Imagine an empty jar. You need to fill this jar with rocks. You have big rocks and small rocks. To fill the jar as quickly as possible, you would focus on the BIG ROCKS first right?
Now think of this jar as your fitness journey.
BIG ROCKS: proper programming, sleep, nutrition. Focusing on these things is essential to reaching your goals.
PEBBLES: SUPPLEMENTS, meal timing, carefully regulated sodium intake, etc. Focusing on these things does very little to move you towards your goals.
Focusing on the big rocks gets you where you want to go much quicker than filling your jar one pebble at a time.
The supplement industry works EXTREMELY hard to position the newest pre-workout supplement as one of your BIG ROCKS. They’re so good at convincing you that the latest fat-burner is the thing that is finally going to get you shredded. Missing THIS SUPPLEMENT is why you haven’t been able to reach your goals all these years, NOT your inconsistent workouts...
One of the most frequently asked questions I have received, and any trainer for that matter has received is for general tips and tricks to gain muscle quickly. It stands to reason that in a society of instant gratification, people want results as quickly as they can swipe through their social media feeds. And while I have hundreds of tips, adjustments, and nuances that might move the proverbial needle in your favor of gaining muscle a little more quickly, the REAL advice I have for anyone looking to get into bodybuilding can be boiled into three primary philosophies:
1. Know Your WHY and Fall in Love With the Journey
2. Follow a Program, REALLY follow it
3. Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees
Know Your Why: Before you embark on a muscle building journey, and enter a bodybuilding lifestyle I believe that it is of the utmost importance that you understand WHY and WHAT you are hoping to achieve by this. Despite the...
As a personal trainer, the number one objection I get is price. And I get it.
Personal trainers get a bad rap, and often for good reason. Most are undereducated, unmotivated, and underpaid. Many trainers are simply people who worked out a bit, achieved decent results, and got an online certification. They haven’t learned anything new since. Now they waste their clients’ time running them through a random string of exercises they saw on Instagram.
The key is finding a GOOD trainer. Not usually easy. (It is for you! Check this out)
That being said, finding a talented trainer can be absolutely LIFE CHANGING.
I’ve seen clients go through some incredible transformations. Every single time, the thing that stands out to me isn’t the clients dramatically changed physique, so much as their emotional growth.
In the 21st century, appearance is everything. We tie the entirety of our self-worth to how we look. Watching your body drastically change for...
You’re ready for your first show. A little nervous, but excited, you can’t wait to step on stage. After having competed myself, and being in the industry having friends living all aspects of the competitors life, there’s an even bigger component no one speaks of. Mental training.
Instagram models and Youtube stars show off their fantastic bodies until you take a step closer and realize there is a Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde effect. I like to break it down into 3 categories that I believe help shape a successful lifestyle - Mind, Body and Goal.
If it’s to bring the best version of yourself and push out of your comfort zone that is one thing. If you are doing it because it’ll somehow lead to “fame” or more “likes”, then you’re already in a bad headspace.
You’re bringing the best package on stage. You are constantly reminded of your flaws and what...
One of the first questions I ask a new client before we start on their fitness program is “what is your main fitness goal?” People’s goals can vary quiet a bit. Some individuals want to lose weight while others want to gain weight…some want to move better and others just want more strength. Although goals can be different the true reason behind each goal can be narrowed down to one thing and it’s the same for almost everyone.
I discovered this one driving factor a few years into my fitness career. When people would tell me their fitness goals I would dig deeper and ask “why?” As I went deeper and deeper with each client something became very apparent…everyone wants to reach a fitness goal so that they can feel happy. “I just want to lose weight so I can be happy.”
It was at this point I realized something. Although I was a good trainer who was dedicated to my clients and to helping them getting to their goals, very...
With the dawn of the Age of Social Media, we are constantly inundated with images and information about health, and the best ways to achieve it. Yet, despite the plethora of resources out there, we still have a tendency to engage in unhealthy habits. Why is that the case? Well, for starters, our habits are not that simple--they have many different roots and require many different steps to change them. As I discussed in my previous blog, cultivating a sense of awareness around why we are doing something (or not doing something) is the first step towards change. From my own personal experience, as well as the work I do with clients, I have identified the top reasons why I believe people engage in unhealthy habits, and what you can do about it.
1.) Ingrained Patterns:
Food in particular is central to many family gatherings, and is often associated with happy times and fond memories. When a habit has been with us for as long as we can remember, and is linked with...
There is something inherently masculine about a well-developed chest. The way it makes your shirts sit, the way it extends in front of you as if almost to say “hey, whatsup, if you weren’t aware I take good care of myself and have built a considerable amount of muscle”. A muscular chest can be worn like a badge of honor, and it is a must have for anyone trying to take their physique to the next level. Don’t believe me? Think about it, almost every depiction of a superhero has a thick and well-developed set of pectorals. The chest ties the physique together from shoulder to shoulder and completes the look – training and developing it should be as important as the rest of the musculature.
For anyone who may be struggling to bring up their chest, it is usually not for lack of trying. Most guys love training their chest, and I totally understand why, it is fun to press. The problem is, most guys press once a week and wait an entire SEVEN days to press...
Mastering multiple movements and movement patterns in different planes of movement is ideal for a complete, symmetrical and well-developed physique. This is hardly debatable HOWEVER it is quite possible to build a very impressive physique by utilizing a few simple movements…five to be exact. The following basic movements work the entire body and build functional strength in core movements. That being said, these movements may be simple but they aren’t basic. In fact it may take years to perfect each of these and this is one of the reasons why they are so effective. Practice these movements weekly and get better at them and you will see impressive muscle growth. The following fundamental movements are ranked in order of importance and effectiveness for total strength and muscle growth.
The first exercise is known as 'the king of all exercises’ for good reason. Its tough, it requires total body strength and it can stimulate muscle growth even in areas of the body...
These days you can get a training cert over the weekend having had no previous background in the fitness and nutrition realm. Yeah, its that easy. Most new clients don’t realize this.
Just because a trainer has a certification, does NOT mean they have any clue as to how to properly train. It just means they’re competent enough to not injure you (and even that's a stretch).
I hope one day they make an occupation, whose entire job is transforming your health and nutrition habits, a little more strict and in depth.
Until then, here are 7 qualities you should look for in a trainer worthwhile:
Are they doing an assessment? Did they check your current range of motion, limits, previous injuries, etc.? Sounds pretty obvious but it's absolutely incredible how little this actually happens.
They should be asking about your current nutrition habits, lifestyle, environment, support system, and willingness to change. All super important variables when working with a client....
Without proper nutrition, gaining muscle is nearly impossible. Gaining fat however, is very easy.
Ideally, we could all gain muscle and lose body fat at the same time. However, for anyone but beginners, losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is VERY hard to do. For this reason, most choose to split their nutrition and training up into distinct cycles of CUTTING and BULKING.
When cutting, the primary focus is shedding bodyfat. This requires a caloric deficit (calories below maintenance levels). Your body is an a CATABOLIC STATE: burning fat and (sometimes) muscle due to the lack of calories.
Bulking is focused on gaining muscular size and strength. This requires a caloric surplus (calories above maintenance levels).Your body is in an ANABOLIC STATE: building (sometimes) muscle tissue and (sometimes) fat with the extra calories being consumed.
The problem with a caloric surplus is it can lead to gaining excessive body fat, WHEN MANAGED INCORRECTLY. This is...