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If You Fail to Prepare, You Prepare to Fail…Warming Up Explained

On Sunday, I had the privilege to attend the first ever AMPED Seminar at Joe DeFranco’s gym in Wyckoff, NJ.  Joe DeFranco and Jim “Smitty” Smith from the Diesel Crew presented to a group of about 30 people on proper warm-up techniques and recovery.

Smitty commented that 95% of the questions he saw on EliteFTS related to pain.  As he dug a bit deeper, he and Joe realized that weaknesses and mobility were topics that received lots of hits.  The two of them decided to fill this gap by creating the AMPED Warm-Up system.  I have the AMPED system and I highly recommend it whether you train athletes, general population or you train alone and want to feel and perform better.

Lax ball, resistance band and foam roller...the weapons in your warm-up arsenal!!!

There are 4 parts to a proper warm-up:  Read the rest of this entry »

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“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

- Napoleon Hill

We have all heard the following expressions, “Play until the final whistle blows”, “As long as there is time on the clock, we haven’t lost”, “Play all 27 outs”, “Play all 60 minutes”, “It’s not over until it’s over”, etc.  Most people misconstrue these statements as relating to time, they do not.  All relate to the fact that no matter how badly you are losing, you only lose once you have accepted the loss in your mind.  If you never quit, then you never lose.  Once you quit, it is over, all the talent and ability in the world is not enough to overcome that.  Quitting is a choice that you make in your MIND.  Achievement is no different.  It is in your mind that you achieve your goals before you achieve them in reality.  Everyone who has ever won any major Championship has pictured themselves winning it before it actually occurred.  That all sounds nice, but what does it have to do with you?  What does it have to do with you getting into great shape, getting more muscle, getting stronger?  EVERYTHING!!! Read the rest of this entry »

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“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

-  Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanac

In many ways, Ben Franklin was a man ahead of his time.  Getting plenty of sleep makes you more aware, helps you perform better, allows you to maintain a healthy weight, helps your body repair and it is during sleep when Growth Hormone and Testosterone help our muscles grow.  There are certain things which we know are GOOD for us to do…eat fruits and vegetables, get plenty of exercise, get plenty of sleep, etc. and there are dozens, sometimes even hundreds of studies which validate these good habits over and over.  Every so often a study comes out validating something you already know, but does so in such a way that it slaps you in the face.  That was what I felt when I read the following, “This study found that skipping sleep reduces a young man’s testosterone levels by the same amount as aging 10 to 15 years.”  Say what?  Of course I had to read more after seeing that.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Top 10 Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes

10) “Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach.”

9) “I don’t walk away from things that I think are unfinished.”

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One of the things I hate in life is when people make excuses.  Some of the more annoying ones include:

Situation: Reminding a client that there is one set left…
Excuse: “I can’t, I’m too tired”

Situation: Giving someone a nutrition plan and they respond with…
Excuse: “I NEED carbs…can’t I have more than that?” (Note: Nobody NEEDS carbs.  Carbohydrates are the only macronutrient that we do not NEED to obtain from our diet.  There are Essential Amino Acids (Protein) and Essential Fats which must be obtained from our diet, but our body can convert Fat or Protein into fuel)).

Sorry ladies, you don't "NEED" carbs.

Situation: Not showing up to the gym to train
Excuse: “I am too busy, too tired, my spouse needs me to do something, etc.”

While those aforementioned excuses are fairly common, one of the most depressing excuses is, “I can’t because I am too old”.  Age is something that we cannot stop and its negative effects range from decreases in testosterone, muscle mass and bone density to memory loss.  Though many folks use age as an excuse, there are those out there who put people half their age to shame.  Here are 3 men who NEVER use age as an excuse: Read the rest of this entry »

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The sign of success or failure?

When I first started working right after college, I got a job on Wall Street.  The massive buildings, the hustle and bustle, I really thought that I had made it.  What I made in money was far surpassed by what I gained in knowledge of human behavior.  Within the first few weeks of working 7 days and 100 or more hours each week, my mentor grabbed me and pulled me into a conference room.  I had not slept more than 4 hours over the course of the past 10 days and I was exhausted.  Fortunately, he was here to offer me some words of wisdom and I will never forget what he told me as long as I live… “Do you want to know how to make it here?”, he said.  “Of course!”, I responded happily.  He said, “Work hard, keep your head down and keep your mouth shut and hopefully, you will make it through the downturns.”  This was the verbal equivalent of kicking me in the groin and asking me “what’s wrong?” as I roll back and forth on the ground.  While Knute Rockne and Vince Lombardi were busy rolling over in their graves at the complete and total lack of motivation those words provided, I sat there staring into my cup of coffee completely mystified.  I worked my ass off in school to try to get the toughest job I could get so I could be successful and this is what I got?  Lesson #1:  Success is a journey NOT a destination. Read the rest of this entry »

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Muscular, Strong, Lean…Why NONE of These Words Describe YOU

Everyone’s definition of the perfect body is different.  Some say the perfect body is Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club, some say Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime and others may choose an athlete such as Terrell Owens.  Regardless of what YOUR idea of a “PERFECT” body is, one thing is certain…if you want that body, you need to know how to achieve it.  I know that sounds simple, but walk into any gym and you will see a whole host of idiotic programs that people do.  I covered this topic in a more generic fashion in my earlier post (Professional lasix online) where I focused on Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle, but here I am going to drill down to more specific goals. 

