Do you want to become stronger, healthier, and more resilient?
Do you want to learn how to use the most effective tool for building strength and improving your quality of life?
Today, I am joined by Cody Annino, a Starting Strength Coach based out of Moodus, CT. I reached out to him a few years back when I first learned about Starting Strength for some coaching on my basic lifts. He is why I started squatting and pressing the right way after months of frustration. Everyone can benefit from a technique coach, even for a few sessions.
I invited him on to talk about the transformative power of barbell training. You'll learn the principles and benefits of Starting Strength, some common misconceptions about strength training, and the novice effect. We'll compare different training methods, look at how barbell training impacts mental health, and touch on the future of online versus in-person coaching in the fitness world. Cody is a big believer in the power of strength for lifelong health and resilience, as am I.
Cody owns and operates Annino Strength & Conditioning, a small family-owned black iron gym in central Connecticut. Cody is a Central Connecticut State University graduate who has been working full-time as a professional coach since 2016. He has experience helping people of all ages and ability levels become stronger and healthier through barbell training.
Click here to apply for coaching!
Today you’ll learn all about:
[2:17] Journey to becoming a strength coach
[3:21] Barbell training's life-changing impact
[7:42] Introduction to Starting Strength
[9:54] Stress recovery adaptions
[13:21] Criticisms on Starting Strength
[16:40] Commitment to long-term training
[23:36] Addressing strength training misconceptions
[24:57] The "Novice Effect" explained
[29:04] Mental health and barbell training
[31:14] Coaching techniques and program customization
[35:22] Future of online and in-person coaching
[38:47] Where to learn more about Cody and Starting Strength
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What we find is that by taking advantage of that novice effect, we can give somebody the most rapid progress that they're going to see in their entire trading career. And anything short of taking full advantage of that is essentially wasting the person's time. You only have so much time to do this stuff. And if we can make an increase, we can make a strength increase, then we shouldPhilip Pape:
welcome to the Wits& Weights podcast. I'm your host, Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry, so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in Wits & Weights community Welcome to another episode of the Wits & Weights Podcast. Today I'm joined by Cody anino, a starting strength coach based out of MODIS, Connecticut, about an hour south of me, which is why I reached out to him a few years back when I was first learning about starting strength, and I needed some coaching on my basic lifts. He's the reason I started squatting and pressing the right way after months of frustration, and why I'm always saying on the show that everyone would benefit from a technique coach even for a few sessions. I invited him on to talk about the transformative power of barbell training, you'll learn the principles and benefits of starting strength, some common misconceptions about strength training and the crucial novice effect. We'll compare different training methods look at how barbell training impacts mental health, and touch on the future of online versus in person coaching in the fitness world. Cody is a big believer in the power of strength for lifelong health and resilience as am I which is an important message everyone needs to hear. Cody is the owner and operator of a Nino strength and conditioning. A small family owned Black Iron Gym in Central Connecticut. Cody is a Central Connecticut State University graduate and has been working full time as a professional coach since 2016. He has experienced helping people of all ages and ability levels become stronger and healthier through barbell training. Cody man, I really appreciate it. Welcome to the show.Cody Annino:
Thanks for having me. Happy to be here.Philip Pape:
So let's get to know you first. Right, you've been a professional coach for since 2016. You run your own gym. We mentioned your starting strength coach, you're also USA Powerlifting. Coach. Yeah, how did strength and lifting become part of your life?Cody Annino:
Um, you know, so I, I've always been into, you know, training and exercise, like my whole life. You know, probably starting in high school, I ran track cross country, out of high school, you know, I, I was kind of looking for a way to pay for college. So I started working as a personal trainer, and worked at a commercial gym and did that for a long time. I liked that. I started to get into CrossFit had a few issues with that. But yeah, one thing led to another and I just got more and more into the barbell and strength training. And, yeah, it's kind of it was a long process. But that's that's kind of how I got here.Philip Pape:
Yeah, I get it, man. And it's funny, we it seems like we all find CrossFit at some point in that journey. Before we get away from it. It's funny. Now you're now you're focused on barbell training, I know your powerlifting coaching as well, when did you discover with all the different things you had tried to learn from track to cross country to CrossFit, everything that it was more than it was more than just another way of working out. But it was this new transformational thing, this this thing that could transform your, your health, your strength in your life, when did you make that connection,Cody Annino:
