Module 3: Foundations for the Barbell Course

Lead Instructors:  Brett JonesFabio ZoninJeremy Layport
 Access:  Public   Status:  Active   Lesson:  Part of Course
Open your hips for effortless squats… Stretch your chest and shoulders for confident presses… Grip the bar like a pro and press more… Fine-tune your squats and deadlifts with “the StrongFirst clock.”

Lesson Specs


  1. Watch the Lesson
  2. Take notes on key aspects
  3. Bookmark key points in the Lesson
  4. Ask questions on the Forum
  5. Use Lesson resources to supplement your knowledge

Lesson Chapters

  1. Introduction to the Foundations
  2. Mobility
  3. Grip
  4. Drills
  5. The StrongFirst Clock
  6. Conclusion to the Foundations

Lead Instructors

Brett Jones

Director of Education and StrongFirst Certified Master Instructor

Brett Jones, MS, ATC, CSCS, is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine from High Point University, a Master of Science in Rehabilitative Sciences from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Brett is currently the Director of Education for StrongFirst and presenter and advisory board member for Functional Movement Systems.


Fabio Zonin

StrongFirst Certified Master Instructor

Fabio Zonin is a StrongFirst Certified Master Instructor. He is also the Ground Force Method National Director for Italy, the BPro Physical Functional Training Director for Italy, and the Flexible Steel European Director of Operations. Fabio is a former powerlifter, natural bodybuilder, and owner of fitness centers. He was the first Italian to accomplish the Beast Tamer Challenge. He has been a Master Teacher for FIF (Italian Federation of Fitness) for almost two decades (1994-2012) and the former vice president of AINBB (Italian Association of Natural Bodybuilding).


Jeremy Layport

StrongFirst Certified Master Instructor

Jeremy Layport is a strength and conditioning coach and StrongFirst Certified Master Instructor living in Paso Robles CA. He has been a collegiate strength and conditioning coach for 13+ years, most notably at the University of Colorado (2015-2017) and San Jose State University (2004-2011). Jeremy has worked with a wide variety of people from professional athletes to post-surgical 65-year-old women. Jeremy’s philosophy is that, “Everyone is an athlete and needs similar training, it just depends on what degree and where that specific individual is on the spectrum.”

In his own personal endeavors, Jeremy is a lifelong athlete currently competing in strength sports and learning jujitsu. Jeremy has competed in Olympic style weightlifting (94k, 96k, 105k) since 2005 and raw powerlifting (215lbs) 2014. In 2006, Jeremy became the third person to successfully pass the StrongFirst “Beast Tamer Challenge.”

M.A., Exercise Physiology, 2006
B.S., Exercise Science & Sports Medicine, 2002

Other Certifications:
CSCS with the National Strength & Conditioning Association
USA Weightlifting Club Coach
Gymnastics Strength Training with Gymnastic Bodies
RPR Level 1 & 2


Other Lessons in This Course

Module 1: Intro, Expectations, and Safety

Not the same old yada-yada. Watch this or else.

Module 2: Joint Mobility, Warm-Up, and Breathing

We called it a “warm-up” just because you are used to the term. It is much more than that. We “make your joints bend easier” to take the brakes off your strength.

Module 3: Foundations for the Barbell Course

Open your hips for effortless squats… Stretch your chest and shoulders for confident presses… Grip the bar like a pro and press more… Fine-tune your squats and deadlifts with “the StrongFirst clock.”

Module 4: Back Squat

Done right, the back squat is a builder with no equals. Done wrong, it can wreck you for good.

Our instruction is obsessively precise.

Module 5: Zercher Squat

The ultimate “squat for the people!” Simple technique. No strain on the wrists, shoulders, or elbows. No need for a rack or a spotter. A great carryover to sports and other lifts.

Module 6: Military Press

A classic that ought to be treated right. Others will show you how to press strict and weak—or to put up a lot of weight sloppily. We press strict and strong, the way Soviet weightlifters did in the early 1960s.


Module 7: Sumo Deadlift

The go-to total body strengthener for any athlete. Simple, safe, and as “functional” as an exercise can be.

A minimalist’s ultimate choice.

Module 8: Conventional Deadlift

Russians call it “the classic deadlift.” It is worlds apart from the sumo in leverage and personality.

Your body and your mind will prefer one or the other. Where the sumo is cold and clinical, the “classic” is pure rage.

Module 9: Bench Press

Our bench press is a total body lift.

Designed to lift the most amount of weight safely. To train a maximal number of muscles. And to deliver results faster than any other pressing exercise, barbell or not.

Module 10: Bridge Floor Press

An old school “bench press”—that requires no bench.

Train this great builder of strength and hypertrophy on its own—or use it as a powerful assistance exercise for the bench.

Module 11: Program Design

Russian science meets American ingenuity.

Two highly reliable plans that will keep a beginner or intermediate lifter getting stronger and stronger…