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2018-01-21T00:55:00.143Z
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Man am I in a funk. This has never happened before, but I’m struggling to come up with content to write.

I can’t say for sure, but it “may” have something to do with a soon-to-be one-year old that’s growing more and more mobile by the day.1.

In any case I apologize for my lack of writing prowess. Rest assured I’ll be making a comeback sooner or later.

Onto this week’s list….

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo BUT FIRST… 1) Mark Fisher Fitness Presents: Motivate & Movement LAB

I’ve had the honor of presenting at two previous iterations of the Motivate & Movement LAB (the brainchild of MFF’s Harold Gibbons) and it’s unequivocally one of the most unique events in the fitness industry.

Think: TED Talk, but with deadlifts and lots of f-bombs.

Anyways, the next LAB is this coming February, and will feature myself, Dan John, Pete Dupuis, my wife (Dr. Lisa Lewis), and several of the MFF coaching staff including Brian Patrick Murphy and Amanda Wheeler.

2) Appearance on the All About Fitness Podcast

Host Pete McCall does a superb job with this podcast and keeps things light and entertaining.

In this episode I discuss my journey towards my 600 lb deadlift.

You can go HERE (Episode 85) or

The short answer is a resounding yes.

A lot of articles and information directed towards postpartum women cover the initial weeks and months after giving birth. That’s awesome. But what about one year after? Five years?

As Dr. Sarah Duvall, creator of Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, mentions below in today’s guest post: once postpartum, always postpartum.

PCES is an outstanding course, and one I’m currently going through now. It’s only being offered for another week, with a special offer for TG.com readers below.

Enjoy!

Copyright: vadymvdrobot / 123RF Stock Photo Are there any special considerations for training a woman that is over a year postpartum?

For this question we need to ask ourselves, “does the postpartum period end at an arbitrary time?”

In some cases, yes.

Time does have a positive impact and in other cases, no. So, let’s take a look at when time matters and when it doesn’t.

In the early stages postpartum women are still dealing with excessive ligament laxity that was needed to help get the baby out. Most women notice a decrease in the laxity by 4-6 months postpartum but for those that continue to breastfeed, the laxity can continue well over a year.

This matters because laxity creates instability and increases vulnerability...

I’ll be the first to admit my brain is a little lackluster. It doesn’t work in the same fashion as other coaches like, say, Ben Bruno, BJ Gaddour, or Meghan Callaway.

I’m often dumbfounded by all the practical (and inventive) ways they’re able to put their own spin on certain exercises and/or methodologies. I’ll watch a video or read an article and immediately think to myself “Well, I guess I’m an idiot for never thinking of that.”

Now, granted, giving credit where it’s due, when it comes to movie quotes or 90’s hip-hop trivia I’d be able to hang with the best of them:

  • What was director Paul Thomas Anderson’s second feature film and is generally considered Mark Wahlburg’s breakthrough role?2
  • What two albums were released on November 9, 1993 and are both considered hip-hop classics? ADDENDUM: These same albums were also the one’s I listened to most as a teenager in my bedroom, alone, not hanging out with chicks, ever. 3

But since we’re currently not hanging out in a bar playing Stump Trivia or on the set of what would arguably be the greatest game show of all-time, lets just chalk things up to me being an exercise comer-upper buffoon.

Today is no different.

Copyright: karmiic / 123RF Stock Photo

 

In today’s iteration of Exercises You Should Be Doing I want to share a row...

Baby’s asleep.

I’ve got anywhere from 60-90 minutes of freedom.

Here’s this week’s list of stuff to read………

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo But First 1) Mark Fisher Fitness Presents: Motivate & Movement LAB

I’ve had the honor of presenting at two previous iterations of the Motivate & Movement LAB (the brainchild of MFF’s Harold Gibbons) and it’s unequivocally one of the most unique events in the fitness industry.

Think: TED Talk, but with deadlifts and lots of f-bombs.

Anyways, the next LAB is this coming February, and will feature myself, Dan John, Pete Dupuis, my wife (Dr. Lisa Lewis), and several of the MFF coaching staff including Brian Patrick Murphy and Amanda Wheeler.

2) Spurling Spring Seminar

I’ll also be making a cameo up in Kennebunk, Maine this Spring for the Spurling Spring Seminar.

It’s not until April, but you can save BIG now ($100 off) by purchasing an (early) early bird ticket by clicking the link above.

