Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday dedication- what are you doing tomorrow?

It's kinda late on a sunday night... had a couple days of no internet connection doing the holiday visits with the family... i am completely looking forward to my lift tomorrow. Working at a faculty staff gym at UK, I know that the entire campus is closed. SO I have the keys to the gym and I have an all-access pass to my own gym anytime I want over the break.

I am assuming I will lift in the morning one muscle group and then go back later and do another. I will write the program down tonight and go in with a plan... I am a lot more productive (and you are too) when you go into your workout with at least a mental picture of everything you want to accomplish. I would recommend writing down at least the exercises you want to do, but the best would be exercises, reps, sets, and what weights you believe you are going to start at on each lift.... this dramatically cuts down on the amount of "what the hell do i do next" time and keeps the flow going in your workout.

I hope tomorrow, the last monday before next year, you get up and get your workout in. i will be up by 9, i guarantee it, which will be around 8ish hours of sleep. I have read several places that most people need 6-9 hours of sleep and the way you feel for less than that amount of sleep can actually physiologically match the way your body feels if you get tooooooooo much sleep. These people that end up sleeping 12 plus hours because they feel they DESERVE it is a load of shit.

That must mean you deserve your heart problem, high cholesterol, lung problem from deserving too many extra cigarettes.... YOU DESERVE TO GET HEALTHIER! You deserve to get a great nights rest and wake up and make the most of your day. Get into a gym, do your aerobics at home, set goals and achieve them, sweat a little, sweat a lot, get that huge smile when some one asks you what you did today and you get to say you worked out on Christmas break.

I had a client that lost 25 pounds in about three months and got so many compliments that he got complacement and instead of hitting the eventual 50 pound long-term goal, stayed where he was and didn't lose another pound. It kills me because he had such high expectations and definitely deserved the praise he had gotten for losing the 25 pounds, but his drop in dedication to achieve the long-term goal completely surprised me. Write down all your goals, both short and long term and don't forget the long-term goals that made you start working out when you reach the short term goals.

Do something this last Monday before 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays... I'm still gett'n my lifts in, ARE YOU?

It is freezing outside (5 degrees to be exact) in Lexington, KY... Christmas is this week as well as the Christmas eve prep and last minute shopping and all that nonsense. During the summer people have to get pretty creative to make up excuses to avoid the gym, this coming week makes it very easy to miss your workout and slide on your food intake.

"I have shopping to do"
"It's too cold"
"The gym isn't open normal hours so I am out of my routine"
"I'll set my new years resolution and really push it after the new year"

While some or all of these thoughts could be real life events you need to make yourself get in a gym or run on your treadmill at home. Staying in a consistent workout mindset is very important to all weight loss goals or health improvement goals.

You need to try your hardest to maintain your current fitness levels over the next week. If all you can squeeze in to your busy schedule is 20 minutes a couple days this week, get that 20 minutes in. Minimize the amount of lost progress that could occur this week because you probably are busy.

It is a great idea to set a new years resolution for yourself. BUT break it down. If you want to lose 20 pounds in the next year (very possible, less than a half pound a week) set a reminder in your phone or on your calendar around june and do the math on where you need to be. Realize that a ton of people start out strong and wean off of their highly motivated status. Ask a staff member at the gym you workout at when are the least crowded times. The less frustration you have when you get to the gym, the more likely you are to adhere to going a couple times per week and getting a great workout in.

Make the setting of your goals the best suited for your success and exercise adherance as possible. Realize that eating poorly in large quantities is only working against yourself... You are abosolutely making it harder for yourself in the gym. Watch how much alcohol you consume because those are emplty calories that can definitely add up and you really don't even realize you are consuming.

STAY MOTIVATED!!! let me know if I can help.. and of course, a motivational video:

Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Unmatchable Intensity

My buddy showed me this video clip... This is an absolute extreme on the intensity scale... Part motivating to get things done, part hilarious...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Picking a personal trainer

