Archive for the ‘motivation’ Category


Wanting to fit in is a normal human desire and although it isn’t a bad thing in itself, it can influence you to be less than what you are meant to be. I don’t know how many times in the past, I have let this desire control what I said and did. As a result, I had regret and I may have robbed the other person of a chance to grow and improve. Now, I am not saying to correct everyone of every mistake that you may think that they are making or to do so without getting to know the first, but to do so when the time is appropriate and the need is really there.

There is also the need to hold on to ideas so tightly that no other information whether contradictory or even additional thought that is inline with the person’s current ideology isn’t accepted.

These two mindsets are a great way to get stuck inside of a confined space or inside of a box. You see, thinking inside of a box makes what you can do smaller, whom you can help lessen and makes your own world much tinier than it needs to be.

I am not saying to not have some guiding principles for life or for your training, I am simply saying to let those guidelines continually expand and evolve by learning from your mistakes, tracking each workout to see if what you are doing is working. Also have some sort of assessment to do once a month, that can objectively show you if it is. It can be measurements, inbody testing, movement screens one rep max testings, conditioning circuits that once killed and that you can now beat. Whatever fits your goals and that can help you get to the next level in your training.

Lastly when something new comes along get as much information about it as you can, critically evaluate it and make an informed decision on it even if it means that you must change your view and approach. If you do, you will begin to think outside the box and end up better for it!



I am thankful that my job is one that makes a difference. I don’t know how often I have blessed to help people realize their true strength and ability to endure through my teaching and training programs. I can’t count the times that people who have trained with me thought they couldn’t do something and with the right progression and programming bam, they did!

Just the other day on my kettlebell group I had a bunch of members press a heavier kettlebell with one arm that was two to four sizes than they have ever done. I have had two clients get their first pull-up in their life in the last two weeks and other such feats of budding strength.

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(Kevin O nailing his first pull up)

Yet, it seems like there is resistance when it comes to doing challenging moves and developing killer strength. I often encounter excuses when it is time to move on in a programming that someone has been training to do that move. A big one is chin-ups, I often hear statements that lack confidence such as : “that would be nice if I could do one” and so-on. We often think that moves such as chin-ups and pistols are for the few “freaks” and that we will never be able to do them. However, when we think that way, we limit ourselves and don’t realize that the person doing them is human as well.

(If I can, then you can too!)

Here is the thing though, you will need to train specifically of you have a goal like that. You also will need to learn how to program and progress, you will have to stick to a routine, in spite of the fear of boredom. Then you finally, you will have to adjust to what is going on in your life.

Just remember, you are stronger than you think and with some good training, you can also achieve awesomeness and develop the moves that you want to. So get working and do awesome things!

As a bonus here is a a client that embodies this mindset and knows that she is strong:


This is sadly the last post of this series on the chin-up and if you read all of them, then you probably can now do a chin or many. If that is the case, could you take the time to let me know at, I would love to hear from you about it and to be able to celebrate with you. I know that these principles work. But I could even use a bit of ego stroking sometime! LOL. Also if you weren’t relatively strong to begin with, it may take a bit of time to get to doing chins and that is ok, be patient and build up your strength with the movements and programming points that I gave you and you will. (Then you can also send me an e-mail as well after you do!)

After reading all of the former rants on this move and training it stands to ask the title of today’s post, where do I go from here? That is what this post will answer briefly to help you get some ideas for further progress and not simply going into mindless training. As I always saypointless training is almost pointless.”  (At least from a progress standpoint anyway that is.)

Weighted chins

This is almost a given way to progress your strength in the chin-up pattern, you can pretty much load any part of your body and do a weighted chin. No here is my opinion on this and a good way to progress since you are reading my blog, I would start with a weighted vets or a weight in a back pack first. This will prove to be wiser as a beginner to weighted pulls simply due to physics. Make sure that you are using the irradiation concepts from post #3. (Click here for that) Then progress to a belt after a while and finally with a kettlebell around your foot, this is an easy way to get stronger without adding in load.

Single arm progressions:
If you can’t or don’t like to load your chins, you can simply progress your strength by going into one arm chin progressions.

