Posts Tagged ‘bodybuilding’


So…I just turned 25 a few weeks ago.

(Yes — I can finally rent a car!)

And something I like to do every year is reflect on what I’ve done.  Every year I try to do better in terms of improving as a coach and how I can make an even bigger impact. Ever since I entered the game and became a part of the fitness industry two years ago, I made it a goal to help as many people as I could.  I wanted to be a reputable and well-versed fitness professional.

Yesterday, I read two blogs, 31 Random Training Thoughts by Mike Robertson, and 32 Random Thoughts On Training by Tony Gentilcore. Both are great reads and you should check them out. I liked the idea so much that it inspired me to do one as well. In honor of my birthday, here are my 25 Thoughts On Fitness and Nutrition.

  1. The number one excuse that keeps people from working out is, “I don’t have the time.” Look, you either want it that bad, or you don’t. Make the time.
  2. A suppressed metabolism coupled with high frequency training will not get you anywhere near your goal. You can’t expect to lose fat when you’re eating less than a 1,000 calories every day.  Give your body a reason to release energy by eating MORE. Yes — eat more!
  3. Too many people are under the impression that training to the point of exhaustion is indicative of a good workout. Always leave something left in the tank to ensure optimal recovery. 
  4. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that you’ve earned a reward after only putting in a day of work by doing one hour on the elliptical. reward
  5. I hate to break it to you, but there are no specifics with regards to nutrition and training. There is no one size fits all program or diet.  Everybody is different, everything is individualized. 
  6. Additionally, not everyone is meant to squat “ass-to-grass” and not everyone is meant to overhead press.
  7. I love squats and deadlifts 😉2015-08-28 15.26.51
  8. I hate kipping pull ups.
  9. Take your warm ups seriously. Don’t haphazardly warm up and start moving big weights without priming yourself up mentally and physically. 
  10. With regards to injuries, most of the time the site of the pain isn’t the source of the pain. Remember that!
  11. Generally, the vast majority of people who suffer from chronic back pain can easily relieve that by simply releasing the tension in their hip flexors via soft tissue work (foam rolling, massage, active release therapy) and stretching.
  12. Wheat and Soy= Fake health food
  13. Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil= Good
  14. Women: lifting weights will not make you look bulky and muscular. Stop the cardio and go lift something heavy. I beg you!
  15. Your lats and your glutes are two of the biggest muscles in the human body. Utilize them!
  16. Don’t overlook the importance of proper positioning. Pelvic positioning is of utmost importance when it comes to performing functional movements. Stacked joints are where we want to be.
  17. If you strengthen in misalignment, you develop muscular imbalances. If you stretch in misalignment, you create instability. You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe.
  18. I believe everybody should train somewhat like an athlete.
  19. The purpose of plyometric work is to learn how to generate force (accelerate), but more so — how to absorb it (decelerate). You are defeating the purpose by doing box jumps and jumping back down repetitively.
  20. Weight loss on the scale is not indicative of progress. Conversely, gaining 2-3 pounds does not mean you’re regressing. Fluctuations are a part of the process.
  21. Losing weight or dropping body fat isn’t the problem, it’s keeping it off.
  22. Mobility is nothing without stability. Core activation, specifically with the anterior core is critical if you want to move an appreciable amount of weight.
  23. Most of the time shoulder issues arise from over developed lats and pecs. Releasing them with a foam roller or medicine ball will start to clear things up.
  24. I love pizza ;).20150306_161334
  25. If you can’t get your arms up overhead without dropping your neck (forward head posture) or over-arching your lower back (hyperlordosis), then you have no business overhead pressing a barbell. You have to earn the right to overhead press.

My biggest pet peeve is somebody asking me for “fitness advice”, but ignoring it and then doing the complete opposite. Seriously?!?!?!


The most pertinent issue with regards to fat loss is adherence. Adherence is the most difficult thing for most people —including myself. We all have different goals (get stronger, lose body fat, build muscle), but no matter what your goal is, adherence is that X FactorIt’s going to keep you afloat.

For simplicity’s sake, I’ll skip on the whole what to do to maximize fat loss because let’s be honest, majority of us already have a general knowledge of what to do and the foods we should minimize, if not avoid. That’s not the problem. The problem is adherence coupled with a “I don’t give a F**K mentality.”


When it comes to fat loss we’ve all made mistakes before and evidently we still continue to make those same mistakes. I’d like to call these mistakes, the dark side. It’s like what Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Crash Dieting

As the saying goes, the best diet is the one you can stick to.  In hindsight, I should have ditched the whole notion of “strict dieting” because it’s not sustainable.  I’ve tried it and I felt miserable. I made my clients try it and they felt miserable.  Sure, there are outliers who can stick to intense diets, but improving your quality of life is suppose to be enjoyable.


