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How can I learn from my kids for a better workout?

RunningWatching my kids who are 4, 3, and 1. I’m amazed what mentally stimulates them to learn. My 4 year old can read and is always looking for a challenge. My 3 year old was tired of my oldest getting praises when going potty so she decided, “I will be potty trained too.” My one year is playing keep up with the other two. The great thing they work very well together and in some ways trying to out do each other.

Our bodies work similar as my example with my kids. Our bodies are machines and want to work the most efficient as possible. The body has to be stimulated to gain results for physical fitness. The stimulates are going to be a few different factors. I’ve already mentioned the three major principles Overload, Reversibility, and Specificity (SAID).

Now each principle will have sub groups or things to think about to go along with the overall principle. What are the subgroups to think about? Intensity Duration and Frequency are the major sub groups to think about.

Intensity: The intensity we put forth in a work out can be a few things. The volume the lifter does over the full workout. How close to your 1 rm you are lifting at and the rest between sets or tempo.

Duration : This is how long each workout is

Frequency : Frequency is how often you are doing your workout.

How can I incorporate this into my exercise program? How Important are these subgroups for my overall fitness goals? You can’t reach your overall goals without applying these principles. If you have heard to change your workouts up that will fall into this principle.

Your body will adapt to the amount of stress you place on it. When this happens you will start to hit a plateau. So when you are looking to make changes to your workouts look at how close you are to your 1 rm look at how often you are at the gym and last how often you are going to the gym.

If you do make changes for the novice lifter or regular to stay fit person. You can make changes between 6 to 4 weeks. More experience lifters 3 to 2 weeks before making a change. Make sure you are are not settling with one routine for this upcoming year.


Stiff legged dumbbell Dead Lift

Stiff legged dumbbell Dead Lift

Obliques and Lower Back

Never round your back

Never round your back

  1. Stand erect, Feet Shoulder width ( 16” apart).
  2. Hold Dumbbells palms in.
  3. Keep back straight, head up, hips and knees locked.
  4. Bend forward until dumbbells touch floor.
  5. Return to starting position.
  6. Inhale down Exhale up.

Standard Bent Over One Arm Long Bar Rowing

Standard Bent Over One Arm Long Bar Rowing

Working Muscles-Upper Back and Lats

 Standard Bent Over One Arm Long Bar Rowing

  1. Place empty barbell bar in a corner or against something.
  2. Put weights on other end of bar.
  3. Straddle bar and bend forward until torso is parallel to floor
  4. Keep knees slightly bent.
  5. Grasp bar just behind plates with left hand.
  6. Place right hand on right knee.
  7. Pull bar straight up, elbow in, until plates touch chest.
  8. Lower bar to starting position.
  9. Inhale up, Exhale down.
  10. Do not let plates touch floor during exercise.
  11. Keep Back Straight.
  12. Reverse position and repeat with right arm.

Who is crying my Son or my Body?

Boy CryingMy little boy will do some of the silliest things, and while he is doing them finds out oops I’m stuck and how do I get out of this situation. How do I know he is stuck? Well a one year old will do one thing super well , he will cry.

Are bodies do the same thing but cry in different ways. There are many things are bodies will tell us we are stuck. This can be over training lack of sleep deficient in certain nutrients and the list can go on. When we are doing anything to be more healthy, stronger or a better athlete. We should have an idea on why we are doing it and what result is going to happen from this exercise.

My father in law isn’t an athlete he is a mechanic and a good one at that. He is recovering from an heart attack. The doctor and myself have both told him the best thing to keep his heart healthy is eating right and exercising. There was a period of time before the heart attack his body was making small cries about being healthy. Then he had a large cry and a scary one at that.

Going to the gym or the grocery store we should have an idea of what this action will cause.”The result from this action will be this ….. because of this reason…….. “ there are certain stimulates when the body faces them will react in a certain pattern There are three main stimulates when going to the gym. If we follow these rules we will get this result. These three principles are the overload , Reversibility, and last principle the Specificity principle (SAID principle). These principles if followed in a structured manor that will cause many different things for the body. We will see hypertrophy, greater strength, and are health will become better, to name a few things.

What do these three principles do and how should we follow them to get better results at the gym.

Overload: This is the main principle in gaining any advantage at the gym. The overload principle is saying you have to exercise a system or tissue above what it is accustomed to in order to have any type of training to occur. The body will adapt to this stimulate so you are wanting to adjust the training in one of three ways intensity duration, and frequency.

Reversibility: Indicates if you stop the overload principle the body will atrophy. Or if you follow again the Overload principle will gain hypertrophy and may even hyperplasia.

Specificity or (SAID): The specificity needs to be taken in,when evaluating our objectives. The There are two types of activities we can do: an aerobic exercise and an anerobic exercise these two types of exercises will have two different results. Depending on what we are doing will result in the type of muscle fibers recruited.

Now back to my father in law who is in his 50’s is a mechanic and just suffered a heart attack. His heart told him it needs to be fixed or it will get worse. The overload principle states we have to stimulate the tissue to gain growth. We do this by intensity,duration,and frequency. Does my father in law need to be super intense now? No it’s not practical in his situation. He just needs to stimulate his heart enough to gain a healthy heart. Does he need to do it every day? Again the answer is no. At first he just needed to raise his heart rate up a little bit, not to work his heart to much, and the frequency needed is 3 days a week for only 30 min. What does he have to do, does it have to be a lot? No it doesn’t all he needs to do is go for a walk that raises his heart up and keeping it consistent for at least 30 min.

Now there are many avenues I can talk about with each role with the body and gaining a better advantage when it comes to getting the most of are exercise programs. The main point I want to mention: I don’t need to overdo it, exert the body super intense all the time to become healthy. As my father in law walking 3 days a week keeping his heart rate raised for at least 30 min will help in achieving a healthier heart.