Here is an example of one such variation:

Better form:
Improving your form is another easy way of developing strength without burning out and is a great idea to prepare your body for the more advanced moves. Also have you ever tried to make your form better on an already difficult move, it is very tough and will quickly make you question your toughness and strength!

Pull ups:
Yet another simple way to progress is to just change up your hand position. If you turn your palms out from in the movement will become harder due to the muscles involved in the move. This is also a good way to find out how much back that you are using in your overhead pulling as opposed to biceps.

Pause reps:
Once again we can make this move more difficult by adding in a pause on the top or bottom in order to remove any elastic energy and to have to overcome the resting inertia with greater force than what you weigh. This is one of my favorite ways to get stronger, because it offers true feedback to your strength levels and gives you a great feeling of satisfaction after you do them. (Well at least for me.)

Strength endurance is another way to progress this move by methodically training to increase your ability to do more chins in a row over time.

Once again these thoughts are not all of the ways to get stronger and to keep making progress in your back work. But there are some ideas to use to further your results in your training. Pick the one or ones that appeal to you as a fitness buff and use them. However, make sure to wave the volume, loads, reps, rest periods and various forms of chins to make sure that you are staying healthy and not injuring yourself in your training. Also take a week or two off from the over time to not create a resistance against to as you train. Think long-term in your training and just short-term ego boost and long-term injury as a result!

I hope that you enjoyed this series. Please take the time to e-mail me your results once again and also, let me know if you want to learn about any fitness topic.  Thanks for the follow friends!

If you read all of this and don’t  know where to start, I can help you by my assessment and training program to start exactly where you need to be to get results. Are you ready?! Click here to get started.

It seems like so many people who train pretty frequently and live a good healthy lifestyle cannot not perform a well-executed chin-up. I am sure that there are many reasons why this is the case. such as: lack of knowing how to progress, lack of spending time on a progression until it gets easy(ish) and of course the fear and weakness mentality wherein the trainee doesn’t think that it is possible for them. Usually these people will express this with sayings as follows: “ that would be nice and do you think that I can?!”  So just before we get into this post and series, I want to share the fact with you that you can! You just haven’t trained yourself to do it and if you did, you didn’t stick to the program long enough to earn the movement or you weren’t training the right way to get to this goal of the upper pull.

So this series will take you through some of the progressions that I have found to people to their chin-up that have worked even in one session! But before we begin to dive into the progressions, let’s first talk about your mobility and stability; you see if you don’t have adequate mobility to get in the proper position you may never be able to do your first full upper pull. Simply due to the fact that you cannot fire the right stuff at full capacity in order to produce the strength needed to chin.

To me the most important position is your arm position. In other words can you get your arm or in-line with your ear without cheating (rib cage flair) ?


If no you have some work to do in order to better prevent injury mas you do chin-ups or as you work on the progressions that I am going to give to you in this series. Remember friends that mobility comes before stability and then strength comes into play; if you want to continue to keep making gains in your training, otherwise injury may end up derailing you.

There are a few things that can be the cause of this lack of good shoulder positioning for overhead work. There could be an under active muscle in the movement chain, so that your body shuts it down to protect your joints and muscles from tearing. It could just be a mobility restriction due to poor posture. Or it could be poor breathing patterns causing tightness in your t-spine and making you also unable to this move.

In order to find out what the problem is, you will want to do a corrective drill and see if your lock out gets any better. For example try breathing and then immediately reassess the issue and see if it improves if not try another drill and so-on until it does.

I won’t get into breathing and t-spine drills too much because I already wrote a post on this very subject.  (Click here to get it.)

However, I do want to talk about some ways that one can get their arm in the proper position to begin to do this movement for the long-term while better preventing injury.

As you know the beginning of this upper pulling move is abduction or arms away from your mid line. If you cannot achieve this position in your set up you may have either one of this problems or all in some regard:

You have tight lats that are pulling your arm forward and internally rotating your humerus. This is a simple one to fix, either do the bench thoracic opener or the deep squat lat  stretch popularized by Eric Cressey to help you get in the right position.

