Training Remotely – Garage Strength

Training Remotely


That is a voice message I will never forget. I remember walking out of the elevator in Charlottesville, Virginia. I was walking toward Lucas Warning and Rachel Fatherly and Legend Hayes when I opened the message. I could repeat it 1,000 times. The South African accent, the uptick at the end of baby, the sound of joy and happiness. He did it. He did what? He broke the 70-foot barrier and hit the Olympic standard during the qualification period. Who is he? He is Orazio Cremona. A shot-putter that lives on the complete opposite side of the world from me, someone whom I have never met and yet happened to add nearly a meter to his personal best within a year. 

Orazio emailed Garage Strength in June of 2018. He had been following our programs and finally reached out in hopes of finding something that would spark his career. We had a few emails go back and forth, had a long discussion regarding my expectations and then he decided to pull the trigger. He bought numerous months worth of programming and we began to attack the goals. He sent me numerous emails with goals laid out, his best lifts, his best competitions, the competitions that matter in his immediate future and the goals for the 2019 World Champs and the 2020 Olympics. It was time to get to work. I took the emails, started to chart everything and analyzed how we needed to attack each step along the journey. 

Fast forward to August of 2019, Orazio has a massive PR in the shot put and is closer and closer to accomplishing his goals. Alex Rose, 2016 Olympian, is another online client who has had tremendous success training virtually. Alex has had so much success that he recently hit 66.31 in the discus and qualified himself for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, representing Samoa. Couple these Olympians with normal high school kids. Brylie Zeissneiss and Joe Kingery are two perfect examples. High School throwers who both went on to add dozens of feet to their PR, win a state title and now both are headed to Division 1 programs. On top of these results, at Garage Strength, we have developed many senior lifters to the US National Championships and Masters lifters such as Matt Scott and Earl Kunkel to either hit American records or come close to hitting those records in their respective weight class. 

Training remotely is no easy task. There must be clear cut expectations, consistent lines of communication must be established, goals must be defined and methods of accountability must also be laid out prior to initiating a program.

Click to watch Orazio Cremona throw 21.51m!


  • Change your mindset.

    It’s important to recognize that your coach is not there next to you. Everyone believes that if they just get a program in their hand, they will automatically become stronger. This program will single-handedly solve all of life's problems...well, if it’s from Garage Strength, it will, BUT you still need to change your mindset. The mindset must change from meathead to technical guru. Ask questions, understand technical goals, understand positions, know where the body needs to be for optimal movement. 

    As the training days progress, it’s very important to know that you will be sore and fatigued. Acknowledge that that is normal and that no matter what, technique rules! By changing your mindset, you can establish your own personal cues for technical precision and communicate those cues with your coach. If the coach feels they are effective, they can offer positive feedback to enable even better cues and to optimize the remote training situation. 

  • Understand your body and feeling.

  • Know how your body responds to volume, know how your body handles the intensity, know how your body responds to variations, know the feelings of different movements and how they feel different from competitive lifts. When the athlete truly understands their body and it’s response, they can make more educated decisions based on their training and continue to improve their technical patterns. 

    Often times in the throwing or weightlifting world, athletes like to push as hard as possible 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The sooner these strength athletes come in tune with their adaptations and feelings, the quicker and stronger imprint occurs with variations and drills. Recognize how much sleep you are getting, know the macros you are consuming and constantly be aware of general well being!

  • Use voice messaging apps.

  • This one is too easy. If you don’t have WhatsApp or Voxer, download them right now. With many of my athletes, I will use text messaging to communicate and send videos but nothing beats voice messaging. Within WhatsApp, there is an excellent voice recorder that enables athletes and coaches to verbally communicate almost like a full-blown conversation. While talking about voice messaging, the app Voxer tends to be my favorite. This app is a bit faster and clearer than WhatsApp and is very easy to use with group messaging as well. I love using Voxer to explain movements and the thought process behind training on a daily basis!

    Check out Earl Kunkel break the Master's snatch American Record!


  • Use technical analysis. 

    This one is mainly up to the coach. With my remote athletes, I tend to use a program that helps me save the video and then forward the video as an analysis to the individual. If they allow me to, I will post the video on @ThrowsUniversity or @WeightliftingUniversity to aid in technical comprehension of others as well. I think the technical analysis is one of the best ways to quickly understand a movement pattern, to analyze their mobility or stiffness and to further understand training goals and technical goals on a day to day basis. With some athletes, I am in daily contact and can send technical analysis and technical goals in real-time to help them make consistent progress through the program! 

    1. Understand exercise placement and execution of movement.

    Some athletes that train remotely enjoy doing their form of a training program. They might think it’s ok to just alter the exercise placement or even the method of proper completion. The coach and athlete must be on the same page with exercises and how or why they are being performed. It’s important to value this because some movements might be programmed for potentiation of other exercises. 

    Movement execution is just as important. Many individuals might send me a video of a variation and it’s nowhere near the way I want the movement accomplished. This is entirely the fault of my own, not having a well laid out movement library can be an issue with the coach and must be fixed for best results. As proper execution improves, so should technique and mobility which will then lead to tremendous results in sports performance!

  • Hold yourself accountable to track weights and communicate with the coach. 

  • One of the quickest downfalls I experience in remote training is a lack of personal accountability with an athlete. Athlete’s need to value their own personal tracking of weights and feelings. When they track the weights, they are recording daily data feedback. This is information that can be used to optimize a peak and also lead to improved/enhanced programming! As the weights are tracked, the coach can check the file and plan the upcoming program for best long term success. Track weights, communicate with the coach and continue to make progress in all aspects of training!

    Remote training isn’t entirely for everyone. However, we have seen tremendous success with remote athletes that matches or exceeds the success of our on-site clients. Accountability is key and understanding the overarching goals are paramount for success. Communication must be on point to ensure the relationship between athlete and coach is sustainable and progressive. That is why we ensure regular communication with all of our custom programming clients. We are so confident that you will hit PR's on our custom programs, if you don't exceed your personal best marks in six months, we will give you money back! 

    Strength is simple at Garage Strength. Lack of accountability is the enemy and creating a clear plan is the key to your strength and fitness gains. It can be difficult to stay motivated on the path to success. Athletes like you will learn more than lifting weights with our team. Accountability, planning, and hard work are an integral part of the plans we develop. Pick up a custom program while the GOLD level is still available

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