UPDATE: The “Early” Early Bird Special ends this Sunday (1/14)……so act quick.

[Link also provides details on all the presenters and topics covered]

There aren’t many industry events that come into this neck of the woods, so hope to see you there!

Stuff To Read While You’re Pretending To Work 17 Nutrition Tips That...

I’m a member of a local neighborhood bank here in Boston. I joined a year ago when I finally grew tired of all the shady hidden fees my previous bank was hammering me with – maintenance fees, minimal balance fees, checking fees, etc.

It’s been a lovely experience and I appreciate the more personalized approach my current bank provides. In particular I appreciate Nelson, the gentleman responsible for helping to set up all my business accounts.

Every time I walk in he greets me by name, asks how business is going, and it’s not uncommon for us to detour into some movie small talk.4

Also, since he’s the one who manages my business accounts, Nelson also knows what I do for a living and he’ll often ask me for some fitness advice…like he did today when he asked my opinion on what’s better for weight loss: cardio or lifting weights?

Copyright: traviswolfe / 123RF Stock Photo Cue Jaws Theme Music

Now, normally when I’m out in public and stranger or even casual acquaintance asks me that question one of two things happens:

  1. I immediately fall to the ground and feign an epileptic seizure.
  2. The theme music from Jaws reverberates in my inner dialogue.

It’s such a murky and convoluted question with...

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of physical therapist Dr. Michael Infantino, and covers a topic every human in the history of ever has had to deal with.

It’s good. You should read it.

Enjoy.

Copyright: staras / 123RF Stock Photo What Your Doctor Never Told You About Arthritis

Physician: “Welcome. Thanks for coming in for your appointment this morning. It says here that you are having shoulder pain. Is that correct?”

You: “Yes it is. I didn’t think anyone actually read that intake form. I am glad that I took the 30 minutes to fill it out in the waiting room. Also, thank you for taking me back only 45 minutes later than my scheduled appointment time. That’s way better than my previous appointments.” [In a sarcastic tone.]

Physician: “Well there could be a host of reasons that you are having shoulder pain. Did you fall recently? And how old are you? Did you know that most 40 year olds have arthritis?”

You: Inner dialogue, “No, I didn’t fall. Fall? What am I 90 years old?” “I exercise regularly Doc. It hurts sometimes when I am bench pressing or doing shoulder press. Can’t think of any specific incident when it first started hurting.”

Physician: “Did you ever consider not lifting weights? It may be rewarding to have those big muscles, but it could increase your risk of injury. Look at me. I do 20...

It’s no secret I love movies.

I always joke that if I weren’t a strength coach I’d try to finagle a way to watch movies for a living. I don’t know know how I’d make a living doing that, all I know is that it’s pretty much my life’s dream (outside of owning my own real-life Airwolf).

I can’t think of an instance in my life where I haven’t been transfixed or excited to head to the theater to catch a flick.1The ones that really stick out in my mind, that made my jaw drop and were almost biblical in how they affected me are…Return of the Jedi (of course), Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Avatar, and The Matrix.2

Who can forget that opening sequence with Trinity? Remember how it started off with her taking out that whole SWAT team single-handedly, with that slow motion 360 degree camera shot, then building to a chase scene crescendo out-running an “agent?”

Nerd boner city.

You knew, after watching that, that the next two hours were going to be something special.

And, arguably, maybe one of the more iconic lines/scenes of the movie was when Neo first visited The Oracle and he had the “bending spoon” conversation with the little girl.

“There is no spoon.”

Copyright: fergregory / 123RF Stock Photo

 

The whole point of...

Why hello everybody.

I took a brief blogcation this past week because I was down in Dallas, TX visiting family (and eating copious amounts of carrot cake). It was cold as balls down there – in the 20’s, what the hell? – only to return to Boston two days ago to be met with even colder than balls weather…something called a “Bomb” Cyclone.

Parts of downtown Boston flooded and now there’s about two feet of ice in the streets. Thankfully none of that affected us. What’s more, with the wind-chills today, it’s reported we’ll see balmy temperatures of -30 degrees.5

We’re hunkered inside with really nothing to do so I figured I may as well cut  my blogation short.

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo BUT FIRST

 

1) Mark Fisher Fitness Presents: Motivate & Movement LAB

I’ve had the honor of presenting at two previous iterations of the Motivate & Movement LAB (the brainchild of MFF’s Harold Gibbons) and it’s unequivocally one of the most unique events in the fitness industry.

