How Strong Should You Be After Your First Year?

With the constant barrage of misinformation spreading on social media, it's easy to lose track of what constitutes strong for someone in his first year of lifting weights.

On one side, you've got the powerlifting locos claiming anything below 500-pound squats and 600-pound deadlifts is weak.

And if you're not lifting those poundages, you're just "not trying hard enough".

Then you've got those who believe a two-plate squat is something to be admired.

With that in mind, I wanted to give you some *realistic* expectations for your first year of lifting.

Unless you're obese, it has been my experience that the following numbers are very attainable:

* 1-1.25x BW bench press

* 1.5-1.75x BW squat

* 1.75-2x BW deadlift

Thus, a 175-pound hockey player would bench around 200, squat closer to 300, and pull over 300.

At this point, you may think the numbers listed are unachievable. Or way too low.

I'm simply noting what I've seen in all my years of training people *on average* within their first 12 months.

Some athletes fall below those numbers. And some exceed them by a wide margin.

One of my 17-year-olds deadlifted 190 kg / 418 pounds for 5 reps at 200 pounds in his first year of training. That's a 2.1x BW deadlift for a set of 5.

Another 16-year-old squatted double body weight within 6 months of starting with me.

Both are gifted in the weight room. And they enjoy lifting. Which makes them outliers. Not the norm.

Still, the bench, squat and deadlift numbers mentioned above provide a realistic goal to shoot for in year #1.

At the end of the day, success in the gym comes down to consistency.

How much effort you put into training, diet and recovery.

How much you want it.

For a training program that produces strong hockey players in their first year of lifting (and well beyond), visit:

Yunus Barisik

Twinkie’s Tasty Conditioning Tip

On average, a Twinkie will explode in a microwave in 45 seconds.

Curiously enough, 45 seconds is also the average length of a shift in a hockey game.

This has led many ill-informed players and trainers to believe that the best way to condition for hockey is to bathe ​athletes in lactic drills like shuttle runs, 300m sprints, or good ol' bag skates lasting - you guessed it - around 45 seconds per round.

While hockey does involve a lactic component (anyone who has had to stay on the ice to kill an entire two-minute penalty can appreciate my sentiment), it's important to realize how each regular 45-second shift involves periods of gliding, repositioning, standing, etc. You won't see a player skating at full speed for the entire shift.

This means that from an energy system point of view, we're dealing with a primarily alactic-aerobic sport, not a lactic one.

Other than the last few weeks of off-season training, I don't prescribe lactic work for my players. Improving speed and strength will have a much bigger carryover to your game, and those are the qualities we focus on.

In fact, just the other day, I realized one of the players on our U20 team had been smashing his old squat records many times over, and - more importantly - had been doing so pain-free for over a year now.

(He underwent surgery for FAI a couple years back. And was told he would never barbell squat again by his physical therapist. Little did the PT know...)

When I pointed this out to him, he told me he no longer gasses out toward the end of a shift.

All thanks to pushing up his squat numbers in the gym.

Not because of performing endless lactic drills like so many mistaken hockey players do.

Just something to keep in mind.

For a complete athletic workout plan, check out the Internet's #1 strength training program for hockey players.

It takes about 45 seconds to download.

Here's where to get it:

Yunus Barisik

Dastardly Las Vegas Tricks

The year was 2006 AD.

The summer I joined the army.

A month or so before ​turning into a useless pawn for the government, a cousin of mine living in the US flew over to visit me.

As a tourist visiting Helsinki for the first time, he wanted to experience some fun.

So I took him to the Grand Casino downtown where he lost a few grand at the roulette table.

No biggie, he said. For someone involved in the banking world losing pocket change like that made no difference.

Fast forward a few years and I met my cousin again in Philadelphia. He had just purchased a house for his wife and newborn daughter in Baltimore.

Over beer and burgers, he told me he had lost five figures gambling in Vegas - something he made me swear I'd keep under wraps from the missus.

I'm sure he's not the first, or last, guy to burn through the green stuff at the Bellagio.

Each year tens of thousands travel to Vegas, only to leave in a worse mood than they arrived - thanks to gambling away money they shouldn't have.

A few dastardly casino tricks you want to be aware of next time you visit Sin City:

* No windows

You won't find any windows inside most casinos - a trick of the trade to help you lose your sense of time.

The longer you stay inside a casino, the higher your chances of leaving with a lighter wallet.

