A Nation In Need Of Rehab

Food-addictYou might be surprised to know that two of the most dangerous and addictive substances around are legal, societally acceptable, and easily accessible. Even worse, these substances are regularly pushed on society in general (and children in particular) as part of a well-intentioned yet distorted reward system. Can you guess what they are? If you guessed flour and sugar, then give yourself a ci-gar!  On second thought, don’t – tobacco is right up there with them.

Flour and sugar are the BIGGEST causes of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, joint pain, and cancer. The statistics are staggering. Yet, for some reason, nobody wants to address this issue honestly. Why not? Well, there are actually several reasons:

1) Most members of our society are addicted to these substances themselves. Read more…

The Muscle Building Myth

Arnold-Schwarzenegger before and afterFor many, building muscle is a lifelong goal. But unfortunately, it is not a lifelong process.

The truth is that most of the muscle one can genetically and naturally build occurs during the first three years of proper training and eating. After that period, a devoted and consistent adherence to a sound plan and a healthy lifestyle are required to even have a shot at gaining a couple of pounds of lean muscle per year.

And for many of us who are less genetically blessed, a solid plan is required just to maintain the gains that were achieved during this initial three-year “building” phase.

Failure to recognize and accept this fact usually leads to extreme and unhealthy measures in an attempt to prove my assertion wrong. Read more…

Front Squats vs. Back Squats: Which Should You Be Doing?

Front SquatOne of the most polarizing debates in the fitness world lately is the front squat vs. the back squat. Ten years ago, there was absolutely no disputing which variation reigned supreme. That’s because a decade ago, the entire industry was strongly influenced by the powerlifting culture. Thus, almost every trainer, coach, and author was passionately recommending the back squat without even considering the front squat as a viable alternative.

But the recent resurgence of Olympic lifting has given the front squat some newfound respect. In fact, there are now a slew of coaches who recommend the front squat over the once-hallowed back squat. This has generated a lot of friction in the fitness industry.

If you’ve been caught in the crossfire of this debate, you’re probably confused because both sides seem to make valid points. Read more…

Down But Not Out!

Deadlift with one legGetting injured sucks. The physical pain definitely contributes to the misery that an injury can inflict, but it is not the worst part of the equation. No, the worst part of being sidelined by an injury is watching all of your hard-earned progress slowly vanish before your eyes as your body become weaker, flabbier, and less healthy with each passing day.

Fortunately, an injury doesn’t have to result in the complete deterioration of your health and fitness. That, my friend, only happens by choice. The reality is, having a sore ankle doesn’t impair the use of one’s upper body and trunk. Nor does an inflamed shoulder prevent lower body activity. I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Believe me, I understand how frustrating it can be to be injured. Read more…

Is Your Training Fueled By Intelligence Or Insecurity?

Dont-let-insecurity-destroy-youWhy do you go to the gym? If you’re like most people, you simply go to the gym to lose fat, build muscle or a combination of the two. Sure, there are some exceptions to this general rule – people who want to improve their health or athletic performance, for instance – but the vast majority of trainees out there are motivated by the desire to merely get leaner or bigger.

Our initial inspiration to make these physical changes usually comes from feelings of insecurity about how we appear. How do I know? After over 20 years in the iron game, I could provide you with thousands of examples of trainees for whom this is true.

But there is no need to go any further than my own personal experience. Read more…