Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How Bad Do You Want It?

There's plenty of people out there who continually make excuses for their lack of progress. Matt Rhodes is not one of them. Matt was a skinny guy with a fast metabolism. Like a lot of people, Matt thought he could never gain weight. That is until he met Vinny Dizenzo who completely changed his mindset. Once he made the commitment, Matt went from 240 to 300 pounds. He also traveled several hours per week to train with guys who were better than him and to learn from the best.

So if you or someone you know thinks that you are destined for failure and won't ever be able to gain weight or get strong because-
- you have a fast metabolism
- don't have a big appetite
- have crappy genetics
- have a small bone structure
- don't use all the steroids "those guys do"

I highly suggest you take a few minutes and listen to how Matt Rhodes did it. I once went from a 147 pound high school senior to 231 pounds a few years down the road but I learned quite a bit from talking with and listening to Matt this weekend. I hope you do the same.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More Funny Stuff From Boston


We were supposed to be doing the two tough guys pose but I couldn't keep a straight face (as usual).


**********
What I Learned at the Big Seminar By Alwyn Cosgrove
1. Big is a relative term. What is Big in Boston would not be allowed into Rhodestown.

2. Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran has gained a lot of weight since the glory days. He is no longer “hungry like the wolf”. In fact he usually leaves food on his plate.

3. If a 275lb man doesn’t finish his dinner, a 300lb man will be upset.

4. Jason Ferruggia really is a vegetarian. It was not a marketing ploy for his new product line as was originally thought.

5. In the host’s wisdom – you should put the guy who flies in from a different time zone on first. Which was 5 in the morning his time. Which means he has no idea what he said.

6. Jabba the Hutt was based on a real person.

7. A goatee that is too heavy can cause a large muscle imbalance.

8. Jim thinks programs are not important

9. Jim thinks plans are very important.

10. No one knows the real difference between programs and plans except for Jim. And he’s not telling.

11. Jim thinks goals are extremely important.

12. For the love of God DO NOT tell Jim you don’t have a goal.

13. Jim believes that you can get to Chicago if you just drive. In any direction. With no map.

14. Jim thinks that people should only buy one book.

15. That book is the New Rules of Lifting by Alwyn Cosgrove

16. Or Afterburn.

17. There are people on internet forums who hate me. I am “the worst trainer they have ever heard of”.

18. But they HAVE heard of me ….

19. A dying child from the make-a-wish foundation who wants to visit Rhodestown just once will not get in. Even if he weighs 274.9.

20. Jim hates Crossfit

21. Jim hates kettlebells

22. Actually Jim hates everything. Particularly people who don’t ask questions. And don’t have goals. Or ask questions about goals.

23. Boxers can only lift 88lbs. 89lbs would be too much.

24. Jim has no comment about (CENSORED)

25. Jason has deduced that if you have two clients instead of one – it is better.

26. BTW – it’s RELENTLESS – not ridiculous

27. Dave Tate is the worst person ever to play word association with.

28. Jim Wendler is the word association World champion and greatest of all time.

29. Murph believes in non-conventional training

30. This consists of squats, deadlifts and bench presses

31. Jim thinks the drawback of non-conventional training is that the equipment is hard to find.

32. Waxy maize is not a breakfast cereal

33. It is indeed a high molecular weight carbohydrate.

34. No one knows what that means. Except Justin Harris.

35. No one knows how much rice molecularly weighs.

36. It is imperative that you memorize lines from There’s something about Mary and Anchorman if you want to succeed in this industry
**********

Additions to Alwyn's List by Smitty from the Diesel Crew

Things seen at TPS this weekend:

Hairy man, with pants down around his ankles in the lobby of TPS, wearing a black mankini

Murph with entire can of cope in his lip

Dudes sitting around doing nothing….sweating

A bar that wouldn’t serve more than one beer

A Trojan condoms hockey jersey

Dudes walking on treadmills with flip flops

A Scot rubbing my lips while I'm in between bites of pizza

Things heard at TPS this weekend:

“Yeah dude, I stick my tongue all the way in…”

“…spray that on my ass, I got major swamp ass…”

“Dude, are you serious? Get out of my bed, I don’t even know you…Smitty, get up here!”

“Smitty, you’re hardcore? ...you shouldn’t get them handed up unless your back is hurt”

“yeah, I’m getting another tattoo on the other side of my neck….i can’t talk about it”

Question: “You tore your bicep?” Reply: “Yeah, but I locked it out.”

“You guys got a treadmill? I got to get warmed up…Vinnie do you know how to turn this thing on?”

“1985? I was smoking angel dust and holding people up at knife point”

“Yeah dude, warrior lip rub”


Smitty
**********

My Weekend in the City of Bad Accents by Vincent Dizenzo

Dave, Jim, Murph, Alwyn, and Jason are very cool and hospitable guys. You can learn from all of them regardless of what you do. Actually, Jim's not that hospitable, but he is the other things. Here were my highlights:

-I got to train with Dave Tate!

-Jim has hot legs.

-Alwyn does a hell of a Shrek impersonation and is about the funniest guy I have ever met.

-Jason does not like Alwyn.

-Murph is still dirty.

-Rhodes hates boneless chicken wings.

-Cancer sympathy is good for two years, but it won't get you into Rhodestown (might get you into Rhodesville).