* Captivating lights, sounds and activity

A casino is a cacophony of wonderful and alluring stimulation: bells ringing, siren-like lights flashing, change clanging, slot wheels whirring, digital sounds beeping - it’s all captivating.

Why is it captivating?

Because it’s non-verbal communication screaming:

"Win! Win! Win!"

It gives the impression that everyone is winning when, in reality, most are losing.

* Free booze for gamblers

The casinos love a drunk. Downing liquor makes you too confident and you'll end up making sucker bets you normally wouldn't.

So go easy on the gratis White Russians.

* The casinos will want to change your money into chips as soon as possible

​The reason?

Most people are looser with chips than notes. They don't seem as precious as real money.

The lights. The ambiance. The chance that you might actually win a jackpot makes vacations to casinos exciting for many.

Until you realize it's just a losing proposition.

If I were a betting man, I'd cash in all my chips, leave the glamor behind. Place my Benny Franklins on Next Level Hockey Training 2.0.

The odds of making great strength gains on it are stacked heavily in your favor.

Though I must warn you there's a good chance you'll get addicted to lifting.

The program comes with an unconditional, 365-day money back guarantee - making it the farthest thing from a gamble.

And you'll come away as a winner every time you ​finish a workout.

Can't say that when touring the casinos in Vegas, can you?

Roll the dice and claim your prize at:

Yunus Barisik

Training Tips From the World’s Strongest Man

I was reading an interesting ​article about Eddie Hall - 2017 World's Strongest Man and the first person in history to deadlift 500 kg / 1100 pounds.

Check out these training tips from the world's strongest man:

* "Technique is important, but too many people get carried away trying fancy things and don't put enough effort into the basics."

* "Once you've worked up to a really heavy set you've already ripped enough [muscle] fibres to warrant growth so it's time to move onto another exercise."

* "I train all year round without a belt or any supportive gear. That's the best way to build all-round strength, and the only way to hit your stabilising muscles."

* "Probably the number one piece of advice to build muscle is to get your diet and nutrition right. Then don't overtrain and let your body repair."

* Eddie also says he never trains with spotters as he never trains with weights he is not confident he can lift, and that he never fails lifts in the gym.

(If there's one super powerful lesson you'll wanna take away from this email it's that if the strongest man in the world doesn't need to constantly max out to the point of failure in the gym to increase his strength... then you don't have to either!)

* Hall puts a heavy emphasis on his sport-specific conditioning. He pushes the sled or swings a sledge hammer 3x per week in the morning.

He attributes much of his current success to his increased levels of general fitness. That helps him recover more quickly between strongman events and handle higher rep sets in the gym without "gassing". Thus, he's able to get more work done and the increased training volume allows him to gain greater strength.

To sum it all up...

Mastering the basics.

Staying away from failure.

Never overexerting yourself in training.

Alternating between heavy strength work and lighter pump or speed sets.

Smart conditioning that carries over to your sport.

Dialing in your diet.

Taking care of recovery.

Smells awfully lot like what I've been saying for years.

That's because training principles that produce awesome results don't change whether you're training for the World's Strongest Man contest or to improve your performance on the ice. They work for everyone who lifts weights.

Just like my Next Level Hockey Training System works for any hockey player looking to ​get stronger.

Grab it here:

Yunus Barisik

Marty McSorley’s Curse of the Curved Stick

Few Stanley Cup Final games have been as dramatic as Game 2 of the 1993 Finals where one play would influence the outcome of the rest of the series to a degree nobody could have predicted at the time.

Los Angeles - coming off an incredible Game 7 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Western Conference Finals (what Wayne Gretzky called the greatest performance of his career) - had already clinched a victory in Game 1 against Montreal.

Up 2-1 late in the third period of Game 2, the Kings were less than two minutes away from returning to Inglewood Forum with a 2-0 series lead.

With Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Luc Robitaille and Rob Blake taking care of business in the offensive zone, and Kelly Hrudey (remember the blue bandana?) stopping pucks in net, LA appeared to be en route to their first ever Cup returning home from Montreal with the momentum and a Hollywood bandwagon reception awaiting.

In an effort to salvage the series, Canadiens head coach Jacques Demers asked officials to measure Kings forward Marty McSorley's stick with 1:45 remaining.

The curve exceeded the maximum under NHL rules, and McSorley was sent to the penalty box for a deuce.

On that powerplay, the Canadiens pulled Patrick Roy for a 6-on-4 advantage. With his second goal of the game, D-man Eric Desjardins tied it with 1:13 left to play.

