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By

Annie Dohack
I had a writing prompt earlier this month that has turned into a conversation piece between me and nearly everyone I have run into and has led to some fairly interesting reading as well. “In your more dire situations, what life rules do you cling to in order to guide your behavior to the best...
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Attention: Endurance athletes. Yup, you. The runner, the cycler, the biker, the elliptigo-er, the rower…alla you. You really should lift weights. No, seriously. You need to lift weights. Trust me, I know that’s a little hard to take seriously. I have had a similar message to all my powerlifting/strongman/weightlifting friends as well. There are benefits...
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At the very beginning of any life change, we tend to look at the end picture and all that it will entail before we decide if it will be worth it.  Once we have decided that it is, we often find ourselves with a wave of motivation to start moving all the big rocks in...
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Training is feeling pretty good. You are probably blowing through the build up weeks and hitting your rep ranges. Maybe your AMRAP sets are predicting you at a pretty good 1RM in the future. Sure would be a shame if something…came up…and ruined it. But hey: that would never happen to you. If you are...
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I love me some strict pressing. While typically barbell strict press, I also program is in with log, swiss bar, fat bar, dumbbell, and just about anything you can safely press overhead. I find its utility to be a bit higher than bench press, so if I am really having to consolidate training days, it’s...
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After this short blog post about sitting back and doing nothing while someone killed themself with bad habits, I had a long talk with David about what we could do.  After very short deliberation, we have decided that I am going to open up my own books to take a few clients that fall in...
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I got pretty lucky.  When I was 15, I walked past a gym needing a job.  Within those walls, I found a catalyst into a profession that I am still head-over-heels in love with 15 years later.  I am using dramatic language and I mean every letter.  My job has evolved over the years: I...
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Today, I was able to catch up with one of the first coworkers I ever had in my career as a coach.  It was good catching up , and remembering the early days of our careers.  My god, how things have changed for me.  Getting older in itself comes with some maturity, but growing up...
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“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing” –Teddy Roosevelt   I heard this quote some time ago, and couldn’t decide how I felt about it.  Then, an event happened that...
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Another month in the books, and it was a busy one.  Each weekend this month took me away from home, so getting my training in throughout the week was crucial to get all my training in and face the inconsistencies that come with training on the road. A few ways to de-stress your training if...
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I have been hosting or helping at iron sport events in some capacity for better part of the last decade.  While many have had memorable moments, the Clash For Cash on Beale is quickly becoming the only event that I think about making better intermittently year round.  I was recently asked by my buddy Josh...
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Last month, we discussed the various types of ruck sacks as well as how to pack them successfully in part 1 of this serious.   Today, we will talk a bit about training for or around your ruck. Most clients that I work with are rucking because rucking is an important ability within their career path. ...
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Last week, we wrapped up our contest schedule with a sold-out RPS Powerlifting meet, The Memphis Classic.  This marks the seventh meet I have been able to help host at NBS and about the 15th I have helped promote and host over the years.  If you add in the strongman meets and push pulls, I...
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We discussed rucking on episode 3 of the Iron and Lead Podcast very briefly, and since then I have had quite a few questions on rucking.  While I have had the benefit of working with hundreds of military/LEO/big dudes for the last few years, I do think rucking can be an enjoyable (*gasp*) activity for...
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This book was recommended to me months ago. It sat on my reading cue for quite a bit, until a long flight without wifi gave me nothing but time to dive right in.  As I have touched on before, I typically have a rotation in subject matter when it comes to books that I read:...
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Aside from working at the most kick-ass gym in the Mid-South, I have been focusing on squeezing the most out of my life. This month hosted some GREAT moments for me, and here are a few highlights Reunited with my training parter: Courtney and I trained together a year or so back when we were both...
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I’m going to be very honest: somedays, I rise each morning just to go to the gym in hopes of seeing David running so I might make fun of him.  And man, he doesn’t disappoint. However, through this sibling-like tough love, I found myself feeling a little bad for him as the temperatures headed into...
