This category contains 7 posts

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.

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.

Why start now?

Ok so we all take risk and our own daredevils and risk takers.One thing we can never take risk on is what happens from an injury or illness During life we all have ups and downs as it relates to our health. My wife is a prime example of this. As an high school all american in softball for high school she has had many ups and downs. At a big 95 lbs, she was the catcher, with no regards to her body she never dropped the ball when being run over. Now it’s been 12 years since she graduated and now she is feeling the effects of that treatment. You can start to see it my medical bills.

This example tells me two things was she hurt while playing and how is she treating the injury than and now. Now not all of us are athletes but all of us will get an illness or an injury at some point in life. The only way we can be positive that it won’t hinder the quality of life of each of us is by first acknowledging something is wrong .

Seeking an educated and experience physicians or specialists will be able to take the injury and resolve the problem. To continue with the example of my wife, she loved the game and hated to miss a game Now at age 30, her quality of life is still good but How much better would her wrist and shoulders be if she just said something is wrong.

Keep in mind seeing the physician or specialist is only the middle step the last is setting a rehab program to move forward. The last thought is once an injury occurs and a rehab has happened we can’t stop there.  That specific area will never be able to be at 100% there will always need to be some emphasis on continue the stability of the injury. Will the intensity be the same from day 1 of rehab to 50 years down the road. No but if you don’t do something  day-to-day it like anything else will atrophy and the area of the injury will never actually get to 100 % because with an injury comes scar tissue. So going forward lets resolve the problem before it resolves us.

Plateaus good for Wyoming, Not good in the Gym!

 While writing these posts, a lot of them are just different exercises. While thinking of another topic to talk about I realized one major problem: people talk, without really understanding, about why do I hit certain plateau or in other words why have I not continued to hit increases in my strength or fitness levels.

There are many reasons why people don’t continue to see the results they want. When setting up an exercise program we need to look at several key aspects on generating your own specific goals ,and goals are what make the fitness world go round. I will go more in-depth on these three in a moment think of your body as a machine or an car. It needs several things to work and at specific times to run. We first have to build the car, then put gas in it then put the key in the car and turn it. After that there are several steps of driving the car. The same is true when it comes to setting the fitness program up. The major steps I’m talking about is Intensity, diet, and most important selfevaluation.

How do these three steps relate, just like a car everything relates to gain success. Intensity has several meanings when trying to stay fit and gain strength. Intensity comes in for the amount of effort you exhort through an exercise and the amount of exercises done through the entire day. The last part of intensity is how often you work out is also part of intensity.Dr. Fred Hatfield or Dr. Squat points this out many aspects to training and I’m going to use one of  his analogy to express how to make the evaluation of your workout. A , B, C, and my addition D workouts all equate to the intensity level for the given day. A workouts are the most intense workouts while C and D workouts are just mainly recovery low intensity workouts. . How close to your maximum weight are you lifting. If you know what your max is 80 % to 100% of your max this would be an A or B workout. Also the amount of total stress or time under tension will also equate to the intensity level.

Diets can’t be stated as the most important area to focus on to have a success each day and overall. With a proper healthy balance diet you will eliminate over-training. Being able to feel healthy and being recovered day in and day out will help in continuing  the desire to stay healthy and exercise.No matter what your goals are with a proper diet you will increase your metabolism gain strength and loose body fat it is that simple.

Self Evaluation I mention self-evaluation many times in a lot of articles. I mention this because as a personal trainer that is my job to make evaluations & observations on workouts and make the modifications for my clients. If you aren’t paying some one to do it then you will need to. One key point to state ,your body is always wanting to  make the adaptations of the stress. With adoptions comes Plateaus, so if you can catch it before it catches you the growth will be there. Evaluating the diet is the next point in overcoming Plateaus. If you’re noticing, I’m skipping a meal or two your metabolism will drop and when your metabolism falls your energy levels fall. The ability to not be in a starvation or survival mode  will not be accomplished and in turn your body is going to have the desire to store food instead letting it go in turn you will be increasing body fat.

This is three areas to look at and consider while training. If you feel you are hitting a plateau or Feel something is wrong with your workouts. Look at the consistency of your A, B, C, and D workouts if your always at A workouts you will be eventually over-training  So keeping a balance of the intensity insuring you are eating right and doing an honest evaluation of goals and improvements on intensity and Diet will help to elevate your training and fitness goals.

