September 12, 2012

Nothing’s Worse Than a Busted Shoulder

Weight training programs that focus on moving heavy weight through a single plane of motion leave many bases uncovered when it comes to functional strength and joint stability. It’s quite possible to develop super-strong and ultra-sculpted shoulders with free, multiplanar motion. You begin by palming two weight plates and assuming an athletic-ready position:

Locked and Loaded

1. Skim the Meniscus

2. Throw the Discus

You look in the mirror to check form, not to admire muscle definition or despise figure.

It Takes Years of Dedication

The Disc Drive Series can be a useful way to become immensely strong. Practice the techniques demonstrated in each of the blog entries and you’re well on your way to a pro-form physique. The path to a peaking vessel is years long, and has no particular end. You go through your routines and before long, it’s automated–the highest level of systems functioning. Don’t let stagnation, discouragement or social distraction derail you. No one wants this for you as bad as you do; it’s one of the universal inequalities in life. So sink your teeth in, and plan on having tenacity.

Kind regards,


Always The Upstanding Citizen

Grab two plates…hold on tight.

Get a Grip–Now Walk Forth, Young Man

Different foot strikes indicate a stability challenge, as well.

Make sure to take even paces, with shoulders pinned back.

Just Think: Age 30 will be my most athletic year…


Chin up. Shoulders back…this is Charm School, sucka!

So, let’s make this harder, ey?

Stack ‘Em

Doubling the stack width coupled with added surface viscosity places increased demand on the gripping muscles.

The Farmer’s Walk

I can’t tell you how many exercises I take my clients through that could be more effective with improved grip strength. I’ve known this since somewhere near the beginning of my personal training career nearly 8 years ago. Clients would complain of searing, burning pain focused in the forearms, elbows and hands when performing lat pull-downs and rows; dead-lifts were a near impossibility; heavy weight couldn’t be moved without the use of wrist straps.

Your appendages and digits are your most literal translation of the tactile world outside. You get full neural input of the resistances placed on your frame when you are in direct touch with them. The Farmer’s Walk forces you to squeeze with all your might and to manage an efficient posture while swaying. This is truly a strength-building exercise.


1. Grip the rims of two weight plates using just finger tips. Hold them by your sides.
2. Stand up super tall and let the arms hang down, with a little stiffness in the elbow to avoid hyper-extending.
3. Walk forwards as far as you can until you feel like the grip is about to slip!
4. Hold on for dear life and take a few more steps for good measure.
5. Progress to stacked plates when you become bored with the traditional version.
6. Total 4 sets, mixed into core work (gluteus, abs, trunk, etc.)

Kind Regards,


Questions, comments or concerns, e-mail:

Time to Get Even: Side Bends

Half a Parabola

Bend and Extend

Firmly-Footed Foundation

Keep It Close to the Heart

OK, Diver Down!

“Controlled Negative”

“On the Rise”

“Peak Strength”

Burn It Out and Let It Hang

The Key to 6-Pack Abs:

Frequent Cardio: this is not new information.

Intense Weight Training: this is not new information.

Durable Nutrition: this needs to be the focus. I am willing to guarantee, that if you put yourself on a diet where you only eat foods that were grown within a 150-mile radius of where you live, you will lose the unwanted weight that you have.

Adequate Rest (see “Rest” on the Blog): habitual small abuses (frequent, small alcohol intakes; environmental pollutants; restless nights, food toxins, etc.) drain the body of its vitality. If you rejuvenate (see “Rejuvenate” on the blog), you’ll look great.

Repetitive Routines: Successful busy-ness hinges on systems. Be a corporate monolith of consistency and the pounds just melt away and evaporate *(gone forever; into mist)

Set the Intention: what are you going to do?

Change Speeds: you have to do sport; bottom line. Milling about on cardio machines is linear and unshocking. Pick up a floor-hockey stick or relive your glory days in an adult recreational soccer league.

Do all these things, and expand to your Volume!

Oh, and about the slideshow we just saw:

Side Bends are some of the riskiest, and therefore most rewarding, abdominal exercises you can perform. The vertebral column is designed to be stacked straight up. So imagine little pin cushions sitting atop each bone in the column…As you crunch in, you smear the pressure of the bones unevenly across the cushions and it literally smushes the cushion. When you flex your side across the frontal plane, it can really pinch unevenly to one side. The spinal discs contain nerve jelly within its walls, and the last thing you want is some of that squirting out of a rupture.

The upside is that laterally flexible people will be able to really develop their core by stretching the psoas, TFL, QL, lats, IT Bands and pec minor. It also hardens the body by challenging you to overcome inertia and move weight with no appendages. Here’s the program:

Set 1: body, 15-25 reps each side (stability challenges like bird-doggin’ a side plank better prepare the body for the variability of actual exercise repetition. It turns a general warm-up, into a specific warm-up).

Set 2: Plus 12kg, 12 reps each side.

Set 3: Remain neutral, select the same weight. 15 unilateral reps and challenge the depth.

Set 4: Grab a 45, 4-6 reps each side.

