Latest Blog Posts

Hydration for Tactical Athletes

The NSCA defines Firefighters, Military Personnel, and Police as Tactical Athletes.  In their Tactical Strength and Conditioning Journal, a recent article examined the hydration needs of these public servants.  The study suggests that you might need more electrolytes.

They found that during hard job training or responses in a harsh environment, your body can use up to 5,000 milligrams of sodium.  It’s safe to estimate that you’ll get about 3,000 milligrams from a normal diet with 3 meals per day.  On most days, that’s more than enough.  You can see, though, that 3,000 is not enough to replenish the full 5,000 that you’ll lose in training.  On training days, you should be supplementing that sodium intake with an additional 2,000 milligrams through sports drinks.  The average sports drink product has about 1,000 milligrams of sodium, so that would be two full bottles.

Drinking too much water, without enough electrolytes, can lead to illness.  So, to hydrate safely and effectively, try this:

  • Supplement your electrolyte intake with sports drinks on hard training days.
  • Drink about 75% of the water you lose during training.  Then drink more later, until you’ve consumed more than you lost.
  • Carbohydrates will help your body retain more water as you re-hydrate.
  • Don’t gorge yourself on water.  You can only absorb about one liter per hour, anyway.
  • It might also help to know how much electrolytes to consume at baseline, or on the days you don’t train.  The chart below is a good guide.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Hydration and Electrolyte Considerations for the Tactical Athlete.

https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/tsac-report/hydration-and-electrolyte-considerations-for-tactical-athletes/

Is Olympic Lifting TOO DANGEROUS?

Now that the CrossFit Games are on Cable every year, the average gym-goer is becoming more familiar with the “Olympic Lifts”.  These two lifts, the Clean & Jerk and the Snatch, actually combine to form a much older sport of their own.  This sport, Weightlifting, was one of the original events in the Olympics.  It is still an Olympic event today, and because Weightlifters develop so much explosive power, sports performance coaches around the world use these techniques to develop speed and power in the training room.

It has become a common belief, though, that the Olympic lifts are too risky.  I hear people decline to do the lifts all the time, because they have been told they might injure a shoulder.  The average person, or especially an athlete, can’t afford to get hurt in the weight room.  No one wants to miss work.  We are in the training room to get better, not to get injured.  So, is it really true that these lifts are risky?  It’s a question worth asking.

One article on strengthandconditioningresearch.com compared research from 13 scientific studies.  Each study measured the injury rate of participants in various forms of strength training, reported per 1,000 hours of training.  The subjects were all training for competition in their respective strength sports.  The research showed that Olympic Weightlifters sustained injuries at a rate between 2.6 and 3.3 per 1,000 hours.

That’s a pretty darn low rate of injury.  For comparison’s sake, studies found CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Strongman all to have higher injury rates.  Strongman’s was the highest at 5.5 injuries per 1,000 hours.  In another study, injury rates were tracked with the same method for various collegiate sports.  Collegiate Wresting had the highest injury rate at 13.1 injuries per 1,000 hours of training.

When you consider all the benefits that come with Olympic lifting, the case for Weightlifting gets even stronger.  The lifts create far greater force production through your legs than squats or deadlifts.  They generate more core engagement than squats, crunches, or sit-ups.  They require coordination and kinesthetic awareness.  The lifts force you to develop speed, strength, power, and even mobility.  You’ll also be forced to absorb the sudden impact of heavy weight; a perk I love for contact sport athletes who will need to absorb impacts in competition.

As a coach, I love the Olympic lifts.  I used to compete in Weightlifting, and have coached Olympic lifting for many years.  I don’t baby my athletes by telling them that these lifts are dangerous.  Many of the athletes that I train are preparing for competition and skills training that is far more dangerous than Cleans or Snatches.  They are tough enough to learn the lifts, and challenging them to do so often produces huge gains in overall athleticism.  The progress in Weightlifting becomes confidence inspiring, a little addicting, and fun.