Think: TED Talk, but with deadlifts and lots of f-bombs.

Anyways, the next LAB is this coming February, and will feature myself, Dan John, Pete Dupuis, my wife (Dr. Lisa Lewis), and several of the MFF coaching staff including Brian Patrick Murphy and Amanda Wheeler.

Yesterday I linked to the articles that resonated most with my readers and received the most traffic on the site in 2017.

You can check them out HERE.

Today, however, I’m going to highlight MY picks. Because me, me, me, me, and me.

Copyright: pixelsaway / 123RF Stock Photo

 

The Hardest Topic to Write About: Program Design

Whether you’re a fan of undulated periodization, block periodization, or plain ol’ vanilla linear periodization….writing effective training programs is a must if you want to be known as a legitimate coach or personal trainer.

Where to start? Which is best?

I attempt to answer that in this article.

My Wish For Female Fitness: Less Talk About Less

Look at the magazine cover above. What do you see?

Airbrushing, yes.

But look at the words and titles…..lose, lose, slim, guilt-free, sexy…all are words used to insinuate women need to be less or that they’re not good enough now.

I wish it would stop.

The Trap Bar Deadlift Is Not Cheating

I think the title says it all.

If you need a little more convincing please read on.2

How to Fix Scapular Winging

For the...

Well, that was fast.

2017 came and went.

It was a tumultuous year in many ways – I think many of us are a little fatigued from the events of this past year – but on a personal level quite a profound one too.

I mean, I became a dad.3

Despite the subsequent sleep deprivation – earning my parenting stripes – I still somehow managed to put up 192 blog posts in 2017.4 Today I wanted to highlight the Top 5 posts that received the most web traffic.

These are the articles that resonated the most with you, my readers.

Copyright: pixelsaway / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Sex In the Industry: Why Men Need to Lean In and Listen

This was hands down the most popular article of 2017, and was also the latest entry to make the list (I wrote this in early December).

It all started with the image above of a woman performing a cable pull-through. I used it in a presentation I was giving and unfortunately my immature reaction to it made some women who were present uncomfortable.

It was a hard article to write, but something I felt needed to be done.

Exercises You Should Be Doing: Rack Pull-Up

 

People went...

The blogcation continues. Today I’m going to highlight some of the best guest posts from this past year.

Guest posts played a crucial role on the site in 2017. Having a kid, while one of the most rewarding things in my life, was also one of the most time-suckiest things too.

For obvious reasons I just didn’t have as much free-time to write as much as I would have liked.1Thanks to everyone who pinch-wrote for me.

Here’s a few curated selections.

Copyright: pixelsaway / 123RF Stock Photo Maybe Less Isn’t More – Kourtney Thomas

I LOVED this post from Kourtney.

Women are programmed to train to be LESS, as if adding muscle is taboo akin to bacon on a Sunday. Well, that’s a bunch of bullshit if you ask me.

How to Train Around a Groin Strain – Sam Spinelli

It’s one of THE most annoying injuries that can happen to an athlete or lifter. In this post physical therapist and strong AF strength coach, Sam Spinelli, sheds some light on how to conquer it.

The Planet Fitness Myth – Shane McLean

There will always be gyms who compete only on price and price alone. However, most people’s health and...

I’m sure I’m in the same camp as everyone else in that I’m scrambling to get some last minute Christmas shopping done.

Speaking of which, now that we have a kid and this is his first Christmas, I think I can buy an X-Box, have Lisa open it as a present, and say it’s for the family, right? RIGHT?1

Okay, time to get to shopping. Wish me luck and MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!

Copyright: gregorylee / 123RF Stock Photo But First 1. Coaching Competency Workshop – Dallas, TX

A week from today I’ll be in Dallas, TX putting on my Coaching Competency Workshop.

I’ll break down assessment in addition to troubleshooting common strength-based exercises such as deadlifts, squats, shoulder-friendly pressing, to name a few.

This is ideal for any personal trainer, coach, or regular ol’ Joe or Jane looking to learn more on my coaching process.

Details are located on the flyer above, and you can purchase HERE.

2) Mark Fisher Fitness Presents: Motivate & Movement LAB

I’ve had the honor of presenting at two previous iterations of the Motivate & Movement LAB (the brainchild of MFF’s Harold Gibbons) and it’s...

