Monthly Archives: May 2016

Okay, Picking up where we left off, which was the conclusion of squats and now we’re heading into bench press. For me, bench press really didn’t seem like anything too special. Although, my opener and my second attempt were both meet pr’s, I just didn’t feel too amped up around this time. The meet and the flights were starting to drag, and I felt like I was beginning to tire. During bench, I was giving lift offs to my girlfriend, as well as another teammate who was also giving me a lift because that’s how we were doing it in our training cycle, and that’s what we felt comfortable with. I would find myself struggling to pay close attention to make sure that I wasn’t missing giving anyone a lift, and also that I didn’t miss my turn to warm up for bench. I would try my best to listen for names being called out over the mic over the loud music.

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My female client was the first to go hitting her opener with ease. She hit her second attempt, and ended up missing her 3rd because the bar was dropped a bit too low on her chest and she just got out of groove. I know she had it in her though because she hit it in training. My girlfriend opened with 185 making it look easy, and jumped to 200 for her second. Now she hit this plenty of times in training, but I will admit that the jump made me a little nervous. She ended up hitting that as well, but just didn’t have enough left in the tank to hit her 3rd. Its kinda funny because that’s how it went for all of us. I ended up missing my third, which was my heaviest weight I hit in training at 295, but it just wasn’t there on meet day. My male client had things go exactly the same for him, hitting an opener at 315 easily. Smoked his 2nd attempt, and just didn’t have enough to make his third. At this point you could pretty much say we were all having the same meet. I’m sure we wanted more, but all in all were probably okay. one thing to remember is that things can always be worse.

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The morning had slipped into the afternoon, and the afternoon had slipped into the evening and it was now time for deathlifts. For me, now was the time to start getting amped! I’m not sure if it works for everyone, but I can’t seem to rip a barbell off the ground if I’m calm, cool, and collected. I think by this time everyone was ready to end the meet and go home. Fortunately for me, deadlifts don’t require and knee wrapping, or lift offs, so for the most part everyone was on their own at this point. The first flight went, which included my female client who ended up going 3 for 3 on her deadlifts pulling a nice 315 on her 3rd attempt. Up next was my girlfriend who had pretty smooth 1st and second attempts. From there, she wasn’t sure what to do for her third. She only needed 15 more lbs to hit an elite total for her weight class. In order for her to get this, she needed to pull 350. She asked our head coach for his opinion and he said to go for it, which I think was a good call too, I mean why not. She ended up getting it off the ground, but got called for a hitch. I spoke with her afterwards and she knew that she had hitched it, she said she could feel exactly when it happened. She didn’t blame the judges one bit on their calling. Next up was my male client. Although he was in the second flight, our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd attempts were pretty much identical. He ended up going 2 for 3 hitting his 455 opener with ease, but just didn’t have enough left to hit his 500 3rd. He has hit that in training,but just wasn’t there on meet day.

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Finally it was my turn! One of my fellow teammates, who was also a judge at this meet was there from my first attempt, all the way to my last in my ear giving me the encouragement that I needed. He could see that I was starting to drag and that I needed some amping up if I was going to pull my shit together. I puled my opener pretty easy, second attempt went descent as well. Now, I had set my third which was 500. I had not hit this number yet in training, but I had hit 495, so I knew it wasn’t completely out of reach. But I had also missed it twice in training. I had my entire team behind me supporting me, when I happroached the bar it felt as if everyone in the gym was cheering for me. I grabbed the bar and started to pull, a smile gradually started to fill my face! It actually felt a bit easier than I thought it would. I made locked it out, and returned it to the ground. I can’t even begin to describe the amount of joy that fell over me! One of the greatest feelings in the world!

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Best lifts and totals for everyone:

Myself: squat-460 bench 285 Deadlift 500 1245

Courtney: squat-300 bench-200 deadlift-335 835

Sarah: squat-245 bench-155 deadlift-315 715

Cody- squat-400 bench- 325 deadlift-475 1200

I just want to take a moment to say how proud I am of all of them, everybody gave it their best and that’s all you can ask for. It was definitely a learning experience for me, and this is something that I will remember for the rest of my life! How could I ever forget the first time a became a competitor and a coach! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us, there is so much more to come.

Picking up on where we left off last time, which was me trying to find some last minute assistance with wrapping my knees. It was at this time that I was doing my warm up sets on squats, and I was trying to get at least one or two sets in with wraps before my opener. All the while this was happening, my girlfriend was taking her attempts in the second flight and needed my help wrapping her knees. Prior to any of this, my female client had already taken all three of her attempts in the first flight. Unfortunatley, she missed her opener due to not hitting depth. The weight was not an issue for her, it was most likely due to her still not quite trusing the wraps, and not opening her hips enough on the descent we’ve all been there a time or two, I know I have before and probably will again. When she came back over I told her not to worry about it, the weight wasn’t an issue, she just needed about another inch to hit depth. She smoked her other two attempts. My male client was also in the second flight, and he had one of his good friends do his knee wrapping for the meet. He ended up going 2 for three on his squats, missing his third attempt. Not bad for squats on your first meet.

 

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Now, back to myself, on my first wrapped warm up set of squats I had another gym member and friend of mine do my wrapping. This guy was also competing, but he was in the third flight. I wasn’t particularly too nervous about this because he was actually my wrapper in my very first meet almost a year prior to this one. To be completely honest I wasn’t really feeling the wrap that well, and I knew I needed to do something and do it fast. I ended up asking another teammate if he would mind helping me wrap. He was cool with it. He was in the second flight, so he would’ve been completely done with squats by the time it was my turn. This ended up working out quite well. Warm ups went good for the most part, and I ended up going 2 for 3 on my squats, just barely missing my 3rd. I was almost up with the weight, then I lost my back and started to collapse, I’ll have it next time! My girlfriend pretty much ended up in the same boat as all of us, and ended up going 2 for 3 on squats, just missing her 3rd attempt at 315. I know she’ll have it next time too! Tune in for part 3 to see how it all ends!

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Since the last time I wrote in here, I have an interesting training cycle for USS Nationals.  After my first attempt deadlift during the King Of Spring powerlifting meet on April 30, my wrist became swollen and pretty painful.  After two weeks of little to no improvement, I had some imaging done that revealed a scaphoid fracture.  Dr. Detweiler and Yvonna Covington, our staff Chiro and massage therapist, both did some assessing and advising.  I also informed Kalle Beck, who has been doing my programming int USS Nationals and will do so afterwards as I eyeball the first Pro Womens Worlds event.  He made some swaps and I have been able to train around it pretty well.  Though frustrating, I have found myself in the care of people I believe to be the best at what they do, and will continue my plan to compete on June 11th.

Log may be interesting, as driving the log backwards wont be happening.  The fingal finger may also prove difficult.  We shall see.  I will be sure to post an update as we go.IMG_3352 (1)

Starting a journey in fitness has the potential to be very confusing and difficult. There are many things to consider, ranging from the correct facility to train at to the proper shoes to wear on training day. I’d like to look at two options that will potentially help make your fitness journey less confusing: hiring a personal trainer and purchasing online programming. This will be a two part series in which we will look at when to consider hiring a personal trainer as opposed to purchasing online programming. In the first part we will discuss how personal training can provide you with the knowledge necessary to get results, offer accountability, motivation, and help you get past injuries and plateaus to reach higher levels of fitness. 
The first, and arguably, most important reason for hiring a personal is because most people just don’t have the knowledge on how to train properly to reach their goals (Now on that topic, the staff at NBS Fitness has very strict educational requirements to become a personal trainer. Most facilities do not hold education to such a high priority. You could call the current staff at NBS highly educated meat heads.) Most commonly, people lack fitness know-how at the beginning of their fitness journey due to lack of experience. Could you imagine doing a bunch of random exercises with no guidance for months on end and having zero results? It happens more than you know. We see it on a daily basis. Knowing how to properly use the equipment goes hand-in-hand with this experience. Even the hammer strength equipment can be used improperly if the correct muscles are not being activated. I urge you not to be afraid of asking for guidance especially at the NBS facility.  This applies to beginners and experienced gym members as well. The NBS facility has every piece of equipment that an individual could need to achieve any fitness goal.  Unfortunately, all of that is a moot point if you don’t use it correctly.
Some individuals struggle with accountability. This is another great reason to hire a personal trainer. Having a monetary tie changes the mindset of some individuals and keeps them motivated to come train. The monetary accountability usually changes as a bond is formed with your trainer and they become your motivation and accountability. I know for me personally, as a strength coach and personal trainer, my goal is to have my clients comfortable and efficient with everything I teach and to progress them to the point they are capable of working out on their own with online programming. I do not think one should feel uncomfortable in their facility, nor do I feel people need to have a personal trainer indefinitely.
A third reason personal training should be considered is if you are an experienced lifter who has reached a point where you are getting injured or hitting a plateau in your lifting. One can only try so many different variations without success before you should seek help. Why not enlist the help of a professional who has a background in the area you are struggling with? The cues and technique changes needed for experienced individuals are very precise and may not be seen by your normal lifting partner. Hell, you may need to enlist the help of many experienced lifters and coaches to come up with a plan for success depending on your level of experience. No one in the strength realm has progressed to the top without seeking help from other experienced coaches.                                
These are my top three reasons to consider hiring a coach/personal trainer based on what I have seen in my time as a strength coach, personal trainer, and powerlifter. Stay tuned for the second installment of this article to see the considerations of purchasing remote (online) programming over personal training to advance your fitness goals further than you can imagine.

Right now, I’m reading a book called “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, I’m only about a quarter of the way in, but so far I’m really enjoying the perspective he gives. I enjoy “self-help” books and particularly ones that are a bit more religious but I go in waves of the type of books I like to read. I figured I might start adding some book thoughts and take-aways to my blog about what I’m learning from the books I read so you can benefit from it as well. So far, the writer has mostly talked about the ego and everything that makes up our ego. How it latches on to possessions, title, money, lifestyles, physical appearance and forms what we think is our identity. How ego satisfaction is short-lived and always wants more. If you are trying to find yourself or your “identity” in things then you will never be satisfied– you will keep consuming, keep buying. If we aren’t aware of our ego then it can easily lead to us feeling superior to others for what we have, the experiences we’ve had, how strong we are, how much we know, etc.

I’m not posting about this because I think everyone needs an ego check but just to share with you some things I’ve found interesting so far in the book. We all have our take-aways from what we read, see, or experience but here are some of mine for you to contemplate. If you’ve read this book or read the quotes and want to share your thoughts on it, I’d love to hear about it!

