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2018-04-23T21:08:14.384Z
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I had an amazing time in the DC area this past weekend presenting and catching up with friends and colleagues.

Today is all about playing catch up: emails, writing programs, and of course spending some quality time with family. I’ve got some good blog posts percolating in my head and hope to do a massive writing dump later this week. In the interim, however, I’ve got strength coach George Kalantzis filling in for me today with a stellar article.

Enjoy.

Copyright: magiceyes / 123RF Stock Photo Un-Fuck Your Warm-Up

Like anything worth having in life, all good things have a starting point.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been guilty of skipping the warm-up. Don’t bother lying to me – I know you’ve done it. And I get it. You’re crunched for time and the last thing you want to do is roll around and warm-up.

But, what if I could explain the warm-up for you in terms you might appreciate a bit more…

I.e.,……sex.

BOM CHICKA BOM BOM

Do I have your attention now? Great, then keep reading to un-fuck your warm-up.

I got this idea from my mentor and friend John Romaniello a few years back, and it has to be the best explanation of warm-ups I have ever heard and something I find myself using quite often.

Workouts are like sex, and the warm-ups are foreplay.”

Sure, you can skip foreplay and have...

I have to apologize my dear readers, I feel like an abject failure of late.

Not for anything serious like failing to remember my wedding anniversary or for misusing the Oxford comma.1

No, I’m a failure for failing to keep up with writing content for this site of late. I know I shouldn’t beat myself over it – don’t worry, I’m not quite at Da Vinci Code monk flagellation levels yet or anything – but I do feel bad for my recent lack of prose and pithiness.

I’m sure your life will go on.

Nonetheless, I’ve got some blog ideas marinating in my head, and I hope to get them out ASAP.

Lets get to this week’s stuff.

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo BUT FIRST…CHECK THIS STUFF OUT 1. Even More Complete Shoulder & Hip Blueprint – Dates/Locations Announced

Dean Somerset and I are currently in the throes of drumming up new content for our staple workshop series.

We’ve presented this workshop all over the world – London, Vancouver, Oslo, Prague, Boston, LA, Hoth – and even turned it into a popular digital product HERE so everyone can enjoy it.

We’ve already nailed down dates in Slovenia, Houston, and LA this fall (2018) and are also in talks to bring it to Detroit, Philadelphia, Edmonton, Australia, and...

Whenever a client or athlete grows frustrated from their lack of progress in the gym it can almost always be attributed to sleep…or lack thereof.

I often say the best “supplement” you can invest in isn’t protein powder, pre-work energy drinks, or something like Acai Boost,1 but rather…

…a solid night’s sleep.

Today’s guest post by Baltimore based personal trainer/coach, Tim Hendren, reverberates my sentiments on the topic.

Which is….go to freakin bed.

Copyright: nilswey / 123RF Stock Photo Sleep and Training: The Ultimate Balancing Act

At this point it’s common knowledge that the “experts” online have hijacked the attention of the public.

While conflicting and generally poor fitness advice has flooded the internet to confuse the public, one area that even sound coaches and trainers talk out of both sides of their mouths is the relationship between training and sleep.

On many occasions, I have heard live coaches (myself included) or coaches I follow online give the “wake up earlier to get the work done” speech and then five minutes later hit the same person with the “well you aren’t getting enough sleep” speech to explain lack of progress, chronic fatigue, or generally feeling like shit at the gym and beyond.

Most people can’t do both.

If a coach spews this advice at a parent of...

It’s Friday.

Lets get right to it.

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo BUT FIRST…CHECK THIS STUFF OUT 1. Coaching Competency: DC

Spots are still available for my Coaching Competency workshop in Sterling, VA next weekend.

For $129 you get to hang out with me for seven hours, talk about assessment, program design, deadlifts, and LOLCat memes. This event has been approved for CEUs via the NSCA.

Go HERE for full details.

2. Strong Body-Strong Mind – Bonn, Germany

My wife and I will be in Bonn, Germany on Saturday, June 30 to put on our 1-day Strong Body-Strong Mind workshop.

I’ll be speaking to assessment, coaching up common strength exercises (squats, deadlifts), and how to better “match” your programs to your client’s abilities and goals.

Lisa will be discussing how to better manage client expectations, motivation, and how to adopt better mindset strategies for success.

And then we’ll have a beer….;o)

Spots are limited and the Early Bird rate is still in effect (but not for long).

For more details (including itinerary and registration) go HERE.

3. 2-Day London Workshop w/ Luke Worthington

What separates good gyms or trainers from the mediocre ones?