Another blog was brought to my attention today and it had posted a news story well into last year. The news story discussed trainers that don't really know what they are doing and got some express certifications. It had a very negative connation towards personal trainers and really didn't go over how to actually pick one as a consumer or as a business.
For the consumer: You have made the right choice, whether you need motivation, drastically need to lose weight for health reasons, or just want to fine tune some areas of your body that you seek improvement in... you need to made an educated choice on who your personal trainer is... you have a choice, you are paying for the service. You want a trainer that has expertise in the area you are wishing to improve in. If you want to improve aerobic performance, pick a trainer that has personal training certification as well as some group fitness certifications... or that has experience running half or full marathons. if you want to improve strength, find some one with a strength and conditioning certification from the NSCA... Another essential part in picking a trainer is that any gym you go to should have trainer bio profiles posted or on their websites. Look over those to get a glimpse of the trainer's personality and certifications. There collegiate degrees should also be posted. Look for a trainer with an undergraduate degree in Fitness and Wellness, Exercise Science, Physical Education, Kinesiology, and/or a masters in exercise physiology exercise and wellness or a related field. These degrees still do not definitely get you the perfect trainer, so make sure before you pay that you may switch trainers if you are not comfortable with the one you are assigned to or your first choice.
Do not settle for "oh, my trainer is ok." This trainer is here to help you and you are the consumer, you should get the most for your money as well as the most results. Realize that you are not just paying for a lifting buddy, your trainer is there to motivate you to achieve your goals not to be your best friend. But they should have reasons for the training modalities they put you through and should not get defensive when you ask them during a rest period or consultation why they chose a specific exercise.
I try to give reasons to my clients that aren't filled with ocnfusing jargon to the general public and really give them specific reasons why they are being put through the workout I have written for them that day.
Also, if you feel pain... your trainer should let you STOP. Just because the workout is hard doesn't mean to stop, but you need to know the difference between "hey, my trainer is pushing me" to "ow, I am going to limp for two days after this." Please inform your trainer of previous injuries. A great trainer should have a vast exercise bank in his/her head and be able to adapt to a different exercise for any muscle group.

For the business: Your trainers need current cpr, aed, and first aid certifications from the American Red Cross and you need copies of those forms on file. You need copies of every certification they say they have as well as recognizing legitimate certifications. When in doubt, give them a brief quiz during the interview on methods a trainer should know... how to warm a client up, how to resistance train, proper running form, target heart rate determinations, how to stretch, how to cool down... This is your gym, make the trainers you hire the best. Have monthly meetings or have your trainers email each other new ideas for workouts they thought of... when fitness professionals share the information they know, it makes evry one better informed. Even if a trainer brings you an idea that is not correct (i.e. doing romanian deadlifts with a curved back) tell them why it is wrong, but be constructive with your criticism. Teach your employees. Be up to date on training techniques and the research that is out there on the best methods. Attend conferences, google, workouts, read books... absorb as much as you can.
Another pointer is to never let the trainers take the money, have a pay system that allows the front desk or you as the supervisor to take the money and the trainer gets paid for each session after it is completed. This compltely takes the temptations of the trainer just taking the money and not telling you about the sessions. If the clients pay up front for 30 sessions, log that and only release money to the trainer as the sessions are completed. have each trainer have client log sheets that have to be initialed by both trainer and client as sessions are completed.
Please install a cancellation policy. The client has to notify the trainer within 24 hours of a cancellation or they will still be charged even if not completing a session.
Tell your trainers to wait at least fifteen minutes for a no show before leaving. If a cient shows up and the trainer is still there after fifteen minutes they have two options: either train the client for the remainder of the time period that the session was planned or call it a no show. Either way, your trainer still gets paid. Make sure the trainers know that to maintain a client base they need to use their best judgement on these policies. If a client is always late, well, they are only going to get 50 minutes of the planned hour. If you have time and the client was late once, why not train them a full hour from the time they get there. I recommend having the trainers give out their cell phone numbers, that is the easiest way to get in contact and communicate.

These are not fail-safe methods, but they should help both you as the consumer and you as a fitness business pick qualified personal trainers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"oh, you lift... do you do any cardio? well you should..."

Note to readers: I am not knocking cardio... ok, read on

ok ok ok, I am sick of this scenario. You have some one that isn't very strong pushing the envelope on me doing more cardio "because it is better overall for your mind body spirituality blah blah blah"

first of all... mind your own workout. i don't come over and knock your bike over when you are cycling, DO I?

I got a heart rate monitor after constantly bickering with some of these people. I had told them before that while lifting the amount of weight that I do with the correct periodization program and sticking to proper rest time intervals that I guarrantee my heart rate stays higher for a longer period of time than people doing just cardio.

"but Rob yours (heart rate) is just up for short bursts" ... While I would love to think that I am a machine, you can't just put your heart on low after doing five sets of romanian deadlifts. I used the heart rate monitor today and while resting for a minute and fifteen seconds my heart rate stayed above 140 and directly after each set i glanced at the heart rate on the watch and it was in the 180s every time, creeped into the 190s on the last set of 8.

let me guess, "that can't be accurate, your heart rate can't be that high during just lifting"
I completed a VO2 Max test last fall and I got my heart up to 208 on a treadmill... IN AN EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY LABORATORY... please argue with me about this... it happened. the max heart rate formula (220-age) is for the average population, it is not a Golden rule by any means. athletes can push themselves above that mark. "oh, that machine was broken" "NO YOU DIDN'T" and all the other random rebuttals that will receive, lok at this. I went beofre my budy and a GA strength coach at UK. I motivated them out of sheer competition to get 210 and 209 beats per minute on the same VO2 Max protocol... thanks