“Many people don’t realize until they are on their deathbed and everything external falls away that no thing ever had anything to do with who they are. In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless. In the last moments of their life, they then also realize that while they were looking throughout their lives for a more complete sense of self, what they were really looking for, their Being, had actually always already been there, but had been largely obscured by their identification with things, which ultimately means identification with their mind.” 

I think about this a lot actually. Sure, having a nice house and the best gym outfit is great but is that what I’m going to think about when I’m about to die? Probably not, I assume I’m going to think about what I did with my life that was fulfilling and with purpose. Did I maintain good relationships with the people that are closest to me? Was I a genuinely caring person or did I burn a lot of bridges in my life? Did I fulfill my dreams and see all the places I wanted to see? Did I help people? What do you think you would think about in that moment?

“Renunciation of possessions, however, will not automatically free you of the ego. It will attempt to ensure its survival by finding something else to identify with, for example, a mental image of yourself as someone who has transcended all interest in material possessions and is therefore superior, is more spiritual than others.” 

“If you take away one kind of identification the ego will quickly find another.” 

This is interesting because this trap is so easy to fall into. Trying to be a better person by giving to the poor, volunteering, or whatever it may be but then having this feeling of being superior to those that don’t. That somehow we are better than others because we did something we thought was selfless or humble. The book talks about being aware of your ego and I think that is one of the best things we can do. We are all human and our thoughts can get the best of us sometimes, but being aware of those thoughts and trying to redirect them is a really good start.

“Complaining is one of the ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself. Every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in. Whether you complain aloud or only in thought makes no difference. Some egos that perhaps don’t have much else to identify with easily survive on complaining alone. When you are in the grip of such an ego, complaining, especially about other people, is habitual and, of course, unconscious, which means you don’t know what you’re doing. Applying negative mental labels to people, either to their face or more commonly when you speak about them to others or even just think about them, is often part of this pattern. Name-calling is the crudest form of such labeling and of the ego’s need to be right and triumph over others: “jerk, bastard, bitch” — all definitive pronouncements that you can’t argue with.” 

I see this a lot working in the fitness industry and I’ll admit to catching myself doing this quite often. Anytime you get a large group of people together we will always feed off of each other. If there is a lot of “ego” in those groups then name calling, judgments, and gossiping are going to be some of the main topic in conversation. This leads me into the next quote about non-reaction or just staying out of it.

“Non-reaction is not a weakness but strength. Another word for non-reaction is forgiveness. To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through. You look through the ego to the sanity that is in every human being as his or her essence.”

I witnessed a perfect example of this just the other day. A person overheard another person say something about him/her behind their back to one of their friends and they practiced non-reaction. They later expressed that they didn’t want to involve themselves in that because they try to stay away from negativity in their life. This person realized immediately that the other person was simply feeding their ego to make themselves feel better or to look cool around their friends. If only we were all that good at practicing non-reaction or forgiveness!

“The thought forms of “me” and “mine”, of “more than,” of “I want,” “I need,” “I must have,” and of “not enough” pertain not to content but to the structure of the ego. The content is interchangeable. As long as you don’t recognize those thought forms within yourself, as long as they remain unconscious, you will believe in what they say; you will be condemned to acting out those unconscious thoughts, condemned to seeking and not finding– because when those thought forms operate, no possession, place, person, or condition will ever satisfy you. No content will satisfy you, as long as the egoic structure remains in place. No matter what you have or get, you won’t be happy. You will always be looking for something else that promises greater fulfillment, that promises to make your incomplete sense of self complete and fill that sense of lack you feel within.” 

This quote is similar to what I touched on earlier. Becoming aware of your ego and knowing that things won’t satisfy you. So what can we all take away from that?! Stop being such a douche and be nice to people and I will too! Along with other things.

 

Michael Waltermeyer is not new to powerlifting. He has previous experience but has been out of the game for over a year prior to this meet. Michael attempts to balance a crazy schedule as he is in school to be a nurse anesthetist. He busted his tail to make training sessions and pushed himself, during the process he lost a little bit of weight, gained some muscle and felt overall pretty good going into the meet. We decided not to do a water cut due to his stressful schedule. Post meet Michael decided to join the dark side again and hop on the NBS Fitness Powerlifting team, welcome, again.

Michael’s last meet, as stated above, was over a year prior to the “King of Spring”. Although it was in a slightly lighter weight class you can see significant progress was made while dealing with a hectic schedule and if you see him in person put on some good muscle as well. He had a very successful day, and posted a new total PR in the 198 weight class. His next meet he will be set up for success to increase his total and drop a weight class to join me in the 181’s.

Best lifts prior to meet:

Squat – 485

Bench – 295

Deadlift – 485

King of Spring Results:

Squat – 560

Bench – 320

Deadlift – 495

From time to time I’ll think back to when I first started training. Pretty much my entire youth, especially when I hit puberty and grew in height far faster than I did in width, people would make comments about how skinny I was. Like many teenagers awkwardly moving throughout their pubescence, I was trying to find my identity and didn’t really like being called “skinny”. Especially not when the people I looked up to (sports start and action heroes) were far from skinny. I began my fitness journey around 14 years old doing push ups, pullups, situps, and throwing around some 5 and 10 lb dumbbells my dad had in our play room. Eventually this led to my parents purchasing a weight bench with several attachments that I proceeded to break and finally a secondary weight bench that I proceeded to outgrow when I began high school and could train in their weight room. When I could finally drive my parents agreed to get me a gym membership and I split time between that gym and my high school weight room.

When I first started training, I would do exercises out of a book my dad gave me from his youth (aka the 1960s) but I eventually graduated to coming up or copying routines from Flex magazine (not much better). I did all kinds of silly nutritional tricks that I thought would pack on the muscle and melt away the fat. Not too long ago I used to say “I wish I knew then what I know now” and “If I had only been following intelligent training and nutrition from day one, where would I be now?” but now I don’t think that way. I am actually very thankful for time period from about 14-22 where I did primarily dumb “meathead” things. Here are what I am most thankful for:

1. Not having easy access to the internet and not having Facebook
Back in the day, I trained by myself for myself. I didn’t have a giant social network that I needed to keep updated or try to gain attention from. There wasn’t a plethora of information for me to try to sift through and a million different training programs and ideas. This kept me focused on what was important: training hard and being consistent. Now a days so many people fail to gain traction in the training (and results) because they are continuously bouncing from one training method and program to another. They are bombarded by thousands of fitness “stars” showing them hundreds of different ways to exercise. One month they want to powerlift, then they want to olympic lift, then they want to bodybuild, then they want to be functional but they never spend enough time in any one method to see the results they keep chasing after. Along with that, the focus of living the lifestyle becomes portraying to your social media following that you’re living the lifestyle. It’s become more about posting videos, selfies, and the most ridiculous motivational fitness memes. Don’t get me wrong, I like the social support and the easily accessible information that comes with all this but is it really necessary to post a pic of everything you eat? Do you need the warm embrace of your Facebook friends every time you crave carbs? Do you need to post every PR when you’ve only been lifting for a year and every single lift is a PR? Maybe this is just me having a “get off my lawn moment” but I really am thankful that when I started, the focus was more about what you actually did that what you posted.

2. Lifting on crappy equipment
You won’t appreciate good equipment until you’ve spent plenty of time lifting on crappy equipment. I started off using cement filled weights, graduated to standard size metal weights (the really small bars that had screw on collars), then finally graduated to rusted olympic bars and dumbbells that were donated to my high school. I can honestly say that every step of the way I was super excited about the next piece of equipment. When you’re used to not having any equipment, a set of cement filled plates or standard size plates is the greatest thing ever. I vividly remember both times we put together the new weight sets at my house. When you’re used to training in a small room with limited equipment, getting an entire weight room of rusted old barbells is the greatest thing ever. When you’re used to rusted bent bars, shiny new things are the bee knees. When you’re used to shiny new things made for commercial gyms and general pop, the highest quality strength equipment on the planet from EliteFTS is heaven. From 14-22 I lifted on equipment that was not so great and it wasn’t till I was 26 and opened NBS that I got to experience the worlds best equipment. One of the reasons I purchase the absolute best equipment is because I know what it’s like to lift on stuff that sucks. Spending years lifting on crappy $100 bars will make you truly appreciate the $800 squat bar.

3. Doing dumb things and still getting results
While I am very much aware that I could have gotten way better results had I done things the right way during my youth, doing dumb things and still getting results has helped me gain a perspective that many aren’t fortunate to have. One thing I learned is that if you train hard, eat right, do it consistently, and don’t have hormonal problems, you can get amazing results without the most ideal program. People are quick to jump ship or talk negatively about a certain training style but more than likely, it’s probably not the training method and probably the person utilizing the method. Likewise, just because you’re getting results, doesn’t mean your program is good. Anything gets results on a beginner so don’t think you’re the god of programming because you helped a beginner go from 135 to 225 on deadlift. Also, when you do enough dumb things that don’t work or get you hurt you start to learn pretty quickly what to do from what you now know what not do. If you’ve never experienced the repercussions of doing dumb things, how can you appreciate or even trust the wise advice from someone who has. Learning things the hard way seems to be a little bit more likely to stick.

How about you? Any things from when you first started that you look back and laugh about or appreciate? Leave a comment below.

I go out of town to visit family in Alabama often and over time I’ve had to learn how to adapt to training in other gyms. I am spoiled at NBS and when it comes to the equipment and training atmosphere, I have yet to train in a gym that compares. So, when I go out of town I have to make a few adjustments to my training to make sure I’m successful. It’s easy to put your training to the side for vacations, weekend getaways or work trips but let’s face it, doing that isn’t going to get you closer to your goals. Here are a few things I do when I know I have to leave town and I can’t carry NBS with me. Hopefully some of these will help you stay on track and train when on the go.