The pictures in this article are from the first two Weightlifting meets I ever coached.  One of the lifters, Michael Garcia, is a professional MMA Fighter.  He competed in one weightlifting meet when he was learning the basics, and now we use Olympic Lifting to produce his trademark explosiveness in the cage.  The other lifter pictured is EJ Miranda.  He won the meet that day.  Over the past few years he’s also won a Strongman meet and several Jiu-Jitsu tournaments.  Olympic lifting helped to develop power that transferred into other competitions for him as well.

Here are a few tips for learning about the Olympic Lifts:

  • Perfect technique basics with a broom stick or empty bar before adding any weight.
  • Don’t attempt more than about 3 reps per set. These lifts are taxing for your nervous system.  Technique will break down and injury may occur if you do more reps.  Plus, completing more reps in will negate the speed and power building benefits of the exercise!
  • Seek out a USAW certified coach to get you started. A coach will be able to watch you in ways that you can’t watch yourself.  This will greatly increase your level of safety, and it will shorten your learning curve.
  • Try a competition. Weightlifting is a sport that provides lots of local opportunities to compete at all ages and ability levels.  There’s no better way to learn about the sport!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/2014/07/08/injury-strength-sports/

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6448a2.htm

Train to hike/Hike to train.

Hiking, and especially backpacking with a loaded pack, is hard work.  It’s tough enough that I often use strenuous hikes as cross training/conditioning for another sport.  Here in Boise, Idaho though, hiking is a way of life.  Here, we squeeze every ounce of fun we can from our mountains.  Some hike for pleasure; others to reach fishing holes, camp sites, or hunting grounds.  Here’s how to get the most out of your time out on the trail:

Whether you’ll be hiking for fun or for conditioning, you might regret setting out before preparing your body.

First-  Build an aerobic base.  Simple, “slow”, cardio training below your anaerobic threshold will allow you to train your heart and lungs before your muscles get too tired to keep up.  Make sure that you’re a little winded, but still able to speak 2-3 words between breaths; this will keep you below that anaerobic threshold.

Second- Build some basic strength.  Try weighted step-ups onto a box or step.  Lateral lunges.  Lots of squats. Back extensions.

Hiking Time-  Start with short, easy hikes.  Then build to longer and steeper ones.  Introduce a loaded backpack now, on your training hikes, if you plan to carry a load for backpacking later.

Post Hike-  Take 15 minutes to stretch.  Focus especially on the glutes/hamstrings, low back, and hip flexors.

Here’s a sample strength training day for backpacking conditioning:

1- Dynamic warm-up

2- Barbell weighted step-ups: 3 x 15

3- Cossack Lunge: 3 x 15

4- Barbell Deadlift: 3 x 5

5A- Reverse Hyperextension 3 x 10

5B- Bird Dog 3 x 60 seconds

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Mental Fitness

Train your brain and your body will follow.  In this video we explore the minds of great world championships.  Are they physically superior?  Or do they just possess more mental strength?  How can we be more like them?

Here at Joe To Pro we believe that anyone can develop the body of an athlete.  You just have to train like one.  Let us show you how.

Strongest Teacher in the World

World’s Strongest Teacher

On my journey as an athlete and strength coach, I’ve always made a point to spend time around inspirational people.  Some folks are impressive for their athletic accomplishments.  Others inspire me with their character or lifestyle.  Only a few can do both.  One local Phys. Ed. Teacher/athlete/coach does it all.

Dani Schwalbe is a world class strength athlete.  She was a two sport athlete at Boise State University before moving onto the sport of Strongman, where she was able to earn her pro card by capturing her division’s 2015 title of Strongest Woman in The World.  Schwalbe is also a pretty great coach.  With a degree in physical education, she teaches high school PE, and has experience coaching at the high school and collegiate levels.  I feel lucky to say that we’ve been good friends since 2011, and I’ve seen how passionate she is about her pupils.  Dani is an even better person than she is a coach or athlete.

