Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Articles For Women.

This week I pay homage to the hard working women out there, to their efforts and to help, where I can, with some motivation, education and encouragement. In particular I pay homage to the lovely, the tenacious and beautiful Kara El, who makes me happier everyday than I thought I could be, who is the only women in the world who both infuriates me with her intellect and has a vice grip on my heart! We love you ladies, and I love you, Lady El!

Straight Bar Deadlift versus Hex Bar Deadlift
Contreras is on the women train this week, and I love it. I'm all for getting women into the weight room, showing them that there's nothing to fear from weights, see below.

Weighted Bridging and Beautiful Badasses
Again, with photo's of everyday people we see just what women can accomplish, I personally love the look of the women in both this and the above post.

Beautiful Badass Profile Part 1
Nia Shanks is fast becoming a house hold name, and for good reason, she's an insanely strong woman, who looks amazing, and is a working mum! A living example that hard work pays off.

What Are You Waiting For?
Yeh, this lady is awesome. Motivational blogs are always good for those who struggle with such, which is most clients.

Bro Badasses
And a little somesine somesine for the boys. I refer you to her attached articles my lady readers, to see what you could be achieving, without running!

Yes I Can Deadlift Over 300 Pounds
Um, yeh, I don't know too many guys doing that weight!

Yes, we are smothering our children
Something for the mothers.

Does everybody hate women?
Branching a little off training and more into women's issues, I thought I'd post some stuff on how women are treated in the world.

Outcry in America as pregnant women who lose babies face murder charges
Last article, as reproductive rights become a bigger and bigger issue and as I'm discussing women in general, I thought I'd chuck this in, enjoy!

I hope this isn't considered misogynistic of me, but here are some recipes for anyone really, but I figure the gals are going to be, either through stereotyping or simply more interest, more into cooking and varieties of such. Men are kind of "I put meat on pan and pan cook meat hot, me eat, eeerrg!"

Peach Blackberry Crisp - Guest Post by Brandi

Vegetable Rosti with Tomato-Corn Relish: Guest Post by Joanne

Tropical Butternut Squash Salad

Chicken, Artichoke and Grape Skewers with Tarragon-Yogurt Sauce

Peanut Butter and Jelly Loaf (Low-Carb, Sugar Free)

Spicy Mango Black Bean Turkey Burgers

Cookie Dough Cupcakes (Gluten Free, Sugar Free)

Smokey Eggplant Guacamole

Grilled Eggplant Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese

Chili-Peanut Squash Fries

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Training Diary- Maximum Mass Program- Phase 1- Wk 1.

So I'm finally back to training, I haven't lifted a piece of iron for just over 3 weeks. I did a week or 2 with the program mentioned here, just to keep some work going while my back was recovering. Speaking of, my back feels good, and I started back on Monday and it felt good. The program I'm following is from Jason Feruggia's book "Muscle Gaining Secrets", which is a pretty basic e-book, but solid in it's principles and justification for such. I thought I'd give it a try, as Feruggia's training philosophy is a little more on the functional side than Poloquin's was, which is personally, what I need.

I definitely felt the last few weeks off, I actually, almost vomited, hence why the last few sets of Split Squats and Hammer Curls were on the light side, I was literally doing reps and holding down vom! The people waiting for the "6 weeks to a 6 pack" course saw me after, I looked ratshite! But continue we must, I have another session tomorrow morning so hopefully I should feel better, and be able to lift heavier. *Addendum to that*- I had my session Wednesday morning and did fine. I'm cautious of my back, I'm protecting it. Ferrugia suggests taking it easy in the first week, so easy I shall go. No back tweaks yet, but my body just wants to lift heavier, it's hard to resist that urge!

I did a little warm up: some upper body mobility, some light stretching, and some basic bodyweight movement plus a warm up set, but I plan to get a big lower body stretch going tomorrow morning. Haven't felt any pain in the lower back at all, no discomfort of any kind, so that's good, this program should be good, as it's entirely reduced on the volume, and follows undulating periodization, which will be nice, and hopefully keep me from injury.

