Yunus Barisik


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.


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


I have written dozens of articles on strength training and athletic performance development for multiple other sites.

​T Nation

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

I have been reading T Nation for almost a decade simply because they have some of the best strength coaches writing for them. I'm very proud to have my work published ​there.

#2: The Vitamin You've Got To Take... Seriously

#1: ​Sleep Hard, Play Harder

STACK Magazine

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

#23: This Single-Leg Squat Variation
Will Scorch Your Quads and Glutes

Lifting heavy is great. Lifting heavy all the time? Not so much. Adding some smart accessory work to your workouts builds muscle and gives the joints...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#22: Are Bad Landing Mechanics
Slowly Breaking Down Your Body?

In the world of sports performance, we're obsessed with force production. How much force can our muscles produce, and how fast can they do it?

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#21: This RDL Variation Will Work Your
Hamstrings Without Hurting Your Back

Ask 10 strength coaches for their favorite posterior chain exercises, and the majority will have some variation of the Romanian Deadlift as their go-to move.

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#20: 4 Advanced Jump Exercises
Used By Explosive Athletes

In sports like basketball, soccer or hockey, acceleration and change-of-direction speed require more than just being big and strong. Lifting weights alone won't maximize...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#19: 3 Simple Gymnastic Rings Exercises
That Will Help Anyone Build More Muscle 

Gymnastic rings are one of the best training tools for developing a strong and muscular upper body. One look at the upper-body development of male gymnasts shows...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#18: Try These 4 User-Friendly Variations
of Conventional Deadlifts

Walk into any public gym in America and you'll see plenty of people banging away on the Leg Curl or Smith machine. What will you rarely see? Heavy conventional Deadlifts...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

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

Tight, immobile hips bother practically every hockey player at all levels of competition. Being tight in the front of your hips can lead to a bunch of nasty side effects, such as...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#16: Break Through Your Training Plateau Quickly With This Simple Programming Trick

If you have been using 5x5 or 3x10 (or any of the popular set and rep schemes for training programs) for an extended period of time, you already know one simple...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#15: Struggling with Deadlifts?
Try These Alternative Exercises

The conventional Deadlift is a fantastic full-body exercise. And had you asked me a few years ago whether everyone should do them, I would have answered "absolutely".

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

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

Split-Squats and Lunges are often labeled wimpy exercises. At worst, they're deemed suitable for folks working with pink dumbbells at bootcamp classes.

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#13: 5 Back-Friendly Exercises That Build
Your Glutes and Hamstrings

Back pain stinks. It can be caused by a number of issues, and it can be a literal pain to get rid of. It's important to address issues, but if you're careful, you can work...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#12: 3 Drills to Fix Your Hang Power Clean

The Hang Power Clean has the potential to provide great benefits to athletes. It combines strength, coordination, timing, explosiveness and athleticism in a single...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#11: 5 Lower-Body Exercises
That Don't Stress Your Back

In a perfect world, everyone could and would barbell squat as deep as an Olympic lifter to build impressive lower-body strength. The day-to-day reality of working with...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#10: How to Make Consistent Strength Gains
Without Burning Yourself Out

Structured de-load weeks are a waste of time for non-competitive lifters. Going heavy for three weeks and dramatically cutting volume and intensity on the...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#9: These Leg Curl Variations Will Give You
Stronger, Injury-Proof Hamstrings

Valslide Leg Curls are a great exercise for athletes looking to build stronger hamstrings and minimize hamstring strains. Unlike conventional training programs that...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#8: 3 Off-Ice Exercises to
Prevent Hockey Hip Injuries

Research has shown that over 90 percent of recorded groin and abdominal strain injuries in the NHL occur in non-contact situations. Even worse, the number of groin and...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#7: 4 Resistance Band Core Exercises
for Rock-Solid Abs

Resistance bands are often used in powerlifting-centric training programs to alter the strength curve on exercises like Squats and Bench Presses, but few people realize...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#6: The Biggest Mistake in
Youth Strength Training Programs

Among the few hundred junior hockey players I've coached over the years, I've noticed a trend that keeps repeating itself like a horrid nightmare on Elm Street.

