Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


How They Got Started : Matt Davidson
Written By : Scott Bird
The enigmatic Matt Davidson

The enigmatic Matt Davidson.
I love hearing everyones’ fitness backgrounds, it’s always fascinating to hear how someone got started. Here’s how Matt Davidson began his own training journey.

Hi, Scott. You said that you would like to hear about my workout past and my methods, so I’m finally getting back to you about that. I started working out in my early teens at the age of 13 or 14, using my dad’s old Sears Roebuck and Co. vinyl coated weight plates and standard barbell. I didn’t have access to a squat rack, so my leg training was always a little lacking. As far as goals, I wanted to build everything: speed, strength, stamina, power (once I learned that there was a difference between strength and power), and agility. As much as I wanted to build these different things, I mainly followed a basic body-building program. I was able to build my deadlift strength up to around 280 lb.

Unfortunately, I went for a period where I got out of my workouts routine and I lost some of my strength. Even now at the age of 20, I’m still struggling with staying consistent with my workouts. I recently purchased a Yoke, which doubles as a squat rack, so I can build my lower-body strength and power (I desperately need some lower-body strength. Since I’ve just start squatting I can only squat around 135 lbs, and I’m having to adjust to the crushing feeling of having a barbell across my shoulders). My goals are still focused on strength and athletic ability. In my workouts now, I utilize a lot of compound and complex training, while focusing on movement patterns. For example, for my squats, I’ll do a heavy 5-rep barbell squat, immediately doing five reps of an explosive leg movement such as speed skaters or squat jump, and then an isometric one-leg split squat, while holding a 25 lb. kettlebell. My thinking for this approach is along the lines of the theory behind compound training, that the heavy set will activate the muscle fibers, the lighter-weight, explosive movement will utilize the activated muscle, and then the isometric move (my own addition) will utilize the slow-twitch muscle fibers as the fast-twitch fibers tire out and the slow-twitch fibers begin to kick in. With my squats, I’ll also incorporate an overhead pressing complex, and a pull-up complex. I’m trying to incorporate as many exercise tools and methods as possible: barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, weight-sleds, medicine balls, a yoke, and resistance bands to substitute weighted cables. I also have my eye on several pieces of exercise equipment to also incorporate into my training so I can keep my workouts (and my body) versatile.

Thanks for taking an interest in my workouts and training methods. I hope you found this interesting, and that it may help someone else along and give them some ideas.
Keep lifting, Matt.

Cheers Matt, appreciated.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



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Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

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Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via X (Formerly Twitter), Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.