Barbells on the brain

I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life learning everything I could about training. I started as a teenager living in the weight-room, got my first job cleaning up the weights, moved up to personal trainer, and then moved on to studying the science of training. When I hit university I didn’t know what to take, but noticed that the kinesiology classes were conveniently located above the weight room; problem solved. As I went along I realized that the muscle mags didn’t have things as figured out as I thought they did, and found myself heading into my masters degree in kinesiology. I’m currently a PhD candidate in Medical Sciences at McMaster University and while I enjoy researching the effects of strength training on muscle, I find myself disconnected from the people who would benefit most from this research. I’m starting this blog to reconnect with the people that can help me shape my ideas and thoughts on training.

Barbells on the brain, my philosophy, my way of life…

This site represents the fusion of my love of training with my work in the sciences. It reflects the juxtaposition of science and strength, where intelligent training occurs not by chance, but through an experimental approach. Constantly testing new ideas, refining old ones, and tossing out the useless ones, this site is my learning process exposed. Every trainer/coach/scientist needs a place to test new ideas and get near instant (and often ruthless) feedback. We’re in an age where the ‘experts’ tell us we need to train for so many years before we can write an article and can only trust info from people whose mortgages depend on it. Well, problem with that is, it’s easy to one up. WIth the rising rates of obesity and associated diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular heart disease, etc) we can say the fate of our entire race depends on it. Kind of makes a mortgage payment look insignificant, doesn’t it?

Love or hate what I have to say, feel free to let me know in the comments, although as always, keep it clean and constructive. Want to know more about me, check out my about page, find me on twitter or subscribe for email updates below.


    Great stuff here Dan, can't wait to keep up with the posts. I just got into jump roping pretty heavily recently, got any tips and tricks for that?

    dan_ogborn says:

    Thanks man! Depends on your goal really. I've always been biased towards the weights myself, so any conditioning I do is short, sweet and to the point (I should really do more). For myself, I would structure short intervals of double-unders to get it done, although if you're shooting to get great at it it's going to be a numbers game and you'll need to get your reps in. Funny you should mention this, I just bought a new rope for around the house.

    lloyd owens says:


    THANK YOU! Only a few post and commentaries in and you have changed the game. I am looking forward to reading your future posts. Breath of fresh air would be an understatement in a world of try this try that, 90 days to this and 30 days to that! And the commentary on Gladwell's 10,000 hours was spot on! Love your transparency!

    from a fat guy, who doesn't want to be fat anymore!

    dan_ogborn says:

    Thanks for the kind words Lloyd! Definitely stay tuned, I plan on writing up my descent from a 322lb wanna-be powerlifter to a stronger and leaner 230lbs in the future. I'm sure there will be something you can take away from that.

    Awesome, thanks for those tips Dan! Actually been doing the double-unders now, however I am getting what I think might be some pretty serious shin splints. Really affecting me while running in place and roping

    Any suggestions on this? Thanks for the initial feedback!

    dan_ogborn says:

    The safe answer is to simply reduce your exercise volume, but if you are doing them for conditioning you'll still want to keep the volume up. You'll find many of the greats are just skirting the line between a high volume of training and the amount that causes overtraining/injury. If it takes awhile for the pain to start, you could try splitting your exercise sessions (ie: 30 minute sessions into three 10 minute sessions), then treat with ice in between to bring down the pain.

    When I was heavier and trying to bring my weight down, I needed to get conditioning in but minimize the hard impact forces associated with running/skipping as they were causing some significant shin/knee/foot pain. I dropped these forms of conditioning and opted for intervals of heavy sled pushing/dragging. It requires special equipment but is definitely worth it. Plus if you manage to scare your neighbours you know you're doing something right. I'm currently using the Prowler 2 from Elitefts, but there are also sleds that are much cheaper.

    Prowler 2: http://home3/danogbor/
    Sleds: http://home3/danogbor/

    I would try breaking up your sessions first, and also try to go on a softer surface (rubber gym floor or grass if possible), definitely the cheaper alternative.

Leave a Reply

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Subscribe to Newsletter

Dan Ogborn