoulder moves in order to create force. In particularly we discussed where the shoulder should rest in relation to other landmarks and what good scapulohumeral rhtym looks like.

Tony did also do a great job of giving us a brief look into how the team at CSP uses an understanding of the PRI methodology to inform their assessments and training programs.

Dean on assessing the hip . . .

The major point Dean brought home for everyone in attendance was that everyone has different anatomical structures that are going to lead to different expressions of movement and thus lend themselves better to certain activities. He discussed the differences between anteversion and retroversion of the femoral neck, anteversion and retroversion of the acetabulum, pelvis shapes, and much more and specifically how this will impact their movement and set up on a variety of lower body exercises.

I can sum a lot of this up with the following statement:

Not everyone is built to squat ass to grass and that is okay. It doesn't matter how much soft tissue work we do or how often we mobilize them.

I think this is something we should all take to heart.

This means that when assessing the hip one of the main goals is to map out someone's maximal mobility as limited by their bony structures then correlate that passive theoretical maximal hip mobility with what they are actually able to express while actively moving. The job then becomes how to close the deficit between those two.

Dean also explained a clinical observation he has made about the relationship between anterior core stability and external rotation range of motion at the hip and the relationship between lateral core stability and internal rotation range of motion at the hip. He is actually working with a university to find a way to study this observation more in-depth and hopefully develop a stronger demonstrable and reliable connection.

There is definitely to much material covered during the workshop by both Dean and Tony regarding assessment of the hips and shoulders to share it all with you guys here and nor would I do that if I could that is the point of going to the workshop, but that should give you a good idea if you are a fitness professional of some of the things you will learn more about and hopefully be able to apply into your own assessments and thought process when building programs.

Let's talk take-aways that everyone can use in the gym.

The end of the second day of the workshop was probably the most coaching intensive day as both Dean and Tony coached and demonstrated the Turkish Get-Up, Kettlebell Swing, Deadlifts, and Barbell Squats. This was also one of the most valuable experiences of the workshop to simply observe how they actually coach and work with other people which helped me as a coach see what I can do better and gather additional cues that might allow me to teach others how to do the exercises better.

On the Turkish Get Up . . .

The Turkish Get Up is not an exercise that everyone needs to do, but just about everyone can benefit from doing it and that is why I teach most of my clients how to do it and include it in their programs a lot.

Dean did an awesome job of taking the entire group of us through the Get Up from start to finish making sure that we had to pause in each position just long enough to hate life by the time he let us rest. Then to rub it in our faces he showed off his Ninja skills with the Get Up using a 70 pound kettlebell. In the words of Tony, "You asshole."

Anyways one of the great things Dean said during the Turkish Get Up coaching was that Gray Cook has often referred to this exercise as loaded yoga and that the true benefit comes from owning the movement and each individual position. This really connected with me. Dean recommended that when doing a Get Up you focus on being able to breath through the entire movement and in each position.

He recommended making an effort to perform reps of the Turkish Get Up stopping in each position to take a few relaxed breaths before moving into the next position.

Here is an example of what I am talking about as I practiced and played with it this morning at the gym.


On setting up for the Deadlift and Barbell Back Squat . . .

Tony explained to us that over the last year or so he has shifted the way he coaches and cues the Deadlift and Back Squat due to a lot of what he has learned from PRI and after discussions had with Chad Wesley Smith.

The biggest change he mentioned was getting away from cueing people to arch and instead cueing them to get into a more neutral position with their shoulders stacked over their pelvis before thinking about pulling themselves into the bottom position of the squat or before descending to grab the bar on a deadlift.

Tony calls this "owning the canister" as a reference the canister that your pelvis and rib cage create when aligned correctly with one another.

Tony likes to use the cue of bringing your belt buckle to your chin in order to achieve this canister position. I'd highly recommend trying it when setting up for these two lifts. I think you'll find it much more comfortable, stable, and your back won't be so pissed off at you after each set.

Below are examples of incorporating this canister idea into your setup for the deadlift and squat. If you watch closely who should notice we taking a breath in and exhaling while at the same time trying to bring my belt buckle to my chin. The change is pelvis position is kind of hard to see on video, but it's demonstratably noticeable in person when someone does it.



On flow . . .

The first time I saw the idea of flow it was presented to be by the work of guys like Ido Portal and Dewey Nielsen. I wrote a bit about it here before, but during the active mobility part of Dean's presentation over the hips he introduced the idea as well.

I think it is something that is going to gain bigger traction as far as warm-ups go in the next few years as it is a way to integrate traditionally separate drills into one motion that links movement together, gets our brain firing on all cylinders, and has you huffing and puffing by the end of it.

Here is an active hip mobility flow we did at the workshop. Give it a try and see how you might be able to incorporate the idea of flow drills into your own training.


I really hope this gives you a great idea of some of the subject matter and overall structure at the workshop and if you are a fitness professional I hope it encourages you to try and make their last two presentations for the year. You can do register for these by going here.

If you are just someone who simply loves to train and wants to do it for the long haul I hope I gave you a couple different pieces of actionable information you can go start working on now. And I promise to share more things with you guys that I learned over the weekend as I have more time to experiment with them, implement them, and find out what I like and don't like.

And as far as whether or not I'd recommend this workshop to other people let me just leave you with what I put on Facebook earlier today.

Fit pro friends I attended Tony Gentilcore's and Dean Somerset's Complete Hip & Shoulder Workshop this past weekend in St. Louis, MO and didn't regret a single penny or second I spent on it.

The information was incredible and the opportunity to watch them coach and be coached by them was invaluable.

I can't speak more highly of them both as fitness professionals and as human beings. They were knowledgable, approachable, funny, and open minded to both sharing their knowledge with us and also listening to other coaches share their experience.

I couldn't recommend the workshop more. I don't know what their plans are for the workshop over the next coming years, but they have two more presentations this year and I recommend getting to them.

One in Chicago get registered here: http://deansomerset.com/complete-shoulder-hip-training-wor…/

And one in LA register here: http://deansomerset.com/complete-shoulder-hip-training-wor…/

I especially recommend the workshop if you find the appropriate use of profanity entertaining and admirable (thanks Tony!), you don't mind geeking out about anatomical structures (thanks Dean!), and you want to more about the intricacies of the hip and shoulder.

I'll be sharing a blog post later today outlining in great detail and with more specifics the biggest take-aways for me from the event and some things I have already been playing around with at the gym today on myself that I learned this weekend so stay tuned for that.

But I just want to make sure and give you guys as much time and heads up to go and register right away for the workshop.

So go do it NOW!

One in Chicago get registered here: http://deansomerset.com/complete-shoulder-hip-training-wor…/

And one in LA register here: http://deansomerset.com/complete-shoulder-hip-training-wor…/

Happy moving and heavy lifting!

Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training