Tuesday, December 26, 2006

5 Steps to Success

Regardless of your chosen goals, here's a 5 step program to achieve your ultimate success.

1. Read
2. Listen
3. Associate
4. Teach
5. Repeat

Now let me clarify.

1. Read

Devote a minimum of 15 minutes per day to reading something positive (BTW, the newspaper is not positive). About 75% of what you see and hear during a day is negative. Feed your brain the good stuff. In addition, devote an hour a day to reading something related to your primary goals. It could be business-related, fitness-related, or something from the self-improvement category.

2. Listen

I love my music, but I rarely listen to it in my car. Instead, my car is now a mobile university. Consider how much time you spend in your car on a daily basis. You consume a tremendous amount of information on your daily commute. Where you drive time was once wasted time, make it productive time. Listen to motivational speakers, sales training, business training, or fitness-related info.

3. Associate

Associate with people at your level or above. Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not putting people into classes or being a snob. It's a matter of making yourself better at what you do. Truth is that you'll become like the people you associate with. To progress in your personal development, you need to spend more time with those people who are where you would like to be. Like it or not, you may have friends and family that drag you down or hold you back. How do you find the people to help you move forward? Go to every seminar or conference you can afford. Introduce yourself and ask questions.

4. Teach

Once you have been recognized as achieving a level of competency within a specific arena, teach what you know to someone else. Not only will you be "paying it forward," you will find that you will learn more about what you know and yourself in the process.

5. Repeat

Repeat this entire process until your reach your goals and beyond.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Train like an athlete...Anywhere, Anytime

I recently got a chance to speak with Zach Even-esh (AKA The Underground Strength Coach)

We email back and forth, but it had been a long time since we had a chance to actually talk on the phone. Zach also happens to be one of the most enthusiastic guys you’ll ever meet. He’s probably never had a down day in his life.

If you don’t know Zach, he’s pretty well-known for training combat athletes, from wrestlers (including a prep national champion) to law enforcement officers to mixed martial artists, with what many would say are “Old School” methods.

Zach can put you through a killer workout using anything from just your body weight to heavy rocks, sandbags, or tires. All Zach needs is a playground or a picnic table (yes, a picnic table) and he can give anyone a productive and challenging training session.

If you’re someone who doesn’t think that old school works check out this photo of one of Zach’s clients.

After talking a bit with Zach, he asked me to contribute to one of his upcoming projects. (Note: this project is going to be huge. I mean huge. I’ve never seen someone literally give away so much information at one time) We ended up recording almost an hour of our conversation covering everything from energy systems training to injury prevention for combat athletes.

I mentioned my blog and felt that it was only fair that I turn the tables on Zach and have him provide me with “old school,” No B.S. methods that anyone can use to apply to their own training.

Bill: You're really well known for training combat athletes (wrestler's, MMA,etc.). How can the typical gym goer use the same conditioning methods toachieve their fitness goals?

Zach: Bill, this is a great question because the majority of people are not into the outdoor training regardless of their goals.

Here and there though, I go with my wife to her Health Club. As torturous as it is for me (read: Sarcasm!) I still find a way to get in an awesome workout, and it is primarily because I take my methods for combat athletes and utilize them in the traditional gym setting.

I utilize circuits and/or complexes with various tools: barbells, dumbbells, bodyweight, med ball and stability balls. I love the circuits because the pace is so high and intense which forces me to stay focused on the training and not get distracted by the other "stuff" going on around me.

If I have space I also incorporate jumping rope into my training which is awesome for the lower body and your aerobic or anaerobic system depending on how fast and explosive you jump.

For someone who wants to utilize a complex let's say with a barbell, not only have I experienced excellent benefits in conditioning but I have found that complexes add muscle as well. The constant reps add hypertrophy if utilized with a moderate weighted barbell.

Here is a simple complex someone can perform using a barbell, for 6 reps per movement:

1) bent leg deadlift
2) bent over row
3) hang clean and press (the clean is to be used for a more advanced individual)
4) back squat
5) shrugs

The beginner may only perform 1 set, the intermediate 2 sets and the advanced individual 3 sets of the barbell complex.

Not only is this great for conditioning and muscle growth, but it is also great for when someone is short on time. Nowadays, who isn't short on time?

A bodyweight circuit is equally challenging and can be performed almost anywhere. Try this one for a great workout:

** reps will vary on the pull-up/chin-up but we are aiming for 8 - 12 reps per movement on average when utilizing bodyweight exercises

1) recline body row or pull up / chin up
2) push up variation
3) squat jumps
4) reverse lunges
5) v ups

Again, 1 - 3 rounds can be performed. For our combat athletes we like to keep the general pace of the workout fairly high with incomplete recoveries. The more advanced someone is the more they can push the envelope with less rest time.

If someone is concerned that they will lose strength utilizing a lot of circuits and complexes then I must emphasize that training must vary, and using one method or tool too often leads to less of a physical response. But, this is certainly an excellent addition/variation to one's training programs.

If you want to incorporate strength into the same workout, begin the workout with a heavy lift, preferably a full body lift or a compound movement for the upper body. From there you can move on to a circuit or complex and get as creative as you want with these methods!

Thanks Zach. You can find Zach’s training programs here. I’d recommend you specifically checkout the Ultimate Combat Kit.


P.S. My friend Alwyn Cosgrove frequently states that many would prefer to posses the physiques of any of the top athletes but don’t understand that their physiques are the result of their specific type of training. Rather than training like an athlete they attempt to achieve the same physique with inferior methods in an attempt to train for aesthetics. Why not train just like an athlete instead?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


According to the Source Book for Teaching Science website (http://www.csun.edu/~vceed002/health/docs/tv&health.html) the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV a day. If you live to be 65 years old, that’s 9 years of your life that were spent watching TV.

9 years!!

What if instead of watching TV you spent that time reading all the resources from a specific topic? Why you’d be an expert in no time.

In nine years you could have received 2 college degrees or an undergraduate degree and graduated from med school.

What if you “sacrificed” one hour of TV for vigorous exercise every day? Do you think you may be able to rid your life of a few health concerns? Maybe fit in to those smaller clothes or actually develop those washboard abs?

How about just feeling better about yourself?

The possibilities are truly endless when you see how much of your LIFE is wasted by watching too much TV.

Kick the habit.


P.S. While I’m on the subject, I think the local news should be removed from the airwaves. I caught a few minutes of it the other night (I don’t usually watch the news or read the newspaper anymore. If something important happens, don’t worry, someone will tell you about it) and they were reporting on stories that weren’t even local issues. WHY?!

Why does the local weather report have to take 10 minutes of my life just to find out whether I need to wear a coat tomorrow? Who gives a rat’s ass what the barometric pressure is. Does anyone ever sit around and say, “Whew, the barometric pressure sure is up today.” NO THEY DON’T! Here’s how easy it could be...

Weatherman: It’s going to be cold tomorrow, so wear a coat. Back to you Tony!

See how easy it is.

Thanks I feel better now.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Beginner's Mind

About 10 years ago, I studied TaeKwonDo under Grandmaster Choi. At the beginning of each class we were reminded of Kyum Son.

It means beginner’s mind.

