Advanced Concepts is full of valuable content for lifters of all experience levels.

As a preview of the material available to you in Advanced Concepts, enjoy three segments of the course below for free. Then click here to get full access to the Advanced Concepts risk free.

Advanced Concepts Course Samples

    1. Biomechanics: Newton’s Laws + the Barbell Lifts
    2. Programming for Life
    3. Anatomy: Descriptive Terminology Explained

Biomechanics: Newton’s Laws + the Barbell Lifts

Opening Module 1, we start with the BLOC Approach: the big picture of why and how we train—not just to get stronger, but to improve our whole quality of life in a way that’s lifter-centered and model-informed.

Additionally, The Principles Course is designed from the ground up. In the lesson below, we break down each relevant term and concept as they apply to the lifter and coach, so you don’t need to crack open your college physics textbook to follow along.

Professor Karl breaks down the squat.


Programming for Life

Programming is the intentional manipulation of training variables to get the desired result. 

At Barbell Logic, the desired result is a training program that improves the quality of a lifter’s physical life.

Programming for life captures both the timeframe and the scope of what we aim to improve as coaches: 

In terms of time, we want to coach our lifters in a way that serves their goals from now until their final years. To do that, we need to program in a way that gets results but can bend to meet those clients’ changing needs without breaking. 

And in terms of scope, what we do is more than just physical. We can’t separate our physical life from the rest of the components of quality-of-life: spiritual, emotional, mental, and relational. We respect that the lifter’s physical needs will be determined in part by their values, identity, and priorities (VIP), and their surrounding environment. 

We take a lifter’s whole self into account to drive long-term growth. 

This may sound like an overstatement, but if the lifter’s physical life decays, the rest of their life will suffer, and vice versa. A good coach—programming well—may have an impact far beyond setting PRs on the bar, and a poor coach—sticking too rigidly to their model of training without considering the lifter in front of them, may worsen a lifter’s overall health and vibrancy.  

Quality of Life

Every element of a lifter’s quality of life is connected. A lifter’s relationships affect their emotional resilience which affects their thinking which affects their strength.

Our skillset- and our privilege-is to improve the lifter’s whole quality of life by designing training programs that:

  • Meet the lifter’s goals
  • Improve their physical capacity
  • Account for their whole-life experience


Starting from this perspective can be daunting. There are too many variables to consider, so we apply our best understanding of how the human body responds to training, a mental model, to develop a best-starting-point approach that still allows us to be flexible to the lifter’s needs. 

First, a quality physical life includes some nearly-universal elements, things like:

  • freedom from debilitating pain
  • the strength to confidently move within and manipulate our surroundings
  • the endurance to keep going when the situation demands.
  • the freedom of movement to express that strength and endurance in the ways we need to in daily life.    

Some lifters may choose to focus exclusively on one aspect of their physical life: competitive powerlifters or triathletes, for instance. We understand that they won’t have ‘balance’ in their training. However, we still program with an eye towards those other elements, knowing that too-deep a sacrifice in pain, strength, endurance, or freedom for a short-term performance will harm even the specialist’s long term goals.

Second, we recognize that there are many traits our lifters rightfully want to improve to see a better physical quality of life, like: 

  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Mobility
  • Power
  • Balance
  • Body Composition

It’s not important to consider every possible permutation here—’mobility’ might be broken up into coordination, flexibility, and agility, ‘endurance’ might be subdivided into how long you can operate at what % of maximal effort (stamina vs. strength-endurance vs. work capacity). You might also include other useful traits like grit or motivation, which are mental/emotional/spiritual qualities but affect our physical performance.

What’s important is that different programs affect each of these elements as the body adapts to the programmed stress.  They are all important to varying degrees in the lifter’s quality of life based on their goals, VIP, and environment, but they are not equal. 

Why Strength?

Initially, a strength-centric program gets the most effective balance of these demands while improving the secondary traits the most, especially in lifters who are not already strong. To model this, picture three possibilities:  

Strength Exclusive: A strength-exclusive program will improve strength, mobility (if the exercises are chosen correctly), power, balance, and body composition (in greater muscle mass). If the lifter starts very deconditioned, it might improve endurance, but more likely, endurance will be unaffected or, in aerobic athletes, suffer slightly.

Endurance-Exclusive: This program will improve endurance, balance, and body composition (in terms of lower body fat), but it would do so at the expense of strength, sometimes mobility (unless the practice involved a full range of motion), and power.

Mobility-Exclusive: This program will likely not improve strength, endurance, or power unless the lifter was incredibly limited and unable to express those things before mobility training and will not likely affect body composition.

For most clients, then, the balance will favor a strength program, and we mitigate the weaknesses in endurance by using smart conditioning that minimizes the negative impact of endurance training on strength and muscle mass.

How Strength?

To meet the above criteria, with quality of life in mind, we select exercises based on how whether they allow us to: 

  1. Use large amounts of muscle mass
  2. Over the longest effective range of motion 
  3. Deliver a predictable, repeatable movement 
  4. Lift safely without excessive skill 
  5. Load the axial skeleton 
  6. Do so without abnormal pain or injury

We incorporate these exercises into a program that’s:

  1. Comprehensive: trains the whole body, in as many common movements as possible 
  2. Simple to understand, execute, and see progress. As simple as possible, and no simpler. 
  3. Efficient: accomplishes the above with the least exercises and time possible. 
  4. Progressively and slowly increases the stress as the lifter gets stronger.

We adjust that program over time by applying the minimum effective dose (MED) of change needed to continue making progress or to adapt to a lifter’s changing needs. This means applying the smallest change needed, in a controlled manner, to allow the coach and lifter to see the effects and make smarter decisions.

To meet these demands, we prefer barbells. As a tool, barbells allow us to deliver a program that easily and sustainably meets the above criteria. They can be progressed precisely, loaded heavily, and used in full-body axial lifts that are simple, hard, and effective. Their symmetry makes the movements predictable and, with some skill and creativity, most people have the requisite ability to complete lifts through all the basic movements.

As skilled coaches, we recognize the benefits and limitations of other tools and use them appropriately just as we would a barbell.

It Starts with the Client

Earlier, we emphasized the importance of knowing our lifter. We can’t support their quality of life until we understand their life. 

But client-centeredness goes beyond that. 

It means starting with their interests from day one and making appropriate MED changes based on their needs from the beginning rather than assigning them a cookie-cutter program.

It means respecting that they are the experts in their life and involving them in the training process. 

It means respecting their goals and their VIP. We don’t try to convince or persuade others that strength is the most important trait. We deliver it if strength is what they need. 

It means that clients who can’t do the sample program we propose here aren’t exceptions or special populations. If we want to train them effectively, we apply and expand our models to understand what they need.

It means being professional in our relationships and earning their trust through best practices and decent behavior. 

It means setting aside our ego and not shaming, blaming, or pathologizing our lifter when our perfect program doesn’t seem to be getting results. 

This is how we strive to coach at BLOC, and in the following course, we’ll outline the specific methods we use to do it. 


Anatomy: Descriptive Terminology

One of the hardest parts of beginning to study anatomy is to get use the terminology. Without a good grasp on the meaning of terms like-  “Sagittal Plane, Superior,  or Flexion”  it is easy to lose your way… just like trying to read a map without understanding where to find your beginning location. The video below begins to define these terms.

Take a look at the bench videos below. Which one is from the transverse plane? Hint- don’t trust the video labels!

And what about the squat? What can you see from each angle?



We coach barbell lifts in all three planes and we need to consider how each joint moves in relation to other joints.  This course will give you lots of practice at using the proper anatomical lingo!


With two convenient payment options, Advanced Concepts course is an affordable path to the tools you need to grow into a more effective barbell coach.

Choose a low monthly payment for 12 months or save even more with a one-time payment. If you are not satisfied with the course, you can cancel in the first 10 days and receive a full refund.


12 monthly payments for lifetime access



One-time payment for lifetime access

Included with your first Barbell Academy registration, you will automatically have an account with TurnKey Coach, the coaching delivery platform we use at Barbell Logic to coach clients all over the world. With your TurnKey Coach account, you’ll immediately be able to create and offer coaching plans, collect payments, and offer programming and feedback to your clients, meaning you truly can start coaching now. Your first month of TurnKey Coach is free, and then you’ll get 50% off for the following five months (an offer exclusive to Barbell Academy students).


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