Archive for the ‘Knowledge’ Category

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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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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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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Believe and Achieve: The Unstoppable Power of Thought

“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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Lack of Sleep is Making You OLD and WEAK

“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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You Are NEVER Too Old to Strength Train

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 Secret of Success: How to STOP Being a Failure and START Being a Winner

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 (Achieve the Body you Desire) 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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