I have also done some extensive lower body and back stretching, continued my upper body mobility and have generally felt pretty good. I actually wonder if it isn't the early morning sessions that are causing me some problems. As in getting up at 4 am, getting to the gym by 5, doing a 15 minute warm up, then getting into some weight training might not be allowing my core enough time to activate (especially as I'm not doing any activation). This is pure laziness yes, but I might try and start training at night, after work for a while, see if that makes a difference.

Rob Max Mass 

Phase 1

Day 1 S R R Wk1
1A: Dip 3 8* 90  BW+20kg, BW+20kg, BW+22.5kg
1B: Inverted Row 3 8* 90  BW, BW, BW, BW
2A: DB Split Squat 3 8* 90  20kg, 20kg, 22.5kg
2B: Hammer Curl 3 10* 90  17.5kg, 17.5kg, 17.5kg

Day 2 S R R Wk1
1A: 1 Arm DB Row 3 6* 75  30kg, 30kg, 32.5kg
1B: DB Inc Press 3 6* 75  27.5kg, 30kg, 30kg
2A: CG Bench Prss 3 6* 60  60kg, 80kg, 80kg
2B: Rack Deadlift 3 6* 60  60kg, 80kg, 80kg

Day 3 S R R Wk1
1 Squat 4 4* 150  60kg, 80,kg, 80kg, 90kg
2A: Chin Up 4 4* 60  BW, BW+15kg, BW+15kg, BW+15kg
2B: DB Militry Prs* 4 4* 60  17.5kg, 22.5kg, 22.5kg, 22.5kg
3 EZ Bar Curl 3 7* 90  37.5kg, 42.5kg, 42.5kg, 42.5kg

*+ 2 reps if possible

* Military Press Palms In

As far as diet goes, well it's been horrible over the last couple of weeks, I basically dropped my vegetarianism in Canberra (and boy did I feel good!), but as I'm back into training it's been tightened up... somewhat. I've discovered these "Quorn" products so I've been having some of the lasagne and sausage rolls, it's crazy, they taste just like meat.They're not technically good, though they're not super horrible either (I'm sure there's a debate about that in there). I do wonder, if you're eating a vegetarian product, do you need to add vegetables? As in, of course, it'd be great to add them, but since you're consuming a vegetarian product, is it essential?

I've stopped the creatine for the moment, I was only at about 4 weeks when I was using it during the German Volume cycle, and I had pretty good results with both that program and the creatine.  I've had about that time off, so I might start in a few weeks, I just wanted to get back into it, get back into a routine before I started supplementing to seriously.

Breakfast: I've been having my smoothies for breakfast this week (refer to meal before shift), just to try and get more veggies and fruit in.

Post workout shake: x2  up n go "energize"'s, 30g of protein powder. 500-700mL of water during training. 

Post workout meal: This week, instead of eggs, I had some of the "Quorn" products, oh and nachos (once).
Meal before afternoon shift:  Smoothy- 1/2 cup of berries, 1 cup of mixed veggies, 1 banana, 1 pear/apple, 1/2 cup of walnuts/cashews, a touch of cinnamon, 750mL of water, 1 cup of yogurt, 150g cottage cheese, 3 broccoli stems, handful of cherry tomatoes, lentils, chick peas (or various other types of beans/lentils). I also forgot to note, this makes 2 shakes that I have over the course of the day, or I have the leftover one the next day.

Dinner: Various vegetarian options such as vegetable sausages, bacon,  "Quorn" products etc.

Pre bed snack (sometimes): Second vegetable smoothy, otherwise nothing. 

Supplements. 3-8 fish oil tabs with my afternoon smoothy, and I've started taking a multivitamin supplement once-twice a day.

Naturopathy And Evidentialism.

Naturopathy is a growing business, much like the supplement industry in general. A client of mine told me she was going to go see a Naturopath to sort out her "energy levels" so I told her to wait, and let me order  my thoughts, and collect some literature on the topic.