-Even the Mayor can be thrown out of Rhodestown.

-You need to flex for pictures.

-Murph is now down a small stone as well as a trap bar.

-Wendler is not in Rhodestown, but somehow runs the damn place.

-Pink asprin give you a headache.

-Dave really likes being big.

-You can't talk about _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

-Those guys are even more f@cked up than I am!

Thanks for having me. Can't wait until the next time.

Rhodestown


I spent this past weekend with my good friends Dave Tate, Jim Wendler, CJ Murphy and Alwyn Cosgrove. Minus Dave, we were all speaking at The Big Seminar being held at Murphs place, Total Performance Sports. My full recap of the weekend will be coming up on Friday but for now I would like to share some funny stuff.

To understand what we are talking about you need to know what Rhodestown is. Rhodestown was created by heavyweight powerlifter, Matt Rhodes. It's basically all about being big and strong and the opposite of metrosexual. Rhodes, Vinny Dizenzo, Dave and Jim all take acceptance into Rhodestown very seriously, which made for some hilarious conversations over the weekend including Cosgrove's excessive questioning about how he could get in. Below is Matt's original post:

Welcome to Rhodestown


We will not be drinking Kool-aid. Rather, Liquid D-Bol in Gatorade, EVERYDAY!

I feel it's time to elevate my god-like status to that of cult leader. My followers are growing in numbers. This is a message for those who choose to listen, and a warning for those that do not. And, I am the one to bring this message. A message of hope.

Here are some of the basic requirements of membership in the cult:

1. You MUST be at least 275lbs, regardless of height

2. amendment to #2 - if you are not 275, you must REALLY want to be and you MUST be trying REALLY hard to get there

3. You must be happy when someone refers to you as "fat"

4. Progress Reports (stretch marks, to the non-cult member) are absolutely necessary

5. Sweating ALL the time, regardless of temperature is required and graded

6. You must have trouble wiping your ass and are willing to deal with it if you cannot finish the job properly

7. You DON'T have to take off your shirt to looked jacked. If there is any question, you're out

8. Visible abs are severly frowned upon

9. amendment to #8 - the top 2 can be out, but no more!

10. You must believe and put into practice that McDonald's is the perfect pre-workout food

11. You count PR's and 45lb plates, ONLY!

12. You must be willing to have a "fat-off" (like a flex-off) to see who has more bodyfat

13. You can ONLY measure your:
- neck
- belly at bellybutton
- and hips
Noone cares about how big your biceps are.

14. Addition to #13 - your neck must be bigger than your head. The nickname, "Stack of Dimes" is not cool

15. You must use 45lb and 25lb plates only. "Dimes, nickels, and chips are for chicks." -Dave Tate

16. If you ask, "How much do the chains weigh?" or, "How much tension does that band give?" you will be beaten, badly.

17. Under Armour or any form-fitting shirts are banned

18. If you are wearing a sleeveless shirt and hear, "You have a string hanging from your shirt." Put on a shirt with sleeves. The next part of that question is, "Oh, sorry. Those are your arms."

19. No one follows Prilipin's chart or calculates percentages - SMASH F@CKING WEIGHTS!

20. If you miss a weight in training, you will hear, "2 MORE REPS!" as the bar is being pulled off you

21. You must not put anything in your mouth that doesn't have calories in it

22. Amendment to #21 - your girlfriend/boyfriend is ok

23. You WILL be sodomized by all members of the cult upon acceptance. We will be wearing condoms and using Capsacin as lube. We do not provide mouthpieces so bring your own

24. If you are gay, that's totally cool. But, you must divulge this information so that when we are insulting each other and saying, "you're so gay, dude." we can make sure to say, "you're so hetero, dude." to you. If we are insulting, we want to make sure everyone's feelings are hurt.

25. If you have veins that are visible, other than in your penis, the Council of Fatties will have to determine if you still can be considered for acceptance

26. While training for a contest, you can ONLY gain weight. We in RHODESTOWN do not cut weight

27. There is no cutting/bulking season. It's a perpetual bulk. And we don't call it a bulk. It will be refered to as "getting jacked" or "getting fat"

28. Amendment to #27 - if health concerns arise, they must be brought to the attention of the Council of Fatties. If the Council cannot come to a decision, the final call will be made by Jabba the Hutt. His decision is final!

29. If you can see your cheek bones, collar bones, jaw bone, you need to start eating McDonald's for every meal until the problem is solved

30. It is looked upon with great reverance if your cholesterol is higher than your bodyweight.

31. You must retain water at all times

32. It is preferred that your blood pressure is high by medical standards. You must not care. Noone needs to live forever. We are here to SFW!

33. No food is to be left on your plate. If you throw up in your mouth, swallow it back down, and continue eating, you will excel here in RHODESTOWN.

34. Amendments to #30 and #32 - you may take the appropriate medications to control the problems. However, NO CHANGE IN DIET WILL BE ALLOWED! NO WEIGHT LOSS WILL BE ALLOWED, unless deemed acceptable by Jabba Himself.

35. You must find Tranny's hot

36. No more than 3 days per week or 12 days per month of cardio.

37. Amendment to #36 - sex doesn't count as cardio, but, you MUST be on the bottom. If you change positions, please videotape it so we can learn how it's done. Then, go to the refrigerator and start eating. There is NO REASON TO NOT BE ON THE BOTTOM! If you can/want to change positions, you're not big enough.