"you need to do more cardio for your health" my hdl cholesterol hovers around 30... yea, i know that is low... TOO BAD MY LDL (bad cholestesterol) IS 37----> extremely low. I have talked to various physicians that told me it is nearly impossible to increase my HDL when my LDL is that low and I shouldn't be worried about those levels because I am in great physical condition... but what do they know, they are just doctors
I am not knocking cardio, if that is your thing, do it. it isn't my thing. there is an abundance of research that comes right out and states that doing too much cardio in an athlete's training regimine will stunt his/her strength gains... it will decrease the amount of possible strength gains that would be attainable if that athlete JUST focused on resistance training. there are also articles that show that one to two sessions a week of explosive resistance training CAN HELP endurance athletes... I wrote a paper on specificity of training this semester as well as presented it to my peers, if you would like a copy let me know... it has the references attached so you can check out the specifics on the articles and research I am throwing out there.

it is simple, I want to be as physically strong as possible. I will and do devote mulitple hours per week lifting, researching better and different ways to resistance train, and then when the time comes, writing another program with CLC, CSCS, CPT ( I don't like being weak sauce. If a friend needs to move, I want to be able to help, not be the fifth guy on a couch. I want functional ability... that is great if you can run 20 miles a day or every other day... my question is this: WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO NEED THAT???????????!!!!!!!!!!!! If I need to help some one move or carry something I don't have to call three of my buddies to help me.

"Hey Bill, let's run to Richmond from Lexington because I need bread" ... you will never need to run that far at one time... like I said, if running, cycling, swimming is your thing, you love it, it is your stress reliever, how you are best motivated by beating yourself every day.... f'n fantastic. I am glad you have a passion. My passion is resistance training.

Friday, December 5, 2008

So you don't have a gym or money for a gym membership????

No gym, membership doesn't stop these guys... check it out


I did my legs yesterday.... and the 48 pain hasn't fully kicked in yet, but here is the work I put in:
back squat
265 1 x 10

275 3x8
285 1 x 6

Leg press 4x10
5 plates each side for two sets
6 and 7 plates each side for one set each

Leg extension 4x10
245 for two sets
240 and 235 for one set each

One-leg Hyperextensions 4x 10 each leg with a 30lb dumbbell

One-leg leg curl 4 x 10 each leg
I used 80 all four sets with my right leg and 60 for all four sets with my left leg... My knee has been bothering me. this is also very common in athletes... Having one limb stronger than the other is known as bilateral deficit. the official definition is the weight both limbs can effectively move through an entire range of motion is less than the weights each independent limb can move through the range of motion added together. This is more common in cyclists than rowers, for instance, because cyclists need to generate power one limb at a time.
It is benificial for all athletes to resistance train one limb at at time as well as both limbs together.

I then completed three sets of four point planks for thirty seconds each and three sets of 12 russian twists on each side with a twenty pound med ball.

I made sure to refuel my system after lifting and stretch out some to reduce the amount of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that effects me. My legs are thanking me today... but it is kind of like a thank you slap in the face

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

High School off-season workout

I got the chance to write a off-season strength and conditioning program for the high school football team I worked with this past season.
The first two weeks will consist of 4 sets of ten reps for the structural core lifts followed by two weeks of four sets of 8 reps... these four weeks will focus mainly on hypertrophy (muscle growth).
The last two weeks before the team starts their spring football practices and seven on seven games the team will complete 4 sets of 6 reps on all the structural lifts.

the team will lift monday tuesday thursday friday... completing all push movements (chest, triceps, quads) on monday and thursday and all pull movements (back, biceps, and hamstrings) on tuesday and friday.

I will split the team into three stations:
1) Core Structural lifts
2) Agility and core endurance
3) Auxillarly lifts

they will rotate which station they start with every day so no group is always starting with the same station.
The first and second microcycle the team will complete 3 sets of 8 reps for the auxillarly lifts and the last microcycle they will complete 3 sets of 6 reps for their auxillarly lifts.

The head coach informed me that spring practice usually lasts two weeks and then the school goes on spring break... those weeks could be devastating to the gains they make with my program. three complete weeks away from the weight room could almost negate all of the progress... UNLESS I give the team specific high intensity lifts to do throughout the week. Explosive unilateral lifts should definitely maintain a lot of the teams strength and hypertrophy gains.

I spoke with Coach Tracey for about an hour and a half about the program and the direction of the program... especially the intensity needing to be increased, as well as discipline, and improving the team's mindset.