David Gorski over at Science-Based Medicine (I would recommend him highly when searching for someone who debunks "woo" and "quackery") demonstrates some of the thinking on Naturopathy by real doctors and science minded people:
"Naturopathy is a hodge-podge of mostly unscientific treatment modalities based on vitalism and other prescientific notions of disease that fancies itself to be science-based." (Gorski 2011)
Much in line with Gorski above, the sub-heading that Naturopathy falls into also shoots itself in the foot, "alternative medicine", what does that mean exactly? Is it the alternative to the medicine that works? Seems to me if Naturopathic products did work, they'd simply be "medicine", and they'd be prescribed by doctors. My general thoughts on Naturopathy are the same as those on supplements in general, while I don't want to fall into the habit of making absolute statements, there is much money spent on the advertising and promotion of supplements, including those pushed by the "Natural" crowd, but not much science, hence very little validity in the products, as a whole.

Naturopathy's basic philosophy and advertising seems to be based on the naturalistic fallacy, as in what is natural is good for you. Opium is natural, marijuana is natural, poison berries are natural, yet I'm not sure there would be much argument stating those things are good for us, even in the simple health sense of the word. So I don't lend much credence to the status of the advertising used by Naturopaths, how can you when the basis for such is fallacy? As Orac says on his blog, Respectful Insolence:
"Normally, naturopathy and other forms of "alternative medicine" are associated with large population centers full of people who, because they live in large population centers yearn for the natural and earnestly believe that, just because it's natural it must be better." (Orac 2011)
Nauropathy and Evidentialism
This gets back to standards of evidence, our basis for discerning what we should believe. As discussed briefly here, I support an evidentialist approach, particularly for science based enterprises as our review of Naturopathy should be. Does it work? Is it cost effective? How do we know if it works? Things of this nature. Unfortunately I don't accept anecdotal evidence on this subject, self reporting, self diagnosing, if Naturopathy and it's products don't have evidential support in the literature, from reliable sources, how can we have a solid basis for trusting it? As philosopher William K. Clifford is quoted in Michael Martin's book The Case Against Christianity:
"it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe in anything on insufficient evidence." (Martin Pg-19, 1991)
And as mentioned, though I don't want to get into the habit of making or supporting absolutist statements, as a general heuristic, this rings true for me, as Martin continues and justifies:
"Clifford maintains that believing on insufficient evidence has a variety of harmful consequences. It corrupts our character, undermines public confidence, leads to irresponsible action and fosters self deception." (Martin Pg-19, 1991)
All of which I would agree with and can specifically be applied to Naturopathy. This demonstrates why we must base our selection of every and all Naturopathic products on the literature, on reliable science, and scientific sources, not on the advice of the person behind the counter at the Naturopathic clinic, with an agenda (to sell you products).

I did research reviews of Pub Med here, and here, and could only find anecdotal reports and psychological benefits (akin to calling the products placebos). When these products cost as much as they do, sometimes used in conjunction with other products, we start to get into a cost/benefit analysis, for products I might add, with perhaps little to no evidential support.

Are we just spending our money on expensive products that make us feel better emotionally, and in some cases avoiding proper medical treatment in favour of these products? Is this a positive? Does the psychological benefit outweigh the negative health consequences? Would we not be better off spending money on making traditional, effective treatments appear psychologically appealing to people? Is there a bias against medical science because it's not a perfect science? David Gorski over at Science-Based Medicine seems to agree that there is almost an anti science based medicine bias, or at least an inability to discern truth (which would be aided by using the literature as opposed to self reporting):
"It turns out that science and science-based medicine are hard for humans to accept because they often conflict with what our senses perceive and brains interpret as irrefutable evidence. The pattern-seeking function of our brain, when evaluating questions of causation in medicine, frequently betrays us.... Similarly, believers in “alternative medicine” who experience improvement in their symptoms also pour derision on the observation... people frequently take remedies when their symptoms are at their worst, leading them to attribute natural regression to the mean to whatever nostrum they started taking at the time." (Gorski 2011)
This gives us a basis for the popularity of Naturopathy, in the sense that, we as humans are bad computational machines, who see the world through our confirmation biases, this is why an evidentialist approach is so important. It gives us an objective standard to weigh our biases against. Often Naturopathic products are trotted out as a safe alternative to medicines, to anti biotics, to which I ask: "does an imperfect product, that yields demonstrable results, such as modern medicine validate a product with no evidential support, or demonstrable results, such as much of Naturopathy?" I would say obviously, and demonstarbly not.  Which leads us back into Martin, who raises an interesting point:
"However, Clifford was talking primarily about believing something on insufficient evidence, not about believing something that is contrary to the evidence." (Martin Pg-19, 1991) 
I think that is an important point to emphasize, not only do we accept Naturopathic products based on a misunderstanding or on limited to no evidential support, sometimes we accept them in the face of contradictory evidence, which is all the more damning. As Martin continues:
"If there is anything to Clifford's utilitarian arguments when.... doctrines are based on insufficient evidence, there is even more to them when belief in such doctrines goes against the evidence. (emphasis added) Although believing in... doctrines that are in conflict with the evidence is not necessarily morally wrong... there are certainly moral dangers in doing so, and as a general social policy believing something that is in conflict with the evidence should be avoided." (Martin Pg-19, 1991)
The central theme here is in regards to evidentialism, and why as a basic foundational standard it is important. If we are not basing our Naturopathic choices on the evidence, then we are on shaky ground, if we base them on information counter to the literature, we are on dangerous ground, a ship at sea with no rudder. After all, how can we be sure of the efficacy of anything in this instance if we don't base it on an objective standard? Are we to take the word of the person selling us something? Are we to take it based on how we "feel" when we take a Naturopathic product? If this is our standard and we wanted to be consistent, think of all the things you would have to buy or ingest.