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14 years ago today, my dad died. Are you all uncomfortable yet? You shouldn’t be.  The subject of death is so taboo that after the initial acknowledgement of the event, we are expected to keep it to ourselves, lest we make others squirm. But for those close to death, the events that follow can be such a catalyst...
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Diet: I have bumped macros to 180 on 3 training days, 350+ cheat meal 2 training days per week, and 100 on off days. Training: Every other training session, I hit back.  Other than that, I’m following a basic chest/back/leg/shoulder split weight: up 7lbs
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July was another super cool month. Heres some shit I did! 1.) Bought a new car: The truth is, Jeep isn’t a great everyday driver and gets terrible gas mileage. Further, Kilo doesn’t fit really well in the Jeep. So…after months and month and months of just totally blowing it off and not getting a...
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Sometimes, life has themes.   Over the past year or so, I have taken a step back from my previous perch as the super set-in-her-ways diva and have done a bit of introspection.  This quest to understand myself a bit more led me to a really great set of writing prompts by Jordan Peterson (...
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The Dexter Jackson Memphis classic has come and gone. I was really fortunate to be able to win my figure class.  If you have been following me for a bit, you know that the past few years have been full of 2nds, so it was nice to finally win one. So now what? Now I gently...
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I have been working through a workbook lately that has me examining my actions/habits and putting a bit of consideration into why I do the things I do.  It has occurred to me that a LOT of my actions are based on advice that I have put into play. Below are a few tidbits I have...
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I can never emphasize enough the importance of eating a healthy diet.  I also cannot believe how often this is ignored.  You don’t have to go on a fish-and-broccoli only diet, but American’s have a terrible relationship with food as a whole.  Make sure that the food you are consuming each day SERVES A PURPOSE....
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As I have alluded to in previous posts, I have decided to jump into the Dexter Jackson Memphis Classic.  Its been a couple years since I have been on stage.  In fact, the last time I was on stage was actually the Dexter Jackson Memphis Classic in 2015, so it was time to come back. ...
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When I was younger, I managed a commercial gym.  During this time, I became very close and familiar with the members of that gym. As a result, I became a sounding board for frustrations for many of them.  So it wasn’t surprising when Pam* asked if she could come talk to me about some concerns...
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“The Iron” by Henry Rollins is one of the most widely quoted passages about lifting weights and the impact it can have on someone’s life.  And for good reason: its a reminder that the absolute nature of training can be one of the most consistent, unwavering additions in someones life. Sure, strength gains are not linear...
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A friend and I were recently talking about the number of competitors that assign their unhealthy relationship with food and bodyfat with, at some point doing a show.  At first, I was quick to pass this off as first time competitors being unprepared for their show and the impact it can have on your caloric...
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Its easy to get confused about nutrition.  As we have discussed in numerous articles and blogs, there are a million ways to manipulate your intake for a number of different results.  And honestly, for the most part, most ways work to a degree.  This is why its important to understand nutritional components on a base...
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HELLO FROM AUSTRALIA!  I am currently writing this from the lobby of my hotel in Australia, where I am speaking at a three day certification course about Hybrid Athletics.  This is such a cool opportunity for me, and happens to be at the tail of of my higher calorie phase that I have been doing...
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This month, NBS client and athlete Elyse Lovelace competed at the XPC Elite Powerlifting Championships at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH.  Though we had a few logistical hiccups, she was able to walk away with not only a class win, but also the coveted overall female lifter award. A bit over a year ago,...
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Behind all the tan, awkward cut bikinis/speedos and carb-depleted divas lies a sport I really love.  So much, that I am frequently encouraging people to get out of their comfort zone and commit to a formal show.  While I think this is a really great goal for a lot of people, I am reminded time...
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  HOLY CRAP THOSE BEFORE PICTURES!! (top row is October 2016 , bottom row is February 2017) This week ends an offseason phase of dieting that has been focused on slowly achieving a better body composition year round.  This isn’t to say I was fat in the recent years, but eventually you realize you aren’t...
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Despite all my efforts, I often find myself underestimating how weirded out the general public gets by acts of health.  This weeks case in point is courtesy of a client of mine, who mentioned casually that she was using a meal prep service.  Almost immediately, someone pointed out how obsessive tracking food was and how unreasonable...
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In the past few years, countless great strength athletes have began incorporating hypertrophy components into their programming.  While the cited reasons vary quite a bit, there’s no debating that there is clearly a case for hypertrophy work for the strength athlete.  Some of the more sophisticated reasons would be to create a frame that can...
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Don’t get me wrong: I have the most fun life there is.  Everyday I get to wake up, train, and hang out with people who are extraordinarily committed to their goals.  Along the way, I have the opportunity to make their efforts a bit easier.  That can mean a lot of things: some days I...
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  Its been a while since I have updated my blog. In October, I got a little sick.  This led me to take a little break from strongman/power-lifting out of necessity.  It also led to a drastic change in training schedule for the pure sake of having reasonable energy levels when I needed them most...
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Go to college. Get an exercise science/ kinesiology degree. Go to grad school. Get an internship.  Suck at your trade for a while, then slowly get better. Make mistakes and learn from them. If someone asked me to summarize the path to becoming great in the fitness industry, that would be my initial suggestion.  As we...
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I will spare you the long intro, but in short, this is a series of word sights, sounds, and humans that keep my day at NBS Fitness alive and well. Installment one of Twilight Zone  I have started training at 5:30am.  Usually, I am in plenty of company, but last week I showed up and...
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**TRANSPARENCY ALERT: I have done each and every one of the actions I am about to list.  I have done entire training cycles of these extra little bits of action and they have stalled my progress, frustrated my coaches, and probably made me an annoying friend.*** Now, with that said, the reason I am sharing...
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I typically say this as a positive: we draw a different breed of people at NBS.  The people that are drawn to a gym that encourages emotional lifting, liberal use of chalk, and loud music are weirdos, but they are my kind of weirdos.  That said, there are still instances that leave me completely baffled....
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I have been involved in the fitness industry all of my adult life and quite a bit of my teen years, as I started as sweeping floors at a gym when I was 15.  As I near the 15 year mark I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.  As I grew into...
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Look, I get it: NO ONE likes to lose.  The worst training days are usually remedied with the idea that the hard work you are putting in at the gym is going to turn out as a victory later.  I have never went into a contest thinking about second, third, fourth, or fifth place.  Part...
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I am going to open this blog post up a bit by bragging on NBS coach Christian Anto.  In the past few years, I have been able to see him flourish not only into a great strength coach but also a genuine person who wants to help.  He spends down time between a full coaching...
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Over the past few years, I have become a bit better about healthier habits.  Three years ago, after my first show, I did the bare minimum: I would eat breakfast, pack a lunch and come home and eat whatever.  Because I was so active (and 24-25), I really didnt see any negative consequence and stayed...
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As David pointed out on his facebook this week, we hosted The Clash For Cash And Cash Car Pull this past weekend and it turned out to be a great success.  NBS Fitness itself has hosted 10 or so events in its existence, and various pieces of our staff have been helping in some capacity...
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“I like everything but the price.” This is something I hear alllll the time about our basic gym membership.  It always amuses me, because the monthly fee is actually right at the average cost of a gym membership in America (http://www.cnbc.com/id/26663228) and considering our enrollment fee is a drop in the bucket, the annual cost of...
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A few friends and I were talking recently about the way our respect for great athletic performances can shade our opinion of the athlete in general.  While we all agreed that truly becoming great takes a lot of personality traits that are typically categorized as “good,” this really is only one dimension of the human condition....
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Last weekend, we hosted the RPS Memphis Classic Powerlifting meet.  For the past year or so, social media would have you believe that powerlifting is a toxic pool of politics, favoritism, and rule bastardization.  For that very reason, I have not been terribly inclined to compete or really be involved with powerlifting outside of caring...
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In the past years, I have been able to really dive into the gut of fitness industry.  Between hosting powerlifting meets and strongman events at NBS, continuing to compete in physique shows, and doing media coverage of national/pro level physique shows, I have been privvy to the backstage antic of many competitors.  One thing that...
