Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Best Articles From Last Week

I know it has been a long time since I have posted a best articles of the week post, but this series is back!  Down below are my summaries of a few articles that I found interesting and useful throughout the week (with there links below it) that I think will make for some good reading.

Hip-Thrust-Form

In today’s society, there is a great change happening in the fitness media.  The trend is not to be “model thin” anymore, but has become strong is sexy.  Along with this change, every woman wants a nicely toned derriere that would be worthy of Sir Mix A Lot “Booty Got Back” theme song. And fellas, don’t forget that woman don’t like men who have what my co-worker calls a “guillotine ass,” which is in reference to a guy with glutes so flat it looks like a guillotine had chopped it off (chopping hand gesture inserted here).   So how does one achieve this derriere especially when we live in a society that spends most of its time sitting on it?

At last, a solution! Glute Guy, Bret Contreras, has found the solution in this article. Bret uses EMG to test the differences between the squat and hip thrust to see how one could hypertrophy the glutes, so they too could land on the cover of paper magazine.

Squats vs Hip Thrusts – Bret Contreras

Running to First Base

In the strength and conditioning community running has gathered a bad rep.  If an athlete were to run, they would end up becoming small and weak, therefore, not to live happily ever after.  And in many ways this is true if that strength coach or personal trainer does not know what they are doing.  The bottom line becomes, any athlete and active person can benefit from aerobic training regardless of the goal.  The amount and intensity is all dependent on that person’s sport/lifestyle.  Read further to see why Mike Robertson, a renowned personal trainer and strength coach, recommends that aerobic training become better understood by fitness professionals as well as better utilized to help your client achieve the best results possible.

Real Talk About Aerobic Training for Athletes – Mike Roberston

LOW-CARB-PIC

I really like this article, and it does not just apply to active women.  Every person could benefit by understanding and knowing these three nutrition myths and how that can be holding you back from reaching your goals.  I especially think number three is important.  We hear that one a lot, and live and die by it, but we don’t always understand the implications of how this affects the physiology of the body.  Also, if you do cut calories, it should be cycled in and out, just as one would do in the exercise programs.  Meaning that if you were to cut calories to lose weight, it should be done in 2-4 week intervals, and then you should go back to consuming more calories.  This will serve to keep you from slowing your metabolism, losing lean muscle mass, and disrupting your hormonal balances.


Staying True to Your New Years Resolutions

Happy Holidays everybody, and Happy New Year.  It is an exciting time because a New Year is beginning, new opportunities are on the horizon, and well, there is a new blog post here!

That time of year is here when the gyms are getting busy again because everyone is done feeling guilty about what they have eaten during the holiday season.  And they are ready to start off the New Year the right way with a better, healthier them.  But as February and March roll around, those once exciting goals of losing weight, getting shredded and looking like a sexified Ryan Grosling are in the past.  Well let’s hope this year, this IS NOT you!  And one way to do that, is reading this here post as it will give you a guide to staying on track for the long term.

Gosling

RULE #1: Keep Goals

The only way to achieve success, not just in the gym but in life, is to set goals.  I already spoke of this in a past post, and I think it is very important.  Your goals must be specific and obtainable.  If not, failure is often the case.  Goals give you a direction, and when you obtain them they are much more gratifying.

Here is a list of my weight lifting goals for 2014:

Weight = 175 lbs- Currently 163 lbs

Front Squat = 225 lbs – Currently 195 lbs

Deadlift = 315 lbs – Currently 275 lbs

Military Press = 135 lbs – Currently 115 lbs

Turkish Get-up = 100 lbs – Currently 88 lbs

I have toned down how high I set my goals this year. With school it gets very hard to continually progress without overtaxing myself.  I believe I will have no problems reaching these goals, or surpassing all of them by 2015.

RULE #2: Get a Friend 

FUnny workout ecard

Make sure that person’s goals fit with yours.  

Otherwise they could potentially be very bad influences.

Having somebody with similar goals as you will make your journey easier.  Recruit a friend or family member to join you in reaching your goals.  Maybe it is to lose 20 pounds, or walk 10,000 steps a day, or bike 50 miles a week.  Whatever the goal is having somebody at your side makes reaching your goals less daunting.  This also makes you accountable to someone else, which means you are making a commitment.  If you had to meet your best friend at the gym at 8am every morning, you can’t just skip on them.  Well you can, but that would be pretty douchey of you.

RULE #3: Tell People

By telling everybody around you what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them this year will put more pressure on you and make you commit to your goals more.  Tell people on a consistent basis.  This does two things, one it does what I said before; it puts pressure on you, because who wants to fail in front of their friends and family?  And two, by constantly talking about your goals and how you will achieve them will help you believe that you will accomplish your goals in your own mind.  Once you feel like you can accomplish your goals, your chances of doing so are greatly improved.