Evidence for Naturopathy?
There are Natural "journal" sources out there, such as the Natural standard, but as Gorski demonstartes here:
"Let’s just put it this way. Dr. Ulbricht has published at least one review of homeopathic remedies, specifically Oscillococcinum, in which she concludes that it probably works and that more studies are needed." (Gorski 2011)
Gorski demonstrates what I discuss above, even when studies are done directly on Naturopathic remedies and are done so by institutes that promote them, they can't get results, they can't get a reproducible standard to promote. Only an assurance that it "probably works", is this convincing I ask?

With all that in mind, I guess I should say, and it should be obvious from my blog and this post, I'm for an evidence based approach. If a particular supplement, Naturopathic or bodybuilder has evidential support, I'm going to support it too, as I do with fish oil, creatine, protein, and probiotics. The problem is, most supplements, for either the bodybuilding or Naturopathic communties, don't have evidential support. I hope I've demonstarted why we should base, even just our scientific decisions, on evidence.

I've really only shown why evidence is important when making decisions in this particular blog, as a basic heuristic to all my clients and readers who want to try Naturopathic products, I would suggest: research them, in the literature. Search medical journals, science minded individuals, skeptics, get the best picture of what you're buying, and what you're putting into your body, because what you do may not just be a colossal waist of money, but could be dangerous to you.

To my clients such as the above and others who are looking to increase their "energy levels", I would say, make sure your diet is in order, make sure you're getting enough calories, water,  fruit and vegetables. Real, whole, organic foods are going to provide much of what you need, if you have an ailment, see a doctor, if you feel rundown; exercise, and eat properly. Expensive and untested supplements should not be on your radar.

Gorski, D., (2011). Dr. Oz on alternative medicine: Bread and circuses. Science-Based Medcicine. Retrieved 27/06/11.

Gorski, D., (2011).  Motivated reasoning, Alternative medicine, and the anti-vaccine movement. Science-Based Medcicine. Retrieved 27/06/11.

Martin M., (1991). The Case Against Christianity. Philadelphia. Temple University Press. Pg- 19.

Orac., (2011). Naturopathy invades the heartland. Science blogs: Respectful Insolence. Retrieved 23/06/11.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


It's been suggested to me that I perhaps haven't delved quite expressively into HIIT, as in offered programs and run throughs for and on  it. This blog will be an attempt to rectify that.

Important note: all these programs are phase 1, level 1, beginner programs, many of my clients will have progressed past these, but I would recommend your average person reading this blog, give them a try, with your preferred piece of cardio equipment.