Have a plan

How easy is it to say you will pick it back up if you never even have a plan to begin with? Super easy! Using programming is a whole other article itself, which Bobby covered last month, but if you don’t have a plan then you can pretty much guarantee you aren’t going to do it. Plan your workouts ahead of time and make yourself do them. Google is an amazing thing and it will tell you what gyms are in the area you are visiting. Most websites will list hours, day pass prices, and have pictures of their equipment. If they don’t have that then simply call and ask if they have what you are looking for. Something like “Hey, do you have a squat rack with a barbell and a deadlift platform?” will work. Obviously, your questions will be different depending on your training, but you get the picture. Having a plan is your first step to being successful and not getting off track when it comes to training out of town.Screenshot_2016-05-09-07-41-36

Have a backup plan

Not all gyms are as awesome as NBS and some might not have all the equipment you need. If you’ve done your research and are still out of luck when it comes to specific equipment then have a backup plan. Look for some substitute exercises to do with standard equipment that you can find in almost every gym. No prowler? That’s okay, go outside and push your car. No GHR? Well, get someone to hold those feet down and do a Nordic hamstring curl. There are ways to mimic different movements, just do your research and plan ahead. If you can’t find some dumbbells and barbells then you aren’t in a gym! Also, if you can’t get to a gym at all then try doing a bodyweight workout. This isn’t ideal but something is better than nothing. Keep up your cardio routine too, that’s the easiest thing to do when out of town.

Rearrange your workouts

Another option is to rearrange your workouts so that you can use the equipment you need without making changes. This wouldn’t work for a full week of travel, but if you’re just going for two or three days then this works perfectly. Sometimes, if I’m heading out for the weekend and my Saturday consists of heavy deadlifts, anything involving bands or specialty equipment, I will move that workout and swap it with something more simple like an upper body day. This has been a great way for me to make time for friends/family while out of town because my upper body workouts are usually shorter and I don’t have to trade out exercises or equipment.  It also keeps me from having to carry my own chalk, bands, or worry about slamming weights in the gym.

Do what you can but don’t stress about it

If you do all the planning and make an effort but still can’t get any training in then don’t stress about it. Enjoy a walk outside, stretch or do some yoga.  You can still do some sort of activity to feel good and stay somewhat active. A couple days off won’t kill you but making your goals a priority is definitely a good habit to have. If you’re serious about your goals and training is a part of your life then you will find ways to keep it there when life happens. You wouldn’t just quit sleeping for a week if you couldn’t carry your bed with you everywhere right? No, you’d probably find a different bed that might not be as comfortable but does the job.

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If you tend to struggle when you go out of town or away from your normal schedule then use some of these tips next time and try to stay on track. The more you do it and get used to making adjustments the easier it will be and you will find what works best for you. Don’t let traveling get in the way of what you really want. But, if you don’t REALLY want it then this isn’t the article for you!

 

Hannah has been a client of mine for 2 meet cycles prior to this one (almost a year). She too is in school and has the challenge of making it all work and come together on meet day. This meet was a bit of a surprise for us both as we originally were just going to have her to a mock meet (perform three attempts on one day during the week at the gym to test her strength) instead of the meet due to her school schedule, scientist field work stuff, and presentations. Toward the end of our training she found out a bunch of stuff was cancelled so she decided to dive into the meet which was not a big deal, she was on course to do well.

Hannah was coming off a rough meet prior to this one where she did not hit all of her numbers that were projected in our training, as well as, a few minor ailments that kept her from deadlifting the style she was comfortable with. This meet was a very big come back and confidence builder. She decided not to cut weight and just roll into this meet with a clear conscious and focus to finish and hit numbers to giver her a better total. She ended with PR’s in all of her lifts resulting in a 35lb PR total! This girl has been through all the up’s and down’s in training and it is fun to see her pull it all together!

 

 

Best lifts prior to meet:

Squat – 230

Bench – 110

Deadlift – 230

King of Spring Results:

Squat – 245

Bench – 115

Deadlift – 245

College is a time of experiences, and these experiences will shape you as an individual. For athletes, I think this is doubly true. Not only are you experiencing living on your own, meeting new people, etc., but you’re also influenced by the values, lessons, and demands of being a competitive athlete at the same time. Let’s face it, high school is not the same as college. The demands during and out of season are drastically greater in all aspects. Intensity AND frequency is greatly increased in everything that you do and if you are in one of the bigger flagship sports, there is a slew of other pressures involved as well. A team (and individually each player) and it’s coaching staff are much like a child and their parents in the sense that often times the team or individual’s attitude, character, and morals are a direct product of those values held by their coaching staff. These ethical standards and what importance they are emphasized in the program will be evident as a team or individually in each player.

During my time at the University of Iowa, there was a sleeve on the inside of our lockers in which we would get notices, reminders, and motivational quotes from our coaching staff on a consistent basis. These could be announcements about practice schedules, important stories in the media that related to subjects relevant to the program, or even motivational quotes. Often, after a few days you would throw these away, but some were impactful enough that they made it into your binder or personal folder for reflection later on. A select few made a big impression on me and represented something or someone that I truly found to be unique. As I am currently preparing the new office in our NBS facilities, I brought out this particular document from 2010. It will be the centerpiece for Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance’s Wall of Champions (more on that later). It is a quote which also reflect and match my view on the values of a champion that I credit to the University of Iowa football program and others such as the story of Coach Ed Thomas for instilling in me during this period of growth. Though the quote is directed towards football, I’ve been able to apply it to many different situations in life, and believe it to be interchangeable across all applications; sports or otherwise:

 

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*Final Note*

For those who do not know who Coach Ed Thomas was, he was a legendary football coach and even greater role model in the state of Iowa. My high school was lucky enough to share ties with his program at Applington-Parkersburg, specifically the offensive line camp that our two schools participated in each summer in high school. He built a monster program out of a town of less than 2000 people that produced multiple standout college and professional football players. He was even more well known for the lessons, work ethic, and moral fortitude that he instilled on his players and that town. He was nationally recognized for these attributes and at the time of his tragic death in 2009.

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Over the past six months or so, I have heard the following cues be subject for criticism:

“Break at the hips first”

“Break at the knees first”

“Sit back”

“Knees out”

“Pull the bar to your chest”

“Shoulders down and back”

“Activate your lats”

Criticisms have ranged from “I think there is a better cue” to “wow, whoever uses that cue is a freaking idiot and shouldnt be breathing my oxygen. I hope they fall off a cliff.”

I think listening to criticism is crucial for your development, but I also think that effective cuing follows the rules of everyday communication.  Develop a relationship with your client.  Take note of what appeals to their own sense of movement, and speak to their understanding.  If you are using all the “right” cues and your client isnt making progress, then there is a break down of communication.  Thus, the cue isn’t useful.  To illustrate my point, I dig back to the summer of 2014.

Strength and Conditioning grad assistant Jim Seratt was spending time training youth athletes at a private clinic.  One kid in particular was having a hard time getting his hips in proper position for a sumo deadlift.  After 10 minutes of technically sound cues to no avail, a frustrated Coach Seratt blurted out “put your butthole on the floor.”  Almost instantly, the youth shifted his hips into what we would all recognize as a nearly perfect position, and rarely had an issue with set up beyond that point.

Not a pretty cue, but it was effective.  Exactly what we are after.

When I was getting ready for my week long vacation I pretty much decided I wasn’t going to worry about my diet or training while I was gone. I was okay with it and felt no guilt because I had been training consistently without any significant amount of time off in over a year. It was time. A couple months before my vacation I started to loosen up on my diet and started trying to eat more mindfully. Instead of eating at specific times of day and weighing out everything I would eat when I was hungry and stop when I was full and have healthy things that I would really enjoy. I was still eating good amounts of protein and not overdoing it on carbs, but I was slowly trying to be more flexible. I enjoyed s’mores when I went camping with my niece and nephew and I didn’t measure out everything that went in my mouth. I was relaxed about it which set me up to be able to handle my vacation and not gain a ton of weight. During show prep and right after prep, this would have been impossible. Prepping for a show is difficult and can lead to serious binging and a negative relationship with food for some. I think I did pretty well in the process, but it can be hard to not live for your next cheat meal. I was sick of that mindset so that’s why I decided to allow myself some flexibility in the weeks leading up to vacation. I even stopped having huge cheat meals for a while because I didn’t really want them anymore after I stopped obsessing about them. I was able to maintain my weight doing this which was nice because I’ve been on a plan for so long it was scary to risk gaining weight by going off plan.

On vacation, I didn’t train (I went to the gym once but only did 2 or 3 things– so I don’t count it) and I ate whatever I wanted when I was hungry. We did walk a lot and we were active with volleyball and swimming everyday but there was no structured exercise. I ate burgers, donuts, fries, ice cream, subs, steak, cereal, bagels and a ton more and it was amazing. After all of that, I only gained about 2 pounds on vacation. I like to think it was because I gave myself some freedom before vacation to stabilize my weight by being mindful of what I was eating and how I felt eating it. I was able to stay in control on vacation and not binge the entire time because nothing was off limits anymore. By telling myself I could have what I wanted if I really wanted it, I no longer felt the need to go eat 6 pieces of pizza at once.

To me, there is a time and place for both approaches. The majority of the time I need to be on a strict plan because I find it easier in everyday life to prep my meals, eat for my training, and feel good about what I’m eating. It can stress me out more not having a set goal and a plan to get there. On the other hand, through time, prepping and measuring food and carrying meals with you everywhere you go can wear you out and lead to serious binging and derailing fast. It’s important to find what works for you to reach your goals but to stay sane at the same time. I’m all about my goals, but I also don’t want to wake up when I’m 95 years old and regret not living life a little more when the time was right. Yes, I plan to live that long.

It’s been two weeks since I returned from my much needed vacation and I can happily say I’m down 7 lbs. That’s the 2 I gained on vacation plus 5 more! I’m back to packing my meals and eating to support my training. I’m glad I took it easy for a few months; it got me mentally ready for the grind to lose some fat again.

This past weekend was the second time that I have been privileged to attend BBQ fest.  The first time was when I was in high school and had no idea that I couldn’t just try all of the food I could find.  This time was much more enjoyable, but I did notice some interesting things about the festival this time around that could alter the entire festival!