Some would make the case it’s a certain style of training, access to state-of-the-art equipment or amenities, the results someone is able to achieve with their clients/athletes, or even their knowledge on topics like anatomy, assessment, program design, or, I don’t know, long division.

Don’t get me wrong: all of the above can help with separating yourself from the masses, but what really entices the bulk of your clients to come back for more and to trust the process isn’t the fancy equipment or the fact you’ve read Mel Siff’s Supertraining 47 times and can cite every page.1

No, what gives you the competitive edge is the culture you create.

Copyright: convisum / 123RF Stock Photo How To Create a Winning Culture ( 1. It Starts With You, Sherlock

Nothing wraps this message in a nice, neat, eloquent bow than something I read from Alwyn Cosgrove recently:

“A team that is tanking brings in a new coach and they totally turn things around.

A company like Apple, removes Steve Jobs, starts to take a nosedive, then brings back Steve Jobs as the leader and the company starts crushing it again.

Or alternatively, an assistant coach takes over a program when the head coach leaves, and even though that assistant is running the...

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of TG.com regular, Dr. Nicholas Licameli. 

Nick normally writes about stuff like how not to eff up your shoulders during a bench press or how to address your low back pain when you sit in front of a desk all day.

Today, however, he’s throwing us a curveball and discussing a topic that’s a little more nuanced, albeit something that we can all appreciate: the “grind” and the work-life-training “tightrope.”

I think you’ll enjoy it. I did.

Copyright: nomadsoul1 / 123RF Stock Photo

 

One of my least favorite sayings is, “everything in moderation.”

Everything in moderation makes you mediocre at everything.

Everything in moderation makes you mediocre at everything.

But we must realize a truth that is self-evident, undeniable, and timeless: saying yes to one thing is saying no to another.

Whether you’re Betty White, Barry White, or White Goodman, we are all given the same number of minutes each day.

Life, then, is a constant series of choices and decisions as to how we spend our time. There is no arguing that dedicating time to each of our roles is essential. However, everything in moderation makes you mediocre at everything. Instead of creating balance, which is usually the reasoning behind taking everything in moderation, it creates mediocrity.

Some of my roles, in...

Hey, Mother Earth, just a reminder it’s Spring here in New England…you can quit it with the 30 degree weather now.

Thanks.

Lets get to this week’s shenanigans.

Copyright: epokrovsky / 123RF Stock Photo BUT FIRST…CHECK THIS STUFF OUT 1. Coaching Competency: DC

Spots are still available for my Coaching Competency workshop in Sterling, VA in a few weeks.

For $129 you get to hang out with me for seven hours, talk about assessment, program design, deadlifts, and LOLCat memes. This event has been approved for CEUs via the NSCA.

Go HERE for full details.

2. Strong Body-Strong Mind – Bonn, Germany

My wife and I will be in Bonn, Germany on Saturday, June 30 to put on our 1-day Strong Body-Strong Mind workshop.

I’ll be speaking to assessment, coaching up common strength exercises (squats, deadlifts), and how to better “match” your programs to your client’s abilities and goals.

Lisa will be discussing how to better manage client expectations, motivation, and how to adopt better mindset strategies for success.

And then we’ll have a beer….;o)

Spots are limited and the Early Bird rate is still in effect (but not for long).

For more details (including itinerary and registration) go

I received a message from a young coach the other day asking if I knew of (or used) any tricks to help make writing training programs easier or less time intensive.

Outside of suggesting he build his own time traveling DeLorean, skip a head 5o or so years to clone himself 17 times (and to see if someone possibly cured male pattern baldness1), and then travel back to 2018 with his small army of “hims” to help with the workload, I offered the following suggestions and advice.

Actually, originally, I offered like two sentences, but they were a Pulitzer worthy two sentences.

I figured this was a good topic to expound on and decided to make it into a blog post.

Hope it helps.

Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo 1. Practice Makes Perfect (Kinda)
  • If you want to get better at playing the violin…play the violin.
  • If you want to get better at long division…do long division.
  • If you want to get better at free throws….practice more free throws.
  • If you want to get better at not getting laid…go to Star Trek conventions.

I keed, I keed.

There’s no way to sugar coat this:

“If you want to get better at writing programs…write more programs.”

I have a folder on my desktop labeled Lisa, 

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Sydney, Australia based strength coach Meer Awny.

