Muscle, glorious muscle. This goal seems to be an important one to many who have been bit by the iron bug. Yet, it seems as though a multitude of those “afflicted” with this desirable problem don’t ever make much progress in their developmental goals.

Thankfully. the answer is simple and is given to you in the video below in the second part of my  vlog series, The Coach’s desk.

 

 

So take a second to listen and pass it on!

 

Our society places a high premium on mental toughness. It seems like we all know about its power to help us do what is needed in life and to be successful in our goals and dreams.

Yet with such a reverence for this trait of grit, we still have many who lack it. Can we do anything about it?

Is there a way to develop this trait? 

Can a person develop this gift?
I will answee these questions and more in my video below and even give you some insights to help you hone this nessecary mindset.
 

screenshot_2016-05-14-06-34-29.png

In the last 15 years ago or so kettlebell as an effective have grown in popularity. I have been fortunate to have found them in that time period and my life and my client’s lives are much better a result of adding this implement to our workouts and programs.

As a means to give back and to help, I have endeavored over the last three years by this blog to bring simple but not easy workouts that they can do and enjoy. This series is my utter joy and I am thankful for every view, comment, Facebook message and follower that has come through this blog. Thank you each and every one of you for your continued support and for making this series a success!

Now enough with the mushy stuff let’s workout!

 

kettlebell-workout-mark-mellohusky-christian-lee-moses-correa-604x2701[1]

This week’s movement based flow or complex is one that you all will enjoy and is down by doing:

A lateral lunge to snatch for 10 reps each round per side.
Followed by 5 overhead squats
Lastly, three overhead presses

Do it for about 10 to 20 minutes, pick a challenging weight and go to town.

This workout will have you moving better, burning fat , working your heart and building strength.

Check out the video below to learn how to do it:

 

 

 

 

ONCE AGAIN WE HAVE YOUR GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS.

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

My Online coaching program is back, Click here to see if you are candidate for it.

 

maxresdefault[3]

I have a friend that trains with me at my house and he was pressed for time two sessions ago; however there are some drills that he needs to before each session to prepare for the upcoming onslaught of fitness progress.

So being the nice fellow that I am I decided to put together a workout that is all low body and will develop an anaerobic work capacity for him. As a result of those circumstances and my kind side, I decided to develop this workout worthy of the hulk that ends in about 20 minutes and is and was extremely effective to produce results.

63537710[1]

This Workout is done by doing:

8 full pistols a side or wherever you are at in it’s progression (a box etc.)

Then you grab a moderate size bell and do 20 swings.

Try to get in as many as possible in 20 minutes but rest anywhere from a minute to 3 depending on how hard both drills are for you.|

That is it, it is a very simple workout, I will concede. But don’t let its simplicity fool you. After all it is the leg smasher!

Check out the video below to see it done.

 

 

ONCE AGAIN WE HAVE YOUR GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS.

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

My Online coaching program is back, Click here to see if you are candidate for it.

f66b95626fcec3bcce42fd148de184a9[1]

 

 

Lousy/crappy workouts, we have all been plagued by them at one point or another. In fact, sometimes we go to the gym or our workout area feeling good and come out greatly disappointed by our performance in that session. If you have ever had this happen to you, I want you to know that you aren’t the only one and you don’t have to take it personal. I would even dare say that if you workout you have three things guaranteed to you: taxes , death and an occasional sucky training session.

maxresdefault[5]

 

However, there is a way to better prevent this phenomena that leaves questioning your gains and worth as fitness buff, as if all of your awesome previous gains were delusion.

One you have to make sure that you are following some sort of periodized program. Due to our bodies ability to adapt and to prevent overuse of joints, etc. Failure to do so will often lead to the bottom falling out on your results. (More to come on how you can do that soon.)

This post is not about that specific topic but a way to get a glance at your physiology and to know whether or not it is time to kill it, lighten up the load or rest . You may be thinking that you couldn’t afford because it sounds expensive. But thankfully that is not the case, it can cost up to $50 for the accessory and the app can be free. The wonderful thing that I am talking about is heart rate variability or HRV.

 

physical-activity-and-heart-rate-variability-in-hiv-and-methamphetamine-dependence-7-638[1]

As you know, I am a big believer that if you aren’t assessing you are guessing. So before this we used to go back how we feel as to whether we should train or not and it would end up being most of the time because our human physiology is a lot more complex than that. With HRV daily scans, scan get a look a that part of us and see how we ready we are to train and handle stress for each day.

