Archive for News

New One Rep Max App

FSL has finally released our mobile one rep max calculator!

The app is only available on Android devices, and you can find it here: Functional Strength Lab’s Mobile One Rep Max Calculator.

We still offer our web-based max calculators for:

(Tip: I’ve actually broken these lifts out into separate calculators, but in actuality the formulas are the same. They are based on well known one rep formulas that can be researched more in depth here.)

Don’t forget to contact us if you have any questions/suggestions:

Fitness Health and Strength Industry Predictions

Brian Dick

After performing market research for a number of product development projects in the fitness, health, and strength industries, I’ve noticed a number of future trends and opportunities existing within all three areas. I have listed my predictions below in bold. I’d also love for visitors to post their own forecasts in the comment section below for all to discuss and debate.

My Fitness Health and Strength Industry Predictions:

        • A massive boom in “quantified-self” products, and their connection to personal insurance coverage. Obviously devices like the Nike Fuel Band, Jawbone UP, Fitbit, and the iMapMyRUN+ app have been out a number of years now. Also, we are seeing the creation of competing wearable products, such as the Amiigo and the MisFit (both due out soon.) While it doesn’t take a wild imagination to predict that these products will continue to grow in popularity, I believe the biggest upcoming transition will be the voluntary release of this data to health insurers. With the advent of the state-run insurance exchanges, due to go-live this upcoming year (2014), I believe one’s personal relationship with their insurer will grow in importance. People who once had their insurance selected and subsidized by their employer will now have a much more intimate knowledge of their health insurance coverage through self-purchase. They will be much more attune to which variables generate the greatest cost increases or savings in their premiums. Therefore, the ability to track a healthy lifestyle and present this data to insurers, will hopefully help the individual to offset a portion of their health insurance premiums. Individuals will pay less for their coverage, and the insurers will have a more accurate indicator of their customer’s overall health. Presumably this collection and sharing of data will be a win-win for both parties.
        • Strength trainers’ focus shifting towards injury-prevention vs performance improvement. Along with this prediction I feel there will be a general proliferation of all fitness and strength certification options available. These predictions I feel will take far longer than the other predictions to manifest themselves (7+ years.) This transition will require the retirement of long-standing strength coaches and the arrival of a fresh class of advisers. Slowly but surely, I feel that collegiate and professional strength advisers will recognize that their training has less of an impact on athlete’s performance, and instead more solely helps in preventing injuries. (This will likely draw a lot of controversy, but if this were not the case, would not the strongest athletes almost always be the best? How often is this the case?) When we look at standard weight lifting movements versus the movement requirements of a sport, we see only a very small overlap of actual sport’s related activity/movement. There are bits and pieces of sports-specific movements intertwined in a given lifting motion, but for the most part, developing true sport-specific strength requires the habitual training of that particular motion. Let’s take an offensive lineman blocking as an example. While strong legs and a strong punch are critical in this position, which lift(s) precisely mimic this movement? Squats help to develop leg strength but ignore the punch that is required simultaneously – not to mention no offensive lineman blocks the defender upwards, but rather horizontally (or at a 45 degree angle at most.) A clean and jerk comes closer to addressing the leg and punching motion, but they occur in a  fragmented motion differing from the proper blocking technique — and again the lifting motion is occurring in an upward motion rather than at a proper blocking angle. I am not dismissing the importance of these lifts, but instead see their value in preventing injury rather than increasing sports performance. A strength coach will now focus on correcting improper basic bio-mechanical movements and work on developing the strength to protect joints and ligaments. The coach will only look at the standard weight lifting techniques as a way to diagnose an athlete’s compensatory movements and asymmetries of their overall neuro-muscular system. They will put less importance on 1 rep maxes, and gym performances, and will instead focus on developing sport’s specific programs taking place in the actual sports environment. Because of this added need for specialization, I feel there will be a proliferation of strength and fitness certifications offered. Specialization will occur through a given sport, rather than through their present more generalized focus. For example, there will be a track-and-field strength specialization, a football specialization, MMA specialization, etc versus a certified personal trainer or strength trainer certification.
        • Tremendous growth in the hearing service and device market. Do me a favor — count the number of people you see today (under 35 – and including yourself) that have either black or white cords hanging from their ears. The number will probably surprise you! At the gym, airport, grocery, library, etc. — everyone is now taking their music and podcasts with them everywhere they go. Now I am certainly no hearing expert, but I’d imagine high-volume, long-term, in-ear audio is detrimental to one’s ear drums over time. This upcoming generation will be the first to grow up with this form of extensive listening occurring for the entirety of their life. As such, I envision a massive incline in hearing repair surgery, and the amount of hearing-technology being developed. Surprisingly, of all of my predictions this is the one I’m most bullish on!
        • A transition to fitness and strength programs designed for the older and/or less athletic. Let’s take a quick look at the recent introduction of the popular in-home workout programs: Insanity, P90X, Crossfit, and UFC Fit, etc. All options are great workouts. They effectively engage the user in high intensity interval training (HIIT), and they adhere to muscle confusion protocols — both of which have been shown to generate phenomenal fitness results. However, the issue that I see in this space is the extension of these products to an entirely under-qualified pool of workout candidates. These  phenomenal workouts quickly become injury-inducing workouts when they are started by a cohort of out-of-shape, older, or under-informed individuals. Physical therapists and trainers are seeing an influx of patients arriving to mend the injuries they incurred undertaking these overly vigorous workout routines. Because of this, I see a huge opportunity for products designed to address this slightly less informed, older, and/or less physically fit demographic. Each new product being  released focuses on being more “insane” or intense than the previous offering. My business mind immediately sees this one-up-manship as a market opening opportunity at the lower end of the fitness spectrum. There is a massive market waiting for a toned-down,  in-home workout, designed to develop a fitness foundation and to build injury-prevention skills. These new customers will aspire to engage in the more aggressive workout programs eventually, but are simply not presently ready to take them on safely. We will see a consistent release of this type of product in the near future.
        • A growing importance surrounding gut health and gut flora awareness. The growing popularity of probiotics (allowing for self-experimentation) and the increased formal study of the gut (and it’s nerve system, flora, and hormonal importance) will undoubtedly increase our growing concern and understanding of our gut health. Many interesting gut health video articles can be found at that help to illustrate the increased focus on gut research. We are likely to see a massive surge in gut-related health products in the near future.
        • A growing awareness of brain health, nootropics, and mind-body connectivity – resulting in massive increases in brain/mind-related products and supplements. I feel that the with the increased awareness of autism, the growing familiarity with Alzheimer’s, and the improvement of brain monitoring technology, people will become more aware and concerned with their brain health. Individuals will seek out and consume research studies and products surrounding brain health and mental improvement. We are a long way away from fully understanding mental responses to many stimuli and in truly understanding the blood brain barrier dilemma; but, I feel with the increased information that we do have, individuals will be more experimental with their brain health development than ever before. This behavior will be encouraged by companies releasing ever-more-frequent products devoted to brain health and mental improvement. (Present examples include:Alpha Brain, Zoned, NeuroIQ, Sulbutiamine Nootropic Capsules, Elebra,Phenibut, etc.) Along with this trend, I feel that a greater importance will also be put on the mind-body connection. More studies will be conducted to show the importance of the positive hormonal responses of exercise, and their connection to mental health. The scrawny, unhealthy nerd will be a thing of the past; and, the fit, toned nerd will be the bookworm of the future.

