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Weekly Inspiration

Bruce Lee was one of the fittest and most athletic men ever.  How did he get that way?  He believed that anything was possible, and he had big dreams… but he knew that dreaming wasn’t enough.  Lee understood that by taking ACTION, you can accomplish anything you can dream of.

Take action now.  Become A Member to start your own custom online personal training program from a JoeToPro coach, and start building the body of your dreams today!

Strongman Training: With Expert Guest Nate Tuttle

Have you ever seen a strongman competition, on television?  If so, you’ve probably watched in awe as monstrous men performed amazing feats of strength.  They pull trucks, lift huge logs, toss kegs, and generally carry or throw anything they can get their hands on.

It looks like fun, huh?  Did you know that anyone can train like that?  In fact, strongman training (or modified strongman training) makes a great addition to almost any training program.  It has caught on, especially with athletes, because handling the oddly shaped implements used in strongman training has been shown to have a greater carry-over to functional strength than training with barbells/dumbbells alone.

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Bridging Stretch

Anyone with a desk job knows that lots of daily sitting can cause back pain.  Hunching over a desk and computer all day leaves many with tight abs and shortened hip flexors.  Prevent back pain now by training for good posture! Bridging is a great way to stretch out the tight muscles on the front of your body, including your abs and hip flexors.  It takes some strength, but think of the shoulder workout as an added bonus.

Become A Member today for custom training from a JTP coach.  Online personal training that gets results.

Weekly Inspiration

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

-Willie Nelson

It’s true.  These words of wisdom can apply to any part of life, but let’s talk fitness: Once you set your mind to your goals, and focus on them proactively, results won’t be far behind.  Stop blaming your genetics and saying, “I can’t lose weight.”  Replace those negative limitations that you’re placing on yourself with anticipation for the exciting change that’s about to happen!  Imagine how great it’s going to feel to reach your fitness goals!  Then start reaching them one small step at a time.

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Is Jogging Bad?

It seems to me that jogging is nothing more than running slowly.  How is it that such a simple thing has become the topic of so much debate in the worlds of fitness and sports?  Some coaches and trainers would have you believe that running a mile or more is sacrilegious.  They’d tell you that running will make you fat and slow.  Others swear by long runs as the only way to get in “cardio” shape.  So who’s right?

First, let’s talk anti-jogging.  It’s true that jogging isn’t a very effective method for fat loss.  Actually, running long distances trains your body to store calories as efficiently as possible!  Over the long haul, daily runs can also condition your body to burn muscle more readily than fat for energy during exercise.  Distance running can contribute to loads of over-use injuries in the lower body, cause oxidative stress, hinder the development of proper spring mechanics, and more.

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HIIT training: Are you doing it wrong?

HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is a huge buzz –word in the fitness world, but not everyone uses it correctly to reach their goals.  HIIT can help you lose fat, improve conditioning, or even help you get strong on a tight training schedule.  The thing is, you’d use HIIT a little differently to achieve each goal.  That’s especially true for athletes or the experienced trainee.  Just throwing exercises randomly into a training session, without purposefully designing rep schemes and rest periods might work for a novice exerciser, but you’ll soon stop making progress. Let’s take a look at how to effectively design a program for each goal mentioned above.  For our purposes, “Work” will refer to the amount of time (or number of reps) spent performing the exercise of your choice, during each set.  “Rest” will mean the amount of time spent at rest, between bouts of work.

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Archive Update: Bryce Saddoris at World Championships for team USA

Some of you might remember an article that I posted this spring on Bryce Saddoris.  Bryce was a two time All-American wrestler at the US Naval Academy, and won a Division One national championship there.  He currently wrestles for the US Marine Corps and has been bumped up to #1 on the US Olympic ladder.  This week, Saddoris is representing the US in the Greco-Roman World Championships in Uzbekistan.

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Elite Gym Experiences: Beyond Fit with Ia Falo

With JoeToProAthlete.com, I’m on a mission to find the world’s best gyms and strength coaches.  I’ve already trained with some of the best, and visited some amazing facilities.  I’ve trained with international weightlifting coaches, visited with Olympic athletes, and trained in Tim Tebow’s gym.  Today, I want to introduce a newer gym, ready to take its place among the elite.  I guarantee this place will reach the level of the others I mentioned.

Beyond Fit is a small training facility owned by Ia and Nichole Falo; two former collegiate athletes whose success in athletics is translating into big time results in functional fitness.

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Snatch Demo.

The snatch is a great exercise for developing SPEED.  You’ll also be working on power in your legs and core, body control, coordination, and more.

The explanation of the snatch given here is over-simplified.  You’ll need to learn this complex movement from a certified and experienced weightlifting coach before you try it on your own.  It could take weeks, or longer, to go through a progression of simpler exercises building up to executing a real snatch.

USAW Level 2

Continuing education is part of the JTP mission to be the best, and to bring you the best service.  Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to earn a new credential from USA Weightlifting; Joe Pascale, USAW Level 2- Advanced Sports Performance Coach.