It also can help us better lean our responses to certain foods, our rest needs , issues that are stressful and so-on. This of course will help you improve your health and fitness, due to your eliminating the things that are hindering you without your awareness of them.

 

Now, just be aware that this is not magic and requires a consistent daily scan and the willingness if necessary to not train hard or at all on a certain day due to what is going on in your autonomic nervous and immune systems.

 

 

Let me explain further the readings and what they mean.

It is a well known fact that stress affects us, but what is not a well known fact is that the overload of training is stress also. Which can also affect our health negatively, if we don’t manage  and recover from it.

HRV offers us an objective chance to view how well we are doing in terms of this need. It can show how the stresses of our life can affect our workout performance as well as our food choices (what and how much.) ,sleep quality/ needs  and so-on.

 

 

Now in terms of practical application, you take about two minutes in the morning and then you get a read out of green, which will be something like this:

screenshot_2016-02-08-04-45-18.png
This simply means that you are ok to train and will most likely not have a crappy workout.

There is also yellow:

tracking-for-athletic-performance-and-optimal-well-being-7-638[1]

Yellow as you could imagine can mean that you need to get in some breathing and other activities to balance out your system. Then a not so intense workout.

 

 

Finally there is red:

elite-hrv-elitehrv-morning-readiness-low-hrv-alex-fergus-coaching_large[1]
Which simply means that the day in which that reading was given is a day for mobility, breathing and a nice walk maybe a pooch will go with you.
So as you can see, if you tried to train hard on the last two days with not optimal readings you would have had what you would have called a lousy workout. That is why this post is called a simple way to avoid lousy workouts. So get the strap and spend a few bucks to do so, download an HRV app and get scanning each day to get going and to make serious progress in your fitness.

After spending a little time on developing its technique the kettlebell swing quickly becomes one of the simplest moves that one can do for both strength and conditioning.This week;s workout utilizes this movement plus a carry to build some core strength for you and to develop your work capacity as you do it. Plus this one can be improved upon each week by adding in quality reps and rounds.

maxresdefault[6]

This workout is done by doing:

One arm swings with a moderate bell (16 to 24 kg)
Immediately followed by  a bottom’s up carry  ( You can learn more about it here.)

Keep this going for 20 minutes alternating each side  and getting in as many quality rounds as you can each time.

13240593_1017047688376926_257883518100538809_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

My Online coaching program is back, Click here to see if you are candidate for it.

 

screenshot_2016-05-14-06-34-29.png

 

When I was younger for some strange reason I enjoyed watching The Twilight Zone and in the beginning and at the end of each episode the dude with the cigarette would talk about the person and how they unknowingly were about to enter the Twilight Zone. Then afterwards would give a commentary on them and the lesson that we all should learn from them.

This week’s complex is very intense and felt like I was stuck in an episode of the show so I want to share it with you. It was a complex that made for one of my advanced clients . Then I partook of it and now it is your turn! (do, do, do  that is supposed to be the T.W.Z music!)

 

 

the-twilight-zone_o_1669585[1]

 

 

Enjoy it friends!

This workout is done by doing:

10 cleans

5 Jerks

5 front squats

8 Pendlay rows

All of these use tow kbs and keep it going for ten to fifteen minutes if you dare !

 

 

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

My Online coaching program is back, Click here to see if you are candidate for it.

 

10394116_10204218542642074_6889136178465974389_n[1]

Boxing is my favorite sport hands down. (pun intended) I grew up in a family that our favorite pastime was to “put the gloves on” while having family get togethers. As a result, I started at the young age of 8 practicing the sweet science. My first fight was at the same age and I won it by knockout in the first few minutes. Since then, I fought a few more fights (all wins) and have taught a lot if people the sweet science and good technique for this awesome sport.

 

So I have a bit of experience with getting ready for fights and have put years into learning how to train for this sport in order to be better as a fighter. With all of my experience, I have come to the conclusion that this sport along with others, does not know how to prepare its fighters to perform at higher levels. Now before you start screaming blasphemy, I am not saying that it is always true. Just that in general and in most fighting and boxing gyms there is a lot of misconception when it comes to fighters strength work.

maxresdefault[1]

 

The approach that is often taken in strength training when it comes to building strength and power is often one of three things:

1. It isn’t done. Because, doing resistance work makes you slow.

This thought is very rare now, but there are a very small pocket of misguided well-meaning people who believe this idea. However, the truth is that strength especially when done explosively makes you faster and more powerful. ( more to come on this fact later in the post.)

2. Light weight and high reps are what’s needed.

Again a misguided an unscientific approach to strength work for athletes. again it is a matter of training in the right way with the proper progressions for this awesome sport.

