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,


Time to Clean Your Plate

Plate work is some of my favorite. Just like kettle bells, dumbbells and machines, plates are just another tool in the gym that I can use to shape my body in a totally unique way. The demands placed on the core are equivalent to working with kettle bells. The majority of moves are bi-lateral, so it offers the same potential for symmetry as the machines. Unlike dumbbells, however, plate manipulation requires more advanced skill probably gained through extensive exercise experience.

Where to Begin?

Fundamental Movement

Chop Squat with Rotation

1. As the basis of working with plates, understanding the Chop Squat is critical.
2. Hold the plate bi-laterally (evenly balanced right to left). Choose the weight wisely.
3. Let the plate sway in an arc to better understand the mechanics.
4. Drive from the hips and lower back to propel the plate skyward along the arc.
5. Overcome inertia, knock it off axis and shift the center of gravity.
6. Lock in rhythm with the swaying pendulum.
7. One Max Effort hurls the plate skyward on an arc.

Going up!

8. Catch it high.
9. Once elevated, observe the distribution of different downward forces on your body as the position of the plate changes overhead.

Big Wide Orbital Arc

The Laws of Physics: The longer the lever of the pendulum, the more force it takes to overcome inertia, accelerate and decelerate it.

10. Arms bone straight, collapse the hips, knees and vertebral rotators simultaneously as the plate scrapes the perimeter.

A Complete Collapse

11. Catch it low.
12. Allow your body to give into the force so that you can accurately calculate how hard to counter.

The change in direction is initiated at the waist and then transferred through the arms. Drive first with the gluteus on the side over which the plate falls. Sequentially fire the external obliques, the erectors and the [rear] deltoids. Stabilize the shoulder with the middle trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids and the muscles with scapular insertions.

Repeat In Sequence

Mastering Plate Chop Squats does a body good! Everything gets stronger; you become more flexible; your heart rate is jacked and it’s highly functional. Whether for recreation or pro-competition, Chop Squats build athleticism and physique, and conquer uncoordinated efforts and imbalances.

Start Competing!

– Use Plate Chop Squats as part of your general warm-up prior to weight training
– Start with a light 5-pound plate and become acclimated to the mechanics
– Always use a mirror to observe yourself
– Do Three Sets of 15 repeats to each side with 30 seconds of rest between sets


See beauty in yourself and the world loves you all around. You are Beautifully Sculpted; evenly shaped. Have a grasp on your reality by touching something–it’s likely right there, in the same place at the same time…everyday. Celebrate the pendulum of your life. It’s time for the upswing.

Excerpt from “The Art of Exercise”


Q & A

Is your support system in place? Do you have special routines or systematic processes? How often do you analyze? What would be the next level on (such and such…)?

These are the questions that, if unasked, take away from the chances of having your communal, personal or professional vision materialize. But first, you must make a bold step and declaration! Put the same vision in others’ minds–the more who see the same pictures you do, the more satellites for transmission you have floating out there.

Here is a blend of ideas that can serve as a reminder that you literally make your own rules. You define what matters, and what doesn’t. And in your life, nothing is more consequential than your goals.

Reach For It

Every attempt you make brings you closer to your goal. Set the bar just a little higher, and the path will slowly come into focus.

Have a Grasp

Grip strength is an issue that every client faces. The system is only as durable as its outermost extension. Use smooth, heavy, paper thin plates for farmer walks and manual labor to get a grip.

Hold Firm

Set the stage for your one true effort and spring forth. Swing momentum’s curve for leverage to gain repetitions.

Stand Tall

Again, grip strength: how long can you hold on? Plus, when you weed the hands out as a limiting factor, major muscle movers plow the turf and promote wild growth.

V-Body with Lat Pulldows:

Forward Facing Grip Pulldowns: 2 Sets, light resistance, for reps. (rest :30)
Body Weight Pull-Ups: 5 Sets, 10+ repeats (rest :30)
Chin-Up Grip Pulldowns: 3 Sets, 12-15 repeats, Light Heavy resistance (rest :60)
Behind-the-Neck Pulldowns (*for those with adequate rotator cuff flexibility [external]): 2 Sets, light resistance, 12-15 repeats


Rear Delts
Teres Major
Teres Minor

*Nerve Flossing is also highly recommended.

Let Her Down Easy

Acrobatics: you never know when you’re gonna need them.

Gather Steam

The Abs become the other axis…could you do a Muscsle-Up from here?

Sole Train

The ceilings are low, so a simple Reverse Push-Up with “feet on the table” will extinguish the core.