I will start putting the program in excel and typing out the specific lifts, per day, per week for the entire six weeks.
he also asked me to construct a program for the six weeks after the school's spring break... these are going to be some huge yellowjackets....

and i'm out

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday workout--- staying focused

Set to lift at 11 this morning...
workout in my hand, protein shake in the other. time to go to work
back and hamstrings, not too bad. one minute fifteen seconds between each set

oh yea, my buddy showed me his workout earlier today... usually a cyclist slash ex hockey player... whichi equals tree trunk legs... BUT he started a weight lifting routine... kick ass

back to the point of this message

four sets of ten lat pulldown with a wide grip
four sets of ten neutral grip lat pulldown
three sets of ten front lat pulldown---- works your serratus anterior
chinups next


who does chinups after that many sets??? this is what happens when two masterminds get together and laugh while writing a workout. this is my hobbie. i do this for fun. hypertrophy is my goal, hyperplasia is my dream

three sets of ten chin ups... i got 10, 9, 8.... my lats are done. if you are wondering, we save all the rowing type motions for back for fridays workout

lats spent, time for RDLs. after the first set, 255 pounds feels like a million. next week we have to do the leg portion, at least RDLs first. knock the bigger muscle group out of the way when we are fresher

RDLs for five sets... 10 10 10 8 6

straight ridiculous

no straps so we used an alternate grip. straps are beneficial because the point of this exercise is not to kill your grip strength, it is to focus your energy on maintaining perfect form and killing your hamstrings and lower back.

GHBs next, four sets 12 12 10 10 with a 25 pound dumbell... and I get to superset them with lateral lunges with a 50 pound dumbell. great

did i mention we are still maintaining the minute and fifteen second "rest" period?

lastly, leg curl four sets of twelve superset with one legged leg press for four sets of ten.

time for class. glad my work day is over

Monday, December 1, 2008

New blog is up and running

My buddy will be spewing his thoughts on his blog . check it out and leave him feedback!

New poll... results of the poll that just closed

The results of my last poll were that the viewers of this blog picked alternating upper and lower body weight lifting exercises throughout the week are most beneficial to them as they train, along with interval sprints coming in second. If you only have three days a week that you can come to the gym, you can complete a full body resistance training routine all three days. A word of caution though: pick specific goals. If you want to improve your running performance, lift your legs heavy one day and light (higher repetitions) the other two days and do three or four upper body weight lifting exercises. If leg strength and endurance are not critical factors in your fitness plan, alternate the focus of your workouts, more on upper body one day and the next lower body. By focusing on either lower or upper body I mean complete more sets and total exercises when you are the freshest, at the beginning of your workout.

If you are able to lift weights four or five days a week then your can split your routine up into fewere muscle groups per day, just as long as you don't train any muscle group with weights on back to back days. Your muscles need at least 48 hours of rest to repair themselves. You can vary routines any way you like, if you need any ideas, let me know.

The new poll I have up concerns weight loss goals for the new year. Please respond to my posts and vote on my poll when you get a chance!

take it easy

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

MAXED OUT and ready for Thanksgiving

Current max on bench : 335lbs
back squat: 395lbs

My goals for may are 345 on bench and 420 on squat. I am currently doing a body building workout five days a week. Everything is high reps (8-12 reps is high for me) and the rest periods are timed to start your next set right at a minute and fifteen seconds. this short time period crams a ton of volume into an hour and a half workout...
a minute fifteen might sound like a long time.... you are kidding yourself. sip of water, swig of protein drink, spot my lift'n partner, change the weight... HEY, it's my turn to go. try doing that one day for four sets of squat, even by yourself. the time limit really holds you to your workout, you stayed focused

this means you have to stay away from the clown that comes to the gym to get away from his wife and just wants to talk. THIS ISN'T A BAR, IT'S MY OFFICE SON. I'm trying to work and push weight around so I can improve myself. Unlike unhappy, complacement guy I want results. I want to get better. I want to improve. i don't lift bc it's fun. I lift to get stronger.... to get somewhere

Thanksgiving is approaching and I am sore as hell. I'm taking the day off but I will still get my five workouts this week, I'll just have to push a workout to Saturday.

take it easy

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ways to reach your weight loss goals

You have some goals set about what you want your body to look like, how you want to feel, how you would like to fit into your clothes, etc...

Some people focus on cardio like running, jogging, swimming, group fitness classes, or cycling. Some people focus on weight lifting at high repetitions. Other people focus on diet only.

To really achieve a HEALTHY weight and to maximize the amount of fat lost and muscle gained, your goals should include part of each of those three focuses. You are serious about losing weight. You have joined a gym, maybe hired a personal trainer, and now you are looking at websites that could help you get to the slimmer, fitter you. You are walking toward your goals by checking into different opinions on how to lose weight. I want to help you figuritively sprint to your goals.