it developed kind of over time, as I found starting strength and really the way I found starting strength was again, going back to CrossFit. You know, because CrossFit, the one of the things that was lacking in my education up to that point, as a personal trainer, as crossfit coach was my ability to teach people how to do the lifts, and I found starting strength and I used that early on, I found it so that I could teach people how to do lifts like the SNATCH and the power clean. And it was so simple. It was it was you know, very easy to it was very approachable for a lot of people who have never touched a barbell before and just got more and more, you know, excited about it and I'm like wanting to learn more and more about this method. And you know, so then you know, learn about Mark Rippetoe read the book. And yeah, and then as I started using this method with people you start to see the effect that it has on people of all different levels. You know, you got young guys come into the gym, kids they get strong you know, they can they can get a college, you know by by strength training and get better at their sport. And then you can also take older people who we've had people come to the gym, you know with a walker and they're struggling to and they regret they regained their their physical independence through There's strength training. So it's there's a huge benefit to this stuff for a lot of people.Philip Pape:
Yeah, I mean, one thing you mentioned is very important is that it was simple. And I think that's important to mention. Because if you buy starting strength and you read it, it's very detailed, it can be dry at times, I like it. I like the science and the biomechanics behind it, all the diagrams, but like, the chapter on the squat is, I don't know, 40 pages long. And I actually tell people that as a positive about it, because you actually learn the proper way to squat and why it works. But some people are intimidated, right? barbells seem like this, maybe inaccessible thing, or there's safety, and they're worried that you know, people are gonna be judging them, or they don't have a spotter, all these other reasons people throw out. But you said, it's simple. So emphasize that point for us. Like, why is it simple.Cody Annino:
So it's simple in the sense that there's only a handful of exercises, training with barbells is simple, it's, it's a basic tool, when someone's trying to start a program, any program, really, I mean, the hardest part is just getting them to come into the gym, you know, and when people walk into like a commercial gym, they can be overwhelmed by how much stuff is in there, there's machines, there's cardio, equipment, there's bands, there's millions of people in there, there's all kinds of that and they don't know where to start. And you know, the barbell is a great place to start. Because strength is kind of the foundation of everything in your day to day, life in the in the barbell is the best tool to develop strength. So it's so the program is very simple that we do, we teach five basic exercises, and we have a method for teaching people to do the exercises. And what we find through experience that they're doing this with lots and lots of people is there's a starting point for everybody. No matter where you are, we can find something that you can do, we can start to somewhere with a barbell. And that might mean using a really light bar though we got you know, 10 pound bars, you might only use your, you might want to use the empty bar, something like that. But there's always a starting point. And that's one of the benefits to kind of work with a coach, we could start you on this journey. And and yeah, and go and go from there.Philip Pape:
Alright, cool. That broke it down really well, I liked that you said the barbell is, is the best tool for the job. Because I know some people will equivocate on like, well, you can do you know, you could do bodyweight, you could do bands, you could build up and then eventually do dumbbells and barbells. I don't know about you, like, I'm lazy, and I want to be efficient and go right for whatever saves me the most time it gets me the most strength. And that's kind of the principle I use when I explain it to people. And unless they just absolutely have no access whatsoever for some legitimate reason, why not try the barbell. So help us understand you said five movements, break down the key principles, the benefits of starting strength, just kind of like what would be your, you know, sales pitch for why this is an effective program.Cody Annino:
So I mean, so starting strength, the benefit to it is that it's a systemic approach to barbell training, you know, that we we base on a series of concepts like, you know, we can, I don't know how deep you want to go into, like stress recovery, adaptation, and all that sort of stuff. Yeah, so like the the base exercises would be like the squat, the benchpress, the deadlift, the power clean, and the press. Some people don't do the power to them, depending on their age, or injury history, but there are large compound exercises that are basic human movement patterns, and we're basically just adding load to them. And through those five exercises, you're able to strengthen the entire body. And like you said, it's, it's, it's, it's time efficient, because if you're not someone that has all day to spend in the gym, you can get started with these basic exercises, get a whole lot done, build a lot of muscle, build a lot of strength, and a very short period of time and get on with your with your day and on with your life.Philip Pape:
Yeah, so this you just listed off Route, some really good principles being it's systemic, right, we actually have something that builds over time, that makes sense. It's logical. It's basic compound lifts, we talked about a lot of this on the show, full human movement patterns, full range of motion, and you're just adding load, which is important because some people, you know, they will make people will make excuses about certain movements, for whatever reason in their history. And when you say, Well, can you can you squat to a box or can you squat down without a bar? If you can, you probably can squat with load. And like you said, it's just adding the load over time, stress recovery adaptation, we can get into that a little bit. I think it's very fundamental to this. I always return to the starting strength ideas at least even if it's not the exact program. I always return to it when things change in my life and I d train or I take an unintentional D load or and recently, I had left rotator cuff surgery so I had to take a break and now I'm getting back to it. Those principles, I come back to them and they always apply. So tell us about stress recovery adaptation.Cody Annino:
So, you know, stress recovery adaptation is one of those first principles like I talked about before that the method is kind of based on. So it's a base, it's a biological principle. Han Selia is the person I believe, who first kind of discovered this in the 30s. It was, I think it was called, like general adaptation syndrome or something like something to that effect. Basically, the idea is that if you stress an organism, it will adapt to that stress, it will adapt specifically to that stress, assuming it's not too much stress all at once. The one of the common, most basic ways that we explain to people is the idea of of a suntan, right? So if you go out in the sun, you know, you decide that you don't want to be really pale and white, like me, you go out in the sun, I don't know, maybe the first day you do 20 minutes or so out there, then you might get a little bit pink, a little bit red, but then, you know, a day or two later, there'll be slightly more tan. Your body is adapting to the stress of you being out in the sun. And let's say you do that every day, for the week, you go out there for 20 minutes, and then at the end of the week, you're going to be tanner than you were at the start of the week. And this like trick question, we tell people at the seminars like So what happens if you tell yourself okay, if one week I was able to do that with only 20 minutes a day? What if I do that every day for the whole summer? I go out for 20 minutes. And that's it. 20 minutes come back in, I'm gonna be super camp by the end of the summer, right? And the answer, the question is actually, no, you're only going to be tan enough to tolerate 20 minutes of sun exposure. So in order to get more tan, you have to actually spend more time in the sun and build it up progressively over time, right. So that's really basic way of explaining this stress recovery adaptation process in a way that everybody can understand. Likewise, you can overdo it too, right? So if I go out the first day, and I sit out in the sun for three hours, I'm not going to really adapt to that stress, I'm going to get burned. And it's going to be horrible, right? So. So we take that concept, and we apply it to strength training, when you first come into the gym, we find a spot, we find something that you can do something that's tolerable at a weight, that is something that you could learn how to do the technique correctly, but it's not so heavy that it's going to destroy you, it's not going to make you terribly, terribly sore, it's not going to hurt you. And that's different for everybody, you know, you get a 65 year old woman that comes in step might be her bodyweight, it might be a 10 pound 15 pound bar, if you got a young high school kid, he might do 135 155, the first day that he comes in, and that will gradually build that up over time. So we're exposing the body to a little bit more stress, each workout and then you gave yourself enough time to recover between bouts of stress, and we adapt accordingly.Philip Pape:
That's a beautiful concept. I love the suntan principle. And when you talk about the weight that you start with, like if you're a newbie listening to this, you've never done it before. This is why working with a coach can be really helpful. When I went to see Cody, you know, I'm a man I was in my 30s have a little bit of an ego. And he saw me kind of trying to maybe push a little too much. And he's like, Here, let's dial it back. It's all good. Let's go with the weight that makes sense for you. So that the form is solid, and you can handle it. And then from there, okay, you've got it dialed in. Now you start increasing the load and you know, sky's the limit. So really nice concepts. What what are what are some of the criticisms you hear? Because I know there are a lot and about starting strength that you really want to address.Cody Annino:
I mean, probably the most pervasive one is that we want everybody to be either there's probably two one is that we're we want everybody to be overweight and drink like a gallon of milk a day. That's a pretty common one. Or another one that people say is, you know, not everybody wants to be a powerlifter or something like that. And we're not powerlifting we're strength training, we're doing exercises that power lifters do. But that doesn't mean that we're training for the sport of powerlifting. powerlifting is a specific sport that we wouldn't you know that some people decide that that's the avenue they want to go but we choose we do these exercises. And yes, there's some overlap to the powerlifting exercise. But we do these exercises, because again, they're basic human movement patterns. The barbell is an extremely ergonomical tool, meaning it's easy to hold on