Leg Day 2.0

I had a sad, random thought today as I finished my second heavy squatting session of the week:


Obviously, I hope those of you that lift regularly are currently working on your lower body more than once a week. But, what I don’t think people realize is how it’s totally OKAY to perform the squat and deadlift twice a week.  If you feel like you are recovering nicely after these core lifts, you should definitely explore the idea. Your numbers will rise like they never have before.

BUT, with more work in the gym comes more work in the kitchen. Don’t neglect the fact that you will need to feed the beast! Eat more meals, more often. You shouldn’t be hungry. Always be thinking and strategizing of how you are going to get the beast’s next meal. Nutrition is far too often overlooked by people who have fitness goals. Workout as much as you want, but you aren’t getting very far without working hard in the kitchen.

Back to the legs…

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having 4 leg days throughout the week. Hell, squat AND deadlift in the same session! You will be surprised at how good you feel. If I am gone for the weekend, that is the approach I will have during the week to make sure I get my 2 squat and deadlift sessions in. I always squat first, as it is much more tasking on the central nervous system than the deadlift. The squat is obviously a more compromising movement, as well, so you don’t want to fudge around with trying to deadlift beforehand.

Through a 7-day lifting schedule, an ideal leg day spread would be:

Sunday: Squat

Tues: Deadlift

Saturday: Squat and Deadlift

In this case, your lower body days are going to be switched up each week. I, personally, don’t mind that at all. But, I know how some of you meatheads out there are OCD and you get your jocks in a bundle if your schedule if mixed up. If that’s you, you will have to figure out how to spread it evenly. You probably won’t be able to efficiently get 4 lower body days in, but that’s your problem!

One more thought:

Don’t worry so much about assistance exercises, especially with the lower body. I LOVE the glut-ham raise machine, and I spend a lot of time on it, but don’t go overkill. Assistance exercises are just that! Once a week for all of your favorites should suffice, especially if you’re squatting and deadlifting multiple times.

Lastly, switch it up every 6-8 weeks. Don’t go heavy for 6 months, or you will wreck yourself. Switch up assistance exercises, too. Keep the redundancy at a minimum!

Kill it.


Move to the beat of your own drum. 


Top 4 Reasons YOUR ‘Diet’ Is Not Working

Dieting necessarily implies some form of restriction – normally starting with some sort of calorie suppression. The truth is, most dieters take the restriction a little too far – a combination of too few calories and too many foods on the forbidden list.

Ironically, the U.S. is the most diet-obsessed country in the world, yet we are also the most obese. The National Weight Control Registry reports that we spend a grand total of $20 billion a year on the diet industry (books, drugs, products, and surgeries), with approximately 108 million people on a diet in the U.S. at any given moment.

While there are a multitude of socioeconomic, technological, and environmental factors that contribute to this alarming rate, the truth is that when it comes to fat loss, we humans are fighting an uphill battle from the get-go. Our bodies were not designed to subsist on a food-deprived state. By embarking on crash diets, then, we fire up the biological and psychological mechanisms that protect against starvation and incline us, ultimately, to more weight gain.

Here are 4 big mistakes people make when dieting:

1. You don’t consume enough protein.

Of the three macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fats – protein is the most important when it comes to muscle retention while on a diet. Dietary protein also has a high effect on the thermic system, meaning the body expends a lot of energy breaking it down; thus, more calories burned.

When you diet, your body is already in a stage of caloric deficit. So, what happens when you add in insufficient protein amounts? You get a loss of lean body mass. This is the last thing you want to happen. Now all you have done is taken your unhealthy body and have made it smaller in mass; yet, with no better body fat percentage–which is the ultimate goal!

A general rule of thumb is to aim for your bodyweight in grams of protein a day. So, a person 150lb in body weight should be aiming for 150 grams of protein a day.

2. You focus on the numbers too much. 

Stay off the scale! At least, don’t be on it every single morning. Stepping on the scale every single day is only going to demotivate you when you don’t see a change. Demotivation leads to tapering off your original plan and forgetting about the goal…which is to get BETTER every day, not necessarily to drop pounds every day! The chemical changes taking place in your body aren’t going to reveal themselves on the scale each and every time you step on it. KNOW you are doing the right things, and KNOW the changes will take place in due time…IF you are following the plan: eating right (see reason number 1), exercising, and moving!

3. You’re impatient. 

Everybody wants results NOW. I see this all the time. People automatically give up if they haven’t seen significant changes in two weeks time. Did you go from a desirable body fat percentage to overweight in just two weeks? No? I didn’t think so! So, why would you expect optimal results in that short amount of time. Life doesn’t work that way.

Most people will give a diet program maybe five days – two weeks if they’re lucky – before they jump ship onto the next cool fad. From Atkins to Zone to Paleo, they can’t seem to make up their minds.

Next time you feel like you haven’t made progress, THINK about it. Is there a reason you may have not made progress? Do you really feel that way, or is it just because you stepped on the scale again and didn’t see desirable numbers? Either way, KEEP GOING.

4. No plan of action for after the diet is done.

A “diet” is just that…a diet. If it weren’t just a diet, someone would say they are “making a lifestyle change,” not “going on a diet.” The biggest mistake people make is being satisfied with where they have gotten, so they now think they can go right back to the potato chips, soda, and pizza. That’s what got you there in the first place, remember? What makes you think you won’t go right back?! You will!