There’s a common theme in the fitness industry, especially amongst young and upcoming coaches/trainers, that in order to gain recognition or notoriety there’s some “deep state” secret algorithm that exists:

Social media follows + number of letters you can squeeze next to your name in your bio / (selfie to shirtless pic ratio) x (# of days you brag about either going to CrossFit or how you feel so UHmazing you feel going ketogenic1)

In fact, it’s pretty simple: get good at what you do, be consistent, and consider some of the strategies Meer points out below.

Copyright: bowie15 / 123RF Stock Photo Is Age Just a Number? Is There a Way To Be Taken Seriously Before 30 In the Fitness Industry?

You’ve graduated with a piece of paper and want to work with athletes.

I mean of course they should work with you, you’re now one of the exclusive 15,000 fresh graduates who have inundated the industry and you…are…important.

But you quickly realise that’s not the case.

The title of “Sports Scientist” doesn’t hold career certainty and so you find yourself working on a gym floor, putting weights away and training general population clients. Now, there should be no shame in being able to apply good coaching principles to a wider audience.

But you also wanted to train...

Oh, hello.

It’s Friday.

You know the drill.

Copyright: donatas1205 / 123RF Stock Photo BUT FIRST…CHECK THIS STUFF OUT 1. Coaching Competency: DC

Spots are still available for my Coaching Competency workshop in Sterling, VA in a few weeks.

For $129 you get to hang out with me for seven hours, talk about assessment, program design, deadlifts, and LOLCat memes. This event has been approved for CEUs via the NSCA.

Go HERE for full details.

2. Free Meat via ButcherBox

NOTE: This offer ends on the 31st!!!!

ButcherBox may be my most favorite thing outside of kitten cuddles and a Lord of the Rings marathon.

How it works is so simple it’s silly:

  • You go to the site and curate your own box of delicious cuts of meat.
  • It’s delivered to your doorstep.
  • Cook that shit and eat it.

My wife and I have been using the service for a while now and it’s always serves as a monthly highlight.

For a limited time only, all new subscribers to ButcherBox will receive free Filet Mignon AND Bacon AND $10 off their initial order.

All you to do is click THIS link. Fist pumps optional.

3. Even More Complete Shoulder & Hip...

My son was born January 31st, 2017.

He’s a few days short of turning 14 months old and I have to say, at the expense of coming across a tad braggadocious, I’m pretty darn proud of myself and my wife: Julian’s happy, healthy, and has only been caught once running around with a pair of scissors.

Kidding.

It was twice.1

Far be it from me to describe every parent’s first year with their first child in the same light, but for us the past 365 days and change can best be described as somewhere between organized chaos and a dumpster fire.

Lack of sleep, colic, blowouts, lack of sleep, breast feeding, lack of sleep, 10 pm “how to swaddle” Google searches, lack of sleep, 11 pm walks in a blizzard (goddam colic!), more blowouts, lack of sleep, he just pissed all over the place, Llama Llama Red Pajama, lack of sleep, what did he just put in his mouth?, scissors, and lack of sleep.

Okay, it wasn’t all napalm’esque clusterfuckery – in hindsight Lisa and I did a pretty damn good job.

That said lifting heavy things was/is probably last on most guys’ minds during this period of time, let alone the notion of actually making progress in the gym.

What follows are some tidbits and insights on what most dads can expect to accomplish on the training side of things in year one.2

Pat Davidson is the best interview on the internet.

He developed one of the most badass training programs in recent memory – MASS – a few years ago, and the interview(s) he and I did – Becoming a Brick Shit House HERE and HERE – were the most popular in this site’s history.

Well, he’s back. This time to discuss his sequel…MASS 2.

If you want to skip the foreplay and get straight to business…you can click THIS link to purchase. However, I’d encourage you to read the interview because you’ll want to punch through a brick wall after the fact. That, and there’s a special offer at the end for a discounted price only available to reader’s of this site.

Lets get to it.

Copyright: spotpoint74 / 123RF Stock Photo Even More Becoming a Brick Shit House

TG: Okay, obvious question: What’s different in MASS 2?  The original MASS program was a beast. I know many coaches and people who followed it with great success. What’s different about MASS 2?

How much (more) will it make people hate life?

Who’s the target demographic?

PD: What’s different about MASS 2? MASS 1 was my version of writing the...

Oh, hello.

It’s Friday.

You know the drill.

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo BUT FIRST…(STUFF TO CHECK OUT AND OTHER TIDBITS CURATED TO MAKE YOU A BETTER COACH OR HUMAN) 1. Coaching Competency: DC – Early Bird Rate Ending

The Early Bird rate for my Coaching Competency workshop in the DC area ends THIS weekend (3/25).

