Bi-Monthly-ish Edition of the Kabuki Strength Newsletter!
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Newsletter #54

Some say @therock never went to sleep that night, or ever again. All we know is, he can call the #TransformerBar the Kabuki squat bar any day of the week and we won’t complain. The ten thousand people who googled it were confused, but that’s the world we live in. ❤️

We are honored to have had The Rock purchase not one, but three Transformer Bars for his training as he travels all over the world to film and do cool things. Click here to view The Rock's original post from the image above or here, here, here, and here to view pictures/videos he posted featuring the Transformer Bar being put through its paces! 

And of course, click the red button below to purchase the same epic bar The Rock squats with :)

Shop Transformer Bar
Follow @therock

We're proud to announce the hire of a new in-house illustrator, Alyssa Green, who will work with our coaches and educators to produce original content and illustrations for publication across various platforms including social media, our website, newsletters, and other digital and print mediums! 


(original caption from illustration above)

We had a ton of questions pop up from our last post asking us how the scapula should function in the bench press.

Most lifters create tightness in their setup by retracting the scapula and locking it in place. Even though you feel "tight" by locking the scapula in place you actually lose a significant amount of shoulder stability (watch the last video for more on this).

During a bench press the scapula should start in depression, it should then move into retraction, and finally into slight protraction. Moving through each of these positions is incredibly important for surrounding musculature to do their job without overly relying on accessory stability musculature.

There are many ways to improve scapular function for the bench press. The easiest and most effective way is improve your horizontal rowing technique. Chances are this will require you to greatly reduce the load you are using for most exercises and will require larger ranges of motion.

Follow Kabuki Coaching and Education on IG

Today's guest is none other than Dave Freakin' Lipson @davefreakinlipson! For those who don't know, Dave is a CrossFit HQ Staff Member, coach, athlete, writer, and co-owner of @thundrbro, an up-and-coming training, lifestyle, and supplement company focused on the intersection between hypertrophy training and functional/skill training.

Dave's background is as a strength & conditioning coach for professional MLB and NFL players, celebrities, elite CrossFit athletes (including his wife and 2014 Games Champion @camillelbaz Camille Leblanc-Bazinet) and he is considered one of the top CrossFit coaches in the industry!

On this episode our hosts and Dave discuss candidly topics ranging from CrossFit, it's effect on the growth of other strength sports, specialization, and of course comparisons between CF athletes and powerlifters! Dave also walks us through his training philosophy and approach working with his athletes through Thundrbro.

A fantastic episode with an awesome dude! To end, we'll leave you with this golden nugget from the show:

Dave: "When I was growing up, powerlifters looked like potatoes!"

Watch Episode on YT
Listen on iTunes
Listen on Spotify

Kabuki Strength Lab will be hosting a 2-Day BFR Workshop hosted by The BFR Pros on October 19-20

Day 1 (Saturday) - The BFR Training Accelerate Performance Workshop

The BFR Training Accelerate Performance Workshop is strictly for Fitness Professionals who want to use the power and science behind BFR to benefit themselves and/or their clients.

Professionals welcome to register:

Personal Trainers
Strength Coaches
Body Builders
Sport/Performance Coaches 
Rehab Professionals New and Pre-Certified (PT, OT, AT, DC)
Students (Exercise Science/Rehab)


  • Discuss evidence-based exercise science concepts for building muscle mass and muscle strength.
  • Critically analyze to role of fatigue and its influence in muscle force production hypertrophy and strength.
  • Discuss the importance of muscle protein synthesis within athletic and active populations. 
  • Evaluate the benefits of BFR training & its primary mechanisms. 
  • Identify inclusion and exclusion criteria for determining good BFR candidates.
  • Demonstrate Proper BFR equipment handling and BFR cuff placement.
  • Assess and implement limb occlusions pressure (LOP) for safety and effectiveness.
  • Discuss case studies and design a BFR training program.

Day 2 (Sunday) - The BFR Training Accelerate Recovery/Rehab Workshop

The BFR Training Accelerate Recovery/Rehab workshop is for Rehab Professionals only who want to have a deeper understanding of the power and science behind BFR and its application to the injured community. Rehab Professionals should strongly consider taking both the Accelerate Performance and Accelerate Recovery/Rehab workshops together to have a complete picture of working within the injured and healthy populations.

This 1-day BFR Training Recovery/Rehab workshop provides a BFR Training Rehab Specialist Certification upon successful completion and passing of a written examination at the end of the workshop.

Rehab Professionals welcome to register:

Physical Therapists
Occupational Therapists
Athletic Trainers
Students (Rehab)


  • Discuss importance of muscle protein synthesis within the injured, post-operative, elderly and neurological populations
  • Evaluate the benefits of BFR training and its secondary mechanism as it relates to tissue healing and return to activity
  • Discuss BFR in clinical practice within injured, post-operative, elderly and neurological populations
  • Discuss case studies and design/demonstrate a BFR treatment plan of care
  • Discuss marketing and business strategies and solutions to successfully integrate BFR into practice
Learn More and Register

Big squats and PRs are great and all, but at the end of the day this is what it’s all about. This is a beautiful, handwritten letter sent to Rudy and Chris hat we thought to share with you all. Thank you for the kind words Lisa. #ThereIsAlwaysMore


Dear Rudy and Chris,

I’m reaching the end of The Eagle and the Dragon and was reminded that Rudy didn’t start lifting until 55. I’d known this before, but had forgotten.

