ATG stands for Athletics Truth Group and was developed by Ben Patrick (famously known as “Knees Over Toes Guy”). ATG training focuses on building strength and conditioning while simultaneously bulletproofing the body from injury! It is also a training method that develops incredible athletic ability.
Most traditional strength and conditioning programs do not address structural imbalances and mobility issues of the body. Neglecting these areas is why most people, despite hard efforts, end up broken, injured, and frustrated with their training results.
1) Nutrition is the foundation for everything else! Eat whole foods with high protein sources being the focus. Meats, eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are ideal. Eliminate processed foods and unnatural sugar as much as possible. If man made it, don’t eat it. You cannot outwork a crappy diet! Nutrition is a must for long-term results and health.
2) Do the sled at every workout! All workouts should include the number one exercise for longevity- the sled. Pushing and pulling the sled provides incredible bang for your buck. Sled training bulletproofs the feet, ankles, and knees while simultaneously building strength and conditioning. Proper sled technique is to drive through the big toe on each step. You can gradually increase the intensity with speed or load. You will know when you are doing it right because your quads will be on fire!!!!
3) Perfect the ATG slant board squat and the ATG Split Squat. These two movements are incredible for bulletproofing the knees. We have an epidemic of knee issues in our country, and one of the main reasons is that most people do not train their knees through a full range of motion. The ATG split squat is also key for improving flexibility in the hip flexors. Hip flexors are chronically tight on most people. Tight hip flexors lead to poor posture, back pain, and knee pain. Master the ATG slant board squat and split squat, and you will be on the path to a bulletproof lower body!
4) Train with control and a full range of motion. Strengthening and lengthening your joints and muscles is key for longevity. A joint that is not trained through full ranges of motion will become stiffer and weaker over time. Training through full ranges of motion is key for bulletproofing joints and building mobility with strength.
5) Form is king! Always focus on perfect form with your training. Too many people let their egos get in the way and try to do too much weight or go too fast. It is important to push yourself but never at the expense of form. Doing so will only lead to injury and poor results. Always chase perfect reps, full ranges of motion, controlled tempo, and appropriate weights.
6) Train your hamstrings through knee flexion and hip extension. The hamstrings are typically weak on most people and this can lead to knee injuries and poor performance. It is important to train the hamstrings through knee flexion (hamstring curls, Nordic curls) and hip extension (Romanian deadlifts, good mornings, and back extensions). Strengthening the hamstrings in both areas is key for bulletproof knees.
7) Train your rotator cuff and upper back. Most people neglect their rotator cuff muscles and upper back muscles. This leads to shoulder injuries and terrible posture. The modern life of sitting also makes matters worse. To correct your posture and bulletproof your shoulders, rotator cuff and upper back exercises are a must.
8) Perfect bodyweight pushing and pulling movements. Most people are very weak with basic bodyweight movements like pushups, dips, ring rows, and chin ups. Building these areas will make your upper body strong and bulletproof. Getting good at these movements also requires a healthy body composition. The less body fat a person has the better he will be able to do these movements. Get good at these movements, and you will be on your way to a high level of fitness.
9) Train your core. Core muscles and specifically the lower abs, hip flexors, obliques, and low back muscles are a major weakness for most people. Weakness in these areas leads to injury and poor performance. Having a strong core is essential for a bulletproof body.
10) Train your feet and ankles. Most people never think about training their feet and ankles. Modern life and most shoes make our feet and ankles weak and stiff. Sled training is one of the best ways to train your feet and ankles. Specific work to stretch and strengthen the calves and tibialis muscles are also important and often neglected. All movement starts from the ground up, and if your feet and ankles are weak and stiff, it will lead to more issues up the body.
11) Train your grip and elbows. The elbow is a common area of injury and pain. Grip strength is also a major predictor of overall longevity. The stronger a person’s grip, the better overall strength a person can develop. Train your grip and elbow joint through flexion (bicep curls) and extension exercises (tricep extensions). Constantly incorporate small variations to these movements to keep your elbows and grip strong and healthy.
12) Mobilize or stretch chronically tight issues. Most people have the same chronically stiff or tight areas including hip flexors, glutes, quadratus lumborum (QL), hamstrings, calves, pecs, lats, and thoracic spine. Training through full ranges of motion and selecting the right exercises will help, but additional stretching might be needed to fix these areas.
13) Always prioritize longevity as the main focus of training. The foundation for all training is joint strength, structural balance, mobility, and muscle strength. Workouts can either improve or take away from these areas. The goal is to develop a strong and bulletproof body not to just get sweaty or lift more weight. Focus on longevity above all else!
If you have read this far, you have gained some incredible knowledge! You have been handed the information to build an incredibly strong and bulletproof body!
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