Posts Tagged ‘Strength’


Just so we’re clear, there is absolutely no supplement out there that is going to make up for crappy nutrition and destructive eating habits. Supplements are there to supplement your diet.

With that in mind, food is always going to be superior to supplements. There’s no debate in saying that your nutrition should primarily consists of whole foods — it’s a given. But, there are a handful that I strongly recommend looking into.

1. Curcumin


Curcumin is the yellow pigment associated with Turmeric — and is perhaps the most powerful supplement I’ve taken. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, its other effects range from pain management to benefits that affect nearly every organ system in the body. One of my long-time clients who has osteoarthritis in both knees has experienced tremendous feedback from supplementing with curcumin.

The caveat, though, is that it has poor bioavailability. So, you need to ingest curcumin as part of a formula that contains piperine (black pepper extract) to enhance absorption.

2. Vitamin D


More than 40 percent of American adults are thought to be deficient in vitamin D.  In fact, every time I ask my clients for their blood work, more often than not, their vitamin D level is sub-optimal. Interestingly enough, when carbohydrate intake is controlled, I’ve found that supplementing with Vitamin D has a positive effect on Hemoglobin A1c. So, if you’re pre-diabetic, look into your Vitamin D levels. Of course this is just anecdotal evidence.

3. Magnesium


Magnesium is a big player for a number of biochemical reactions that keep the body functioning properly. Unfortunately, most people across the population are deficient in it. A deficiency has been shown to increase blood pressure and has a negative effect on carbohydrate metabolism.

If you don’t want to supplement, nuts and leafy vegetables are among the best food sources.

4. Fish Oil


It’s pretty obvious that we all should be taking this due to it’s variety of health benefits. There’s ample evidence that suggest it promotes healthier blood vessels, and lowers lipid count. Omega-3 fatty acids delivers potent anti-inflammatory effects, and the most obvious is that it has a positive effect on brain and cardiovascular health.

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1. Performance based goals yields better long-term results. Being able to do a chin-up(s), deadlift 1-2x your bodyweight, or simply move without pain — the confidence that comes with that is advantageous to your overall health.

2. A well-qualified coach can be a great addition to your progress. But at the end of the day, he/she is not going to spoon feed you. You’ve got to take ownership of your own health. If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything.

3. Band-resisted Deadbug is a great drill to do before you hammer squats or a deadlift because it encourages you to keep a neutral spine, and your anterior core engaged.

4. Alignment and how well you move is going to determine the loads and stress on your joints. You’re body is amazingly adaptive, so always ensure you’re moving with proficiency.

5. If there’s one thing that working in a commercial gym has taught me, it’s that most folks go through the motions. Bust your ass and focus on getting stronger. Watch what happens.

6. Pizza is life, period.


7. Get lean and strong with the prowler.

8. If your diet consists of minimally processed foods, you’re body will pay you back. If you eat crap… well, we all know where this is going.

9. You don’t have to be an athlete to train like one.

10. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. More often than not your mindset is taken to a different level.


11. Squatting ass-to-grass or deep squatting is primarily governed by genetics. You can improve range of motion through various mobility drills and soft tissue work, but it’s ignorant to assume that everybody should squat deep. Assess, individualize, and prioritize.

12. A lot of shoulder, elbow, and wrist problems can be cleaned up by looking at scapular positioning. The site of the pain is not always the source.


13. Standing on a BOSU or wobble board, and performing an overhead squat while holding your cat in one arm is not “functional training”. There’s nothing more functional than lifting heavy ass weights off the floor. Stop training for the friggin’ circus.

14. If you make the mistake of restricting too many calories in your attempt to lose weight, your efforts will bite you in the butt the moment you say, “F*ck it” and pig out.

15. Consume as many calories as you can whilst still seeing results. There’s plenty of time to make adjustments.

16. So cool to see my articles getting published back home in Saipan.


17. The more disciplines you improve, the better the results. That said, I’d have to say that mitigating alcohol consumption and adding more protein into your diet is the most effortless thing you can do to start burning more fat.

