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Karsten Jensen is Committed to Learning What it Takes to
Release Our Full Human Potential Through Physical Exercise.

He refines and shares what he learns with coaches and trainers through books and workshops.

My first attempt to perform a sit-up was at a soccer practice, whenI was seven years old. The coach anchored my feet (it was the 70s!), and I tried to lift myself. Nothing happened. Then there were hill sprints. I finished them in a bear crawl. Well, I was the only one doing a bear crawl (a visionary or simply out of shape?). 

Soccer was my first sport, but at nine years of age, tennis was my first love.

In Denmark, tennis is played on clay courts that are prepared each spring – typically sometime in April, depending on the weather. However, in the town where I grew up, there was a hitting wall with asphalt where you could practice from early March. My dream of becoming a professional tennis player began by hitting that wall in the early spring of 1979. It was "packaged" differently, but that dream to excel, to learn who we are, what we are capable of, and how to get there is the same desire that exists in me to this day. 

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I practiced three hours per day during the summer months and listened systematically to mental training tapes. Two bronze medals in doubles at the national championships were some of the highlights in the 10-year love affair with tennis that, ultimately, ended with frustration, but not regret.  

Many of my friends were older and tennis coaches, so my coaching career began as an assistant tennis coach when I was 13 years old.  

My early experiences with strength and conditioning were in the contexts of the sports I played: tennis, badminton and soccer. They were all organized by the sports coach. I don't think strength coaches existed in Denmark in the eighties. 

At 19, after the Danish version of high school, I enrolled in a two-year study of math and physics. It was a period that seemed wasted at the time but later turned out to be an incredible foundation for my understanding of movement's biomechanics. 

I could not see spending my future in a windowless lab, so during a sleepless night - after graduating in 1991 – I asked myself: What do you truly enjoy doing? The answer was sports.

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It was four days before the application deadline, but I was accepted and started studying exercise physiology at the University of Copenhagen in 1991. I enrolled because I liked sports. I had no idea what type of position/job I could get once I graduated. 

During my second year of university, I participated in track and field. My first clocked 100m was 14.28 seconds. Most readers would know that you should probably run closer to 150 meters in that timeframe! The Olympic time trials were definitely not in my future. 

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That track experience was the beginning of my interest in strength and conditioning. The big question on my mind was how to train to get fast and explosive – How do you turn a tortoise into a hare, or, at least, a faster tortoise? 

I remember studying books by Tudor Bompa, Vladimir Zatsiorsky and Frank Dick in the university library and gradually feeling that I wanted to become a strength coach. (Interestingly, my wife knew Tudor Bompa through her work. She made the introduction, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to have coffee with Tudor Bompa after I moved to Canada in 2007.)  


In 1993 I worked with world-class tri-athletes, world-class badminton players, world-class figure skaters and national/international level volleyball players before I graduated with a master's degree in 1999. Through my initiative and willingness to work for low to moderate pay, I secured these positions to get my foot in the door. 

However, my dream was to work full time for Team Denmark, the elite sports governing body in Denmark. After an intensive interview, several testimonials from sports coaches, and a study conducted with Mikael Trolle, the National Men's Volleyball team coach, Team Denmark hired me as their first full-time strengthcoach in the fall of 1999, a month after I graduated from university. 

"You only get one chance at this," I remember Mikael saying to me. Oddly, I remember not being nervous. I have always felt confident as a coach, reinforcing that coaching is the right thing for me.


Team Denmark was a great position with the responsibility to create highly individualized training programs for no more than about 20-30 high priority athletes. I worked about 50 hours per week – 37 hours was required – not because I had to, but because I wanted to grow as a coach.

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Table 1: Sports I have been involved with, level of athletes/coaches and duration. 


To truly fulfill the needs for individualized training programs for the large variety of athletes on my roster with Team Denmark, I started formulating The Flexible Periodization Method around 2002-2003. 

Some coaches take pride in saying they don't ask their athletes to do anything that they can't or are not willing to do themselves. I worked with athletes from 27 different sports; that mentality was a very unrealistic proposition. 

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For 10+ years, my education focused mostly on reading original research, experimenting, and refining based on trainers and athletes' feedback. 


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After relocating to Canada in 2007, our family goal was to have the freedom to travel. Yes To Strength was established as a company that provides online and live education for strength coaches and personal trainers worldwide, and individualized training services for athletes. 

I invested my time and energy in creating our 6 FPM Specialist Programs and teaching workshops 40+ weekends per year. 


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Each new program expanded our goal to provide something new to strength and conditioning and personal training. Therefore, my education focuses mostly on reading original research, experimenting and refining based on trainers' feedback.


Due to the intense focus on teaching over the past years, my value statements sum up my primary identity:

To learn what it takes to release our full human potential through physical exercise. 

To refine and share what I learn with coaches and trainers through books and workshops.

In well over a decade of serious training with various coaches and trainers, I must say that I was not only delighted but also extremely surprised and impressed when I began working with Karsten. I've found the methods employed by Karsten to be like nothing I'd ever experienced before. His scientifically backed scope and depth of knowledge regarding every facet and detail of strength and conditioning, coupled with his genuine care of my well being and performance is, in my experience, completely unparalleled. Karsten is MILES ahead of any trainers I've ever worked with, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with him.
Jessi Lelliot 
Professional Beach Volleyball Player

 Copyright © 2007-2021 Yes To Strength and Karsten Jensen. All rights reserved. 

All information contained on yestostrenth.com is intended for use by individuals who are healthy, injury-free adults aged 18 years and older who possess sound knowledge and skill execution of strength training exercises and their application and a thorough understanding of proper exercise technique and their application. We urge you to exercise care and caution when attempting any of the exercises, combinations, tips and strategies mentioned and to seek competent help and counsel from trained medical or fitness experts before beginning any new exercise program, or if you have any questions about your health. Yestostrength.com and Karsten Jensen are neither responsible nor liable for any harm or injury resulting from use of the information described herein.

Mississauga, ON   CANADA

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