When I first started in this industry my business competence was pretty low. If you asked me what the term “overhead” was or what it meant to itemize business expenses I would have been like “say what again?”

I’m still not someone I’d consider to have a lot of business pedigree, but I think I’ve done pretty well for myself.

My friend Shane McLean went around and asked a bunch of coaches – including myself – some standard fitness business and gym ownership questions that I hope will resonate with people.

Enjoy.

Copyright: ruigsantos / 123RF Stock Photo Business Advice For Trainer From Trainers

Personal trainers get into the fitness industry because they’ve got a huge passion for exercise and for changing people’s lives. However, some have no idea about the business side of coaching, particularly those who are new to the industry.

Newbie (and experienced trainers) work crazy hours to please clients which makes having any sort of social life outside of work very difficult. Trainers then start to realize there’s more to this coaching gig than meets the eye because:

  1. You’re trading a lot time for little money.
  2. It’s real hard yakka.1

Furthermore, exercise is big business nowadays. According to the website Statista, the US spent 25.8 billion dollars in 2015 on all things health and fitness. (1) That’s a fair chunk of change that has...

Fair warning: the two exercises described below seem easy to perform and kinda give off the “huh, that’s it?” vibe.

But trust me, they suck.

They suck hard.

Like, really suck.

Okay, you get the point.

Copyright: eenevski / 123RF Stock Photo

 

I’d like to preface this by saying I’m not a fan of the term “core training.” Some coaches like to play the uppity card and say such and such exercise “trains your core,” but in my view, everything, to some capacity, trains or hits the core.

  • When you deadlift you train your core.
  • When you perform a set of push-ups you train your core.
  • When you Sparta kick someone in the kidney for talking during a movie you train your core.

Your core is namely made up of everything that’s not your appendages (arms, legs) and it’s responsible, mostly, for transferring force from your lower extremity to your upper extremity (and vice versa), and also for helping you look hella good in a bathing suit.

Another way to think about things is that your core is this interconnected “web” of muscles and connective tissue that’s designed to resist force or prevent “unwanted” motion.

There’s a bit more to it than that, but all in all…….there you go.

There are a million and one different ways to train...

A few weeks ago I presented at the NSCA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference and by happenstance (and because I like to talk about myself) I mentioned to the crowd that I don’t work with a lot of athletes anymore.

Copyright: yuran-78 / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Instead, I explained, currently 90-95% of my clientele are made up of general population clients.

You know, “normal” people.

What’s more, I noted that I actually preferred training them over professional athletes.

There was a cacophony of crickets chirping and cold, blank stares. You would have thought I had just told the crowd I had given up everything just so that I could go walk the land and practice kung-fu.

via GIPHY

During the subsequent Q&A later that day I had a handful of people approach with pitchforks to ask me to further elaborate my comment from earlier:

“So, uh, you said you stopped training athletes to work with general population clients.

Like, why?”

Here’s What I Said

Before I peel back that onion, though, I think it’s important to address the elephant in the room. I think the overlying feeling in the fitness industry is that if you get to the point where you work with (professional) athletes or celebrities you’ve somehow “made it.”

You’re elite.

You can now write a memoir or some shit.

Ten days till Christmas. Like a bonehead I haven’t started any shopping yet. And by “like a bonehead” what I really mean is “like 97% of the population that has a Y chromosome.”

Apologies for the lame intro this week, but I got things to do/need to go help make Jeff Bezos richer.

On to this week’s list of stuff to read.

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo But First 1. Coaching Competency Workshop – Dallas, TX

I’ll be in Dallas, TX later this month to put on my Coaching Competency Workshop.

I’ll break down assessment in addition to troubleshooting common strength-based exercises such as deadlifts, squats, shoulder-friendly pressing, to name a few.

This is ideal for any personal trainer, coach, or regular ol’ Joe or Jane looking to learn more on my coaching process.

Details are located on the flyer above, and you can purchase HERE.

2) Pedestals Make For Superior Stocking Stuffers

Speaking of ideas for gift shopping, give Pedestal Footwear a look. I’ve been a fan for years and think they’re THE most comfortable socks ever.

Plus, the added benefit is that they’re well-suited (and were actually designed) for meatheads who like to lift heavy things.

I make ZERO commission off...

