Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Strength & Health TV - Episode 39: The Importance of Accessory Work.

In this week's video I talk about my views on accessory work and why it's important for lifters and athletes as well as how I select the work we perform.

Too many times you get opinions that are on both sides of the spectrum. There are the people who believe in performing the classical lifts only and that in perfection of the lifts themselves strength will go up, i.e. the "if you want to squat more, bench more and deadlift more then you need to squat more, bench more and deadlift more" crowd.

Then there are the people who believe "everything is weak so train it all".

I fall in the middle, I feel we as coaches, trainers, and athletes need to constantly assess those we train, and ourselves, and determine what is holding back our lifts or sport performance and then implement the appropriate accessory exercises to ensure strength and performance progress.

If you have any questions or suggestions for future topics please leave them in the comments section below.

Stay Strong AND Healthy,


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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

40 Things I’ve Learned Since Going Vegan.

Protein deficient.
  1. It’s not that hard and I should have done it sooner.
  2. Eating soy will not give you boobs.
  3. Based on lab work and physicals, my health has never been better.
  4. It was the easiest 50 lbs I’ve ever lost.
  5. People who tell me about all the problems with a vegan diet have never been vegan themselves.
  6. Protein is overrated.
  7. Complete protein is a myth. You do not need to combine foods to eat complete protein at every meal. You can eat your beans and rice together or separate, your body will pool the amino acids and use them as needed.
  8. A vegan diet is not necessarily a health diet.
  9. The healthiest diet, and according to Dr. Michael Greger the only diet that has been shown to reverse heart disease, is a whole food plant based diet.
  10. A whole food plant based diet is a vegan diet.
  11. The beef industry destroys over 10-times the amount of rainforest as the palm oil industry.
  12. Don’t bitch to me about the palm oil industry if you eat meat.
  13. Both the palm oil and beef industries suck.
  14. If you eat meat and call yourself an environmentalist you need to step back for a minute and think about that.
  15. Most of the vegans I know are some of the nicest, most compassionate people I’ve ever met.
  16. Many vegans out there are annoying as hell.
  17. At some level everyone supports animal exploitation. At the very least if you pay your taxes you are supporting factory farms, so holier-than-though-vegans should chill out a little.
  18. If you eat meat and use a protein supplement it means you’re awesome and optimizing your diet. If you are vegan and use a protein powder it means your diet is deficient. Hmmm.
  19. Great vegan athletes are only great because they ate meat at some point in their life or are using steroids. Yes, that’s sarcasm.
  20. Joe Rogan should stick to stand up comedy and UFC commentary and leave nutrition and training advice to professionals.
  21. While vegan MMA fighter Mac Danzig never won a title belt in the UFC, neither did all of the meat eaters he beat.
  22. Carbohydrates do not make you fat.
  23. What most people classify as “bad carbs” usually have more calories from fat than carbohydrates.
  24. It’s not hard to eat out at all and you can find something totally vegan at almost every restaurant.
  25. Being healthy and performing well athletically while eating a vegan diet is not hard at all, and the only people who say it is are not vegans themselves.
  26. Factory farming sucks for the environment.
  27. Organic / free range farming sucks for wildlife.
  28. Both factory farming and organic / free range farming suck for the animals and neither are sustainable.
  29. If you're one of the “animal lovers” who only eats “happy cows” or “humanely slaughtered” animals please walk the “happy free range” cow into the slaughterhouse and watch the bolt get shot into its head, get hung upside down and throat slit so it can bleed out and let me know how happy the cow was.
  30. Factory farmed animals and organic free range animals all meet the same fate. Neither are happy fates.
  31. If you eat eggs you support an industry that grinds 1 day old male chicks alive because they will never be able to lay eggs. Yes they are thrown onto a conveyer belt and dropped into a grinder at 1 day old. Even the organic ones.
  32. If you eat cheese and/or drink milk (yes even the organic stuff) you are supporting an industry that artificially inseminates female cows to keep them pregnant for their entire lives (in humans this would be called rape) and any calves born are taken away never to nurse from or be with their mothers (yes, even the organic ones) and if that calf had the misfortune of being born male they are auctioned off to be sold for veal (yes, even the organic ones).
  33. No, if we stop eating meat the world will not be overrun with farm animals.
  34. Male piglets are castrated, testicles ripped off their body, with no anesthesia. Screw your stupid “mmmm, bacon” fetish.
  35. If you’ve never seen footage from a slaughterhouse watch it. Educate yourself and understand where the meat packaged up in grocery stores comes from.
  36. Pigs, cows, and chickens are no less sentient than your pet dog or cat. Please don’t complain to me about the Yulin Dog Meat festival while you are eating a steak.
  37. 9-10 billion animals are slaughtered for food every year in the US alone, yet many of the nearly 8 billion humans on the planet are starving and don't have access to clean water. Think about those numbers for a minute.
  38. Only about 9% of all livestock are pasture raised. Yet everyone I know who eats meat avoids factory farmed meat. Hmmmmm….
  39. If you don’t know where to start, stop eating it and stop wearing it and do the best you can.
  40. One person can make a huge difference.

Stay Strong AND Healthy!


Friday, September 2, 2016

Strength & Health TV - Episode 38: "Pre-Hab" Exercises for Restoration and Injury Prevention.

In this episode I talk about some of my favorite "pre-hab" exercises I use in my training and the training of my clients, lifters and athletes.

I first learned of the concept of the types of exercises from articles written by Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell and Dave Tate owner of Elite FTS, who was also a member of Westside Barbell.

Basically the pre-hab exercises should be done with bands or light weight for very high repetitions at the end of a workout or later in the day after the main training session, with the primary goal being restoration and injury prevention.

Generally for the the upper body I like to do some sort of pushdown, usually with bands, and some sort of upper back / shoulder / rotator cuff exercise. For the lower body I like to do some sort of leg curl, usually with bands or ankle weights, and some sort of hip extension. 

A general rule of thumb I stick to on this movements is to shoot for 100-200 reps in as few sets as possible.

In this video I demonstrate some of my favorite pre-hab exercises with bands.

I hope you enjoy this week's video and if you have any questions please contact me or leave them in the comments section below.

Stay Strong AND Healthy,