For $99 you get to hang out with me for seven hours and talk about assessment, program design, deadlifts, and LOLCat memes. Price increases to $129 after this weekend.

Go HERE for full details.

2. Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coaching Certification

Registration for this highly competitive certification opens on April 4th. However, I’ve got some good, nay, fucking amazing news.

I’ve negotiated some awesome perks for you:

  • Early access to enroll on April 3rd (24 hrs before they open to the public), increasing your chances of getting in.

  • A huge discount (up to 33% off the regular price).

This is without question one of the best certifications any fitness professional can possess, offering incredible value and helps to separate you from the masses.

Go HERE for more info.

3. Even More Complete Shoulder & Hip Blueprint – Coming Soon

Dean Somerset and I...

Push-ups are an underrated exercise.

Meatheads scoff at the notion of adding them to their programs. “Too easy,” most will say. “Not not going to make me pecy enough.

Athletes roll their eyes at them. “Not going to get me to the show, bro,” they’ll retort.

Au contraire I say.

Copyright: davidoff205020 / 123RF Stock Photo Do Your Fucking Push-Ups

Yeah, that’s right.

For starters, I can tell you without hesitation that in my 15+ years working with athletes, general population, and the occasional wizard, it’s a rare find when someone shows up on Day #1 and can impress me with their push-up prowess.

Most of the time I end up watching something like this:

Which makes me do stuff like this:

via GIPHY

SIDE NOTE: This is also how I react when my wife tells me to make the bed in the morning.

Suffice it to say, the push-up – or rather, someone’s ability to do one without making me go batshit crazy – provides me with a lot of information.

Sure, it gives insight on their upper body strength. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg and not really what I’m after. More importantly it provides valuable data with regards to someone’s lumbo-pelvic-hip control/stability and their ability to 1) maintain a good...

Pregnancy can be an arduous and delicate time in a woman’s life. To be a bit more colloquial…shit goes down.

Shit goes down hard.

I’m a firm advocate of strength training during pregnancy. It’s a great way to keep the body healthy and strong during those nine months, and to (hopefully) expedite the recovery process once the little one arrives.

There’s a small sentiment out there that exists where women are told strength training is  bad or altogether dangerous during this time, and that it should be avoided at all costs.

Lifting weights during pregnancy dangerous? No.

Lifting weighs during pregnancy different? Yes.

Today’s guest post by Pre and Postnatal Exercise Specialist, Terrell Baldock, helps to shed some light on the issue.

Squats!

Copyright: viacheslavmaksimov / 123RF Stock Photo How To Maintain Your Back Squat During Pregnancy

If you’ve been lifting for a while, you know the back squat is essential to any strength training program.

But What If You’re Pregnant?

Squatting will become a way of life in motherhood and you will need all of the squat training you can get during pregnancy. Squats are mostly known for their work in the lower body but they’re fantastic as full body movement as well.

A few years back, “I would have said absolutely no, there is no way you should be back-squatting during pregnancy.

But I’ve come around a bit since then.

Instead of omitting exercises like the barbell back-squat...

I’m coming to our nation’s capital.

Well, close enough anyways.

On Saturday, April 21st I’ll be putting on my Coaching Competency Workshop at Beyond Strength Performance located in Sterling, VA.

I’m using the opportunity to post on my blog today because I’M THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE WORLD this week (ending on 3/25) will be your last chance to attend at the Early Bird rate of $99.

I can’t tango, I have zero nunchuck skills, and I haven’t the faintest idea how to make a flambeau dessert.

However, I do  know how to coach people in the weight room. And I know how to coach coaches on how to be better coaches.

See…here’s a picture of me coaching:

Coaching Competency Workshop

This will be an immersive and interactive day where I peel back the onion as it relates to my approach to the following topics:

  • Assessment – Upper and lower extremity
  • Program Design
  • Exercise Technique
  • Making Killer LOLCat Memes

When: Saturday, April 21, 2018

Where: Beyond Strength Performance (Chris Merritt & Todd Bumgardner’s joint) located in Sterling, VA.

Time: 11:30 am – 6:30 pm

Cost: $99 (Early Bird), $129 (After 3/25)

Itinerary

11 am: Registration

11:30 am: Welcome and Review of the Day

11:45 am: Roles of a Coach, Characteristics of “Good” and “Bad” Coach, Personal Coaching Philosophy

1:00 pm: Upper Extremity Assessment – Shoulder. Discuss anatomy, common screens used to ascertain...

Oh, hello.

I’m in NYC!