My name is Tony Gentilcore and I am over 40 years old.

41 to be exact.

Old enough to remember when He-Man ruled Saturday morning cartoons, Back to the Future was released in theaters, and when shows like Knight Rider and Air Wolf were network tv staples.2

Too, I’m also the same age now that, in some demented version of paying it forward, I feel I’m obligated to tell every 25 year old I pass at the squat the following words of wisdom I used to receive ad nauseam when I was their age….

“You wait till you’re my age, kid.  You won’t be training like that.”

Copyright: bezikus / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Needless to say, I think that statement is peppered with a degree of malarkey 3

I know when I used to hear it my eyes would roll so hard to the back of my head I’d look like Bran Stark/the Three-Eyed Crow.

Pfffffft, whatever grandpa,” I’d think to myself. “I’m still going to be getting after it well past the age of 40. I’m not going to use age as an excuse to take it easy.

Well, now that I am “of age”…I can say two things with confidence:

  1. I’ve never uttered the “wait till your my age” line to anyone, ever.
  2. There...

Man, I’ve got a treat for everyone today. Charles Staley, mentor, strength and conditioning connoisseur, and titan in this industry, reached out recently and asked if he could write a little sumthin, sumthin for the site.

Is water wet?

Is grass green?

Is Aragorn, also known as Strider, and son of Arathorn II, the High King of Gondor and Arnor?

Um, yeah.

Enjoy my friends. This is good.

Copyright: venezolana74 / 123RF Stock Photo 3 Lessons I’ve Learned From My Clients

It’s probably just natural to assume that in a teacher/student relationship, the transfer of knowledge only travels in a single direction. Over the years however, I’ve found that this assumption is far from the truth. In fact, there’s even a well-known saying that you may have heard:

“When one teaches, two learn.”

In fact, if I’m being honest, the primary reason I became a coach in the first place was to learn more about the subjects I intended to coach. I’ve often remarked that you might be confident in your knowledge of a topic, but only when you attempt to teach this topic successfully do you discover the gaps in your understanding.

In fact, Cal Newport, the best selling author of the highly acclaimed book Deep Work, passionately advocates a studying technique that he claims will dramatically reduce the time it takes to learn a subject — it’s called

T-minus one week until The Last Jedi comes out. Wanna know what’s ironic? I’m not seeing it next weekend.

Bull to the shit, right?

It’s a chorus of a few things coming into play: waiting too long to attempt to get tix, having to play catch-up on a few things, and, you know, life.1

So, enjoy my fellow nerds. I hate you. NO SPOILERS.

Lets get to this week’s list.

Copyright: epokrovsky / 123RF Stock Photo But First 1. Coaching Competency Workshop – Dallas, TX

I’ll be in Dallas, TX later this month to put on my Coaching Competency Workshop.

I’ll break down assessment in addition to troubleshooting common strength-based exercises such as deadlifts, squats, shoulder-friendly pressing, to name a few.

This is ideal for any personal trainer, coach, or regular ol’ Joe or Jane looking to learn more on my coaching process.

Details are located on the flyer above, and you can purchase HERE.

Stuff To Read L2 Fitness Summit – Dean Somerset & Dr. Mike Israetel

 

Dean Somerset and Dr. Mike Israetel released a killer resource this week. In a nutshell they filmed a workshop they did together earlier this...

Today’s post is a teachable moment. At least I hope it will be. It covers an uncomfortable albeit important topic and something that, up until this past weekend, I thought I’d never get called out for.

And that is….

The sexualization of women in the fitness industry.

Copyright: takoburito / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Last weekend I presented at the NSCA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference just outside of Philadelphia, PA.

It was a splendid event.

A record breaking event in fact, with well over 500+ attendees, making it the most highly attended NSCA event in the organization’s history outside of a national conference.

I was asked to present on both days of the conference, choosing to do the following 50 minute presentations:

  • The Deadlift (breaking down my preferred hip hinge progressions and general coaching concepts as it relates to the deadlift, and how to go about choosing the right variations for people).
  • The Shoulder: From Assessment to Badass (the main theme here was how to improve overhead mobility).3

I arrived back in Boston early Sunday morning feeling great about the weekend and pretty good about my performance overall.

While I could nitpick a few things I would have said or done differently, all in all, I felt I did a good job and was able get my message across. And the feedback I received from people at the conference...