38. Absolutely NO Red Sox or Patriots fans. You people are so retahded and I can't stand the accent or ignorance. Get in youah cah and get the F@CK OUT!

39. We in RHODESTOWN are Dallas Cowboys fans. We do not recognize other sports

40. Sleep Apnea is preferred. However, we do recommend that you get a CPAP.

41. If you are hungry, EAT. If you are not hungry, EAT. It's that simple

42. Flip flops are to be worn year-round regardless of climate. If you can/want to put on and tie shoes, you must refer back to #41 and #1

43. Fat, bloated , and strong is the ONLY way to go thru life

44. Glenn Ross, Vasily Alexyev, Zadrunas Savikas, William "The Refrigerator" Perry, Nate "The Kitchen" Newton, Johnny Perry, OD Wilson, and Fat Bastard from Austin Powers are to be refered to as "beautiful". Others that fit the mold are to be refered to in a like manner.

45. You must put butter on everything you eat. Crisco is better.

46. There are no medical or dental benefits, but you will receive a free haircut

If you have concerns or questions, you're probably not going to be accepted. Do not try to deceive us here in RHODESTOWN. We will know if there are non-believers in our midst. You will be punished!

-your leader, Matt Rhodes

Disclaimer: I have the final word on acceptance into RHODESTOWN. If you are not accepted, you will be killed and eaten. Nothing will deter us from our mission to rid the world of Metrosexuals, Health Clubs, counting calories, maintenance diets, lifting to look good/get chicks, and prejudice towards others.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Feedback on Interval Training

(NOTE: Don't miss the video at the end of this post)

Friday morning I opened my inbox to find triple the normal amount of emails as usual. These extra emails were all reactions to my last two posts about intervals. As I scanned through them, one in particular caught my eye. The subject was "Thank God someone finally said it" and the email was from none other than world renowned fat loss expert and fellow Jersey native, Tom Venuto.

"I got a real kick out of your last 2 articles... glad you said it like only a guy like you can say it! :-)"
Tom Venuto



Tom is the author of the highest selling fitness ebook of all time, Burn The Fat, and has helped thousands to get in the best shape of their lives. He is also a competitive bodybuilder who regularly steps on stage in with bodyfat in the low single digits. Like Arnold, Franco, Shawn Ray, Flex Wheeler, Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler he does steady state cardio to get himself in that kind of shape; not intervals.

Tom talks the talk and walks the walk. Tom gets himself and all his clients and customers in mind blowing shape with lots of hard work and usually without the use of intervals. Although most people wouldn't expect Tom Venuto and I to agree on much, the fact of the matter is we agree on way more than you would assume.

That's the point most people miss. They are always looking for the differences instead of the similarities between coaches or trainers.

I spent the weekend with my close friend Alwyn Cosgrove and explained to him how I received a few emails from people who were bewildered by the fact that AC recommends intervals and I spoke out against them.

"I thought you guys were good friends."

Well, first of all, you can be friends with someone and disagree with their training philosophy. I never used to think this was possible but then I grew up and realized how ridiculous this thought process was. Secondly, you have to understand that the answer to every training related question is "It depends."

It depends on the athlete or lifter, training age, goals, injuries, experience, strength levels, etc, etc, etc.

So, as surprising as this may be to many people, Alwyn and I actually share many of the same thoughts on cardio and fat loss. When I presented a seminar to his staff at his gym earlier this year I was asked a question about what type of cardio to do in a certain situation to preserve muscle mass and when I said I wouldn't do intervals, no way, no how, everyone in the room gasped and looked in Alwyn's direction. Much to everyone's shock, AC told everyone that, in that situation, he agreed with me 100%.

And there are many situations where I agree with him. In fact, we agree on most training related issues, probably 99% of the time. But it's hard to express that across the internet. Unless you speak to both of us, many of you probably assume that we would disagree more often than agree. It's simply not the case.

Anyway, here's some more feedback on the intervals issue (my replies are in bold)...

Jason,

I gotta say, very interesting point. I always wondered why authors use pictures of bodybuilders in their articles who DON'T train with intervals, etc.... strange how you would 'dog' their methods but yet exploit their bodies in your article... hmmm
Jimi Varner
**********

Haven't you said before in men's fitness or one of your books that if one guys does intervals for 20 minutes after a weight training session and another guys does not, that the first guy will stay leaner?
Switch

Yes.
**********

Yeah, everything is rush, rush, rush anymore. Trainers try to sell you on the quick and easy method, when the smart money is always on slow and steady wins the race. There is no quick and easy way to get ripped and huge - if that were so, would we see fat people at every corner? I know the largerst excuse is: "There is not enough time in my day, I am too busy." I say bullshit ! Who does not have 20 minutes to set aside for cardio or a high intensity workout?? Get up earlier or stay up later, turn the TV off, put the video game down or whatever else you might do and pick up a weight instead. everybody can find 20-30 minutes.
Dave Z

I agree 100%.
**********

Hi Jason, I understand what you say about intervals being over rated for fat loss, but what about using intervals for conditioning? I submission wrestle and train MMA the bouts are normally 5 minutes or there abouts and usually only a few rounds (at least at the amateur level) do you think intervals are useful for conditioning for this type of short duration activity?