Each of you has at least an hour a day, four days a week (you could fit the fifth day in to show me up... just a thought). You should do your cardio warm up of five to ten minutes. The purpose of this is to warm your muscles up, get your blood circulating, raise your heart rate, lubricate your joints, and get your mind focused on getting into better shape. The next step in your workout should be your cardio session. 25-30 minutes on any cardio machine, any track outside, any park you want to run through. For weight loss duration of your workouts and consistency are the keys. If you can't run, jog, if you can't jog, walk. The point is to push yourself, but don't inhibit your ability to work out the next day. I want you in the gym, I want you to be active, I want you to lose weight. Push yourself every day and watch the pounds fly off, the clothes need to be given away.

Next step... Pick four machines or free weight exercises and do one to two sets of 20 repetitions. Shoot through all four exercises if the gym you go to isn't very crowded, or do a set of a weight lifting exercise and do some crunches. I want you to come to the gym, rest periods can be filled with other exercises that utilize opposing or completely different muscle groups instead of just standing or sitting there waiting to do the next exercise. Keep your heart rate up and you get to leave the gym sooner.
Cool down with a quarter mile walk on the track, treadmill, or bike and then stretch. Stretching will help your blood circulate through your body pulling the waste products that you have generated while working out into your blood to be filtered and excreted. Stretching is also a great way to cool down and end your workout.

Your diet is important. Please do not be misled by a trainer giving you diet advice... You think, "wow he/she looks great, I should eat what they eat" or "I bet they know a lot about nutrition." I got my undergrad in fitness and wellness management. I have a personal training certification. I have a strength and conditioning certification. I am getting my masters in exercise physiology. I have been lifting for ten years. I would NEVER give nutritional advice. to any one!
You need to ask a registered dietician (RD) for a diet plan. They are the experts. Do not ask some one, even in the fitness field, that doesn't have a national certification. They have to have an undergraduate degree and the RD distinction to practice what they do. Be smart ask the right people.
Even if the fitness person you ask is trying to help, they aren't the right people to ask.

Keep coming to the gym, watch you portion sizes after talking with a dietician, research workouts or hire a personal trainer, EMAIL ME, ask for help. Do something to help you reach your goals.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


check out this link if you have a minute...

this is probably the best motivation for any person wanting to take advantage of any talent they have been given...


I bet it works

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Speed up workout, get twice the core work

A typical workout routine looks something like cardio warmup, lift some weights or do some more cardio, stretch maybe if you get to it, and then lay on your back... exhausted... and do some half crunches until you have almost stopped sweating and then leave the gym...

A HUGE problem (well, one of the large problems) with this routine is that by the time you get to the core work, you are too tired and have lost a lot of the motivation you started the workout with. I have an idea that could help you.

Google core exercises. or use some serach engine to get some abdominal and lower back strengthening exercises... that is why i want you to type in CORE EXERCISES not just "ab routine" or abdominal circuit. In order to be balanced you need to strengthen your lower back with exercises like supermans ad hyperextensions as well as your abs and obliques with dyanmic movements that activate your core.

Use some of the core exercises that fit your current fitness level and write them down on your workout... HAVE I MENTIONED TO ALWAYS CHART YOUR PROGRESS???? Please write down your workout. If you don't write it down, your workout will move along at a slow pace, iwth a large possibility that you will not remember how many minutes you ran at what heart rate or what weight you used for how many reps. Chart your progress. Every workout you can push yourself to beat the guy or girl from that last workout.

Back to writing down the core exercises... Superset core with a weight lifting exercise. If you do 3 sets of 20 reps on leg press then after each set do a set of russian twists with a medicine ball.
Leg press
Russian Twists
Leg Press
Russian twists
leg press
russian twists

Instead of sitting on the machine or getting a drink of water after every set, throw core in to take up that time, keep your heart rate elevated, AND increase the amount of core work you get every day.

Do this with every weight lifting exercise you do... honestly, even if it is the same core exercise (not recommended) for each set of 20 repetitions and you do a cricuit of 15 exercises... that is equiavlent to 300 "crunches". 300 core strengthening reps that were all done during "rest periods" during your workout. It would take a lot more discipline to lay down after a workout and say to yourself... OK, 300 situps.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Consistency in Daily Workouts + Keeping Heart Rate Elevated = Fat Loss

To lose overall body fat you need those two components… if you are going to work out 3 days a week- GO to the gym three days a week. Get it done. Cash in your thirty minutes… your hour. Whatever you said you were going to do. Pick specific days that you are going to go to the gym. If you say three days a week, but you keep pushing it off, you lose accountability and then it is Friday and you are tired and only have Saturday left to go to the gym and haven’t been yet this week. Hold yourself accountable. Pick specific days that you are going to clock in to the gym, get your work done, and your weight loss will pay for itself.
Having a bad day?
Go to the gym if it is one of the days you are supposed to go. Starting your workout can sometimes be the hardest part of working out. SHOW UP! Do your workout. Breaking a sweat makes you feel better and at the end of the day after you got all your work done at your actual job AND your work done at the gym.. you feel better.