Beginners Intervals
Warm up- 5-10mins progressive intensity steady state
  • 1 minute @ maximum intensity (usually done on the X-Trainer at a resistance of 14)
  • 2 minutes active recovery (with a resistance of 6-8)
Repeat 5 times
Cool down- 5-10 minutes

More Advanced Intervals

Warm up- 5-10 mins progressive intensity steady state 
  • 30 seconds @ maximum intensity (usually done on the X-Trainer at a resistance of 14)
  • 1 minute active recovery (with a resistance of 6-8)
Repeat 7 times
Cool down 5-10 minutes

General protocols for beginners run something along the lines of  a 1 work to 1-2+ ratio of rest. You can use all kinds of different protocols, for example:  15 seconds on with 45 seconds active recovery, 3 minutes on with 6 minutes active recovery (burgeoning closer to aerobic intervals which are fine, but I consider them inferior to anaerobic ones) etc, as long as the above ratios are being (roughly) met. I will prescribe shorter rest intervals over a 3 x4 week (12 week) program to keep the intensify of the workout sufficiently difficult to match the clients increasing fitness levels.

You can use just about any piece of equipment you like, you can box, sprint, do kettlebell swings, burpees etc. Anything that elicits a metabolic response will do fine. You can even use weights in a circuit fashion to do interval style training, for example:

Weight Interval Circuit
1 minute on, 1 minute off
  • Jump Squat
  • Goblet Squat
  • Pushups
  • Inverted row
Repeat x 4

You can also do bodyweight circuits as finishers after your main workout:

Bodyweight Intervals Circuits (Props to Craig Ballantyne for this workout)
  • Y-Squat- 12 reps
  • Diagonal Lunge
  • Offset (Kneeling) Push up- 6 reps per side
  • Spiderman Climb- 8 reps per side
  • Jumping Jack- 60 jumps
Rest 1 minute at the end of each circuit performed, no rest between exercises.
Repeat 2-3 times

Exercises in the bodyweight circuits can be substituted for pretty much any bodyweight exercise, with the repetitions varied to maximise intensity with the degree of difficulty of the exercise.

As you can see from this very small snippet of information there are many variations of intensities, formats and routines for HIIT. I have offered extensive justification for the use of HIIT, particularly over steady state in the various hyperlinks in this post (and here), as you can see from the above programs, it offers functional programs that ramp up metabolism, affectionately labelled "the afterburn effect".

It should be obvious to the reader of this blog that abs are made in the kitchen, but it's important to note: that any training, no matter how great, is only as effective as your diet, so please, before we even get into a debate about what is better at optimising fat loss, make sure your diet is at least on it's way to being what you need it to be.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Assorted Links on Cognition and Neuroscience
As the name suggests. Pseudoscience, religion, quackery, tarot, the paranormal, we're all aware of these things, some of us believe in them, others do not. The articles dive into the bio mechanical processes by which we are duped, or perhaps more graciously, convinced, by the above, which do not have adequate evidential support. The knowing reader may attack my epistemology and indeed ask for a basis for an evidential approach, which is a discussion I would be more than willing to have, suffice it to say, for personal trainers and the scientifically literate, the need for an evidential basis for support and endorsement of programs and training tactics should be apparent and obvious.

Where My Ladies At?
Ladies check this out, then tell me if you lift heavy weights you'll get bulky...

What is Metabolic Resistance Training?
Cosgrove's blog is usually always packed with justification for much of what I do, this blog is no different. I would actually recommend purchasing the mentioned product, I did. The great thing about buying the product is not so much the 2 products you get, but rather the Turbulence Training site you get access too, as of this writing I've downloaded about 70 e-books on diet, abs, HIIT, MRT etc, by Craig Ballantyne, Chris Mohr and Mike Roussell. I couldn't imagine how valuable this resource would be for a non trainer!

New T-Nation Single Leg Training Article
Some advice on single leg training from the guy who changed the industry toward this stuff.

11 Reason Why You Aren’t Getting Results
I don't often post articles from Boyle as he keeps his most informative articles on but occasionally he puts some stuff on his blog that's worth the re-post (though this post in and of itself is a re-post).

Evolution of a Fitness Enthusiast
A really great post on Boyle's blog. He's focused on this thing a bit recently, and I think, particularly us trainers, can see our progression on here, and that of those in our clubs.

High Protein Diets and Kidney Function
This idea has been the basis for the "anti-high protein diet" crowd. Do I think this effectively puts this to bed? Of course not. We should however consider this and other information when considering our dietary course.

