Training Plan: Dec-Jan 7th 2012

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I thought I’d let everyone know what I’m doing for my training over the next month.  Initially I planned on moving straight into another 16 weeks of the Jugg Method but I found out yesterday the gym I train at is going to have a push/pull meet on January 7th.  Since I left a lot on the platform during my deadlift at the last competition I’m going do the push/pull meet and skip the push portion.  My right wrist has been bothering me the last month or two and the last week and a half has been the worst of it so far.  I think it’s a combo of some tendonitis and an imbalance between flexor/extensor sleep in my wrist.  To take care of this I’m doing a “No Push December”.  I’m cutting out all pressing to give my wrists a break and bring my back size and strength up to par.  Here is what my training template is looking like for the next 5 weeks.

Monday- Horizontal Pull/Tricep Ext/Unilateral Carry
Tuesday- Squat/Posterior Chain/Abs/Biceps
Thursday- Vertical Pull/Shoulders/Abs
Friday- Deadlift/Single Leg/Bilateral Carry/Abs

Here is what yesterday and todays training sessions ended up being.

Barbell Row- 135# x 5 x 10
Dumbbell Row- 80# x 3 x 5
Dumbbell Tricep Extension- 25# x 3 x 10
Face Pulls- 60# x 12, 70# x 12, 12
Suitcase Carry- 65# x 20 yards x 2 trips

Squat- 200# x 5 x 6
Deadstop RDL- 135 x 8, 185 x 8, 8, 8
Barbell Rollout- 3 x 10
Reverse BB Curl- 75 x 8, 8, 8

The squat and deadlift I have planned numbers I’m going to use but the Monday and Thursday workouts will be more by feel. I’m aiming for a 460# deadlift in January so I have to work on what I suck at. Namely that’s lower body and posterior chain strength so I’m going to hit those like a madman. I’ll let you know in January how it went.

A Tool by Any Other Name…

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Every time you get online there is a new article about the latest, greatest fat burning or muscle building tools.  One week it’s bands, the next it’s dumbbells, the next it’s kettlebells.  The sad truth is, they’re all wrong.

The best tool for body transformation is WILLPOWER.

Do I not use any of the aforementioned tools when I train my clients?  Of course I do.  When it comes to changing how you look the only universal tool is willpower.  Barbells are a specific tool with some specific applications.  Even movements like the squat have a specificity to them. Willpower is your only all-encompassing tool that you have.  Willpower can keep you on your diet, it can push you for that extra rep, and it can make you turn off the boob tube at night and get some sleep.

So where do we get willpower?  It’s something that comes from inside you and no amount of external motivation can change that.  No amount of positive notes you write to yourself and no amount of cheering from your friends can change whether or not you are willing to make the necessary changes to reach your goals and maintain those results.

Changes don’t have to me huge either, they just need to be sustainable over the long term.  This is why having a professional in your corner is so important.  You need someone who is going to teach you proper exercise form as well as how to eat.  Trainers or programs that don’t teach you anything don’t do you any good!

If you have questions about training or nutrition email me at

Interesting Reads

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Here are some cool articles from around the web that I found useful.  This is weeks topic is Fat Loss Nutrition.

How to Find the Right Nutrition Coach- Jen Comas Keck

17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight- Mark Sisson


Get Your Mind Right

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We live in a world of extremes and many of us have developed a very strong “all or nothing” approach to things.  While in some cases this can be good, when it comes to getting your health and weight loss on track it can be detrimental.

“I can’t exercise 5 days per week so I don’t do anything”

“I can’t afford health food so I eat whatever I want”

“I don’t know what to cook so I just eat less”

These excuses all suck for one simple reason, when it comes to health and weight loss everything counts.

I say this because some changes that may seem completely insignificant can have dramatic effects.  Everyone always looks to completely revamp what they are doing for diet/exercise and 99% of the time they are back to their old ways in less than a month.  Massive unsustainable changes are not the answer.  Changing from your regular mocha or latte to straight black coffee may not seem like much but it can save your several hundred calories.  Parking in the stall farthest from the building you are going increase the number of calories you burn each day.  It might only be 5-10 calories but over the course of a year it can add up to an extra 1800 calories burned.  If you know a certain coworker always has candy at their desk then simply not walking by their desk and skipping out on those 2-3 Hershey’s Kisses can save you from an extra 60 calories of hunger inducing sugar.  By adding 1 serving of vegetables to 1 meal each day you add a important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that help control hunger and boost your immune system.

