Things to Read to Get You Over the Hump 11/16

Here’s a few good reads from the last week to keep you busy while trying to get through another productive day at work:

How to Be Successful in the Strength & Conditioning Field by Bret Contreras

Real solid read by Bret Contreras for all those out there tying to get into the strength and conditioning field as well as people already in the field looking to become a better coach. Bret leaves no stone unturned.

Rise of the (New) Meatheads by Nate Green

I don’t work0ut in many commerical gyms anymore but the one gym I do go to every once in a while has plenty of these meatheads. Pretty sure anyone who goes to a commerical gym has a couple (if not more) of these meatheads running around their gym.

Learning Leadership by Kevin Carr

Great read for anyone looking to take on more of a leadership role in any aspect of their life. Furthermore, leadership is essential for a strength coach so for any strength coach out there this is a must read.

11 Ways to Brighten Up Your Day (and Your Life) by John Romaniello

Title says it all. Good stuff.

Real World Strength & Conditioning

As I was “surfing the net” the other day I came across a short, 7 part video series documenting the offseason strength and conditioning program for the University of Iowa football team.I figured I would post this for a couple of reasons. For starters, people ask me all the time what a strength coach does on a daily basis and in answering the question I come across a lot of misconceptions. Most of the time people think a strength coach simply “makes athletes lift weights”, which is somewhat true but in reality it’s such a small aspect of what actually goes on day in and day out in a top-notch strength and conditioning program.

Another reason I posted this was for actual strength coaches so that they could see what one of the best strength coaches in the nation, Chris Doyle, does on a daily basis with a consistent top 25 football program. For those who don’t know, Coach Doyle’s reputation is as good as it gets, sending players like Colts tight end Dallas Clark and linebacker Pat Angerer, Chargers safety Bob Sanders, Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, Jets running back Shonn Greene, Raiders offenseive lineman Robert Gallery,  and most recently Bucs defensive end Adrian Clayborn, amongst others to the NFL. The success these players have had in the NFL is a testimonial to the work Coach Doyle and his staff are doing with the football team in their year round strength and conditioning program. As a coach, I feel it’s always interesting to see what exactly is going on day in and day out at a top-notch football and strength program. You can watch the entire 7 part video series HERE.

Tips to Increase Fat Loss

A lean, healthy body is something that we all strive for but yet many of us are still chasing. Here are a few ways to get your fat loss furnace running at full speed.

1)      Consistency

One of the biggest reasons people don’t make the progress they want in the gym when it comes to fat loss is their consistency. Too often people go to the gym for a couple of weeks straight and then miss a week. Too often people eat a healthier diet for a couple of weeks and then fall off the wagon for a week. One step forward, two steps backward. By simply being consistent day in and day out you should see some positive changes, especially if you follow some of the other tips to come.

2)      Your Still Performing LISS/LSD

LISS (low intensity steady state) or LSD (long, slow, distance) cardio is the devil for a couple of reasons. One, it’s boring. Getting on the elliptical or the treadmill and spending 45-60 minutes a day gets old and it gets old quick…hence why consistency is such an issue. Get off the treadmill, you’re not a hamster. The second reason is because it’s simply not as effective as HIIT (high intensity interval training) and HIIT can be done in half the time it takes you to do LISS. Next time you head to the gym, try some interval training. An easy example of this would be 15 second all out sprints on the bike followed by 45 seconds of active recovery for 10-12 minutes. For more ideas and alternatives check this out.

3)      Lack of Compound Lifts

Try building your workouts around the big, multi-joint exercises. Lifts like squat variations, deadlift variations, pull ups and chin ups, and bench pressing will burn considerably more calories than the triceps kickbacks and dumbbell curls your trainer has you doing. Chances are with the multi-joint exercises you’ll build a solid pair of arms anyway with all the pushing and pulling you’ll be doing with much heavier weights than you were using with the kickbacks and curls.