  1. This is an extremely exclusive event- As much as we proclaim southern hospitality and as gracious as people were to allow us to try their food, you have to know someone in order to get anything.  If you don’t have an inside man, you won’t be able to try the food or partake of the other stuff that attracts thousands of people to the bluff city.  I found out that this is the case because most of these vendors don’t hold the proper licenses to supply food to the public so they can’t legally offer food or beverage for sale.  Also, most of the teams have yearly dues in order to pay for the cost of food, alcohol, and to rent the space/ entry fees into the festival so most people don’t want to just give away their hard earned money.
  2. The party doesn’t stop- I asked a friend “when did you start drinking”, his response was “Tuesday”!  The problem was that I asked him this on Friday night.  Most people take days off of work for the festival including the following Monday for recovery purposes.  To the casual observer, BBQ fest starts on Thursday when the gates open, but the teams are setting up shop and start cooking on Tuesday.
  3. Parking is….awesome?- The money I had to fork over to spend a few hours at the festival and walk a mile is crazy.  First off I’ll be honest my cardio isn’t what it once was when I was doing weak people things like jogging; a mile walk is a lot more burdensome than it should be.  Then their were like 2 proms, a wedding, and a funeral (probably accurate) all going on downtown at the same time.  That being said the next issue was just not being aware that the tent I was invited to was on the opposite side of the river front from where I parked, so I’ll take blame for that one.
  4. Restroom Shortage- When you mix 10,000 plus or minus a few people with large portions of BBQ and Alcohol their will be a disaster zone.  Walking through the crowd feeling like you need a hazmat suit.  The best idea anyone has had was holding the event outside, because they would probably have to burn the building down.  It was worse than shoving 60 powerlifters with high protein diets and fresh off of a water cut into a single gym with only 1 or 2 stalls.  No matter how you plan this thing out, you will always need more bathrooms, so when you think you have an adequate supply- get 10 more!
  5. Ingenuity- It was amazing to see all of the vendors and the ways that they come up with to make money off of things like t-shirts, key-chains, and mix tapes.  My thought was much more practical.  I could make a killing just setting up shop and selling Imodium and B-12 recovery treatments.  That’s just simply supply and demand economics.
  6. No Vegans- It was incredible the entire time I was there I didn’t have a single person talk to me about the benefits of being vegetarian or vegan.  I had no idea that such a place existed.  I at least expected to have some picketers or something telling me that pork lives matter (epic name for a new BBQ fest team) or something about save the ozone.  I should go ahead and start a team for next year with that name, but if someone takes it just give me credit and send me a t-shirt.

If you haven’t been to the festival before, do yourself a favor and find someone that has a team and check it out next year.  It was a great time with great people and friends.

The best thing about metal music is that there are million sub genres to fit all the different tastes. In today’s metal song of the week we get a little taste of Swiss Folk Metal from the band Eluveitie. The band has 8 current members that play everything from guitar and drums to bagpipes, violins, mandolas, and harps. They combine some traditional celtic music with new age metal. Slide into your kilt, lace up your sandals, and enjoy Luxtos.

I was talking with a member today who was curious about competing in powerlifting for the first time and what some solid numbers for him to put up would be. The conversation contained some good tidbits that I think many of you may find helpful and/or humorous.

-There are standards that exist in all areas of life but what’s most important is that you have your own standards for yourself and hold yourself to those standards. The question posed was “What are some solid numbers to shoot for” to which I responded: a double bodyweight squat and deadlift and a bodyweight and a quarter to a bodyweight and a half bench. These are numbers I think the vast majority of adult males should be able to accomplish within the first couple years of training (females as well although I would adjust the bench down to a bodyweight bench) without having to do anything too crazy. These are the numbers that show you are strong, fit, and obviously train. They won’t win you any world records but if that’s not your goal then who cares. Something to shoot for if you’re trying to come up with some goals.

-Likewise, everyone should have some goal in mind when training. Even if your goal is just to be healthy, having some solid, objective goals you can work towards makes a big difference. This could be 10 pushups, 1 pull-up, running a mile without a break or being able to fit into smaller pants. We’re all going into the grave one day so better set some standards for how you want to live before that happens. I hate to think that the vast majority of people are on a slow decline from age 25 till death, watching their health and fitness slowly pass away with short bursts of half hearted mitigation in between. Who wants that on their tombstone? “Here lies so and so, they lived without standards”

-Just because something works doesn’t mean it’s the best way, safe, or even inherently good. Rape can be an effective form of impregnation but I seriously doubt anyone believes that makes it “good” or even a viable option. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people argue ridiculous training or nutrition habits and methods because “well hey, it works so I just do it”. Well hey, you’re just dumb.

-In fitness, there is an inner circle that contains 10% of the people and 90% of the knowledge and an outer circle that contains 90% of the people and 10% of the knowledge. When someone in the outer circle begins to learn something, they compare themselves to other people in the outer circle and comparatively they are extremely knowledgeable. This can lead to them having a skewed view of where they stand between the two circles of fitness. If you only have a limited amount of knowledge, then you aren’t quite aware of all the things that you don’t know. This can lead you to believing you know a significant amount. Unfortunately, for many people in the fitness realm (especially those with experience) this can be a major limiting factor in their total progress. They believe they know so much that they have no need to continue to learn from outside sources. However, if they are open they’ll slowly slip into the inner circle and have an epiphany moment in which they realize how much they don’t know. To be truthful, they will continue to have these moments as I continue to have them. A couple instances in which this happened to me was the first time I heard of Westside Barbell. Their strength standards to get an invite to train there were at a 1000 lb squat, 600 lb bench, 800 lb deadlift, and/or a 2000 lb total. This blew my mind as I didn’t know these types of numbers were even possible, much less the standards to join a gym! Learning this lead me to seek out more information and was what initially started be down the path that has brought me where I am today. Another instance was during some PT clinic hours in which the head PT asked me how many muscles attached to the scapula. As I fumbled and bumbled trying to think of the correct answer, he told me that if I couldn’t name the muscles that attach to the scapula within 3 of the correct answer, then I had no reason ever working in the field. That was another eye opener. This also goes back to the topic of standards from before. As I was made aware of what more potential existed, I was forced to raise my current level of knowledge and ability to hold myself within the standards I had set for myself.

Marc came to me very close to competition time asking for programming. Although this is not the most ideal scenario we still made it work. He has an athletic background as a competitive hockey player which aided him in self motivation and having a competitive mindset. We did not have much time to build strength with Marc but we were able to peak his strength for this meet. No matter the result, as long as he made it through the whole meet the day would be successful as this was his first.

Marc has been training the “big three” lifts for quit some time but never structured to prep him for a meet. his best gym lifts prior to the meet stood at:

Squat – 330

Bench – 245

Deadlift – 435

So these numbers are what we based his training off of. I implemented principles of Prilepin’s chart when peaking Marc which resulted in him putting together a 1005 total @ 165

King of Spring Results:

Squat – 350

Bench – 240

Deadlift – 415

Now to some of you reading this you may say, “well that looks like a failure since his numbers went down”. This statement usually comes from individuals who have never been on the platform at a meet. Competition day changes everything you think you know about powerlifting. The way everything feels is different: weight, body, wraps, bar, platform, bench. All of the variables are changed from when you train, hell, you have an entire crowd watching you on top of three judges looking at your every move. So at the end of the day Marc made it through and took all his attempts. I recall him coming up to me after missing his last deadlift and mentioning, “I am completely smoked”.  This is a normal feeling after performing several lifts in the 95% + range while being judged.

With all that being said, I congratulate Marc for finishing his first meet and posting an official total to build off of for next time!

If there is anyone out there following along with my posts, then you know that I just recently competed in the RPS King of Spring meet here at NBS Fitness. What some of you may not have known is that I had two clients that were also competing in the competition, as well as my significant other, along with many other teammates. This was my first time having clients compete in the same event that I was participating in, in fact one of them was in the same weight division that I was in. Most of us, excluding my female client had water cuts leading up to weigh in day, which I think made some of us a little more nervous than usual. Check my cut out here.

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One thing that made this competition a little more challenging than others was the fact that almost all NBS team members and just members in general were competing. This made little things like having a handler, and a person to wrap your knees a little difficult. With this being the case, most of us finally learned how to wrap our knees during the peaking phase of our training cycle. If you are interested in learning how to wrap, the check out this video. As long as I had another individual to pull the extra slack out of my knee wraps while I was actually doing the wrapping, I was good to go. Both of my clients had never really used wraps before, but I had both of them train with them in the last weeks of peaking, so they would at least have gotten under a heavy bar a couple of times with them before meet day.

 

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With the day of the competition approaching rapidly, I knew that I would be wrapping myself, my girlfriend’s knees, and at least one of my clients, along with a superstitious teammate on the women’s powerlifting team who didn’t think she could hit a heavy bench, unless I wrapped her wrists. When I thought about all of this, it didn’t seem so bad, in fact I thought it would be a breeze.

 

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So here it is, Saturday April 30th 2016. The day has finally arrived and we get to have our first powerlifting meet in the brand new facility for NBS.  Anyone who has ever competed before knows that 9 times out of 10 you are going to be crammed into a pretty small place with a bunch of smelly and sweaty powerlifters all around you. During warm-ups I felt like a chicken running around with my head cut off, and I felt like that’s what everyone else looked like too. For many competitors, it was their first meet, which can always be a little nerve wrecking. Finally, the flights were posted. One client was in the first, another in the second, along with my girlfriend. I was in the last flight, along with some of my other close teammates, including my friend and fellow trainer who was going to pull the slack out of my wraps for me. In fact, he was about 3 people after me. After seeing the flight posted, I asked him if he still thought he would be able to assist me and he said he didn’t think he could swing it, and I couldn’t blame him one single bit. I got pretty nervous at first because I felt like things were already going wrong before I even got under the bar, but I just remembered what our coach had told us before, and that was the fact that things are never going to go exactly the way you want them to on meet day. You just have to adapt and change, so that’s what I did. Stay tuned for part two, to see how things went from there.

Dealing With Disappointment

On April 30th I took to the platform to put my hard work on display for everyone at the King of The Spring Meet at NBS Fitness.  This was my second powerlifting meet and I was nervous as this was the first competition that my family would be able to see me in.  I stepped up to the platform with a goal of a 1425 pound total in my mind.  After a grueling and intense day filled with ups and downs I fell short of my goal by 50 pounds.  I was disappointed.  I felt like I had let my team, my family, and even worse myself down.  Everyone in the course of their lifetime will encounter a time that will cause grief, heartache, and sorrow.  Disappointments are a part of life and the sooner you and I learn how to properly cope with these disappointments the sooner we will progress towards success.  I want you to know that when I say disappointment, I mean feeling like you’ve failed even when you have done everything in your power to succeed.  This principle extends far beyond the scope of powerlifting into every aspect of life; however for the purpose of this article I will concentrate primarily on lifting and the struggles that come with it.

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Disappointment vs Regret- the difference

Disappointment is extremely different than regret.  Regret is the emotion you feel when you miss an opportunity or failed to reach a goal but you didn’t actively pursue a different outcome; you simply wished for the outcome to be different and got upset when things didn’t fall your way.  I was disappointed in the results of the meet, but I didn’t regret the meet or my attempts at the meet.  I knew what I had trained for and how hard I had worked.  I trusted my training numbers and knew that if I had a great day I could have a 1425 pound total.  I would regret missing lifts if I had missed workouts or phoned in my training.  My disappointment arose from knowing that I had gas left in the tank on certain lifts and knowing that my technique and not my strength or hard work had failed me.  I was disappointed in my performance and I’m going to share with you how I overcame that to save you some time and grief.  I’m going to share three lessons that I learned from the missed lifts at the meet; each lift taught me a different lesson as I reflected on where I broke down.

Lesson 1- The Squat- Reflection and Activation

               My third attempt on the squat was set for 500 pounds.  I wrapped my knees as tight as I could, tightened the belt, got under the bar, stood up as hard as I could, then I went through my normal cues.  As I came to the bottom of the lift the bar started to roll forward on my back and all of the preparation in the world couldn’t save me from the inevitable miss of the lift.  My hips shot up, my chest collapsed, I lost tension and the bar rolled up to my neck and were it not for the intervention of the spotters I would have dumped the bar forward over my head.  I have reviewed this lift more than any lift I ever have before, because it’s the first lift that I have ever had the strength to hit and not gotten white lights at a meet.  As David Allen has taught me, “I learn more from my missed lifts than I ever do from the ones I hit.”  This is my opportunity to reflect on what happened, to learn from the mistake, and take the appropriate action so that it doesn’t happen again!  It would be easy for me to say that I was winded from the wraps and didn’t set into my belt hard enough and blame it on some freak incident.  The truth is that I got overhyped and didn’t complete all of my cues.  I know that my back wasn’t pulled in tight enough and that is what caused my upper back to round and for me to almost drop the bar.  Now every time that I squat, what do you think is my first cue?  I don’t want to miss another squat because I don’t pull the bar across my back.  Take time in your life to reflect often of your goals and ambitions.  When you don’t reach a goal evaluate what went wrong then take action to correct it.

Lesson 2- The Bench- Prepare for the Unexpected

Few things in life that are worth have come easily; let me correct that and say nothing in life that is worth your effort and time will come easily.  Expect the unexpected and build a team to help you get past these walls or plateaus.  On the second attempt of the bench I set my traps into the bench, waited for the commands, pressed, and as I pressed my entire left spinal erector seized up into a giant mass of useless garbage.  I’ve never had a back cramp before and hope to never have that same experience again.  I thought to myself there is no way I can take a third attempt but I have to or I fail out of the meet.  Christian informed me that I could in fact skip my third attempt and save myself for the remainder of the meet.  What was more important one lift or a better total- this could be an entire new lesson on its own.  Then I was able to have my back worked on for a few minutes by Memphis’ best massage therapist Yvonna, if you haven’t seen her yet go ahead and get an appointment.  The pain subsided and taught me that pain is an important reminder that something is wrong.  You feel pain to teach you to move differently or change your approach.  My team was able to help me discover what the cause of the pain was and how to correct it.  Find a team and surround yourself with like-minded people to push past your plateaus!

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Lesson 3- The Deadlift- Finish Stronger!

At this point I was still in pain and my mind was shaken up about the two lifts that I had sacrificed to the meet.  I had lost 25 pounds so far in the competition with the opportunity to finish up strong.  I began my warm up and completed my first two attempts.  At this time exhaustion has become a huge factor in my ability to perform.  I was fatigued and upset but I still could reach 1400 pounds if I got my final attempt.  I did everything I could to mentally prepare myself including getting a few love taps from friends.  I stepped up to the bar and for the first time in my lifting career my grip failed me and  my hips elevated as the bar didn’t budge.  My hopes for 1400 dashed in an instant.  I didn’t set correctly at all.  When talking with Jim Sadler later on he told me he could see that I was in pain but wasn’t going to say anything that would cause me to lose focus on my goal.  I couldn’t get the bar off the floor because I let the fear of my back creep into my head.  The greatest obstacles in life and in lifting will come when the weights are heavy and the stakes are at their highest.  This is when you have to be prepared to push back with everything you’ve got.  If you fall short it will be okay because you will know that you didn’t allow yourself to shrink in the face of adversity.

No Ragrets- not even a single letter!

Life and weights will give you all the resistance you can handle.  It is your choice to determine if you will stand up with the bar, or let the weights determine your destiny.  When I look back at the meet I improved my overall total by 70 pounds in a little over four months.  I was satisfied with the results because I knew that I had given my all.  I also know that I am not done yet; I have a lot more in me and look forward to the next meet when I will destroy my current numbers.  I will continue to reflect upon my lifts and what happened to me each time I approached the platform so I can hone my skills.  I will have my team around me to help me get around the obstacles that stand in my way that I may not have the ability to get around or over on my own.  I will finish stronger than ever because I know that the finish line is what matters, not the numbers I use in training.  I know that if you will learn and use these lessons in your own lifting and life that you will be able to destroy the finish line and reach your goals!

Christian hired me to work with him on nutrition to cut down to the 181 class for the XPC at the Arnold. When Christian first came to me, he was weight between 195 and 200. He was eating around 5-6 meals a days with protein around 50g per meal, fats around 15-20 grams per meal, and carbs really low at around 20g on training days only.  He wasn’t really sticking to any plan on the weekends either.

 

Starting off we reduced his fats and protein just a little and bumped his carbs up and added in 20 minutes of steady state cardio 4 times a week. We also worked to just lock the diet down a bit more especially on the weekends. Christian started dropping weight fairly steadily. We did make a few minor adjustments to his carbs throughout the time, dropping them down and dropping them out a few meals. This ended up accelerating his weight loss pretty significantly to point where we started adding carbs back in. Once we had his metabolism rolling really well we had to monitor weight very closely so that he didn’t drop too fast. Several times throughout we had to do a high carb load to bump his weight back up. We eventually go to the point where he was actually eating more carbs and total calories at the end of the diet than he was at the beginning. Making weight was very easy, we didn’t have to do any water or sodium manipulation and we even had him eat throughout the entire day on Thursday. He weighed in slightly under weight at 179 on Friday morning making for a total weight drop of about 16-20 lbs. We had him back up to 191 Friday afternoon and in the high 180’s on Saturday morning, right where he was used to training at. Christian was great to work with as his body responded perfectly to every adjustment we made. After his post meet meal, he had some pretty gnarly vascularity in his legs too.
 Christian Collage
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Plantar fasciitis is a common condition of the bottom or plantar surface of the foot in which primarily the plantar fascia, a supportive structure in proper foot biomechanics, is irritated and stressed to the point that it becomes painful. In many cases, the pain can be severe enough to alter or even disallow walking.

 

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Plantar Fasciitis. Digital image. Plantar Fasciitis. MedlinePlus, n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

 

For clarification, in order to establish the correct line of treatment it is best to be diagnosed and managment by a health care professional (MD, DC, DPT, DO, etc). Depending on the health care professional you seek out, you will have different strategies of treatment. For those that are specifically looking for more non-invasive, conservative options and are willing to invest some extra effort in order to maintain function, there are multiple approaches to consider. Here are three of them.

 

1. Address Muscle Imbalances

Since your body does not exists as a bunch of structures that are independent of each other, in any injury it is always wise to to consider causative factors within the region. In the case of plantar fasciitis, this is often going to be calf and achilles tendon tightness. As you may be able to tell from the above picture, the achilles tendon is practically a continuation of the plantar fascia structurally. Biomechanically, stress is absolutely transferred from the achilles tendon and plantar fascia. In plantar fasciitis, there is an all to common correlative cause between tight calves and achilles, which is backed up with increased success when therapy extends to the calf muscles. Work your calf muscles out either by stretching or by utilizing eccentric training to help better adapt the achilles to stress. An example of this would be standing calf raises with a 3 or 5 second eccentric or down phase followed by a one second hold and stretch on the bottom of the movement.

 

2. DIY Therapy: Ice Massages and Foot Rolling

In plantar fasciitis, the most painful times for those with plantar fasciitis are typically in the morning as soon as you get up from bed, and after long periods of sitting or relaxing (i.e. not up and walking). This is because during sleep and periods of non-usage, the plantar fascia, calves, etc begin to tighten up again as they are no longer being stretched by walking and are subject to less blood flow during this time. Once an individual has tightened up again, they often experience increased pain, as this tissue is essentially re-tearing from the stress of walking. Ice massages and foot rolling are great DIY therapies in addition to other therapies you may be receiving because they are effective, and allow you to address the condition when it is at its worst. This improves your ability to function throughout the day in turn gives you a role in your own care. They are also SUPER EASY.

Ice Massages:

  1. Freeze water in a cup.
  2. Peel off the outer layer.
  3. Massage your foot to decrease pain and loosen up the plantar tissue.

 

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Foot Rolling (this is great to do as soon as you wake up):

  1. Pick a small ball with a tolerable size and stiffness (tennis ball, golf ball, bumpy ball, etc.)
  2. Roll the bottom of your foot from the heel all the way through the arch near the toes.
  3. Increase the weight you place on the foot as you work through the exercise to toleration.

 

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*Side note*  –  DO expect to be tender initially until you have loosened up the plantar fascia.

 

   3. Biomechanical Assessment and Treatment:

There are multiple bones and joints in the foot, and like all other bones and joints they are there to move and transfer forces in order to allow proper function. In the case of the foot and ankle, we are talking about the joints that are the beginning of a huge majority of our interaction with our external environment. Patterns of walking, running, squatting, and balance can be drastically affected at the foot due to the movement and transmission of forces which are unique in this area. This is why a biomechanical assessment of the foot by a health care professional is important. This type of assessment is necessary to ensure joint motion of the foot, specifically in the hind and mid foot when dealing with plantar fasciitis. If these joints are fixated or the foot is collapsing excessively, excessive stress will be dealt to the foot. As joint assessment and manipulation is a staple of chiropractic treatments, a chiropractic evaluation would be a wise choice. All too often in plantar fasciitis, the joints in the foot are not evaluated for proper motion. Restoration of this motion may be the last missing piece of the puzzle for a case which will not completely heal.

