Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jack Dempsey - Quote

"A champion is someone who gets up when he can't." -   Jack Dempsey

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Unilateral Training - Imbalances

We all have muscle imbalances.   My right bicep is bigger than my left.  My left tricep is bigger than my right.   None of us are perfect.   However, more than slight imbalances can lead to injury.  Muscle imbalances can also stall your progress in lifting.

Unilateral training will help an imbalanced muscle group, which is using separate but equal weights on each side of the body.  Unilateral training with dumbbells forces the muscles to work independently.  Bilateral training such as barbells and many machine exercises use both sides to lift the weight (a single weight).  (Admit it:  every now and then, you KNOW one side is doing more of the work than the other is.) 

In order to develop more balance between left and right side you should use dumbbells in your compound moves.   Examples of unilateral compound moves:  dumbbell bench press, dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell bent over row.  

Alternate between bilateral and unilateral exercises into your compound move to improve muscle imbalances and take your fitness to the next level.

Stay tuned…………..

Monday, September 24, 2012

Are You Making These Nutrition Mistakes?

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this video should more than cover this posting...

Seriously, work travel is taking priority this week, so here are a few well-chosen thoughts from 

No matter how well versed you are in nutrition and fitness, chances are you still need a few simple reminders of the basics.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jimmy Johnson - Quote

"Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be. " -  Jimmy Johnson

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Lunges are my least favorite movement.   I would rather squat until I puke than do lunges.   J

Having said that, I find myself once again in the need to add them back into my routines.   I need hip work to help take me to the next level in my squats and deadlifts.    

Lunges are great for developing the thighs and strengthening the hips.    Besides working the quads, hamstrings and glutes, they also work the hip adductors and abductors (inner and outer thighs).    These are why I add them in.   The adductors and abductors are keys for hip stability and are critical to performance.    The lunge, if performed correctly, provides greater range of motion.  All of this converts into more development of the muscles critical to squats and deadlifts. 

Lunges have many variations:  forward lunges, reverse lunges, sideways lunges, power lunges, and my favorite – the walking lunge.   These are just a few of the many options.   You can do these with just bodyweight or carrying dumbbells, kettlebells or barbell.   

Lunge technique/form:  With a staggered stance (about shoulder width apart) and both feet straight forward, bend your knees and  lower your back knee to almost the floor and rise again.   Keep your body in upright position (do not lean).   The front knee should not be past your toes, if so, widen your stance.    

Add these to your routine and watch your squat and deadlift numbers go up !!!!   Warning – lunges will kick your butt.  J

 Stay tuned……..

Monday, September 17, 2012

Whey Protein - Timing / Limit

All proteins are NOT equally beneficial.

Whey protein is advertised everywhere.   Promoted to be the cure all for protein / nutritional needs.   Many concentrate on only using whey protein throughout the day.    However, that could be exactly what is hampering your fat loss.    Whey protein spikes your blood sugar / insulin levels.  

The entire purpose of whey protein was to be consumed after your workout.   This is when your body needs to quickly deliver a spike of protein and nutrients to your muscles to help you preserve and gain muscle.  Whey protein is absorbed faster than any other type.  It is completely absorbed in your body within an hour.       If you consume whey protein any other time other than post workout, you start an insulin spike and turn off any fat burning.  The result is that you will be hungry soon, as the whey is sooo fast absorbing.

Advice -  consume whey protein only post workout.    All other daily protein should come from natural sources (real food) or blended proteins (casein, etc.). 

Stay tuned………..

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Arthur Ashe - Quote

"The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight. " - Arthur Ashe

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Barefoot (or at least flat foot) Training

We were born without shoes…and during the first few years of our lives, we went barefoot.  

When we wear shoes, our feet lose some of their natural physical capacity including failing to develop to their proper size and shape.  Our tendons and ligaments shorten and our muscles weaken.

Going barefoot or wearing minimal footwear has many advantages in weight lifting.    There are no artificial heals when you go barefoot or wear minimal footwear.    Shoes that lift the heel alter your center of balance.   They shift the weight forward and your body compensates by arching your back.   Most sports shoes don't help much either as they have shock absorbing cushioning that reduce wear and tear but don't do much for strengthening.   When performing lower body exercises such as squats and deadlifts, these shoes cause uneven stability.   In addition, those shoes are not designed for the heavy weight.  They can literally “blow out" the shocks.   

A barefoot stance is the best way to improve balance and posture.  This in turns allows you to lift more and more safely.

Many lower body strength-training exercises can be performed barefoot.  To mention a few -- squats, deadlifts, lunges, and step–ups.

When I perform deadlifts, I wear wrestling shoes.  (I cannot stand the thought of standing barefoot or socking footed on a public gym floor!)  They are flat, thin sole, no arch and very minimalist.    Many lifters also where Converse Chuck Taylors.   For your workout, these are the next best thing to barefoot. 

Take your training to the next level and go back to Mother Nature and try it barefoot (or minimalist).    Let the body work as intended and to full potential.
Stay tuned…

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cooking Meat – Low Temps

When cooking meats, the temperature used makes a difference in its digestibility and nutrition in the body. 

High temperature cooking as well as over cooking will make digestion much more difficult.  The food cannot absorb into the cells.  Also frying, baking, or grilling meats at high temperatures produces compounds called advanced glycation end products.   Studies have shown that AGEs that can increase inflammation in the body. AGEs also are linked to diabetes and heart disease. 

There are several resources online that give guidelines to slower and lower temperature cooking of meats.    Please reference and be HEALTHY. 

Stay tuned……….

Friday, September 7, 2012

Egg Muffin (Breakfast or Snack )

Here is a recipe for either a low carb breakfast or a snack.    Pour egg beaters™ into a greased cupcake pan or small ramekin.  Then add toppings (veggies and/or meat).    I simply use cinnamon on top as it caramelizes when baked.    Bake in the oven or microwave.  Eat right away or and let them cool and store them in refrigerator.   I prepare a few ahead and store in the fridge so I have an easy grab-and-go protein snack. 

Stay tuned……….

Thursday, September 6, 2012

John Wooden - Quote

"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. " - John Wooden

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pull Ups / Chin Ups – Alternative Grip / Focus

Pull Ups / Chin Ups are staples in our compound exercises.  (See April 18 posting).     However, for a change and to put more emphasis on the back, try switching up the grip.   Go wide as you can and use an overhand grip.   Put your thumb in an overhand grip position as well as the fingers but do not wrap the thumb around the bar.   This change to WIDE and all digits in overhand grip position will put more emphasis on the back muscles. 

Stay tuned……..

Monday, September 3, 2012

Do it Yourself – Electrolyte Water

Instead of paying for those expensive waters with electrolyte properties, make your own !!   Squeeze liquid from oranges, bananas, or melon (or any combination of the 3) into some fresh water.   Add in a little sea salt.    This is the perfect balance of sodium and potassium (as well as many other nutrients).    Sodium and potassium are the keys to recovery post workout when your body has sweated out the vital electrolytes.     Try it……

Stay tuned…….