Regards
James

I think varied intensity energy system training that mimics your sport is always very effective. I don't think intervals like they are recommended by many trainers for fat loss are very effective, though. Again, it depends on the situation. As an MMA competitor you would do best by doing sprints and strongman training and basically just getting on the mat. That is going to be your best form of "sport specific" conditioning.
**********

Finally, I would like to share a brief video from my good friends Dave Tate and Jim Wendler. For those that don't know, Dave went from 310 pounds all the way down to somewhere around 240 and 4% bodyfat. It was one of the most impressive transformations I had ever seen. He never did intervals once.

Over the last year or two Jim has gone from 285 to 240 and, like Dave, never did interval training once. For a good laugh, check out the video below.



Gotta love it.

JF

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Truth About Intervals- Pt. 2


Yesterday, as expected, I ruffled a lot of feathers and generated a lot of positive responses with my post about why intervals suck. Some of you love doing intervals and others were in full agreement with me about their effectiveness.

If you love doing intervals then you should continue to do them. Doing something you love doing will always improve your results. If you have very limited time, then you might want to opt for some kind of interval training as well. That is one of the benefits that the proponents of intervals sell- get twice the results in half the time. But I have never really seen it happen. I have never seen anyone get truly ripped from doing a few 10-15 minute interval sessions per week.

People who get ripped put in a lot of hard work. I honestly believe that you don’t need more than three 45-minute weight training sessions per week to get great results in size and strength. But getting ripped, especially if you are fat to begin with, or just want to get down below 8% body-fat, requires a lot of time and effort.

Bodybuilders often finish their last few weeks before a contest with 12 traditional cardio sessions per week of 30-60 minutes each. A little different than three 15-minute interval sessions, huh?

The reason they do 6-12 sessions per week instead of three is because they know the real truth about getting extremely lean- it takes a lot of time and work.

That kind of time commitment and dedication goes against what everyone seems to be preaching these days- exercise less.

Exercise less?

Why?

What is this trend all about?

Why are fitness professionals telling you that you can get a great workout in 5 minutes or that you can get 8 minute abs? Obviously these people must know that it’s impossible to get ripped or be in great shape or be healthy with that little amount of exercise per week. At least I hope they do. Otherwise they are blatantly lying to you.

We have gotten so far away from healthy exercise recommendations that it’s scary. If you really want to get in great shape and be healthy then I honestly believe that you should be doing some kind of exercise every single day for a bare minimum of 30 minutes.

And the only time I have seen interval training to be truly effective is with hockey and soccer players. But what they do is so far from traditional mainstream cardio machine interval training that it really bares no comparison. For these athletes, varied intensity energy system training is a very efficient conditioning method. And plenty of hockey players that I have seen or worked with have the abs to show how effective it is for fat loss. But again, this is nothing like sitting on a stationary bike for 15 minutes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

To learn more about getting the six pack abs you desire while still maintaining or building muscular size and strength visit www.rippedabdominals.com right now. It’s not too late to sign up to listen to interviews with some of the worlds top fitness experts.

Train smarter,
Jason Ferruggia

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Truth About Intervals


The simple truth about intervals is this- they suck. You want evidence that they
suck? Let's take a look at the leanest people on the planet.

First we have competitive bodybuilders. None of them do intervals. Never have
never will. They all do steady state cardio. Some do high intensity, some do low
intensity. But none of them ever do intervals.

How about sprinters? They sprint. Then they rest. For a long time; not 30-60
seconds. How long do they sprint for? Usually about ten seconds at the most. A
100 meter dash takes an elite sprinter about ten seconds to compete. And after
they do that they are completely gassed and need at least 3 minutes rest before
they can repeat the effort.

What about wide receivers, running backs and defensive backs? Anyone see Reggie
Bush on the cover of the most recent Men's Fitness with no shirt on? How about
Terrel Owens on the cover of Sports Illustrated last year? These are physiques
that most people would kill for.

Do they do intervals?

Absolutely not.

They sprint and then they rest. They do plyos and conditioning drills and
practice plays. None of which resemble intervals in the least.

None of the leanest people in the world do intervals yet it is supposed to be
the greatest method of fat loss. Kind of puzzling if you ask me.

The general recommendation for intervals is to use a bike or a treadmill and
"sprint" for 30-60 seconds followed by a coasting period of 60-120 seconds. Now
let's get one thing straight right out the gate before you blow out a knee or
tear a hamstring. No one, and I mean NO ONE, that is not a very well conditioned
athlete can sprint for 30-60 seconds. NO ONE!

Try it and you will find that out for yourself. You will probably also get
injured.

If Olympic sprinters are gassed after a ten second sprint how do think the
average person can possibly sprint for six times that length of time? I know I
couldn't.

Intervals are harder to recover from then steady state cardio or short distance
sprints with adequate rest periods. This means they will interfere with your
size and strength gains. I have seen it happen time and again. Depending on who
you ask, they can also actually be more catabolic than steady state cardio.

If you are looking to get bigger and stronger while maintaining your bodyfat
levels or even simultaneously get leaner, you should probably avoid doing too
many intervals. Instead stick with short sprints or old school steady state
cardio (just be sure to mix it up and add in as much variety as possible like
running, biking, rope jumping, hiking, etc.). It has worked for the leanest
athletes on the planet for decades so I can assure you that it will work for
you.

For more on losing fat and building muscle, click HERE.

Train hard,
Jason Ferruggia
**********

"Jason Ferruggia has done it again. He has unlocked the plethora of knowledge
that he has amassed in his many years in the strength and conditioning industry.
If you are looking to get bigger, stronger, and faster, then this should be your
bible. After reading all of this amazing information, if you don't accomplish
your goals, you just aren't trying!
Andrew Slater
Basking Ridge, NJ

"Jay, thanks so much for the great package. It is definitely the best I have
ever read."
Frank Rittenhouser

"I've been editing fitness and health books for the better part of two decades,
and believe me it's rare to find an expert in this category who can actually
write. Jay writes with an informed casualness--he's entertaining, honest,
informative, and funny."
Megan Newman
Publisher, Avery
An imprint of Penguin Group USA
**********

Fast muscle building workouts ==> www.musclegainingsecrets.com

P.S. Don't miss The Big Seminar this coming Saturday in Boston! Go to
http://www.totalperformancesports.com/BIG_seminar.htm for more information on
how you can become the best trainer or strength coach in your area and double
your income.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don't Miss The Big Seminar

The Big Seminar is finally here this Saturday. If you are a trainer or strength coach, you can't afford to miss this opportunity to get a leg up on your competition and become the best in your area. We will be teaching everything you need to know to get better results with your clients and make more money in less time.

The Big Seminar will feature me, Alwyn Cosgrove, Jim Wendler and CJ Murphy. We also have some very special guests who will be in attendance.

Don't miss out. Click HERE to register right now.

See you in Boston.

Jay

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

15 Experts + 7 Weeks= Ripped Abdominals

To bring you the best training information available anywhere on how to get six pack abs, my colleague, Scott Colby has assembled an amazing group of fitness experts including:

- Tom Venuto, the author of the best selling fat loss e-book in history, Burn The Fat
- Mike Geary, the author of The Truth About Abs
- Valerie Waters, trainer to several of Hollywood's biggest stars including Jennifer Garner
- Dr. Chris Mohr, nutrition adviser to LL Cool J...

and me, to share all of our secrets on how to build a great set of ripped abdominals. Over the next 7 weeks you will be able to listen to each of these experts speak for absolutely FREE when you sign up today.

I know I will definitely be listening and can't wait to hear what everyone else has to say. If I were you I would too.

And I know I won't be holding back during my interview.

For more information and to sign up now please go to RippedAbdominals. com right now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Guest Rant

This may come as a surprise to some of you but I have to let the cat out of the bag...

Many of your favorite internet training gurus don't train anyone. When I say anyone, I don't mean they train 5-10 people which really equates to no one. I mean they literally train absolutely no one, not a single solitary soul.

Unfortunately for a lot of you, there is no way of actually knowing that. Being in the position I am in, I know who actually trains people (or has trained people) and who doesn't (or hasn't). For that reason there are only a few people who I look to for advice or am interested in what they are doing with their athletes or clients. One of the few people that really piques my interest when he writes something about training is my buddy Joe DeFranco. That is because I know for a fact that Joe has spent the last several years in the trenches working with hundreds of athletes. When Joe writes about training he only presents info that is time and battle tested with hundreds of clients, not just some crap he made up to impress people. While we may sometimes disagree on very small points here or there, Joe always has my utmost respect when it comes to delivering training information because he has spent his time in the trenches where it counts.

Below is a rant Joe posted on his site recently that I thought you would like.
**********

For the past 5 years, I’ve been in my own little world – I’ve been totally engrossed in training my athletes and growing my business. I haven’t spent too much time worrying about what goes on in the “fitness industry”. But, for some reason, I spent a little extra time “surfing the web” this past week and I must say that certain things disgusted me! Because of this, I need to get some stuff off my chest! Here we go…

The term “functional training”
I’ve talked about this one before, but it just won’t go away! For some reason, trainers that favor exercises that are performed on stability balls or wobble boards call themselves “functional” trainers. “Functional” trainers also favor light band resistance and med balls instead of heavy barbells and dumbbells. Somehow they have come up with the notion that kneeling on a stability ball while having a pass with a light medicine ball is more “functional” than squatting, dragging a sled, bench-pressing, rowing, strongman training, etc. You don’t need to be a “fitness professional” to realize how illogical this type of thinking is.

“Functional” trainers are the types of trainers that will say a bench press isn’t functional for athletes because athletes never lie on their backs on the athletic field and push a barbell off their chest. But, can someone please explain to me what sport requires an athlete to kneel or stand on a giant beach ball or wobble board? Aren’t most sports played on the fuc#ing ground!? In all of sports, it is the athlete that moves while the playing surface remains still. True “functional” training should consist of applying resistance to an athlete while his/her feet are in contact with the ground. The athlete must then adapt to these forces. This is how true strength is built.

If you’re always performing exercises on “unstable” devices, you will be limited in the amount of weight you can use. This, in turn, will prevent you from overloading the prime movers of the exercise, which will limit how strong you can get.
Bottom line – stability balls and wobble boards are training tools that can be used occasionally in the training of athletes. If they are the centerpiece of your program, my athletes will continue to kick your athlete’s asses!