Next when a muscles is over active another is under active. So you will want to do some serratus drills and or low trap work to create better balance and overhead arm position.

Serratus activation:

Low Trap work:

Achieving your first chin-up may require more thought and effort on the front, but making sure that you can get in the right position, your chances of progress will go up. Also some of you may get your first chin with the help of these drills given above, if you have been training for one with no-avail. So get to work friends and keep following this blog for this series, my weekly workouts and other good stuff like the next few parts in this series!

This week’s title seems kind of funny. Doesn’t it ? Isn’t that say bottom ‘s up a drinking phrase? The answer is yes, it is. But in the world of kettlebells training as you may know, it is way of placing the  kettlebells handle down and the bottom up to make strength gains, enable people with bad shoulders to press at times , build grip , stability and s to improve your overhead press technique. So yes, bottoms up to your strength. Now let’s get on to this week’s workout!

Weekly Workout: Bottoms up to your strength (an intense kb workout)

( the Bottom’s up donut press a super advanced variation brought to you by yours truly)

The Bottom’s up variations are a bit advanced and only should be done in lower reps and by those who have been training with kettlebells for a while. If you however are beginning to do them, then do 1 to 3 reps each time as you do this week’s straight workout. As a side note, if you want to know if you are ready for bottom’s up, can you keep your wrist straight   on your other kb drills? If the answer is no, work on that and then move on to b.u. Otherwise you will regret trying to do the more advanced stuff, when you don’t have the basics down.

This week’s workout is done by doing:

1 B.U. clean to press up to 3 rungs
10 1 arm swings
suitcase carries 50 steps a side

Repeat this for 10 minutes while getting in as many quality rounds as you can and if you need a back off move for the B.U.P use a regular press or a push-press.

Have fun destroying fat and building strength with this workout and the other weekly workouts!

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.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!

I hope that you have been enjoying this series and that you have been learning how these principles will help your training. Lastly, I hope that you figured out how to apply them to your own fitness and have gotten better as a result. As this series continues strive to add them all into your training, because as you so you will see that they are all part of the tapestry and when they are woven together in your fitness, you will get a tapestry of amazing results! (Click here if you need to read the last few posts in this series)

In light of that, this week’s point is a very important one and is often not applied well or it is taken too far. That principle is the overcompensationprinciple. This concept is absolutely essential if you want to get any results from your fitness. So ignore it at your own frustration and lack of results.

Before we begin to apply this principle to our training we need to understand how the body works. It is a basic exercise principle that our body has two phases when it comes to exercise, it is either at rest or being challenged by something that taxes it as we exercise. Then the body’s response to the eu-stress, it will then adapt and adjust to the stress. The result is more conditioning and strength and a leaner and better physique as well.

Now a failure to do so will lead to a lack of results and not breaking out of the rest zone as you train. That is why it is easy to get results when someone goes from the couch to doing anything, due to your threshold being so low. However as you go along, you will need to continually overload or use the progressive overload principle to continue to change and get to your goals.

So the choice is yours, you can either overload and get results and continue to do so in conjunction with the other principles that I have given and will in the next few posts. (If you don’t want to miss out on the fun subscribe.)  Or you can try to seek ease and comfort and end up not getting results. Then you can play the blame game by blaming others and your genetics. I hope that you choose to overload progressively friends!

Stay tuned to this blog and subscribe if you haven’t yet, because next week we will apply this principle with the overload concept. You will not want to miss out on it!

Over the last few weeks we have been reviewing what I call my ten fitness commandments, these commands aren’t really commands but more principles- that if you apply them, will help you make progress in your fitness training. If you haven’t read those posts you can read them here and here. Today’s post is the third installment and the second training principle that will help you finally make or make even more fitness progress.

“Thou shalt:” Track your progress

You may journal your days now at the end of the day or if you are like me, you did it when you were in grade school for English class. It is true that this act is extremely useful in helping you become more productive and to help you learn from your mistakes. I do not journal my days at this point in my life, but I do try to reflect on my day in order to become better as a person and so-on.