I wish I had Ms. Schwalbe for high school gym, too.  Her classroom is filled with cool toys.  She’s got axle bars, yokes, sleds, atlas stones, and more.  She’s even got a DIY contraption outside that’s reminiscent of Conan the Barbarian churning his mill.  She lets her students push and pull her truck for fun.  It’s a pretty wild, fun atmosphere, and the kids respond.  At this alternative school for kids with behavior and learning problems, Ms. Schwalbe is reaching even the kids others have given up on.  She preaches that with hard work and self love everything is possible.  Schwalbe is “that one teacher” who really makes a difference for a lot of kids.

The most important thing I learned from Dani is the power of conviction.  Believing in whatever you’re doing, and having the right motivations, is a powerful tool in accomplishing any goal.  In the never ending quest to find and perfect a recipe for winning, I have learned to only pursue the goals I believe in most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Responder Fitness

I’ve always admired our country’s public servants.  My father was a police officer, along with 7 total members of our family working Police, Fire, or EMS jobs.  So, I grew up with some understanding of the sacrifices these men and women make.  For the last few years, though, I got to experience that service on a different level with Middleton Fire Department.  There, I served as a POC Reserve Firefighter/EMT, and for one summer I was even paid full-time.  It was all an incredible experience, and I’m grateful for my time there, but eventually I had to rededicate my full time and effort to training and athletics.
I thought I could keep up with a fireman’s schedule and still be a world class strength coach.  I was wrong.  The life of a public servant is demanding, and I appreciate more than ever what these folks do for us.  So, I’ll leave the life saving to those heroes and go back to what I do best.  Though I’ve continued training in the gym, I’ve left this site dormant for almost 4 years while pursuing firefighting opportunities.  I’m excited to get back to sharing to this blog again.  So, here we go:

During my time in Middleton, I was able to help Engineer/Fitness Officer Seth Bergman with his department’s killer fitness program.  We talked a lot about the importance of fitness conditioning in emergency situations, and a lot about proper lifting technique on scene.  Many first responders have their careers cut short due to back injuries sustained while lifting improperly.  Hopefully I was able to share some valuable knowledge with Seth, because I know I learned a lot from him.  He took training seriously, and attended workshops on fitness for firefighting (in addition to the countless other training days all Firefighters log).  I still use some of the stretches he taught us after one specific clinic.
Right now I’m developing a complete training program for first responders.  It will include the most important exercises to keep firefighters, police, and paramedics from getting injured on the job.  You’ll also get tons of exercises to push your performance to the next level when it matters most.
– Correct pelvic tilts to improve safe lifting technique
– Build core strength for heavier SAFE lifting abilities
– Reinforce healthy movement patterns
– Build endurance and conditioning
– Perform your best
– Get home safe.

Here’s one exercise specifically for firefighters.  These Sled pulls will help you advance charged hose lines with more speed, power, and confidence!

*** VIDEO***

Training Inspiration

Sometimes we over-complicate things.  We get caught up with the latest supplements.  We want to try so many new training techniques that we hop from program to program, and never stick with one plan long enough to get quality results.  Or, we think we’re smart enough to make up our own “new program” by adding elements of three proven plans together.

In many cases, it works best to stick best with what’s proven to work best.  Period.  Don’t get too fancy.  You’re not in the gym to impress anyone with how advanced your training program is, are you?  You’re there to get results.

Conditioning for Sports- Energy Systems 101

By examining your sport’s energy demands, and training in the appropriate energy systems, you can build sport specific conditioning.

