Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Promised Myself I Wouldn’t Do This…

…but with the myriad of people who will be feasting on such devilish delights as mashed potatoes and gravy, apple pie, rolls and butter, and stuffing, I decided I would give you a few ideas to help you keep off the feasting 15:

  1. Do something physical before dinner- Try and get outside and move around a bit. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy but activity will help burn off a couple of calories to make room for the day of gluttony. Some examples would be hill sprints, burpee countdowns, complexes, jumping rope or just walking with your family.
  2. Stay away from the empty calories- You’re already going to be consuming enough food for two, why add to the calories with soda and juices? Limit yourself to water or red wine (in my opinion, the benefits are worth the calories).
  3. Eat a lot of the bird- Eating some extra protein can help you feel fuller and also store less of the calories because of the Thermic Effect of Food. This will help you eat a bit less, but you might want to take a bit of a nap afterwards.
  4. Spread the food out- Try and graze around the food table instead of piling the food on your plate like you are storing for a cold winter. Spreading it out can help boost up the metabolism a bit and give your stomach some time to alert your brain its full before it makes you wish you were dead.
  5. Don’t worry!- Remember, the holiday’s are for fun and family. Don’t obsess on the food and fear for the future. You can always go back and burn off the extra blubber in the New Year.

Did I leave anything out? Got any other ideas for what you can do to ward of the weight gain? Let me know in the comments!

In my next installment, I will give you some training ideas to help you get rid of whatever you gain these next couple of weeks and try and keep up your motivation and focus to stay in shape!

Until next time, stay strong.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Should I Do?

I get a lot of questions from people along the lines of “What do you do when you workout?” First off, at the risk of sounding like and elitist, I do not “workout”; I train. Chase Karnes wrote a great article here if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Secondly, I keep things pretty simple. There are really only 8 different things you need to do to stay in shape:

  1. Run
  2. Jump
  3. Climb
  4. Push
  5. Pull
  6. Throw
  7. Carry
  8. Hold


You don’t need any fancy equipment to do these, just some dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, cables, or bands. Most of these can be found at any gym. If they don’t have them, you may need to rethink where you train. Even then, if you don’t have these tools, you can use your bodyweight for an effective workout.

The reason behind this post is to just point out that training does not need to be some super reverse engineered Eastern European periodization scheme. Just keeping it to basic movements and progressively increasing your weight, sets, and reps will work wonders for your gains.

Got anything else you think should be on the list? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, be strong.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Look Into My Eating (or Feasting?)

"There is NO WAY you are going to be able to eat all of that!" my roommate exclaims after seeing my feast breakfast. Sounds like a challenge to me. We just got back from training with our usual total body routine , which always beats me into the ground. Since I had already swam that morning too, and only had a protein shake and a banana after that, I was in serious need of sustenance. So I decided to make my usual breakfast which consists of these magical culinary delights:
  • 3 whole omega-3 egg's
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup broccoli 
  • half a red bell pepper
  • 2 slices Orowheat Light wheat bread (my toaster is too small for bigger bread.)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Smart Balance peanut butter
  • 1/12 tablespoons organic fruit spread
  • 1/3 cup Coach's Oats
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • cinnamon to taste
  • cup of coffee
As you can see, it is quite large. But, I do this for 3 major reasons: 1. Breakfast should be the largest meal of the day. 2. Your after training meal should be one of your biggest meals of the day as well. 3. Food is awesome!

The nutritional breakdown of this meal (brought to you by is 27 grams of good healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats with only 6 grams of saturated fat, 84 grams of carbohydrates with 20 grams of fiber, and 62 grams of good complete proteins. Thats a ratio of 30%:40%:30% of fat:carbohydrates:protein for a total of 805 calories. Thats a pretty well balanced meal in my opinion.

After that, my meals will get progressively smaller due to decreased need of calories throughout the day. I still eat every 2-3 hours with protein at every meal. My average calorie consumption is around 3,400 calories a day on training days with a ratio of 45%:35%:20% carbs to fat to protein. What does your day look like? Do you track your food intake? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time, be strong.

Friday, October 23, 2009

End of Squatting?

Super-human uber coach Mike Boyle has just released his new Functional Strength Coach 3 set of DVD's to the public. Rest assured that when Mike Boyle speaks, people in this field shut up and listen, even when he has something radical, different, and downright shocking to say. All I will say is is all that squatting really helping us?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No dumbells, no problem

I've made no secret about the fact about the fact that I love kettlebells. They are versatile, they are challenging, they are fun, and pretty damn cheap at that. I would go as far as to say that if you had two kettlebells and a pull up bar, you have your very own home gym right there. However, if you're like me you are really good looking you want more awesome in your gym. So, I'm going to give you some ideas on how you can beef up your home training play chest.

1. A sandbag- These things are amazing. Besides the fact that, like kettlebells, they are portable, they offer great core training because of their instability. You can do cleans, presses, rows, squats, loads, rotations, you name an exercise and I'll bet you can do it with a sandbag. I'd go with about 1/3 of your bodyweight to start.

2. A 40'-50' thick rope- Holy hell. If you want a sick conditioning workout you should, nay, NEED to get a rope! Whipping this thing around with get your upper body jacked, gas your lungs, boost your work capacity, all while making girls go "Wow, thats a whole lotta man!"

3. A tractor tire-

While a bit hard to store, I believe the benefit far outweighs the scolding you will get from your parents/landlord. Building explosive power and getting good conditioning will be easier than getting a picture of Lindsay Lohan without panties on.

4. A sledgehammer-

Doing sledgehammer slams on your new tire will be one of the hardest exercises you've ever done. Adding this to your conditioning training will seriously help with upper body power and strength.

Well there you have it. Four things that can take your home gym from ordinary to "My lord I am all that is man!" Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, stay strong

Monday, October 19, 2009

I was sitting here on a slightly cloudy Monday morning here in Goleta, California after just going out to triathlon practice, then doing a couple sprints and burpee countdown, drinking my coffee and eating my eggs and oatmeal when a thought burrowed its way into my mind :"Why do I do this?". Not for the obvious reason we probably all do it which is we enjoy it and its makes us feel like the breed of man that seems to be slowly but surely slipping off of this planet. No, I mean what are your goals? We all have stuff we want to accomplish both in and out if the weight room and I am interested to hear what all of yours are. It may be to deadlift a truck or get 10 good pull-ups in. Whatever they are, however big or minuscule, lets share them. That way, maybe we can help each other reach them. For example, I just recently deadlifted 400 lbs with a hexbar. My new goal is to get up to 420 by Christmas, gain a little bit of muscle, and improve my GPP. Feel free to share on my Facebook comments!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Guest Post from Ryan Zielonka

Though he has taken hiatus from posting on his fantastic blog, Ryan has come back and said what needs to be said about all those ladies out there who are considering using weights as a means to lean up and become more fit.

Pink Dumbbells

by Ryan Zielonka

Ladies, I feel bad for you. Really, I do. When it comes to fitness marketing, women are preyed upon like helpless bunnies in a field brim-full of intimidating, roided-out personal trainers and professional salesmen. It’s as if fitness professionals go full-retard when presented with a female audience. Seriously, how many training programs do we need that tell its victims to do a bunch of cardio, some butt raises, and biceps curls with pink dumbbells?

Let’s get some things straight. First, lifting weights isn’t going to magically give you more tone or burn more calories while you sit at work all day, regardless of what some authors might claim. In fact, weight training has a marginal impact on metabolism, an average session burning somewhere around 300 calories. Even the addition of lean muscle mass to our bodies bears little on our thermodynamics. Building appreciable muscle, particularly for women, is hard, and I can count on one hand the number of women I’ve seen in the gym lifting in a way congruent with the goal of lean body mass gain or retention.

So if weight training doesn’t burn that many calories while you’re doing it, doesn’t give your metabolism much of a benefit when you’re not doing it, and on top of that, it’s hard to gain muscle anyway, why do it at all?

If you put a discerning eye to the screen or page and scan the above paragraphs a few times you’ll notice much of the disappointment comes out of the exaggerated promises found in books, magazines, and in the mouths of personal trainers. These sources are obsessed with calories burned. To a degree, this caloric obsession has merit. If the number of calories consumed exceeds the number of calories burned, body mass accrues – i.e. weight gain. What none of these sources tell you is that weight training’s great benefit is its ability to tilt the partitioning scales in our favor.

