Effective Training

Today I’m writing about a subject that usually makes me a bit hot under the collar. In fact, when it invariably does come up I need to take a couple seconds to cool down before responding. Martin Berkhan calls it “Fuckarounditis” and the term kind of caught on (a quick Google search shows Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts dedicated to the term). Martin explains it as:

Fuckarounditis is a behavioral disorder characterized by a mediocre physique and complete lack of progress, despite significant amounts of time spent in the gym.

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Preparing for the Holidays

The holiday season is a fascinating thing to me. I grew up in Canada where Thanksgiving is celebrated in October. So there was a definite separation between that and Christmas season. Since I moved to the US I’ve noticed the holidays are a much different creature here. And it all starts with Thanksgiving.

I see Thanksgiving in the US is a gateway drug. It’s a taste of what’s to come over the next several weeks. Depending how you handle it, Thanksgiving is the start of a slow motion derailment of the fitness train you’ve kept on track for who knows how long (well, at least since January).

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Women and Weight Lifting

Listen up ladies, I’ve got a bone to pick with you. This insane habit you all have of thinking that the only way to be healthy and get that bikini body is doing hours of cardio and eating salads is just that, insane. As my grandpa used to tell me, there’s the smart way to do things and there’s the way you’re doing it (implying my way was the wrong way, which it usually was).

The smart way to getting more toned is by eating right (meaning watching your macros and eating more protein) and lifting weights. Usually a few mental hurdles need to be overcome before the smart way becomes your way.

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Quest Sandwich Cookie Review

It’s no surprise I’m a huge fan of Quest Protein bars. They’re a great protein hit and the number of flavors available makes it easy to find a bar you’ll love.

Recently Quest has been promoting the hashtag #cheatclean in an effort to raise awareness for their recipe site. All the recipes are high protein, low net carb dishes made using Quest Nutrition products.

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Holiday Eating Guide: How to Survive Thanksgiving

thanksgiving holiday feast

It’s that time of year again. Time to get out the stretchy pants and wrap the furniture in drool proof covers. It’s time for Thanksgiving!

Naturally the Thanksgiving holiday is not the best way to stay on track with your fitness and nutritional goals. The entire holiday is about gorging yourself on too much food followed by too much TV and (for a lot of people) a little too much drinking. And it’s not limited to a single day either. Nooooo, it has become Thanksgiving weekend; in some areas even Thanksgiving week!

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Progressive Overload: Basic Principles

Pyramid. Reverse pyramid. Super sets. Progressive overload. No, these aren’t sexual positions, these are all different techniques for losing fat and building muscle. It can be quite confusing and complex.

In my opinion, the simplest way to get positive results in building strength is utilizing progressive overload. Unless you’ve looked it up before, you probably don’t know what progressive overload is. Here are some of the basics and a few tips on why it’s important and how you can implement it in your workout program.

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Reasons for and against Cardio

Cardio, everyone’s favorite topic. The majority of coaches online will suggest it’s the only way to lose fat. A growing segment of science based coaches will tell you cardio is completely unnecessary for weight loss.

Who’s right and who’s wrong? Frankly, I sit with the science based crowd when it comes to cardio not being vital to losing weight. Does that mean you shouldn’t do it at all? Not necessarily.

Here are a few reasons why you may want to do cardio and a few reasons to not do it.

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Strength Training: Start Smart, Lose the Ego

Most people when they start out lifting weights like to jump into the deep end. While I can appreciate the enthusiasm (go get ‘em tiger!) it’s not wise to load up the barbells with a lot of weight when you’re new to it.

Luckily, a few programs have the right approach and do their best to ease you into it. The StrongLifts 5×5 protocol is one that comes to mind (learn more about 5×5). It is very strongly suggested that even if you’re an experienced lifter when starting you should begin at a reduced weight than you are currently lifting. In the case of beginners, you are told to only lift a bare 45lb barbell the first time you do each of the movements.

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Change This One Thing to Get Better Results

Not long ago I wrote about the power of compounding. Shortly after that I read an article by James Clear where he talked about marginal gains (a very similar idea).

Marginal gains, as he wrote, are incremental changes applied that aggregate to make huge differences over time; either positive or negative. Even something as small as a 1% improvement can add up to an exponential change given time.

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