We can only reach are large goals by focusing on our smaller ones first

We can only reach are large goals by focusing on our smaller ones first

One of my favorite places is Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah. If  you have seen Bryce Canyon you will see why  it is so beautiful.  It is by years and years of weathering from the natural elements from temperatures that go up and down dramatically and from water and the wind. For it to get so beautiful was done over a long period of time. This also goes with our bodies and having goals and obtaining those goals.

As a trainer and Strength and Conditioning coach we must have a plan before going to the gym or going on a walk or what ever we are trying to do for our health. When putting a plan together there needs to be goals that will be part of that plan. One major mistake I see is setting certain goals and then feeling disappointed when there not reaching them or if it is going to slow.

When setting a plan together there are alot of factors we should take into consideration. I’m not going to talk about all of them right now but will have a few thoughts when setting goals on what is practical and what is not a practical goal. There are two things I would like to say on setting and obtaining your Health goals.

First is what level of physical fitness are we in this is so important. As a world-class strength athlete my goals were always different from a Novice lifter then of myself. We need to be honest with ourselves and say I’m at this fitness level and my first obtainable goal has to be within that level. When we do this there are going to be many things that will happen to us physically and mentally.

We will quickly be able to see physically I lost 2 lbs this week and be pleased with that instead of setting an unrealistic goal of my friend lost 10 lbs by doing this exercise so I should also. When we compare  ourselves to others we are already setting us up for failure. When we set realistic and small goals we will obtain are larger goals in-time.   By doing this we will keep ourselves more interested in staying health and not be so disinterested within a few months.

The next thing I would like to say in setting a realistic goal is celebrating are small achievements or reaching Personal Records (PRs). Don’t be satisfied with the small achievements but let people know hey I lost 2 lbs or my bench press went up 5 lbs. This will help staying mentally motivated and sticking with it as well as it can help others to stay motivated and setting small realistic goals as well.

When I say celebrate I don’t mean brag about it.  when somebody has increased their bench press of 2.5 lbs we all say congrats but we never put down or discourage the others, but continue to say what is the next PR I can obtain or help you reach.  There are alot of things to think about when setting goals but these few things will allow all of us to stay motivated in staying active and reaching are larger goals over time.

Small and Simple things, will keep the heart Healthy

The first Golden rule to living healthier

The first Golden rule to living healthier

I have had the less fortune of my father in law go to the hospital with an heart attack. Now how does this coincide with a balance diet everything . I sat down with him and spoke for around 4 hours on a few practicle  things. While talking to him and going over some simple practices he was able to lose 21 lbs in a month. Now he had 21 lbs to lose and he was very faithful in making these changes.

I hate fad diets they always discriminate certain foods allow the body not to function in its proper form. While speaking to him my first talk was in what you are eating and when you are eating it. When we set a small plan and follow as a guideline the glycemic index . We will balance out the body.

Reading food labels is the next step knowing the proper servings from a 2,000 calorie diet will help us to watch the amount of what we are really putting in the body. You would be amazed on how much you are really eating.

I would say the next to mention is keeping your metabolism healthy by eating at least 6 meals a day while watching what you are placing in your body. Keeping a food journal will help you to see how successful and what foods you like. Don’t  beat yourself up if you mess up it’s by small and simple things over time will allow us to leave a healthier more meaningful life.

Sports Recovery, How Important is it?

Rest helps so we don't have the monster plateus

Rest helps so we don’t have the monster plateaus


A few months ago I was helping out in a local D II School in their strength and conditioning area. The kids where great we had about 9 different sports from Men and Women to work with. We had some kids men and women who worked really hard some came and worked hard some of the time and another group of kids I wonder why are you here.

After the second game we had a freshmen lineman who has the strongest underclassmen and probably the top 5 on the whole team. He loved the gym and working hard. On the second game he got a concussion and with NCAA rules had to wait to be cleared with the athletic trainers. He came in on Tuesday after the concussion without being cleared to go back to normal practice. When we told him sorry you need your rest he was quite upset.

Here is what I told him and know as a powerlifter and trainer alot of people forget about. To gain any long term results as it comes to fitness, Gaining a better athletic advantage from the gym, or Just your health alone there are some major rules to follow and number one is Rest. I told him when you come to train we work you real hard and at that point you are weaker. J.M. Blakely said in JM BlakelyPowerlifting USA   ” you get weaker at the gym” he is right. We think just coming to the gym doing are workout for an hour we will get stronger and in some aspects you will get stronger but if we don’t allow the body to recover by proper nutrition and rest from the workout we will first hit a plateau and then if we still don’t change are behavior we will become weaker.

Why will we become weaker? When you first go to the gym and start exercising you start to notice an increase. This is because of the nervous system and reprogramming your motor pathways. So for a few weeks you will see a good increase then you will start to see alot smaller gains afterwards. Now the rest from  exercise is for two areas of the body the Muscles and your nervous system. When you start feeling sluggish a lack of desire to go to the gym your overworking the nervous system and if you keep up the pace you will see injures. So when we are looking at a routine to do at the gym make sure you tell yourself how am I going to recover from the workout.

Stiff Legged Barbell Good Morning (Lower Back)

I Love this exercise but make sure you have perfect form

  • Place Barbell on upper back with comfortable hand grip
  • Keep head up Back Straight , feet about 16″ apart.
  • Bend Forward until back is nearly parallel to the floor
  • Start with legs straight and as you bring weight forward, bend knees into half -squat as weight is at lowest point.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Inhale down, Exhale up.
Make sure you have good form

Make sure you have good form Never round your back 

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