Dec 26, 2012

I'm sure you've all seen people walking around with horrible posture. "Desk Job" posture is the most common I've seen. The tell-tale signs are shoulders rounded forward, chin jutting out, and what looks to be the start of a hunch back. What you may not know is that you could be well on your way to having the same issues, or you might already have them.


What Is "Desk Job" Posture?


Also classified as Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) or kyphosis, "desk job" posture is a series of short and tight muscles paired with long and weak muscles leaving you with a quasimodo-esque, hunched over look.

This is highlighted by overactive pectoralis minor, upper trapezius, and levator scapula, as well as weakened deep neck flexors, scapular stabilizers, and scapular retractors/depressors. That's a mouthful, so I'll break it down into easier to understand terminology.
Dec 23, 2012

This is the final installment of the "Setting Up Your Training Program" series. In this article I will cover what I feel are the best 10 methods to amplify your training and speed up your recovery.

If you haven't checked out the previous articles in the series you will find them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Recovery is a hotly debated topic in the training realm. In my opinion it is the most important part of any program. In fact, once you figure out what you want to train for the next thing in line is how many days of recovery you can allot outside of gym training and/or sport training. The entire program should be based around recovery.

Everyone wants to smash the weights in the gym and hit PRs every time they train (if you don't then you're probably reading the wrong blog but thanks for visiting). This is of course an ideal situation. Life is never ideal, however, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're fresh and ready for the next training session each and every training session.

Before I get all of you to try out these recovery methods and then email me saying they didn't work or you still can't get to your goals any faster, here's a disclaimer: THESE ARE ONLY SUGGESTIONS!!
Dec 19, 2012

This past year has been interesting to say the least. There have been more up’s and down’s, uncertainties, and opportunities than I can count.

But, with all the BS and nonsense I’ve definitely gained some knowledge through experience which will only shape me into a stronger version of myself from here forward. Take a few minutes to read and see if you connect with anything I touched on.


KISS Speaks Volumes


I’ve tried every program, periodization style, method, and exercise under the sun. I can honestly say that I’ve come full circle. After training clients from the general population, college wrestlers, HS basketball players, grapplers, MMA fighters, firemen, police officers, Navy SEALs, Marines, and a bunch of other denominations, I’ve found that the basics work for everyone, every single time. Of course I’ll tweak what I’m doing to suit the needs of whoever I’m working with but I stick to the basics.
Dec 18, 2012

If I was ever asked what my favorite lift was, I would hands down, no doubt in my mind, without hesitation, say the deadlift.

The deadlift is the epitome of strength. It's just you and the bar. There's no way to cheat it. You either pick it up or you don't.

Quite simple sounding until you actually grab onto the cold iron and feel the wraught tension throughout your entire body as every sinew and muscle fiber force themselves to move the weight. It's not only a physically demanding lift, but a mental one as well.

The strongest men in the world have phenomenal deadlift numbers. Back in the Golden Era of bodybuilding, greats such as Franco Columbu had outstanding deadlifts and were actually as strong as they looked.

Dec 13, 2012

It's a shame we can't learn more about exercise from watching kids play. They don't worry about sets and reps, perfect form, the perfect program, or having to drag themselves into the gym after a long day of work. They just go out and have fun.

There's a lot to be said there. Even though kids don't have any of the responsibilities that we do as adults (mortgages, rent, water bills, work, car insurance, putting food on the table), they have one thing we should all be envious of - that sense of "play".

Now I'm not talking about kids these days who sit in front of their computers and interact through a webcam or spend all day playing video games and eating junk food. I'm talking about the good old days when your curfew was when the street lights came on. When there was never a vacant playground. When if there weren't any footballs, basketballs, or baseballs to play with there was a game of man hunt going on. When jumping fences, swinging from monkey bars, and running over, under, and through anything was the norm.

This was REAL playing. So what can we learn from this?

Dec 10, 2012

If you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 of this series, I suggest you do so before continuing.

By this point you should have a basic understanding of how to set up a training program using 3 and 4 days/wk splits. We covered set and rep schemes for strength and muscle-building, order of exercises, pairing of exercises, and other techniques like supersetting.

Being visually more intimidating and as strong as you look is great, but no one wants to be gasping for air after climbing up a flight of stairs. And for all of those who need to lose a few pounds, I’m also talking to you. What I’m saying is you have to do some form of conditioning. This entire article will be dedicated to my favorite piece of homemade equipment – the tire sled.
 

Why I Like The Tire Sled


This is pretty straight forward – it’s basically free. There’s nothing I enjoy more than not having to pay for quality equipment, and the tire sled is most definitely the way to go if you’re on a tight budget. You get all the benefits of a metal sled without the price. That being said here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
Dec 5, 2012

This is part 2 of the “Simplifying Your Training Program” series. If you haven’t read Part 1 check it out here. In this installment we’ll dive into training 4 days per week.

If you’re a raw beginner to intermediate and even advanced lifter, training full body 3 days/wk will keep you going for a while or provide you with a nice break. Moving into a 4 day/wk, upper/lower split is a great option for advancing your training. The main difference is that 2 entire days are devoted the upper body and 2 are devoted to the lower body. We will also utilize a very basic A-B-A-B template. This means you’ll be hitting the same 2 workouts twice per week with the only difference being the rep ranges. The outline will look something like this:
 

DAY 1
Upper
DAY 2
Lower
DAY 3
Upper
DAY 4
Lower
Push
Squat
Same as Day 1
Same as Day 2
Pull
Bend
Push
Single Leg Dominant
Pull
Trunk

 
Days 1 and 2 will focus on strength while days 3 and 4 will focus on muscle-building. Keeping with the simplistic theme, the strength and muscle-building rep ranges, as well as the exercises, will remain the same as in Part 1.

As easy as it looks there are a few caveats that need mentioning:

Dec 3, 2012

With the butt load of information at everyone’s fingertips on the magnificent interwebs, it’s no surprise that one would become completely and utterly confused on how to set up their training program.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
All the “gurus” and “experts” say to do this and that with constantly conflicting concepts (three C’s in a row; should’ve been a rapper) that leave you with information overload. How to sort through the BS and figure out what’s actually going to work is a daunting task.

In this 4-part series I’m going to discuss simple ways to set up your training program and rid yourself of paralysis by analysis.

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Franco Crincoli
I am a personal trainer, strength coach, and all around iron addict, with a philosophy deeply rooted in old school methods. My training has been influenced by strongmen, powerlifters, Olympic lifters, gymnasts, and the Golden Era bodybuilders. I believe in reaping the greatest rewards the simplest (not easiest) way possible and having fun doing it.
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