 

Kenzie Stewart had a fantastic day, she accomplished something very few can, an elite total at her very first competition. An elite total is a pre determined amount of weight combined between your squat, bench, and deadlift for each weight class. It is a milestone in powerlifting to show your strength levels at your respected weight class. She actually increased her squat attempts than what we pre determined cause she was feeling strong on meet day, possibly due to her deload which I had to be a gosh dang police officer and make sure she wasn’t training the week prior to the meet. She had to make minor adjustments to make weight, thankfully she was not too anxious and followed instructions well to have no issues dropping a little water the day prior to weigh – ins. Kenzie has an interest in all strength sports and has a light background in crossfit and weightlifting. During her peaking phases kenzie was breaking personal records of her prior gym lifts 2 weeks out from the meet which was awesome for motivation and momentum. She walked away with a 705 total @ 132 body weight

 

 

Best Gym lifts:

Squat – 235 (without wraps)

Bench – 135

Deadlift – 245

 

King of Spring Results:

Squat – 280

Bench – 150

Deadlift – 275

At NBS we love our members, we wouldn’t be who we are without them. One thing we do each month to show our appreciation is choose a member that stands out to us and acknowledge them for their accomplishments and hard work. Stephanie Moe is a fairly new member but you’d think she has been here for years. When she joined, she dived right into everything that makes NBS great and is loving it. She trains with the women’s powerlifting team and she competed in the King of Spring meet where she won overall and gained an elite total.. at her first meet ever! Next time you see Stephanie, tell her she is awesome and to keep up the great work!

I asked her to tell me a little bit about her fitness journey and NBS, here’s what she said:

“I’ve been lifting for about two years now, but in just four months as a member of NBS, I’ve exponentially grown as a lifter and easily surpassed goals I had set for myself. Since joining NBS, I’ve trained with the women’s powerlifting team (shout out to some amazing ladies!) and competed in my first powerlifting meet. Competing in my first meet was the most incredible experience of my entire life! It was an honor to lift alongside the strongest men and women I’ve ever met. I’m already itching to compete again and hope to step my game up with the help of my team, coaches, and some sound nutritional guidance (thanks Annie!). The atmosphere at NBS Fitness is unlike any gym- every time I walk in the door, an employee, trainer, or fellow member is ready to answer questions, give advice, and push me past my limits. The determination of every single person at NBS is infectious. This availability of knowledge and constant support system has been invaluable to my lifting career. I am so grateful to be part of a community that truly wants to help each other get better. I can’t wait to see what is in store down the road for the NBS Fitness crew!”

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So two weeks ago NBS Fitness hosted our first federated meet under Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate (RPS) federation in our brand new facility (right behind the old one). I had the privilege of programming four lifters in preparation for this meet. NBS Fitness members; Kenzie Stewart, Michael Waltermeyer, Marc Piantedos, and remote client Hannah Hayes. Everyone had a great day, this was Kenzie and Marc’s very first meet so regardless of results everything was a “base” for further progress in a meet. All of their lifts were made official in a federation and both made personal record lifts which beat their best gym lifts prior to programming which is a win by itself.

Now being a coach it was kind of a rough day as I could not fill my role completely for them as I was judging the competition. Advice was given when possible and I aided them when they had any questions to ask me. Unfortunately, because of everything going on, sometimes questions and help did not always happen when it should have. Mid way through the competition my coach took over and you will see me in pictures and videos be yelling at my clients and verbalizing cues from the judges seat. This is possibly unprofessional but, as i said, the coach came out.

Stayed tuned for write-ups of each of my athletes that competed!

 

 

 

Nothing says anger and aggression like thrash metal and Metallica are the kings of the trash genre. Nothing requires anger and aggression quite like powerlifting. Perfect Combo!!!!!

The speedy guitar riffs and violent vocals pair quite nicely with a shot of nose torque to the dome. Enjoy!

 

Taking a week off from training and coming back to a new program has caused me some serious soreness this week. Some people think they should take off from exercise when they are extremely sore but that only makes it worse! The only reason I’m able to walk is because I’ve forced myself to move and do some cardio in addition to my lifting this week. While on my honeymoon last week I managed to get one workout in the whole week. I took full advantage of the sunshine and sand and spent almost every minute in it. It did rain one day so my husband and I went to a Hulk Hogan gym near the beach. I kept it light since, you know, it was vacation and all but I enjoyed the experience. Especially when a random man came up and told me he would rather fight my husband over me. That was cool, not sure why he wanted to fight either of us but whatever. Even though I only lifted once while I was gone, we were pretty active all week with walking around a ton and we played several games of sand volleyball everyday. I was nervous about playing volleyball because I haven’t played in years but I wasn’t so bad once I got started! I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to because I’m really bad about that.. I barely had my phone on me while in Florida but that’s the way it should be right?! Here are a few though.

We got a yellow mustang convertible for our rental car which was awesome! Daniel let me drive a lot because he’s awesome too.

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Then there was the Hulk gym we visited.

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The beaches were beautiful there and we also saw some gators! We went to Busch Gardens Theme park where we saw a few animals and rode some roller coasters!
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The last couple weeks have been a wild ride to say the least. Within a 4 day period we somehow managed to host a 60 person powerlifting meet with around 150 spectators and move an entire facility worth of equipment, office materials, random artifacts, and a plethora of junk across a parking lot while setting up old and new systems vital to our business processes so that we could begin business operations as usual. Looking back I realize that the only way this was even remotely possible was by the incredible willingness to help our members displayed over the four day period and an act of God. The month of April was a bit of a Murphy’s law month for me with regards to owning a business and it quite honestly kicked my butt, I’m still trying to recover. At some point I will write up an article about it for those interested in what being a business owner is like but for now I am just excited that I finally got to workout in the new space. As ironic as it sounds, being a gym owner can make getting a workout in a bit of a struggle from time to time. The past week I have been scrambling to put together the minor things in our facility like white boards, benches in the showers, and banners, along with calling window tinting companies for quotes, comcast for fax lines, and trying to get my signed moved. The acts of running a business along with trying to physically recover from a weekend of long hours, hard labor, and little sleep have taken precedent until this past Monday when I finally got back on track.

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I resumed my previous 5/3/1 plus hypertrophy program that I have the men and women powerlifting teams doing and got back on my nutrition plan. For over a year and a half I haven’t missed a single update with my nutrition coach but unfortunately missed the last two weeks. I let him know before hand that life was about to get crazy for a little bit. The combination of stress, not eating, and working 16-18 hour days ended causing me to lose 15 lbs in a 4 day period and boy did I feel it. Strength took a bit of hit but I’m sure will bounce back up after a couple of weeks of getting my weight back up and getting back in the groove of training. Here was the first training session I did in my new facility:

Squat: 225×5, 270×5, 295×5, 315×5, 340×5

Laying Leg Curls 5×10

Leg Press 4×15 reps supersetted with leg extensions 4×10 reps

Bulgarian Split Squats with a 3 sec negative, 3×12

Standing Calf Raises 4×12 plus 2 drop sets to failure

Seated Calf Raises 4×8

Afterwards I questioned the intelligence behind putting my new office on the second story…but it sure does feel good to be back.Photo May 12, 1 05 35 PM

I am writing this article in an attempt to help anyone out that may not be at the time paying a professional to write out a structured program for them to follow.  Since being at NBS and working under the wing of our owner David Allen, I have learned a couple of things about programming that I would like to share with you today. Too often I see people trying to overcomplicate their program and put in too many things that in reality, are probably just getting them further and further from their goals. Follow these 4 rules to keep your training program simple, but effective.

  1. keep things simple

Too often you tend to see beginners putting way too much into their program. If you have only been weight training for 4 to 6 months, chances are you don’t need to hit your biceps from 6 different angles with 6 different curl variations. Master one or two movements while practicing on a quality muscular contraction before moving on to something new.

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2. Start out with full body routines

Again, if you are a beginner or have been out of the game of training for quite some time now, you don’t need a day dedicated to legs, chest, back, biceps, and triceps. I think you see where I’m going with this. If you are not an IFBB bodybuilder, stop training like you are one. Most of the people that train like that have multiple years of training under their belt and it is that type of stimulus that they need to elicit any changes in their body. If you find Jay Cutler’s 12 week mass gaining program in the latest Flex magazine, that doesn’t mean that you are going to look like Olympia stage ready Jay Cutler. Stick to doing a full body routine at least 3 to 4 days a week. This will allow you to force more frequency of training on multiple muscle groups which will yield you greater results in a shorter time as opposed to the split previously mentioned.

3. Allow yourself time to recover

If you feel guilty or feel like you’re not making progress unless your going hard in the gym 6 to 7 days a week, I would suggest taking a step back and allowing yourself more time for adequate recovery. I feel that some people forget the fact that recovery from all the hard work you put into gym comes when you rest and sleep. Again, if you are someone who is still fresh to training, this is especially important for you. Only if you have been training consistently for anywhere from 5 to 10 to 20 years, is a 5 to 6 day split more appropriate. Use your non weight training days as a means of active recovery.

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4. Don’t neglect to do your cardio

I know, I get it, cardio sucks! But, you’ve got to do it. Your ability to recover in between your sets during weight training is going to be limited by how well you are conditioned. You can use your steady state cardio as a means of active recovery on your days off from weight training. This will make a tremendous difference in minimizing the feeling of delayed onset muscle soreness that comes along with proper weight training. Try experimenting with different methods. Some people prefer to do 20 to 30 minutes of steady state 3 to 5 times a week, while others prefer doing HITT style cardio. An example of this would be 15 seconds of work and 45 seconds of rest for 10 to 15 minutes straight. This type of training can be done with prowler sprints or even battle ropes. The possibilities are endless when it comes to cardio, the thing that matters most in the end is that you are doing it.

So there you have it, 4 rules to keep your training program simple but effective. Don’t fall victim to any of the latest fads or trends. Stick to what is true, tried, and tested, and has stood the sands of time. If you try things on your own and start to get to a point where you are no longer making progress and have hit a plateau, then get in touch with a professional that can get you headed in the right direction again. We have plenty of them here at NBS that can get you on the right track again.

 

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In December, we launched the inaugural training cycle for the NBS Womens Powerlifting team.  I had decided that I would run the programming along side my teammates, but was fairly certain I would have to pop off at some point and get ready for my hopeful strongman schedule.

Why I thought I would actually do that is beyond me.  I know damn well that I am someone that rides momentum, and by the time I had originally set to become more focused on strongman, the powerlifting momentum was in full swing.  I was hitting personal bests at the lowest bodyweight I have been in years as well as really starting to become technically sound in each lift.  It was at this point I decided to go ahead and hit the full training cycle, peak for the meet, and do the damn thing.  I was even able to hit the largest womens strongman meet (Strongest Southern Belle/ Womens Pro Worlds Qualifier) in history mid-training cycle and walk away with a nail biting second place.

I wish to tell you that I finished the powerlifting meet with the same pizzazz that I hit that strongman meet.  However, life had other plans for me.  In events that I wont discuss here, my attention was (rightfully) on matters that mean most in this world to me. The programming had certainly done its job in peaking me physically, but nothing will help you if your mentally not there.  I weighed in at 147.3 the day before the meet, and decided to just see what was in store for me.

I opened the meet with a 310 squat, which felt kind of shakey but strong. I took a 20lb jump and missed it twice.  Fairly disappointing start to the day.  I redeemed myself a bit with bench.  A highlight here was opening with exactly what I bombed on during my last meet, 175. This nearly flew to lockout.  I hit my second attempt at 185, and it took me like 12 seconds to lock out.  Tried a third at 190 and I just didnt have it.IMG_2851

Deadlift was a cluster from the start.  I opened at 315, smoked it, but did not hold it at the top resulting in a no lift.  This skewed my confidence in further lifts, and after realizing I had somehow badly bruised my hand when I “set” the bar down, I ended up taking 340 to call it for the day.

While the tone wasn’t what I was accustomed to, I did walk away with a 835 total, a class win, and an elite total.  I hadnt kept tabs on bodyweight PRs, because truthfully its been a while since I was a 148er.  Upon review, I found the last meet I did at 148 was three years ago.  At that meet, I was STRUGGLING to get to 148 (even harder than I do now) and had actually only hit a 740 total.  In all of my disappointment with what I know it within my capabilities, I had missed the bigger picture: a 95lb increase from the last time I competed in this weight class.  Further, I got to see a group of people who have become family to me do well.  I saw clients of mine leave it all on the platform.  My training partner has become a different girl from when she first came into the doors six months ago.  We got to “break in” the new facility, which is one of the coolest gyms I have ever been in.  I saw one of the most sincere forms of community and love I had ever seen.

Shame on me for thinking this was a failed day.  This was a culmination of some of the biggest successes I have ever had the honor or partaking in.

Change is a good thing, and for those who have been following NBS Fitness, you know that there has been PLENTY of change going on. Recently, the gym hosted a big powerlifting competition along with the move into a new facility with new equipment. Things are moving at lightning speeds as we put the final details together to improve the best gym in Memphis. I will be going through some changes as well at NBS Fitness, so I wanted to take some time to give preview of these changes as well as give a little teaser to the NBS blog and article audience as to what kind of material I will be presenting over the next month or two.

 

Office Space Changes

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Front desk area with treatment room on the right.

 

A much anticipated change for myself and many members will be the addition of treatment rooms to our new facilities. I will be operating out of one of these spaces and expanding my hours to better suit the needs of our members and public. I’m excited about these changes as they will allow me to go public as Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance inside NBS Fitness. My hours will remain familiar to many of the members in the gym and will add an increased amount of options for access to care for both NBS members and the public. In an effort to put NBS members first and promote the gym, I will have member and non-member pricing. NBS members and their immediate family’s costs will not change from my current pricing,and non-member fees will be increased slightly.

 

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View of treatment room entrance.

 

Along with the new location, I will be implementing a new electronic health record system which will allow current and future patients to utilize an online patient portal to view and create appointments online, share  and fill out documents and information, and personally message me all while utilizing a secure site. We will also be integrating my operations with the NBS Fitness website to provide further ease of access to this portal as well as links to new patient paper work for those looking to begin receiving care.

For more information on any of these services, do not hesitate to email me or ask me about getting a patient profile set up to take advantage of these new perks.

 

Future Web Content

Moving forward with my web content, I wanted to focus a little bit more on some of the subjects that I have been really hammering in the office with my treatments of NBS members, U of M athletes, and general public. This will give me a chance to lay the foundation for what I’m trying to accomplish (the why) with my treatments, and then begin to go more in depth once these fundamentals are established. I’m a firm believer that you do not truly understand a concept until you are able to explain and teach a it to someone else, so I want to hold my end of the bargain there as well. I will also jump into a little bit of sports psychology/my opinions on characteristics that separate good from great athletes. So in no particular order, here are the subjects I will be covering.

  1. Athletes: Those Who Have “It” and Those Who Don’t
  2. A Structural vs. Functional Outlook on Injury
  3. The Basics of Muscle Dysfunction
  4. Reasons to See a Chiropractor Even if You Aren’t in Pain.
  5. The Importance of Proactive Rehab in Sports.
  6. The Sacrifices of Being Abnormal

Every career has rules that one follows. The rules may be set in place by procedures you have to follow to do your job properly or by a boss, who knows that certain guidelines gets the job done the most efficient. During my development as a strength coach and a personal trainer one rule always was repeated no matter where I turned, “never hurt your athlete / client.”  Now to some this would be a no brainer but let me tell you something, many people in this industry put their clients at risk in many ways on a daily basis. This is not the main point of this post, thats a whole other topic.

This log is to admit I committed the Cardinal Sin of strength coaching and I allowed my client to get hurt. I will follow that statement up by saying, it was not severely but it made us modify training the next several sessions. Injuries have the potential to happen when strength training every time we step under the bar and it is my job to have an eye to prevent that. It was a wake up call to me that no matter how much I have developed over the years I still can screw up by failing to see all the variables and signs during a compound movement. So next time your training partner or client is taking a lift that is out of their comfort zone (no matter the weight) just remember the potential for error.

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Social media is a strange place.  Formerly, having a following in any profession required that you be excellent at what you do as well as strategic marketing.  However, the fitness industry and social media seem to be growing together, creating perhaps the easiest marriage of effort and outcome.  This article won’t jump into the morality and long term effects of what is posted on social media.  If you want to grow by putting out information pertaining to your craft, that’s great.  If you’d rather put pictures of your butt cheeks on the world wide web, have atcha.  Both will yield a sizeable (though very different) following.  This article isn’t going to delve into the morality of social media posts (though Elitefts’s Mark Dudgale wrote a fairly interesting article about his perspective on this here), but rather to discuss what no one ever touches on:  what now?

I have seen countless listicles on how to grow your social media following, all with pretty much the same information.  However, what do you do once you get the eyes and ears of people around the globe?  It seems a little fruitless to expose yourself, your intellectual property, and your personal information for the sole purpose of facebook friends, Instagram followers, and likes.  Surely, we haven’t regressed into a culture that spends hours of time looking for attention with no productive outcome.  Or maybe we have.  But: you don’t have to.

  1. Promote your business: This seems like it should be the number one use of social media.  If you have a product that is applicable to clientele far and wide, do your followers know about it?  It seems very simple, but one of the biggest mistakes I have made in the past is not making mention on how to contact me for business related inquiries.  If you are a personal trainer, gym owner, nutritional guru, OWN IT and tell those who follow you with regular frequency.  The internet is a place people go to easily access information.  If you are not easily accessible as a professional, potential business will scroll on to someone who is. (btw, annie@nbsfitness.net…)
  1. Promote Other People: Social media networking is its very own art.  Though many things have been rendered useless with the faceless internet, appreciation for others and their crafts is still alive and well.  Most importantly, its productive.  Do you know someone who is absolutely crushing it in their life?  Did someone help you achieve goals of yours?  Have you found a product or person that you think can help many others?  TELL YOUR following how to find them, and what you like about them.  Giving positive reviews of people that you trust is a three-fold benefit:  you can help someone who has helped you, you help others find the help they need, and you strengthen your network with other professionals.
  1. Highlight your life: This is a fine line. Another past mistake I have made is giving too much information about the private facets of my life to complete strangers.  Telling the world about your family, relationships, and friends seems harmless, until you realize that not everyone has good intentions.  In fact, as your following grows, you can be sure to know there are people following you with nothing better to do than ridicule you and your loved ones.  Thus, I highly recommend highlighting your life, but keeping the precious details in a sacred spot.
  1. Staffing: This is fairly specific and probably more of my preference peeking through, but holy moly do I find social media a great tool for finding great employees.  Not only can you offer positions to people who have supported you through the years, you can also get a little peek into what they truly value.  That being said, if you are in a position that you might SEEK a job, be cognizant of what you social media portrays.

Beyond that, try to add value to yourself, those around you, your business, and your personal brand. We are entering an era of business that REQUIRES social media competency, and their truly is no neutral addition.  Constantly sharpening your skills and keeping end picture in mind will set you aside from the countless, aimless social media users out there.

Sticking with the anti authority theme from last week, we have Do Not Obey by all That Remains making the list this week. If you’re one of the unlucky few who train in a commercial gym (because why would anyone choose to train at one) then you can use this song to fight back against the man as you secretly chalk up your hands to deadlift with hexagon plates.

 

Taylor Deadlift

Taylor is Physical Therapist and strongman competitor who previously lived in Memphis and trained at NBS but moved to Oxford, MS. Taylor contacted me for online programming in October with the goal of getting stronger and preparing for the Mid South Smash strongman competition. Starting off, my main goal was to build Taylor’s base strength. He had plenty of time working with the implements and had the technique down, he just didn’t have the general strength he needed to perform at a high level. The first program I started Taylor off on was a variation of the tier system that used some of triphasic means as well. Three times a week he would perform a squat, a deadlift, and a press in one of three rep ranges (3×3, 3×6, or 6×3) with accessory work to build up his posterior chain and core. His fourth day every week was an accessory day that focus primarily on back work. Here is an example of his day 1 on this program:

Day 1
*Wide Stance Box Squat 3×3 (5 count eccentric, box should be set at around parallel, stop completely on the box then explode up)
*DB Bench Press 3×6 (3 count isometric hold right above the chest, then explode up)
*Deadlift @70% 6×3, 72.5% week 2, 75% week 3
*Weighted Hip Bridges 3×12 (back on bench)
*10 sec plank with 5 sec hold, do two sets, have someone put a weight on your back
Taylor had limited strength equipment as he trained primarily out of small 24 hour facility in MS but we were still able to make some great improvement over this time frame. After several cycles of the triphasic tier system we switched to a “peaking” tier system that dropped out all accessory work and just had him to the squat, bench, deadlift, and push press. We used this to work up to a heavy single in all the lifts to test where his current strength was.  We saw a nice 20-40 pound increase in all his main lifts. From there we switched to a program that had two base strength days using the main lifts for heavy triples and doubles and singles, a light “pump” day, and an events day for him to practice all the implements. The end results was tremendous improvements in his overall strength, his event strength, his performance, and a his first competition win. Check out what Taylor had to say about the process:
Taylor Basket

“As any good coach will tell you, training is a process. And such a detailed process takes time. What you don’t often read about is how even in the depths of a training cycle, life can happen and threaten to derail the whole process.