Stretch: Hip Flexors, Abs and Quads

Questions, comments or concerns, e-mail:

Kind Regards,


Twist & Shout: The Barbell Swivel

Alright. I’ma, like, hurl this thing…

(*brain teaser: how many triangles can you find in this picture?)

Your core is EVERYTHING
…are you strong?

Swinging for extra bases…doubles or better. Shoot it to the gap…

Six-pack abs? What can they DO?

Centered! New Balance!

Move Your Feet

(What’s Wrong With This Picture?)

If you guessed “distended rectus abdominis”…you’re right!!! The most common cause of ineffective abdominal work is lack of proper core engagement. Here, I failed to contract my deep core stabilizers and thus my “six-pack” turns into a “turtle shell”. Whether you’re doing a standard Crunch or a complex move, like a Barbell Swivel, if your deep core stabilizers are not online, your exercise is rendered utterly ineffective 🙁


I risk a hernia, bulged vertebral disc or torn muscle in my core rotators. The more you know about exercise, the longer the athletic career you’ll have. Even toying around with a 10-pound weight plate, you can suffer a devastating back injury.

Now Load Up!

++take note: When bending over, the author uses the “off-hand” (left) as a kickstand to support a hefty upper frame…perfect spinal alignment almost guarantees no repetitive stress injuries to the back or hips.

Shoulder Striation (after years of work)

Follow-Thru is Key

Thank you, Sir!… May I Have Another?!

This Is It:

Please look at my feet.

They are such beautiful sneakers: MADE IN USA!!!

Barbell Swivel


1. Stand up tall
2. Hold a standard olympic barbell at arms length
3. Use only the core muscles to swivel the bar side-to-side
4. Fancy footwork ensures spinal safety
5. Each time the core rotates, you must “catch” the bar softly and redirect it!
6. Add weight as needed

Muscles to Stretch: Psoas, Iliopsoas, Quadriceps, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Maximus, Rear Deltiods, Scalenes and Trapezius

It comes down to sheer will. Determination… I could easily quit, OR I could overcome difficulty and get the job done. One results in one, while the other results in the other–get me?

If you have been following this blog, then you are two moves away from rut-busting freedom!! Share this link with friends, family and colleagues, as your support structure ultimately determines the likelihood of your success!

I’m here to tell you that “it” is hard work. Whatever “it” is: GO GET “IT”!!! My workout is the most challenging part of my day. If–by some chance–my body happened to be in order without hard work behind it, then I’d find some other insurmountable task to excel at (finance, law, etc.). Turns out I value longevity, strength, mindfulness and discipline. Thus, physical training is uniquely suited for me. Find your values, and pursue perfection within them without compromise–there is your greatness

Kind Regards,


*author found 13 triangles

Q & A

TRX Training is ideal for the outdoors enthusiast this Summer. It travels well, it’s capable of targeting all major (core, torso and insertion points) and accessory (calves, biceps, etc.) muscle groups and it’ll last you a decade. Check out the versatility:

Close Up

You can achieve all plank positions, run upper extremity agility drills or get an aerobic workout from here.

Side Plank

Some of the toughest ab exercises you’ll ever try!!! Hold each side high and tight for 60 seconds, and you’re in top gear!

Get a Grip

Many exercises require iron grip strength to eliminate the forearm as a leverage focal point. Develop stiff, rigid claws and experience enhanced neuromuscular control.

Balance and Symmetry

The beauty of exercise is how graceful it is. Take your time with the flow; three polished reps is infinitely better than a deep collection of sloppy movements.

Practice yogic breathing… (Full Plank)

The Atomic Push-Up is brilliant in challenging your ability to time breath with motion. Breathe out while balled into Inverted Crunch, and engulf a huge breath when sprawled into Full Plank. Hold it, dive low into the Push-Up and breathe out as you simultaneously press yourself up and ball back into Inverted Crunch.

It takes coordination! (Inverted Crunch)

Training with TRX is your body on a pendulum. Make the rudder go wild and keep your core centered!!!

I anchor the TRX to trees in the park, monkey bars on the playground, lamp posts or at home in the door jamb. I build a workout week consisting of at least (4) TRX sessions with (3) Stairclimber
workouts to get killer biceps and bulletproof abdominals–a different kind of 6-pack at the beach this summer!!!

Now, my feeling of fitness products, DVDs and literature is that a base of at least intermediate, but preferably advanced exercise and sport technique must be built in order to get the most out of the product. For example, if you can not execute a well-timed and plyometrically sound tuck jump (among all other plyometric movements), then workout DVDs that demand explosive, bursting movements may not the best choice for you. Without a sound grasp on basic exercise techniques like muscle development training, flexibility, agility and plyometrics you will likely get little benefit from the product itself.

TRX Undergrad

1. Become proficient in the classic unassisted bodyweight resistance exercises (Pull-Ups, Push-Ups, Hanging Leg Lifts and Single-Leg Squats)

2. Work on coordinative movements (moving two separate segments of the body at the same time and/or reciprocally)

3. Prove to yourself that you will stick to a HWP (home workout program) before you invest!

Kind regards,


Link to the Gallery: