Monthly Archives: November 2012

What you can learn from a Chinese Buffet about writing a workout program

We have all been there, when you’re out with friends and you’re looking for a cheap place to eat. Then you start entertaining the thoughts of Chinese. Thoughts of duck sauce and dumplings creep into your thoughts, and eventually you think about how you feel after, like crap, but we still go.Most of us go into a buffet with the mindset that you are going to get your moneys worth of food. You always fail and most likely think, “Why did I come here in the first place”. That’s why it’s always best to know what you want before hand and stop after your second plate. But this article is not about how to eat at a Chinese Buffet, it’s about what you can learn from eating at a Chinese Buffet to help you plan better workout programs.  I know this sounds crazy right.

Have A Plan

When it comes to setting up your workouts the first thing you must know is what your goal is; is it strength, size, power, or endurance. Pick one and stick to it for the duration of your program, whether that is a 4 week or a 6 week program. Picking a little of everything leads to achieving nothing; other than general fitness.

Know What You Want

            We all want to get the most out of each an d every one of your workouts, but this does not mean that more exercises per workouts = better results. There are a lot of exercises out there but not all of them can be fit into one program. Remember your goal and pick the exercises that will help get you to that goal the fastest.

When it comes to gaining power and strength you don’t need 8, 9, or 10 exercises in all your workouts. Remember you’re going for strength and power so all you need is 2 multijoint lifts (dead lift, bench, squat, etc.) and 2 or 3 accessory lifts that focus on some of your weaknesses.  Throw in some core and mobility work to “kick it up a notch”.

Bon appétit,  you have a recipe for a good power and strength program.

For size and endurance you can add some more accessory exercises or increase the sets and reps as well as decreasing the rest time to 30 sec or to1 min.

Know When To Stop

            Going along with not needing 20 exercises per program, your goal at the end of a workout should not be feeling like you were hit with a sledgehammer. I know walking around like you have been assaulted after a hard legs day is all the rage, but for me I would rather drop the weight or skip a few reps then have to limp around for the next few days.

Listen to your body. If you are feeling tired and rundown take a break and get at it another day. Being sore is not a sign of a good workout, being sore is your body’s way of saying you over did it

Wrap Up

So when making a program, you need to have a goal in mind. This will allow you to focus on one area to maximize your results.

From the goal pick your exercises and your sets and reps. Use the chart I provided to help give you an idea of how many reps you should be doing based off of your goals. As far as sets go, the higher the reps lower the sets and the lower the reps the higher the sets.

            Lastly know yourself.  If the program is too challenging, modify it so it’s easier or make it harder if it is too easy. The program is written on paper not in stone so it’s ok if you have to make changes. Most importantly, know when to call it a day.

Best

Josh Williams

Tips to Stay Active During Holiday Travels

With Thanksgiving comes a lot of traveling to see the family. For most people this means they will be unable to get to the gym to workout. On top of all of this you will be stuffing your face full of animal meats, breaded goodness, and pies galore – as you should be. How else would you want to spend time with your friends and family?

Here are some ways to stay active without a gym during the holidays.

TRX

If you have a TRX system then this is a great time to use it. With the TRX you can get a full body work out and all you need is a place to hang it from.

Workout Idea:
Suggest: 3×10 (Hypertrophy)

Single Leg Squat
Hamstring Tucks
Push Up
Post Fly
Triceps Extension
Biceps Curl
Front Plank
Side Plank

Bands

Ok not everyone has a TRX. If you don’t that’s ok. Got bands? If so then you can get a great full body workout with just one ½ inch band. My friends over at Spurling Training Systems did a video recently on 20 Exercises With A 1/2in Band, if you are looking for some great ideas.

Workout Idea
Suggest: 3×10 (Hypertrophy)

Band Squats
Band Good Mornings
Band Push Up
Band Row
Band Biceps Curl
Band Lat Walk
Band Pallof Press

Your Body Is A Gym

No TRX and no Bands, you got to be kidding me!

