Recently I was fortunate enough to attend the Strong First Barbell Course CLICK taught by Joe Sansalone of the Optimum Performance Training Institute (OPTI) CLICK . The course taught the squat, military press, deadlift (sumo first, then conventional), and we also discussed programming.
The Strong First curriculum was well designed. We received course booklets with military-style lesson plans “task, condition, standard” that also detailed the step-by-step progression to performing each exercise. The course booklets will be extremely useful in helping sustain what we learned at the course. I am extremely pleased to see Strong First putting out such great written products.
Joe Sansalone’s instruction was outstanding. Joe did a very good job not only conveying the information but also tailoring the way in which it was presented based upon his assessment of the student. Another great thing about Joe is though he has years of knowledge, experience, and many certifications under his belt he never got too technical. Many experts can quickly overwhelm a beginner student. Joe is not like this.
OPTI’s facility is very nice. You can tell that Joe and his team put a lot of thought into what type of equipment would be in their facility. In addition to having what was required for the barbell course there was a wide range of kettlebells, weight vests, what looked like some TRX setups, as well as several FMS kits. If I lived closer I would definitely take advantage of what OPTI has to offer.
From a marketing point of view I am glad Strong First is offering courses that focus on conveying information vice a gut check. As a former military guy with multiple deployments I have done the gut check thing. At this phase in my life the last thing I want to spend my own money on and take time away from my family to do it get hazed. I really hope that Strong First begins offering more courses that don’t involve a gut check. I told Joe Sansalone before I departed that if Strong First developed a Barbell Course Part Two that focused on bench press, zercher squat, and some other variants I would be the first to sign up. So… If you are listening Strong First — more courses please!