First, let’s nail down exactly what an “energy system” is.  Depending on the task, your body can produce energy in a few different ways.  Different chemical reactions within your body create energy for different tasks.  Some are very powerful, but run out of gas quickly.  Some last longer.  Your body uses some combination of each to power you throughout your day. Read More

Stress Management (and Adrenal Fatigue)

Recently, I’ve been dealing with a case of Adrenal Fatigue, and it could have been prevented.  Over the years, I’ve known several athletes and multiple trainers/strength coaches who have experienced the same battle.  If we push too hard and don’t pay enough attention to recovery, sleep, and healthy eating, something’s got to give.  Adrenal Fatigue is a physiological condition in which your body relies too heavily on adrenaline to function on a daily basis.  You may feel more anxious than usual, because of your extended exposure to high levels of adrenaline and insufficient levels of a stress hormone called Cortisol.  You’ll also feel a decrease in motivation, have trouble sleeping even when tired (“tired but wired”), and might experience unusual blood sugar swings.  So how, exactly, does this happen?  More importantly, how can we avoid Adrenal Fatigue or treat it once it has begun? Read More

German Body Comp.: Weight Training for Fat Loss

German Body Comp. is one of my favorite program types when training clients for fat loss.  It focuses on building or maintaining muscle mass, while causing a powerful fat burning effect via your body’s lactic acid and growth hormone response.  I’ve touched on German Body Comp. in the past, but I think it deserves a second mention here.

This time, I’m going to give you the complete recipe to use this program to get shredded for summer; and a sample program to get you started.

* It’s only fair to mention Charles Poliquin, world class strength coach and king of GBC in any article on this subject.  His book German Body Comp. is the ultimate guide to GBC; including several training programs and complete meal plans.

INTENSITY:

GBC requires you to lift semi-heavy weights (the heaviest you can use to safely complete a set), for sets of 8-10 or 10-12 repetitions.  You’ll complete 8-10 reps when training biceps, hamstrings, and back because these muscle groups contain a higher percentage of “fast twitch” muscle fibers.  Because of that, they respond better to lower rep training.  10-12 reps will be used for chest, triceps, shoulders, and quads.

FREQUENCY:

German Body Comp. is a full body training program that can be used to train 3 or 4 days per week with great success.

ORGANIZATION:

You’ll superset each exercise with its appropriate partner.  Chest movements are paired with hamstrings.  Back movements are paired with quadriceps exercises, biceps with triceps, and shoulders with calves.  Abdominal training and rehab/prehab work are paired together at the end of each training session.

REST PERIODS:

Keep rest periods short and precise.  You should be resting for 45 seconds between each movement in your supersets.

TEMPO:

Tempo is very important to effective GBC.  Slow, measured tempos create increased time under tension, and produce the desired Growth Hormone response needed for fat burning.  A 4-0-1-0 tempo is perfect for most movements in your GBC program.

EXERCISE SELECTION:

Whenever possible, focus on compound/multi-joint exercises more than isolating a single muscle at a time.  i.e.: Bench press is better than machine fly’s.  This will increase calories burned, your body’s hormone response, and your opportunity to build muscle.

SAMPLE GBC PROGRAM For BEGINNERS
Day 1
Movement Sets Reps Rest Tempo
A1) Incline Dumbbell Press 4 10 to 12 45 sec. 4010
A2) Romanian Deadlift 4 8 to 10 45 sec. 4010
B1) Seated Row 4 8 to 10 45 sec. 4010
B2) Split Squats 4 10 to 12 each 45 sec. 4010
C1) Dumbbell Hammer Curls 3 10 to 12 each 45 sec. 4010
C2) Dumbbell Skull Crushers 3 10 to 12 45 sec. 4010
D1) Powell Raise (rear delt) 3 10 to 12 each 45 sec. 4010
D2) Standing Calf Raise 3 10 to 12 45 sec. 4010
Day 2
Movement Sets Reps Rest Tempo
A1) Chest Dips 4 10 to 12 45 sec. 4010
A2) Machine Hamstring Curls 4 8 to 10 45 sec. 4010
B1) Pull-ups 4 8 to 10 45 sec. 4010
B2) Quad Squats 4 10 to 12 45 sec. 4010
C1) Barbell Reverse Curls 3 8 to 10 45 sec. 4010
C2) Cable Triceps Push-downs 3 10 to 12 45 sec. 4010
D1) Cable External Rotation 90* 3 8 to 10 45 sec. 4010
D2) Plank 3 60 sec. 45 sec. X
Day 3
Movement Sets Reps Rest Tempo
A1) Front Squat 4 10 to 12 45 sec. 4010
A2) Dumbbell One Arm Row 4 8 to 10 each 45 sec. 4010
B1) Dumbell Unrolling Fly 4 10 to 12 45 sec. 4010
B2) Glute/Ham Raise 4 8 to 10 45 sec. 4010
C1) Barbell Drag Curl 3 8 to 10 45 sec. 4010
C2) Narrow Grip Bench 3 10 to 12 45 sec. 4010
D1) Trap 3 Raise 3 8 to 10 45 sec. 4010
D2) Reverse Plank 3 60 sec. 45 sec. X

