The PPS Way

Written by: Kevin Cann


I do not think many people understand what it is like to be a member of PPS.  This group is not for everyone, and I am sure as shit not for everyone.  We have had many people come and go over the years that could not handle the dynamic of the group, or myself as a coach.


PPS is much more than just following a training program, or a certain system.  I have the same expectations of every member of this group.  It doesn’t matter who you are, or what your total is.  You will be held accountable, and there are certain things that will not be allowed or tolerated.


I am by no means a “famous” powerlifting coach.  I do not have lifters with huge totals knocking down my door asking me to train them.  I am not that coach, like others out there, that will beg a good lifter to let me coach them.  If you want to be here, great here are the rules.  If you don’t, get the fuck out of here and we will see you on the platform.  I have always had this, you are with us, or against us attitude in sports.


I have gotten a lot of lifters that began their powerlifting journey with PPS, and many others that may have had a meet or 2 under their belts.  We have built a team with a large showing at nationals every year with a large number competing and we have had a top 5 finish, 2 top 10 finishes, and many finishing in the top 25.  We are represented at the Arnold every single year.  This year Kerry won the squat challenge and Jess Ward competed in the SBD Pro-American.


This does not come from our programs being the best out there, or from “cutting edge” science.  We have changed how we train many times along the way.  However, how we approach training has been a staple from PPS from the beginning.


We have always focused on the fundamentals.  For powerlifting this is technique.  Sheiko was big on technique being the most important aspect of training, and that was instilled in me right from the start.  Technique has, and always will be, a major focus point of our training.  In any sport if you do the fundamentals and the basics well you will do pretty good.


I also hold all of my lifters accountable.  If they do not fill out their sheets, they do not get a program.  They are not allowed to post negative posts on IG.  We don’t miss training days.  Consistency and effort yields results, I don’t care what you do.  Also, if you want to be competitive you need the discipline to show up and put in work every single day.  There is always something that we can do to get better.  If you want to complain about progress when you are not holding up your end of the bargain, get the fuck out of here.  You are not PPS and there is no room for that on this team.


You move at the speed of your slowest training partner.  This isn’t about weight on the bar, but attitude and effort.  We are all humans made of the same shit.  What separates the elite from the rest of the pack is their discipline, attitude, and effort.  Every member of PPS displays this attitude.


Too often lifters surround themselves with training partners that sit around and kiss their ass for high squats and shitty looking lifts.  I don’t care if you are a world champion, you should want training partners that push you to get better.  Compliments don’t make you better, they make you complacent.


Ask anyone from PPS how often I give them a compliment.  I am not a cheerleader; I am going to tell you what you need to do to get better.  I will yell those words too.  There have been very many tears shed in training from my yelling, and there will be more.


I yell because I care, and I believe in every one of my lifters.  Again, my job is not to make them feel good about themselves, but to get the most out of them.  My job is to believe in them when they do not believe in themselves and to give them the opportunity to show what they are really capable of.  Sometimes yelling really gets that point across to them.


If you can’t handle someone yelling at you in a competitive environment, PPS is not for you.  Many have started out that way but have become much tougher over time.  The intensity and the attitude brings about a psychological arousal that will make you battle tested by the time you get to a competition.  I am not just yelling to yell.  It also brings up the intensity of a training session a lot more than someone just kissing your ass.


That heavy singles in training match my intensity in the gym.  The singles would not be as effective if our training environment was more relaxed.  Lifters just would not push themselves the same way.


If you are part of PPS you will be challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally.  You will be held accountable to have the discipline to show up and put in effort with the right attitude.  To fill out your sheet and make good decisions, and when you make decisions to own the consequences of those decisions, good and bad.


There is a reason that PPS is still making great progress in these trying times with limited accessibility.  It is because we are battle tested from training through adversity constantly in the gym and we have been armed with the tools to be mentally and physically tough.  We know that effort and consistency yields results, and it does not matter what we have access to because we will do what it takes to improve upon something.  That is the PPS way.

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About precisionpowerlifting 33 Articles
Precision Powerlifting Systems is based out of Boston, Mass. Head Coach Kevin Cann leads the raw and single ply powerlifting team through individualized programming leading up to local, regional, national, and international level USA Powerlifting meets. Coach Kevin has worked as a nutritionist and strength coach for several facilities in the greater Boston area including Harvard University and Total Performance Sports. He holds a master’s degree in kinesiology from A.T. Still University and a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness from Kaplan University. Currently, Coach Kevin competes in the 105kg class in USA Powerlifting as both a raw and equipped open lifter and was under the tutelage of former team Russia powerlifting coach and coaching legend, Boris Sheiko, from 2015-2018. Kevin utilizes many of Sheiko’s legendary methods in his programs. This includes the belief that technique is the most important aspect of training. Not only has Kevin been a long term student of Sheiko’s, he also possesses his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology, the science of human movement. The combination of his Master’s degree and time spent working with the legendary coach has awarded him with the skills to thoroughly analyze your lifts and utilize the right variations, weights, and repetitions to improve your technique and continue to steadily progress over time. Through Kevin’s experiences coaching, he has made many adjustments to the program to allow for the success of his lifters. PPS has had an Arnold qualifier every year in its existence, a top 5 national total, 2 top 10 totals, and many top 20 totals nationally. Kevin combined what he learned from Sheiko with a conjugate trining style. He learned that nothing builds 1RM strength like practicing singles. He uses a constraints-led approach with the singles. The variation allows for the athlete to continually take max singles without seeing a decrease in performance. Kevin will use variations that punish technical inefficiency and only leaves room to complete the task with a more technically efficient strategy. Heavy singles also works the psychological components of the sport. Oftentimes this goes untrained and is the largest weakness in a lifter. Along with the max effort work, PPS lifters perform sub maximal work to continue to increase technical proficiency within the lifts. Some of this technique work utilizes special exercises that Kevin learned from Boris Sheiko himself. PPS supports raw, drug free powerlifting. Kevin has coached numerous athletes that have qualified for USAPL Nationals as well as the USAPL competitions at the Arnold Sports Festival. Cost for coaching is tiered and ranges from $125 to $200 per month depending on the services required. This includes an individualized program based around your needs as an athlete as well as feedback on your lifts from videos. Text support as you are training, weekly voice memos explaining details about the upcoming week, and bi-weekly training meetings with the team to discuss training concepts is part of the tier 1 service. For more information email Kevin directly at