3. Only body weight should be done for a fighter.
One can get very strong with body-weight training only and there are many progressions in this mode of strength work that can get you results continually. However, there are certain movement patterns that cannot get the power that a fighter needs to hit harder, go longer and so-on. in my opinion there must be some sort of external loading at some point to become a better fighter.

The truth is that training for boxing has the same needs as any sport, however the time that should be spent on every quality needed in the sport will be different and the individuals needs must be addressed to give them the tools needed to be a better fighter.

First thing first a fighter needs to mobile and stable:

Having these aforementioned qualities as an athlete are the building blocks upon which any effective strength and conditioning program should be built.

A lack of thoracic mobility and hip rotators mobility will lead to an under-effective kicker or puncher. The lack of full rotation in these parts of the punching pattern will lead to a lack of ability to full force. In full ranges of motion there is power and endurance.

In the same way a lack of the scapula functioning well in the fighter could lead to shoulder problems and once again a lack luster performance by the fighter.

 
There are many other movement patterns that need to be considered as well in addition to just the rotational aspect of the fighting sports. I just choose to use the preceding reasons as an example due to the nature of power generation and torque needed to be successful in these pursuits.

 

After or while we are establishing these qualities a good base of strength should be developed in order to boost the performance of the athlete. This is the absolute strength phase which will shortly be converted to power and then strength and power endurance.

So you see in order to increase power one must first increase their maximal strength for a set period of time. this time period can be for 2 or more weeks depending on the needs of the athlete and the time until an event. Also the movements that the fighter is weak at in my mind should be emphasized until some sort of balance is established and then the conversion to power must happen.

 

 

new-meme-power_o_515862[1].jpg

Of course at this point many coaches may tear their clothes and scream training blasphemy and proclaim how heavish lifting will make the athlete “slow and tight. ” I understand this fear and it is somewhat correct. However skipping this need for the athlete is not the answer. Instead one must pick a weight that they can move quickly, go to full ranges of motion in their lifting and most importantly spend time on mobility.

lastly, you will want to train in a way that will not interfere with their fighting preparation. Low reps should be practiced when the fighter is in their strength phase to combat fatigue, along with waiving loads and getting adequate recovery time in between sets and workouts.

Training for sport requires knowledge, assessment and progression into and out of exercises. It is a repeatable process that should be individualized and programmed to fill in the gaps of the athlete and to help them become more powerful, explosive and to last longer as the fight. Training based on the proper principles will help them do just that, thus making them a better athlete. As the saying goes ” a stronger athlete is a better athlete!”

 

 

screenshot_2016-06-11-07-10-03-1.png

 

Lately I have been training a lot of what some may call strength-cardio, wherein the goal is produce force (not maximum) while keeping my heart rate in the aerobic training zones. Now, if you have been following this blog and my post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (which you can access from this blog.) you know that there many huge benefits that one can get form training in this zone; from heart-health, stress management, recovery form difficult training and so many other great things.

 

cardio_benefits[1]

 

 

So being the wise investor in my health and fitness that I am, I have by collecting these benefits plus some strength work. This is one of the workouts that I have been using with myself along with my ion person and online clients. It is a challenging but reasonable workout that will make you and heart happy with its outcomes!

 

This workout is done by doing the following:

Finding a challenging weight that doesn’t take you into anaerobic training and that you can do for 10 to 20 minutes.

Then do 8 to 10 reps per side, keeping your heart rate between 130 and 150 beats per minute.

Keep it going for 10 to 20 minutes

 

 

 

 

Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

My Online coaching program is back, Click here to see if you are candidate for it.

 

Philosoraptor-meme-7[1]

 

Over the years I have been extremely blessed to mentor new trainers and coaches and to help them get started on their path to what I hope will be a successful career for them. Many of them will ask me questions such as: what are the best exercises/ tools to use? What is the best program to help my clients get the results that they want and so-on. To me these are good questions, but the lack the most important aspect any good and effective program, the why behind it .

You see, any so called training program that lacks purpose and individualization in personal training, will most likely end up leaving the client disappointed. Especially, if they aren’t new to this whole fitness world.

 

57352197[1]

Just random workouts can work in getting a person leaner and somewhat stronger. Yet in my opinion that will only go so far and probably will leave glaring issues that the person has unaddressed. So instead, let’s have a reason for doing what we are doing with our clients.

10419435_840699922690498_3508960699308772770_n[1]

 

This does take more energy and forethought to make this happen, but your success will be obvious to others and lead to great results and joy from your clients!