Yunus Barisik

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.

To date, ​I have personally trained and designed strength, speed and conditioning programs for ​500+ athletes at all levels of competitive hockey, including:

  • NCAA D1
  • Finnish Elite League
  • NHL Draft Picks from 9 NHL Teams
  • Men’s and Women’s National Team
  • 10 Gold Medal Winners at 4 Different U18 & U20 World Championships Since 2016

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

I have written dozens of articles on strength training, athletic performance development and injury prevention for multiple publications. Some of them reach millions of readers every month.

​The best training website on the Internet for serious lifters and athletes. ​

I have been reading T Nation since 2010 simply because some of the best strength coaches write for them. I'm very proud to have my work published there.

The Vitamin You've Got To Take... Seriously

Sleep Hard, Play Harder


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

Everything You Need to Know About Lifting Straps

How to Finally Barbell Overhead Press Without Pain

Why Every Athlete Should Train Single-Leg Jumps

Already Mastered Box Jumps? Here's How to Take Your Jump Training to the Next Level

Why Learning How to Stick Your Jumps is a Critical Part of Jump Training

Why the Incredible Benefits of Jump Training Go Far Beyond a Higher Vertical

Your Vitamin D Supplement Probably Isn't Working. Here's How to Change That

Hate Jogging? Sled Walk Drills Are The Perfect Alternative

Why 8 Hours of Sleep Shouldn't Be the Goal for Athletes

Boost Your Athletic 'Elasticity' With This Depth Jump Variation

4 Challenging Core Exercises for Hockey Players

5 Single-Leg Strength Exercises Hockey Players Should Be Doing

4 Training Insights to Create Better Youth Hockey Players

Why Classic Pyramid Sets Suck for Strength Gains (and What to Do Instead)

4 Simple Ways to Build Stronger, More Resilient Hamstrings

4 Big Reasons Why Hockey Players Should Bulk Up

'Back-Off Sets' Are Scientifically Proven to Build Muscle Faster

4 Mistakes Ruining Your Power Clean (and How to Finally Fix Them)

Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Skating Speed

This Single-Leg Variation Will Scorch Your Quads and Glutes

Are Bad Landing Mechanics Slowly Breaking Down Your Body?

This RDL Variation Will Work Your Hamstrings Without Hurting Your Back

4 Advanced Jump Exercises 
Used By Explosive Athletes

3 Simple Gymnastic Rings Exercises 
That Will Help Anyone Build More Muscle

Try These 4 User-Friendly Variations 
of Conventional Deadlifts

Hockey Players: Fix Your Bad Hips 
With These 3 Mobility Exercises

Break Through Your Training Plateau Quickly With This Simple Programming Trick

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

These Leg Curl Variations 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

A Better Way to Warm Up With Heavy Weights

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

Gain a Competitive Edge With 
This In-Season Weightlifting Schedule


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

6 Single Leg Exercises to 
Double Your Leg Day Gains

6 Strength & Athleticism 
Training Tips for Athletes


The Personal Trainer Development Center is a great business resource for coaches and trainers working in the fitness industry.

I Wanted to Train Elite Athletes. This Is Exactly How I Made It Happen

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


In addition to being featured on major US training sites time and time again, I also sharpen my writing skills in other languages. 

In fact, I have written numerous articles on all things hockey strength and conditioning for Faneille.com (a popular Finnish sports site), including the most comprehensive and practical off-season strength training guide for hockey players ever published in Finnish. Check out my extensive work below.

Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu kauden aikana

Hyppyharjoittelulla vauhtia 
kiekkoilijan ensipotkuihin

Jääkiekkoilijan keskivartalon voimaharjoittelu

Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu kesällä 
– osa 3/3

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 is another Finnish sports site that featured my article on hockey strength and conditioning leading up to the 2017 IIHF World Championships.

Huippukiekkoilijat kaukana
huippukunnosta kevään MM-kisoissa

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 on two occasions. Check out the episodes below.

Lepopäivä – Jakso 35: Jääkiekkoilijoiden oheisharjoittelu kiekkokauden aikana

Lepopäivä – Jakso 22: Jääkiekkoilijoiden oheisharjoittelu off-seasonilla

I also had the chance to discuss off-ice training methods for ice hockey players with strength coach Jukka Mäennenä in his podcast.

Jukka Mäennenä – Jakso 26:
Jääkiekkoilijan fysiikkaharjoittelu

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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.

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