The most common mistake which I see is people who do Bodybuilding routines though their goal is fat loss.  Not only that, but they will do Bodybuilding routines with a set / rep scheme that is more indicative of a Strength routine.  At the gym, I often see skinny guys trying to lift as much weight as they possibly can while doing a single joint exercise such as bicep curls or triceps kickbacks.  My goal is Hypertrophy so, these same skinny morons will look over me and the weight that I am lifting and they will smile thinking, “Ha, I am stronger than that guy; look at that weight he is using!!!”  While there is merit to lifting heavy weights in order to gain muscle, that only follows if you are ensuring progressive resistance, increasing the weight each workout and doing enough repetitions to induce sufficient stress to the muscle that it responds to the stress by repairing and growing in order to handle greater stress.  So, what is the SECRET to getting the PERFECT body???  First you must define your goal (i.e. what is “perfect” to you) and then, you must map out a plan to achieve that goal.  I am going to assume that the vast majority of people reading this have one of three goals: 1) Gain Muscle 2) Get Stronger 3) Lose Fat.

Who do you want to look like?

The variables that we are going to work with are reps, weight and rest. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let’s face it guys, chicks dig the long ball.  The funny thing is that there seems to be little correlation between being big and strong and hitting the long ball.  I have seen many a mighty man swing as hard as he can only to duff the ball just past the ladies’ tee or hit a duck hook that ends up 2 fairways over.  The proof that you don’t need to be a big & strong guy to crush your tee shot can be seen in the stats of the top 5 drivers on the PGA tour (list includes a couple other big names):

                               Driving Distance Leaders on the PGA Tour (in yards)
       Rank             Name          Height         Weight   Average(yds)
          1    J.B. Holmes        5 ft 11 in          190 lbs           311.7
          2    Bubba Watson         6 ft 3 in          180 lbs           310.7
          3    Dustin Johnson         6 ft 4 in          190 lbs           310.0
          4    Chris Baryla         6 ft 0 in          180 lbs           309.0
          5    Angel Cabrera         6 ft 0 in          210 lbs           303.1
         14    Phil Mickelson         6 ft 3 in          200 lbs           296.9
         67    Tiger Woods         6 ft 1 in          185 lbs           289.6
Note:  Y-T-D statistics through Shell Houston Open Apr 03, 2011
Source:  http://www.pgatour.com

 
Looking at the top 5:  Average Height = 6 ft 1 in, Average Weight = 190 lbs, Average Drive = 308.9 yds.  I think that it is safe to say that none of the above have ever been mistaken for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno or Mr. Olympia AND I doubt anyone has ever asked any of them how much they can bench, squat or deadlift.  The point I am making here is that these are not the biggest and strongest guys so, you wouldn’t suspect that they can crush a 300 yard drive.  So, what’s their secret?

Arnold is Bigger & Stronger, but JB Holmes drives it longer!!!

Whereas most other sports require you to move back and forth or side to side, golf requires that you twist.  Hence, most sports operate Read the rest of this entry »

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In 490 BC, after the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides ran 25 miles to Athens to announce the Greek victory over the Persians.  When he arrived in Athens he said, “We have won!” and then he collapsed and died.  Thus, the Marathon was born.  Rather than make a correlation between Pheidippides death and running a distance of 25 miles immediately prior to his death, runners have decided to celebrate this event by attempting the same feat without suffering the same fate.  Long Distance running can kill you by inducing arrhythmia, increasing coronary plaque, and causing scar tissue to be formed in and around the heart.

The first Marathon did not end well.

 

Well known distance runners in good shape who died at a young age:

490BC – Pheidippides, a messenger by trade, runs 25 miles from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of a Greek victory.  After delivering the message, he collapses and dies at the age of 40.

7/20/84 – Jim Fixx, author of “The Complete Book of Running”, drops dead of a heart attack at the age of 52.  Dr. Eleanor N. McQuillen, Vermont’s chief medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Mr. Fixx, said in an interview that all three of his coronary arteries were damaged by arteriosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

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1) Overuse of Weight Belts
Here is a rule of thumb, don’t use a weight belt until you have a reason to do so. 

A weight belt doesn’t have any magical powers, it is not a fashion statement and if you aren’t lifting more than your bodyweight and you are using good form then, don’t bother with a weight belt.  People walk around the gym like they just pinned Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania and they are pimping the Championship Belt.  I have seen people do sit ups with a weight belt on, YES, you read that right, SIT UPS!!!  If your back is so fragile that not wearing a weight belt will result in paralysis or an inability to stand then, you probably shouldn’t be exercising with weights in the first place.

"I need the belt back Hulk, I have a crazy set of sit-ups to do."

2) TOO Much CORE work
Don’t spend so much time doing ab work.

Read the rest of this entry »

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