Knees-Past-Toes During the Squat
Schoenfield demonstrates the complexity implicit in the "knees past toes" debate in regards to the squat. I've seen Poloquin make a similar argument. I especially liked his distinction between the squat and the lunge and why a different emphasis needs to be placed on the toes in each.
Circuit training vs Traditional Training
Some evidence via studies to demonstrate the superiority of MRT over traditional weight training.

Tempo Intervals & MMA Fitness
Some anecdotal evidence toward the efficacy of HIIT.

A Great "Pushup" Variation For Shoulder Stability and Core Strength
The next 4 blogs are Bruno doing his thing.

Good Reads for the Week

For Your Viewing Pleasure: Take 35

For Your Viewing Pleasure: Take 34

Talent vs. Work: Part 1
We have a tendency to look at those with the physical gifts we would bestow upon ourselves with some envy, and it is easy to consider ways to take away their hard work from them, for example:  "well they have genetics", "they have more time to train than me" etc etc. Excuses and reasons are not delineated by much.

The Effect of Two Energy-Restricted Diets, a Low-Fructose Diet vs. a Moderate Natural Fructose Diet – Research Review
Lyle McDonald seems to disagree with most of what I preach on diet, but that's ok, dissenting voices, particularly those backed by evidence, are worth listening to. Does this mean, based on the results of one study that I'm going to give up pushing high protein diets? Of course not. It is good however to be aware of the literature, to respect it, and to realise their are always opposing viewpoints.

Random Thoughts

Strength Goals: Don’t Be Afraid to Abandon Them
Working in a commercial gym I see a lot of horrible form, sometimes especially from the meatheads, who should know better. But, have you ever tried to tell a meathead how to lift? As a former (and possibly still), meathead myself, it's like talking to a piece of glass.

Free 52 Glute Myths and a Program to Come

Chicken, Artichoke and Grape Skewers with Tarragon-Yogurt Sauce
This and below are a bunch of recipes I would happily endorse.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Loaf (Low-Carb, Sugar Free)

Spicy Mango Black Bean Turkey Burgers

Cookie Dough Cupcakes (Gluten Free, Sugar Free)

Smokey Eggplant Guacamole

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I just wanted to post a quick note on getting results.

As I get involved with my clients diets, as we work together to tweak, and reduce the bad stuff (alcohol and for my purposes, carbs) and increase the good things (protein, vegetables, fruit and water) I come to realise, as I'm dealing with humans, that results really do come as fast as you listen to me. What does this entail? Roughly this, I call it "Rob's food pyramid":

Bottom (consume most)
Green vegetables, lean protein sources (meats/powders), water.

Middle (consume moderately)
Nuts, legumes, beans (as in borlotti, kidney, baked etc), yogurt, cottage and other lean cheeses, fruit, non green vegetables, lean milks, green tea, fish oil.

Top (consume rarely)
Wholemeal bread/pasta/rice/grains, sweet potato, coffee.

Outside (never consume)
White potatoes/bread/pasta/rice, alcohol, lollies, chocolate, junk food (fast food inc.), sugary drinks (including juices).

That's not hubris, I'm not saying: "I've got it all figured out mwahahaha", simply that there are tried, true, and tested methods for fat loss. Carb/protein manipulation is one, HIIT, is another, as is MRT. Combined, they are fast, effective, and safe methods for fat loss (note-as a basic justification for the avoidance of carbs- when you eat carbs, your body produces an insulin spike, this spikes moves whatever loose nutrients you have in your body to their storage places. When you eat carbs with fat, it puts the fat straight into your fat storage areas (triceps, stomach, ass, thighs). When you eat carbs and protein together it jets the protein to your muscles, thus making them recover, grow and allow you to train harder. As this blog suggests, never eat carbs and fat at the same time).

I've found, the more a client listens, as in the faster a client makes the above changes, the faster results come. Seeing as we live in an age where everyone wants it now, I recommend everyone do those changes immediately.

But, and again, as I said, I am dealing with humans, so I can't force you to make those changes, and realistically, I don't expect you to do them in the first 2 weeks. You want to look like this:
Not too muscular, or lean.