Keep your heart rate elevated above resting levels by working opposing muscle groups instead of sitting on a machine resting… Think about it. You make the most of your time, you can do your leg extensions then leg curls. Different leg muscles, one set of muscles can rest while the other is working AND you eliminate the rest time between each set, which not only eats up time you may not have, but it allows your heart rate to settle which partially limits your caloric burn.

Not if but WHEN you get to the gym make the most of your time. You got out of bed, YOU stopped on the way home from work… YOU made the goals to get yourself back into shape or into a better looking shape. this is for YOU. The gym fee you may is miniscule compared to the doctors bills that will pile up on you later if you are not physically fit as you age. You pay for the gym, USE IT!!!

stay focused on your goals.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Update on max out numbers and Super set routine

I completed a one rep max on back squat and front squat yesterday... I hadn't maxed out on back squat since May, but my strength has stayed fairly consistent. It actually has to have gone up. In May I got 375 on back squat with a belt, and yesterday i got 375 BUT the study that was being done called for the lifters to not use a belt.
Using a weight lifting belt increases intrabdominal pressure, allowing a lifter to lift more and is a lot safer than to max out not using a belt. But since using a belt increases the pressure in your abdomen, it allows your body to stay more rigid, which would allow you to lift more weight... up to 15% more! So getting the same weight that I did in May just without the use of a belt means that I have increased my strength, so nothing to be pissed about.

I had never maxed out on front squat before. I usually work out with 185 or 195 for 4 sets of 6-8. BUT I was able to get 275, so i am amped about those weights.

For another study he wanted me to complete a 10 rep max on leg curl, deadlift, and back squat. I did the leg curl and played around with a couple weights before getting 150 ten times. I also had to follow the protocol of one second concentric, two seconds eccentric (one second up, two seconds down), so I know that I was moving the weight in a controlled manner.

On a completely different note, I was training one of my most motivated clients last Tuesday... He is wanting weight loss and increased strength. While the two are very difficult to achieve at once, because to achieve greater strength you have to build muscle whcih means you have to consume more calories that you burn, and he wants to lose weight, which is the exact oppostie of the formula to build muscle mass... I believe when working with a detrained person, the two are possible to achieve at once. His body is in such a state of shock at the workouts, that all the calories he is burning lifting weights and strengthening his core with me, will help shed the fat off of him while his strength has already improved substantially.

His work out this past week was:
leg press
DB chest press
Lat pulldown

3x 10 on all and each set of these exercises was supersetted with the following core developing exercises:

Medicine ball wall throws 3x 10 with a ten pound ball
Supine Medicine ball chest throws 3x10 w/ a ten pound ball
Alternating supermans 3x 12 each side

I hope he continues his current regimine of lifting twice a week and running the other days to eventually prepare for a marathon. He has the drive for a total body transformation.

I posted a poll, take it and see the results. Let me know if you need anything.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

graduate school perks

Being in grad school means less classes, more studying, increased drive and motivation in your classmates (for the most part), and increased amount of research that you are going to come across. yea, in undergrad I am sure my professors were completing research, but it was a largely undiscussed topic within the undergraduate classes. I have been asked to be a subject in two weight lifting studies. One deals with a one rep max on front squat and back squat and then testing my range of motion in my lower body and the other study has to do with my ten rep max on back squat, leg curl, and deadlift and then i will either be taking a placebo (pretty much a sugar pill) or chocolate milk and then completing some strength tests after an hour.

i am excited because I love to be pushed to do my best, and what better motivator than to know my results will be included in a doctorate study from UK... yea, my name won't be attached to any of the results, but I think it is pretty cool anyway.

I also get to max out on squat, which I haven't done since may... I need to beat my previous mark or 375 and I know I can do it because I had too many previous sets of heavy weight before I tried maxing out... too much fatigue to get 385 that day.

Look for my results within the next couple weeks.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I completed the 7th week of this 16 week program today. This week was skewed because of my work schedule had me working at abnormal times... I worked out normally four days a week, and I still did all four workouts, but there were just more days that the workout week went across.

I lifted sunday-monday-tuesday-friday... It was not the best case scenario, but the most important part of a workout program is consistency. flexibility is the remainder of your week needs to allow you to be able to move your workout around if work does not allow you to lift at the normal times.

SLEEP needs be a priority, also. I had the option to go out with some friends and drink... but I was dead from an eccentric workout so i passed... the next day there was no crazy feeling in my stomach , no extra fatigue built up... yea, i didn't go out.... but my strength went up.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New workout starts TODAY

I am about to start another microcycle (a workout that lasts 4-6 weeks with a particular focus) today. I will be completing a power exercise -- snatch, jump shrug, clean-- to start each workout and then complete four structural exercises and finish up with a core workout.

