Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

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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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Are you living the life that you always dreamed of?  Are you doing exactly what you wanted to do when you were a kid?  If YES then, more power to you and congratulations!  If NO then, why not?  This article will help you look within and get you moving.  The keys to achieving your goals and dreams are to Stop and Assess the Situation, Take Action and NEVER Give Up.

1) Stop and Assess the Situation

I recently read Gene Simmons’ book “Sex, Money, Kiss” and I highly recommend it.  At one point he says, “When you die, are you going to go into the ground wondering what you should have or could have done?  Or, are you going to go into the ground with a smile on your face saying, ‘I did it all’.” 

"I did it all." - Gene Simmons

I think that if the vast majority of people reading this died today, they would not say, “I did it all”, myself included, BUT are you on a path which will get you there?  The only way to get there is to be on the right path and the only way to determine that is to Stop and Assess the Situation.  Let’s face it, we wake up, go to work, Read the rest of this entry »

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I had an epiphany the other day as I was walking out of the gym.  When I tell you, at first you might think to yourself, “Yeah, I know that, so what?”  But, when I really thought about it for several days, I truly realized how profound it was…YOU CAN’T BUY STRENGTH, IT MUST BE EARNED!!!

Here is what prompted the revelation.  I was walking out of the gym and I almost got clipped by some jackass in a Jaguar while walking to my car.  As I looked to see who the person was who was enjoying their last seconds on Earth, I recognized the guy and started laughing so hard, the thought of bludgeoning him became a distant memory.  Come with me and I will tell you a story…

Last year I was training my back and needed to do Weighted Chin-Ups.  I waddled over to the Chin-Up Bar with a 45 LB plate hanging from me, trying to not have it bash into my knees.  I had to wait b/c there was a guy struggling to get his 4th and then 5th and final rep.  He had a full head of gray hair, looked to be in his late 40′s and had the muscle mass of a stick figure.  So, when he came down, I was pretty pissed when he looked at my 230LB frame and stared at the 45 LB plate hanging from me and uttered the following, “Wow, that’s pretty ambitious!!!”  It was in a very wise ass tone, like, “I can only do 5 and I am in great shape, but you will probably only bang out a couple at best.”  I got onto my tip toes and wrapped my hands around the bar…I DID 18 REPS!!!  When I came down, this clown’s jaw was dropped and I stared him right in the face as if I was ready to decapitate him with my bare hands and I walked away.

5 Chin-Ups? You talkin' to me?

In light of that experience, it was ironic that the same punk almost clipped me on the way to my car.  As he got out, he looked around Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

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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 »

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