All too often we enter into a situation with preconceived notions or limited thinking. Our brain tends to store information into our predetermined filing system. Judgement is passed too quickly and potential opportunity to expand our knowledge or physical potential is lost.

The only way to be better today than you were yesterday is to be open to different and perhaps better ideas or methods or application of those methods. Certainly, you don’t want to ignore that which you have already learned and experienced and blindly accept what the next great “guru” has to offer. Simply be willing to consider each bit of information or new experience as a possibility.

Kyum Son.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

12 Days of Fitness

Hey, if you've been waiting to by a book, DVD, or other product from your favorite fitness expert, I don't think I'd be waiting much longer.

If fact, you can get some of the best deals around with some pretty significant discounts by going here:

12 Days of Fitness


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The 15 Minute Rule

“If you keep making that face it’ll stay that way.”

Maybe Mom was more correct than she knew.

From a health standpoint, I think posture may be the most ignored component of them all (okay, maybe diet ranks up there too).

Poor posture limits your ability to breathe (not like that's important, right?), promotes overuse injuries, creates muscle imbalances, and results in back pain just to name a few.

Without an ongoing awareness of your posture on a daily basis, you can expect it progressively adapt to whatever shape you spend most of your time in. For instance, if you sit all day at a computer, you can expect to be shaped like the chair you sit in with a rounded back, rounded shoulders, and a forward head position.

Pretty, huh?

The processes that cause this progressive and undesirable adaptation in our posture are called stress-relaxation and creep.

Stress-relaxation is a progressive decline in the natural tension that tissues produce when placed under tension. When the tissues are held under constant tension for a long enough time, they begin to deform and elongate. This called creep. This becomes a relatively permanent elongation unless the tension is removed from the tissues before creep occurs.

You see gravity works.

It pulls down on you all day and as you relax your muscles and the tissues are exposed to that pull of gravity, stress-relaxation and creep will occur within about 10-20 minutes if you don’t change position.

Your strategy to overcome this is the 15 Minute Rule.

Every 15 minutes to need to make an active postural correction and even better, change positions entirely. For instance, if you’ve been sitting, stand. If you’ve been slouching, sit as tall as possible. You may also want to perform some corrective stretching for about 15 seconds on key muscle groups that are prone to shortening.

Most common are the muscles that internally rotate the shoulders (pecs, lats, subscapularis), downwardly rotate your shoulder blades (levator scapulae, rhomboids), and flex the knee and the hip (TFL, psoas, iliacus, rectus femoris, and hamstrings).

The 15 Minute Rule is so important that when we designed our upper body performance training video Inside-Out we felt it imperative to include daily postural correction strategies that lead to upper extremity injuries and declines in performance.

So I guess Mom WAS right in a sense…and, uh, eat your vegetables.


P.S. My good buddy Mike Robertson gave me the following little tidbit of information. In Microsoft Outlook you can set an alarm to go off every 15 minutes to remind you to correct your posture. If you don’t use Outlook, go to Wal-Mart and buy a $20 watch with a count down timer on it and set it for 15 minutes.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Become a great fighter or just look like one

I had a great weekend.

I got to watch a bunch of guys knock the piss out of each other in front of a rabid, cheering crowd from ringside (actually it was octagon side).

It was Mixed Martial Arts at its best…well almost.

Don’t get me wrong. There were some good fights and some good fighters (anyone that gets in that octagon has balls), but I’d have to say that my pre-fight winner predictions were at least 90% correct all night long.

I realize that a more skillful fighter will most likely defeat a less skillful fighter on most occasions, and there was certainly no way I could have identified the more skillful fighter simply on the walk up to the octagon and besides most of the fighters were matched well on win-loss records.

So how could I be so accurate?

Form follows function.

In other words, the best conditioned fighter won on almost all occasions.

I can understand how many of the fighters probably neglected their conditioning needs in favor of skill training for fear, based on their lack of experience, that they wouldn’t be prepared in that department.

In most cases, these guys are working a regular, physical job (one fighter I talked to does back-breaking concrete work, yikes!) and then hit the gym 5-6 days per week for training.

Now sure they’re doing a lot of specific conditioning as part of their training and most likely performing timed rounds, but in a lot of cases, the activities are too low in intensity or they are self-limited in effort which is totally unlike a real MMA battle. There’s no let down or you’ll go down.

What they don’t realize is that in about 20 minutes, twice a week, they can raise their energy system conditioning to a much higher level without seriously impacting their skill work.

Here’s the great thing for the guys and gals who just want to look good.

You can use the same concepts to burn fat faster than traditional “go one speed on the treadmill for 30 minutes” type of aerobic training.

For instance, in the top selling female transformation book ShapeShift, I used 2 basic methods of energy system training for my example client who made an amazing transformation: body weight circuits and barbell complexes.

All you need to do is select a series of exercises, or complex, and perform them back to back for either time or repetitions; rest based on the desired outcome, and then repeat the complex for a specified number of sets.

For example, here’s a body weight complex:

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds:

Jumping Jacks
Burpies (AKA squat thrust)
Alternating Lunges
Body weight squats

Rest 2.5 minutes and repeat 3-4 times

Here’s a barbell complex (this is a great one because barbell placement for each exercise ends where the next begins:

Deadlift x 6-8
Hang Clean x 6- 8
Front squat x 6-8
Push Press x 6-8
Back squat x 6-8
Good Morning x 6-8

Rest the same amount of time it took to complete the complex and repeat 3-4 times

Not only did you just train every muscle in your body, but you cranked up your fat burning furnace to the maximum.

If you’re a fighter or grappler of any kind or if you just want to look like the best conditioned combat athlete around, you need to approach your training with science and experience on your side.

Two products that I’d consider for your essentials list are Alwyn Cosgrove’s Martial Arts Package and Jason Furruggia’s Tap Out: Strength and Conditioning for Combat Sports. Both these guys have a reputation for transforming bodies and building great combat athletes.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cellular Disruption

If you’re looking for faster fat loss, it is essential that you create a situation where your body burns more fat at rest.

While at first this seems impossible, it’s actually VERY possible.

From a scientific standpoint, it’s called cellular disruption.

Basically how it works is that your training session creates such a disturbance in the normal homeostatic environment that your body loves (it hates change…go figure) that it takes hours (even days with the right protocol) for your metabolic processes to return to normal.

During this time of metabolic disturbance your body shifts toward an increased utilization of fats for energy.

If you think this type of training program requires endless aerobic activity, you’d be dead wrong.

If you think it’s about endless sets of high reps, you’re wrong again.

Both of these approaches fail to create an elevated metabolism AFTER you train, and worse yet, you’ll most likely loose precious, metabolically active muscle.

What you need is intensity.

Now I told you that to tell you this.

I spoke at the Midwest Strength, Conditioning, and Rehabilitation Symposium this past year. I was really glad that I did because I got to hang out with some of the top names in the strength and conditioning field like Brian Grasso, Tony Reynolds, Evan Osar, Juan Carlos Santana, Scott Hudson, Lee Taft, and Craig Ballantyne.

Craig was a guy that I was really looking forward to listening to and meeting because we had been communicating for a couple of years, worked on some stuff together, but just never got a chance to meet face to face.

