fat loss

Movin Iron…

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Mondays Training
High Box Squat-
225 x 5
245 x 5
275 x 5

Chins-
BW x A bunch

Good Mornings-
Bar x 5
95 x 5, 5, 5

This Mornings Training
Paused Bench Press-
185 x 5
195 x 4

Incline Dumbbell Press-
65 x 8
70 x 6

Chins-
BW x A Bunch

Dips-
BW x A Bunch

I’m still getting used to this training early in the morning thing. I need to get some whey or BCAA’s to take preworkout. I’m up at 5, have a client at 6, and then I train at 7. I don’t have any kind of appetite so liquid calories are going to be my friend. I also need to integrate more plyometric/explosive movements into my warm up to get my CNS fired up before I lift. It wasn’t much of an issue when I trained in the evening but in the mornings it’s a big deal. I’ll get over to the other gym tomorrow night for some deadlifting then I’ll be in Lawrence Friday and Saturday for a Sports Performance Conference.

Magic Bullets and the Big Picture

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Ever since we started researching diet, exercise, and health we’ve always tried to find the one thing that will answer most, if not all of our problems. That’s why we every month we end up demonizing one particular nutrient or training method and blame a whole host of problems on them.

Over the years we’ve demonized fat, squats, and all other kinds of stuff. We’ve also tried taking a single nutrient or training method and painted them as the end-all-be-all of fitness and health.

Guess what, it’s all wrong.

We spend so much time breaking everything down and trying to find the one element of each that is either causing all the problems or creating all the benefits that we forget one important aspect:

The Sum is Greater than the Whole of It’s Parts

There is a reason that a man made antioxidant supplement doesn’t work nearly as well as actually eating a large variety of high quality fruits and veggies. It’s not about one single cog, it’s about how it works with the rest of the machine. Even though we’ve been making and researching supplements for the past 20+ years, we’re still rank amateurs compared to mother nature. Weighing and measuring poor quality food will get you far less results than focusing on eating the highest quality, highest nutrient per calorie foods.

That’s why leg pressing is an incredibly poor substitute for squats and the lat pulldown and the pec dec are poor substitutes for chins/pull ups and dips/push ups. They may use the same muscles, but the hormonal response, adaptive response, and calorie expenditure for each exercise are COMPLETELY different. If you want to build a great body with just machines you’re going to need to spend a couple grand and invest hours upon hours in the gym to get there. Conversely you can spend a fraction of that time and money to build an even better body (in my opinion) with some simple tools like barbells, body weight, and sandbags and focusing on big movements like squats, deadlifts, cleans, pull ups/chins, push ups/dips, and loaded carries.

What’s the point of looking good if you are still weak and not able to perform when it counts? Put down the psuedo-foods and step away from the pseudo-fitness machines and opt for more organic fruits, veggies, meats and fats then kick your fitness into overdrive with some squats, dips, pull ups and sled dragging!  There are no magic bullets or shortcuts.  It’s time to do the work!

C3/D2- Single Leg Training

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This was just a quick workout I got in over my lunch break yesterday.

Single Leg Squat off Step:
2nd Stair x 5 each leg
3rd Stair x 2 each leg x 3 sets

Single Leg Parallel Box Squat:
BW x 3 each
BW x 3 each

Sled Drag:
85 lbs x 3 trips

The third stair is a little below parallel. I’m getting better at controlling it all the way to the bottom but I don’t have much pop out of the bottom of it yet. Only a couple weeks till I try my pistols so I need to get crackin!

The Man With The Plan

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Alright, since I’m well on my way to the goals I’ve posted for my squat, bench, and deads I’m going to post up some side goals for along the way.  At the beginning of each month I’ll get a video of my attempt at that months goal.  The month listed will be the month I train for the goal posted next to it.  My attempts at this goal will be filmed and posted at the beginning of the following month.

April – 1 Pistol Squat (each leg)
May – 315 x 1 box squat w/ full pause on box
June- 235 x 5 bench press with full pause on chest with each rep
July- BW+100 lbs chin up x 1
August- Bodyweight Snatch
September- Muscle Up x 5

For right now my training will be set up as it was before (M,T,T,F) but I’ll be squatting to a below parallel box with a full pause one every rep, wide grip bench (index fingers on rings) with a full pause on the chest each rep, and more single leg training. It’s nothing crazy, just a slight change up in two of my primary exercises and a variation in the assistance work. Over this year I plan on using primarily Wendlers 5/3/1 as a base program with some slight bastardization here and there. I’m going to experiment with some variations on the primary exercises to see how well they work.

As far as my diet goes I’m going to keep it mostly Paleo (I feel a ton better when I eat this way) and I’m going to experiment with a couple of weeks on the Lean Gains style of intermittent fasting to see where my bodyfat and performance in the gym go.  Still not much in the way of supplements aside from Vit D, acidophilous, and digestive enzymes.  My real goal right now is to slowly put on some lean mass while leaning out just a bit.  The days I lift most of my calories will after my training, the days I don’t train I’ll back my calories down a little.

Oh Snap! Tony G. and Brett C. taking ass and kicking names!

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If you have a little time for some knowledge bombs to be dropped your way these articles are worth reading.  You need to read these in order for them to make sense.  They’re a little long but well worth the read.

#1- Just Say NO!– Life in Synergy

#2- Here We Go Again– Tony Gentilcore

#3- You Just Got Served– Brett Contreras

#4- Woe Be Unto Ye Who Contradicts the Glute Master!– Tony Gentilcore

You obviously have links to Tony’s blog so if you want to read more of Brett’s ramblings check out http://bretcontreras.com.

Product Spotlight & The ROI

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I just stumbled across this product a couple weeks ago.  Even though I’m already on the paleo bandwagon I found this book to be very insightful and incredibly useful. It was written by Diane Sanfilippo who is a Registered Dietician, Holistic Nutrition Educator, and Holistic Lifestyle Coach who has used the paleo approach to eating for several years with great success. You can read more about her own personal story and why she chose this type of lifestyle HERE.  Included in the product is great information on not only how to implement this style of diet, but more importantly why! Plus for $34 and a 60 day guarantee you can’t beat it.

For more information on Diane check out http://www.balancedbites.com.

Crank that ROI!

Now some of you may be asking what the heck ROI is.  ROI stands for Return On Investment.  Basically ROI looks at how much of something you put into a system and how much you get in return for it.  This is similar to investing your money in the stock market.  When you invest you want something that you can put a little bit of money into yet still get a big return.  Fitness should be the same way.  Is it really worth obsessing over measuring every morsel of food and timing every single minute of your exercise?  Unless you are deep into the prep for a specific event such as bodybuilding, or are a professional athlete then I seriously doubt that your fitness ROI is very high.

In my experience I’ve had a much higher ROI when I focus on high quality foods instead of micromanaging every ounce of poorer quality foods.  I’ve had the same experience in the gym.  When I tried to implement several different things at once I invariably forgot about one aspect or another.  By sticking with one theme for each training session or training cycle you’re going to see much better results.

The trick is to figure out which inputs (strategies) give you the best ROI.  You must also take into account the time frame you are working with.  If you have no set end period in which to accomplish this goal you’ll probably never get it.  Pick a competition or something to showcase the accomplishment of this goal.  By doing this you will also be taking advantage of Parkinson’s Law which states that “Work expands so as fill the time for it’s completion.”  In other words if you give yourself a goal but not time frame you just kind of limp along in limbo.  If you give yourself 6 months to do something (and have a showcase of that goal lined up) you will most likely set an unconscious priority for that goal which will help you get there.