 

Q&A: How many reps should I do? Speed Edition

One of the questions I get asked the most is, “How should I lift to get faster?  Lots of repetitions with light weight, or low rep training?”

It’s not as tricky as you think, but before you can understand training for speed and quickness, you have to understand the chart I made (above).  Basically, low rep training develops maximal strength, while higher rep sets lead to hypertrophy and eventually, with even higher reps, muscular endurance.  Of course, this is a simplified depiction of what really goes on, and there is some “overflow” of each quality;  i.e. training for 6 or 8 reps will build strength, while also developing hypertrophy and making your muscles grow.

Great.  Now, what about speed?  Well… strength makes speed.  The stronger you are, the faster you will be able to move a given mass.  So, first you need to get strong with some heavy low repetition training.

“…but won’t grinding out slow, heavy reps, and moving slowly make me slower?”  Yes and no.

You definitely perform the way you train.  So, if all you ever do is super heavy/super slow sets; you will eventually get slower.  However, low rep training is also the most effective at training your body’s “fast twitch” muscle fibers, so stick with the low reps.  Don’t worry about speed right away.

Once you’ve developed a base of strength, you can start to be more concerned with your speed development.  Now it’s time to reduce the weight that you’re training with… but don’t do more repetitions!  Instead, continue with low rep training using a load that is about 60% of your 1 Rep Max.  Move that weight as FAST as possible (known as a ballistic tempo) for each repetition you complete.

Finally, speed is created AFTER your time in the weight room.  Strength training gives your body a head start, but the gains you make in the gym are only truly converted to sport specific speed by practicing your sports.  If you’re a sprinter, sprint as fast as possible.  If you’re a boxer, box as fast as possible.

At the end of the day, the only way to get faster is to move fast.

Good luck!

 

Weekly Inspiration

Your food choices are important and worth a little bit of time.  Nothing worth having comes easily.  I know you work hard on your fitness.  I know you care about getting results.  That’s why you’re reading this, right?  If being healthy and fit is worth the hours you spend in the gym every week, and it’s worth the money you spend on your gym membership, isn’t it worth the extra 30 minutes it will take to prepare healthy food instead of eating that McDonald’s?  Aren’t your goals more important than the temporary satisfaction that you’d get from drinking that chocolate milkshake?

You always have the power to choose.  Apply your willpower and strong character (I know you have one) to your food just as you would to life’s other important choices.

German Volume Training for Extreme Muscle

If you’re looking for a serious program to pack on muscle mass as quickly as possible, this might be the plan for you.  Originating in Germany during the 1970’s GVT was originally used as a general prep phase for weightlifters.  It uses extreme volume to cause rapid muscle hypertrophy.  In short, you’ll get big muscles fast.

The idea is to complete 10 sets of 10, for one exercise per muscle group on each training day.  You may add in one or two accessory exercises for specific body parts (3 sets of 10), like biceps curls; but don’t go crazy.  There’s plenty of volume built into these training sessions already.  A typical day might look something like this: Read More

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Shane Carwin’s Secret Core Activation Program

Last weekend, I learned this series for core activation and hip functionality from world class strength coach, Loren Landow.  Loren has coached countless NFL and UFC standouts, including retired superstar Shane Carwin.