Desjardins scored again 51 seconds into overtime, completing the hat trick and evening up the series at one apiece.

The Canadiens won the next three games (another two in overtime) and the Stanley Cup.

There's a good chance that without McSorley's illegally curved stick - and the ensuing penalty - only 23 banners will remain in the Bell Centre rafters.

Nevertheless, you could say that measuring was the key to the Canadiens' success in the '93 Cup Finals.

So it is with lifting weights.

The only way to know whether you're making any progress in the weight room?

By measuring your numbers against - and surpassing - what you've done in the past.

That's why I have included tracking sheets for every single workout in Next Level Hockey Training 2.0.

Simply print them out, bring them with you to the gym, and write down your weights and reps for each exercise as you go through your training session.

That way, you'll never lose track of your progress.

And, will constantly set new personal bests.

Download Next Level Hockey Training 2.0 at:

Yunus Barisik

Ask and Thou Shalt Receive

A reader suggests:


"I would love to see more videos on training stuff and more nutrition stuff."


Several others have been requesting more training videos as well.

You should know I've elevated my video produc​tion game and now post a few new vids of what goes on in our gym each week on YouTube and Instagram.

Check out and subscribe to my channels below so you don't miss out on any of that good stuff.

>>> Click here to follow my Instagram <<<

>>> Click here to subscribe on YouTube <<<

Yunus Barisik

Why Copying Great Hockey Players May Be Ruining Your Game

It is a well-known (but unspoken) fact among strength coaches that many high-level athletes make it to the top *in spite of* their training, not because of it.

98% of the time when I see an NHL or other pro hockey player train off the ice, I'm not impressed.

Some of the mindless shenanigans I've witnessed guys appearing in ESPN highlights do in the gym:

* Balancing on a wobble board while throwing a med ball

* Quarter-squats with resistance bands

* Dumbbell flyes

* Benching light dumbbells lying on a fit ball for "better core activation"

* Jumping over hurdles and landing with knees collapsing in on every rep

* Pumping away on the incline chest press machine

​Put a player without above-average hockey skills on such a training program, and I guarantee he won't become the stand-out athlete he's expecting to be.

Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they got worse from that useless crap.

Some of the best players in the world don't even train off the ice. They coast on their hockey skills alone. Yet they win titles and awards.

How else do you explain someone like Alex Ovechkin enjoying such an illustrious career when his off-season diet consists of beer, fried steak and hookah - entering training camp at a soft 240 pounds every fall?

(Seriously, google that shit)

And, he's far from the only guy to do so.

Every summer, 1-2 KHL teams use our gym for a week or so during their pre-season camp. That gives me an excellent opportunity to observe how these highly-paid pros, several of whom have played in the NHL, prepare for the upcoming hockey season.

Once, I was in the midst of my own training session when two KHL players and their strength coach dropped in. One of the athletes a young 20-something, the other appeared to be close to 40.

The older player looked somewhat familiar but that's not what caught my attention.

No, it was the fact he had the start of a buddha belly.

Yes, he was fat!

It shocked me how this pro athlete could be in such a horrendous shape a month or so away from their first regular season game.

I was even more stunned to find out he had scored 50+ points in his best season for the Montreal Canadiens when still playing for the bleu-blanc-rouge several years back.

Like I said before, some of the top athletes we watch on TV aren't successful because of their off-ice training. Rather, despite it.

And, here's another dash of truth you won't hear anywhere else...

If you're not genetically gifted, you gotta work at least ​twice as hard ​as your more talented peers if you ever want to realize your full potential as a hockey player.

Even then, you may never hold a candle to someone who naturally reads the game at a very high level, skates effortlessly, and can dangle in a phone booth.

How so?

In between sets, guys talk. And often, they talk about how a teammate or someone they have played with trains in the gym.

That has given me a pretty good idea of who lifts with a purpose, and who just wings it. In fact, I could name a​t least 10 current NHL'ers off the top of my head whose off-ice training could be described as so-so at best, yet top the scoring charts year after year.

Thus, you can't expect to get anywhere when copying the exercises you see them perform on YouTube or in a magazine article.

Super talented athletes can get away with doing mediocre, downright detrimental workouts without their performance plummeting.

The rest of us can't.

For a training plan specifically designed to pack strength, size and power on genetically non-gifted hockey players, visit this link today:

Yunus Barisik

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