Research has shown — and I’ve seen this myself — that the vast majority of people who lose weight, almost inevitably gain it back and more. This is typically a result of strict dieting or as I’d like to put it, the all-or-nothing approach.  Unfortunately, this is the way most people diet — they go on a low calorie, carb restricted diet, coupled with exercise. Consistency is key and with extreme methods, they never pan out in the long run. Moreover, it will wreak havoc on your metabolism making it more difficult for you to lose fat.

We’re all in this for the long run, so adding in a little more flexibility as opposed to strict (crash) dieting, goes a long way.  The quality of the food you eat should never be overlooked, but they pale in comparison to being consistent with a diet.  Put it this way, if you do not see yourself maintaining your current diet, then it won’t work for you.  Sustainability is the key for long-term success.

Neglecting Your Health


At the end of the day, we’re only human, and what I mean by that is that we all want results…FAST! Our natural inclination is to want everything right this minute. Well let me tell you, nothing deteriorates your health quicker than training to lose fat in a short amount of time.  It doesn’t matter how slow your progress will be, just as long you keep going. Consistency is key. Keep this in mind: the faster the fruit ripens, the quicker it rots.

Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare? Slowly does it every time.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if your health is out of whack then the last thing your body wants to do is lose fat. While it is necessary to set a deadline to create urgency,  it is also a detriment to your health to rush through it. Losing weight or dropping body fat isn’t the problem — it’s keeping it off. Looking at the hierarchy of importance, your health is at the top of the list, so don’t be in such a rush to lose X amount of weight or X amount of body fat because through my experience of training different people, the slower you lose it, the more likely you’re going to keep it off.


May the force be with you.


Question: when you walk into a gym, what exercises do you see people mostly doing?  Probably the same thing over and over again—bench press, bicep curls, deadlift, and rows… the typical “bro workout.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’d be remiss if I didn’t think that these exercises can’t produce great results. In fact, I’m a huge proponent of conventional barbell training.  Majority of my program design for my clients (myself included) consists of these exercises. Strength is the foundation and developing your prime movers (big muscle groups) with exercises as such will do just that.  It creates a solid base…after all, you can’t fire a cannon from a canoe.

Now, while the aforementioned exercises are great, it’s the “supplemental work” that puts everything into play and has a bigger carryover to your sport and everyday life. In other words, it puts a stamp on your workout or training session.  It doesn’t get enough attention because they’re not seen as sexy or beastly like a deadlift or a bench press.

With that being said, here are three exercises that you should be doing.

1. Pallof Press

I’ve been to many gyms and I can honestly say that I have only seen about three people performing this exercise. The pallof press is traditionally a core exercise, specifically working on anti-rotation.  Simply put, it works on firing your core and glutes to brace and resist rotation.

The main reason why everybody should incorporate this into their program is because it’s one of those exercise that teaches the individual how to brace his/her core (you’d be surprised to see at how many people don’t know how to fully brace their core). Remember, bracing your core assists in producing maximal tension throughout your body. Maximal tension = stability = STRONG

2. Bulgarian Split Squats

I’m a huge advocate of single leg training for two reasons: sports are primarily played on one leg, not two, and it reduces the sheer forces on your lower back and knees that accumulate over time from conventional squatting.  Does that mean we should negate conventional squats? Well for some, that may be the case because from a structural standpoint, we’re not all built the same way. 

For people with long femurs (long legs), I typically minimize conventional squatting and opt for bulgarian split squats because it just looks better—positioning is solid and they’re able to hit depth relative to a front squat or a back squat. I have also found that people who do not have the requisite mobility to squat properly, have much more success executing bulgarian split squats.

Moreover, you can load up as much weight as you can with limited spinal compression.  Bang for your buck exercise right there!

3. Landmine Press

Now, with regard to overhead pressing movements (military press, barbell overhead press, snatches), whether you’re limited from a structural standpoint or simply have a mobility restriction, it’s imperative to work your way around the exercise if pain occurs from either of the two. To paraphrase Tony Gentilcore, “You have to earn the right to overhead press.”

The landmine press is an under-utilized exercise, and it gets butchered a lot. Relative to traditional overhead barbell or dumbbell pressing, the landmine press allows the lifter to work overhead movements without causing shoulder impingement.  Also, much like push up variations, it allows your scapula (shoulder blades) to move freely. Constantly pinning your shoulder blades down like on a bench press can become problematic over time. This in turn, creates shoulder issues.  Landmine press for the win!

Make it a priority to implement these exercises into your program. Have fun!