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Quick Q&A with Joe D.

Q: Hi there,

I currently suffer from Patella tendinitis which stops me from heavy deadlifting and squating. Have you had anyone with Patella tendinitis at your gym before? If so what can I do to speed-up recovery and get it sorted. The British health care is pretty poor and just shrug me off with taking 3 Ibuprofen a day. I stretch in the morning and evening as well as putting ice on my knee’s but it’s not got any better. As it’s quite common I thought there’d be alot of it in the NFL.

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers Loz

A: Loz,

You are correct, patella tendonitis is probably the most common “injury” you will find with NFL athletes. Dealing with this issue basically becomes a way of life for these guys. Of all the exercises and treatments we’ve experimented with for patella tendonitis, I gotta say that TKE’s are hands down the best exercise for alleviating pain. It still amazes me that TKE’s (Terminal Knee Extensions) aren’t more of a “mainstream” exercise in the rehab setting, or with athletes in general! This closed-chain exercise almost magically reduces knee pain during squatting and deadlifting when you perform it during your warm-up. Every single one of our NFL guys performs 3 sets of 15-20 TKE’s before every single workout…you should start doing the same!

Below I have provided you with an old video of Buddy Morris explaining the TKE to Dave Tate and Jim Wendler. At 4:45 into the video, you will also see a more advanced version of the exercise…

Continue to stretch before and after training…and ice your knees after physical activity, regardless if they’re sore or not!

Joe D.


Q: Joe,

Congrats on being one of the top 10 gyms in the country. One question though, I’ve looked at that list and it seems that most on that list have a connection to Perform Better, Ryan Lee or both. I’m quite sure your gym is awesome from what I’ve seen in pictures and video, but it’s awfully coincidental that these gym and gym owners are connected in one way or another.

Joe (from the West Coast)

A: Thanks Joe. Although, I gotta tell you, the reason why we were so proud of our Men’s Health “Top 10” status was because we have absolutely no connection to Men’s Health Magazine, or their advisory board. I also have no connection to Perform Better, besides buying a couple plyo boxes from them about 6 years ago…and I’ve never met or spoken to Ryan Lee in my life (although I know who he is). So I’m not quite sure what “connection” you’re referring to or what you’re trying to say???



Q: Joe,

When incorporating 5/3/1 into your program, do you have a deload every 4th week? How often do you rotate exercises when doing this?



A: John,

Yes, I recommend deloading every 4th week if you’re going to incorporate Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 with our template. I suggest rotating accessory lifts every 4 weeks (after the deload), but stick with the main lift for at least three or four 4-week cycles of 5/3/1.



Q: Joe, I just wanted to thank you for FINALLY providing us females with Defranco workout wear! I’ve been waiting for you to show us ladies sum love lol. I’ll be promoting you on the west coast 🙂 Thanks for providing your readers with the truth about training.


A: Thanks for the support Megan. And don’t worry; I won’t be ignoring the ladies anymore! Trust me, I know how you chicks can get when us guys don’t pay enough attention to you…I hear it everyday from the girl below Smile




Q: Coach D – I’m a washed up meathead I guess, looking to gain muscle, lose some fat and just get back to feeling healthy and athletic even though i dont participate in competitive sports anymore. My main problem is I workout in a gym that you and your camp would dispise – no prowlers, sleds, chains, dumbells only go up to 90 and britney spears plays on a loop all day. As much as I would love to train in a gym like yours my work schedule along with the fact that i live in PA doesn’t make this possible. My question to you is do you have any specific advice or even just a general template that you guys recommend to poor bastards in my situation?? I know you specialize in athletic performance but I’m sure there are thousands of washed up meatheads out there that would die to hear from you regarding this topic. Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this coach.


A: Jordan,

First of all, you are definitely NOT alone with your “dilema”. Saying that you’re sure there are “thousands of washed-up meatheads” in the same situation as you is actually a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT! During the course of this past year, I have received more questions similar to yours than any other topic. Basically, what I’ve realized is that there are a hell of a lot of “washed-up meatheads” out there that want to be strong and athletic, even though they may not be a competitive athlete anymore. The problem for most “washed-up meatheads” is that they train at “regular” gyms that aren’t equiped with all the “bells and whistles” that we have at my facility; and because of work and family obligations, many guys don’t have all day/everyday to train. Well, I have good news and bad news for all you frustrated “washed-up meatheads”…

The bad news is that I’m not giving you a workout or template right now…sorry.

The good news is that the reason I’m not going to slap together some quick template for this Q&A is because for the past 6 months, we’ve been creating and testing an extremely simple, practical and EFFECTIVE system of training for people just like YOU! The masses have spoken and we have listened! Basically, I think we’ve created a system of training that will do for washed-up meatheads what Westside for Skinny Bastards did for athletes! I know that’s a bold statement, but trust me, the dudes that have been on this program have transformed their physiques. Without giving away too much, this system entails training only 3 days a week, it builds muscle while melting fat, and the main template does NOT require ANY “special” equipment! As long as you have access to the “basics” at your gym, you can do this program!

OK, so there you have it. I have “dangled the carrott stick” in front of you. I didn’t do this to tease you or piss you off…I gave you this little “teaser” to let you know that there is help on the way…and it’s coming SOON! I finally feel comfortable talking about this project because we are now only 30-60 days away from having a completed program.

Anyone looking to gain muscle, lose fat and feel like an athlete again (without living in the gym) is going to love our “Built like a Badass” program!



Stay tuned!

Joe D.


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