So what the heck does partitioning mean?
Partitioning refers to what happens to calories when they find their way into your body. High-intensity activity, especially high-intensity resistance training, puts your body into an optimal partitioning state. By demanding a lot of your body’s physiological systems, resistance training elevates a host of hormones and metabolic processes encouraging your body to build lean muscle and lose fat. When you consume food before, during, and after your workout your body wants to lose fat and wants to gain muscle. Partitioning refers to how many of those calories get stored as body fat, and how many of those calories go toward replenishing muscle glycogen or building lean muscle tissue.

Nutrient timing is getting more press in mainstream literature; in essence, timing your food intake to benefit maximally from the calories your body receives. Regardless of the type of training you’re doing, you’re best off consuming a good proportion of your daily calories before, during, and immediately after training. All that cool stuff resistance training does to your body puts it into a repair and utilize state rather than a store and waste state. But here’s the kicker – to put your body in this state you need to tax it. Most women exert more effort cleaning the house or grocery shopping than they do at the gym.

So what to do? Find a challenging program and work on increasing your weights. Build on the basics – squats, deadlifts, overhead press, bench press, and rows. The basics will always stay the same and will always apply to both genders. No, you won’t get ‘too big,’ no matter how hard you try. Hit the gym with passion and purpose, and then reap the rewards.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

You Wanna Look Good Naked? ....Do The Basics

I have a feeling about you. You like the gym. You like the feeling of the weights in you hands. You like making calluses on your hands. I mean, after all you are reading this blog. I have a feeling you do things right: you work hard, you eat food, you get your protein. Good for you. However I also have a feeling you do some things wrong: you split your workout into body parts, you never use heavy weights, your volume is huge, you never take time off, etc. 

Guess what, so did I. I used to think this whole iron game was ridiculously complicated. I thought I had to take creatine to get jacked. I thought I had to split my body parts up to make them grow. I knew I had to know all the best periodization schemes to get the best results. As I progressed through this part of my life, I realized that it is the opposite of what i thought. I didn't need all these fancy contraptions, supplements or magazines to get stronger and better. all I needed was the basics that this passion of ours was built upon: iron, hard work, and a goal. However, it doesn't hurt to have a guide to help you along the way.

Nate Green wrote a great article with Mike Robertson today about this very subject. Take a minute and read it. I dare you to try what it says and see if you don't get bigger, stronger and better.

Until next time, stay strong.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back...I Promise...

I haven't been writing. I know this. I have been reminded from all of my friends, family, and seemingly weird, people who I rarely talk to ever. So, I am going to start writing again and dispensing information that I think will help you slim down, get stronger, and generally look good naked. So, here it goes.

One reason why many people don't exercise is that it is inconvenient. I mean, they have to get in the car, drive to their local 24 Hour Fitness, wait for an Elliptical trainer, "run" for an hour, down a Gatorade and a Clif Bar, then come back home and watch reruns of America's Got Talent. Wow, tough workout. Anywho, I digress. The reason for this post is to tell you to spend money. Yes, the economy sucks. Yes, a 20 year old is bossing you around. No, I will not make out with you.

The training implement I wish for you to purchase is the TRX. It is, by far, one of the most amazing tools you can buy to whip your flabby ass into shape.

Even though the economy is worse than that show based off the caveman commercials for Gieco and the TRX costs around $130, you shouldn't think of it as a loss of money, but, as Alwyn Cosgrove says, "Think of it as an investment in yourself".

Ya, I wasn't lying about that.

Anyways, the TRX is so versatile and intense, I think it should be a staple in any traing regimen. A quick workout you can do is a circuit that goes like this:

  • TRX Squat Jump
  • TRX Bulgarian Split Squat
  • TRX Push Up
  • TRX Inverted Row
  • TRX Leg Pike

Get one and give it a try!

Until next time, be strong.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things I Keep in My Truck

I'm an Eagle Scout. for those of you who don't know what that is, it is the highest rank you can receive in the Boy Scouts of America. It is pretty prestigous (I say while giving myself a pat on the back). Being a boy scout, I follow the Boy Scout Motto: "Be Prepared". Since I am constantly on the move doing all manner of things, most of these objects end up having a regular stay in my vehicle. So I thought I would share some of these with you since some of them are fitness related:

  1. Emergency food- Since eating is my fourth favorite hobby besides training, saving lives, and pretending I am a member of the X-Men, I can always use some extra food around if I can't go eat or am if gonna be on the road a lot that day. Usually I'll have either a granola bar, a can of tuna or some almonds and raisins in my center console in case I need energy.
  2. My workout log- This thing never leaves my truck. I always know what I lifted, how I felt, how I lifted, and how long it took at any time. It also gives me a place to write down new ideas for programs, like the one I am tinkering with now, but more on that much later. If you don't keep a log of your training, I highly suggest starting one right now...I'll wait.
  3. 2 Kettlebells- If I find out I have to stay at work late and can't make it to the gym, I won't just blow off my session all together. On my break I will bust these bad boys out and get some work done. I'll do a circuit or two or maybe get some explosive throws in on the beach. It my not be as difficult as what I had originally planned, but It is way better than just giving up and sitting on my ass.
  4. Workout/Running shoes- You will never know when the mood to train strikes. I keep these around so if my plans have to change or I get ansy from being lazy, I can be ready to "do work" as the bro's say.
  5. A sweatshirt- Have you ever trained on the beach when its cold outside? It's horrid. I learned long ago to always keep a piece of warm clothing with me in case the weather goes south.
  6. Body surfing fins- Not only do I use them for work, but body surfing is a great activity to do during a deload week.
  7. A Barry Manilow CD- Manly because the man is a lyrical genius and the ladies love him. Don't judge.

So there is a little glimpse into what is in my truck. I try to stay as prepared as possible when it comes to my training and lifestyle. What about you? What do you always keep around just in case? Post in the comments section.

Until next time, stay strong.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Triumphant Return...And a Post of course

Ok, without boring what is left of my readership to death, I would like to give you a brief overview of what my life has been consisting of as of late:

  • Awake at 4:45 a.m. and make my breakfast/lunch for the day.
  • Get to the pool deck by 6 a.m. and get ready to train newbs and explain for the 1,386th time what a dumbbell row is and explain why we will never be doing the "300 Workout".
  • Leave at 8:30 a.m. after training varsity and get to the gym to train myself.
  • Get to the beach by 10 a.m. to save lives.
  • Get off by 6 p.m. and eat dinner. 
  • Read my feeds.
  • Sleep by 10 p.m.
  • Repeat.

So, my life is filled with wonderment and joy (and at certain times the feeling that I really need to pull my eyes out of their sockets and rub them with a cheese grater at the sight of freshmen doing "deadlifts").

I d have a post for you people which revolves around new lifters because, hey, that's what I am dealing with. So without further adue, here are 5 things new lifters need to get out of their heads.

  1. I need to buy the latest supplement that will make me more jacked than a big rig- Just because a supplement company says that ingredient "HOLY SHIT!" in product "EPIC!" will allow 72.446% more nitrogen tolerance in muscles doesn't mean its true. Read this article by Brian St. Pierre about this very thought.
  2. Direct arm training is the only way I will make my pythons sick- Well, I agree that it helps, but when you are curling 15 lb dumbbells upwards of 20 repetitions and you can barely do 3 chin ups, you look like a douche. You have got to build a base by using more muscles for the action, like the chin up. The chin up recruits the biceps more and more the close you put your hands together. Once you can do at least 5 with your hands a little less than shoulder width apart, then you can curl til your little arms quiver and shake.
  3. Since I run, I don't need to train legs with weights- That is like saying since I "spank the monkey" with my right hand I don't need to lift with it. Sure, you are doubling up on the work, but in the long run, it makes for a much better time. Now, you may not need to train with maximal loads like a football player, but moderate weights for a medium amount of reps can help with your muscular endurance, ground force output and injury prevention. 
  4. The bench press is the end all, be all of strength measurement/programming- I can't even tell you how many times I 've been asked at the gym  "Yo bra, how much'ya bench?" I usually just say my last max I took (from 2 years ago) and be on my way. Look, I will not bash the bench press. It is a staple in lifting and a good judge of strength. But when the kings of douchbagery abuse it and have a 300 lb bench press but can't squat half their bodyweight, I want to smack the Ed Hardy hat right off their over gelled head. Also, if you have 3 different benching variations in a daily program but only one, or even no pulling exercises, you honestly have no business writing your own programs. Buy a program that some one else has written, read it, and compare it to yours and note the differences. You will be surprised.
  5. Weight training has to kill me- Show of hands, who here has trained longer that 2 hours in the weight room? If you have, please, listen to Sean. Training should be hard, but to make it hard you should not have to be in the weight room so long that a professional soccer match  could be played in full. Intense strength training for longer than an hour causes the body to produce the stress hormone cortisol, which inhibits muscle regeneration and increases fat storage. So, try and get workouts done in at least 50 minutes. Also, make the workout interesting. Flip some shit, throw some shit, push some shit, pull some shit, carry some shit. Oh ya, and of course it should be heavy. Get creative and use your imagination. Training shouldn't be robotic, try and make it fresh everytime.

