The Coaches Collaboration Podcast Launch!

The Coaches Collaboration Podcast #1

By The Complete Athlete

with Josh Pearson and Cole Warren

Cole Warren contact

Instagram: @colewarren_shp


Josh Pearson contact

Instagram: @getcomplete


Josh: Your immune system is in your gut, if your gut is inflamed it can get to your brain, it can actually make you depressed. There is a lot of bad things that can happen, not only if you have a bad diet, but if your gut is inflamed…

Cole: There is more information coming out everyday about it. We keep learning more and more about how it truly does affect, I mean, every aspect of your life. Ten years ago, we didn’t have any clue about it.

Salutem Health and Performance (SHP)

An online coaching company specializing in powerlifting.

“Heavy weights will make me fat..?”

Josh: In USAPL where there is weight classes, there’s so many standards, you have to be a certain weight while lifting as heavy as you possibly can.

Cole: Right. So it doesn’t necessarily pay off to just be fat. I think that it got that look just a couple of years ago, but recently, I mean, if you really want to do the best you possibly can, you have to be relatively lean and strong. You have to be able to fill that weight class with as much muscle as possible, and not have a horrible fat percentage.

Josh: Would you say that when you are first starting out, trying to get into the lowest weight class at first is the way to go?

Cole: No. For new lifters, I honestly don’t recommend any weight cutting whatsoever. When we are first starting out, the last thing I am really worried about is your weight. I want you to be in a slight calorie surplus just so that we can get stronger. And then if you do want to do a meet, I don’t even want you looking at the scale. We’re going to weigh in where ever we weigh in, and we’re going to lift the most weight possible. If you get a couple of meets under your belt and we are starting to get pretty competitive, then that’s when we start looking at where your weight lies and then what weight class will be most beneficial for you.

Josh: And if you are a general weight loss athlete, getting stronger is the best way to enhance your metabolism.

Cole: Right. For me, the appeal of powerlifting is just how tangible the gains are. One week I was lifting this for this many reps and now I’m lifting 5 pounds more than that for this many reps. Whereas, I’m not hating on bodybuilding or anything, but it takes a lot longer for you to see that payoff. You could curl 4 times a week for a year just to get one inch on your arms. That’s why powerlifting, the payoff, it’s easier to see and it’s easier to be more motivated because you can see those gains a lot quicker.

Josh: And there is enough technique in there where sometimes having your coach, which it’s always a good idea if you’re starting to have a coach, they can show you just some little things that can make a 20 pound, 50 pound, whatever, gain on whatever lift you’re doing.

Cole: With these strength sports, man, there’s always more weight you can put on the bar. There is always more weight. So there is no real ‘end gain’. You can always get better. Your technique can always be a little bit better in this aspect. And you can always get stronger. It may seem daunting that it’s a never ending pursuit, but I also love that because I want to see how far I can push my body.

Josh: And I mean, bodybuilding is very subjective; you go on stage, you have however many judges that happen to be there for that competition, they look at you and they’re like, ‘hmm, I didn’t really like this.’ Where powerlifting: ‘did you lift it or not?’ according to our rules. Meet the standards and execute, that’s all there is. You’re either stronger than the person you’re lifting against or you’re not. It’s not like, you know, like in a football game there could be a fourth quarter interception that changes the game for one team or another. Whereas powerlifting, it’s kind of more like, they’re stronger than you or they’re not. It’s not like you’re going to put 50 pounds on your squat that day. That’s kind of the thing. You just train, you prepare, and then game day you execute. Where ever you lie, you lie.

And what’s cool is that just like other sports, you can go back and- I mean, you’re very good at this- where you do something, let’s say for the 12, 16, 20 weeks, whatever. And you can always go back and make little tweaks. You’ve done that so many times, that just that aspect alone, if you’re new to powerlifting, you’ve got to ask this guy’s opinion.

Cole: With my clients, what I do is, after we do a meet, and even with clients that don’t do a meet, we’ll do a maxout day; a “mock meet” is what we call it. I’ll email them just a ‘what went well?’, ‘what didn’t go well?’ ‘what should we do different in the future as far as prep-wise?’, ‘how do you think the warm-ups went?’ So, it’s good to get feedback, so I’ll send that to them, they’ll give me their answers, and I’ll also do it myself. Then we will collaborate, say “okay, next time, we need to do this, change it, make it a little bit better.”

Cole and Josh are not only specialty lifting coaches, but also general fitness coaches who design and build a multitude of research-based fitness programs for athletes of all ages.

The Complete Athlete (TCA)

A fitness consulting and educational company that focuses on providing research and practice-based continuing education for trainers and coaches of all kinds.

  • Relevant fitness and nutrition research and study notes provided

  • Videos on the latest research regarding

    • Nutrition

    • Recovery

    • Movements

  • Templates for workout programs and nutrition guides

The Sauna

Josh: The sauna. It’s the new thing people have been studying. People have been doing it forever. Do you use the sauna?

Cole: Personally, I do not. I mean, I don’t really have a reason that I don’t because I know there are some benefits. It’s mostly just because when I’m at the gym, I get my training in and by the time I’m done with my training I want to get the eff out of there. But I’m definitely not opposed to it. Especially with all the new research coming out.

