NSCA NJ State Clinic 2012

I am a CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist) through the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association) and yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting at the NSCA 2012 NJ State Clinic.  It was great to see some old friends (Art, Coach McFarlane, Ryan and Rick) and also to meet some new ones, including Mark Salandra of StrengthCondition.com and Dave DiFabio, a professor in the Rutgers Exercise Science Department.

My presentation was entitled “Mind-Muscle Connection – How Your Mindset & Thoughts Can Amplify Your Results”.  The focus of the presentation was how we can harness the power of our mind through use of Mental Imagery to amplify our results.  There are some amazing studies out there, including Read the rest of this entry »

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Simple Rule for Dieting Success

If you follow this simple equation, you will achieve dieting success:

Move more –bad food + good food = Dieting success

Let’s break down this equation into its component parts:

Move More – if you burn more calories than you currently do, you will lose weight, plain and simple.

If you don’t walk around the block, take a walk around the block

If you currently walk around the block then, add intervals of sprints

If you currently walk and do intervals then, weight train

If you currently walk, do intervals and weight train then, decrease the rest periods between sets

Do you see where this is going?  Take what you currently do and add more movement / decrease rest and you will burn more calories which will cause you to lose weight.

Get off the couch and move!!!

Subtract bad food – I am always fascinated when someone is given a diet and Read the rest of this entry »

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The SECRET to Get ANYONE in Shape

I cannot understand the mentality of most personal trainers.  They all think that there is some magic formula, secret sauce, special way of getting the best results.  Now, I will admit that there are some components which are necessary and some which are unnecessary and that is what separates the good trainers from the great ones.  Here is what I can tell you with certainty, if you train with a top notch strength coach, you WILL get results.  Will they do everything the same?  NO, but that is what makes us all unique.  Everyone will have you squat or some variation thereof, everyone will have you push and pull in the frontal and sagittal planes.  This is not rocket science and the human body has not changed all that much in the past million years from a physiological perspective.

What would we do if doctors did not want to share information with one another?  Research would come to a halt, innovation would cease and diseases like mumps and polio would run rampant.  Sounds like a pretty cruel scenario, but thankfully this is not the reality for the medical community.  Unfortunately, it IS the reality in the fitness community.  The more I talk to trainers, the more I scratch my head.  There are many who think that there is some “secret formula” to achieve goals and obtain results.

Trainer 1: “I do back and shoulders with my clients.”
Trainer 2: “Oh, wow (Trainer 1 is an idiot)…I do back and biceps with my clients.”

Unless both of these morons are training people for the 2020 Mr. Olympia then, they are both WRONG!!!  How about I blow the roof off of the entire fitness industry!?!?!?!

Here is the SECRET way to get ANYONE in shape, no matter what their goal is: Read the rest of this entry »

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Goal Setting – The Map to Your Success

After finishing up with a client the other day, I was gathering my stuff and there was a woman who asked me how to properly perform an overhead triceps press with a dumbbell.  After showing her how to do the exercise, I asked her if she was a bodybuilder.  She looked at herself, looked at me, laughed and said, “NO!”  To which I responded, “Then why are you doing an isolation exercise?  Why don’t you train your entire body and focus on mutli-joint movements rather than single joint movements?”  It was obvious that she had no clue and merely followed what everyone else is doing.  The sad reality is that it is not her fault because the fitness industry and magazines have done a crappy job explaining how to get into great shape for years.

"Why are we doing this? I don't know, just smile and keep pressing!"

One of my good buddies and fellow strength coaches, Kyle Newell of Newell Strength was talking to me a few weeks ago and we spoke about how he and his athletes / clients never perform direct arm work and instead perform lifts which have a systemic effect on the body, like the Barbell Back Squat.  Do you want big arms?  Read the rest of this entry »

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Hypertrophy Made Simple

“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless” – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee tried everything while he trained.  His goal in doing so was to distill everything he tried into a simple philosophy.  That was his hallmark, be as effective as possible while also being simple.  Have you ever asked someone a question and their answer takes 10 minutes, but you can probably summarize it in a few sentences?  Me too!  This is the exact opposite of the philosophy that Bruce Lee espoused.