Internet “trolls”
Internet “trolls” are people who hide behind their computer, make up fake names for themselves and criticize others. Oh yeah, these same people usually have horrible physiques and below average strength – and they’ve never trained an athlete in their life! Yet, they seem to know it all when they’re in the comfort of their home…or should I say the comfort of their parent’s basement! You know the types – these are the people who comment on squat videos because an athlete may have squatted slightly above parallel; or they critique an athlete for performing trap bar deadlifts because “real men do straight bar deads”…blah, blah, blah. The irony of the internet “troll” is that they sit behind their computer and critique people who are actually in the gym training!! Get off the friggin’ computer and go to the gym! You know who you are.

The supplement industry
The supplement industry sucks. There, I said it. The reason I say this is because the best supplements I’ve ever used, you’ve probably never heard of! Wanna know why? Because good supplement companies spend most of their money on RESEARCH - not marketing! The best supplements usually aren’t found on the pages of bodybuilding magazines or on the shelves of popular health food stores. Unfortunately, shelf space is reserved for the companies that are spending big bucks on misleading marketing campaigns. These “mainstream” supplement companies target their advertising towards na├»ve high school kids. Here’s a good rule of thumb when shopping for supplements – if a product sounds too good to be true… it IS too good to be true. Generally speaking, the more a product is marketed, the more it sucks.

If I sound bitter towards the supplement industry; it’s because I AM bitter!

Authors posing as strength coaches
If someone writes a dozen articles a month on training, they’re not a strength coach – they’re an author. There’s a big difference. If I’m an athlete, I want to be trained by a strength coach that spends most of his day in the gym -- not an author that spends most of his day behind the computer. After you’ve trained athletes for at least 12-15 years, you can start writing more than training. Until that time, get your ass in the gym and train so you will have something real to write about!

Coaches that down-play strength
It seems as if many coaches have recently started down-playing the role of strength training for athletes. These coaches will say that “athletes only need a certain level of strength -- once optimal strength is achieved, future strength gains may be counter-productive to their sport.” Guess what? I agree with that statement! BUT, how many athletes have walked into your weight room possessing optimal strength? I can tell you in my 10 years of experience, two athletes have joined my program that were “strong enough.”

The moral of the story is the majority of athletes that you’re going to train are weak! Get them stronger and everything else they do will become easier.

Training debates
When I was in school, nerds were on the debate team. Apparently, those nerds are now in the strength & conditioning field. I’m going to let you in on a little secret -- Debating never changes anyone’s mind, regardless of the topic! If you put a hardcore Republican and a hardcore Democrat in a room for a debate, do you really think that one of them would be able to convert the other? Of course not!! The same holds true in the strength & conditioning field. For example, if you put an Olympic weightlifting coach in the same room with a powerlifter, neither one of them are going to change each other’s mind! Do you think if Louie Simmons had to attend a H.I.T seminar, he would leave with a new outlook on strength training?! Hopefully you get my point? Save yourself valuable time and energy by surrounding yourself with “like-minded” people and learn/exchange ideas with them.

Ahhhh, I feel better after that little rant. Now that I got that off of my chest, let’s focus on something that doesn’t piss me off…hard-working athletes that bust their ass in order to achieve their goals! No gimmicks, no internet trash-talking – just setting a goal and then doing whatever it takes to accomplish it!
Joe D.
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Don't forget to sign up for Joe's mailing list at DeFrancosTraining.com.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Amazing Abs Formula


If you've always wanted to achieve a flat stomach or 6-pack abs, but you've failed because you've been frustrated and confused, not knowing which way to turn, I have
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Over the next 7 weeks, this elite team of 15 experts will reveal to you realistic STRATEGIES that even a couch potato can use to begin to blowtorch belly fat at warp speed.

This time of year, we're usually getting ready for Halloween candies and other goodies. And before you know it, you'll be gorging yourself with a huge Thanksgiving Day feast.

Well I've got a special early Halloween treat for you!

... Scott is giving you an ALL Expenses Paid Access Pass at absolutely no cost. Yeah, you don't have to pay a single penny to be a part of this program.

No, this isn't some deal where he tries to persuade you to buy bunk pills and magic potions that don't work. And yes, it will require some time and effort on your part.

This program includes some of the top health and fitness experts in the entire world… experts featured in Men's Fitness, Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness HERS, Women's Health… the list goes on and on, and is literally too long to mention here… but pick up any fitness magazine and I can almost guarantee that one of the experts involved in this program has been featured or published in AT LEAST one of these magazines…

So, you may be wondering…. What is this exciting program featuring the top fitness experts in the world? Click HERE to get all the information, and enroll at no cost to you.

Train hard and kick ass,
Jason

P.S. The program starts October 22, and you DON'T want to miss it
Visit the Amazing Abs Formula website right now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Pathetic Excuse

This is an old but very popular post from earlier this year. The email responses to this post were definitely among the highest of the year so I thought I would repost it for anyone who might have missed it. It was written the day after Randy Couture won the UFC world heavyweight title.
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Last night, UFC legend Randy Couture came out of retirement and won the world heavyweight title at 43 years old.

And some people's excuse for why they are not stronger or bigger or leaner or a better athlete is because they are... too old? How sad and pathetic.

Last night was like watching a real life version of Rocky Balboa and the only way not to be motivated by it was if you slept through the fight.