Not only is this concept useful for enriching and making our lives better, but it is also a powerful principle if you  apply it, to make progress in our fitness and nutrition. (   So that is why I say, Thou shalt Track your progress. This post will show you how to do that and how it will help you!

It is very easy to think that we are doing something that we are not, if we don’t have a feedback loop to help us see what we are doing exactly. In contrast, it is also easy to think that we are doing worse than we actually are and not making any progress whatsoever. The feedback loop that I am talking about in this case is a mode of tracking our fitness. This thought is easy to do and only takes a few minutes to do. However, if you do you will be very happy with both your short term and long term goals that you will be able to accomplish in your fitness goals.

The practical part of this is very easy; get a note book of some sort. Plan out your training program based on your goals, then do your split. If you are a body-builder or have B.B. type goals, you will want to plan that accordingly and make a plan that works different groups of muscles with different volume and loading. If your goal is power, you will want to plan out what moves you will do on certain days and your periodization.  (Heavy days, light days etc.) You will also want to pick your accessory moves and so on and for how long you will do each cycle with the loading you will use throughout.

While you are tracking it is good to keep track of your moods, sleep the night before, nutrition (how you ate) and so on. This little extra effort will help you pi-point the things that keep you from performing your best on each session and give you some insight into when you need to rest and de-load.

Tracking is a powerful tool in the war for improved strength and conditioning levels. So it is most definitely worth the effort and you will also learn a heck of a lot about yourself as you do. So take the time to track and plan this will also help you with last week’s point as well in planning, sticking to the plan and improving your plan. So start tracking and get the benefit today!

Remember “thou shalt track!”

Fitness can be an awesome self confidence booster. Getting stronger, smashing p.r.s and meeting challenges is enough to infuse even the most critical person with self-love and belief in their ability. This is one of the greatest gifts that are given to fitness buffs on almost a daily basis. However, what if you find out down the road that you missed something as you developed as an exerciser?

This is when many people will stubbornly not accept their need for regression and just blindly move ahead. Usually this is when all progress stops and many fitness peeps will either begin to de-condition and even quit all together. It doesn’t have to be this way; you can continue to make progress in your training over a lifetime. It will just require that you will need to step back at times to continue to move ahead.

The goal of this post is to show you some of the benefits of regression and to give a general guideline when to take a step back. However, please be mindful that things can be a teensier more complicated than just one post can give, but for those that need this information and do it, it will help.

First thing that we have to deal with when we talk about this subject of regression is our mindset. Regression is not punishment, failure or anything negative. In fact it is a good thing wherein we learn much about ourselves and become a bit more humble at the same time. So when it comes down to needing to step back don’t resent it or take it personal. You are going to get better if you do!

In light of that let’s discuss the benefits of training as such.

• Recovery: When you train hard and for a goal, you will get tired sometimes. This sort of step back to improve your technique is usually done with less weight about 60% to 70% one rep max. This lighter loading can give your CNS a chance to bounce back and the results can be fantastic!

• Better technique: This kind of goes without saying, you are stepping back to move ahead with the form that will lead to progression and greater gains along with better safety as you train.

• Strength gains: It is a common thought that the quickest way to get stronger is to work on your technique. You will be surprised the strength gains that wait for you!


• Better combat against overuse: Over-training doesn’t just come through the too much too soon and often effect. It also can happen due to poor technique on a lift or move. If our form isn’t safe then we will end up stressing the wrong muscles in a pattern and the result can be needing to take off extended periods of time from training due to over-use.
• People will compliment your form: You have probably seen all of the videos on You-tube, Facebook and other social media sites that show people whom simply blindly train without taken time to improve their movement and technique. They usually end up being trolled and embarrassed as a result. Taking the time to improve your technique will not most likely help you avoid this, but it could also lead to compliments on your technique.

I hope you see by now that when necessary or even as a time of de-loading regression isn’t a bad thing. I often tell my clients about the rubber band and if you pull it back it goes forward with greater force and impact. That is what regression can be for the fit person, it is an opportunity to go even further with much better long-term results and staying healthy as you do!