I want to thank you for writing this, Chris, and Rudy, I want to thank you for not letting age stop you.

I was never athletic, but dabbed here and there. I began strength training intermittently in my late 30s after completing physical therapy for some chronic issues that I thought would leave me bedridden.

Eventually I became more consistent, and I started powerlifting about three years ago. I turned 50 this year, and I’ve been terrified of what this may mean for my strength, especially considering how late I started.

Rudy, being reminded of your story was exactly the encouragement I needed right now. Thank you for showing me that it can be done.

Chris, thank you for sharing your stories and including Rudy’s.

Sincerely, Lisa

Purchase The Eagle and The Dragon

Our Last Principles of Loaded Movement Course of the Year is Next Weekend in San Francisco! 

The Kabuki Strength team of coaches and educators had a wonderful time a few weeks back at our Principles of Loaded Movement course in Minnesota! 

Coming up next weekend is our last Principles of Loaded Movement course of the year, taking place in San Francisco, California on October 5-6. Day 1 will take place at The Fort Mason Center, while Day 2 will be at San Fransisco Crossfit (Dr. Kelly Starrett's Facility) located nearby.


Kabuki Principles of Loaded Movement is a course designed for Coaches, Clinicians, Athletes, and anyone who wants to improve their strength and resilience to injury. When you attend this course, you will be introduced to our principle-based movement system with practical application to barbell training. You will learn higher level physiology while discovering how to get the most out of your individual leverages.

For Coaches, you will begin to bridge the gap from clinically based movement theory to practically applying the skills and principles every day in the weight room. For Clinicians, you will take a step out of the rehab/treatment world and be exposed to the things most important for improving biomechanics in a performance-based setting. For athletes and strength enthusiasts you will begin to develop an eye for movement and take a deep dive into your individual motor mechanics.

Over the course of 2 days (16 hours), our coaching staff will take you through a 50/50 breakdown of lecture and practical application so you can learn the skills and practice them with immediate feedback from the seminar staff. Day 1 covers our movement principle system with breakout drills in-between lectures. Day 2 is a practical application to barbell training where we will train the squat, bench press, and deadlift to show you how to actually use the movement mechanics you learned on day 1.

Our mission for this course is to provide you with the education and tools necessary to achieve your goals and build our community of individuals who want to make the world a better place through strength!

Day 1:
Fort Mason Center
2 Marina Blvd, Building C
2nd Floor, room C235
San Francisco, CA 94123
Day 2:
San Francisco Crossfit
1162A Gorgas Ave,
San Francisco, CA 94129
Register Now

For those who aren't familiar, all of our educational content is available in an indexed, searchable video library! 

This includes all the free content you see us post on Instagram or YouTube, as well as hundreds of private videos on various topics related to human movement, strength training, technique, cueing, IASTM and soft-tissue modalities, and more! Videos can be saved to a custom playlist, as well as "cast" via AirPlay or Chromecast. 

A subscription to the video library costs $10.99 per month, or $99.99 per year. 

Learn More

The Baby Boomer

Introducing the ultimate self-use IASTM tool: small enough to throw in your gym bag, big enough to do serious work on soft tissue.

The Baby Boomer may be half the size of its big brother the Boomstick, but it easily holds its own as a portable and powerful IASTM [Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization] tool. Coming in at 6lbs and 4oz, the Baby Boomer is milled out of solid steel and zinc plated to a smooth and durable finish. 

It features the same contoured end popularized by the Boomstick and allows for precise soft tissue work either as a self-use tool, or by another person. This precise radius is one of the things that sets the Baby Boomer, Boomstick, and PainPill apart from many other tools on the market, and makes it a favorite of clinicians, body workers, and athletes worldwide.

Like all of our equipment, the Baby Boomer is manufactured in house at Kabuki Strength Lab using American steel.

Purchase Baby Boomer


Free $25 gift certificates for those who complete the #KronkChallange put on by Coach Brandon @bmorg33. Let’s see if we’ve got some athleticism amongst our strong-AF followers!

  1.  600lb Deadlift (315lb scaled)
  2.  Front Handspring from knees -> handspring off someone’s back
  3.  405lb Bench x1 (195lb scaled)
  4.  50” Box Jump (36” scaled)

Film it, post it, tag #KronkChallange, and reply back to this email with your IG handle so we can find it!

Watch Coach Brandon do the #KronkChallange
Purchase Athleticism and Strength

Message from Chris:

Interested in picking up the Audiobook version of The Eagle and the Dragon for free and listening to yours truly read it?

Amazon has a pretty sweet promo for new Audible members where your first month is free, you get your first two audiobooks for free (plus another two Amazon original audiobooks), and I get a referral bonus if you stay an Audible member for at least 2 months (61 days to be exact). You actually will also get another free Audiobook plus 2 more Amazon Originals each month, as long as you are a member. The best part is that after you cancel, you keep all the audiobooks.

Full disclosure: it’s a benefit to me if you sign up through the link below. If any of you have wanted to start listening to audiobooks but haven’t made an Audible account yet, here’s your perfect chance! Thanks for the continued support.

Free Audiobook Copy
Purchase on Amazon
Purchase Signed Copy
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