That’s ok I got you covered. As long as you have a body then you are all set. Sorry disembodied heads.

A pipe a day keeps the body away

Body weight exercise is a good way to work on movement patterns you may be lack in: Squat, Lunge, SLDL, and exc. Along with getting a surprisingly difficult workout.

Workout Idea
Suggest: 3×10 (Hypertrophy) or 3×15 (Endurance)

Squats
Foot Elevated Bridge
Push Ups
Pull Ups
Foot Elevated Split Squat
SLDL
Side and Front Planks

Get Outside

The one thing I love about going home is just getting outside. There are plenty of activities to do in the yard. That could be playing pass or tag with your little cousin, nieces, and nephews.

When I get home there always seems to be a list of yard work waiting for me to be done. Whether that is cutting wood, staking wood, carrying wood, cleaning wood, you get the point there is plenty of work you can do outside to say active.

My number on favorite thing to do is to go on a morning Thanksgiving hike with my dog Heath. A good number of people do not have access to hiking trails, so why not just go for a family walk.

The most important thing is to keep your workouts short and simple. The holidays are a good time to deload and let your body recover. Above all, get out and spend sometime with your loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels

Josh Williams

The Beard Factor

After reading a blog post by Ben Bruno on the Swole Quotient. I was inspired to write about the Beard Factor.

Its November which means “No Shave November” you may have noticed a lot of facial hair going on in the gym recently. I have been hearing from a few people about how their workouts feel harder with their newfound facial hair. What they are experiencing is the “Beard Factor”.

There is much power behind the Beard, if one can control it. If you can’t handle the beard then you will be over come by the sheer weight and magnitude, not to mention the constant itching. If you are able to accomplish this great feat, you may just find yourself with the likes of two of the most epic beards of all time. Brett Keisel and Grizzly Adams.

Fear Da Beard

Grizzly Adams did have a Beard

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the Beard Brett Keisel helped lead the 2008 Pittsburg Steelers to a Super Bowl victory. Grizzly Adams beard was able to tame wild animals. WILD ANIMALS!

The key to controlling the power of the beard is to now how to take care of your beard. A happy beard is a powerful beard. That’s why I highly recommend The Facial Hair Handbook.

I hope this gives you some insight in what you might be experiencing. Don’t fear the beard but embrace its power and above all respect it.

Best

Josh Williams

5 Ways to Control Your Eating

Most people love to eat, hell America in general loves to eat that’s why we are number one at being fat and also number one at eating hot dogs, shout out to Joey Chestnut, America! I love to eat, I don’t know what I think about more, food or hot chicks looking hot, it’s a toss up.

The best of both worlds

What can I say, America and I love to eat and a lot of it. So here are 5 tips to help control your eating and to prevent you from overeating.

Drink water

This is not a new idea; thirst and hunger are often confused. Lots of times when you think your hungry you are actually thirsty. Your stomach does not know the difference between food and water. By drinking water your stomach may actually think it is full. If after drinking some water you still feel hungry, you may actually be hungry. Water is a good way to find out if you are truly hungry. So drink up.

Make your home a safe place

This is a no brainer. If you have troubles snacking or have a ravenous sweet tooth, then you should not have the temptation of junk food around the house. You control what you buy for food, so make sure your house is full of good healthy foods.

If you can’t live without snacks, which is bull, then make sure they are individually packaged. It’s easier to eat a whole bag of chips at one time then it is to eat a bunch of little individual bags of chips.

Shop smart and keep your house a safe haven from the temptation of junk food.

Go to bed

You have heard the saying, “Nothing good happens after 12 o’clock”. Well I have discovered a new saying when pertaining to eating, “Nothing good happens after 10 o’clock”.  If you think about it when was the last time you felt hungry after 10 o’clock and made a good food choice. Most likely you went to the freezer and got a bowl of ice cream or grabbed something high in refined carbs and sugars.

Instead of staying up and falling pray to your hunger, grab some water and head to bed. More sleep is something we all need. It’s a win win, you get to control your hunger and also increase your number of z’s.