Craig didn’t let me down. Not only does he look like a guy who practices what he preaches (he’s JACKED folks), Craig laid out his entire approach to creating cellular disruption to a large gathering of personal trainers who were feverishly taking notes. I’m sure there was a large number of fitness clients that benefited from their trainer’s new level of training knowledge after that weekend.

Craig doesn’t call his program cellular disruption or metabolic disturbance.

He calls it Turbulence Training (this may be one of my favorite names in all of fitness).

I’ve been lucky to have had access to his program for some time and from day one I was impressed with Craig’s ability to blend the best of science with solid training theory to create one powerful program.

Actually it’s several programs…and I’ve found them to all be effective.

Craig has adapted his training concepts to address trainees of all levels and both sexes. He even eliminates your excuses for missing a training session when there’s no equipment available by providing a full program of body weight exercises.

You don’t have to take my word for it. You can see the countless fitness pros that recommend it as well.

Check out TurbulenceTraining.com here.


Adam vs. the ADA

My good friend Adam Campbell has touched a few nerves with the ADA.

He recently published an outstanding, well-researched, and well-informed article in regard to low-carb diets and diabetes. Read it here.

Well the ADA responded.

Adam's response once again shows why he is THE MAN!


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Training Mentality

If you’re having trouble finding the motivation to hit the gym or feeling like you’re just not making the progress that you should be, perhaps you’re not training.

Training implies purposeful activity in pursuit of a specific, desired result.

Nothing kills motivation faster than having nothing particular to work for. Once your desired result (a goal perhaps) is determined, and the decision is made that your desired result is worthy of your efforts, your actions become meaningful rather than just “going” through the motions or just “getting it done.” Motivation is instantaneous.

Training implies creating an organized plan to move you closer to your desired result.

Once you know where you’re going, it simply becomes a matter of determining how you get there. If you don’t know how to get there yourself, find the necessary information or find someone who knows the information that can help you. If necessary, pay them for the information.

Training implies executing an organized plan.

Nothing is more motivating than taking action toward a worthwhile goal. Stick to the plan without compromise and with total commitment. Otherwise, you’ll never know if it will work for you.

Training implies regularly reviewing your progress toward a specific, desired result.

You must track your progress to determine if you are making progress toward your desired result. Give yourself time to make progress rather than comparing your status from a day to day basis. A watched pot never boils. About every two weeks works for most programs.

Training implies making necessary changes in your plan to produce results.

Continue on your current path until progress slows significantly or stagnates then take immediate corrective action to move closer your desired result.



Monday, November 27, 2006

Booklist #1

I get asked which books are most important in the rehab and strength and conditioning fields quite often. To be honest, over the years I’ve read so many books from a broad spectrum of authors that it’s difficult to really narrow things down.

The following are what I consider to be foundational books that I would recommend to someone who’s just beginning to get their feet wet in the fitness/strength & conditioning field. You need to have a basic understanding of anatomy, the energy systems, training theory and testing, and orthopedic testing

Atlas of Human Anatomy by Netter

Physiology of Exercise and Sport by Wilmore and Costill

Essentials of Strength and Conditioning edited by Baechle and Earle

Othorpedic Physical Assessment by Magee

Muscles Testing and Function with Posture and Pain by Kendall

Winning and Losing: Lessons from 15 years of Physically Preparing the Elite Athlete by Ian King

Get Reading!


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Afterburn: The REAL Key to Fat Loss

If you've had or are currently having trouble losing fat, it's not your fault.

Now I'm a big believer in taking personal responsibility for where you are in life, and when it comes to fat loss, personal responsibility is a big part of the process.

No one forces you at gun point to eat calorie dense, nonnutritious foods that promote fat storage, right?

No one forces you to spend endless hours of inactivity on your butt in front of the idiot box. If you know the nightly TV schedules by heart, you know who you are.

But again, if you're out there making an effort to really impact your health and physical fitness with a goal of losing fat, I say it's not your fault.

You've been mislead.
You've been misinformed.
You've been lied to.

You've been told to use the wrong technology!

It's not your fault.

Here's what "They" told you to do if you want to lose fat.

1. Eating fat makes you fat and leads to countless health problems.
2. You need to severely restrict your calories.
3. Strength training can't help you lose fat. It only maintains muscle.
4. Aerobic exercise is the key to fat loss.


Let's attack these one by one.

1. Eaing fat makes you fat and leads to countless health problems.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this one. Rather I'll just refer you to some articles by my buddy Adam Campbell Here and Regina Wilshire Here

Trust me...wrong technology.

2. You need to severely restrict your calories

Any time I talk to someone about fat loss they always bring up the concept of metabolism.

"I really have a slow metabolism"

"I need to speed up my metabolism"

Well, what is metabolism?

To make it simple. It's the rate at which you burn food to support all the processes that take place in your body.

It's that rate at which you burn food?

Well, if you severely restrict your calories that means you have less food to burn. In response to this concept, do you know what your body does?

It slows do the rate at which you burn the food that you do eat.

In other words, it SLOWS DOWN your metabolism.

Oops! Wrong technology.

3. Strength Training can't help you lose fat. It only helps you maintain muscle

Pardon me while I chuckle. :)

In less than 2 minutes I can pull a large handful of scientific studies that show how specific weight training protocols increase fat loss from 20 to 38 hours AFTER you finish weight training.

That means that with a proper weight training protocol, not only can you increase strength, gain muscle, but you'll also burn more fat throughout the next day and then some by doing nothing further.

4. Aerobic exercise is the key to fat loss.

This is one of those points that was grossly misunderstood and then got perpetuated throughout the media and the general fitness community.

Because the primary energy source for most steady-state aerobic energy system training protocols (think long distance running) came from fat stores, the belief became that exercising at a specific level of effort or heart rate level in the "fat burning zone" for an extended period of time was the best way to increase fat loss.

Sorry, wrong technology again. In a head to head comparison, steady state aerobic exercise protocols came up short in the fat loss department compared to a form of training called interval training. Interval training is based on alternating short periods of higher intensity effort (more effort that your typical long distance run) with periods of reduced effort activity or even rest.

Are you catching on yet?

Do you see why so many people have trouble losing fat?

We've been told to use the wrong technology.

Imagine if you combined the best technologies of proper fat loss nutrition, strength training, and interval training.

The result is what my friend Alwyn Cosgrove calls the AFTERBURN.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thank You

It's interesting that we need a holiday to remind us to be thankful for who were are and what we have.

Perhaps we should make efforts to simply be more courteous on a daily basis and be mindful to let the people that are most important to us know that they are important.

However, since this is Thanksgiving and all, I'd like to throw out a general thank you to my friends, colleagues, and family.

There are many who I thank personally, but I won't attempt to list them here for fear of accidentally leaving someone out. I can assure you that I will let you know how much I appreciate you throughout our communications in the near future.

The exception to this rule is my wife, the lovely and talented Mrs. Hartman. I am who I am because of you. Any success that I have and will have is because of you. You give me purpose and strength that you can't imagine. I love you, baby.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

We All Need A Coach

“No matter how successful we are, we all need a coach to encourage us, to challenge us, to remind us to live up to our potential.”

Dr. Ken Blanchard, Author of the “One Minute Manager”

Tiger Woods has a coach. Michael Jordan had several coaches throughout his career. In fact, you’ll find that just about ever great athlete performed under the watchful eye of a great coach at some point in his or her career.

My personal level of expertise in the rehab and fitness industries is due in no small part to a series of mentors and coaches that I’ve met and worked with along the way.

Growing and developing a business is no different. The more successful my business becomes, the more I recognize the value of having a business coach. I’d go as far as to say that having a business coach is essential.

As business owners, we tend to become emotionally attached to methods, concepts, or ideas that instead of moving us forward holds us back from achieving our business goals. A coach provides objectivity that allows us to see the reality of our situation.

Questions are answered without personal bias. Details become clearer. Goals become more refined. Progress is reestablished.

On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I had a business consultation with Alwyn Cosgrove. Certainly, he is a friend, but he also happens to have created one of the most successful fitness businesses on every level including fitness training, publishing, public speaking, and information marketing.

Our consult allowed me to make effective decisions where I was once “on the fence” as to how to proceed. Where I was once working hard but less directed, I now have focus to the point where my level of production will match my level of effort.

Consultations like this will now be a regular component of my business development. They are essential.


P.S. Learn how to take your business to the next level from the best in the industry for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay for an individual consult in Fitness Riches.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Love LA, Wrap-up

My brain remains on California time. I got home Sunday afternoon and literally crashed. I now sit here tapping away at the keyboard because my brain is functioning like it’s only 8:30 pm LA time.

Here’s a wrap up of my visit to the Mecca.

Got in Wednesday and as I mentioned briefly before, I had dinner with the Cosgroves. Beer of choice: Bass Pale Ale.

Thursday night: Craig Rasmussen, Super-model from Inside-Out fame, drove down from Ventura. It’s like 3 miles away but it took him 3 hours to get to my hotel in downtown LA. Seems there was a wee bit of traffic (did I just way wee bit? That’s what you get for hanging with Alwyn for a few days).

Craig is just restarting up his fitness career in California after a stint in Indianapolis. Craig recently stopped off at Mark Rippetoe’s gym to hang out a bit and ask Mark some questions. Mark has his Oly lifters back squat with a low bar position. His reasoning is that it’s a general lift for the Oly guys because it doesn’t address the specific positioning of the clean like a front squat does. He may have something there. I will say that I disagree with his reasoning on the reason trainees knees will drop in when they squat however. See my blog later this week for why.

Friday: Wrapped up my recert for ART (Active Release Techniques). While I find this process tedious at times, I did get an opportunity to work on Dr. Leahy a few times which is always great feedback on technique…he did develop it afterall.

Got a message from Alwyn and Dos (Robert Dos Remedios, NSCA Strength Coach of the Year) that we’re meeting in Santa Monica. I’m really looking forward to this because I get to hang with the pound-for-pound world’s strongest vegan but also get to have some McEwan’s Export at Ye Olde Kingshead.

I have to take a cab about 3.65 miles (or something like that)…45 minutes later, I get to Santa Monica. I call Alywn who gives me what are apparently directions in Scottish because I walk up and down Santa Monica Boulevard based on his directions and can’t find the bar where he and Dos are waiting. Ah, if I can find Puzzle Zoo (not the bar but apparently a zoo where they keep all the puzzles in California. Must be where all the blondes go to see the puzzles in their natural habitat [my apologies to all three of you intelligent blondes] ).

I go into Puzzle Zoo and Alwyn says "turn around…do you see us." If you haven’t been to the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, there’s about 10,000 people there. How the hell will I be able to “see” a Scot and a giant Vegan? I finally get directed to a bar called Yankee Doodles where they await my arrival. BTW, there’s a big red neon sign that says Yankee Doodles…couldn’t just say we’re at Yankee Doodles…Then again I'd have missed out on the Puzzle Zoo(that was of course after I almost got hit by a car on Santa Monica Blvd).

Waitress: Destiny (her real name? )
Beer: more Bass (I think?)
Food: Chicken nachos (I must have said “but hold the chicken” at one point ‘cause I couldn’t say that I actually saw any)

Off to Ye Olde Kingshead to meet up with Chris (AKA Kuri from JP Fitness.com)

I get there and immediately ask for a McEwan’s Export. Get this…a Scottish bar that doesn’t have my favorite Scottish Beer. I’m crushed . I suffer with some English beer.

I then Catch up with Chis a wee bit (there it is again!). I can’t seem to get over the fascination of the fact that Chris’ scalp stubble and facial stubble are exactly the same length. That is a skill ladies and gentlemen. I could just be feeling the effects of the atmosphere [beer].

Hot topic...text messaging...I’ve been trying to learn to text message because Dos’ can’t seem to just call me (Since when is “Z” on the damn keyboard).

We did talk a bit of fitness in regard to lower extremity progressions and exercise complexity, but we were rudely interrupted by Tiffany (age 22) and Jessica (age 27) who were pimping the finer points of Heineken Light (I have photos, but because I use my phone for a phone and not a camera, I don’t know how to post them – and please don’t try to email me instructions because I really don’t care…however I do have a rather incriminating screen saver of some well known fitness professionals). They actually had $1.00 coupons so we tried it. It sucked.

Rule number one for branding...never dilute your brand. Ask why Miller Beer went from number one to number 5 (just a guess)? Too many Miller Beers (Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Ice, Lite Beer from Miller, etc...Remember New Coke).

It’s funny how really important things in the industry come up during conversation, but get mixed in with a bunch of BS, so my blur of a memory doesn’t seem to recall much. However, I can remember the Heineken girls’ names and ages. Hmmm?

Met Dos’ bulldog who apparently also has super powers as it recently recovered from some lethal illness. Bulldogs are cool.

I’m leaving the part out where we went back to my hotel to get my stuff and to head off to Alwyn’s house a day early…it was a wee distance, but took most of the night to get there.

A gracious thank you to the understanding Mrs. Cosgrove.

Saturday: Rachel Cosgrove gets up at 5 AM to run 13 miles in Santa Monica with 300 other endurance addicts, er, I mean athletes. (most would call this a race or a benefit for some worthy charity and get a free t-shirt or something…she seems to actually do it just because she enjoys it).

Everyone: Hey Bill how long does it take YOU go 13 miles?
Bill: about 13 minutes.
Everyone: How can you run 13 miles in 13 minutes?
Bill: I don’t run, I take a car like every other normal human being.

Had a shake and some pills that Alwyn gave me…said they were good for me.

I’m personally very excited about this morning. I get to train at Big John McCarthy’s new 20,000 square foot MMA training facility.

It’s quite an impressive place. A palace for thick-necked, sweaty guys (or gals) who dream of stepping into the octagon and bleeding profusely to the drunken cheers of rabid fans.

Get this. We did a …wait for it… a kettlebell class.

The instructor was a tiny, attractive female named Felicia Oh (http://www.feliciaoh.com/feliciaoh.com/main.html) She seems like a really cool chick. I find out later that she’s ranked number one in the world in BJJ in her class (must be the 56 pound class ‘cause she was tiny – but very muscular…great calves). I made friends to avoid having my ass handed to me by a girl. I could tell she dug me.

Best part of class…I tell Felicia that I’ve never done a kettlebell class. She doesn’t know me from mud and assumes I’m a total newbie not knowing that I'm actually a plant sent by the Anti-kettlebell Commission to infiltrate their Commie HQ. At one point I bent inappropriately to test the weight of a big metal ball with a handle on it (I found out later this was the kettlebell) and she rushes over to give me pointers on the appropriate method to lift a weight from the floor.
I had to chuckle inside.

I must say that I had fun in the class. My whole opinion of kettlebell training has changed. In fact, I’m changing my entire training strategy to training with only kettlebells. They truly are the most effective training tools and methods available.

NOT…they’re still weights with handles, but it was interesting to be trained instead of the trainer for a change.

Question: Why would a Russian Kettlebell Instructor do a Turkish Get-up? BTW, Alwyn did Scottish Get-ups. They seemed much harder.

I did make sure to get the T-shirt as they say and got one for the lovely Mrs. Hartman. She promises to wear it when we play MMA at home.

Later we spent some time with Rachel’s uncle who’s a Hollywood stunt man. For those who’ve seen Vision Quest about high school wrestling, he was the big guy that cheered Matthew Modine when he climbed the wall. He’s 48 now and looks 35. He does mostly stunt work and told me he’s riding a Weber Grill at 50 miles an hour in an upcoming movie. A Weber Grill?

Free ART treatments for everyone!

Just a side note…most endurance athletes have really lousy tissue quality throughout their legs. Rachel Cosgrove? Nope. Just a little ITB band tightness that some foam rolling will take care of. She’s must be a distant relative to Wonder Woman. She’s prepping for her first Ironman distance triathalon in Lake Placid…Kona is not too far away I’m sure.

She came back from her 13 mile run acting like it was nothing. After running 13 miles, I’d need chest compressions and mouth to mouth (visions of Pam Anderson running in slow motion to come rescue me).

Throughout the rest of the day, we talked business and actually did a wee bit of consulting for yours truly to set me up for the coming year. More on this later this week.

We then joined Alwyn’s number one trainer Cameron McGarr (you can now read his stuff in the magazines) for appetizers and more Bass Ale (What is wrong with a soft pretzel and spicy mustard?!!)

We then watch George St. Pierre knock Matt Hughes’ out...twice!! Matt Hughes after the fight, “I just watched the video replay and thought I got knocked out by a punch but it was a kick” Oops!

Beers (Kronnenberg?) with Dos, Omar (who strangely enough I met at the exact same time last year. He’s now a master marksman with the Marines and instructs on the shooting range), The Cosgoves, Cameron and Melissa, and all those fine folks in their black concert T-shirts from 1985.

My thanks to Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove for allowing me to interrupt their life for a short while, Dos you are THE MAN.


P.S. Be sure to check back this week. Some good stuff coming up.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

LA Story 2

Dinner last night with Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, CA (you can also find them on the web...everywhere!)
4 or 5 beers and a hamburger on a bun (I'm a cheap date)...it's been a while. Felt it a bit this morning.
I never fail to learn something when I get together with the Cosgrove's. Their business systems are something that every trainer should be doing.
It was also great to see Alwyn healthy and back in training.
More on tap for this evening and then tomorrow night, the pound-for-pound World's Strongest Vegan will join us for more beers [seems to be a theme, eh?]

Bodybuilder's Shoulder...are you at risk?

Let's see...there's tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, gamekeeper's thumb, house-maid's knee, turf toe, boxer's fracture...well you get the point.

I'm campaigning to add a new diagnosis...Bodybuilder's shoulder.

Here's why.

Given enough time, a large portion of bodybuilders, powerlifters, and general strength training enthusiasts experience shoulder pain.

A study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Aug;16(3):367-72) outlines the findings that the bodybuilders tested showed significant deficits in shoulder internal rotation and relative weakness in the lower trapezius muscles.

The lack of shoulder internal rotation is much like the similar findings in throwing athlete's who experience shoulder impingement.

A quick test to see if you're at risk for Bodybuilder's Shoulder is to assess your full shoulder rotation. A normal test would be considered to have 180 degrees of combined external and internal rotation.

Here's the test...

Put your arm in a "high five" position with the upper arm parallel to the floor and 90 degrees at the elbow,, and the hand facing forward. This is external rotation. Keeping the upper arm in the same position, rotate the hand downward so it now faces backward. This is internal rotation.

The total arc (without moving your shoulder blade!!) should be 180 degrees.

Now if you can rotate further into external rotation than the normal 90 degrees (thrower's tend to have increased external rotation), the increase in external rotation should equal the loss of internal rotation. In other words, as long as the total range of motion is 180 degrees you pass the test.

If you lack 180 degrees of full rotation with a loss of internal rotation, you're more at risk for shoulder injury...Even if you don't have pain right now.

The fix is to start stretching your posterior shoulder muscles and the posterior shoulder capsule until you regain the lost internal rotation.

Try this stretch...

Gently push your hand toward the floor until a comfortable stretch is felt in the back of the shoulder. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. Be sure to avoid shrugging the shoulder. Repeat this stretch frequently throughout the day. Think frequency over intensity to start as it's easy to strain the shoulder in this position.


P.S. If you're serious about your training and want to raise your upper body training performance while preventing injuries check out Inside-Out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

LA Times

A quick note for today

I'm heading out to LA-LA Land [Paris Hilton], Hollyweird [Tom Cruise], The City of Angels [Diane Lane...she's on my wife approved list]...Los Angeles, California, or in the words of the Governator...Kah-LEE-Fo-NEE-Uh. It seems that this trip is becoming a tradition of sorts as this is the second consecutive year I'll be in LA just before Thanksgiving.

I'll be consulting [drinking beers] with some of the top minds in the fitness/sports training/rehabilitation field throughout the weekend as I update my Active Release Techniques skills as well as discuss the finer points of strength and conditioning [drink beers] with the likes of Alwyn Cosgrove and hopefully the NSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Robert Dos Remedios [The World's Largest Vegan].

Whenever I get a chance to spend time with these guys and discuss the finer points of training [drink beers], I always come away with something new and interesting to think about [hangover] or to integrate into my business or training philosophy [Tylenol].

If I can, I'll update throughout the week.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Loaded Thoughts

*You hear plenty of trainers talk about deloading for CNS recovery (by the way, I question whether it’s CNS but more likely peripheral issues that need the recovery) to dissipate fatigue and allow increased performance to be demonstrated. Rarely have I ever heard anyone mention the importance of deloading or performing cycles of lowered intensity with higher volumes to allow connective tissues to adapt. Connective tissues adapt more slowly than the muscular system does, so prior to periods of intense loading consider a cycle of hypertrophy-based training to produce a protective effect in the connective tissues. Do the same after a heavy strength-based cycle. It could mean the difference between a PR and an injury.

*Set a PR, stabilize your abilities at that new level of performance, repeat.

*Once you set an intensity-based PR (you lifted more weight), you need to follow it with a period of reduced intensity and increased volume regardless of your intended training program. For every increase in your ability to produce intensity there is a reduction in work capacity and adaptation reserves. Training at a slightly lower intensity and increased volume increases work capacity at a higher level of intensity than that prior to the PR and will allow greater intensity to eventually be produced. Trying to set another PR without sufficient adaptability will quickly lead to a plateau or regression.

*The longer your periods of intense loading, the longer your period of deloading and the lower the intensity during the deloading phase. Two steps forward, one step back. Four steps forward, two steps back.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Knee to the Face

Okay, Okay...it's been a while since I've posted on my blog. Life gets in the way, eh?

I was provided incentive to post something new and interesting by my good friend Alwyn Cosgrove (by the way, AC has one of he best blogs on the net at http://alwyncosgrove.blogspot.com/).

Actually, he threatened me.

See, I'm about to make my annual trip to the city of Angels, Hollyweird, the left coast, LA-LA land, the home of Lindsey Lohan (she wants me)...you know, Los Angeles, California. Well, Alwyn (did I mention he's a former international martial arts champ) has indicated (I did say threatened, right?) that upon my arrival I will receive a knee to the face if I don't post something of interest.

Well, after seeing Rich Franklin take a knee from Anderson Silva at UFC 64 (don't worry folks Rich was okay once they found his nose under his right eye) and getting inside info that Alwyn is training at a top MMA gym in LA, I decided that posting would be in my best interest.

However, just in case, I am preparing a tactical defense passed down from generation to generation of non-international martial arts champions where we skillfully block the opponents knee with our noses. If that doesn't work, I'm thinking that perhaps a cheek bone or jaw defense may be equally effective. I'll keep you posted.

Speaking of my friend Alwyn, unless you've lived under a rock in the fitness world, you probably know that he and cancer recently had a battle in a back alley near UCLA. Well, not surprisingly, Alwyn made cancer his bitch and left it crying by a dumpster (probably the result of a knee to the face). As a coincidence, my favorite morning radio show, The Bob and Tom Show (www.bobandtom.com) are holding their annual fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you've watched Comedy Central recently Bob and Tom were the hosts to one of the best comedy specials of all time.

Anyway, I was involved in a little fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society myself earlier this year as part of the JP Fitness Summit (www.jpfitness.com) where we raised over $1,000 in just a few hours and wanted to make you all aware that you can listen to the Bob and Tom Show all day tomorrow (11-10-06) and make your own donations. If Bob and Tom aren't available in your area, you can get them on the net.

If you're of a crabby disposition and don't like comedy or morning radio, you can just visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website at http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/hm_lls or for those of you who were dropped on their heads as small children and enjoy the pain, agony, blisters, shortness of breath, and general feelings of being near death while competing in endurance sports like marathons and triathalons, you can donate and participate at the Team in Training website at www.teamintraining.org.

Now, I promise that I will post issues of great interest from this day forward (at least a little more regularly) as long as everyone promises to keep the fighting clean.

That means no knees to the face.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Inside-Out: RELEASED!!

Yes, it has been a while hasn't it, but I have been quite busy.

I've actually just recently released my latest training project with Mike Robertson (www.robertsontrainingsystems.com) of T-Nation fame.

It's called Inside-Out: The Ultimate Upper Body Warm-up!


Here's what some of the top fitness pros are saying about it:

"At my job, I have the opportunity to learn from the best minds in the fitness industry. In fact, over the years, I've interviewed and worked with literally hundreds--maybe thousands--of trainers, PhDs, and doctors. And in that time, I've never met any expert who's more knowledgeable than Bill Hartman. Which is why I was excited when he asked me to to review "Inside-Out." It was a chance to take a shortcut to learning some of what Bill knows, a culmination of his experience and education. Add to that his collaboration with Mike Robertson, one of the bright young minds in the field, and it was clear that this was going to be a special product.
Turns out, it is. Exceptional, actually.
Now don't let the name fool you; the information the authors provide is far beyond most people's concept of a warm-up. Truth is, I wouldn't call it warm-up at all. That implies it's something you do just to prepare for your primary training session. While, in actuality, the plan you'll find within should be a mandatory part of your primary training. I know from personal experience, having used Bill's programs for years, that the instruction that Bill and Mike give in both the manual and DVD will make you stronger, enhance your performance, and help you shore up long-time weak spots--not to mention prevent injuries. And if you're like me, and work at a desk 10 hours a day, it'll also help your body feel a whole lot better when you aren't working out.
The bottom line: If you don't have Inside-Out, your workout isn't nearly as good as it could be."

Adam Campbell, MS, CSCS Sports and Nutrition Editor Men's Health

"The Inside-Out DVD and Manual have me excited for two reasons. First off, Bill and Mike are two of the brightest minds in the industry, and it comes as no surprise that they've put together an outstanding resource. Second, and more selfishly, I'm thrilled about how much work this manual will save ME! In light of a lot of my articles, I've been labeled a 'Shoulder Guy,'

So I get dozens of email inquiries each week from those with shoulder problems. Thanks to these two, I now have a comprehensive, highly effective resource to which I can send these individuals. And, just as importantly, Inside-Out will keep thousands of others healthy in the first place. This will be a 'go-to' resource for years to come."

“The Inside-Out concepts consist of 7 key components that need to be addressed prior to each upper body training session.”

Eric Cressey

“Many times old information is rehashed and stuffed into a new format, but this is something more, something new – new movements that could really make a difference to people. All of us need to incorporate this type of warm-up into our training. This information will correct problems you may already have in your shoulders and upper back, or it will keep you from creating any. This is essential information!”

Lisa Holladay
Personal Trainer

"It's hard to admit, but before watching the Inside-Out DVD, I had seriously neglected any upper body warm-up in my athlete's training. Fortunately, Bill and Mike have done an outstanding job putting together loads of practical drills that I have successfully added to all of my programs. I challenge coaches and trainers like me to take an honest look at this DVD and rethink the way we prepare our athletes for safe and effective training. "

Curtis Turner, SCCC, SSCAssistant Speed, Strength, and Conditioning Coach Vanderbilt University

"To be a great trainer takes a lot more than simply knowing how to design work outs. Preparing them for the workout is every bit as important as the workout itself! If you want to keep your clients long term, avoid orthopedic injuries, and maximize their performance in the gym, this DVD is exactly what you need. In fact, the moment I got this DVD I watched it and followed along all the exercises and could immediately feel the difference, and could see how much it was going to benefit me and my clients.

Hartman and Robertson are wellsprings of the best training information I have ever come across each in their own right, but the fact that they are collaborating now means you absolutely don’t want to miss this. The fitness gods are smiling!"

Jean-Paul Francoeur

"When you're talking about efficient and effective warm-up exercises, the "Inside out: The Ulitmate upper body warm-up" manual is about as good as it gets. Bill Hartman and Mike Robertson are two of the sharpest minds in strength and conditioning today and this manual is just a small sample of what they have to offer. I highly recommend this manual to anyone working with athletes, general population clients, or for people like myself who are active and always looking for exercises to help keep them going strong. "

Robert Dos Remedios
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
College of the Canyons
NSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year 2006

"Hartman and Robertson have given the fitness profession a new guide on how to warm up and increase flexibility. The "Inside out: The Ultimate upper body warm-up” is a must have for any coach, athlete, trainer. I have implemented what they have in their manual after just one day of reading, because it is so simple and thorough. Anyone who is active or trains should not pass this up as a way to improve their own flexibility or improve their clients"

Matt Durant
Strength & Conditioning Coach
University of La Verne

"I found the” Inside-Out: The Ultimate Upper Body Warm Up” very easy to follow. My business’s main focus is keeping people safe, setting good postural habits and decreasing the chance of injury before even thinking about strength work. I will be using a large number of these movements in my Postural and Foundation programs and also my Rotational and Torso programs will now have a new look to them also. I can also now set clients home exercises to follow knowing they are in no danger of hurting themselves and will have no confusion about how to complete them due to their simplicity and in so doing achieving results faster. "

David Virgo

"With Inside Out: The Ultimate Upper Body Warm-up Bill Hartman and Mike Robertson have combined their unparalleled knowledge and years of practical experience in the field of sports conditioning to create one of the most amazing resources to hit the industry in years. The easy to understand, yet extremely informative manner in which they demonstrate the drills make them beneficial to athletes of all ages and ability levels. If you’re an athlete who uses their upper body at all, you simply must own this DVD. If you’re a swimmer, a pitcher, a quarterback, or any other athlete who relies heavily on their upper body, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it. Definitely a must have in my view!"

Mike Mejia M.S. CSCS
Exercise Advisor to Men’s Health magazine and co-author of Scrawny to Brawny: The ultimate guide to building muscle the natural way.

"Bill Hartman and Mike Robertson have, without question, produced a kick-ass product!

After years of training every protocol known to man, my body was beat up! I didn't realize how limited my upper and lower body movements had become. After watching this DVD, I now realize how mobility and optimal postural alignment of the hips and spine relate to the functionality of the my shoulders. If you have a chronic rotator cuff issue, your bench is stuck, your hands go numb during squats or you want to learn some of the latest information around all things upper back mobility – get this manual and DVD ASAP!

Great detail has been placed on functional anatomy, static and dynamic postural assessments and progressive correction and prevention of chronic / acute limitations. The information is detailed and lays the exercises in a step-by-step progression – it really drives the information home!

I've spent years training the same movement patterns and my mobility sucked! I immediately have felt relief after 1 week of implementing the exercises in this manual and DVD set. Thanks Mike and Bill!"

Jim Smith "Smitty", CSCS, CFT, USAW
The Diesel Crew

Alwyn Cosgrove thinks we screwed up?!! You can read it here...

Inside-Out: Bill and Mike screwed up!


P.S. www.inside-out-warm-up.com for the best upper body training of your life.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

How to Weigh 600 Pounds

My wife was watching The Discovery Channel the other night. They were profiling two women who were undergoing a series of surgeries to reduce their weight.

They initially weighed 600 pounds...each.

Rhetorically, my wife asked while shaking her head in disbelief, "How do you get to weigh 600 pounds?"

My mental answer was, "Systematically."

Think about the process that it must have taken for these women to reach such a lofty "goal."

They had to devote themselves to a rigorous program of years of physical activity avoidance.

Their moto? "Never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lay down." (of course, I'm just guessing here)

Not only that but just think about their commitment to their eating program. Multiple meals per day of calorie dense non-nutritious foods. Certainly more than the typical 3 squares a day. Day in and day out. Eating when you don't really want to eat, but rather just eating when it's time to eat.

Then of course there's their support system. I mean someone had to bring them food and encourage them to eat after they lost the ability to walk to the kitchen and get their own food, right?

This whole process didn't take place over just a few weeks. It took YEARS to get to this level of physical "development."

So what we have here is couple of people that followed a very simple plan consisting of synergistic behaviors that led to an amazing result.

Sounds a lot like the ultimate fitness (fatness?) plan, eh?

They were so close. They had a system and with a few small changes they'd be the picture of health instead of having to buy two seats on an airplane AFTER a surgically-induced 300 pound weight loss.

The System:
1. Devote yourself to a program of regular physical activity based on your fitness goals
2. Eat frequent, nutrient-dense meals that are supportive of your training and goals
3. Spend time with like minded people with similar interests and goals
4. Repeat forever

It is that simple.


Monday, August 14, 2006

The Sweet Smell of Success

Success doesn't smell sweet.

Actually, it smells a lot like a sweaty t-shirt.


P.S. this could be an original quote?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy Birthday Phil!


Yes, it's that time of year again where I wish my good buddy Phil, the happiest of birthdays.

It's also the time of year that I make a feeble attempt to convince my good buddy to move back to Nap Town, The Circle City, the home of the Brickyard....Indianapolis.

See Phil bolted from the fine state of Indiana soon after graduation from PT school. Seems he felt it necessary to spread his wings and become the guy he wanted to be.

It worked (as much as I hate to admit it...was a great move on his part).

Phil has become an outstanding professional as well as a great man. He also not too long ago married just the right gal, Julie (Uh, you kids do actually live in the same city now? I also like the burgundy wall in the living room :)) .

Could he have become the man he is by staying behind with the rest of us?

Yeah, but it wouldn't make as good a story now would it. Where's the legacy if you don't take the calculated risks?

Congrats on another degree (how many is that now?), keep running (you ran the Indy Mini-Marathon in a couple hours, right? I cover the same distance in about 15 minutes because I take a car like all the other normal human beings), and hopefully we'll see you soon.

For all of us in Indy, Happy Birthday.


P.S. So, uh, Phil, when you think you might be moving back to Indy?

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Stand-up Desk Part 2

Adam Campbell, super-guy at Men's Health Magazine, has taken my advice an shifted to using a stand-up desk (SUD). I must say that it sure is pretty.

You can check it out here: http://thefitnessinsider.menshealth.com/

Perhaps Adam's co-workers are on to something and these SUD's should come with an optional urinal attachment to raise productivity even further, eh? (don't forget the small rack with anti-bacterial wipes!)

Of course, the female workers may get a tad jealous because most likely there'd only be a "mens" version.

The female version would cost WAY to much to produce with all the fuzzy seat covers, potpourri and candle holders, matching decorative privacy curtains, towels you don't actually get to use and such.


Pat Rigsby and Fitness Riches

My friend Pat Rigsby has just started his new blog. www.patrigsby.blogspot.com. Pat is a master of the fitness business having developed some powerful strategies that trainers can use to grow their own businesses.

His latest venture Fitness Riches brings together fitness marketing wizard Eric Ruth and trainers like Alwyn Cosgrove, Craig Ballantyne, Stephen Holt, and even myself talking about how to niche your business. This manual explains how each of us use different strategies to build our businesses.

In the words of Craig Ballantyne, Alwyn's section alone is worth the price of the manual and I agree.

This isn't a book on the theories of marketing and building a fitness business, but rather it's the real-life things we're doing. The stuff that's proven itself to work the best.

If you're building your personal training business, you need this resource.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Intention Deficit Disorder (IDD)

No it’s not a misspelling.

Your Intention Deficit is equal to the difference between what you intended to do and what you actually did.

Your IDD is really a measure of the quality of your life, and there’s no pill (Tom Cruise can now breath a sigh of relief) that can control the symptoms.

Think about it. How great would your life be had you only followed through on everything that you intended to do up to this point?

You’d have the successful career that you love.
You’d have a great marriage.
You’d live in the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood.
You’d have healthy, well-adjusted kids.
Your lawn would be the perfect shade of green.
You wouldn’t know what night Desperate Housewives is on.

While this concept applies to any aspect of your life, it’s never more apparent than in your fitness programming…especially the eating component.

“I really wanted to stick to my eating plan, but those cookies just looked so good.”

“I planned on going to the gym, but I had to run some errands and got side-tracked.”

The larger the IDD, the more you seem to struggle with your fitness programming and the more frustrated you become.

The way I figure it, if you keep your IDD at 10%, you will have an amazing life.

Do the same with your eating and exercise plan, and you’ll find that reaching your fitness goals will be a piece of cake (the cake obviously falls into that 10%).

Side Note…It’s pizza night. The one night where I don’t fall off the wagon, but rather take a full-out dive from the horse-driven cart of my fitness program to enjoy the insanity that can only be provided by my favorite food. My wife enjoys a piece or two of the large ‘Za (it’s cut in very small bite size squares) while I gorge myself like Takeru Kobayashi (http://www.ifoce.com/eaters.php?action=detail&sn=22) trying to fit in one more piece as the clock winds down to win another Nathan’s belt.

I don’t bring this up to show you that I’m human (that’s debatable). I bring this up to tell you about my pizza delivery guy. It’s always the same guy. Spiked up hair, black eye-liner, black nail polish, spikes coming out of his lower lip and eyebrow, multiple tattoos, and black pants that are 8 sizes too big and cover his motorcycle boots (he drives a Ford Festiva).

Normally, I wouldn’t give this guy the time of day, but he does bring me my pizza for crying out loud.

But I have to say, that he always gets an extra large tip from me.


He calls me sir. He’s exceptionally careful with my food. He asks how I’m doing…SIR. Then he wishes me a good night and says thank you.

I have no doubt he will become a great success just as soon as he realizes that he doesn’t need to look like The Joker with a hangover to get attention.

Last one…I caught up with an old classmate of mine this week. She mentioned that her boys were now 10 and 6-years-old. She says, “They’re at the age where they think burping and farting is the most hilarious thing.” I chuckled and thought, “At what point were we supposed to grow out of THAT?”


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Got Books?

You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.

Charles "Tremendous" Jones

I'm a better student now than I have ever been. Back in my early college day, when my hair was long, My TV stand was another TV that was broken, and the closest thing to strength training literature we had was Muscle & Fitness, I hated to read. Maybe it's because I was forced to read.

Don't get me wrong, I was an A-student (note to young'uns...go to class and actually pay attention). Just didn't like to read.

Now that I'm an information junkie, there isn't enough time in the day to read enough. I hate fiction (that includes the newspaper...what a waste of time. If anything important ever happens, don't worry, someone will try to tell you all about it). I'd rank it right up there with soap operas (anyone know if Hope's baby is Bo's or that other guys?). The exception would be the occasional Spider-Man or Batman comic just to stay in the loop (I kinda like Spidey's new suit).

These days it's business-related and training/rehab stuff. Getting a new shipment in tomorrow. I can hear my wife/CFO now, "You got more books (she always says that)? Aren't you smart enough already (smile)?" She understands.

So I guess my question to you is, what did you read today that will make you better...at anything?

Side note...I tried to read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People on multiple occasions but kept falling asleep (seriously). So I just bought the unabridged anniversary edition of the audio book to listen to in the car. Don't worry. No one was hurt in the accident because I woke up just in time.

Pink Floyd is the most overrated band of all time.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Get Off Your Ass

Since I'm new to the whole Blog thing. I was trying to think of what is actually Blog-worthy.

Well, here's something I'm telling everyone I know AND their sister.

Get off your ass. Not in the exercise sense although it's never a bad idea. Rather, I'm referring to changing to a stand-up desk.

In the publish or perish world of fitness information and shameless self-promotion, I find myself spending countless hours pecking away at my fairly new laptop keyboard or the ol' standby desktop computer. Well, my posture had gone to hell and my hips were feeling about two decades older than my 70-year-old shoulder.

Rather than blow $400 on a keyboard tray that adjusts to a standing position (and because if I don't use my laptop, my wife may try to take it away from me), I found an adjustable table that is the perfect height.

After a couple weeks of accomodation, I have to say it was a great idea.

There were some initial adjustments like a mild pressure in the lower back which resolved quickly with some improved abdominal recruitment (bonus #1) , but otherwise the typical discomfort in the upper back that made me feel Quasimoto-ish after about an hour at the fancy typewriter machine is now gone.

I can also do a few simple exercises like muscle activation for the glutes and some low load passive stretches to some shortened muscles like the TFL and gluteus medius as well as some ankle mobility work (bonus #2).

I also get to spend more quality time with my wife and CFO (uh, for the record they are the same person) as we are now able to ignore one another while working in our spacious home office simultaneously (although I frequently catch her checking out my ass - bonus #3).

Alright, enough time wasted and here's my wrap up. Be a stand-up guy, stand-up and be counted, stand by your man, stand for something...you get the point.


Congratuations Dos!!!

I got a text message (first I start blogging and now I get a text message...which by the way I have no idea how to return a text message) today saying that my friend Robert Dos Remedios, strength and conditioning coach for College of the Canyons, was named NSCA Collegiate Strength Coach of the Year.

If you don't know who Dos is, you will very soon. He's got more real world experience in training athletes than most will ever have.

It's about time he gets the recognition he deserves.

Oh, and for the record, I will never grasp the concept of text messaging. I'm going to take the time to type out a message on a phone keyboard rather than make a call that'll achieve the same thing in 10 seconds?


Sunday, July 16, 2006

So apparently this is how life works.

You get educated, find a job or start a business, marry the perfect gal, and then you Blog. The internet continues to be a source of joy and frustration for me. Because lord knows, that everyone has something important to say at least once in their life. Hopefully, that'll happen here at least once in a while.

My good friend and super editor/writer who works for Men's Health Magazine, Adam Campbell, kinda talked me into this whole thing. If you'd like to send any hate mail in response for my thoughts taking up too much space on the WWW, please comment at Adam's blog (you knew this was comin' didn't ya?) at http://thefitnessinsider.menshealth.com/

Actually, Adam has recently started on a quest to break the 5 Minute Mile. I didn't have the heart to tell him that Roger Bannister actually broke the 4 minute mile mark in 1954. He seems rather motivated and far be it for me to crush somebody's groove.

In all honesty, I support Adam fully in his quest. I think as humans, the day we no longer challenge ourselves, we begin to die. It doesn't need to be a physical challenge like Adam's. It can be something as simple as being a better mate, continuing to educate yourself, or sticking to a healthier eating plan.

Speaking of Men's Health, you can find my latest article on page 122 of the August 2006 issue.

Anyway, before we get too deep here, I'm trying to figure out what one does with a blog. I figure since it's got my name on it, I can do as I please. I'm sure I'll make announcements of what's going on in my world, answer questions, do a lot of name dropping, and answer more questions. Just don't expect it to have a great deal of organization. Not my strong point.

While I'm thinking about it

Here's something that's coming down the pike...

Mike Robertson, well-known from t-nation.com, elitefts.com, and his own home on the web, www.robertsontrainingsystems.com, and I are in the editing stages of a new DVD called, Inside-Out (O/I): The Ultimate Upper Body Warm-up. This is going to be a must have for any athlete that does any strength training, throwing, or swinging of a club or tennis racket. I don't want to say too much yet, but I'll be sure to give you whole run down in the not too distant future.

More Later...