Sylvia was the odds on favorite against the older Couture yet he was completely dominated from start to finish. Randy trained his ass off in preparation for this fight and entered the octagon in the best shape of his life.

Sure, we all don't have the luxury of being able to do nothing but train, eat and sleep like many pro athletes do but to use that as an excuse is unacceptable. To use age as an excuse is beyond unacceptable.

I can't tell you how many times I have heard the age excuse used. And every time I hear it, it makes me sick. I once had a client who came to my gym to train at the same time as a particular group of high school kids. The kids were significantly stronger than him on every exercise they did. He used to look on in awe and tell me, "there's no way I can compete with these high school guys, I'm way too old for that."

He was 34, and I was completely nauseated by his statement. Being the politically incorrect straight shooter that I am, I immediately snapped at him, "You have got to be kidding me, right? You're using age as an excuse at 34?! ? You should be ashamed of yourself. They should be saying there is no way they can compete with you because you should be dominating them. "

I couldn't look at him for the rest of that workout without wanting to throw up.

I had another client around the same time who displayed the exact opposite attitude and proved what's possible when you don't set limits or make excuses. Mark Crook hired me to train him shortly after his 41st birthday. He had barely touched a weight in his life up until that point but was determined to get in shape and give it his all. Once he got a taste of the intense training atmosphere in my gym he was hooked and wanted nothing more than to dominate everyone in his path. He set his sights on some of the young bucks who were significantly stronger than him and vowed to outlift all of them within a year.

With determination, laser sharp focus and ample amounts of hard work Mark went from barely being able to bench press 135 to easily handling 275 in his first year at my gym. In the process he left many of the younger guys who were benching 50-100 pounds more than him when he started, in the dust. Mark went on to become a very good friend of mine and still trains hard to this day. Not once in the entire time that I have known him did I ever hear Mark mention his age and use it as any kind of excuse.

I have another good friend from Arkansas named David Larkan who is one of the most inspiring people you will ever meet. Dave is close to 50 years old and still plays in a wide variety of semi professional sports leagues and trains as hard as anyone I know. I received a phone call from him recently and he told me that despite the numerous injuries he has accumulated over the years he had decided to go back to playing semi pro FOOTBALL for one last season and wanted to know if I could help him get in shape for his last hurah.

In case you missed it, Dave is nearly 50. What's your excuse again?

Why do some people think that the day you graduate college your ability to do anything physical is automatically rendered useless? It is assumed by a large portion of the population that after college you have to get serious about life and grow up. This usually means giving up sports, sitting in front of a computer all day, getting in terrible shape, taking up golf and basically turning into a complete pussy. Intense physical activity and competition is beneath them apparently.

Get over it and start living.

I recently saw some friends from high school and they confessed that they have not done much physical activity since we graduated fifteen years ago. It showed.

On the other hand, I am a far better athlete today, at 33 then I was back then at age 17 and I am only getting better. Unlike many of my contemporaries, I am relentless and refuse to stop.

But I'm still young so some of the older guys will use that as an excuse. "You're still in your thirties, wait til you get to be forty, then you'll see."

Well then what about Brett Favre, still playing at his age?

Ric Flair is still wrestling a full time schedule and taking bumps off the top rope and steel chair shots in his mid 50's.

Louie Simmons is still powerlifting with the best of them in his 60's.

And Randy Couture just competed in the most physically demanding sport on earth last night and won the world heavyweight championship at age 43.

Now tell me one more time, what's your excuse?

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Stop making excuses and start getting results. Click HERE now to get started.

JF

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Great Back Exercise You May Have Never Tried


In the gym today we did one of my favorite back exercises. I don't know what it's called because I made it up. Before I get 26 emails from people telling me they made it up or they do it let me state that I made it up in "my own mind," meaning I had never seen it done before and just came up with it one day. Maybe you did the same and I apologize ahead of time for upsetting you. If I write it in a program I usually call it bent over high pulley rope rows.

It's a combination of a pulldown, a pullover and a row; the best of all three so to speak. To perform the exercise, get in a bent over position, slightly above parallel and grab a rope attached to a high cable stack. Sit way back with your ass all the way out to counterbalance yourself against the pull of the weight stack. While arching your back, let your arms stretch all the way up overhead. If you do it right, you should feel the best stretch in your lats, all the way from your waist to your armpits, that you have felt in a long time. Be sure to let your scapula spread as far apart as possible. Now initiate the movement with your lats by pulling your shoulder blades down. As you pull the rope in toward you in the plane that a pulldown bar would come toward you in, raise your upper body up a few degrees and then row the rope handles into your waist, an inch or two above your belly button. At that point your shoulder blades should be squeezed back all the way. You should get a great contraction and really be able to feel it more than you can a lot of other back exercises. In the contracted position your upper body should be at about a 70 degree angle to the floor.

This is best done for slightly higher reps as a finisher. If you go very heavy on this your form suffers because it is very hard to counterbalance the weight. I suggest 1-2 sets of 8-15 reps after you have done some other rows or chin ups.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Jay

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For more mass building exercises click HERE now.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

4 Fatal Muscle-Building Myths Revealed


Today I have a guest post from my colleague, Sean Nalewanyj. When it comes to building muscle Sean knows his stuff and has added tons of size naturally to his frame by following some very sound training principles.
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4 Fatal Muscle-Building Myths Revealed'
By Sean Nalewanyj

If you’re serious about making a solid commitment to a muscle-building program, you need to be very careful of who you take advice from. Bodybuilding and fitness is literally a multi-billion dollar industry with new websites popping up every single day.