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#5: Why You Should Build Strength
During Your Sports Season

"How to get stronger during the competitive season?" That's a question more athletes should be asking. It's funny how many athletes pride themselves on chasing...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#4: How to Train Around
3 Common Hockey Injuries

Every hockey player hopes to stay healthy for the entire season. But we all know how aches, bruises and more severe hockey injuries add up over the course of a...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#3: A Better Way to Warm Up With Heavy Weights

Foam rolling and dynamic warm-ups have become standard operating procedures for modern athletes preparing for a lifting session, but few trainees know...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#2: 5 In-Season Hockey Training Tips
for Improved On-Ice Performance

Although many hockey players work hard in the gym during the summer, few have been introduced to a proper in-season strength training program and the benefits...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#1: Gain a Competitive Edge With
This In-Season Weightlifting Schedule

You've spent the last few months inside gym walls gaining strength, size and power during a long, grueling off-season. Now the real fun begins. With practices and games...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

Muscle & Strength

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

#2: 6 Single Leg Exercises to
Double Your Leg Day Gains

They call it the ”King of All Exercises” and for a good reason. High relative strength in the barbell back squat correlates with numerous athletic feats...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#1: 6 Strength & Athleticism
Training Tips for Athletes

You want to get stronger and dominate the competition on the field or in the rink. That's why you're here. So let's cut out all the nonsense that doesn't matter and...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

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

The time used toward programming takes away time you could better spend training more clients, marketing your services, growing your business, or taking a day off to...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

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 (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.

#12: Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu kauden aikana

Seuraava skenaario on monelle kiekkoilijalle tuttu: Kesätreeneissä painetaan kovaa ja training campille ilmestytään hyvässä kunnossa. Kiekkokauden aikana...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#11: Hyppyharjoittelulla vauhtia
kiekkoilijan ensipotkuihin

Off-Ice Hockey Training Jumps

Nopeus- ja räjähtävyysominaisuuksien kehittäminen on yksi tärkeimmistä fyysisen harjoittelun osa-alueista palloilulajien urheilijoilla. Erityisesti räjähtävä...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#10: Jääkiekkoilijan keskivartalon voimaharjoittelu

Tässä artikkelissa paneudutaan keskivartalon osalta pääasiassa keskivartalon etupuolen suorien, syvien ja vinojen vatsalihasten harjoittamiseen. Miksi niitä...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#9: Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu kesällä
– osa 3/3

Periodisaatio eli voimaharjoittelun jaksotus on aihe, josta löytyy kirjaa kirjan perään sekä netin täydeltä artikkeleita. Lineaarisen periodisaation, konjugaatiometodin...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#8: Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu kesällä
– osa 2/3

Korkean tason urheilijoita tutkittaessa on moneen otteeseen todettu, kuinka voimaharjoittelun avulla urheilijasta saa tehtyä nopeamman ja räjähtävämmän.

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#7: Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu kesällä
– osa 1/3

Miten kehitetään voimaa? Entä lajisuoritusta palvelevaa lihasmassaa? Miten vältytään loukkaantumisilta nostettaessa raskaita rautoja?

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#6: Jääkiekkoilijan kesätreenien yleisimmät virheet – osa 2

Speed kills. Nopeus tappaa. Kannattaa tsekata Team North American highlightit vuoden 2016 World Cupista. McDavid, Gaudreau, MacKinnon ja kumppanit pyörittivät...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#5: Jääkiekkoilijan kesätreenien yleisimmät virheet – osa 1

Kevät on tunnetusti jääkiekkoilijan parasta aikaa. Pudotuspelit. Mökki täynnä. Voitto tai kuolema. Ja sitten se on ohi. Päättyi kausi viikon kestäviin villeihin...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#4: Jääkiekkoilijan voimaharjoittelu loukkaantuneena

Jääkiekon kaltaisessa kovassa kontaktilajissa loukkaantumisia ei millään voi kokonaan ehkäistä. Jääpussit, haavojen tikkaukset, sairaalakäynnit...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

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

Vastaus: lonkkavaivat. Siinä missä koripalloilija tunnetusti kärsii polvivammoista ja olkapääongelmat katkaisevat baseball-syöttäjän uran, lonkan ja nivusten vammoista...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#2: Näkökulma: Suomi-kiekon vaiettu ongelma

Aluksi palautus maan pinnalle: Vuodenvaihteen U20-kisat Montrealissa ja Torontossa osoittivat jälleen Suomen pelaajatuotannon kalpenevan suurten kiekkomaiden...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

#1: Kurkistus kulisseihin:
Rautaa ja hikeä NHL-pelaajien kesätreeneissä

Pyynikin portaat. Kyykkyjä ja rinnallevetoa. 30 minuutin juoksutesti. Ammattikiekkoilijoiden kesätreeneistä liikkuu monenlaista huhua fanien keskuudessa etenkin netin...

>> Read Full Article HERE <<

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


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


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 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.