It Takes a Decision

I woke up one day, realizing that my life had gotten out of control.  I was nearly 100 pounds overweight, troubles with my lungs and high blood pressure, facing a growing concern of Type 2 diabetes on the near horizon. Here's a picture from those days: As long as it seems to make this all happen, it all really happened in a day.  The day I made a decision that I had not lived up to my potential.  The day I made a decision I would be more, be healthier, be stronger, be more positive, more content, more joyful. read more

Dumbbell Workout

A Timeless Truth Some truths seem apparent but fade with time. Some truth just refuses to fade. As long as pushing iron for strength has been recorded, dumbbells have been the preferred solution. The reasons are many. Having trained for several decades, I have used a wide range of barbells, machines, and dumbbells finding value in each. As my training progressed however, I found that my training continued to gravitate toward dumbbells. Research supports a broad preference for dumbbells in training. In his seminal volume Fitness: The Complete Guide, Frederick Hatfield made a compelling case for training with dumbbells: "In… read more

Keeping It Simple

I lifted my first weights over 40 years ago.  Over that time, the magazines and books I've read on the subject of bodybuilding and strength training would fill a formidable library.  I've learned a lot of lessons.  The most powerful training principle I've embraced through it all - simplicity. Keeping it Simple Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) is a design strategy found today in engineering, software design, military strategy, and many other ways. Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, a Dutch systems scientist, programmer, software engineer,  and science essayist, summarized both the value of simplicity and the challenge of implementing it: "Simplicity is a… read more

Your Body Type

Ever hear what sounded like really good training advice, only to find it ineffective when you put it to use? Success is fun, but failure is a tough pill to swallow, especially when the same advice method worked for others. Listening to a world class bodybuilder recently, he described his secret to success in that he “trained five hours a day, every day, [...] read more

Training As We Age

The fastest growing population group in the United States includes those people between age 65 and 70, with over 12 million people.  With the aging baby boomers, the population age 65 and higher is expected to continue growing rapidly. However, growth in the aged population has little to do with improved health habits.  The Center for Disease Control reports that more than one-third of older adults aged 65 and over were obese in 2007-2010 with obesity prevalence was higher among those aged 65‒74.  Studies regularly report that the aging population loses muscle, gains fat, and overall quality and quantity of… read more

My approach to nutrition

I was a skinny kid and pretty much what they call a hardgainer.  It took me years to gain strength.   For most of my training years, I took the 'skinny' me for granted and focused on building strength and size.  I had a powerful lesson that I would learn: "What you take for granted, you lose." I was beyond strong by any standard for my years, but the lack of focus on nutrition was begging for attention.  Pictures like this one (taken a few years ago) appeared more and more often, and I knew something had to be done.  Things had… read more

Deadlift: Do it Right

The deadlift continues to be one of the best exercises for strength and conditioning because; (a) the deadlift allows you to lift heavier weights than any other exercise, (b) it is an effective tool for improving explosive strength performance, and (c) is one of the few exercises shown to have beneficial impacts to both testosterone and growth hormone. If you haven't been coached on how to perform the deadlift, it's highly likely you're making a mistake or two because proper form requires a disciplined approach. Two weeks ago, my enthusiasm got me in a bit of trouble during my last… read more

Low Carb Nutrition

Our very existence depends on food. But food has taken a role larger than survival in most of the modern world.  We live in a world saturated with junk food and adult obesity rates rising in excess of 35%.  My research and personal experience has caused me to advocate a carb-controlled nutrition plan in all trainees. This is not to say that every trainee needs to be on a ketogenic diet, the most rigid form of carb control.  It is to say, however, that low quality carbs have come to dominate the American food market.  As a result, everyone looking… read more

Counting Calories

In my journey through losing almost 100 pounds of body weight, I've learned some painful lessons.  Perhaps the biggest lesson learned was about calories, and the deceptions so commonly spread about them online.  Here is an example of the typical article you can find about low carb, or keto, diet plans on the internet today: "How to Stop Counting Calories and Lose Weight with Ketosis" While it is true that ketosis helps to suppress the appetite, this hype is clearly intended to draw followers by suggesting that calories no longer matter, i.e. that keto dieting has an "eat until you… read more

Emotional Well Being

What makes a person want to train, lift weights, do cardio, year after year? Many factors have played a role in my desire and ability to continue a regimen of exercise year after year. Put simply, it feels good to exercise. [...] read more