to, it's easy to, you know, put on someone's back. It's incrementally loadable more so than any other tool in the gym. You can I literally have quarter pound plates at the gym, you can go up it really small increments. So, you know that's that whole idea of we want to repower the powerlifters is ridiculous. We just want people to be stronger than they are. Because we know that when people get stronger, they're also healthier. And then like the other one is the we want to reach a gallon of milk a day we want everybody to, you know, the fat. That's a common misconception about starting strength, and it's just not true. If someone is underweight, we're going to tell them that you likely need to eat more calories and put yourself in some sort of surplus so that you can build muscle and continue to add weight to the bar. But you know, the opposite happens for people who maybe come to the gym, and maybe they got a little bit of weight to lose, they start doing the program and they get stronger, they start increasing the, you know, they start eating up more more protein in their diet, they start naturally eating a little bit less sugar, and things like that. And in the process of them doing the program without even thinking about it, they start getting leaner, and that sort of thing.Philip Pape:
Yeah, it's true. Yeah, it's really true. And I think a lot of those criticisms are either a misunderstanding of the program, or people who didn't follow it, who are like, Hey, this is not working like I thought. Yeah, so it's funny, you mentioned the go mad thing, because back in 2020, when I met you, I was actually running starting strength for the first time and took that a little bit to heart, not the whole gallon, but maybe like a quarter to half gallon of milk a day. And I gained a ton of weight in probably 40 pounds in like four or five months. For me, it was a lot. But it helped me push the numbers up. I mean, it really did. And later I learned, you know, nutrition and protein and like,Cody Annino:
the gallon of milk works, it works. Just not for everybody.Philip Pape:
No, and he really even talks about it not being for you know, older people, generally. So all right, so how do you here's another concept about this, I just talked to my client and lifting buddy Tony Perry, he was on the last episode of the show. And one thing he talked about was how you have to, to embrace the grind and, and enjoy the kind of the gritty process of strength training, right, there's a commitment involved. Even though I at the same time, I do see the results speak for themselves and tend to motivate people, how do you get people to commit to that long term process?Cody Annino:
It can be hard to do that. Because you know, this this, this thing, like we said, it's very simple, but simple is not easy. And it can be hard for a lot of people. And so what tends to happen a lot is people get really excited about the program, because again, it's it's a very simple, very approachable program, we have a really good system to get people doing the lifts correctly, and in a fairly short period of time. And they realize those those really quick adaptations, we call it the novice effect. In the very beginning, they come in in there and they're excited, you know, they did 45 pounds on the first day than they did 50 than they did 55 and 60, and so on. And then all of a sudden, there comes a time where you go to unrack that bar, and then you're like, oh my god, this is this is real, real heavy, I don't know if I can do this. You know, and, and again, that's, that's where some of these, these other benefits of strength training come into effect where it's like, you know, where there's, there's a lot of mental toughness that goes into making yourself do something that you're not sure, if you can actually do it, you're gonna go down into the bottom that squat, and it's scary, you don't know if you're gonna come back up. And some people do really well with that, you know, like, they push themselves and, and then other people. You know, as soon as they get into that, where it's really hard, and you gotta grind, you gotta push through it. Some people just can't do it, you know, and that's where, you know, sometimes people don't want to continue training, that's where they start looking to do other things. And so like, you know, it can be hard as, as a coach to kind of push them through through that. And a lot of times, it's just, it's explaining to them that, you know, one, nothing bad's gonna happen to you, most likely, you're gonna be fine. If you go down to the bottom of squat, and if you don't come back up, so what you're going to learn something about yourself either way, you know, so So yeah, telling people that can be a good strategy, but some people it's just really hard to get them to get them to do it. You know, we, we do have some, some churn in the program when it comes to when people start to reach that point where things get really hard.Philip Pape:
Yeah, I could see that because they definitely starts to not so much plateau, it's just the increment, incremental increases start to drop a bit even though you can still be making progress. It's interesting. You mentioned getting down into the into the squat. Worst case, you're gonna learn about yourself. Yeah, what what do you what is your answer to someone who's just getting started? And they say, but Coach, what, what do I do if I fail the reps? And it's kind of a trick question. I want to see how you answer but what what do I do when I failed the reps when I don't get all the reps? What What's your answer that question?Cody Annino:
So well, there's, there's there's different ways to approach that right. So the first is, if you're working with a coach, this should already be taken care of for you. The first is but if you're not working directly with a coach every single day, the first is you got to figure out why you're missing. You know, it's a we use what we call the first three questions. And those first three questions are or how big of jumps are you taking? You know? Are you going up in a reasonable increments? Are you going up five pounds, two and a half pounds? Do you have the right equipment to go up in those small increments, because when you're doing presses, and bench presses, you can't go up five pounds, you might only be able to go up a pound or two. So making sure your jumps are appropriate. You know, sometimes people get stuck real quick, because they're again, they're excited about the program, they liked the rapid progress, and then 1015 20 pounds to the bar every time and then they get stuck. So that's one one issue.Philip Pape:
Hey, this is Philip. And I hope you're enjoying this episode of Wits & Weights, I started Wits & Weights to help people who want to build muscle lose fat and actually look like they lift. I've noticed that when people improve their strength and physique, they not only look and feel better, they transform other areas of their life, their health, their mental resilience and their confidence in everything they do. And since you're listening to this podcast, I assume you want the same things the same success, whether you recently started lifting, or you've been at this for a while and want to optimize and reach a new level of success. Either way, my one on one coaching focused on engineering your physique and body composition is for you. If you want expert guidance and want to get results faster, easier, and with fewer frustrations along the way to actually look like you lift, go to wits & weights.com, and click on coaching, or use the link in my show notes to apply today, I'll ask you a few short questions to decide if we're a good fit. If we are, we'll get you started this week. Now back to the show.Cody Annino:
Another issue is they might not be resting long enough, you know, between their between their sets, then, you know, because what when you're first getting started with the program, again, the weights are not super heavy. So you might be able to do two or three minutes between sets. It's not super difficult, you get back onto the bar, and you do all your sets. And it's no big deal. When things start getting heavier, you're going to have to push those rest periods out, right. And then the last one is make sure that you're getting recovered between your sessions are you know, are you eating appropriately? Are you sleeping appropriately, do a lot of light stress, work stress going out, all of those things can interrupt the recovery portion of the stress recovery adaptation cycle. So we want to make sure that those things are in check first right to avoid missing. Then the other things, you know, if you are in a situation where you're going to miss the weight, you again, it comes down to making sure you have proper equipment. So you can use safety pins, most quality, squat stance or squat racks are going to have pins or bars that stick out that you know, if you get into trouble in the bottom, you could set the bar down. That that would be your your option. But again, the best option is to avoid putting yourself in that situation in the first place. Where like what do I do if I miss it's like if the coach is doing his job and you're doing your job of getting recovered between sessions you want keep you out of that position as much as possible.Philip Pape:
Yeah. And that's where I knew you would go there as a good starting strength coach at the end as it's like, don't miss the reps, I would like set yourself up for success, rather than assuming failure before you even get there. Which I love that because having that mentality and I've kind of carried that with me as well, to this day, when something feels really hard, and you just don't feel great that day. But you've done everything you can just try it like you just don't know, you might see what you're made of when you do that. Yeah, you don't know until you try it. Yeah, it's so true. And sometimes you feel like you've done three, three reps. And the fourth one is impossible. And you get the fourth and the fifth one seems impossible. And you do it. Yeah, it's crazy. Happens all the time, all the time. So when someone comes in to your gym, or what are one of the most common assumptions or misconceptions they might have, are people that are seeking you out already familiar with starting straight, there's a kind of a mix of, of individuals, most of the time No, they'reCody Annino:
not familiar with, with what starting strength is. And you got all those standard industry fears, you know, that people have when they first come in, especially since majority of our clientele tends to be female, and tends to be a little bit older, in their 40s 50s 60s and, you know, all that usual stuff where they're, they're intimidated of lifting heavy weights, they're afraid they're gonna get too bulky, that sort of thing. So, you know, again, it's all about again, creating a creating an environment where they feel comfortable, they feel like this is safe, and having the right type of equipment to accommodate and meet that person where they are at their current ability level, you know, for sure having light enough weights and that sort of thing.Philip Pape:
