Yunus Barisik, Author at Next Level Athletics - Page 5 of 40
Yunus Barisik

Author Archives: Yunus Barisik

Yunus Barisik, CSCS, specializes in making hockey players strong, fast and explosive. He has trained 500+ hockey players at the junior, college and pro levels, including NHL Draft picks and World Champions. An accomplished author, Yunus has had articles published on top fitness and performance sites, including T Nation, STACK and Muscle & Strength. He also wrote Next Level Hockey Training, a comprehensive resource for ice hockey players on building athletic strength, size and power, while staying injury-free.

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your CSCS Certification

​Looking for information on ​how to get your CSCS certification?

So you can become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist?

Without wasting months of your life studying for the CSCS exam?

If so, you're in the right place.


It has been 6 years since I originally passed the CSCS exam and have gotten recertified twice.

​About a year after successfully taking ​it, I wrote a detailed piece on how to nail the CSCS ​exam like a boss

At 3000+ words, it quickly turned into the best damn CSCS exam prep article (even if I say so myself) on the entire Internet. I still receive reader emails thanking me for the tips that helped them get their CSCS certification to this day.

One of the biggest issues I remember - shared by many candidates I've talked to - is that info on how to prepare for the CSCS exam is damn hard to find online.

Continue Reading

The Barber Who Butchers Haircuts

I was watching Seinfeld last night.

Specifically, the episode titled "The Barber".

Jerry needs to get a haircut in order to look nice for an upcoming bachelor auction.

His regular barber, Enzo, has been butchering Jerry's hair for 12 years. But Jerry doesn't have the cojones to go see another barber because Enzo calls him his "most loyal customer".

So Kramer (Jerry's quirky neighbor) recommends Jerry go see Enzo's nephew, Gino - who gives better haircuts - on Enzo's day off.

To Jerry's surprise, Enzo shows up out of the blue, gives him a forced haircut... which turns out terrible, making Jerry look like a 5-year-old kid.

This all sounds very familiar to me.

No, not the horrible haircut part.

(I *never* have a bad hair day... thanks to my Mediterranean genes)

But the loyalty aspect.

You see, many athletes stick with a workout program or particular style of training for years.

(often forever)

Not because it's the most effective way for them to train.

Or even a particularly useful approach to getting stronger.

But out of some sort of strange obligation.

If your current training fails to produce the gainz you're looking for, why not try something different?

You don't want to stay loyal to a workout plan that delivers mediocre results.

Especially one that butchers your body.

And leaves you feeling small and weak like a 5-year-old.

Give this program a try now:

​Who knows?

​It could be just the right training plan​ you've been looking for.

Yunus Barisik

Training Myths That Kill Gains

I've heard some bizarre, disgusting training myths lately.

A few of 'em:

1. Lifting weights makes you tight and immobile

2. You need supplement X to get jacked

3. Olympic lifts are the only way to get explosive

4. Muscle soreness indicates a good workout

5. You must wear a weight belt during heavy squats and deadlifts

6. Cardio is the best way to burn fat

7. You gotta exhaust a muscle from every possible angle

8. Don't bench press because it's not "hockey specific"

9. Workouts need to last two hours to be effective

10. Adding muscle to your upper body and arms will slow down your puck handling

And the list goes on and on and on...

I sure hope you don't believe in any of that crap.

If you do?

Then you're likely to play second fiddle to someone who ignores them.

Especially those following Next Level Hockey Training 2.0.

A program that includes no myths that kill your gains.

Yet hundreds of hockey players use the workouts inside to kill it in the gym.

You could be next.

Check it out at:

Yunus Barisik

Most Pathetic Excuse I Ever Heard

"Maybe I'm too old."

"And too soft."

"I've lost too many steps to compete at this level."

"Damn, I'm getting my ass kicked by these youngsters."

If you have ever uttered such horrible words... you should be ashamed and embarrassed.

Chris Chelios played in the NHL until the ripe old age of 48.

Jaromir Jagr became #2 on the all-time scoring list at 44.

The Finnish Flash, Teemu Selänne, scored 40 goals the season he turned 40.

And Gordie Howe played his final pro game, so he could step on the ice with his son Mark for one last time, at 51.

Yet somehow you're too old to play in some beer league where the rest of the guys, while 10+ years younger than you, also work mundane office jobs sitting in a chair hunched over for ten hours a day, hit the booze on weekends, and are physically far from being in pro shape?

Out of all the pathetic, estrogen-laden excuses I've heard over the years, the age excuse takes the cake.

Personally, I'm a much better athlete now after having reached 30 than I was at 16 when I was ranked among the 50 best soccer players for my age group in my country. And I intend to keep training hard and getting better until the day I keel over.

So if you've got any pitiful age-related excuses running through your head...

Feeling sorry for yourself having let the 9-5 corporate life get the better of you...

Thinking you can no longer do the things you used to when you were younger...


You're out of shape and deserve what you got.

The question is:

What are you gonna do about it?