Go to restaurants that have website

Why go to restaurants that have websites?  Because you can see their menu before you go. If you know what you are going to order before hand, than you are more likely to make a good food choice.

A side note, any local eating challenges are not worth it. Just watch an episode of Man Versus Food.  No ones is impressed, Adam Richman.

Don’t be this guy

Cheat

Cheat you say? Yes, cheat I say. Cheating is a necessity when it comes to eating healthy, a little bit of an oxymoron. If you don’t reward yourself once in a while then you are likely to crack and go on an eating frenzy. When you do plan on cheating make sure you know what you are going to eat and when you are going to eat it. 90% of your eating should be healthy, clean eating, any more then this may result in not reaching your health goals.

When it comes to cheating you must know yourself. You must know how much you can cheat and how often you can do it. Cheat too much and it can lead to a slippery slope of cheating all the time. I recommended once a week and slowly decrease it to once a month. Everyone is different.   For me, I try to do it once a month.  Any more then that and I end up cheating almost every day.

Conclusion

When it comes to eating success you can implement all the tricks you can think of, but what it really comes down to is making the right decisions day after day after day and making healthy eating a habit. Control is the name of the game; learn to control your appetite and you will be successful. There will be times you over eat, it happens to everyone, and its OK from time to time, just pick yourself up and start right back to where you were.

Best

Josh Williams

Cressey Performance Fall Seminar Recap and Highlights

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of spending the day at Cressey Performance and having a lot of knowledge dropped on me. So here are some of the highlights from the presenters.

  Eric Cressey

Overview: The first presenter was Eric Cressey who talked about congenital laxity. Cressey posed the question, “are we stretching just because?” Not all people need stretching and most do not. We should be trying to maintain ROM through mobility work, foam rolling, ART, exc.; as well as creating stability within that ROM.

            Interesting Quote: “Chaitow and DeLany hypothesize that trigger points may offer an efficient means of achieving short-term stability in unstable areas.”

Take Home: The goal is to maintain mobility and improve stability and static stretching is not the only way to improve length.

Brian St. Pierre

Overview: Brian St. Pierre had an interesting talk about what lies ahead of us in the world of food. Talking about omega-3’s being put in hot dogs and ice cream, flu vaccinations in milk, cows making breast milk, and making meat in a test tube. Some pretty crazy things are coming to use in the near future. Some will be considered good and like many new changes to our food will be considered controversial.

Interesting Quote: In regards to making changes into habits, “Make a change so small that you can’t fail.”

Take Home: There’s going to be some changes coming to use in the near future. When changing ones eating habits make little changes into habits and then move on to the next change.

  Nathaniel Tiplady

Overview: Tiplady is a manual therapist and he did a great job of going over different techniques used by manual therapists, as well as the pros and cons of each one.

Interesting Quote: “Get your hands on your athletes” when assessing your clients you need to touch them to sometimes find out what is wrong.

Take Home: Manual therapy is a legitimate field that has rationale to back it self up. Manual therapists don’t always know why something works but it does.

Eric Schoenberg

           Overview: Schoenberg is a PT and went over injury prevention and improving throwing athletes. Schoenberg went over the importance of assessing athletes before training them, and that this process should not be rushed.

           Interesting Quote: “ Must evaluate, if you are not evaluating your guessing” “Know what your good at, everything else refer out”

           Take Home: Take time when assessing, act quickly when correcting.

Tony Gentilcore 

            Overview: Tony went over the squat and how to assess if squatting is even right for some people. When assessing the squat you should be looking to see if they have the mobility and stability to perform as squat. The squat pattern can be affected by poor mobility in the ankles and hips. Poor stability of the core can also be a cause of poor squat pattern, causing clients to bend to far forward. Finally Femoral Acetabular Impingement can be a factor that prevents squatting.

            Interesting Quote: On screening clients, “Screening is proving they can do what I want them to do.”

            Take Home: Squatting is not for everyone. Braking down the squat pattern will lead to finding out if client can squat and what needs to be

Best,

Josh Williams