Training methods: No pain, lots of gains

Use RPR to wake up your muscles and have your body working like a well-oiled, injury-free machine

AT 25 YEARS OLD, JL HOLDSWORTH had a promising career as a power lifter that was cut short after he injured his back lifting weights— worse yet, he was left in serious pain and unable to train at all. Determined to achieve a pain-free state and get back under a bar, he spent upwards of $100,000 on various treatments, like muscle-activation therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic. Holdsworth says he would have used a voodoo shaman if he could’ve found one. But the treatments were short-term solutions that never got to the crux of the issue. So he and his colleagues, Chris Korfist and Cal Dietz, both elite strength coaches, created their own method to treat the problem at its root, which they named Reflexive Performance Reset (RPR). Below, we outline all you need to know about this groundbreaking system that’ll empower you to lift as if there were no pain at all.

RPR is a series of “wake-up drills” that make instant and dramatic changes in the way you move by targeting your central nervous system (CNS), the epicenter of your body’s functions. The result is reduced pain and improved performance.

By performing drills that target your CNS, as opposed to just your muscle tissue or joints, you strengthen the connection between your muscles. Simply foam rolling the muscles and then performing a few stretches will leave your body wanting more. This can lead to what Holdsworth calls “compensation patterns.” For example, if you are performing a deadlift and your glutes aren’t properly firing, your lower back will overcompensate, which can lead to a tweak.

Perform the RPR drills (like the one on the right) before your training session, Holdsworth says.


The ability to resist rotation is of the utmost importance in avoiding injury, as torso rotation midlift can lead to injury. With a friend, test your rotational strength by following the steps below (demonstrated by Holdsworth, left), and then use the wake-up drill to improve your rotational strength.

THE TEST Stand in front of a friend, of similar size, who will be the tester. The tester places one hand on the back of the subject’s far shoulder, and the other hand on the front of the opposite shoulder, with both hands at equal level. On the count of three, the tester will try to rotate the subject by slowly pulling with the far hand and pushing with the near one as the subject tries not to let his torso rotate.

WAKE-UP DRILL The tester stands perpendicular to the subject with his hand on the front of the subject’s close shoulder. With a closed fist, the tester repetitively pounds the subject’s back, starting low and working up to just below the traps. The tester will go up one side of the spine and then down the other side, creating a circular motion. He will repeat this three times.

RETEST for better ability to resist.