Today I will be doing snatch, back squat, db bench press, and shoulder press. On the power exercise I will be completing sets of four reps and the remainder of the workout I will be doing four sets of six repetitions to focus on strength building.

I have been working on flexibility throughout the week and doing a little more cardio at a lower intensity. There have been many studies published that have shown negative side effects on muscular growth (size-wise) when too much cardio is done too often.

YES, cardiovascular activity is beneficial to maintaining a healthy body, but lifting at the intensity levels I am is a cardio workout in itself... I am not just trying to brag... Next time you lift, after your set take your heart rate. I was doing a set of steps ups and my heart rate was in the 190s!!!!

ok, then there is the argument that cardio -- treadmill, elliptical, running outside-- keeps your heart rate up for an extended amount of time and lifting doesn't... It just depends. I am very strict with my time between sets and I keep it around a minute and a half for hypertrophy (sets of 8-12 reps) and a little over two minutes for strength exercises (sets of less then 6 reps). AND i lift for around an hour and a half with actual lifting being an hour and warm-up, core, and stretching filling in the remainder of the time. I have no doubt that this is the best type of cardio I am able to do while still having my exercising focus staying on adding muscular size.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Use a Consistent Program that has some Variations

I am a strong believer in changing your work outs for your athletes to keep their muscles in a constant state of shock, which has been proven to spur more growth... BUT completing the same conditioning routine the week after a win during football season is more supersitious than a great technique.

Variation plays a role is keeping the athletes prepared for the unexpected as well as constantly working your athlete's muscles in different ways. Cross training is built on this very concept.

The football team I am working with completed triangles (athletes run the length of the field, around the goal posts and then sprint back), which I believe is too far to be runing to work on explosive quickness. But the head coach had the playes do this simply because they did the same thing last week and won. If this process is done weekly just because of a W, I forsee a big L to come soon.

He has experience being a head coach so we will see how his method works, whether superstitious or great technique.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Eccentric Workout

I just had graduate school start back and with some personal training, classes, and my workout... I haven't been on here in a while. This past week has been one that I am sure has sparked some growth in my body.

I did an entire week of eccentric weight training this week. Eccentric activity occurs when resistance is put on the muscles as they lengthen, unlike concentric which occurs when resistance is put on muscles as they shorten. Take, for example, a fron squat... You descend slowly until you reach the bottom of your front squat and then explode up.

On each repetition I slowly descended while counting three seconds off... holding anohter two seconds at the bottom of the lift, and then exploding up. I used this technique for a set of 8 and two sets of 6 repetitions on every lift besides my power lifts this week. I used about 65% of my one rep max on the lifts... but since this was the first time I have ever devoted an entire week to eccentric lifting... it took a little playing around to find the perfect weights to use on each lift... everything was recorded on my work out card... I will try to attach it asap.

Since your muscles are lengthening while resistance is being put on them, the amount of muscle regrowth should be exponentially higher than a usual workout. For this reason I wouldn't recommend to complete eccentric training more than one week every 4-6 weeks during your workout. I am also going to have a unloading week next week (use lighter weights to allow my body to recover).
My lifting partner Chance Cianciola, CSCS, masterminded this part of the workout. He is going to be one hell of a strength coach. Thanks and see ya around

be as physically strong as you can potentially be... start today


Friday, August 15, 2008

Decrease Muscular Soreness

In order to decrease muscular soreness that you feel 24-48 hours after working out (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS) you need to do a light bout of low intenstiy cardio after you lift. You can ingest your protein supplement while walking on a incline on the treadmill at a low speed or have a low stride rate on the elliptical with little resistance.
This helps the blood continue to circulate through your muscles that allows for the impurities (lactic acid and other metabolic byproducts) to be flushed out at a quicker rate.

After performing this short amount of cardio (10-20 minutes), stretching all major muscles groups is essential to limiting the amount of soreness you feel and increasing/maintaining your range of motion. I suggest stretching each muscle group 2-3 times for 30-60 seconds. You can also rehydrate yourself with water while stretching.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Up down sprints

I had the idea for this drill this past weekend...
Our team splits up into all defensive teams for part of a practice so you can split your team up by lineman, defensive backs, and linebackers. If you have enough players so that no one plays both ways put the receivers with d backs and running backs with linebackers.

The players run a ten yard sprint and chop their feet until the entire group gets to you standing at the ten yard line, blow your whistle five times for five up downs (player falls to the ground, hitting their chest and then has to pop back up). Midway through the five up downs, you need to backpeddle another ten yards and repeat. The total drill that I used was fifty yards with the players doing five sets of up downs and then sprinting the fifty yards back like a quarter gasser.