18. Never sacrifice form to lift or move more load. Movements that begin from the spine is an indication for future back pain. Move well, then move often.

19. Must have supplements: Vitamin D, Probiotics, Cod Liver Oil.

20. I hate Farmer Carries and Bulgarian Split Squats, but man do they make your body change.

21. Fat loss is simple by design. Unfortunately, we make things more complicated than it has to be.

22. Don’t be demoralized by how much more you have to do. Rather, appreciate how far you’ve come.

23. How’s this for a baller photo? #ThatViewDoe


24. If you’re having difficulty learning how to deadlift properly, try the landmine deadlift. It encourages you to shift your weight posteriorly imposing much less sheering force in your lower back, and your grip isn’t a limiting factor.

25. If you’re trainer or coach throws you into the workout without an assessment, RUN!

26. Take all the pills and powders you want. If you’re not employing the simple things such as drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, you’re wasting your time.

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When I got my Bachelor’s in Kinesiology in the summer of 2013, I initially wanted to work with athletes. That was my dream. My background was in athletics, so it was a no-brainer. It’s funny how things work out though because here I am now in a completely different situation — majority of my clients primarily consists of women.

The whole process was a bit fortuitous because I unexpectedly developed an affinity for training females.  I saw that the vast majority of women were sorely misinformed. Granted there are a growing number of women who are steering in the right direction with regards to their health and fitness, there was a gaping hole that needed to be addressed.

Here are some of things I’ve learned from training women.

1. Prioritize stability and motor control work


This is one major detail I feel gets lost in the details of designing a training program. You have to appreciate the role of congenital laxity and joint hypermobility. And what I mean by that is women are more flexible than men — and have excessive range of motion — which makes them more susceptible to joint pathologies and injuries.  The ability to move in large ranges of motion requires adequate stability to control it.

Elbow Hyperextension

Elbow Hyperextension in Push-ups

Photo Credit:

Knee Hyperextension

Knee Hyperextension

Photo Credit:

So rather than lengthy stretching and mobility drills (still important, by the way), their warm-ups should consist of stabilization and motor control work (planks, bridges, turkish get-ups, farmer carries). Moreover, I strongly advise that you don’t go past joint end range. You’re really just asking for it when you hang out there in the presence of load and fatigue.

2. They don’t eat enough protein to fuel their progress


We want to be able to enjoy food for what it is.  Freedom to eat what ever you want is a pretty big deal if you want to stay consistent. Fried chicken wings, and a juicy burger with fries sounds delicious, but you have to be diligent with your nutrition — there is a trade-off if you’re looking to attain a slender and toned physique.  All of that considered, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with someone who just doesn’t eat enough to fuel their progress. Yes — I said it.  You don’t eat enough to fuel your progress (specifically protein).

Exercise is just a stimulus to set you up for a positive adaptation. That adaptation will only occur if your eating the “appropriate” amount.

3. “Lifting heavy will make you look bulky”


This never gets old, and unfortunately, this will never die out. We can thank the media and Tracy Anderson for this one. To this day, a lot of women out there are still reluctant to pick up heavy weights. Stop the stigma. Dismiss the idea that  you’ll get big and bulky from lifting anything more than ten pounds. Moderate carbohydrate consumption, increase dietary protein, get in the weight room, and sprinkle in your cardiovascular work. Watch what happens.

It’s also worthwhile to note that packing on some muscle automatically ramps up your metabolic rate, which helps in the reduction of body fat.

4. They’re way more disciplined than men


Regardless of the training principles they follow or nutrition protocol they’re adhering to, when they buy into it, I’ve found women to be way more disciplined than men.  They’ll train more and sacrifice more to get the job done.

Teach them how to deadlift properly, and they’ll love it.  When they finally do their first push-up or chin-up, they’ll go berserk. Mix that in with a high-five and a compliment, and their eyes light up. Strength training empowers them.

*Slow clap*


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