Carwin told me that THIS short core activation series, which Landow uses as part of his general warm-up, made a bigger difference in his game than any other exercise.  Try it for yourself.

 

Weekly Inspiration

Life is full of challenges.  Each day presents us with a new set of problems to solve and opportunities to seize.  It’s a trial by fire, and all you need to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.  The small things will fade away, and the big things will work themselves out, if you just keep walking.

Are you having a hard time on your weight loss journey?  At work?  At home?  Step one is to take step one…

Weekend with The World’s Best

I got to spend this weekend in Colorado with 6 of the world’s best strength coaches, specializing in training for combat sports.  The knowledge and experience in that room was incredible!!  These guys have written dozens of successful books and articles, plus coached champions in the UFC, Olympians, and some of the most famous fighters in the world.  We got to talk about training and sports psychology, plus learn some new skills in hands-on training.

Over the next week or two, I’ll be sharing some of what I learned on my blog, so check it out!

Today, I want to touch on the theme of the weekend: LESS IS MORE.  Whether we’re talking about fighting, or any other sport, strength and conditioning is just one piece of the puzzle.  The main focus for any athlete has to be skills/sports specific practice.  S&C work should complement those practices, not hinder them.  If you’re so sore from lifting weights that you can’t perform in practice, you’re doing something wrong.

Modern, intelligent training should be carefully planned and organized to allow time for recovery.  Then, during training sessions, injury prevention and rehab/prehab needs to be priority number one.  If you’re not healthy, you can’t get any better!

In combat sports, that means lifting only about twice per week!  A fighter expends tons of energy training to fight, so trying to squeeze in additional hours of S&C becomes counterproductive.  Start listening to your body and learn when to back off.  You’ll be better for it.

Remember as well that you shouldn’t feel exhausted after every training session!  Some workouts are designed to train your nervous system, or to affect your body in some way that will not lead to that “smoked” feeling.  Trust the process.

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Sticking Points- Stuck at the bottom?

If you want to squat to full depth, and you’ve been having trouble getting yourself moving out of that “hole” at the bottom of the squat, this is the video for you.  Master this one simple trick for a stronger deep squat.

Squatting past 90* at the knees, and to full depth is always my preference.  It allows you to build more overall power, preserves or improves mobility, and there’s less torque on your knees than when changing directions at 90*.  If you want to perform the Olympic lifts, you’ll also need the necessary mobility for deep squatting.  Plus, when you train your full range of motion, you’ll be able to access strength from any position when you need it in the real world.

 

Weekly Inspiration

A lot of times, life spills into our training schedules.  It’s important to keep a holistic approach to self-improvement.  Your physical results leading to fitness goals or athletic improvement will follow your mental game directly.  I promise.

This week I spent a couple of days being anxious about something that I really could not control.  Before long, though, I realized how silly I was Read More

Weekly Inspiration

This quote applies to so many areas of life.  When it comes to your fitness or training goals, being flexible is key.  Life happens, and you might have to reschedule a training session or skip a meal.  You might get injured and need to adjust your training accordingly.  It’s best to have a plan, but you can’t crack if some changes have to be made on the fly. Read More

Pilates Myths Busted: Guest Post: Northwestpharmacy.com

I recently spoke with Gillian Zimmer of Northwestpharmacy.com/Health Perch about one of their great new articles.  Courtesy of Gillian, you’ll find that article and tons of great info on Pilates training below.