I had the team do this for conditioning Tuesday after running four gassers after practice. We scrimmage three teams Saturday so I likely will ease up on the running after today when scrimmages occur on the weekend and Wednesday when we start playing on Fridays to give their legs some time to recover so they are able to go full speed for their games.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Horrible Marketing, don't be fooled

I am relatively new to blogging, but not fitness. After I set up this site I realize I could post some ads on the bottom row for fitness related sites, which most people interested in reading my blog could possibly want to check out.
So I clicked on one and started reading... and started laughing.

I clicked on "super strength in seconds" because I know that it takes a time commitment and effort to achieve true strength... I was curious to what this site had to say about gaining strength or muscular size in a short amount of time.
This site ( is claiming to have the secret to an ab workout and full body strength routine to give people abnormal strength...

First of all, if you scroll to the bottom to the youtube video, he says he is benching 352 pounds. He is on a smith machine, which is assisted lifting. The machine guides the bar, which is great for beginners or lifters wanting to keep very strict form, BUT the weight of the bar is considerably less than the free weight barbell of 45lbs.
Secondly, he also performs an isometric contraction, which is pushing against a force in which your muscle fibers do not lengthen or shorten. This is not a very effective way to train or build muscle mass. You muscles receive no benefit of moving through a full range of motion, nor do you get the personal benefit of being able to say "I benched/squatted so and so weight" and achieving an actual repetition.

Please watch out for fitness scams like this that are out there.

A late intro...

I should probably back up a little bit and introduce myself. I am currently attending the University of Kentucky to pursue my masters degree in exercise physiology. I have a physical education degree with a business minor from Eastern Kentucky University. My concentration for my undergraduate degree was Physical Fitness and Wellness Management.
I have been a certified personal trainer for over four years and acquired my CSCS earlier this year.

I have helped previous clients with weight loss, lean body mass building, endurance training, strength building, and overall fitness improvement. I can customize a program for any client that wants results, let me know if I can help you.

take it easy,

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Power Training

Power lifts-- such as power clean, snatch, jump shrug-- should be completed at the beginning of your workout because they require highly explosive movements and it is best to be fresh when you start these exercises. Once you have completed your 4-6 sets of 3-5 repetitions on these power lifts and variations (hang clean, dumbell snatch, hang snatch) your muscles will be ready to attack your core lifts for your program.
I recommend changing the plane and type of lift that you are doing, your muscles need constant variation in your program to constantly grow. A lifter that has a program that becomes stagnant will illicit a lot less musclar growth. An example of this would be including all of the following in your training schedule on varying dates: barbell bench press, dumbell bench press, one arm dumbell bench press, incline press, dumbell incline press, one arm dumbell incline press, cable chest press...

Another thing that is vital to training programs is to write down your weights and repetitions daily. Keeping track of your weights that you use and the repetitions you achieve is a strong motivator and is also helpful when you use a lot of variation in your program. You are able to look back several weeks and see what you did the last time you completed a one arm dumbell shoulder press without having to guess at the weight you last used!

Circuit Training and coaching update

I got back from three days in the sticks with Woodford county's football team... we went to Aldersgate camp, which is synonymous with the middle of nowhere. I was able to help condition the guys in the morning and then I ran the d-line through some individual drills.
I had the d-line guys do some ladder drills, bag drills, and a couple drills on the tackling sled.
I had them focus on ripping with one arm and taking a strong first step... they really need to focus on changing their stance from offensive to defensive, since most players play both ways.

the defensive back coach showed me the hill on friday that they were supposed to run this morning, a steep three mile hill.

I imagine that was a site seeing the whole team run that... all and all the trip was more about team building then showing them how to run hard.
A lot of the players give full effort and some others not even close to full effort. They have to realize that mediocre effort will result in a mediocre season.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Strength/D-line coaching

I am Woodford County High School's defensive line coach and hopefully their strength and conditioning coach as soon as possible. We start running at 5:30 tomorrow morning and I have been working on the morning conditioning routine that I am going to put the guys through:
1st quarter
-four half gassers
2nd quarter
-2 notre dames (6 down and back 20 yard shuttles)
3rd quarter- repeat first
4th quarter-repeat second
each is down in position by position group and the notre dames are timed and the players have to beat their times
I expect to see a lot of puking tomorrow...

aight then, i'll see whats up with you all this weekend

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I am currently training for muscular size (hypertrophy) while splitting my workout routine into all push one day, and all pull the next day. Alternating the two four days a week, take Friday off or I will do light cardio and then hitting my weaker spots again on Saturday morning. I had a lot of help with this program from Chance Cianciola, CSCS, and the Power Training book by Coach Dos Remedios.
I also have added lifts that I prefer to my workout, while still incorporating exercises that fully challenege my muscular and central nervous systems.

I plan on starting a new 12-week hypertrophy/strength macrocycle at the end of this month. I will lift with my workout partner, Chance, and we will measure and record circumferences, body fat percentage, weight, and max lifts for at least bench and squat.
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