Watch for some upcoming weightlifting features.  Clean, jerk, snatch!  I’ve got the bug right now…

Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated by Anthony Robles

Is this a book about strength and conditioning or functional fitness?  No.  Can you learn anything about training from this book?  No.  So what’s it doing on my blog?  After reading this book, you’ll be inspired to accomplish any goal you’ve set.  You’ll understand the human ability to overcome obstacles.  That’s what I want for all of my clients and readers: for you to know that you can do anything, and that nothing can stop you.  Boom.

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World Class Athlete: Bryce Saddoris

Wow.  Today, in North Carolina, I got to talk training with one of the baddest dudes on the planet.  Bryce Saddoris is a First Lieutenant in the USMC.  He’s also #3 on the USA Olympic Ladder for Greco Roman Wrestling.  Bryce was a two time D1 All-American wrestler at the US Naval academy as well, and holds the record for most wins in the history of the program.  Just this year he’s qualified for the CISM World Military Championships by placing 1st in the US Military Freestyle Wrestling Championships.  He has also qualified for the Greco Roman World Trials by placing 3rd in the US Open Greco-Roman National Championships.  Saddoris is a serious contender to make the US Olympic team for 2016.  He is definitely someone worth learning from when it comes to training.

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Best Gyms in the US: D1 Sports Training

While on my mission to find the best gyms, strength coaches, and athletes to feature on JoeToPro, I visited Savannah, Georgia.  There, I got  to spend a couple of weeks training at a facility called D1 (http://www.d1sportstraining.com/).  Sporting several locations in the South East, D1 is a true sports performance gym.   The Savannah location is co-owned by Tim Tebow and Herschel Walker.  They have trained tons of professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and pro fight game.  Some of my favorites include Chipper Jones, Peyton Manning, Vernon Davis, and Jermain Taylor.  These guys know how to train.  Seriously.

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Congratulations Gym State: Bodybuilding.com’s Gym of the Month

Congratulations to Nate Tuttle, owner of Gym State Strength and Conditioning, and to his great staff.  They were just names Bodybuilding.com’s “Gym of the Month”.  JoeToProAthlete.com is proud to call Gym State our home gym!  Many of the pictures and videos you see on JoeToPro are filmed right here.

This is a place for athletes.

Check out the feature on Bodybuilding.com here:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/gym-of-the-month-gym-state-strength-and-conditioning.html

Vary Tempo for Better Results

Tempo in strength training is the intended time taken for the eccentric and concentric (up and down… or relaxed and contracted) portion of an exercise.  Here at JoeToPro, we’ve been talking a lot about tempo recently.  Everyone has their favorite method of training, and tends to train mostly with their favorite tempos… but is it better to lift with a fast, moderate, or slow tempo?  What effect does tempo really have on training?

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Nutrition 101: Part 4: Supplementation

Nutrition is the most important part of any fitness or sports performance goal.  Without eating right, you’ll never make optimal progress.  Why waste all those long hours of effort spent in the gym, only to get poor results?  For many people it’s because they don’t understand what to eat, when to eat it, and how food affects their bodies.  I’m going to address all of these basic issues, plus discuss supplementation, in my 4 part series “Nutrition 101”.  Stay tuned, and each week I’ll post a new installment in the series.  To follow the whole series and read older posts, become a member today.

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Resistance band side-steps

I do these as part of my dynamic warm-up.  You’ll strengthen your abductors and train your glutes to fire properly.  That way, when you squat, your knees will turn out from the hip.  You’ll get stronger and avoid injuries.  In sports, you’ll also be able to cut/change directions more quickly.

To learn how Side Steps fit into a complete training program, Become A Member today.  You’ll get access to the internet’s most results driven online personal training.  Receive custom training programs, live 1-on-1 support from your JTP coach, and more.

Lower Body Structural Balance: A Thumbnail Sketch

Poor structural balance in the lower body is the cause of many injuries.  It can also hold you back from training harder/heavier.  You could write a whole book about the subject, but let’s stick with the basics.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, Structural Balance, a balanced body starts with intelligent training.  Develop good posture, a strong core, flexibility in and around your joints, and the strength to support it all.  Then, add in a few accessory exercises to correct any imbalances that might creep in. Pay special attention to…

* Core Strength

* Hamstring flexibility

* Hip mobility

* Proper ratio of hamstring/quadriceps strength

*Proper ratio of adductor/abductor strength

* Ankle mobility (including calf and achilles flexibility)

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Shaky Knees? Reverse Sled Pull for VMO

The Vastus Medialus Oblique is a long muscle that assists with knee stability.  Do you have shaky knees when you squat?  Try this movement!

*VMO development is also an important part of lower body structural balance.  This is one in a long series of “how to” videos to accompany my post on STRUCTURAL BALANCE –  Check it out.

OR

To learn how Reverse Sled Pulls fit into a complete training program, Become A Member today.  You’ll get access to the internet’s most results driven online personal training.  Receive custom training programs, live 1-on-1 support from your JTP coach, and more.

