If there was a support group for exercisers who had trouble sticking to a program, I would be group president. There’s just too many things I want to work on… improve my broad jump, improve my handstand walking, improve my clean technique, improve my row time…etc., etc.

And now, at this facility I’m currently working at (HERE), it’s been extremely challenging. There are so many fun tools and toys to “play” with, it’s hard to stick to one game-plan. There’s Olympic lifting, tons of bodyweight tools, the rig, rowers, SkiErgs, Airdynes, the list goes on and on.


I’ve been in this industry long enough to know that if you stick with a program, could things happen. I’ve seen it countless times with my training and with my clients as well. When I’m able to stay true to a program, positive results happen. For the past 6 weeks, I said that I was going to focus primarily on strength. I would throw in 1-2 conditioning sessions each week, but the primary focus was to get a bit stronger. More specifically, I wanted to finally pull a 400# deadlift. I realize that might not be all that impressive of a number to many. I know a number of fellow fitness professionals who use my PR as a warm-up. Yes, I’m jealous, but it is what it is. I’ve always had solid relative strength but my absolute strength has been lacking. And, I didn’t realize it, but I’ve been battling with the ‘400 demon’ for years. I even wrote about it over 3 years agoREAD HERE.

Clearly, it’s been my nemesis for way too long. Looking back, I realized that lots of things “got in the way” (i.e. excuses)…primarily the long-lasting hip issue that culminated in surgery about one year ago. After rehab, and the big move to the Middle East, I decided I was going to take on the 400# deadlift again. I set up a 6-week program and got to work. Again, life got in the way and during week #5, I traveled all week; to Amsterdam and then to the states for 2 days to be with my family for my uncle’s tragedy. I got back 2 weeks ago, finished up my 6-week routine and tested this past Sunday. I did it. Finally. A roughly 20# increase in 6 weeks. I’ll take that anytime. What was the reason? Sticking with a plan. Simple…not easy. With my week #5 involving a lot of traveling, I still got my workouts in as best as I could…mostly bodyweight routines, but still finding a way and not letting excuses get in the way. Here’s a clip of the pull…definitely not all that pretty, but new PR’s are rarely pretty. On to the next goal.



About Doug Balzarini
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is the owner of DB Strength, which provides fitness training, education, and resources. He is also the strength and conditioning coach for Alliance MMA where he works with UFC Champion Dominick Cruz, Bellator Champion Michael Chandler, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, Travis Browne, Ross Pearson, Alexander Gustafsson, and more. Prior to starting his own business, Doug worked at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE).  

He has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU and has obtained multiple certifications including ACE, NSCA-CSCS, MMA-CC, TFW Level 1, TRX instructor training, RIP training, CrossFit Level-1 Training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, and FMS training. He has produced his 2 DVD projects on strength training for combat athletes, appeared in many fitness videos and articles, and was a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” FOX TV show in 2012.

For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.