Not a completely unrealistic goal for your average male.
Then you need to keep these goals in mind, and consider what it is that these people do to look as they do. Do they: drink booze every weekend? Eat however they like? Eat carbs at night? I'm willing to go out on a limb and say "probably not!"

HIIT, MRT, carb/protein manipulation. Makes these things your life. Drop programs that focus on running, that focus on undisciplined control and lack progression of intensity, that don't incorporate weight training. Think of it in these terms: everytime you're out doing a 45 min to a 1 hour run, you could have done 10.5 minutes of intervals and received a better fat loss effect. Everytime you do an unfocused session with friends, you could have done a 20 minute MRT session which would yield greater response.

As I get my clients in line, I do take a hard approach. And when I see a client doing something outside of our program, I see a weak link in their program.

A caveat at this point: yes movement is good, yes any movement is better than no movement, this I concede. But this works as a bare minimum expectation for training. I don't train my clients for bare minimum, the programs I write aren't going for a bare minimum response. I write 3 month programs (Circuit EDT, Alternating Set etc) that are designed, by the worlds best strength coaches, to get results, demonstrable, measurable results, in that time.

You go off the reservation so to speak, you eat carbs all day, go to dinners, drink booze, I can't take responsibility for the results, though I still will of course, because it's my job, to show you why you want to give those things up. And it's my failure, if you don't...

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Hey guys, another articles blog for your enjoyment.

Fashionably toxic
This one's a little old, but I had to put it in. With so many people, even in the fitness industry talking about "toxins" and "de-toxing" all the time, I couldn't resist putting up some actual, scientific research into this guff.

Good Reads for the Week
More articles than you can throw a cat at, Bruno's work on these posts makes my efforts on my articles blog, look a joke, hence why I steal from him.

Tightening Up the Ship
This blog made me feel somewhat better about my recent back troubles. Though I didn't injure myself to the extent Contreras did, so I can hardly compare, but it does demonstrate to me, even if our cases aren't similar, that injuries are a part of the gym world. I wasn't going for max strength like Contreras and he or others might say our examples are completely different (proper training versus improper for example) but the point I took away is: we're all human, we're all learning and that never stops.

For Your Viewing Pleasure: Take 32
I really wanted to watch all these but they're making my computer run slow for some reason. Nonetheless, like a billion great vids to check out.

Good Reads for the Week
Again, Bruno working much harder than me.

Why Bodybuilders are More Jacked Than Powerlifters
I almost posted this on Facebook, always a good one, though I admit, I have very few clients who are trying to exclusively put on muscle, as in most of them are trying to look lean and muscular, without being huge.

Random Thoughts
I particularly like his opening thoughts, in fact, they're the reason I included this blog. Food for thought to all my clients!

Sleep loss lowers testosterone.....
I put these kind of articles in because most if not all of my clients are not sleeping enough, this can hopefully demonstrate why it's so important (yes for women too).

Goblet Squats
All my clients know this exercise, I've found it to be much more teachable than the front squat, I haven't done it with the Kettlebell yet, have seen Chris using it, will give it a shot in further programs where the kettlebell is prescribed.

The single best exercise
Seriously guys, you're not distance running are you?

Q&A: What are the Healthiest Beers?

Strength and Conditioning Discussion – Are Foam Rollers Crap?
Not the most scientific of articles, and I recommend you view it as such, but there are some interesting musings to be had regardless. I can personally attest to the positive benefit of foam rollers. 1 week since I hurt my back, foam rolling and stretching my lower body twice a day, has significantly improved my pain, as in I'm almost fit to return to training. I highly recommend them, obviously.

No Limits, No Nonsense
There is another post, I think by Mike Robertson that touches on some similar principles to this blog about coaching movements and coaching them well. We've all as trainers been frustrated with a client who simply cannot grasp an exercise (think of push presses, squats, lunges, bent over rows etc), but it is our job as coaches and trainers to figure out a way, like manipulating a Rubik's cube to get our clients to move well. Whether you take it back to basics as this article suggests or you spend the time coaching as Robertson's article suggests. Fitness, fat loss and muscle gains have to be subordinate to form and exercise execution, else, what are we for, as trainers?