Don’t let a lack of perceived perfection stop you from doing something that will help you get to your goals!

NASA KS Regionals- November 19th

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The competition is coming up fast and I’m excited to see how this short training cycle and the Jugg Method I used over the summer will bring up my total.  I don’t have any plans right now as to what my openers or anything will be but all my lifts are definitely up.  After the meet is over I might post up the training cycle I’m using to peak for the meet.  At the last meet I lifted in the 220 weight class (weighed in at 215) but I’m going to try and get down to the 181 weight class.  I’m setting at 198 as of this morning as I still have plenty of fat to lose.  Here is how my training and diet are currently set up.

Monday- AM Cardio/Abs, PM Lift
Tuesday- PM Lift
Wednesday- AM Cardio/Abs, PM Recovery/Restoration
Thursday- PM Lift
Friday- AM Cardio/Abs, PM Lift
Saturday- Recovery/Restoration
Saturday- OFF

I’ll add more cardio I go. The Recovery/Restoration could be anything from sled dragging, body weight training, or just some more cardio and stretching. I’m training the hell out of my abs and lower back both around my cardio as well as during my training sessions since that’s a major weakness for me.

I’m using a Modified Warrior Diet along with some Creatine Monohydrate.  I’ll only train in the mornings if I have to and if that does happen I’ll backload 99% of my carbs so that I don’t wreck my hormone levels during the day.

Intensification 3s- Military Press

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Military Press-
120 x 1
130 x 1
140 x 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

95 x 12, 8

Defranco Shoulder Tri-Set-
25# Lateral/Clean & Press, 35# Plate Front Raise x 10, 10, 8

Pull Ups-
BW x 36

Pause Wide Grip Machine Row-
120 x 15

Used just a touch of leg drive on my last 5 sets of military press. Kept my feet flat on the floor but got a little knee drive. Progressed in either weight or reps on all my other exercises too so I’m happy. Looking forward to some squats later today!

Top 3 Biggest Mistakes…

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This blog post started out with the goal of highlighting the number 1 mistake people make when attempting to lose weight. The problem was that I couldn’t just pick one! So without any more preamble here are the top 3:

#1- Lack of Consistency

It’s very common for people to attempt to mix and match training programs and diets. They take the parts they like from several different sources and attempt to create their own hybrid program. If you are a skilled trainer you can get away with this but for those who aren’t you need to pick your path and stick to it. Even if you can’t jump in the deep end and go 100% with a diet or training program then you either need to pick something else or make a plan to work into that program 100%. You have one butt, you only get to ride one horse so pick a path and stick to it. Once you have your program chosen stick with it for 8-12 weeks so that you can truly see whether or not it actually works for you. Anything less than that 8 week mark and you won’t truly know since changing the body takes time.

#2- No Method of Progression

This is an issue for both training and nutrition. Many people will jump onto a low calorie diet along with a high intensity or high volume training program. This does not work in the long term because you have nowhere to go once progression stalls other than to eat less and train more. This will eventually burn you out and tank your metabolism which sends you right back to square one or worse because you then have to fix what you old planned messed up before you can get back to making progress. In general when starting a weight loss program you need to eat as much as possible and train as little as possible and still get results. Then when progress slows you can make adjustments to your diet or training to keep progress going.

#3- Trying to Train Past Poor Diet and Sleep

Weight loss is a multifaceted issue involving sleep, stress management, diet, and exercise. Just focusing on one area and excluding all the others will get you nowhere fast. As strange as it may sound, weight loss is about 90% diet, sleep, and stress management and 10% exercise. Exercise does not make your body burn fat, it makes your body burn calories. Whether those calories come from stored fat or not completely depends on how you are feeding and resting your body. Weight loss is a hormonal game. Food and sleep affect us on a hormonal level and if they aren’t in balance then weight loss comes to a screeching halt.

Taking small steps to fix these 3 problems will go a long way to getting you back on track!