I’ve got a special post for you today. It’s a brief interview full of KILLER info from fellow gym owner and strength coach Joe Carabase.

Joe started MELT back in 2010, and now has 3 locations in Connecticut. If you live in Connecticut, do yourself a favor and get your butt in one of Joe’s gyms! I’ve seen him in action, and HE IS A BEAST!

We caught up recently and talked shop on training, gym business, and nutrition.

He had some awesome insights on training for younger athletes that you NEED TO HEAR.

Here are some highlights:

Me: OK, Joe – biggest mistake you see young guys making?

Joe: Biggest mistake is jumping into heavy weights too soon. For example, let’s look at both the bench press and the squat. You see bad form on these because lifters go too heavy before they learn the movement pattern correctly. Here’s the progression we us at MELT.


  • Incline Pushup
  • Isometric Pushup Hold
  • 2-1-2 Tempo for Top 1/2 Range Of Motion
  • Full Pushup (same tempo)
  • Plyo Pushup
  • Decline Pushup
  • Vertical Pushup
  • Hanstand Pushup (HSPU) w/wall
  • HSPU w/out wall


  • 1-leg Balance
  • 1-leg Squat (Partial)
  • 1-leg 1/2 Squat
  • 1-leg Assisted Squat (TRX, etc)
  • 1-leg Full Squat (no help)
Me: Joe, I couldn’t agree more. I HATE seeing a lifter trying to run before they can crawl. Give us a timeline for how long an average beginner takes to progress through the upper body progression. In other words, if they start with Full ROM pushups, how long until they can expect to be doing HSPU’s?
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Joe: Let’s take an untrained 14-year-old. At MELT, we’ll have him start with incline pushups, and within 2-3 months he’s generally doing advanced pushup variations. The HSPU has a progression plan all its own, so our example lifter may be working on an easier variation of that move within those first 2-3 months.
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Me: Awesome, I wish more beginners had access to, AND followed a progression of this kind. What about our more advanced lifters – anything for them? How about one of your famous finishers? (Joe had told me about these earlier!)
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Joe: You told me you have a lot of basketball players. So let’s go with shoulders for that Dwight Howard look everyone wants! Now this is not a workout – it’s a finisher for shoulders. Maybe do it at the end of an upper body lifting session of something depending on how you program your training.
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Superset Cleans with a cheat lateral raise

  1. Do your set of cleans
  2. Then go right into lateral raises, using a little momentum to get the weight up
  3. Rest a bit and then repeat for 2-3 total rounds
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You’re going to get sport specific benefit from producing force quickly, build strength, power, and it helps you look good!
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Me: That sounds amazing! Thanks Joe.
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Joe: Anytime, thank you!
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For more from Joe, check him out here:



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