4)      Add Some Good Weight

This almost goes hand in hand with using compound lifts. Compound lifts build muscle and strength than the smaller single joint exercises. The more muscle you hold, the faster your metabolism will be. A faster metabolism means more calories burned over the course of the day. Get stronger and add some good mass and get leaner.

Might be time for this guy to get a little stronger

5)       Your Diet is Crap

This might be the most obvious point on the entire list yet it’s something that happens all too often. You need to have some idea of what you’re consuming on a daily basis. I’m not saying you need to count calories, but I am saying you need to have a general idea of how many calories you’re consuming. You can’t try to lose weight when you consume 3500 calories one day, 1800 the next, 2500 the next, and so on. Find a caloric range that’s appropriate for you and try to stay within that range every day. Once you find an appropriate range, you can make the needed changes when weight loss begins to plateau by simply becoming a little more active to burn a few more calories a day or lower your calorie range on a daily basis.

Why Can't I Lose Weight?

6)      You Obsess on the Scale

One of the worst instruments to track progress is the scale. People get on the scale day in and day out and lose their mind when they are up 0.4lbs from one day to the other. Get off the scale and pay more attention to how your clothes feel and how you feel. Focus on what the mirrors telling you. Does it tell you that you look good? Like crap? If you like the way you look, does it matter what the scale says? Stop chasing a number on the scale and start focusing on what your eyes are telling you.

Things to Read to Get You Over the Hump 11/9

Here’s a few good reads from the last week to keep you busy while trying to get through another productive day at work:

4 Reasons Why You’re Not Making Progress by Mike Robertson

A good read on making progress in the gym. Whether your goal is to have a bigger squat, see your abs, or just get as healthy as you can, this will help.

Myths of MMA Conditioning by Joel Jamieson

With the popularity of MMA reaching new heights every day, I figured this would be a good read for many people. After every MMA pay-per-view you hear a ton about how a fighter “gassed” or what “out of shape” and things along those lines and Joel breaks down why it happens and how to potentially avoid it. Good timing on this article since this weekend one of the biggest fights of the year will take place between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Valasquez.

Why Your Workout Routine Shouldn’t Be Routine by Eric Cressey

Another great read by Cressey (which is basically everything he writes). The best part about this may be the free webinar that is included, a webinar that will give you a pretty good base for creating a solid strength & conditioning program whether you are an athlete or someone looking to become healthier and in better shape.

Squatmeggedon by Tony Gentilcore

The title says it all. This article is all things squat, with variations for anyone at any training level. The squat movement pattern is important for anyone and everyone so dig in.

Things to Read to Get You Over the Hump – 11/2

Here’s a few good reads from the last week to keep you busy while trying to get through another productive day at work:

Weight Training Programs: 7 Ways to Get Strong(er) Now by Eric Cressey

A good read for lifters of all levels with tips on how to get stronger. I’m pretty sure anyone that reads this will come away with at least something that will help them become stronger, which is always a good thing.

Set the Bar High and Scissor Kick Failure in the Face by Dean Somerset

This is the type of article that is about fitness but its not really about fitness, it can apply to any aspect of your life. Take a look at and then reassess some of your goals and aspirations.

Mistakes that Skinny Guys Make: Flipflopitis by Tony Gentilecore

A post in a long line of articles about the mistakes that skinny guys make. This one in particular talks about how most skinny guys flip flop between training programs and goals and as a result never really make any progress. A good read with some humor, as usual.

Show and Go! by Alwyn Cosgrove

This is actually from Eric Cressey, but Alwyn posted it so I’ll link back to his post. Eric created a 20-25 minute webinar about how to design strength training programs with a ton of good stuff. Highly recommended for someone looking to spice things up and/or make some beneficial changes in their program.

And finally, I’ll leave you with this. Ben Bruno, strength coach at Mike Boyle Strength & Conditoning, squatting 225 for 35 reps, which is absolutley insane!