Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

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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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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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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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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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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The SECRET to Crushing a Huge Drive on the Golf Course

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

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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Long Distance Running Can KILL You

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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Four Common Mistakes in the Gym

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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Experience the TRX® Suspension Training System

When I say US Navy Seal, what do you think of?

I think of a badass supreme killing machine and I am glad they are fighting for our country.  Other thoughts that come to mind are their elite level of fitness, superior combat skills, and ability to fight at the highest levels under any and all conditions. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMPACT! – The Methods of Todd Durkin

What do Drew Brees, Aaron Rogers and LaDanian Tomlinson have in common?

If you answered “A lot more money than me!”, you are correct, but the answer I am looking for is, “They are all trained by Todd Durkin.”  Not a bad group of guys to have on your resume :) Read the rest of this entry »

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