Joetoproathlete.com is all about finding and refining the world’s best methods for athletic development.  We believe in functional, ground based training, and a holistic approach to building an athlete.  During that process, cross training is often a fun and effective way to fill in gaps left by our current training.  So, experiencing and integrating new fitness disciplines is always an intriguing prospect.  I don’t, personally, have a ton of experience with Pilates, but for some this type of training might provide some great supplementary work.  Let’s see what it’s all about… Read More

5 Ways to Get Better with Age

If you’ve spent any significant amount of time in the gym, chances are you’ve heard those guys in the locker room talk about how strong they were “back in the day”.  Or, you’ve listened to that girl tell you about how fit and smoking hot her body “used to be”.  Why is it that in a gym full of people, who are currently working hard, no one is in the best shape of their lives? Read More

Weekly Inspiration

Did you have a great, productive, day yesterday?  Awesome!  Now, don’t stop for too long to pat yourself on the back.  Have another great day today.  Do it again tomorrow.  Those singular days of excellence will soon turn into a habit and make your whole life excellent!

Squat. More.

No matter who you are, chances are you should be squatting.  If you already squat, there’s a good chance you should be squatting more.  This classic, multi-joint exercise is as versatile and effective as any other move your gym has to offer.  Athletes, weight loss exercisers, women, and anyone who sets foot in the gym (with the exception of a few, with certain serious injuries) should all squat.  Here are just a few of the biggest reasons: Read More

3 Tips for a Clean and Jerk PR

The Clean and Jerk is one of the most effective exercises the weightroom can offer.   If you master proper form and program for it correctly, the Clean and Jerk can help you build strength, speed, power, kinesthetic awareness, and body coordination/control. However, Olympic movements like the Clean and Jerk are complex and intense. Many people are using them incorrectly; resulting in sub-par results or injury. Here are 3 tips to make your Clean and Jerk count: Read More

Weekly Inspiration

Two heads are better than one.  It’s not even close, either.  Somehow, when like-thinking minds join together, their power is magnified exponentially.  Something special happens when people are united for a common purpose.  Many successful businesses are created and run by groups like this.  We call them Mastermind Groups.  Even Congress is, for all intents and purposes, a Mastermind Group in government.

If you have a goal, one of the best things you can do is put your head together with a group of people who can help.  Find people who have already achieved what you seek, as well as others seeking it along with you.  Discuss your goals regularly.  Ask questions.  Listen to feedback from multiple sources.   Read More

Weekly Inspiration

Just don’t give up.  It’s such a simple concept, but sometimes it can be so hard.  Thomas Edison, responsible for the quote above, is the perfect person to take that advice from.  When 10,000 of his attempts at creating the incandescent light bulb were unsuccessful, members of the press asked Edison how it felt to fail.  He replied that he had not failed, but only found 10,000 ways that wouldn’t work; ultimately on his way to success.

Have you tried getting in shape before, and failed?  Do you have fitness goals that seem unachievable?  Just don’t give up.

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Core Strength with Dr. Ed Race

Popular exercise culture has left lots of people believing that 1000’s of crunches are the secret to a strong core.  The truth is, your abs are just a small part of your body’s “core”.  Learn about all of the other muscles and how to prioritize your training with Dr. Ed Race and joetoproathlete.com online personal training.

 

Girls Don’t Know Squat: Female Fitness Myths Busted

 

  • False: Lifting heavy weights will make me bulky.

The Truth: If you’re a woman, you probably don’t have hormones at the proper levels or at the right ratios to support massive muscle gain. Even men, with much higher levels of natural testosterone, often struggle to gain muscle mass. They’ll shovel thousands of extra calories into their mouths daily, lift weights religiously, and take a half dozen supplements, all to gain 5 or 10 lbs. of muscle (considered awesome progress!).  The small amount of muscle a female might gain from weight training usually serves only to raise her metabolic rate (aiding in future fat loss) and to give her that “toned” look every woman asks her trainer about. Read More

Resistance Training: How young is too young? Ask the NSCA

Almost every week, some parent asks me, “At what age can my young athlete start a strength and conditioning program?”

They almost always have concerns about stunting the kid’s growth or getting him/her injured during training. Outdated and largely unfounded ideas about youth training are causing many children and adolescents to miss out on the numerous benefits of a well-designed strength and conditioning program. Read More