I flew down here yesterday from Boston courtesy of Equinox. I’ll be doing two separate workshops for a bunch of their trainers talking about shoulder assessment and how to turn their clients into a bunch of bench pressing and chin-upping T-1000’s.

I still wanted to make sure I got this week’s list up for your reading pleasure, though.

I got your back.

Copyright: gregorylee / 123RF Stock Photo BUT FIRST…(STUFF TO CHECK OUT AND OTHER TIDBITS CURATED TO MAKE YOU A BETTER COACH OR HUMAN) 1. I’m Everywhere In 2018

I’ve got a bevy of speaking engagements lined up for 2018, and next week begins the madness.

I’ll be in NYC speaking at a few Equinox locations on March 16th and 17th, and from there on out I’ve got a place to be at least one weekend every month for the foreseeable future.

It’s a nice feeling to be in demand.

I’d encourage you to click the link above or THIS one for more details/insights into where I’ll be and when.

Events Just Around the Corner
  • Spurling Spring Seminar – Kennebunk, ME: April 14th
  • Coaching Competency Workshop – Sterling, VA: April 21st
  • The Fitness Summit – Kansas City, MO: May 4-5th (Dean Somerset and I are doing a special 4-hour...

It must be “gym ownership week” on TG.com this week.

Yesterday’s post on the effect social media has on the perception of gym ownership – everything is seen through rose colored glasses – was a huge hit.

Today I have guest post by another gym owner, Doug Spurling of Spurling Fitness located in Kennebunk, ME, discussing how to best build a team to help your business thrive.

Doug’s done an amazing job building a successful fitness business and he’s someone I respect a ton. Read what he has to say. He’s smart.

NOTE: Next month I’ll speaking alongside Doug (along with his staff, and my wife, Dr. Lisa Lewis) at the Spurling Spring Seminar. It’s going to be a great event and tonight (3/14) at midnight is your last chance to take advantage of the early bird registration of $50 off.

Copyright: eugenelucky / 123RF Stock Photo 6 Lessons On Building a Team

Hang out in sweats all day long…

Listen to cool music all day long…

Talk shop and change peoples lives…

Life of a gym owner, right?

That’s part of it.

But they don’t tell you about the “other” stuff.

Getting good at marketing, financial statement analysis, strategic planning, holding good meetings, putting out fires, and that you’ll never be able to actually shut it “off.

I’m sure the list could go...

Long before I owned CORE, and even now, as a current gym owner, I’ve championed the message that gym ownership is not for everyone, and more to the point that it should not be perceived as the holy grail of the fitness industry.

There’s a running theme – which is nauseatingly prevalent on social media – that owning a gym provides some sort of pinnacle, “I’ve made it!” mentality, and that once it happens it’s nothing but rainbows and kitten kisses for everyone.

Sure, the fairy tale ending can happen.

However the reality is, for many….being a gym owner is fucking brutal.

My friend and colleague, Mike Connelly, who’s a recent former gym owner, took the time to write this beautifully honest guest post today on the trials and tribulations (and general dumpsterfireness) of owning a gym.

Cue slow clap.

Copyright: gekaskr / 123RF Stock Photo What Social Media Isn’t Telling You About Owning a Gym

“I’m so sorry to hear about that.  Must be tough, man.”

I’ve heard that line from a lot of people in the past two months. The reason I’m hearing that so much is because after six years I am moving on from owning my business, Rebell Strength and Conditioning, and all I can think about when it comes up is how happy I am about the situation.

Can someone please make a legitimate rationale why we don’t just make “Daylight Savings Time” standard time year round?

Granted this is rooted from a selfish place and is all about me being a cantankerous, sleep-deprived parent of a one-year old.

Seriously, why?

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

SIDE NOTE: Lisa and I are finally heading out to go see Black Panther tonight. Up until this point I still feel Winter Soldier is the best Marvel movie yet, but I’m expecting my face to be melted tonight for sure. Can’t wait.

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo BUT FIRST…(STUFF TO CHECK OUT AND OTHER TIDBITS CURATED TO MAKE YOU A BETTER COACH OR HUMAN) 1. I’m Everywhere In 2018

I’ve got a bevy of speaking engagements lined up for 2018, and next week begins the madness.

I’ll be in NYC speaking at a few Equinox locations on March 16th and 17th, and from there on out I’ve got a place to be at least one weekend every month for the foreseeable future.

It’s a nice feeling to be in demand.

I’d encourage you to click the link above or THIS one for more details/insights into where I’ll be and when.

Events Just Around the Corner
  • Spurling Spring Seminar – Kennebunk, ME: April 14th
  • Coaching Competency Workshop –...