Many of the so-called “experts” out there really don’t have a clue of what they’re talking about and are only motivated by pushing expensive pills, powders and “miracle programs” on you that you don’t really need.

If you don’t watch your step you may end up falling for some fatal muscle-building pitfalls that will literally destroy your gains. In this article I’m going to expose 4 very common muscle-building myths in order to keep you on the proper path to the mind-blowing muscle and strength gains you deserve.

Myth #1: In order to build muscle, you must achieve a "pump" during your workout. The greater the pump you achieve, the more muscle you will build.

For those of you who are just starting out, a “pump” is the feeling that you get as blood becomes trapped inside the muscle tissue when you train with weights. The muscles will swell up and leave your body feeling bigger, tighter, stronger and more powerful. While a pump does feel fantastic, it has very little, if anything to do with properly stimulating your muscles to grow.

A pump is simply the result of increased bloodflow to the muscle tissue and is certainly not indicative of a successful workout. A successful workout should only be gauged by the concept of progression. If you were able to lift more weight or perform more reps than you did in the previous week, then you did your job.

Myth #2: Building muscle will cause you to become slower and less flexible.

Contrary to what you may think, building a significant amount of lean muscle mass will actually speed you up rather than slow you down.

Muscles are responsible for every movement that your body makes, from running to jumping to throwing. The bottom line is that the stronger a muscle is, the more force it can apply. Having stronger, more muscular legs means increased foot speed, just as having stronger and more muscular shoulders means the ability to throw farther.

Myth #3: You must always use perfect, textbook form on all exercises.

While using good form in the gym is always important, obsessing over perfect form is an entirely different matter. If you are always attempting to perform every exercise using flawless, textbook form, you will actually increase your chances of injury and simultaneously decrease the total amount of muscle stimulation you can achieve.

It’s very important that you always move naturally when you exercise. This could mean adding a very slight sway in your back when you perform bicep curls, or using a tiny bit of body momentum when executing barbell rows.

Myth #4: If you want your muscles to grow you must “feel the burn!”

This is another huge misconception in the gym. The “burning” sensation that results from intense weight training is simply the result of lactic acid (a metabolic waste product) that is secreted inside the muscle tissue as you exercise.

Increased levels of lactic acid have nothing to do with muscle growth and may actually slow down your gains rather than speed them up. You can limit lactic acid production by training in a lower rep range of 5-7, rather than the traditional range of 10 and above.

If you want to clear up your confusion and learn the truth behind many other popular muscle-building myths, visit my website by clicking the link below. I'll reveal why 95% of people in the gym fail miserably and will teach you how to get on the proper path toward muscle-building success...

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For more great muscle building tips from Sean, click HERE now.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Right Way To Do Rows


Next to a properly sloppy BJ with coordinated hand action, one of the hardest things to find in life, is someone who knows how to do rows properly. We all remember watching Arnold do seated cable rows back in '77 during that scene in Pumping Iron and thinking "Oh my God! He's gonna break his spine with form like that!" Actually, half of us probably had that reaction. Those that watched in horror as Arnold rounded his spine were the "smart and educated" lifters. I know this because I was one. We were taught by several gurus about how dangerous this type of thing was so we just laughed as the greatest bodybuilder of all time ignorantly did his rows. "Imagine if Arnold really knew how to train," we all thought.

Boy was the joke on us.

Believe it or not, Arnold actually knew what he was doing and was doing rows properly. To get a muscle to grow you have to first stretch it under tension and then forcefully contract it immediately following. The stretching is critically important. So let me ask you this...

Where does the stretching come in when you do rows the way most people teach them?

It doesn't.

You have to let your scapula spread as far as possible. This can only be done by letting your back round. If you want to make rows a lat exercise you actually need to lean forward and allow your arms to stretch upwards toward your head like Arnold did in Pumping Iron.

Of course there is some inherent danger in rounding your back with heavy weights and you need to be aware of this. While you do want to round your upper back and get a full stretch, you also want to be sure that you keep an arch in your lower back. Because the seated cable row allows you to lean all the way forward and spread the scapula and stretch the lats fully, while then finishing with a strong contraction, it is actually one of the best rowing exercises there is. Most people just do this exercise all wrong and that's why they don't get much out of it.

Typical form on a seated cable row begins with the lifter sitting straight up, or worse yet- leaning back. They let their arms straighten and then row the weight back in. It's basically a bicep exercise that may or may not also strengthen the scap retractors but essentially it sucks. To really get your back to grow, you must do like Arnold.

Doing this on a bent over barbell row is much harder and more dangerous to do. You can round your upper back but you can't stretch forward on a barbell row. That is the advantage of doing a one arm dumbbell row. Also, you have to be very conscious to keep your lower back arched on any type of bent over row.

The Hammer Strength Iso Lateral Row Machine is actually pretty good as far as machines go because it allows you to really stretch forward and spread the scapula under tension.

Start stretching and start growing.

Yet again, we see another example of what has always been the case over the last 20 years; we knew everything we needed to know back in the 70's... then just got "smart" and unlearned it all.

Jay

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For more mass building tips click HERE now.