Nutrition 101 Part 3: Macronutrients and Portion Control

Nutrition is the most important part of any fitness or sports performance goal.  Without eating right, you’ll never make optimal progress.  Why waste all those long hours of effort spent in the gym, only to get poor results?  For many people it’s because they don’t understand what to eat, when to eat it, and how food affects their bodies.  I’m going to address all of these basic issues, plus discuss supplementation, in my 5 part series “Nutrition 101”.  Stay tuned, and each week I’ll post a new installment in the series.  To follow the whole series and read older posts, become a member today.

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Warming Up Correctly

The Importance of a Dynamic Warm-up:

Warming up is a part of every training session and every athletic event.  Sometimes, because we do it so much, we forget how important it is.  Warming up properly can help prevent injury, improve balance and posture, and help you train more intensely.

A Good Warm-up can be your security blanket.  Work hard enough to break a sweat and spend this 10-20 minutes forgetting about the stresses of the outside world.  You’re here to train now.  Get in a training “zone” mentally while you warm up.

The best way to prepare for exercise is with a dynamic warm-up, instead of static stretching.  You’ll raise your body’s temperature, and get your muscles ready for the more intense work to come.  These dynamic warm-up movements also give you a great opportunity to work on balance, posture, and even lower body structural balance.

A dynamic warm-up will fire your nervous system up, too.  This gets your brain and muscles working together and firing properly before you start training hard for the day.

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Great Gym Experiences: Performance Inc.

Gym Experience #1- Performance Inc.

I’m searching the world for the best methods of developing strength, speed, and athleticism.  As I follow this path, I’ve been led to travel in search of the smartest and most successful strength coaches and athletes to learn from.  Now, I’m travelling the country, and the world, in search of the best and brightest.

After a few years of working as a personal trainer, I spent my early years as a strength coach at a facility called Performance Inc.  There, I began to learn from PICP Level 3 National Strength and Conditioning Specialist John Carlo.  Coach Carlo began his career as a professional bodybuilder, and soon implemented more functional training into his repertoire.  He studied under world famous strength coach, Charles Poliquin, eventually gaining enough experience to open his own gym.  Since then, he’s coached many athletes in a variety of sports, but has become especially knowledgeable at training for Judo, Hockey, and injury rehab.

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Nutrition 101: Part 2 of 5- When and Why to Eat

Nutrition is the most important part of any fitness or sports performance goal.  Without eating right, you’ll never make optimal progress.  Why waste all those long hours of effort spent in the gym, only to get poor results?  For many people it’s because they don’t understand what to eat, when to eat it, and how food affects their bodies.  I’m going to address all of these basic issues, plus discuss supplementation, in my 5 part series “Nutrition 101”.  Stay tuned, and each week I’ll post a new installment in the series.  To follow the whole series and read older posts, become a member today.

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Olympic Weightlifting for Speed and Power

Olympic lifts are complex movements that include the snatch, clean, jerk, and all the variations thereof.  These lifts have been included in the world Olympic Games for decades, and there are widely available opportunities to compete in weightlifting as a competitive sport at any age, weight, or experience level.  Today, we’ll cover the benefits of adding these lifts to your own training programs for the purpose of gaining speed and power.  You’ll also develop greater body control and awareness, better coordination, and improved timing.

Slower lifts like squats and dead-lifts are great for developing muscular strength, and have their place in your programs, but don’t match Olympic lifts for development of explosive power.  The force production (most force in the shortest time) created in the clean and snatch have each been measured to be far greater than that of any traditional strength training exercise.  In short, Olympic lifting WILL make you faster and more powerful.

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Nutrition 101: Part 1of 5

Nutrition 101

Nutrition is the most important part of any fitness or sports performance goal.  Without eating right, you’ll never make optimal progress.  Why waste all those long hours of effort spent in the gym, only to get poor results?  For many people it’s because they don’t understand what to eat, when to eat it, and how food affects their bodies.  I’m going to address all of these basic issues, plus discuss supplementation, in my 5 part series “Nutrition 101”.  Stay tuned, and each week I’ll post a new installment in the series.  To follow the whole series and read older posts, become a member today.

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Plyometric Training for More Power

The old gym legends say plyometric exercises were originally designed by the Soviets to develop “power,” and speed in their track athletes.  Here’s what we know for sure:  Power is defined as the rate at which work is performed, or Power = Force x Velocity.  Today, plyometrics are used and sometimes misused for many other purposes, but are still best applied correctly to build power in athletic performance.   Pogo jumps, depth jumps, and plyo-push-ups are just a few examples of plyometric movements.  Check out some dos and don’ts of plyometric training:

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Book Review: German Body Comp Program

Charles Poliquin is a world famous strength coach whose résumé includes many Olympic athletes from around the world.  He has also published several books on strength training.  In his book “German Body Comp Program”, Poliquin outlines his methods for using strength training for fat loss.  This book is not really a book about sports performance.  It’s great, however, as a versatile and effective program for weight loss.

Now, let’s talk some more about the book.  Then, we’ll dig a little deeper into the program itself.

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