“Elbow bends, power ends”
-Olympic weightlifters’ saying
My buddy David Ben Moshe sent me the above quote recently, and it sums up perfectly one of the most common (and glaring) errors the n00bs in the strength world often make: bending the elbows
* Press outs in the kettlebell snatch and jerk (done to make up for a lack of hip power needed to get the bell all the way overhead in one fell swoop)
* Bending the elbows in the barbell deadlift (which often leads to torn biceps, I might add)
* Bending the elbows in the kettlebell swing (reduces the amount of power necessary to move the bell, since the ‘lever’ – your arms – has been effectively shortened)
All seem like “shortcuts” when you’re doing them – all of them make you weaker.
Try to bump yourself up to a heavier weight or a more demanding program after a while of these shenanigans and you suddenly realize that not only are you nowhere near ready, but you now have to go BACKWARD in the amount of weight/difficulty you were using before – meaning you’ve effectively lost weeks or months of productive training time.
Lots of times this lack of ‘elbow control’ is a symptom of the REAL problem further up the stream:
A lack of straight-arm scapular strength!
While countless gallons of ink have been spilled on the essential kettlebell, bodyweight, and barbell movements for upper body strength, as well as isolation exercises, fancy-schmancy ‘cutting edge’ exercises, prehab and rehab, etc. etc. paltry little has been said about one of the single most potent (and proven) approaches to building raw, no-holds-barred upper body brute strength: straight-arm scapular strength (i.e. SASS)
One of the reasons retired gymnasts become fearsome opponents in the world of boxing, martial arts, powerlifting, weightlifting, rock climbing, and so on is because of their unbridled and unrivaled upper body strength, power, and control…
Almost all of which is built with calisthenics training only – the ‘crown jewel’ of which is straight-arm strength.
And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a gymnast to do SASS work.
In fact, as long as you have goals of doing heavier military presses, more pullups, stronger swings and snatches, and even breakthroughs in one-arm pushups, SASS work will help speed up your progress (no shortcuts, however; there are none of those to any place worth going!)
My 21-day challenge Kick SASS! will show you how.
In this challenge you will learn:
- Why traditional upper body strength movements have failed you – and why straight-arm scapular strength movements can help get your upper body strength and power training back on the fast track toward greater gains
- The “missing link” in your calisthenics and kettlebell training – straight-arm scapular strength – and why it’s the secret weapon in gymnasts’ unreal levels of upper body brute strength and raw muscularity
- ‘Core 4’ foundational straight-arm strength moves: L-sit, arched scapular hang, pseudo planche hold, and straight bridgeAnd how to use them to bulletproof your shoulder girdle, iron out your weak spots, and fill every nook, cranny, crevice, and corner of your upper body with raw, unbridled strength
- The ‘Big 3’ programming tactics that pour truckloads of new strength into your upper body while effectively maneuvering around the ever-common plateaus most people encounter.
- The ‘2 minute rule’ that allows you to get in, out, and strong……with a paltry grand total of just 2 minutes of work per day!
- My ‘Fab 5’ must-do training tactics for each and every SASS move to squeeze maximum strength out of these minimalist movements
- Much, much more
And because this is the official ‘maiden voyage’ of a challenge covering one of my favorite areas of calisthenics training, I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut – meaning I now have a boatload of excess material that I just couldn’t part with easily – so I put it all into some super sweet bonuses that I’m tossing in between now and December 31st.
- Advanced Straight-Arm Strength Tactics – the hidden, 4-step process to ratcheting up your strength gains in each and every progression – exposed at long last. Learn how to squeeze every drop out of each progression to seamlessly transition to the next one – and build unreal levels of strength for your kettlebell and bodyweight practice in the process (pairs perfectly with Going Beyond) ($17 value)
- Going Beyond: The Complete Crash Course to Straight-Arm Strength – Once you’ve cut your teeth on the foundational movements, the time will come for you to start working on advanced straight-arm strength drills to snag even MORE brute strength and power (and ratchet up your kettlebell and bodyweight strength in the process). Contains my favorite go-to bodyweight AND kettlebell SASS moves and pairs perfectly with The Kick SASS Expansion Pack ($21 value)
- The Kick SASS Expansion Pack – How to keep the ‘Gain Train’ rolling into the station even after the 21-day program ends – and my handy pointers on when and how to amp up your SASS work when the time comes ($18 value)
Legendary upper body strength awaits you – will you answer the call?