Interview with Charles Staley About Strength and Fitness

charles staley

If you’re not familiar with Charles Staley, let me introduce you to a world-renown strength and conditioning coach, a well-accomplished powerlifter, and a prolific fitness writer.

Charles is a tall, somewhat lanky, but quite muscular, competitive powerlifter who can squat roughly twice his body weight and deadlift over 2.5 times his weight. He also set a new PR last year in chin-ups, scoring 17 reps. Oh, and did I mention that he’s in his late fifties and in the best shape of his life? I tip my hat to you, sir. You are walking the talk and leading from the front.

I first started following Charles work around 2004 when I read one of his articles about Escalating Density Training. Charles has since updated that article here: EDT Revisited. He’s a regular contributor to big name sites like Breaking Muscle, T-Nation, and

Just the other day, I ran across one of his articles, Making Continued Progress in Your 40s, 50s, and Beyond, which I loved because not only do I get a chance to learn from someone who has gone before me, and is a little older and wiser than I, but it also helps me prepare for things when I’m in my 40s and 50s, too.

So, after reading that, it struck me that, “I’ve known about this guy for awhile and have learned a lot from him. I should reach out to him for an interview.” One quick email was all it took, and he happily agreed. And in no time, we were talking training for nearly 90 minutes – and probably would have gone longer had I prepared some more questions.

I’ve always admired Charles “stick to the basics” approach to strength training. And the fact that he’s in his late fifties and still healthy, fit, injury-free, and very strong is a good indicator that his methods are sound.

Check out this recent video of Charles deadlifting 495 pounds. That’s 2.5 times his bodyweight, which is a very impressive pull no matter who you are.

30 Years, 30 Fitness Lessons (Get This Stuff Right)

fitness lessons

I turned 30 this year.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but about ten years ago, I started to realize how little I actually know. It’s called “growing up,” I guess.

And while the sheer magnitude of what I still don’t know is beyond human comprehension, with roughly twenty years of training under my belt and now ten years as a fitness professional, I have picked up some lessons about fitness and life, along the way – lessons that I’d like to share with you today.

So, here are 30 lessons I’ve learned about fitness over my lifetime. Perhaps you’ve learned some of them yourself. Whether these provide you with new ideas or good reminders, I hope that they’re helpful for you.

There’s something in here for everyone, and I hope that you get at least one or two that you can latch onto.

5 Beginner-Level Bridge Exercise Progressions

How to Work Up to the Full Bridge Exercise Gradually and Safely (Even if You’re Not a Flexible Yoga Gal)

Beginner Level Bridge Exercise Progressions - Male in Yoga Class

The bridge exercise is useful for building strength and flexibility of the back and spine, among many other things. Unfortunately, most people have a really hard time getting into the proper bridge position (i.e. the full bridge, AKA “wheel pose”), let alone being able to relax once they get there. This tutorial will teach you how to do it, even if you’re as stiff as a board.

5 Things You Can’t Out-Train No Matter How Hard You Try

posted in: Miscellaneous, Uncategorized | 3

mma fighter - 5 things you can't out-train

Most people know that you can’t out-train a bad diet. 

If you don’t eat well, you won’t look, feel, or perform well either. Garbage in, garbage out. But a poor diet is NOT the only thing you can’t out-train.

This article will cover some of the things that you can’t compensate for with exercise or training.

How Strategic, Positive Self-Talk Can Help You Lose Weight

group fitness

Today, I’m going to simplify a powerful mental training strategy that will help you accomplish any difficult goal in life, such as losing weight, running your first marathon, or starting a business.

The example I’ll be using to explain the exact procedure is an event that happens to most people every day.

So, let’s start with a status update that I ran across on Facebook, which was posted by a man who is having trouble losing weight:

Why I have trouble losing weight:

(On opening fridge to select a snack)

Smart part of brain: Man, I really should watch my diet better. I bet if I did, I could lose weight. How many calories are in yogurt, anyway?

Appetite: Hey, there’s icing in the fridge – I wonder what Pringles dipped in icing would taste like.

Smart brain: Shut UP!

(The smart brain did win this round.)

I don’t know the person who posted this, but I had a chuckle when I read it, and I couldn’t help but notice that they shared a universal truth about succeeding in weight loss (or overcoming any difficult challenge), perhaps without realizing it.

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