Yeah, for sure. And again, folks listening at least when I went to see Cody, you know, he he made sure we were using the right plates and the right equipment and everything was set up right he asked about my shoes asked about a whole bunch of things just to make sure even my shirt you know you weren't a cotton shirt or is it more slippery shirt like all the all the advice? So somebody coming in that's new, they're gonna Be a novice, they're a newbie. And so they're gonna experience something called the novice effect, which I've talked about enough times on the show, probably. But it's a central concept to starting strength. And you mentioned the stress recovery adaptation model. Why is it so important, especially for those new or de trained to lifting in the house, someone, how can someone make the most out of it.Cody Annino:
So the novice effect is, it's again, it's that getting back to that stress recovery adaptation cycle, it's a phenomenon where, when you're truly unadapted, to something, you experience rapid progress early on, you know, in the, in the progression of you trying to do this new thing. And then there's a law of diminishing returns, right, we're over time that progress starts to slow down. But the novice effect is that when someone comes into the gym for the first time, we can apply a small dose of stress to them with the barbell, teach them how to do the movements correctly and safely. And then within 48, to 72 hours later, they can come back into the gym, and we can add a little bit more weight to the, to the bar a little bit more weight to whatever it was that they did on that first day. And amazingly enough, they can do it. And then another 48 to 72 hours will elapse. And we can add a little bit more weight to it. And they can do that again. And what we find is that by taking advantage of that novice effect, we can give somebody the most rapid progress that they're going to see in their entire trading career. And anything short of taking full advantage of that is essentially wasting the person's time. You only have so much time to do this stuff. And if we can make an increase, we can make a strength increase, then we should,Philip Pape:
yeah, what's something you shouldn't be doing? If you're trying to get the most out of it? One that comes to mind as a nutrition coach is you shouldn't be dieting, personally, if you're trying to do that, what what are some of those in your arsenal.Cody Annino:
So again, so to take true full advantage of it, we recommend that you just do the program, the way it's written in that you're going to squat, bench deadlift press, and do power cleans, and you're going to do those on alternating days, you're gonna do them three days a week, and you're not really going to add a whole bunch of other stuff to it, you're not gonna try to reinvent the wheel, you're not going to do CrossFit, you're not going to try to do Oh, can I do my BJJ? In between? Or can I What should I do on my resume? Should I run all that stuff? Can I do yoga, if you want to get everything you can out of it, you shouldn't do those things. But sometimes people do those things.Philip Pape:
Something like 3% of people actually follow the program when they looked at the data. But I get it because I have clients all the time. They're like, well, I want to keep running. And I want to keep doing this. And like you can I mean, it's trade offs. It's all trade offs.Cody Annino:
Exactly. It's all it's all trade offs, you know, some, some people find that, you know, I found too, that if I tell people, If I don't be super restrictive with it and tell them, You can't do this, you can't do that you can't do any of this stuff, you got to just come in here and do this, that sometimes they don't really like that. And that kind of turns them off, and they're less likely to come back to training. So if I tell them, Okay, keep doing that stuff, that's fine. Because in the beginning, the novice effect works. So well, the program works so well, that even if you kind of do it wrong, it still works. So it works so well that they continue to make progress. And then eventually they hit a point where it's like, they're not really getting recovered. And then I can kind of re approach the conversation with again and be like, well, you know, you are running three days a week, or you are doing BJJ, two days a week, maybe cut back on that a little bit. And then we can continue to push these weights up a little bit higher. And then some people like they have the right mentality where you know, they want to keep chasing those numbers. So then they you know, they start to be a little more strict at the program.Philip Pape:
Yeah. Do you have the data and feedback there to say, look, you're hitting a plateau. Let's, let's remove this, see what happens. All of a sudden, they improve, then they get that intrinsic motivation of okay, maybe I don't want to be running. Right. Right progress. So another topic related to training, especially since we're coming up to men's mental health month, November is not just for men, but how does barbell training improve your mental health?Cody Annino:
I've seen with several clients over the years that I don't know if I if I know exactly like the scientific explanation for how it improves people's mental health, but you just see it when someone starts getting stronger, they get more confident, a lot about their demeanor and a lot about their personality changes. And again, a lot of it gets back to like, like we talked about with the doing that heavy set of five and you're not sure if you can do that fifth rep but there's something that happens to somebody when they consistently make that decision that I'm going to go down into the bottom of the squat and, and I'm just going to see what happens. You know what I mean? I'm going to try real hard, and I'm gonna I'm gonna I'm gonna I'm gonna give it everything I got. And I'm scared but I'm going to do it anyway. And and there's a again, there's there's a confidence can pull Whether it comes from that, and it's hard to describe it to someone who hasn't done it before, but once you've gone through the process, once you've seen other people go through the process, you can see it's it's clear as day that the effect that this has on people, people's mental health and in a positive way.Philip Pape:
I yeah, I think it's important to right, you kind of know it when you see it. And in my personal experience that happens at different levels, like it can happen right away in the first few weeks. For somebody who's never trained before, and it just seems like they're gaining massive strength. And then it happens later, when you hit these sticking points. Right? It'd be cool if they can, like, do a brain scan on people like before and after. See, what if that hardship that you know, unlock something like, you know, the grip, brain chemistry or something. But, yeah, I always like to ask that because people underestimate all the benefits of strength training, we focus so much on the strength in the muscle and things like that. And yet this I'm coming in my older years to realize is one of the top reasons people might want to consider this because for whatever reason, their anxiety is rampant depression is rapid, like across the population. And it could just be stress, it could be because you get older, you get obligations and all that. And I just wanted to pick your brain on that. So yeah, that's cool. Yeah. Okay, so what about when you teach somebody to lift because this was an important aspect of my experience with you, I came in having been squatting for like, I don't know, three, four months on starting strength, I read the book, I'm the type of person I read it like three times I had highlighter, I had I had notes, I would practice in my living room, I, my wife would be like, What are you doing down there, and I would watch the videos, and not just starting strength, but barbell logic and some of the others and and did everything I possibly could. And I still didn't really have great for because when I met you, you'd like over 20 Things that you had to fix. It really is a very tactile, technical thing. How do you teach it to your clients? What are the kind of the common cues you use? And is it? How can people at home even if they don't have a coach, and I know that's that you want them to have a coach? You know, figure it out? How can they figure it out?Cody Annino:
So you know, this might not be the most satisfying answer, but everybody's different, right? So. And what we find, though, sometimes is that the people who have been trying to do this thing, or maybe they did, like, you know, high school, football might be the worst thing ever. But you know, they've lifted weights, so you get guys to come to the gym, they've been lifting, you know, they've done something. And they have the most bad habits. So they're the ones that are often the hardest ones to coach to correct those things, because they've been doing things I don't want to say wrong, but they've been doing them sub optimally for a long time. Whereas you get someone that comes in the door that's maybe even a little skinny little scared of, of lifting weights never done this before, I have no idea what they're doing there, they tend to be pretty easy to coach because they're gonna do whatever you tell them. They don't have all their trust is in you. Yeah, yeah. But so so we have, in starting strength, we have a series of teaching models for all of the lifts, we've distilled down over many years of trial and error working with lots of people, we've kind of distilled down the best way to break these exercises down and explain them to people. And you know, so we have a teaching phase for all of the lifts, where we teach them how to do the exercises. And then the queues, the queues are specific to the teaching model. So queues are reminders for somebody how to do the lifts. Right. So we've already taught them in the teaching model, how to perform the exercise, and then when we're cueing them, the teaching method is what gives them the context for the cues to make sense. So when I say shove your knees out on a squat, I've already taught them in the teaching progression of the squat, why it's important for them to have their knees pushed out why want them to be that way. So when I when they're when they're squatting, and I say knees out, now they have context, they understand what that means. And they can make that adjustment. I see a lot of beginner coaches, or people that are maybe starting strength enthusiast and, and they watch the videos and they want to teach somebody how to squat. And then they'll just be yelling queues at people. They'll be coming up out of the bottom like hips, hips, hips, hips, hips, hips, and like, the person who their teacher doesn't know what that means, you know. So, for people that don't know that the hips cue is to cue what we call hip drive, it's the way you get up out of the bottom squat. But you need that teaching method to explain to somebody, this is how you come out of the bottom of squat. This is called hip drive. And this is the strongest way for you to get yourself up at the bottom of the squat. So when I you know so that later on when they're squatting and I say hips, use your hips, something like that. They know what that means. They can they can kind of go from there. But yeah, that's that's essentially how we teach that to people is we have a teaching method that we use to get them up to speed quit in through experience, you kind of develop cues and to kind of remind them how I have to do the list correctly.Philip Pape:
That's enlightening to me, I wasn't totally clear on how that works, because I've never worked with the starting train coach, like from the beginning multiple sessions, you know. But the idea that you have, again, you said it's systematic before it is systematic a teaching phase progression, you understand why you're using a certain foot stands, putting your legs this way, whatever. And then the cues are just reminders of that. Okay, so now what if someone I know there are coaches that do online programming? I think you do as well, I do online? Do you? How do you coach someone who's fully remote who's just not in the area, and getting started for the first time remotely?Cody Annino:
So it's harder, you know, it definitely is. And we tell people upfront, I mean, if you're going to be honest with somebody, you know, you have to tell them that like, look, you know, this online coaching thing, it can work, it can be beneficial, it's definitely better than nothing, but it's not as good as in person coaching. And it just can't be because of the delay. The fact that I can't be there in person and give me real time, feedback, you know, as you're screwing something up, I can fix it in person. So in person is always going to be better. The biggest drawback that I tell people to online coaching, and get back gets back to that learning, the last thing is that it's going to take more time, it's going to take longer because of the inherent delay. So I'll give you an example. Like when I first started coaching people online, you know, somebody would post a post a video, for me, I use an app called True coach. So they'll upload a video to true coach, and there'll be their squat, then I'll take a look at it. And you know, their stance is a little too wide, or it's a little messed up. So then I'll write back to them. Like, hey, you know, good job, but your stance is a little bit too wide, I need you to narrow it up a little bit next time on your next set of squats. So then 4872 hours goes by, they do their next workout, and I check their video, and now they're squatting with like their heels almost touching. You know, my, okay, that's way too narrow. And then I tell them all right, now I need you to widen your stance out again, because it's not quite right. So then, again, a third video comes for them two hours later. And now their stance is too wide, so that we've already wasted about a week's worth of training just together stance, right. But we do get it right, we do fix it. online coaching is great, because we will get your form where it needs to be. But you just got to understand that the limitations are, those are the limitations, it's going to take more time to get it right. As a coach, like, like, you were asking before, you know, you can do this stuff, it's just gonna take a lot longer. There's a lot of trial and error to learn how to do stuff correctly, I tried to I, for the most part, tried to teach myself how to do it correctly in the beginning. And it's just hard. You know, it takes a lot takes a long time, part of what you're paying for with a coach is just, you know, that times daily aspect expertisePhilip Pape:
in that, yeah. So a couple of things you mentioned first, I imagine it's a good learning experience for you as a coach, that whole trial and error back and forth to be like, you know, maybe next time I can give them very precise, like 10 inches, you know, to ruler measure to kind of how you communicate is an interesting thing. The other is that, you know, you reminded me and just for the listener, I've never not had some form of coach along the way like to this day, I'm in a barbell Club, where I can post my video and get form feedback from a very good coach and he Baker who's from the world of starting strength. And I think anybody should do that. Even if it's if it's a budget thing, and you have to do it online, it's a little bit less whatever. It's totally worth it. Or at least getting a refresh. So all right, I know we're running low on time, and we had some technical glitches early. But couple questions left. This is the question I asked every guest. Is there something you wish I had asked you? And what is your answer?Cody Annino:
I think you covered most of your bases in terms of like, we want to talk about like what what starting strength is and that sort of thing.Philip Pape:
It's cool. Yeah. And I think you've covered most of it for folks listening who are interested, where can they learn about you, your specific Jim you and your work and anything you want them to kind of look up related to starting strength.Cody Annino:
So so for me personally, you know, I'm on all the all the social medias, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or x. And our website is Nino strong.com and anything related to starting strength? You can you can also find me on the starting strength website. But yeah, anything related to starting strength, go to starting strength calm. There's forums 1000s of articles, tons of information, tons of videos.Philip Pape:
Cool. Did you do have any articles up there by any chance? I don't have any articles. No. Yeah. No, I was just curious. Alright, so we'll put your we'll put all your handles up there. But definitely your website and needle strong.com If you guys go there, you can find out about both local if you're in Buddhist Connecticut area, which is kind of what would you say it's kind of southern not far from i 91. A littleCody Annino:
to the east. It's it's southeastern Connecticut. Yeah,Philip Pape:
southeastern Connecticut. And if you're not you can get remote coaching from Cody and man, thank you so much for coming on. It was a blast. Yeah,Cody Annino:
no problem. Sorry about the technical issues. It's all good. Hey, thanks. Thanks for having me.Philip Pape:
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