The Nature of Fitness

Fitness and strength training are very simple health sciences. There are real principles, that if followed, will get you to your goals. These principles are eternal they don’t change, unless you are not human.Your body and my body are the exact same as it comes to the functioning of the body. My liver and your liver do the exact same function. The way my heart works is the same as yours. In this comparison all principles and work out routines and nutritional eating have the same principles.

Me personally, think its funny when they say “I HAVE A FORMAULA.”   The real formula is consistency and an evaluation of certain principles and how your body is feeling while exercising.

The first major principle is adaptation. It is a fact that your body will adapt to the same amount of stress within 4 to 6 week period. This means,  that we can’t just go to our work out day after day doing the same rep scheme and exercise. Me personally, I change my workout every two weeks. This does two things it makes your body always adjusting and it makes it fun and not boring doing the same thing over and over again.

The second principle is a Balance Diet. I get frustrated when people say “I’m on this diet and leaving this out of my diet.” A balance diet is just that with many benefits for each area of the Pyramid. Fats help with brain function and lubrication of joints are a few advantages of the fats.Carbohydrates are the most misunderstood area of the diet. They are so essential to a healthy body. Carbohydrates are the transportation of nutrients to the body, without carbs our body is unable to create the insulin to transport the other nutrients to the body. They also are the driving force for glycogen in the body. What is glycogen in simple terms? Energy. Protein is the building blocks of restoring the body from the daily grind of activities. So keep this in mind, a balanced diet is the best way to stay healthy, have energy, and ensure you aren’t depriving your body of essential nutrients to grow healthy. I will go more in-depth on this topic in a few days.

The third principle is Time Under Tension. All principles relate, if they didn’t there would be something wrong with that principle . This goes right along with adaptation. To gain strength and gain muscle you need to put adequate stress on the muscles and the nervous system. Yes I said the nervous system , the body has a safety mechanism called the Golgi tendon. It monitors the stress that is being put on the muscle fiber. If it feels it is being stress too much it will send a signal back to the brain saying “Hey we need to shut down.” So time under tension is the amount of total stress placed on the body during the whole workout. Here is an example if my only workout was squats and my set and rep scheme was 5×5 @ 225 lbs the total time under tension is 5,625 lbs. This is the time under tension you are placing on the body by applying this principle you will be able to get the most of each workout.

Recovery is the next principle: Think of this: what happens when you go to the gym? Do you feel stronger? Or tired? The honest answer is tired. Why? You are depleting your body of glycogen because of the amount of exertion you are putting on the body. Rest is the necessary step increasing overall health and strength. Here is a major WARNING: If you do not allow yourself to rest you will be doing two bad things: Reversing what you are trying to do and Injury. Over-training overtime will always turn into an injury.

Last, is hard work. I have mentioned many things that have to be applied when starting or looking at any fitness routine. Nothing is ever achieved without hard work. Hard work doesn’t mean going “gung-ho” the first few weeks, which relates to all the principles mentioned. Your body isn’t used to the movements and while its transforming the ATP to ADP you are creating lactic acid which is where the soreness comes from. You are also creating micro trauma to the muscle fibers, this is also part of the soreness. Too much soreness is bad and a balanced diet is where you will be able to recover properly to keep you encouraged to do more.

 Consistency, asking questions, and self-evaluation on goals and how you are wanting to achieve them will be the recipe for success. Each principle mentioned here will be more in-depth. So train hard, train smart, and remember rest and diet is where you get strong. The gym is just a stepping stone.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.


Have you been injured or just had surgery? How are you overcoming the pain? A doctor may prescribe medication, but that only helps so that the body may heal.

You also have to strengthen and generate better blood flow to clean out the toxins from the injury. So how do you start a rehab process? When does it end? Now I have mentioned that you have to strengthen the area and generate blood flow.Make sure that your physician yourself and the Rehab physicality are on the same page. When anyone is designing any type of health related process there has to be a plan. No plan means no actual  success, There should also be an evaluation during the process between all three parties. Last but not least ask questions if you feel uncomfortable with any situation ask why?

So on your way to regaining your health remember ask questions, have a plan and ensure each party knows what is happening and what has happened through evaluation and process what is next.

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