From injuries, illnesses, lack of implement time, and moving, everything that could happen to disrupt my training leading up to the Mid South Smash actually happened. Despite all the craziness, David made sure to make adjustments where necessary to ensure my prep wasn’t entirely derailed. And I’m very thankful he did.

This last weekend (4/2/16), I won my first strongman competition. Not only did I win, I set PRs in the car deadlift and stone load, despite only getting my hands on the strongman implements about a month out from the competition. Through David’s training, I was the strongest and most durable I’ve ever been at a contest to date. I had no issues with random pains, and my body held up through the entire day of competition.

Mentally, this was a huge hurdle to overcome, as I’ve always had something come up on competition day. I’ve never been able to put a full day of events together in such fashion as to allow me a shot at winning. To be able to finally do that, especially coming from my distance running background, speaks volumes to me about how dialed in David’s work is.

I should also mention, this is the heaviest I’ve ever been in competition (238 lbs), so to be able to move so well after being a 165lb distance runner years ago is truly amazing to me.

There are many different ways to train for strongman, some more expedient than others. However, efficiency wins in this game, and if you can get strong and stay injury free, you have so much room to grow in this sport. To sum it up concisely, if you want to get stronger, David is the man to do it. PRs in all major lifts this prep, and PRs when it counts the most on competition day have me convinced.

So why are you still waiting?”

Many of you may know when people arrive by their car, it is something people correlate friends with. Prior to getting balls deep in strength training and powerlifting I was a big car guy, my first degree is in Automotive Technologies. A deal was presented to my by my pops concerning a 2008 G37s that I could not pass up so I picked it up. I instantly started to modify the car and with modifications comes the tuning process to make sure the car works properly with all the new additions to air intake and air flow.

This process took about 1.5 weeks total (just like online nutrition / programming) where I needed to record data, send it to a professional, get it “tweaked”, then upload the adjustment into my car. This process is known as “remote car tuning”. I have decided to show you the process that it entails.

 

So we finally had our RPS, King of Spring powerlifting competition here at our new facility at NBS. For myself, I would say all in all it was a pretty good meet. I don’t think that everyone on the team would say the same, but I would without a doubt say that we all went out there and did the best we could. For a lot of lifters, it was their first meet, which can always be nerve wrecking. The only thing that matters in the end is what were you able to take away from this experience to help yourself in the future.

I ended going 7 for 9 with all of my lifts. I missed my 3rd attempt squat, and my 3rd attempt bench press. Had I hit my squat, it would’ve been a nice little 15lb pr. I hit my 3rd attempt bench in our training cycle fairly easy, but it just wasn’t there on meet day. I was able to pull it together on my third attempt deadlift hitting 500lbs. Best squat was 460, best bench was 280. I think everyone was feeling a little run down towards the end seeing as how the meet started at 9am, and didn’t end until about 8:30 pm. On top of all of this, I did about a 13lb water cut the week of the meet, which you can read about in my other teammates blog  We had a couple of ladies here at NBS hit elite totals in their first meet, which is pretty cool, as well as one that hit a 200lb bench and another who hit a 410lb squat!

I just want to say how proud I am of everyone and how they did on competition day. It is more than a privilege to be surrounded with all of the incredible people that I get to be around on a daily basis. I couldn’t ask for a better support system, than the one that is provided here. I know not everyone had the meet that they had planned for, but all the more sweeter it will be when you do have things go your way. You only really lose if you don’t learn something from your experience.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who made this day possible. Many people do not realize the amount of work that goes in to making these things happen, and we have the best people in the city of Memphis working hard to provide the best gym in Memphis. Thank you to all who helped make the meet a reality, as well as everyone who helped out to move everything into the new facility. Great things are in store for NBS.

 

 

When one decides to make the plunge into the competitive world of strength sports there is a process which all lifters could care less for and that is the task of making weight. There are several approaches to weight cutting depending on the federation you are competing in. We are not going to focus on those variables today, we are more concerned with the process of our own Bobby Scott’s struggle to make weight the night before weigh-in’s.

Bobby called me about 9pm Thursday night, he disclosed to me he did not care to spend $25 to sit in a steam room. I offered him out bathtub to sweat out the weight, this was more appeasing to him than spending money to embark in a process he has never done before. We turned up our hot water heater to make sure we could keep refilling the tub with hot water (we already have scorching hot water to begin with).

Once he arrived we threw him on the scale and he weighed 187.6, I kind of laughed and silently said, “we are gonna have some fun tonight”. Long story short we had Bobby hit up around three rounds of baths and got him to around 183 before shutting it down and letting him sleep off the rest. Teammate Brett and I stayed up to make sure bobby did not die in the process and keep his mind off the suck of the hot baths (he was already food and water depleted for several hours so dehydration has set in and there is a potential to fall out).

I decided to take a video and share the moment with everyone, Bobby did end up making weight at 180.6 so our efforts on top of David’s prescribed water cut worked perfectly.

Summer is coming up and it’s time to show off those beach bods. But what if you’re struggling to get the physique you want? These 5 reasons may be why:

You don’t actually want it

What a way to start an article right? But I think it’s important that we address the obvious elephant in the room before we move on to other potential causes. For some folks, the idea of being “jacked and tan”, “lean”, “fit” or whatever phrase they use to describe the ideal look that they would like is just that, an idea. Much like wanting to make a million dollars but not being willing to invest your life savings and work 60 hours a week to make it happen,  wanting to look like you work out hard and eat right without actually working out hard and eating right is the reason people can become millionaires selling bogus fitness products on late night television. So, if you’re someone who happens to fit this mold, you have two solid options: 1) Stop wasting time and energy worrying about something that isn’t important to you. You can still be healthy without looking like a fitness model (health being a relative term, you can’t really be healthy and 500 lbs) so do what you enjoy and don’t worry about the rest. 2) Realize that if you really want something, you have to act on it. In the words of our great green leader Yoda “There is no try, do or do not.”

You’re kinda dumb

Seriously, who starts off an article with these two points? I do. Because some people really do want it, they just do really dumb stuff to try and make it happen. Ever thought a juice cleanse was the ticket to flat abs? Ever purchased a piece of home exercise equipment that got sold in a garage sale? Ever taken exercise advice from someone who gets paid to post pictures of their butt on instagram? If you’ve answered yes to this question or a thousand questions similar to it, you in fact may be dumb. Thankfully, this is an easy fix. First, you’re reading this article which means you’ve at least taken a step away from the fitness scam marketing and started getting information for a quality company that is focussed on a no bullshit approach to fitness. Second, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to join a gym that is focused on producing results instead of offering cheap, no commitment memberships that they know you’ll never use (may I suggest NBS Fitness). Third, you need to get around some folks who know what they’re doing. Look for people with a college degree, a decent certification, years of experience, and lots of success (for themselves and others). Some combination of the above or even better, all the above, will put you in the best possible position to actually make progress and reach a new level in your physique (again, let me suggest NBS Fitness. Our trainers and members fit all the criteria).

You don’t have enough muscle

Regardless of the exact physique you are going for, a quality physique is going to be characterized by two things: muscularity and lower levels of body fat. Increasing your muscularity gives the “look” of someone who trains. Why do powerlifters and strongman with higher body fat levels in the 15-20% range look so much different than the average Joe carrying around the same body fat percentage? Simple, they have significantly more muscle. More muscle also improves your insulin sensitivity which allows your body to better utilize the carbohydrates that you intake. So when you eat that rice krispy treat it’s more likely to get used up for energy or stored as glycogen instead of converted into more body fat. Muscle does improve your resting metabolism but not by a significant amount. However, if you were to exchange 10 lbs of fat for 10 lbs of muscle, you would be more likely to utilize the food that you did eat in a more ideal way (the whole insulin sensitivity thing). Of course decreasing body fat levels is a major concern but if you’re someone who has to take their clothes off to look like they work out and instead just look “skinny”, you may want to dedicate some time to building muscle.

Your metabolism is jacked up

I don’t think metabolisms are quite as frail as some people make them out to be but I can’t deny the fact that some people seem to lose fat quite easily without much effort while others seem to gain fat on almost no food at all. Whatever the case, losing body fat can be tricky if you don’t have a high caloric need. To give a bit of an example, let’s take two people both with a resting metabolic rate of 10 calories per lb of body fat, one is a 120 lb female and the other is a 250 lb male. The 120 lb female would need 1,200 calories a day to maintain her current weight and the male would need 2,500. If we were wanting to lose half a lb of fat (1750 calories) a week, we would want to be in a caloric deficit of 250 calories a day. Well this would put the female at a caloric intake of 950 calories a day and the guy at 2,250. What happens if they halt progress and you need to make another cut? The female is already at really tiny amount of food where as the guy still has a decent food intake. Now, this scenario doesn’t take into all the other potential parts of the equation but is a basic outline of how having a higher caloric need can help. So, how can you alter your metabolism? Good question. Outside of thyroid medication, your best bet it is to exercise, get quality sleep, eat a balanced diet and make very small adjustments either way. If you’re weight isn’t moving in the right direction, it’s better to make a small change, measure, and adjust than to cut all your carbs and double your cardio. Also realize that the body can only take a beating for so long. So sometime to two steps forward, once step back approach may be best to keep from hitting a plateau.

Your hormones are out of whack

Training hard? Check! Eating right? Check! Been doing both for a while (i.e. months)? Check! Still kinda looking the same? Yeah, what gives? Well you may have some hormones that are out of whack. Hormones are the signals throughout your body that tell certain organs to do certain jobs. This could be everything from telling your body to uptake glucose into the cell, to release stored lipids (fat) into the bloodstream to be used for fuel, to telling your bladder to release all it’s contents because you were frightened. If the hormones aren’t being produced in a high enough quantity or the cells aren’t responding to the hormones, you could have some serious trouble getting your body to do what you want it to do. When it comes to physique improvement, the main hormones you will be concerned with are your sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen), your thyroid hormones (T3, T4, and TSH), and how well your body handles carbohydrate intake (insulin, AIC, fasting glucose levels). If you’re concerned, consult with a physician to get your levels checked. If you do have something that is out of whack, then bring it back into it’s proper range can make a huge difference.

 

There you have it! 5 reasons you may be struggling to get the physique you’re after. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.