The “diet” ultimately has to lead to some version of a lifestyle change, or you will be unsuccessful in the long run. Even if its that the diet was more hardcore, and the lifestyle change is a more laid back type of thing. Either way, you can’t go back to where you were before. Think of the diet as being a kick-starter to your lifestyle change. It gets you motivated, gives you something to follow, and gets you use to the new foods and lack of junk food that you will have to primarily abide by for life.

No one is saying you can’t cheat sometimes. What’s the fun in eating the same crap every single day. I’ll be the first to admit that I purposely slip up on a Saturday night. But, guess what? I go right back to the good stuff. The key is to not let it get out of hand. Do you have that kind of self-control? If you don’t, I would recommend not cheating at all for the first month or two. This may get you going at a faster clip from the beginning, anyhow, and should get you better and faster results.

Control what you can control. Nothing more, nothing less.


Move to the beat of your own drum.

Ways to BE GREAT: Installment 5 (Final Installment)

Here is #81-100…This is the final installment. I’m not sure why it is. I guess 100 is just a good place to stop. If you haven’t already, see Installment 1, 2, 3, 4 so you don’t miss out on anything! 

Okay, so no more movie references; but there are more life lessons…and you guessed it, all are important.  I hope each person that reads these installments have at least implemented something they’ve read into their own training/life. I appreciate all of you who follow my posts…it means the world. Please continue to follow and PLEASE send me feedback. I would love nothing more than to create a post for somebody on a topic that they can appreciate. “Envision it. Be patient. Make it happen.” 

81. Strongman training for athletes is great, but introduce it slowly and choose the right events
82. Strength training can happen with every tool on the market or with NONE
83. PERFECT your trade. Whether you’re in the fitness industry or not, be the best at what you do. Always think, “What can I do now to make myself better at this.” Never settle.
84. Try to get 100 jumps with a jump rope without missing, try 200, 300…
85. Precede every row with a shoulder retraction, makes the exercise 10 x harder and hammers your subscapular muscles–which will take pressure off the rotator cuff muscles.
86. Front squats and zercher squats are BADASS. Think your 400lb back squat was sweet? Try a 225lb front squat on for size. 


87. Knee sleeves and elbows sleeves are more important as you get older. Don’t wear them just to look awesome.
88. Remember, no one cares about your opinion, they only care about their own.
89. Internet comments? Don’t succumb to them. 
90. Do you have a dream? What did you do today to move closer to that dream?
91. Stop taking notes and take action.
92. Do pull-ups with chains
93. Fat Gripz are a great tool. 


94. Interact with other strength coaches in the field, hit them up on their site, email, skype, message in a bottle, Mike Tyson carrier pigeon.
95. Don’t forget to say “thank you”, “yes sir”, “yes ma’am”
96. Power cleans are great with a barbell if they don’t irritate the shoulders and you have good form. If you can’t do them, use dumbbells, sandbags, kettlebells and work on your shoulder and upper back mobility.
97. Watch a lot of tv? Hit push-ups, mobility, foam rolling during the commercials.
98. Watch Bear Grylls and do 20 push-ups every time he eats some weird shit.
99. Chaos training is important. 


100. The torso should be developed to promote stability and resist movement. Don’t just train your core in one plane. 
101. Think about what they’ll say about you when you’re gone? What is your LEGACY?




Move to the beat of your own drum. 


Ways to BE GREAT: Installment 4

Here is #61-80…if you haven’t already, see Installment 1, 2, and 3 so you don’t miss out on anything! 

More movie references, more life lessons…all are important. Check out the links to the videos on 63. These movements are something you would never think of doing. Many of our clients have been very successful in fixing range of motion due to, in-part, these exercises. “Envision it. Be patient. Make it happen.” Enjoy.

61. Never forget those who helped you along the way.

62. Push yourself harder than you ever have in your next workout. 

63. Shoulder hurt? Move to a neutral grip for dumbbell exercises, work on upper back mobility (http://freefitnessvideos.com/exercise_detail.php?exerciseID=247), stretch and roll the pec with a tennis ball,  work on trap, serratus and rhomboid activation (http://freefitnessvideos.com/exercise_detail.php?exerciseID=750)

64. Do more than the next guy

65. Sit back on the kettlebell swing, don’t sit down, you have to load the hamstrings, glutes and hips
66. If you have tight pecs, don’t bench
67. Getting more mobile? Don’t forget to strengthen in this new range of motion…flexibility can weaken if strength is not maintained through training

 68. Send flowers unexpectedly

69. Don’t text and drive
70. Quit playing video games…okay, you are allowed “throwback nights” every once in a while with your old gaming buddies
71. Don’t program an exercise or workout unless you know the effects of the exercise or workout. You must know the requirements to perform the exercise correctly. You should be able to explain what you’re doing to an expert and not look like a fool. 
72. If you want to be powerful, use short bouts of high intensity…if you want to increase stamina, use longer bouts with lower weight/intensity
73. Bands and chains are NOT restricted to exercises performed with a barbell

 74. Watch Road House, 23 x

75. Have you ever seen Deer Hunter, Jeremiah Johnson, Apocalypse Now, Scarface, Cool Hand Luke? Classic Man-Flicks

76. Be VERY specific with dreams and goals. Envision it. Be patient. Make it happen. 
77. Check Facebook less frequently.
78. Don’t stop learning. The best coaches always try to get better.
79. Get respect, not money.
80. Spend time on the warm-up, it isn’t a quick arm cross back and forth before benching.

The last 20 coming next week!


Move to the beat of your own drum.