RULE #4: Check Your Progress

Pick a regular interval that you will test your progress. So if you want a 315 bench and you currently are benching 250, you must test your bench every month or so to see if you are moving closer to your goals.  If you are not moving towards your goals, you must sit down and think why.  Is it my nutrition, lack of sleep, have I been inconsistent, etc… Once you figure this out, it will help you break through those frustrating plateaus that we all hit from time to time.


This Weeks Good Reads 06/08/12

 This week has been exhausting thus far.  My morning schedule changed up slightly and has thrown off my day to day routines.  I haven’t been sleeping well, my workouts feel shitty and I am so very tired.  Usually it takes me a week or two to adjust to changes in my work schedule.

And because of this, I can’t tell if my max training program is not going as well as I would have hoped due to lack of sleep, or just simplybecause I am working way too close to my 1 RM.  It is probably a combination of the two.  Hopefully next week I can get my body on track, and will be making some changes to my exercise program in regards to mytraining volume and intensity.

Here are this weeks good reads:

This is a piece by Mike Boyle, in which he talks about how we only have one body.  With this body we have responsibilities to keep it running on all cylinders.  We do not get another body, and if we have to replace any parts they never work quite the same.  We can’t all be as bad ass as the six million dollar man.  This is a “to the point” reminder to take care of your body, health-wise and performance-wise, this way you can live a long, happy life.

ONLY ONE BODY – MIKE BOYLE

These are some great bullets to what you can do to help lose weight.  The little things count, and you will see so in the piece.  It ranges from everything from setting goals to why you should be eating more cayenne peppers.

71 TIPS TO LOSE FAT – DR. MOHR

For those of us who get really busy and want to maintain strength and not too sure how this article is perfect for you.  It talks about how much harder it is for us to reach our goals, yet so much easier to stay at those levels.  Using his eight steps, it really becomes a no brainer on how to keep strength up during the times of your life where things get out of control.

8 STRATEGIES FOR EASILY MAINTAINING STRENGTH – ERIC CRESSEY

Even though this article says training for men, it is applicable to everyone for any goal.  The title says men because it is an article posted on T-Nation which is predominately a testosterone filled website. It is still a worth while read for all as there are still valuable lessons to be learned here.  This is all about how to set priorities, cut down your training time, but still be effective at getting results and being effective in the gym.  This goes hand in hand with Cressey’s article above.  After reading these, there are no more excuses to not be in the gym.  And to be rather straight forward about it, now you’re just being plan lazy.

EFFECTIVE TRAINING FOR BUSY MEN – JIM WENDLER

Was this post helpful, enlightening, the purest, greatest thing you ever read? Let me know, leave a comment below!


This Weeks Good Reads 06/02/12

Last weekend I went with my girlfriend to see the avengers, and let me say… It was awesome.  A comic book movie done right.  Had all the pieces of the puzzle; humor, fighting, good character entrances and the Hulk stealing the show. 

Also in recent news, heavy front squats followed by heavy R-DL’s is a recipe for disaster for the hamstrings and glutes.  Holy can’t extend my legs Batman.

Without further adieu, here are this weeks good reads.

This blog post by Jason digs into the mindset that many of us take into the gym and everyday life.  How many people focus too much on the little details in life, and the negative outcomes that may occur in a given situation.  Also, he talks about how we should try to keep a positive mindset not just through life but within our training as well. And how these stresses effect your hormonal levels like cortisol and testosterone and how it affects your body.

HOW TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE AND YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM  – JASON FERRUGGIA

This brief article mentions two new studies done that are changing our minds on how we view both foam rolling and proper breathing techniques with our training.  He did a great job summarizing the two, and I don’t want to be a spoiler, so check it out.

THINK FOAM ROLLING AND BREATHING TRAINING DON’T WORK, THINK AGAIN – BRET CONTRERAS

I really like what Adam Bornstein did with this post.  He lays out just the truth and facts about the ten things a fitness magazine would never tell you.  Do you wonder why?  Because these things do not sell.  The things I talk about in my blog and the things I put in my good reads don’t sell in the mainstream because they are not the easy way out.  These things do not tell people what they want to hear, but tell them they must work to achieve the fitness goals, or any goals they desire.

Please take the time and read this one, a lot of valuable lessons to be learned.

THE TOP 10 THINGS FITNESS MAGAZINES WON’T TELL YOU – ADAM BORNSTEIN

This was a great question asked and answered by a STEVO.  And this is why I love questions and comments in blogs, because it leads to good stuff like this.  The reason I like this post is because he went further then just saying why situps and spinal flexion is bad for you.  He also tells you why!  And even better, he does tell you that in certain cases, spinal flexion and situps are even favorable.  If you are still not convinced about situps not giving you a six-pack and that they destroy your back, check this Q&A out and read for yourself.

Q&A WHAT’S WRONG WITH SITUPS – STEVO

Was this post helpful, enlightening, the purest, greatest thing you ever read? Let me know, leave a comment below!


This Week’s Good Reads

Here is this week’s good reads.

Sorry I missed them last week. I have been very busy lately so I will cut straight to the chase here.

For those of you who are always doing three sets of ten reps day in day out this is the perfect article for you.  It gives great guidelines on what physiological systems each rep range works on (hypertrophy, endurance or strength) as well as how to apply it to your workouts based on your level of fitness and mentality on training.

Quit going into the gym mindlessly with no plan and no idea of what your training program effects are on your body.  Put some thought into it, and you will see big differences faster.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SETS AND REPS

With the computer era in full effect many of us forget how to use our shoulders.  No matter who you are, or how many pounds you can lift, your shoulder stabilizers and rotator cuff will always need some extra activation work.  Check out this great exercise by Eric Cressey, it is a great movement that will strengthen both the scapular stabilizers and the rotator cuff.  This is a big bang for your buck exercise as it will help the muscles needed for posture as well as help the little muscles surrounding the shoulder to help perfect your technique while exercising.

TRAINING THE ROTATOR CUFF AND SCAPULAR STABILIZER SIMULTANEOUSLY – ERIC CRESSEY

This is a great read for anybody who has any pain with a particular exercise or for the person who jumped into an exercise that was probably too much for them and has horrible technique.

Ben talks about how to modify exercises if they are painful, if you don’t have the equipment, if you are trying to progress or regress, and if you are deloading.

By learning how to modify exercises you can exercise any time any where and do it successfully.  This is a great tool in any person’s bag the exercises no matter what their dedication or fitness goals really are.

HOW AND WHEN TO MODIFY EXERCISES – BEN BRUNO

This has to be one of the most entertaining articles I have read in a while.  It is all about deadlifts.  If you don’t deadlift, read it anyway.  You will want to after that.  If you already deadlift, read it.  You will want to deadlift immediately.  It has humor, and science all into one.

It made me spontaneously go for my one rep max on deadlift.  And I got a new PR.  If that is not a good enough reason to read it, then JUST READ IT!

75 WAYS DEADLIFTING JUST PLAIN ROCKS – DEAN SOMERSET


This Weeks Good Reads

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all of you who have been following me, and I’m glad that you all have been enjoying my blog in its beginning days. I also wanted to say thank you to my girlfriend Jen, who has so kindly agreed to proof-read my work to make sure I don’t make silly mistakes and sound stupid. 

Also please feel free to leave some comments, let me know what you guys and gals want to hear me write about.  What topics interest you etc…

BACK TO BASICS – MOLLY GALBRAITH 

Anybody who thinks that the basics are not for them and just jump straight to the big lifts, this is for you.  A reminder that no matter how good or strong you think you are getting, you can never forget the basics.  We must all go back and revisit them.  Sometimes you will be very happy at what you see when you do.  And sometimes you may find out that you completely lost sight of the basics and maybe even struggle to do them.  If that is the case, you better revisit them and master them.

TALL KNEELING LANDMINE – TONY GENTILCORE

This is a great exercise for anti-rotation and anti-extension.  This hits two categories that I talked about in my core training post.  By going from the feet to the knees, you are taking out one joint.  Allowing you to get a much better squeeze through the glutes to help lock your core in and to really allow your core to fire better.

This is a great exercise for all lifters, whether you are a beginner or advanced, you can perform these.  It is perfect for developing strong glutes, hamstrings and adductors (posterior chain) and will help you become much stronger then you are now.  If you think you’re a big hot shot that can squat heavy, try this exercise.  Just remember to leave the ego at the door.  If you’re a newb trying to learn to squat, this is perfect because it will teach you depth in your squat as well as give you confidence on your dissension into the hole.

SEVEN SHOULDER FRIENDLY EXERCISES – BEN BRUNO

For those of you with shoulder pain while bench pressing or during your everyday activities, give these push modifications a try.  You will be able to put on muscle while training your shoulder to be healthy.  This is a win-win for everybody.  Even those who have healthy shoulders throw some of these into the mix as it will keep your shoulders healthy and help you get stronger all at the same time.

Great read for you ladies who are intimidated by the weight room.  I do not know how many times on this blog or how many more times I will mention this, but it is important for woman as well as men to strength train.  There are far more benefits to strength training for women then just aesthetics as well.  Take a lesson from another woman on how to feel more comfortable in the gym.

 

This Weeks Good Reads

Today is Star Wars Day.  And that is pretty sweet (nerd alert).   Would love to sit tonight and watch a movie or two or three.  The only thing in this world better then deadlifting heavy is a light saber battle.  BOOYAH! 

On that note, here are my good reads for the week.

This is a good study done that proves that sleeping too little is associated with higher BMI’s. So if your looking to drop some pounds, look forward to an extra couple hours of shut eye to help kick start the body.

Longer Sleep Times Effect on Weight

This is a VERY GOOD read by Al Painter. He did a great job writing about a topic I highly believe in and a philosophy I use on an every day basis.

He points out the Four myths of exercising, and just as I do, wonder how they ever got there in the first place.

Ladies, after you read this, please go out and lift something heavy, it will make both you and I happy.

Why woman should train like a guy Woman Deadlifting