Monday, October 24, 2011

Top 49 Things I Learned In 2006

Think putting yourself on a muscle building diet has to be a painful process?  Whether your goal is fat loss or muscle building, getting proper nutrition is at least 80% of the game. If you don't have that figured out, you are going to be a long time away from seeing results.

The good news is that your tastebuds don't have to suffer if you don't want them to. There are plenty of ways to get in your proper nutrition while keeping things interesting. If you think gaining muscle means suffering through can of tuna after can of tuna or pounding back a protein shake as fast as humanly possible, you need to think again.

1. Pull ups are better than pull downs. Duh.

2. You don't need a training partner to get huge (but it helps). You should be able to pack on your first 20 plus pounds of muscle alone.

3. Bicep curls do not produce bigger biceps. Focusing on increasing your body's overall size is what makes your biceps bigger.

4. John Berardi's G-Flux theory. Also know as energy flux (or energy turnover) is the relationship between energy intake and expenditure. Basically, it's better to train more and eat more than train less and eat less.

5. Alwyn Cosgrove's said this, "A good program performed poorly is worthless. A shitty program done with a ton of effort is worth a lot. But when you get a good program and a tone of effort, the results can be amazing."

6. The Sopranos and 24 are the best damn shows on television. I will proudly admit that I have overdosed on Tony Soprano and Jack Bauer for over 12 hours at a time, on multiple occasions. And I don't regret a single episode!

7. Learn by 'doing' - not by talking about it. I am sick and tired of people who post on forums and ask, "What do you think of this diet or workout etc.?" How the heck do I know? Go try it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

8. The two man bench press is becoming more popular each year. You know what I'm talking about. Where one guy lowers the bar and the other deadlifts it up yelling, "It's all you, man!"

9. I hate people with no gym etiquette. The guy who does bicep curls in the squat rack. The guy who does a side lateral raise 1 inch away from the dumbell rack, blocking the entire rack of weights. The guy who loads the leg press with 1000 pounds and leaves the plates on. The guy who drips sweat all over the bench without wiping it down. I could go on and on...

10. I really can't stand skinny guys who wear tank tops. Seriously, if your arms aren't bigger than 15 inches, I don't want to see your puny arms. Keep them hidden until you earn the right to show them off.

11. People will pay more money to make exercise easier and easier. Just take a look at late night infomercials and the popularity of group exercise and dance classes...

12. Since I am Canadian-Italian, watching George St-Pierre kick Matt Hughes' butt was the best UFC fight all year and watching Italy win the World Cup was the happiest day of my life!

13. The Smith Machine is useless. Aside from not allowing your body from working through a natural range of motion, it is a perfect disguise for being stronger than you really are.

14. Only results matter. It doesn't matter what you, another person, text book, or research article claims or thinks should happen as far as the training outcome - all that matters is what actually happens, the final outcome.

15. It's possible to train for an entire year and look the exact same! The majority of these people will look the exact same next year too.

16. Stand for something or fall for everything. My father taught me to apply this to my physical, intellectual and spiritual journeys.

17. Only take training advice from those who have trained themselves at a high level or make their living training others at a high level.

18. A complete program involves enforcing movement patterns, cardiovascular work, strength work, flexibility work, injury prevention training, core training and recovery enhancement. Most programs, cover 1 or 2 at best.

19. I heard someone say, "Full body workouts are best for 90% of the population, 80-90% of the time. And body part routines are best for 10% of the population, 10-20% of the time." I would have to agree.

20. Speak less and listen more. If you are a true student, you will want to hear the teacher's voice more than your own. You are not learning while you are talking.

21. Over 70% of the supplements on the market have less than 30% absorption rate. This means you are only absorbing about 30% of what is in the bottle. Supplements are about making money. They put just enough in the product for you to feel a slight difference so you buy them again.

22. Hiring a personal trainer is one of the best investments you can make. Yes, I know, not all trainers are created equal. I'm talking about the kick ass ones who have a binder full of before and after pictures and guarantee results.

23. Money is a jealous and deadly god. Money can create freedom but it will not set you truly free.

24. Stretch as least half as much as you lift. If you are lifting weights for at least 4 hours a week than you better be stretching at least 2 hours a week. If not, your body is screaming for an injury.

25. Active Release Therapy (A.R.T.) therapy has been proven, to me personally, the most effective form of therapy available. Find a reputable A.R.T. therapist if you are on the injured list.

26. Competing in my first fitness model show was the only decision that truly motivated me to get the best body of my life.

27. I love short emails written in short, concise sentences. Learn how to be time-efficient with your communication.

28. Dead lifts are the best overall exercise of all time. No other exercise produces the same potential of results as dead lifts.

29. Body weight exercises should be mastered before external load is introduced. It amazes me at how many guys attempt a sloppy 200 pound lat pull down but can't pull up their weight once.

30. Impression without expression leads to depression. This means that people get impressed with certain ideas but don't do anything about it so they end up getting depressed.

31. No guts, no glory. If you're not bleeding, sweating and crying at the end of your workouts than I must question your workout intensity.

32. Buy a foam roller and use it daily. Stop fixating on the strength, size and flexibility of a tissue until you increase the quality of the tissue.

33. Write everything down. This will help clarify your goals and use the past to replicate the future.

34. Find a mentor. They will accelerate your learning and take you closer to your goal.

35. Skinny guys will never become bigger until they start spending more money on groceries, spend more time in the kitchen and spend more time cleaning in the kitchen.

36. Stop training with your girlfriend. I attempted this for a few weeks, and as much as I love my girlfriend, this is an impossible recipe to make any gains!

37. Machines are not always better. They are merely alternatives and used for commercial profit to the manufacturer and sales companies which have influenced the masses to believe that the latest, superior machine is worthy of our attention. I don't agree.

38. I never got dumber reading a book (with the possible exception of the Britney Spears' book Heart to Heart). It drives me crazy when someone asks, 'Is this book worth it?' Even if you learned one new thing, would it not be worth it? How can you put a price on knowledge?

39. The majority of people still think cardiovascular is the best way to lose fat. Thanks to programs from Craig Ballantyne, Tom Venuto, and Alwyn Cosgrove, we are now discovering the value of high intensity circuit training for maximizing the 24-hour metabolism.

40. If you are doing three quad dominant exercises such as a leg press, lunge and leg extension, than you better be doing three hip dominant exercises to counteract an imbalance in the pelvis, such as stiff leg dead lifts, good mornings and leg curls.

41. If you are doing three horizontal pushing exercises for your chest like bench press, incline bench press, and decline bench press, you better be doing three horizontal pulling exercises to counteract an imbalance in the shoulders such as seated row, bent over row and overhand row.

42. Unilateral exercises are underestimated compared to bilateral exercises. Don't believe me? Try a one leg squat down to your butt instead of a double leg squat and let me know how it goes...

43. You are the average of the top five people you hang around most. Hang around with pimps and players and most likely you will become a pimp and player. Hang out with millionaires and most likely you will become a millionaire. Hang out with guys bigger and more ripped than you, and you will eventually become the same.

44. In training for pure muscle size, there are two sides to the debate. Higher volume training with sub-maximal load and higher repetitions. And lower volume training with maximal load and lower repetitions. Both will work.

45. Almost every training program will work if the stimulus is sufficient and a quality caloric support is in a surplus.

46. I am still waiting to see the massive amounts of muscle people fear to lose when dieting.

47. You don't know what you don't know.

48. If a supplement has not been around for at least three years to beat the test of time, I give it zero attention and dedicate my time to my training program and nutrition planning.

49. You will get the exact same thing this year if you keep doing the same thing you did last year.





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An American Democrat