Until next time, stay strong.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pictures Tell A Thousand Words...

Up at the ass-crack of dawn to train newbs. Awesome times. This is why I haven't been writing as of late.


Also, here are some articles that are awesome too:

Leigh Peele-Defining Bulky, Once and For All

JC-Spinning Your Wheels? How I Went From Newbie To Intermediate Trainee

Dustin Lebel-Complexes For Growth?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For The Ladies

I had a request from a female reader of this blog to post some more female oriented training advice on here, and I would be happy to accommodate. In this post I'll cover three things women should try and do to get the body they want.
  1. People always seem to think that since women are different from men, they need to train a different way. I don't believe this is true. Alot of women I see in the gym have this routine: "run" on the elliptical for half an hour, do some shoulder raises with 5 pound dumbbells, do endless crunches to get a toned mid-section, then call it a day. On one hand, it is nice to see women getting into the gym these days, especially when it can be a bit intimidating with loud men running around who have been attacked by the sleeve monster (poor sleeveless souls). However, I believe that to get the results you want, you can learn a lesson from some of these men (and by men, I don't mean the guy with the popped collar doing calf raises on a Smith machine.) I mean the guys that are doing their deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts (great for having a sexy butt, just look at mine when you get a chance), squats, rows and presses. Basically, every lift should be as close to incorporating total body as possible. To make your entire body look good, you need to work your entire body. Don't believe me? The New Rules of Lifting for Women says different (and it's a pretty good read too. I say buy it.)
  2. Do planks instead of crunches. I'm not saying to completely shun them, but your ab program should not be based entirely on them. The planks will both strengthen AND flatten the stomach while alsoworking the posterior chain (or the muscles in the back of the body). For some good progressions and exercises, check out this article by coach Nick Tumminello.
  3. This is the most important/neglected/counter-intuitive part of training for either of the sexes. Brace have to EAT. Starving yourself will not help you, as John Alvino says in this guest post on Jason Ferrugia's site. Your metabolism will slow down, thus burning LESS calories throughout the day. Follow these guidelines for maintaining a healthy looking physique while actually consuming more than a crouton and celery at dinner:
  • Eat breakfast-this will ramp up the metabolism that has been dormant all night long.
  • Eat 5-7 smaller meals a day-this will keep the metabolism burning all day, which will help shed fat and allow you to stay thin.
  • Eat protein at every meal-protein has the highest thermic value of any macronutrient, meaning it actually heats up the body, allowing you to burn calories. Aim for about .8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight a day.
  • Front load your carbs-eat most of your carbs in the morning and less during the day. This will teach your body to use fat for energy later in the day, since that is what you will end up consuming mostly throughout the day.

That's it for this post. Until next time, be strong.

P.S. Check out these site's for more info.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Again, I apologize to you guys about my absence from the blog over the past two weeks. I have begun my job as a State ocean lifeguard and as the weight trainer of my local high schools water polo team. So, needless to say, I have been slightly busy. This seems to be the case every summer but I wouldn't have it any other way. Since summer is here I'm constantly outside and doing the things I love: saving lives, training athletes, and lookin' good. With that, we have a perfect moment for a segue.

It's time for you to get outside people. I know the weather here in Southern California has been less than optimum, but when that shining sun breaks through the clouds, take advantage of it. Try training outside for a change of pace (I have the great opportunity to train at the beach in the sand.) Maybe invest in some kettlebells; they are easily portable and can give you one hell of a workout (and you look plain badass using them). Also, you could look into a TRX system. These are all the rage right now because of their portability, versatility, total body workout ability, and a whole lot of other -ility's that I can't think of. Maybe run some sprints at your local high school track or do your planned workout at a park. The world is your gym, be creative!

So, get some good old Vitamin D and get yourself a bit of a tan and go train outside for a change!

Until next time, be strong.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Full Body Workout...Of Death!!!

You wanna see some full body strength? Watch this!


Now that's a full body workout!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First Nutrition Post

I figured since the title of this blog has nutrition in it, I should probably talk about it a bit. Today, I want to talk to you all about post workout nutrition. Most of you probably already know you have to eat or down a protein shake at least a half hour after you finish your training session. Good for you, give yourself a pat on the back. However, do you a) know what it should consist of and b) do you know WHEN and what to have in your next meal? I can feel your confused faces, so please, read on.

First off, lets talk about the timeless post workout shake (or PWO for you lazy people). Many people I've talked to about their shakes say that they just down some low carb whey protein and maybe some creatine. Alright, protein is all well and good, and very important to building muscle as we all know, but why low carb? Granted, if you're a person trying to lose weight, I can completely understand you shunning the carbs, but us young people who could eat Home Town Buffet out of business shouldn't be worried about them, especially after a tough weight training session. You see, when you train, your body uses glycogen as its main fuel source. Without glycogen, your body would have a real hard time making energy for training. When you're finished, you need refill those glycogen stores in the muscles so that they have more energy to start processing the protein and synthesizing it to make muscle. If you don't refill them, the muscles could go do something crazy and use protein as the energy source, and what is the most abundant source of protein in the body? That would be our all important muscle! So, if you don't give the body glycogen to work with, it will catabolize (break down) the muscle in the body to rebuild the muscle you worked (seem kinda backwards doesn't it?).

Now, there is a certain ratio of carbs to protein that is generally accepted by the strength and conditioning elite. A 2-3:1 carbs to protein ratio is the optimal amount you should have in your post workout drink. So, that would mean if you have 20 grams of protein in your shake, you should have 40-60 grams of fast digesting carbs, like maltodextrin, to go along with it. You can add 3-5 grams of creatine to it too if you feel it's necessary. My favorite shake is Biotest's Surge Recovery.

It's got the optimal ratio AND many necessary amino acids like L-Glutamine and L-Leucine (L-Leucine is being shown more and more to be very important to protein synthesis).

Ok, so now that we've covered the post workout drink, now to cover what to do after that. About an hour after or so after you down the drink, what do you think you need more of? If you said protein, correct! If you said carbs, correct! If you said a massage from a naked women, correct! Seriously though, you need more carbs after that because the glycogen is still not filled yet. However, now the ratio is shifted. Protein should be the main thing in the meal now. At this point, a cup of fat free cottage cheese and strawberries would be great, or maybe a cup of pasta and a chicken breast. Ok now I know your going to hate me. Two hours after that, I want you to eat more carbs. I can hear the groans and the people yelling "You're going to make me a fat ass!" All I can say is try to trust me. I can tell you that this will help you build muscle. On your off days, you can lower the carbs but on training days, try this out. All the other meals should consist of protein and fat with little carbs.

Alright, to sum up, here are the general guidelines to follow:

-Eat 5-8 smaller meals a day.

-Eat most of your carbs after training.

-A 2-3:1 carb to protein ratio is optimal in your post workout shake.

-The two meals after the shake (one and hour after, one another 2 hours after that meal) should also consist of protein+carbs.

-The rest of the meals throughout the day should consist of protein and good fats.

Well, those are my thoughts on post workout nutrition. Give a try for a couple months and I think the results will be good. Til next time, be strong.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

First off, I would like to apologize to all you avid readers for my delinquency as of late. What with getting prepared to switch colleges and starting to train my athletes, I haven't had the presence of mind to write, much to my dismay. For this, I grovel at your feet and beg for thy mercy.

Ok, so, like I said, I've started training the water polo players of Esperanza High School in the weight room and so far so good in my mind. I've looking forward to get back to coaching for some time now so I can try out some of my insidious ideas on the trainees. So far it's going pretty well, but I've had to make some minor adjustments to the programming due to time constraints and the lack of equipment in the weight room. I'll update you with some pictures and a sample week in the upcoming days when I get it all set in stone.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to join an athletic training gym right down the road (how I didn't know about it in my search for the anti-24 Hour fitness, I'll never know). It was my second day there today (and it's Thursday, so it was metabolic day today) and let me tell you, I had a frickin blast. Here is what I did:

  • Tire flips for 15 yds w/ jumps in and out of the tire x 6
  • Sled sprints x 95 lbs x 6
  • (60 lb sand bag clean x 5 then sprint with bag on shoulder) x 10
  • Kettlebell one arm swing Tabata (8 sets of 20 sec on 10 sec off) 

I'll wait til your jealousy subsides....Are we good? Cool. So, needless to say, I'm as giddy as a school girl who got asked to the prom by Zach Efron.

I'm really excited for what this new setup has in store for my. I'll be updating more frequently now that I'll have more time. Until then, be strong.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

COC Clinic

Alright, yesterday I attended the College of the Canyons 10th annual Strength and Conditioning Clinic. This is my second time attending and in all honesty I can't think of a better way to spend $60. I'm sorry, I should say invest if I don't want Alwyn Cosgrove to kill me. There were some fantastic speakers at this years event. It's your lucky day, because I'm going to give you a brief overview of what the titans of training told us (that was some damn fine alliteration).

Chad Waterbury, best known for beating you over the head with what equates to a sledgehammer of knowledge in the realm of the central nervous system, spoke about just that, the central nervous systems usefulness. It shouldn't come as any surprise to you, it's kinda important. Chad's speech revolved more around something called the "Size Principle". It shows that motor units (Type I, Type IIa, and Type IIb/x) are recruited in order from smallest, being Type I, to largest and strongest, being Type IIb/x. He says that in order to get maximum gains in size and strength, we must somehow get to our largest motor neurons. This can be reached by either moving the weight quickly in an explosive fashion or using a heavier stimulus, meaning weight. This is generally done with 85% of the 1 rep maximum for maximal loads but with small sets or can be done with submaximal loads, which are between 60-85% of 1 rep maximum, but moved more explosively. So, basically, what to take away from this is lift heavy weight and lift it fast right? WRONG!!! Don't forget to do it safely, or Chad will castrate you with a weight training implement.

Greg Vandermade, head strength and conditioning coach for Cal State Fullerton, which is right down the road, spoke about program design considerations for various athletic programs. Basically, he said that what we do in the weight room is to help these kids get a level of General Physical Preparedness, or GPP. We need to make sure that the athletes can do basic movements that are at the foundation of movement and kinetics in the human body, like skips, jumps, push ups and the like (Side note: I think it's really sad that people these days can barely jump or skip. Didn't we do this as kids or has Halo made us immobile?). Once they can perform those, THEN we can implement weights into the program. Also, we need to cater to the demands of the sport we are training. We wouldn't be doing massive deadlifts for a marathon runner or rotator cuff work for football players (when I say football, I mean soccer. It's played with your feet, it makes sense) but we would do those for football and baseball players. Lastly, he says don't forget the posterior chain. I will repeat that, my gentle snowflakes. DON'T FORGET THE POSTERIOR CHAIN!!! To reduce injury, you need to work what you can't see in the mirror, meaning the hamstrings, glutes, lower back and upper back. Put it this way:if you can bench 300 lbs but can't do 5 GOOD pull ups, there is something wrong there.

Ken Vick, sprint coach extraordinaire, spoke about if sprint technique is important in sprinting. His logic was if sprinting was just about how much force you can produce toward the ground for propolsion, then does technique matter? Well, he says that it does, A LOT. You see, there is a time where someone can be too strong for their own damn good when it comes to sprinting. So, when they reach that point, technique needs to be worked on. However, if the guy runs a 4.4  40, but his form is not what people say it should be, don't change a muda fuckin thing. At that point, it's all about making him stronger and comfortable. I would delve deeper, but to be honest I don't understand the science behind the kinetics and kinematics, so I won't say shit that could be wrong.

Valerie Waters, who is the "trainer of the stars", has trained such Hollywood hotties as Jennifer Garner, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Richard Gere. Wait, how did that last won get in there?! Anyways, she spoke about how to speak to the client to make them happy. You see, magazines forged terms like"toned" and "long muscle" and "fit". People see these words, associate them with a model or actress and say "I wanna be like that!" and use that lingo when conveying that to their trainers. Well, if trainers try to explain that there is no such thing as toned, then they would keep that client long because that clients intelligence has been insulted. So, to keep money coming in, we need to speak the lingo of the client and swallow the knot in our throat that makes us want to take a cheese grater to the face of the editor of Allure.

Alwyn Cosgrove spoke about fat loss programming (side note: he had 48 hours to prepare, and the sheer amount of information and studies he had was enough to make a college research paper look like nonsense.) He said that there are 5 things that must be done to lose fat (I only got three because he went fast. If he posts the info, I'll post it): #1. Correct nutrition-this means eating 5-6 meals a day, reducing carbs by tossing out refined and processed crap (no one ever got fat off eating apples), eating breakfast and having protein with every meal. #2. See #1-ya, it's that important. #3. Do activities that boost the metabolism and burn calories- in one study, after 1 hour of intense weight training, metabolism was boosted for 38 hours after training ceased! You might wanna start putting intense weight training into your routine. Also, he showed a study that showed aerobic exercise, like running and jogging, did little to burn fat. One study showed that after 12 months of running 6 miles a day 6 days a week, people in the study lost only 1.25 lbs! I don't know about you, but I would be kicking small animals out of sheer rage at that point. Instead, add in some interval training like sprints to your regimen. This forces the body to work harder and use fat stores as energy. That's why running backs are so damn lean. Here is an example session:

  • Kettlebell swings: 15 seconds
  • Rest: 15 seconds
  • Push ups: 15 seconds
  • Rest:15 seconds
  • Jump Squats:15 seconds
  • Rest: 15 seconds
  • Pull Ups: 15 seconds
  • Rest: 15 seconds

Do each exercise twice and that is one set. Repeat 3 times. Make sure you go hard!

Do 2 days of intense circuit total body training and 2 days of metabolic interval training a week for best results.

Well, all in all it was a good clinic and I can't wait til next year.

Until next time, be strong.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm back from Arizona, which is both good and bad if you ask me. Good because now I'm not being burned alive in the 3rd level of Hell a.k.a Tempe, Arizona, but bad because now I have to go back to training and 24 Hour Fitness, which I'm sad to say is a giant step down from a college gym atmosphere (at least there they have something resembling an Olympic lifting platform). So now, instead of getting to argue the merits of why I do what I do with people that care, I have to argue with the personal trainers about why I'm making noise or "intimidating their clients". Wow, I didn't know I was such a beast. Anywho, the point is, my training is going to have to change to accommodate the atmosphere I'm in, meaning many things:

  • A lot less Olympic lifts-apparently, doing a lift that involves a bar going over your head makes the trainers get all ansy in their pantsy.
  • Longer waiting for weights/equipment- even though the frat guys using the benches were using them to complete the latest "Arm Blaster" workout from Muscle and Fitness, at least they would let me know how long they would take. Now I gotta find a way to stay moderately intense while the 8th grader busts out his 12th set of 15lb dumbbell flys because he forgot what set he was on. Kids these days (sigh).
  • Less room for density training- since there is about 10 square inches of room to work with during rush hour at the "gym", I'm pretty much limited to one exercise at a time, which blows

Now, since my training will inevitably suffer a bit, I'm going to have to get creative (maybe even a bit medieval) on your/my ass. Can't do any kind of Olympic power lifting? Fine bitch, I'll do dumbbell jump shrugs. Longer waiting for Johnny to finish his seated hammer curls? Boom, jump rope. No room for density training? Bust out the kettlebells comrads! See, I guess this isn't bad after all. I get to become more creative and think on the fly when I can't use some equipment, or come with a new way to work the same movement pattern. 