Josh: In the winter I do the sauna, in the summer I don’t because our gym gets hot. Really what we are talking about is, ‘why does the sauna do anything for us?’ It’s just like training. It causes a stress in your body just like lifting a really heavy weight does. It causes the breaking down of your bones, your joints, your muscle, everything. From there, that breaking down of your body, your body rebuilds. The heat does the same thing. There’s blood pressure benefits that can come from it, you can actually get some cardiovascular benefits from it, neurological (which is what Dr. Rhonda Patrick was talking about yesterday, where it can stave off Alzheimer’s in some people). The sauna is a pain because you need to commit 20 minutes at a time, but she was just saying that even just one day, one day can make some benefit. Especially, the buzz word is ‘inflammation’, it can teach your body to deal with that differently because basically you are inflaming your whole body.

Cole: Does that help with specific recovery from lifting? Or is it more just for general health?

Josh: It’s both. So it can help from general lifting because your muscles and joints get inflamed that way. The best example I can use is when I got hurt, it kept me as fit as I could be even though I couldn’t really use one of my legs. She was talking about when she was injured and she couldn’t really go to the gym much, and she was saying that it can help preserve all of your muscle, too. Or at least preserve it longer. After a workout, it’s kind of like doing hot-cold therapy where you jump in ice water or go in the sauna. I think what I like about it the most is when I’m done lifting, I’m so energized, my body vibrates. I did yoga for 7 years, coached it for 4 years, and the best part about yoga is that when you leave a class there’s this ‘zen’ about you. When I leave the sauna after 20 minutes, I get that same feeling. Especially some of the crazies that crank it up to 200 degrees (which is stupid and I hate it). But you’ll get a bunch of dopamines and endorphins. You’ll feel good when you’re done with it. Again, there’s cardiovascular benefits. You and I don’t really do a whole lot of cardio unless we do sets of 10.

At what point does a set of 10, instead of being a set of 10 repetitions, at what point does it become 10 sets of one? How long do you give somebody to do the 10 repetitions?

Cole: One thing I tell my athletes- I actually have a couple athletes coming over from being crossfitters in the past. They really like to pound through their reps. From a powerlifting standpoint, that’s not necessarily a good thing. I teach my athletes to treat every single rep like it’s a single.You want every single rep to look the same. You also want to take a breath at the top of every rep. So, a set of 10 can be a lot of time under the bar. I think is a point of diminishing returns there where it’s like, ‘yeah, you know, this is kind of becoming less of a strength building exercise, and more of a get-through-this-because-it’s-hard.’ So, if I have an athlete who struggles with the higher reps, then I’ll break it down into a couple sets of 5 or whatever so they can get the same amount of volume in. What you will see is their technique breakdown toward the end of the set because they are getting fatigued, they’ve been under the bar for a long time, they can’t get enough air in for bracing.

Josh: I saw somebody doing a set of 10 the other day, and the first 5 repetitions, they do one and take a breath, do one and take a breath… but 6 through 10, they took 25-30 seconds to do one. Do you count that as a set of 10?

Cole: That’s where it gets to that point of diminishing returns. Whereas, that is probably not a weight they should be doing for a set of 10 if they have to take that much time in between.


Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

“...perceived exertion is the single best indicator of the degree of physical strain. The overall perceived exertion rating integrates various information, including the many signals elicited from the peripheral work muscles and joints, from the central cardiovascular and respiratory functions, and from the central nervous system” (Borg, 1982, p. 377).


Cole: It is a very good way for me, as a coach who is not in the gym with my athletes, to give them a guideline for how their weight should be determined. For example, if I give you 3 sets of 6 at an RPE of 6 (you went through all 6 reps), at that 6th rep, you should have 4 more reps left in the tank. The RPE scale is from 1 to 10. So, if you have an RPE of 6, you should have 4 more reps left in the tank. The weight that you picked, if you really, really needed to, you could get 10 reps there because you do your first 6 reps at an RPE of 6 and you potentially could do 4 more reps.

The reason I like RPE is because, for a satellite athlete, I’m not there calling their numbers for them in the gym. With percentage-based programs, it can be difficult when I’m not there and say, after they come in working 10-hour days, feeling drained, haven’t had enough water or food during the day,... not feeling it today- they might really push themselves really, really hard and be grinding out all those reps. Whereas, if it were an RPE-based program, they can adjust for that because they know they might not have it today. So they can adjust the weight on the bar and still achieve that RPE-6.

Josh: For weightlifting, I do a percentage program… For me, a percentage program is nice because on the days that you just don’t want to do it, sometimes it’s the only reason to try again.

Send Us Your Lifts on Instagram

Josh and Cole will review your lifts!


Your lifts should be around 65-70% of your 1RM.

Send a triple set of the lift.


Gym Courtesy

Josh: Here is a rule that any weightlifter or powerlifter can agree upon:

If a bar is loaded and it’s on the floor, you don’t step over it. You don’t walk over it.

  • Don’t step over a lifter’s barbell; it’s rude

  • Don’t crowd a lifter when they are lifting; it’s dangerous for them and for you

  • Don’t walk in front of a lifter as they lift; their technique and mindset can falter

Different Lifts, Different Headspace

Cole: Each lift does require its own headspace and in order for you to accomplish the technique that you need to you need to be in that correct headspace. Especially if you have weight on the bar that can potentially hurt you.

Josh: Anytime we are squatting, we are thinking ‘lower back’ where we can fold in half, it can roll up your neck, it could come out of your low-bar position. Especially on a high-bar squatter, you can break some vertebra.

Dry Needling

“Dry needling is a common treatment technique in orthopedic manual physical therapy” (Dommerholt, 2011).

Cole: They put the needle into the muscle that is hurt, and they put electrodes on the needles and they send an electric pulse through the muscle.

Josh: So it’s acupuncture meets electro stim.

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique is a type of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization.