Archive for January, 2011

Achieve the Body You Desire

The biggest problem that we have in the United States is the concept of Instant Gratification.  Whatever we desire, we want it now and if there is a way to get it now then, we will do it.  We don’t consider whether it is sustainable or optimal, we just consider the time aspect of it and the sooner, the better.  Achieving the body we desire is not an exception, we want a lean and strong body and we want it NOW!!!  First, let’s go through what I mean by Instant Gratification with several real world examples:

Problem: Want to Lose Weight
Instant Gratification Solution:  Get Bariatric Surgery or Liposuction

Problem:  Want to Feel Great
Instant Gratification Solution:  Go to Doctor and ask about the numerous “options” (pills) you see advertised on TV.

Problem:  Want a new car or other material object
Instant Gratification Solution:  Put it on a Credit Card or get “no money down” financing.

"I can only afford a Hyundai, but this Lamborghini will make me feel important!!!"

As you can see, these “Solutions” are very typical, though they are not SUSTAINABLE and they are far from OPTIMAL, they are quick fixes.  Neither Bariatric Surgery nor Liposuction address how or why a person became obese.  It addresses the symptom (obesity) of a greater problem (overeating, addiction to refined carbs, etc.).  Not feeling great usually has more to do with dissatisfaction with one’s situation (job, spouse, home life, etc.) not a chemical imbalance.  Buying something that you can’t afford may feel good in the short-term, but saving up for something, and sacrificing other purchases in order to get it, is more gratifying and it is SUSTAINABLE.  Think of the things that you have saved up for in order to purchase.  Whether it was your first car, a bicycle or a baseball card, you always think fondly about what you did to get it and you treat it with care and pride.  Read the rest of this entry »


10 Ways to Succeed in Strength Training and Life

1) Define your goals

At one point in the children’s story Alice in Wonderland, Alice comes to a fork in the road.  She is confronted by the Cheshire cat and she asks which path she should follow.  The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter what path you take.”  It is very simple, before you can figure out what path to go down, you have to figure out where you are going!

“If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter what path you take.”

Strength Training:  Do you want to build muscle?  Do you want to Burn Fat?  Add 50 LBS to your Deadlift?  Become a Powerlifter?  Become a Bodybuilder?  Without defining your goal, you cannot determine what program and protocol is optimal.  Figure out your goal and work backwards from there.  Once you implement a plan, you can determine your progress.  You can track whether or not you are getting better, stagnating or falling behind.  If you are getting better, keep going!  If you are stagnating or failing, assess the situation and determine why.  One thing is for sure; you can’t progress if you don’t have a goal to strive towards.

Life:  The most frustrating feeling in life is to feel that you have stagnated or that you do not have a purpose.  Every time the lottery gets big, people go out and buy the tickets and decide what they will do if they win.  Once they lose, that excitement goes away, but why?  Most of us feel that we have no control in our lives and if you do not have a goal or a list of goals that you want to accomplish then, you are wandering aimlessly through life.  As the story goes, many years ago in the early 1900’s, a consultant named Ivy Lee approached Charles Schwab and asked him what it would be worth to him to discover the greatest productivity enhancer known to man.  Schwab was skeptical and asked what it was.  Lee said to him that every day he should write a list of the most important things he needed to accomplish for that particular day and cross them off as he accomplished them.  After a few weeks, Schwab was so amazed at the effectiveness and results of this seemingly simple piece of advice that he sent Ivy Lee a check for $25,000 as a sign of gratitude!!!  Set long-term and short-term goals that you want to accomplish.  Start simple: make a To Do list and do it.  Read the rest of this entry »


Single Leg Training – An Athlete’s Perspective

About a month ago, I wrote an article regarding Single Leg Training (CLICK HERE: “Single Leg Training with Mike Boyle”) and the Strength Coach who popularized it, Mike Boyle.  It generated a lot of interest so, I decided to build off of it.  I have the good fortune of knowing an athlete who trained under Coach Boyle while he was in college.  That Athlete is Antonio Valverde and he trained with Coach Boyle while he played Football at Boston College.  The following is my interview, enjoy!

Player Profile from Senior Year at Boston College in 2006.

1) At what age did you begin weight training and what type of regimen did you do?

AV: I guess I started using weights at 17 during my junior year in High Sschool.  I went to a Private Boarding School in Massachusetts called Governor Dummer Academy.  We had a decent gym and we also had Athletic Trainers, but no strength coaches. Read the rest of this entry »


Know When to Let Your Body Heal

A couple days ago, I had an AWESOME training session.  It was the kind that literally makes your entire day great.  You smile more, food tastes better and the air smells fresher.  Okay, I am stretching things a bit, but I did a couple of my favorites:  Deadlifts and Chins Ups.  My main focus is Hypertrophy so, my Deadlifts weren’t heavy singles, I was doing sets of 10.  On the Chin Ups, I did a bit slower eccentric descent than I normally do.  Read the rest of this entry »

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