Stretch and Be Quartered

“Hang around” for the wonderful feeling of blood rushing to the nerves and connective tissue as they get a rare chance at visiting abysmal sites. A nourishing tide sweeps and flosses, delivering the goods (blood).

Q & A

There’s that great feeling you get when you go to the bank and deposit some of that hard earned money into your bank account. Similarly, when you deposit investments into your body bank, the feeling you’ll live with is euphoric! Naturopathy is a great and simple way to be reminded of the importance of investing in your body bank while keeping you at your best. Here’s is a Naturopathic path to long-lasting pearly whites!

Benefits of Naturopathic Dental Care:
1. Limit or eliminate fluoride intake
2. Cavity and plaque prevention
3. Increased awareness of your body
4. An added weapon to combat food addiction
5. Whiter teeth
6. An extra moment to meditate

A simple home remedy–tried and true.
1. Swish Brush Rinse and spit
2. Scrape the residual toxins off of your tongue
3. Floss once and double up on the molars
4. Take 5 drops of Brush Rinse and dress the toothbrush with a dab of paste and a flurry of Baking Soda
5. Work through each tooth
6. Lather, Rinse, Repeat

There are no shortcuts to high level Naturopathic dental care. However, the benefits are high and there are preventive measures you can take to limit the amount of intensity you must use. Limit the amount of staining beverages you consume, or at least consume them with a straw–bypassing the teeth and gums. Rinse all meals completely down and out of the gum line by drinking and swishing lots of water after eating. Liquid meals are encouraged and, somehow, green means white. Eat gorgeous greenery to both starch (calcium) and bleach your teeth!

Kiwi Seeds and Pumpkin Seedstwo of the most complete proteins on the planet.

An easy-to-produce MealSnack made of kiwi, avocado, green apple and pumpkin seeds with a touch of Pink Himalayan crystal salt.

I wonder what a “rasta” is?

Parents: a greens juice is great exposure for your child. Make it more palatable by having the Juice Tender add high amounts of lemon and flares of pineapple.

You didn’t tell me there was Lemon in it 🙂

Note to anyone who has ever considered a juice cleanse: you will benefit greatly by familiarizing yourself with Juice before committing to a first-time fast with only juices allowed. Start with one-a-day as an added snack. For your first few juices, experiment with sweet fruits such as pear, pineapple or watermelon. Gradually dive deeper into the greens, cutting them with lemon and apple. Be brave and try a wheatgrass shot or a juice made from mostly chard, collards, dandelion and herbs. If you down one of these, you’re practically cleansed already!!!

Best Teeth Go To…

This sculpture of a lion lay at the feet of a fallen Cardinal. I was grabbed by these jaws at the Vattican in October 2011. Everything was purposeful: the intervals and grouping of the teeth, the design precision with limited tools, the texture of the mane and the sphere of the eyes. In full attack mode!!!

Thanks to

Paul Marron: for puttin’ a brotha on!!!

Benny Doro: for providing the inspiration for this write-up with your fluoride-fighting activity on Facebook.

Riley: for filling my heart with love everyday.

Melvin’s Juice Box, 130 West Houston Street, NYC: for providing the ambience.

Ann & Steve: for taking me to places and wonders that I would have never seen without you!

Link to the Gallery:


This type of move comes with seasons of Deadlift experience. Do not attempt, unless supervised. The key to Strongevity is experiencing phenomenons in your life. Physically, what happens with a deadlift is a phenomenon. I displace 135 lbs. (61.4 kg) an upward distance of 3 feet (92 cm). My eyes gauge the midpoint of a line 7 feet long (the length of an olympic Barbell) []; my body acts as an unbalanced single arm lever and begins to collapse into lift position with perfect symmetry and parallel angles; the lift begins–I overcome inertia…

A single hand then has to negotiate calculating lateral unevenness over 7 feet long while 135 lbs. tugs it straight down to the earth. A series of muscles then has to fire–in sequence–in order to gather enough absolute strength to leverage inert gravity… The sides sway; the back threatens an arch. Every ounce of strength is concentrated into one 4-inch highway of digitorums. At the summit is triumph, a brief celebration. No more than pleasantries exchanged at the crosswalk…time to lighten the load.

Sonically, weight crashing down is like the final strike of a timpani in a roll-off; purposefully percussive. Punctual and on time. With this sort of masterpiece intent, every layer of the realm of our existence was touched in a single stroke.

The human body is amazing. Overlooked and underused.

Bring it back home.