The same can work even if you don't have a gym. If you have a park, go be a kid and do pull ups on the jungle gym and box jumps on the benches. Got a high school near by? Do some interval sprint training. Maybe you're an unlucky being and have access to nothing. Well, do some body weight training in your living room while you watch Days of Our Lives. So basically, the moral of the post is to tell you to be creative in your training. Gym setting can actually be more intimidating and less useful than the world around you. It's all up to your imagination.

P.S. Here is an example of something you can do just to get you started. This isn't the end all be all, just a basic example of something you can do at your house.

Squat Jumps x 10

Step Ups x 8 (each leg)

Push ups x 8

Pull ups x 8

Plank x 30 seconds

Rest 1 minute then do 2-4 more times.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday (Finals Suck) Mayhem

Ok, the mayhem refers to my life right now, not this post. I have 2 more finals coming up then I'm back home where I can have the time to post to my completely thrashed hearts content. Meanwhile, here is a post from Tony Gentilcore, a man who never ceases to make me laugh my ass off (not literally, that would be wierd).

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Mayhem

Alright, I'm back! It's fianls week here at ASU which all the more reason for me to start lifting again. It was a tough workout today, lots of unilateral exercises. It was good though. Anyways, here's some things I have noticed or wanna talk about today:

1. I saw a dude wearing sunglasses in the gym today doing standing tricep extensions. I'm not ashamed to say I LOL'd at him (yes I used LOL as an action, so sue me). It's ok though because I didn't say anything to him and what would have come out of my mouth would have be a barage of insults broken up by more LOLing. 

2. I'm loving Really good information given everyweek on strength, conditioning and nutrition. Now if they could just explain this rash on my...(Just kidding ladies.)

3. I personally believe that Megan Fox is a goddess. It just needs to be said.

I wish this was taken by me.

4. You need to take the Polish approach and eat some cabbage. Apparently, cabbage is uber high in carcinogen-fighting antioxidants and a study has shown they reduce the chance of breast cancer in women. It may smell like ass, but you're a big kid now, you can handle it.

5. I think I'm gonna try and ditch my protein shake for a while and save some green. I also wanna see what can happen when I go all stone age nutrition status and use just regular food post workout (bum, bum BUM!!! dramatic music).

6. Foam roller. Learn it, love it, live it. This thing is saving my life. It only costs $20, invest in your well being.

I bet Megan Fox foam rolls.

7. This just hilarious. Crossfit LOL.

Alright thats all for now. I'll see you cats on the flip side. Til then, be strong.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Great Article (For The Guys)

It seems as though guys these days are slightly confused about how a man should act. TC Luoma of T-Nation fame hit the nail in the head with his article this morning. Check it out:

My Speech to the Graduates, 2009
by TC 

Thank you, parents, distinguished faculty members, and students of Notorious B.I.G. University. I'm truly honored that you've asked me to make the commencement address to this year's graduating class...

Long uncomfortable pause. The speaker looks disgusted. He looks around with a contemptuous smirk on his face, crumples up his notes, and then shoots them into the audience, making a three-pointer into the pronounced cleavage of Miss Weatherby, the shocked glee club director who's sitting in the front row.

Screw this. I was going to make some high-falutin' speech about achievement and bright promise and all the wonderful opportunities in your life, but let's get real. Most of you are sitting out there Twittering and Tweeting and texting and OMG'ing and it's doubtful you'd even hear one word, so I'll just go ahead and say what I feel like.

Gawd, where do I start? I guess I'm going to address only the males out there because they're far worse off than you ladies. You, I'm not worried about too much. All the same, you're welcome to listen in.

Hrrrum (clearing throat).

Good afternoon losers.

If I had my druthers, I'd have you graduates come up here one by one, but instead of giving you your sheepskin, I'd bitchslap your rosy red cheeks so hard and loud that it would sound like I was playing Heigh-Ho Silver horsie in my hotel room with a stable of naked co-eds.

Hell, I'd go Moe on you.

The thing is, just about all of you are going to be dead in 60 years or so, assuming, among other unforeseeable events, that the Swine Flu doesn't mutate into Captain Tripps and wipe you all out cuz, the thing is, the younger and healthier you are, the more robust your immune system, the better your chance of drowning in your vomit and assorted bodily fluids.

How's that for a kick in the crotch?

And I don't know if this will bug you or not, but when you go? Nobody will give a shit. 

Oh, and one more thing: you're going to be dead a very long time.

You ever hear of the Greatest Generation? They grew up during the Great Depression, contributed to the war effort either by fighting in it or making materiel contributions to it, and then went on to build America.

You guys? Hell, you might well prove to be the worstest generation. 

Here's what your future likely holds:

You're going to drift from job to job because you have bizarrely high expectations for your salary, benefits, responsibilities, and vacation time, while having little concern about doing a good job or showing any loyalty at all to the company that was stupid enough to hire you.

Amazingly, though, you'll continue to have grandiose but highly unrealistic expectations for your future. Sure, you're just treading water until you get a Tweet from some company that wants you to write television shows or design games or do the graphics on a new line of snowboards. It's just a matter of time.

And if, by some small chance none of that works, you've got your secret weapon: you'll design Iphone apps! Sure, you've got one in mind that makes your screen turn into a virtual flickering Zippo lighter so that after Slipknot has just played their last set, you can wave it in the air and people will say, "That's just stupid cool."

You'll make millions.

Too late, app-boy, they've already done it.

But your parents promised you that you'd be successful, right? They said you were special, that you were all little Bill Gates or Stephen Hawkings—minus the talent, genius, or wheelchair, of course. How could you not succeed? It's only a matter of time!

In the meantime, you'll continue living with a bunch of guys, just like you did in college, because you don't want to give up that dorm life; you want your video buddies and drinking buddies and gambling buddies nearby because they're your smelly, toe-jam, hair-clogged-drain security blanket, and you take inestimable pleasure in waiting for them to pass out after drinking a dozen tall boys and then super gluing elbow macaroni to their faces to see how closely you can get them to resemble the thing Arnold fought in that Predator movie.

Besides, you can't afford to live on your least not until you get the call from the gaming company that wants to buy the video game concept that exists only on some ephemeral to-do list in your muddled head. 

But still you strut around... God do you strut. You're so full of false bravado and machismo that anybody with half a credit in psychology could see that it's compensation, compensation for fear and feelings of inadequacy. 

You don't know what life is about, and you have all these gosh-darn feelings that you suppress on 8 cylinders because you learned that men aren't supposed to have feelings and if people found out that you did, you wouldn't fit in; you wouldn't be allowed to play in all the reindeer games. 

And you can't talk to your parents because they won't get it. And you can't confide in your friends because that would reveal you as the weak sissy boy you are.

So you couch yourself in bravado. After all, you have to be a guy; you have to be accepted by the other guys.

So you follow the guy rules, the ones that say you have to act tough, not to impress women, but to impress other guys! Walk with a kyphotic slouch, talk without a hint of diction. To do otherwise might make your peeps think you're a homo!

Don't show any emotion other than anger, of course. Don't show interest in art or any music that isn't metal or rap and dress crappy because to do otherwise is so ghey! And by God if you get that bitch in your car, push her head down towards your lap until she gets busy. Make sure you get it on video, too. Hell, showing your friends you got a blowjob is better than the blowjob itself!

Trouble is, you can't even see that the heroes in the movies you idolize usually stand alone; are usually ridiculed by others for having independent thoughts, but what you idolize and how you act are completely at odds; there's absolutely no congruency.

But go ahead and follow the herd; it's safer. And go ahead and be angry, because that's the only acceptable emotion. 

And you deserve to be mad, don't you? 

The world is filled with all these beautiful women that you can't have. They dress all sexy, showing their cleavage and neathage and buttage and flashing their underwear and just taunting you, dude. Those...those bitches! 

So you listen to angry music. Four out of five gangsta rap CD's are bought by you angry white boys because by God, the black men on those CD's are angry and you can relate! Of course you can! Like that time your dad gave you the old family Volvo for your birthday instead of the new baby Beemer you wanted. That's anger man. It's almost-sorta-kinda like being raised in the Projects, isn't it?

Sure! You can relate to the black rapper!

And you listen to the old guys on talk radio and hate TV that are angry. They're fuming over the lost privileges of other white men! Those problems you're having? Not your fault! You're constantly being emasculated and humiliated by the government and the gays and liberal sissies and it's not your fault! 

The angry guys know it's easy to justify any prejudice by exaggerating real or imagined differences with the thing or person or people or institution they've targeted. That's how they play you. Man, you are so easy to manipulate!

But all you know is that you're angry.

That's okay, because there are video games, video games and porn.

The video games allow you to live in a world where you're constantly in control. You never have to show weakness, never have to show indecision or cowardice or insecurity! In real life, everyone tells you what to do, your parents, your teachers, your bosses, but in Grand Theft Auto, you're the meanest SOB around!

In fact, the experiences you have in your video games are often more authentic than the ones you have in the real world because, really, if you had sex with a hooker and then killed her and robbed her, that would be like, bad. Ask Philip Markoff. 

And the porn? It's because you're confused. Those damn bitches on the streets and in the clubs and in the Starbucks keep sending out mixed signals and you can't even scan some girl without being tagged as a stalker or a pervert, so you rely on porn for your "inter-gender" encounters.

No wonder you freaked out that one time you hooked up with a real flesh and blood girl. Man, her asshole wasn't even bleached! What a colossal turn-off!

Luckily your life is all about endless entertainment. Keep busy doing something, anything, so you can pass through life as distracted as possible. The only activities that matter are sex (real or electronic), money, power, drinking, and video games. Everything else, all the ordinary activities of life, have no value. They're nothing but a drag.

Trouble is, that's the majority of life. Once you devalue the ordinary activities, your mind sleeps through most of the rest of your life. You need to value everything you do, do everything in earnest, realize the potential for learning in any event, no matter how mundane it may seem.

Oh oh, I accidentally just gave some advice there. Not sure I meant to do that. 

But what the hell, I'll see, for my own amusement since no one's listening, if I can offer up some more wisdom. I guess that's what they're paying me for.

Let's try to figure out why a lot of you 16 to 26 year olds are the way you are.

Now I can understand that real masculinity, real notions of manhood like responsibility, caring, discipline, and integrity, are hard to come by.

Young men used to know they'd eventually find value in their work, but now that we're largely a service economy that doesn't produce squat and we're a culture of consumption instead of production, pride in accomplishment is rare; experiencing masculinity as a provider and protector is rare.

Likewise every male schmuck has told you that men don't cry, as if that's the sole trait essential to being a man. As a result, you strive desperately to shut off emotions. You saw your mother as one big matzo ball of emotions, so you started shutting her out of your life as you neared adolescence because you thought being too close to your mother might make you catch gay.

And since your dad was taught not to have emotions, he didn't talk to you about important stuff either. So you never really got to talk about any important stuff with anybody, because important stuff is often feelings-based and, feelings, as I mentioned....

So you were forced to get your definition of manhood, and life for that matter, from the poor schlubs on TV sitcoms.

Oh sure, you want to grow up to be the henpecked doofus in Everyone Loves Raymond.

No wonder no one wants to get married or grow up. Hell, that's a drag. TV adulthood, ergo real adulthood, is a drag. It's all about paying bills, car payments, buying fucking appliances. Who wants that crap?

Years ago, guys used to leave home, complete their educations, start work, get married, and have kids all pretty much at the same time, which, for self-respecting guys, was at the ripe old age of about 20 or 21.

They got married—and bought into all the crap that came with it back then because that meant you could get all the nookie you wanted, any time you wanted. (Girls usually didn't just give it away back then.)

"Honey, I'm home! Now drop the panties and bend over cuz I'm gonna make one deposit I don't need a receipt for."

But there's usually some free nookie around nowadays, which means you don't have to grow up for a long time. Granted, it's generally not the stuff you see on Girls Gone Wild DVDs or beer commercials or Bebe ads, but some nookie is better than no nookie. 

But if you don't even have Grade B nookie, you've got Internet nookie, and that's nothing to shake a stick...well, you know what I mean.

So the nookie factor is all but removed as a reason to grow up and get married.

Likewise, you never learned about feelings and emotional development and real manliness, but you did get all the other supposed answers from parents, teachers, peers, religion, and popular culture that explain what life's all about, but they never asked you for any follow-up questions.

So you naturally become punk-ass smarty-pants know-it-alls, who are hugely retarded in that your mind is completely closed by the time you hit...well, your age.

So you use these immutable opinions to put a spin on everything. Despite your relatively young age, you pretty much can't learn anything of value on your own and certainly can't be taught anything.

Well it's time to stop laying blame.

Granted, all those people I mentioned earlier—your parents, teachers, peers, etc.—deserve a lot of the blame. Forgive them, for they know not what they do or did. 

But that's as far as the blame game goes. Time to man up. Time to fix yourself, because no one else gives a shit.

First, I want you to forget just about everything you ever learned.

I'd like you to be innocent again. I want you to be open to experience. It's the only way out.

Start asking questions. Look at everything as a possible learning experience. How does what I'm seeing relate to me? How can I learn from this? 

Look for a grain—or a sackful—of truth in what I said at the beginning of the speech. If you know why you act the way you do, know the source of your actions and reactions, you're halfway there in becoming a real human being. 

Second, stop being normal.

Normal people are the guys I was talking to in the beginning of this speech. Normal, as it's defined nowadays, ain't good. I'm not saying to get married or not to get married, not saying to find a respectable career or not to find a respectable career; not saying to buy a house and Maytag appliances or not to. That's all up to you.

What I'm asking is that you define your purpose in life—whatever it is—and set about achieving it. Things just start to click after that. You start to separate the bullshit from the non-bullshit, the essential from the non-essential.

Once you start doing that, you may find that the people you hang around with start to look like children to you, and rightly so. 

And that's not normal, at least not nowadays.

There's still plenty of time for "normal" things like video games and beer and porn, but let's try to achieve some balance, shall we? Give your inner self as much attention as you give your outer self.

Really, it's the right thing to do. It'll ultimately be a lot more satisfying than the alternative. 

As I said, you're going to be dead for a very long time.

Special thanks to the book "Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men," by Michael Kimmel, and Dr. Paul Hatherley, author of "The Awareness and Skills Necessary for Enduring Happiness."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There seems to be a very big surge of people who want to train like fighters. Almost certainly, this stems from the popularity that UFC has made. Lots of and so called "UFC fitness guru's" have been made out of this new phenomenon as well. UFC fighters are, without a doubt, some of the most in shape and well conditioned individuals on the planet, so it is a good thing in my mind for people to look to this as a way to get into a FUNCTIONAL fit state. However, it seems many people don't know how to train like this and achieve the level of badassery that these warriors eminate on a daily basis.

So, I'll shed a bit of light on the subject with a few ideas to help get you started. (DISCLAIMER: All knowledge I have is stolen from coaches and is proven to work by them. If you implement what I say, and you get hurt cuz you do it in a dumb ass fashion or go beyond what you are capable of, don't sue me, because then it will be really difficult to be friends.)

- Train using compound movement patterns: This means that you guys who think doing leg curls is gonna help make you a stronger kicker are way off. The muscles of the body are made to work with one another in a total body manner. So, by trying to isolate muscles, you are making your body "forget" so to speak, how to work in coordination with other supporting muscles, thus making you an uncoordinated fighter, which will make you get your ass kicked by Fedor. Compound movements include: Olympic lifts, deadlifts, presses, squats, rows, etc.  Now, that being said, and I can't believe I'm saying this, there is room for bicep work here, BUT A MINIMAL AMOUNT!!! In order to choke out an opponent, you need a strong hook, and extra bicep work can definitely help with that.

-Train in a circuit fashion: Ever wonder how those fighters can last so long in The Octagon? Well, that has to do with their epic level of conditioning. They do this by putting their exercises into stations and going through them based on an alotted time per station or a higher rep scheme. This also boosts their metabolism because the intensity of the work is do high. Here is an example of one I would make:

  • Speed snatch x 30 sec
  • Sled Push x 30 sec
  • Sled Pull x 30 sec
  • Med Ball Slam x 30 sec
  • Plyometric Push-Ups x 30 sec
  • Kettlebell Swings w/External Push (for core) x 30 sec

All that by maybe 3 or 4 sets with 2 minutes rest between.That's just off the top of my head, and it could be way off (so don't try it!), but that's about what it could look like. To use regular weights, just substitute your exercises in and alter the work time to suit your needs. The point is to make the workout be as intense as a bout could be, so for about as long as the duration of a round (in this case a three minute round).

-Stretch regularly: These fighters need to be flexible to be able to withstand and armbar or an Achilles hold (they hurt like Hell). Also, it helps speed up recovery after workout. So, for the average lifter (i.e. you), you want to do it for the latter. A simple 10-15 minute static stretching session after workout should be fine. Also, invest in a foam roller. It's like getting a deep tissue massage. It's painful at times, but it is well worth it.

-Eat nutritionally sound foods: You can't look like a fighter if you don't eat like one. Most (with the exception of BJ Penn, who ate cheeseburgers all training season and got his ass rocked by GSP), have a very clean and nutritionally sound diet. What does that mean? Well, for starters:

  • Cut out calorie containing beverages. I know the Gatorade makes you fell all powerful and strong, but your love handles beg to differ.
  • Eat 5-7 smaller meals a day rather than 3 big ones. More meals throughout the day means an increased metabolism and constant nutrients getting to you all important muscles.
  • Protein with every meal. Protein is the building block of muscle, so you need a lot. Some say 1 gram per pound of bodyweight, but I'd say you'd be safe around 2 or so. Added bonus: protein has a high thermic effect on the body, which means more overall calories burned.
  • Fruits and vegetables. If you don't eat them, a) you won't get good fiber and minerals and b) your mom will be pissed.
  • Carbs around workout. Have alot of your carbs around the workout for fuel you will need. A pre-workout shake of a 2:1 carb to protein ratio should be perfect. Have another shake after then another high carb meal an hour or so after that.
  • Don't forget fats. You need good fats to grow. Fats help increase the amount of testosterone in the body, and in this day and age, we could all use more of that (fuckin Zac Efron).

Well, that's all I got for this installment. As I come across more research and plans, I'll be sure to let you faithful in on it. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm dead. Well, not in the literal sense, as you can plainly see, but in the sense that my body feels as though... I'm tired (too tired to come up with a wity joke. Insert your own at your discretion.) Trying to workout this week has been, purely and simply, difficult. You know it's time for a break when you have heavy breathing while walking up stairs (that's slightly embarassing).

So, whats my plan? Well, it really amounts to not doing shit for a couple of days. I may swim here or there and maybe go for a bit of a jog in the morning to pump some blood to the muscles, but the majority of time will be spent studying for damn finals (fuck you International Law). I'm a believer that your body needs complete rest every once in a while when you train like we do. People seem to forget that part of training. You may not feel sore in the muscles, but your CNS (Central Nervous System) will sure as hell thank you for the time off. I mean I'm an extremely active guy (ladies, there is plenty to go around), so I have to take rests, especially when my routine consists of powerlifting and total body workout plans 3 days a week. Pretty much my CNS is saying "Fuck you man!" 

Hell, next time I get back in the gym, I will most likely be stronger than when I was lifting. I just get all ansy when I'm not exercising, but I know this will help. I'm just staring at my kettlebells and longing for some snatches (yes, pun definately intended).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Mayhem

Random thoughts after a week of work and strife:

  • I love kettle bells, and it is not a platonic love. I love their versatility, I love their applications, and I love the myriad of exercises and schemes you can complete with them. These things save my life when I don't have time to go to the gym or need a break from the monatony. This is the complex I did before my drive home last week (it ain't a textbook complex but it's close enough):

-KB Power Clean x 6

-Front Squat x 8

-Shoulder Press x 8

-Windmills x 8 (each side)

-Renegade Rows x 8 (each side)

-Russian Twist x 10 (each side)

-KB Hand-2-Hand Swing by 12 (each side)

  • I've become a big fan of training barefoot. Not only does it make me feel all special inside because of strange looks, it allows me to feel the ground and get a better "grip" so to speak. Try it, if you don't mind pissing off a few personal trainers.
  • Take a week off every now and then. People seem to forget that they make progress in the gym when they aren't hitting the iron. Recovery is a huge portion of your gains and take it from me, I learned the hard way. Either do some regular sports, go jogging, do some complexes or just take the whole damn week off. Your body will thank you.
  • I gotta get me some TRX Suspension Trainers. These things are great for body weight and core work. Also, I need some bands too for banded squats. Good for developing power.
  • I need a new gym. As I would think most of you know, we are a minority in the world so we must conform to the Bally Total Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness mentality. Personally, I'm done with it and am going to find a gym with my philosophies instilled in it. Time to invest in my training.
  • Nutrition is tough in college. So with that being the case, I've learned some cheap, inexpensive snacks that don't consist of the words "Ramen" and "Easy Mac". One is an apple, three tablespoons of peanut butter and some cinnamon. Does the body good.
  • Supplements blow. They cost too much and most don't do shit. That's why I go to Biotest on T-Nation for reasonably priced protein and supps for a lot less that normal. (Note: T-Nation has some great articles from the best in the biz. Whatever your goal, they talk and write about it. Check it out.)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Since I have been driving for the past 6 hours and just got back to my computer after a heavenly weekend of merriment in California, I've decided to be lazy and give you all an article I came across by a guy named Matt Phelps at EliteFTS. Very good and very fitting.  Enjoy! (I will try and write something tomorrow if finals allow me too.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

5 Things I Hate in the Weightroom (+1)

Hi, Billy Mayes (Sean Butler) here with an offer you can't refuse! I am here to let you in on a rant of pet peeves that will make you want to punch baby seals by the end! You will  get 5of my most hated things I see in weight rooms today! But wait, there's more! I'll give you another thing I see in training that I hate absolutely free! You can't get a a rant like this many other places for this cheap! So, without further screaming at the top of my lungs, let the tirade begin!

1. People who use the power racks for curls- Seriously, I know that it's a struggle for you to pick up the 60 pounds of weight off of the floor and that your underdeveloped back is straining against the sheer massive poundage, but seriously, when I'm trying to do a useful exercise, I would really prefer not to wait for you to gas through your 8th set of bicep work then lose my focus while you flex your "guns" in the mirror. 

2. People who wear Affliction and/or hats in the gym- You may feel badass when you walk in wearing a $80 shirt that somehow represents that you watch an MMA fight on rare occasion, and it may attract women. However, this wofts in such an air of douchebag that I feel as though I need to move away from you so I don't smell the Natty Ice or start saying "bro" or "chill" on a constant basis. Also, if your wear a hat, I know that you're fucking new or just a plain idiot and with try at all costs to stay away from you so you don't hit me with a weight while doing your 15 pound lateral raises. (Side note: Why the fuck do people wear their hats on the back of their head? Seriously, it's not even on nor does it serve any purpose like that)

3. People who ask "Whatcha bench?" anytime they need a judging on strength- Look, I'm not gonna say that if you bench a lot, you aren't strong. Anyone who can bench two times their body weight is decently strong in my mind and should give themselves a hug (or touch themselves if their lonely). But anyone who judges someones strength entirely on one exercise or movement does not even belong in the weight room and much less near any heavy object (mainly because I could possibly hit them in the head with an 80 pound weight out of shear rage). 

4. Personal trainers who tell me that the exercises I do are dangerous-OK, first off, I have nothing against PT's. As I mentioned, I plan on becoming one. However, the PT's in my college gym seem to think that since they got their certification, they can tell me that the exercises I do will either a) kill me, b) kill someone else or c) kill all the polar bears and puppies in the world. Honestly, until you can give me written evidence that I can die from doing an explosive movement, shut the fuck up and keep having your clients do curls with 8 pound dumbbells on a Bosu Ball.

5. People who watch T.V. on the elliptical machine- There are really 2 things wrong with this. One, why the hell are you on an elliptical? Seriously, there are better ways to spend your time that can burn more calories, rowing for 10 minutes for instance (believe me, I did crew, it's Hell). And two, if you are watching Gossip Girl while "running", I'm almost certain you are putting full effort into your workout.

And finally...

6. People who say I can't do...- People told me there is no way I could deadlift 315x3 today cuz I'm only 160 pounds. Well fuck that! I did it...twice! Six reps. And it wasn't hard. So fuck naysayers. Do what the fuck you want. 