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1. Settling into the 148 Class: For the past year or so, my secondary personal priority has been to slowly recomp into a favorable body composition without loss of strength.  I have been giving myself nearly a year to accomplish this because I wanted to really establish long term habits that resemble a lifestyle I can...
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My press credentials got confirmed this morning, so I am headed to NPC North Americans in Pittsburg this weekend.  As mentioned in previous blog entries, being a little more diligent to my nutritional programming in all circumstances has been a big priority for me this year, and traveling can cast some uncertainty.  Below are a...
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“The Power Of Habit”  by Charles Duhigg is a book that sat in my Amazon wish list for a long time before I pulled the trigger and bought it.  While the book made a lot of great points, I wont ruin it by giving you a summary.  Instead, I got to thinking about how the...
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Two weeks ago, my friends Anthony D’Orazio and Maria Onest came to Memphis to see the very talented Taylor Weglicki.  They allowed me to show them Memphis-style BBQ and explored Midtown.  As you can expect, I also invited to them to NBS Fitness to catch some training.  Anthony is a seasoned bodybuilding competitor and I...
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Every brand faces identity issues at some point.  NBS Is no different.  Every week, it feels like I am running into people who are under the assumption that NBS is just crawling with meatheads.  While I do understand from a quick glance where that idea is coming from, its actually pretty far from the truth....
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I recently had a friend/client who was tossing the idea of competing in a figure show around.  We got to talking about the pros and cons about it, and in an attempt to oversimplify, I simply said that every aspect of it was challenging, and I wasn’t sure if that was a direction we should...
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Body image wasn’t something I thought I would ever write about.  Not because I don’t have thoughts about it or have no experience with it, because I certainly do.  However, I think its SUCH a hot topic for people and there’s almost no way to address it without upsetting someone.  As my reach has expanded...
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And we are back in the saddle!  Eight weeks after my ridiculous schaphoid break, I can finally press with minimal pain.  In the past couple of weeks, USS has announced the events for the first ever Pro Womens Worlds event!  Its going to shake out like this: –Max deadlift on Friday night.  for once I...
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I had the honor of being able to participate at The inaugural Jenn Rotsinger Womens Empowerment Weekend in Tampa, Florida.  I could write a book here, but here are my biggest take-aways from the weekend: -Jenn Rotsinger GOES HARD.  She hosted a weekend that consisted of a four hour clinic, two full powerlifting meets, a...
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The internet is LITTERED with articles, blogs, and advertising with titles like “40 things you have been wrong about..” or “Why you are wrong about xyz.”  While they often contain valuable insight, there is really no one admitting that they have, in fact, been wrong.  I am going to take this opportunity to be transparent...
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This past weekend I competed in the 2nd United States Strongman National Championships. Going into this event was a little rough.  As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I followed a deadlift down a little hard last month and broke a bone in my wrist, causing tons of swelling and bruising.  I also sadly didn’t...
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Coach Christian Anto has started a series on the differences between remote coaching and personal training, and when to opt for one or the other.  Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages, which I will leave to his series to explain.  I would like to allow some insight in how to get the most as a...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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This week wrapped up the first 16 week training cycle for our womens powerlifting team.  While we have long had women training at our gym, and a powerlifting team, it wasn’t until the past six months or so that we saw an interest in getting together and training towards something as a team.  This week,...
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     By most standards, 2015 was a losing year for me: I bombed out of a powerlifting meet for the first time in April.  I re-focused and set my sights on Strongman Nationals.  Despite months of preparation, I walked out with a disappointing third place.  I immediately switched gears and spent 15 weeks meticulously...
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  Alright..We all took a little break from blogging.  And by little, I mean that the last time I blogged was on the tail end of 2014, after Memphis’ Strongest Woman Since then… –I moved to Memphis to formally join my homies at NBS. –I dug my feet into strongman training and got pretty good...
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Alright alright!  WHAT A WEEKEND!  As you know, this weekend was Memphis’s Strongest (wo)Man at NBS.  We had a huge, competitive womens class which was really fun to battle with.  In retrospect, there is a lot of things I wish I could go back and change, but that’s the point of competition time and time...
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About Us

A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of