Strong(her) University Part II: Nutrition 101
A nice post to the ladies, and also as I've been hammering home the basics of nutrition lately, this blog is following a similar thesis.

No Bake Cookies (Vegan, High Protein, Sugar-Free)
Eloise, Yasmin, Dion, Kara- A must read! And generally a good blog to add to your blogrolls.

An Awesome Resource for Healthy Food Options
Cherie- There's your quinoa.

Pumpkin & Chicken Curry Recipe
Add it to the list guys.

Why You Shouldn’t Take It Off Later
Motivational stuff, always good, I think, for my clients to see what the coaches use to motivate themselves.

Garlicky Roasted Shrimp and Swiss Chard

A Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Sex Drive
Training, a healthy diet, can improve so many more areas than your biceps. I see this with friends, clients, people who are depressed, their lives seem in ruin, they turn to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, whatever. While I have no problems with those articles of enjoyment, it really depends on your reasons for doing them, your state of mind when doing them. They can lead to a negative psychological outlook, or and perhaps more commonly, are the results of a negative psychological outlook. How does one fix this? By getting their health and exercise regime sorted. By moving, by accomplishing goals, by self motivating etc. Positivity breeds more of the same, then again, so does negativity.

This is How I Train Part 1 – My Upper-body Pushing Workout
Functional training from a guy I've really come to love. His FB status updates are always right up my alley, as he tends to talk about the skeptical movement, good science and training, how could I not love this guy?

The Missing Piece in Designing Your Training Program – the Autonomic Nervous System. Part 1: The Science
A little science heavy, but interesting for those who can follow it.

Smallpox and Pseudomedicine
Not strictly on topic, but it's always good to learn how to detect pseudoscience, from real science, as we see with some strength coaches, trainers and Internet gurus.

Placebo Prescriptions
Some interesting thoughts.

I got put onto this blog by Sean Powell I believe (I have so many bogs on my blogroll, hard to keep track)



5 Surprising Reasons You Blew Your Diet
T-Nation, always good for some fun.

The Truth About Fructose
This is always a hot topic for debate, some interesting stuff.

How Many Meals a Day Should You Eat?
I think this is enough articles for you guys this week, enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Putting It All Together

As I've done in this blog, I'm going to put together the order, in terms of blogs, in which your diet and training should go. Hopefully this can help spell out what it is you need to do to get results. It still feels a little clunky putting it together as a blog like this, instead of writing it out in a single post. I guess my thought process is this: I have written it out, in detail, separately, I've put it in several blogs, in several formats, this is just one more, to try and demonstrate what it is fat loss really requires.

Breakfast and daytime nutrition
Sample Diet For A Week.

This is how you eat from the start of your day to a presumed training time in the afternoon (and is basically outlined in this blog for you too), the fall back position as this blog suggests is, if you can't stop yourself from eating carbs during the day, cut them off after 4pm, this will still give you some positive fat loss response. Obviously it won't be as structured a diet as the featured blog, but it's a start, I would only expect my beginner clients, as in 3 months of training or less, to even have an excuse in doing this, the rest of you should be already doing the sample diet above (or at least your version of it). This blog demonstrates why it's so important and also gives some more information.

Pre workout out and workout nutrition
Pre Workout Nutrition, Workout Nutrition & Some Musings.

A detailed blog surely, but the devil really is in the details. It elaborates in specifics what's required prior to, during and after a workout.

Metabolic Resistance Training day workout
Sample Fat Loss Program For A Week. 

During a weights workout, you could be doing the sample workout from above or the workout in this blog (at bottom). The nutrition for such is above, post workout nutrition, below.

High Intensity Interval Training day workout
Sample Fat Loss Program For A Week. 

You can also use the intervals prescribed in this blog, though I would rather a 12 week progressive use of the above. Remember, both the interval programs in these blogs are phase 1 only, they progressively intensify every 4 week phase transition. Post workout nutrition below.

Post workout nutrition
Recipes, Post Workout Nutrition and A Rant (Non Necessarily In That Order).

We then have more specifics here on post workout nutrition, though it is discussed in this blog above.

Client Results- Sean "P Diddy" Powell.

And hopefully at the end, this is what you'll look like!