Ok, my rant is done. If you have any things you hate in the gym or training, or just life in generally, comment on this article. Just make sure you calm down before going to the Zoo or anything, those seals are endangered. 

P.S. Thanks to Ricky for the epic Paint job on the picture.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm not gifted. There, that's the first step to acceptance. I'm not a tall individual at 5'8", which didn't help my swimming or water polo career. I've been stuck at 160 lbs for about 4 months now and my strength seems to plateau on a regular basis. I don't generally pick up new sports very quickly and I'm pretty much an average athlete all around. Then we have the case of my roommate. 

He is about 6'3" and 220. He lifts weights maybe 5 days a month and when he does, it usually consists of many isolation lifts with maybe a power exercise here or there. He (off of his own report) can do a 200 lb clean and jerk x 3. I can do that too, but I lift 3 days a week full body AND swim 3 days a week. He picks up sports extremely easily. He is skilled at basketball and other contact sports. The other day, he did a pistol squat jump up onto a three and a half fort table. I KNOW I can't do that. 

This pisses me off. I train my ass off, meticulously follow my nutrition, and stay up to date on the latest exercises and periodization schemes to perform feats of unnatural nature and here my lazy ass roommate who stays up all night boozing, eats Taco Bell and Whataburger on a regular basis, and lifts on the rare occasion he feels lazy can do this shit.

Now you may be asking yourself "Why are you writing about this? What does this have to do with MY fitness concerns? Why should I care about your problems? First off: you're all selfish bastards. Can't you think of anyone but yourself. Plus you're fat.

Okay I'm kidding, but I do have a reason behind the myriad of words I have written above.

I see guys plugging away in gyms, on fields and in pools for hours and hours and wondering why they don't look like the model on the fitness mag or the bahemith in math class. They keep doing everything right as far as they know and read, yet there are still people, seemingly less motivated, lazy people, who are out-performing them on a daily basis. 

What we regular people need to realize is that there are forces at work in our lives that are beyond our control: somatotype, genetics, upbringing, and just damn dirty luck. I'm Irish, but I seem to lack the luck gene our people is famous for. My roommate, on the other hand, seems to have all the best qualities: he's mesomorphic (characterized by large bones, solid torso, low fat levels, wide shoulders with a narrow waist), has the Eastern European genetics to back him up and he just has plain old luck.

Now I'm not doing this to try and make anyone feel inferior (you're of the less than 50% of Americans who trains regularly, give yourself a pat on the back), but when I think of all the problems against me (you), I think of the Nike slogan: "Just do it". Seriously, striving to beat that guy who is just genetically gifted will pay off better for you in the long run a better feeling of self worth, higher motivation, and a great physique to show for it.

Like I tell the water polo kids I train when they first step into the weight room, "There is no ego in here. No one is special. Work ethic determines everything." I don't care if one new kid can bench 145x3 and another just the damn bar x3. If the one lifting the bar is still getting the same workout and getting stronger, then both him and me are doing our jobs.

So if you are one of those genetically challenged individuals out there struggling against someone, something, or just some numbers, just remember to keep working at it and the results will come your way. (Inspirational rant complete).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Books I Like

I'm a connoisseur of sorts. I'm never happy with just one program design or one training philosophy. I believe every training model and idea has it's place in strength and conditioning. That's why I have over 20 different books on training programs by some of the best guys in the field: Robert Dos Remedios, Alwyn Cosgrove (he has survived cancer...twice), Chad Waterbury, Nate Green, Mark Rippetoe and many more. Every one of them has brought something new and thought provoking to the table. So, without further adue or brown nosing (hey guys, remember my name when I'm looking for a job), here are some of my favorite training manuals and reference guides (in no particular order):

Men's Health Power Training by Robert Dos Remedios

This book is one of the best all around training manuals out on the market. Dos' programs focus on functional training for everyday strength and conditioning. He uses power and Olympic style training exercises to help boost metabolic performance and make your stronger while also making you bigger. I've been using his total body model and it has made great results.

Built for Show by Nate Green.

This book is a must for anyone looking for huge hypertrophy (muscle size for you noobs) gains that goes by the seasons. Nate also has a great section on how to look good while not naked with suggestions on clothing, speaking to women, and generally being a beacon to which sex and naked women gravitate to on a regular basis. I highly reccomend it.

The New Rules of Lifting For Men (and Women) by Alwyn Cosgrove

 Alwyn Cosgrove is probably the single most sought after speaker on fitness in the field. He also, as said before, is a 2 time cancer survivor. This book is great for anyone just starting out in fitness and needs a good solid beginner program. Very good read and makes perfect sense for those who don't understand the jargin of the industry. (Note:Check out Alwyn's fundraising for cancer research. A CD with over 800 pages of articles by some of the best in the biz: Liftstrong.

Huge in a Hurry Chad Waterbury.

 This training manual has it all: great programming, sound nutrition, and science to back it up (for all you uber biomechanical and kinesiology nerds out there). In this manual, Chad looks at what he calls the SIze Principal. The program requires that you lift heavy enough weights to get to the type IIB/X fibers (the ones that allow you to lift ridiculously heavy shit). It has total body programming, strength programming, and bodybuilder style triaining programs available to you (it even has High Frequency Training for arms for you bicep crazy people). Definately give it a look.

Muscle Chow by Gregg Avedon

 Gregg hit the nail in the head with this great cookbook that helps you get the nutritional needs to have while also not making you suck down protein shakes every hour of the day. The recipes help turn on the anabolic switch to help you get great muscle while still remaining lean. If you care about your results (which I think you do considering you're reading this) definately get this book. BTW, it even has freakin' desserts in it!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Are you a "hardgainer"? Do you lift and lift yet you still don't see the magical fruits of your labor, like increased muscle size and strength? 

Well, do you eat like enough to make these gains or do you eat like a 12 year old anorexic girl and have a crouton and a glass of water at dinner to keep your precious six pack? If you do eat food on a regular basis, do you eat the right kinds? How about at the right times of the day and in the right quantities and ratios of macronutrients?

Seriously, I'm not gonna be one of those guys who says that nutrition is 80% or even 70% of your total muscle gains, but it is a huge part. I used to think I ate enough food yet the scale never tipped. However,  one day I started using

Boy, was I totally wrong. I wasn'y getting nearly enough nutrients for my needs. This site has it all: vitamin and mineral breakdowns, percentages of your calorie intake and where they come from, and they even have an option to make a new food entry if the one you want isn't already in their database. The greatest part is that it's free! If you are serious about your gains and nutrition, I highly recommend using it.

Also, you might want to checkout Dr. John Berardi's book Scrawny to Brawny.

It has all the information on nutrient timing, ratios, and when and why to eat, and it even has some good recipes in it. The beginning also has a pretty good workout scheme that goes right along with the premises of the book. Give it a look and see if it can't help you, unless you like being constantly mistaken for sapling.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Have the squat and deadlift variations completely been abandoned all of the sudden? I see college guys in my gym walkin around with KFC syndrome (big breasts, little thighs). What the hell has happened? I'm not gonna point fingers at anyone in particular, but people, there is no reason to look like you can bench 350 yet not be able to lift a couch while moving (and I am almost certain women think you look like a douche). 

Sqauts and dealifts not only help build up the claves and legs while releasing large amounts of testosterone (and in this day and age, we need all we can get (naturally of course)), they also make you look like a fucking badass.

So, help me in bringing back squat and deadlift...

 ...cuz we all want an ass like that (or at least want to touch it).

My First Post

In this blog (where the hell did they come up with that name?), I want to talk abou things I like in this industry. Be it products, exercises, articles, books, coaches, nutrition or half-naked women, I want to discuss it here. I will put a disclaimer out though: I am not a strength coach. I do not have any certification in the field (yet, getting my CPT in a couple weeks and CSCS when I graduate college). What I have is a general knowledge of training and nutrition and a love for conditioning and sports preparation. I will not hold any form of conditioning over any other (though I really am not a fan of Crossfit, I guess I can allow it). Every goal and every method has it's place in my mind and I will do my best to talk about each. I also want to discuss things that I see in gyms that make me want to punch baby puppies. So, if you have any comments, feel free to post 'em.