I know what I would do if I were you:

Start lifting for real.

So you come back stronger next year.

And take all 'em young fools half your age to school.

In shape they can't hold your jock.

Here's how:

Yunus Barisik

Trapped in Groundhog Day

Ever seen the movie Groundhog Day?

Bill Murray plays a self-centered and sour TV weatherman named Phil Connors, assigned to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February 2.

It's his fourth year on the story, and he has grown sick of covering it.

After shooting their segment, a blizzard forces Connors and his TV crew to stay in town overnight. Connors wakes up the next morning, only to realize he's living the same day over and over again.

Trapped in a seemingly endless time loop, Connors tries everything to break the spell:

Electrocuting himself. Jumping off a tall building. Letting a truck run over him. Killing Phil the Groundhog.

Until he realizes there's no point. Nothing can stop Groundhog Day from repeating.

That's when he begins to tire of, and eventually dread, his entire existence.

Why do I bring this up?

For many gym-goers, every day is Groundhog Day.

Weeks pass.

Months pass.

Years pass.

And they're still lifting the same weights, looking the exact same as they did the first day they walked in through the gym doors.

If you're not getting any visible results out of your training - either in your training journal or the mirror (preferably both) - what's the point?

No wonder so many peeps grow tired of, and eventually start dreading their workouts.

Damn hard to stay motivated when all your efforts make no difference at all in your physique or performance.


If you're sick of re-living Groundhog Day in the weight room...

And want to finally add some weight to the bar and muscle to your frame...

This could break the spell and set you free:

Yunus Barisik

Do This When Injured

What do most hockey players do when they injure their wrist, leg, or shoulder?

Ride the stationary bike for six to eight weeks before they're cleared to return on the ice.

Or mindlessly bang away on the leg press and leg extension machines.

Huge mistake.

Even when you hurt an arm or leg, you still have got three healthy, functioning limbs left. And if you stop training them, you'll not only lose strength and muscle in the injured limb, but all over the rest of your body as well.

Then people wonder why it takes them forever to get back into shape after a layoff.

I once trained a college hockey player who injured his shoulder during the playoffs and had to have surgery.

For the first eight weeks of off-season training, he couldn't hold anything resembling a heavy weight with his injured arm. Barbell work - including squatting and deadlifting - was out of the picture. As was the case with dumbbell lifts (apart from any light rehab exercises) on the damaged side.

I had to get creative and find ways ​​to load him ​to achieve a proper training effect. So we would do a ton of unilateral movements.

Single-leg squat variations with different tempos holding a heavy dumbbell in his healthy hand, using weight vests for additional resistance. Single-leg Romanians. Heavy single-arm upper body pushing and pulling on his healthy side. Challenging core exercises.

So what happened?

The athlete added 45 pounds to his front squat max that summer. Without barbell squatting at all.

Hit a 450-pound trap bar deadlift for the first time in his life.

PR'd at power cleans.

And left for pre-season camp in the strongest physical shape of his young career.

All because this player refused to buy into the silly dogma that you can't train hard coming back from surgery.

Taking time off from strength training while injured is the dumbest thing you can do. Yet ​that's what 99% of hockey players do.

If you want greater success as an athlete...

Don't be one of them.

For more training tips successful hockey players use, visit:

Yunus Barisik

Do This Tonight to Play Better Hockey Tomorrow

I bumped into a very interesting study that depicts the effects of sleep on athletic performance.

Athletes from several different sports at Stanford University underwent a sleep extension period with a minimum goal of 10 hours in bed each night.

Check out what happened to athletes who did so over the course of 5-7 weeks...


* Improved their 15-meter sprint times by 0.51 seconds

* Reacted 0.15 seconds quicker off the blocks

* Improved turn time by 0.10 seconds

Football players:

* Average 20-yard shuttle improved from 4.71 seconds to 4.61 seconds

* Average 40-yard dash decreased from 4.99 seconds to 4.89 seconds

Tennis players:

* Average sprinting drill time decreased from 19.12 seconds to 17.56 seconds

* Hitting accuracy including valid serves increased from 12.6 to 15.61 serves

Basketball players:

* 282-foot shuttle runs improved from 16.2 seconds to 15.5 seconds

* 10 free throws shot from 15 feet improved from 7.9 to 8.8 successful shots

* 15 three-point attempts improved from 10.2 to 11.6 successful shots

Another study by the same research group on elite male cyclists shows the negative effects of sleep restriction. With athletes who slept only 4 hours per night for three days in a row:

* Maximal aerobic power decreased 2.9%

* Time to exhaustion decreased by 10.7%

If all that number-crunching makes your head spin, here's the big takeaway:

Athletes who spent 10 hours a night between the sheets ran faster, reacted quicker, and hit or threw a ball with greater accuracy.

And those who got only 4 hours of shuteye fatigued faster and saw their performance take a dive.

An obvious conclusion from these research findings:

Sleep more. Play better.

For more athletic performance-boosting tricks, visit:

Yunus Barisik

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