Please feel free to debate these predictions and/or provide your own predictions below!



The Big Three One Rep Max Calculator

Brian Dick

Functional Strength Lab is proud to roll out their Big Three One Rep Max Calculator! Simply input your body weight, and the weights you perform for reps for each of the Big 3 lifts: bench, squat, and deadlift. Functional Strength Lab‘s Calculator will do the rest!

For the permanent version of the calculator you can visit here: Calculator Home

Big 3 Lifts Calculator – Fill in the shaded areas, or see below the calculator for more instructions!

Above you will find the most comprehensive Big 3 Lifts Calculator on the internet. Input your body weight and the typical weights you perform for reps (under ten) for the Big 3 lifts – Bench, Squat, and Dead Lifts.

Once you complete these inputs, the calculator will do the rest. See where you stack up against others in your weight class!

If you prefer a calculator that simply performs calculations on one of the three big three you may like to visit:, or for the same calculators, but with a more thorough description for beginners.

While having average, or above average numbers in these lifts may represent a “strong” individual in some circles, please note that we at Functional Strength Lab do not equate these numbers directly to functional strength. However, the bench, the squat, and dead lifts do in fact require a tremendous amount of power and explosion, that are valuable in many sports. For this same reason, it is also extremely important to know it is not essential and is oftentimes detrimental to actually push yourself to your 1RM. This is one of the added benefits of this calculator. You only need to know what weights you typically perform for reps, and through the research of seven different strength professionals you can estimate your 1RM.

Pull Up Lab Pitches at Run Down Sun Down

Brian Dick

Functional Strength Lab is proud to announce that they will be pitching their new product (sold through to the Columbus entrepreneurship community on 5/31/2013 — for the 1st ever Sun Down Run Down event.)

In conjunction with the typical Wake Up Start Up events, the Columbus entrepreneurship community is now running a program called Sun Down Run Down, in order to generate a greater number of events for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to investors, thought leaders, and fellow entrepreneurs in Columbus.

Functional Strength Lab and their sister site Pull Up Lab are both proud to pitching their new product offerings – pull up grip attachments!

The event will include pitches by other startups including: Columbus Furniture Revival, Contractor Tools Online,

Functional Strength Lab Logo

Functional Strength Lab


Pull Up Lab

Pull Up Lab


Functional Strength Lab’s Profile on Quora

New Outlet for Functional Strength Knowledge has recently set up a profile on an interesting and fun, crowd-fueled Q & A forum called Quora. You can find Functional Strength Lab’s profile on Quora listed below:

View FSL’s Profile on Quora

I have linked my profile to this post; but, I am also going to continue re-posting all of my relevant functional strength training answers from Quora to this blog — so that I don’t have to retype all of this interesting content. I encourage everyone to try out this site, because there are questions and answers out there for everyone and every topic!

Functional Strength Lab News!

Functional Strength Lab has just recently received its new logo design that we are very excited to unveil in the coming week.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list (the sign up form is on the right side of the page.) We promise not to bombard you with annoying emails, because we hate those as much as you do. Our plan is to email subscribers about once a month with the best supplement, equipment, and fitness app deals that we find in our own searches. Other mailing list content will include exclusive information/videos/news not included on the site.

Don’t forget, all subscribers that sign up before April 1st, will be automatically enrolled to win FSL’s own homemade forearm roller, or in-door frame pull up bar.