I had a great conversation with a fellow strength coach this week.  One of my favorite topics, muscle hypertrophy (i.e. muscle growth), came up and I asked him his opinion after being in the game for 15 years.  He started with, “I am a big fan of simplicity.”  When I heard this, I smiled J  This is the answer of someone who has tried it all and distilled his experience into what was the most simple and most effective, much like Bruce Lee.

Hypertrophy is all about Read the rest of this entry »

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Eat MORE Food and LOSE Weight!

Sounds like the tag line to some bad commercial for a new diet pill, right?  It is not, but it may be just the answer that you need in order to finally lose weight.

I have noticed a recurring theme with women who want to lose weight.  Women will come to me asking about losing weight, body fat in particular, and the first question I ask is, “What do you eat?”  The typical response is, “I don’t eat that much so, I don’t understand why I don’t lose weight!”  If someone is morbidly obese because they eat thousands of calories per day then, they need to REDUCE the number of calories they consume in order to lose weight.  On the flip side, if someone is moderately overweight and they have drastically reduced their calories for a prolonged period of time, they actually need to INCREASE the amount of food they eat in order to lose weight.

You have to eat in order to lose weight!!!

In a normal example, these equations hold true:
If calories consumed < calories burned = lose weight
If calories consumed > calories burned = gain weight

The only problem with those equations is that our body tries to maintain homeostasis as a protective mechanism Read the rest of this entry »

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Leave Your Ego at the Door

In order to achieve your goals you need to do 3 things:

1) Set the goal

2) Determine the path to achieve the goal

3) Leave your ego at the door

That dog doesn't know who he's messing with!!!

I was training a prospect a few weeks ago.  He was a middle-aged male who was about 30 pounds overweight.  When I asked him what his goal was, he told me that he wanted to lose 30-35 pounds to prove to his kids and friends that he could do it.  Upon hearing the GOAL, I determined the best way to achieve it (metabolic training, maximum work with minimum rest), now it was up to him to listen to me and leave his ego at the door.

I told him that I knew what we needed to do and I put him through an assessment.  He assessed a little below average, but made sure to tell me how he used to Bench Press a lot of weight “back in the day”.  This was a HUGE red flag for me Read the rest of this entry »

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The Most Important Quality to Have is INTENSITY

Webster’s Dictionary defines intensity as, “extreme degree of strength, force, energy or feeling”.

The Single most important quality to possess to get the results you desire is intensity.   There is NOTHING that will amplify your results more or help you achieve them faster than having an insane amount of intensity.  Perhaps you are thinking, what about steroids?  I can pump you with all of the steroids you want, but if you don’t train, you won’t achieve results.  Intensity is directly connected to mindset and while both can be worked on, having them from the start will help you achieve any goal you desire.

Arnold trained with INTENSITY!!!

I have 2 clients which are the epitome of the word Intensity.  In their own words, client A was “at death’s door”.  They had bone cancer Read the rest of this entry »

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What is YOUR Excuse?

If you want something badly enough in life, you will do whatever it takes to achieve it. The reality is that most people would LIKE certain things but they don’t really WANT those things. For example, most people would LIKE a great body but they are inconsistent and make excuses, hence they don’t WANT a great body. If you WANT it, you have to EARN it!!!

Watch this video and see which excuses you have for not getting in shape:

So, what is your excuse NOW???

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How to Be Unstoppable

Anthony Robles is the personification of Unstoppable.

Anthony Robles raises his hands in victory after winning the National Championship

At the recent ESPY Awards, Anthony Robles won the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.  Robles was born without a right leg, but that did not stop him from becoming a NCAA Division 1 Championship Wrestler.  Robles was a three-time NCAA All-American and he just completed his senior season with a perfect 36-0 record and won the 125-pound Championship at the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Tournament in March with a decisive 7-1 victory over defending champ Matt McDonough of the University of Iowa.  Below is the video of Robles’ acceptance speech with the transcript below. Read the rest of this entry »

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