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The Red Wheelbarrow and Dr Ken

   The Red Wheelbarrow  by William Carlos Williams

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Red Wheel Barell

Dan Geraci is a former strength coach who is now a top personal trainer in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Dan worked under Mike Gittleson, former Director of Strength and Conditioning at the University of Michigan and Kevin Tolbert the Head Strength Coach at Standford University. Visit

I had always heard the name Ken Leistner as a notable figure in the strength community. I finally had the opportunity to meet up with Dr. Ken in a recent visit back to my old home in Long Island.   I was told we were just going to meet for breakfast to “straighten the world out and fix the NY Giants defense”, Dr. Ken had other plans…

Chain workoutDr. Ken gave me his address, but it was pretty obvious which house was his.

Dr. Ken introduced me to the men he was training.Truck

Before I knew it there was a not so strong guy wheeling a barrow worth of plates up and down his driveway and it was Me.

Red Wheel barrel This was followed by a 20 rep set of “deep knee bends” (squats) holding a heavy sandbag, back to the wheelbarrow and… you guessed it back to “deep knee bends”.

While I was gasping for air Dr. Ken got in his truck and started it up.  Thank goodness…  Time to take a ride and go get breakfast.

WRONG – time to push his truck up the driveway while he managed the brakes.

Dr. Ken has the longest driveway in America by the way, but I managed to complete the task without losing consciousness and mercifully it was breakfast time.

Unannounced to me I had just participated in my warm-up and would get to know the beast known as the Pendulum Squat Pro later in the day….

Workout on Pendulum Equipment
After our breakfast meeting, we went back to Dr. Ken’s place where I was introduced to the Pendulum Squat Pro – 20 reps, then rope chins …and then repeat.
Workout on Pendulum Equipment
After this brief but brutal introduction to Dr. Ken Leistner and his training, I leaned on his dumbbell rack to stay upright as we talked for about a half hour.

With my legs wobbling  Dr. Ken had to go about his day… but not until his wife Kathy took a photo of us.  Of course Dr. Ken thought an action shot would be nice.

Back on the Pendulum Squat Pro!!!!
Workout on Pendulum Equipment
This time he really stuck it to me.  I gagged, wiggled, and groaned until ungracefully – 20 repetitions or so later – it was over.

                                All Photos Courtesy of Kathy Leistner

I couldn’t walk right for a good five days. Well worth the visit to Get Strong.


Freedom To Excel

The human body is described as having 6 degrees of freedom for each of its segments. Degrees of freedom refers to the number of ways a rigid body can move in three-dimensional space, up/down, left/right,  in/out and in 3 rotations;...

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