About

About

Yunus Barisik

yunus barisikAs a kid all I wanted was to become a pro athlete.

Seven-figure paychecks and getting all the hot girls – that’s the life I envisioned for myself.

When no team practices were scheduled, we were out playing street hockey or football with the other kids from the neighborhood.

Or playing NHL ’94 back in the day when nobody had heard of “the internet”… Man, that game rocked!

Then in college, I became obsessed with strength training and improving athletic performance.

Down the line that led to thousands of hours spent in the gym training myself and others, and tens of thousands of dollars invested in books, seminars, training courses, and travel expenses racked up after visiting some of the best strength coaches on the planet to observe how they train athletes.

Currently, I serve as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Espoo United men’s pro team and Espoo Blues junior hockey organization in Espoo, Finland where I’m responsible for designing and implementing off-ice training programs across several teams.

Certifications, Internships and Continuing Education Courses:

• Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

• Internship with Ben Prentiss at Prentiss Hockey Performance in Darien, Connecticut

• Internship with Kevin Neeld at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, New Jersey

• Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Level 1 and 2

• Progressive Calisthenics Certified (PCC) Instructor

With the formal introductions out of the way, you’re probably asking yourself why you should listen to me?

I could blather on about the books or research papers I’ve read, trying to convince you how smart I am.

Instead, I will only say this…

Don’t blindly listen to me.

Or anyone else for that matter.

As I’ve always said, the best thing anyone can do is learn to decipher research journals, seek out guys who have actually gotten results for their clients (you’d be surprised if you knew how many “experts” out there are clueless posers), think for yourself and not fall for inaccurate, ridiculous claims, experiment like crazy on your own and draw your conclusions based on all of those.

But since you asked, here are a few cornerstones of my training philosophy:

• Lift, drag, carry, push, pull heavy objects.

Pick a few basic exercises for each movement pattern or body part and get strong as shit on them over the course of five years.

 Master bodyweight exercises.

I can’t help but marvel at how incredibly strong and jacked male gymnasts are. That’s what years and years of subjecting your body’s own resistance to gravity will do to your strength levels and appearance.

 Jump, throw, run, play your way into shape.

For athletes, being strong is important but it can never be the only goal (barring heavyweight strength athletes).

Football players, wrestlers, sprinters, boxers, hockey players… all of them place an emphasis on building anaerobic capacity in training, yet are extremely lean and strong. So never overlook the importance of playing, sprinting or fighting for getting your bodyfat down and gas tank up.

 Practice.

True mastery is never achieved by doing less of anything. There’s nobody who does the things I discuss on this site with consistency for a decade, and remains fat and weak.

 Beat your previous best.

Approach every training session with the intention of improving one way or the other. True enough, the longer you’ve been in the Iron Game, the harder this will become.

So how do you know whether what you’re doing is actually working if you no longer experience performance gains from one week to the next?

As long as you feel fresh and motivated, are staying injury-free and getting stronger on a consistent basis, you’ll know you’re on the right path.

 Stop comparing yourself to others.

I see this all the time. Guys are looking at what other people are doing, how much weight they’re hoisting, do they have ripped abs and all of that nonsense.

I want you to remember this… You don’t know how long they’ve been training. You don’t know how good their genetics are. You don’t know whether they’re on the juice or not. You. Don’t. Know.

You don’t know and it doesn’t matter at all. Start OWNING YOUR TRAINING, the ups and downs, the moments of exhilaration and disappointment, that make training worth the time and effort you’re putting into it, and the journey toward your goals so enjoyable.

So there you have it. Follow these principles and you will soon dominate in the gym.

Thanks for taking a minute to get to know me. If you have any questions, comments, cheers, jeers, suggestions or you simply want to hook me up with your insanely hot sister, you can drop me a line at yunus@next-level-athletics.com.

Published Articles

Here you can find articles I’ve written for other websites.

STACK Magazine

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Terrific website providing information on all aspects of improving athletic performance – strength, speed, power, nutrition – from juniors to the pros.

My Author’s Page

Struggling With Deadlifts? Try These Alternative Exercises

Why Single-Leg Exercises Are Crucial to Building Lower-Body Strength

5 Back-Friendly Exercises That Build Your Glutes and Hamstrings

• 3 Drills to Fix Your Hang Power Clean

• 5 Lower-Body Exercises That Don’t Stress Your Back

How to Make Consistent Strength Gains Without Burning Yourself Out

• This Leg Curl Exercise Variation Will Give You Stronger, Injury-Proof Hamstrings

• 3 Off-Ice Exercises to Prevent Hockey Hip Injuries

• 4 Resistance Band Core Exercises for Rock-Solid Abs

The Biggest Mistake in Youth Strength Training Programs

Why You Should Build Strength During Your Sports Season

 How to Train Around 3 Common Hockey Injuries

 5 In-Season Hockey Training Tips for Improved On-Ice Performance

• A Better Way to Warm Up With Heavy Weights

 Gain a Competitive Edge With This In-Season Weightlifting Schedule

Muscle & Strength

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One of the most well-known and visited fitness websites on the whole Internet.

My Author’s Page

6 Single Leg Exercises to Double Your Leg Day Gains

6 Training and Athleticism Tips for Athletes

The Personal Trainer Development Center

Great business resource for coaches and trainers working in the fitness industry.

This Easy 6-Step Template Saves You Hours of Time Creating Programs for Any Client

Faneille.com

Finnish sports site on the rise where I get to sharpen my writing skills in my native language on all things hockey strength and conditioning once a month.

My Author’s Page

Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu kesällä – osa 2/3

Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu kesällä – osa 1/3

Jääkiekkoilijan kesätreenien yleisimmät virheet – osa 2

Jääkiekkoilijan kesätreenien yleisimmät virheet – osa 1

Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu loukkaantuneena

Mikä yhdistää jääkiekkoilijaa ja eläkeläistä – ja mikä tekee kiekkoilijasta ennenaikaisen eläkeläisen?

Näkökulma: Suomi-kiekon vaiettu ongelma

Kurkistus kulisseihin: Rautaa ja hikeä NHL-pelaajien kesätreeneissä

Pelurit-fi.com

Another Finnish sports site featuring my article on hockey strength and conditioning leading up to the 2017 IIHF World Championships.

Huippukiekkoilijat kaukana huippukunnosta kevään MM-kisoissa

Bodyweight Training Arena

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A fitness site focusing on gaining strength and improving athleticism through bodyweight training.

• 6 Advanced Ring Push-Up Variations for Building Serious Upper Body Strength

• 6 Reasons Why You MUST Train With Gymnastic Rings

• How to Go From Zero to 15 Pistol Squat in 90 Days

Podcast Appearances

The most popular Finnish training podcast, “Lepopäivä”, invited me over to discuss in-season and off-season strength and conditioning for hockey players. Check out the episodes below.

Lepopäivä – Jakso 35: Jääkiekkoilijoiden oheisharjoittelu kiekkokauden aikana

Lepopäivä – Jakso 22: Jääkiekkoilijoiden oheisharjoittelu off-seasonilla

One more thing…

I don’t like turning interviews/podcast appearances down.

But I don’t like wasting time either.

So if you want to interview me for a quality print or online publication, send me an email with the headline “Interview” to yunus@next-level-athletics.com. Please include some details on what you want me to talk about, who and how big the target audience is, what they want to learn, etc.