Mar 28, 2013

Here we go again. Summer is approaching with the weather getting warmer and people getting their lazy asses back into the gym to try and look good for the beach. How cliche. Had these sheeple only known that if they kept training year-round they wouldn't have to crash diet and kill themselves just to look good for 3 months. The only thing worse than the its-almost-summer-crowd is the way they train. You know who they are: the pumpers, toners, and spot reducers. The ones who do an hour worth of the butt blaster, or eighty different variations of biceps curls, or try to convince you that if they do cardio and triceps extensions they'll lose that jiggly looking thing under their arms. They never get any stronger or build any kind of usable muscle.

This brings me to my point: stop training for aesthetics and start training for performance!!

GSP delivering a head kick to Matt Hughes

Do you think that MMA fighters, wrestlers, pro footballers, or rugby players really care if they have perfectly sculpted physiques? I don't think so. They're more worried about being able to perform at the highest level in their chosen sport. They don't go into the gym and think about how they can take away their love handles or bring up their chesticles. They go into each and every training session with one thing in mind: PERFORMANCE. The cool thing about it is they become more aesthetically appealing in the process. But don't be fooled, they look like they can perform because they actually CAN perform.

Training Like An Athlete

Mar 23, 2013

I've been chasing a new 1RM in my deadlift for some time now. I've created program after program, tweaked popular programs, and tried just about every way humanly possible to peak for an all-out effort just to have a new number to play with. Then I took a step back and asked myself a question: How important is my 1RM?

The answer I came up with kinda stopped me in my tracks ... it's not. I'm not a competitive powerlifter nor do I seriously have plans to compete any time in the near future. So having knowledge of what I can lift for one gut-busting rep really doesn't make much of a difference to my training. Unless it's on a platform during competition it doesn't do me any good other than supporting my ego and having something to brag to my friends about. Lame. Not to mention unneccesary.

I'm pretty sure I will never come across a time in my everday life where I will need to exert a 100% effort in the deadlift (unless some one needs their car moved out of a tight spot like Franco Colombu did in "Pumping Iron"). Plus, the constant chasing has put my CNS on overdrive and left me burnt out. So if I'm not going to be hunting for singles what rep range should I train instead? In my experienced opinion you should ...

Lift Heavy in the 3-5 Rep Range

This will allow you to move a significant amount of weight, will help to build up some high load strength endurance, and will stop you from getting injured under heavy weights with less-than optimal form. We all know things get a little sketchy when you're pushing with all you got. And heavy singles have their place but 3-5 is the bread and butter for the every day strength enthusiast and athletes not competing in strength sports.
Mar 12, 2013

This is a short guest post from my good friend and fellow certified underground strength coach, Laureano Ibarra. Larry currently coaches and heads the strength and conditioning program for some of the nations top and up-and-coming figure skaters in Colorado Springs. Don't let his job title fool you. Larry is anything but a girly man. He grew up in Venezuela, was an accomplished figure skater, and has trained and competed in both Muay Thai and MMA. Not to mention he has more tattoos than a biker bar and is built like a brick sh#t house. He has something to say about the state of affairs of our young "men" in the world today. These are some strong words from a strong dude clearly sick of how the sheeple are acting. Keep reading and be prepared to take notes. Enjoy...

Okay, I'm going to rant a bit ... what the f#ck has happened to men nowadays?! They're nothing but a bunch of whiners and complainers. Every article I read has to do with folks getting their "fee-lings" hurt. I grew up knowing that thick skin saved you from getting a bunch of good ass-whoopings. And even if you did get one, you didn't complain about it. You were thankful for it ... seriously!! We've become uncultured, uneducated, unskilled, weak-minded, rude, disloyal, lazy, and entitled.

Here's my advice:
Mar 4, 2013

I've spoken many times on this site about having a solid training program and have written articles on how to design your own, so that is not what this is about. There are 3 other important factors to keep in mind when trying to dial in your lifestyle to match your training goals.

First and foremost is NUTRITION. You literally are what you eat. Therefore if you're stuffing your face with a bunch of crap you can expect to look and feel like a bunch of crap. My nutritional knowledge isn't the greatest and I am not a certified dietician or any of that mess, but, from experience with myself and with my clients, I can assure you there are a few guidelines that should definitely be adhered to:

  1. Eat more protein. This should really go without saying, especially for females. Protein is your friend. I'm not suggesting that you only eat protein or eat it in surplus amounts, but make sure you're getting in AT LEAST 0.8-1.0 grams per pound of bodyweight. If you're looking to gain some quality weight try anywhere from 1.0-1.25 grams per pound of bodyweight.
  2. Processed foods are the devil. If it came in a plastic package, has a shelf life of a twinkie, or has passed through more machinery than a quart of motor oil, DON'T EAT IT. Stick to real, whole foods like grass-fed lean meats, wild poultry, wild fish, roots, rice, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. Water does an amazing thing ... it keeps you alive. Drink it. If you're on any kind of exercise program you need to make sure you're taking in an adequate amount of water. You need to consume more water than usual in order for your body to function properly and keep up with the amount of water that is lost through perspiration. The easiest way to do this is to skip out on the juices and replace them with good 'ole fashioned water.

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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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