One day while training at the gym that I work at, one of my co-worker’s client would respond to almost anything that I would say with that phrase, “that’s what she said!” Bless his heart he was trying to be funny, but he really ended up making more mistakes with it. (using it with at the wrong time) In spite of his errors at least he was trying to joke and have fun. (Too many people are miserable and have no sense of humor in the world.)  He also reminded me about an important principle of training and fitness called: The S.A.I.D principle.

If you are unfamiliar with this concept it is: Specific Adaptation Imposed Demand. In other this thought teaches us that if we want a specific result form our fitness work, we must train  the right way to get it. Do you think that most people are doing that and following this idea?  Or do you feel as if most people have no idea how to train for what they want to have and are just going through the motions? Today’s post will shed some light on this concept and how to utilize it to get fitness results!

In layman’s terms this concept simply means, you will get what you put in;  or the result of your training will be in accordance to what you do in it. So if you want to body-build, you will have to do workouts that will build muscle and eat in accordance with your goal. You wouldn’t do what some people refer to as “functional training.” Just for the basic fact that this will not get you to your goal of being big.

However, balance in our training is essential and you will need to do things such as mobility and some stability work, regardless of your overall goals. Yet, this will be done in addition to your overall goals and can be trained as a warm-up or a super-set.

Now let’s break down this principle in order to better apply it to you life.

The type of stress and the approach of training must fit your goals and the outcome that you desire. This means that if you want to grow your chest, training your lats. will not get you there. You must work that group, in a way that it will grow. There are different approaches to achieve this outcome, you could do mid to high reps or 5 x5’s and so-on, just take the one that will get you want you want form your training and the one that you can stick over the long haul.

This is where the results happen as you train and over-load your body; your body will adapt to the stress and if you are keeping it specific will get you the change that you want in your body. As this process goes on, there is a need for advancement in order to continue getting results.

This means that the stress is forced on the body by the trainee and not something that just happens by itself. You must also be aware that this principle will also be at work if you choose to be a coach potato. Your  body will adjust to that as well and make you de-condition, become overweight and unhealthy.


What kind of eu-stress are you making your body endure or what kind of demand are you making to adapt to? As always, the level of stress that you put it under must not be too much or it will take to long to recover from. But it also must not be too little or else there will be no change. Your focus should be as you train to “stimulate and not annihilate yourself.” Contrary to many training  circles you don’t have to be sore every workout or not be able to move the next day. In fact moving and functioning are good things and should be what a good program produces as you train. So figure out what that balance is for you and get lasting, long-term results!

Following this basic principle will help you archive your goals as a fitness buff. It is a concept that will help you guide your training choices and keep you in line with your goals. So remember to apply this point to your training and just remember ” that is what she S.A.I.D. !

It seems like it was a long time ago when my training manager told me that he had a 6:30 A.M. appointment for me. If I can recall correctly, it was the very next day. So I came in with no real history on the person and didn’t even know their gender or name. While I was there – a woman approached the desk and said that she had a 6:30 with Moses. I think she may have even been disappointed that I didn’t seem to “fit” my name. (I actually never asked her that, but it seems like sometimes people expect Charlton Heston when they first meet me!)

I began to train her that day but didn’t realize her potential until after a few sessions. However, as soon as I did, it became apparent that not only did she work hard; but that she had an amazing ability to be strong! From there we have developed not just a trainer/trainee relationship, but she has also become a friend. I highly enjoy interacting with her as well as “putting her through the wringer” every now and again.


It has been many years since we started working together and Christine has made so much progress in all the aspects of fitness and health. Since she started: she has dropped fat and built some muscle, gotten very strong, done a double body weight deadlift and close to body weight bench, finished a kettlebell 5 minute snatch test and has smashed so many more awesome challenges! Christine is one of a kind and I am so glad to able to train such an incredible individual and to have been able to do it for so many years now!


Here is a little video of my friend in action in this video she did 10 minutes of one arm swings each side on the minute. The kettle bell’s weight was 24 kg or 53 lbs. . In addition to this, he has also swung the 48 kg (106 lb.) kettle bell for reps as well as other very impressive feats as I stated before. Christine keep up the good work and you will be nailing a full pistol before you know it!