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Built Like an Athlete

Built Like an Athlete

These days, there is a huge misconception with what it actually means to train for athletic performance.

You may scroll through your Instagram feed and see some “performance” gurus that crawl around all day mimicking every level of the food chain in the animal kingdom.

Some coaches will have their athletes do about 7 hours of mobility work and send them home.

But is this what you should be doing if you want to look like a shredded MMA fighter or NFL wide receiver?

Having worked with athletes and regular guys that want to get jacked and shredded with the strength to back it up for the last 12 years, I have experimented with every training program  under the sun.

Through experimentation on my clients and myself over the years, I put together a blend of the best stuff from each training modality that I have played around with.

Regardless if you are still a competitive athlete or just someone who is looking to get strong, jacked, lean and athletic, following the steps I am about to give you can help get you to your goals faster.

Listed below are the steps you can follow to finally achieve the look of a strong, shredded athlete with the health and performance to back it up!

So let’s get started.

PREHAB

Just before the start of your training session is a perfect time to work on your flexibility and SMR (Self Myofascial Release). For your flexibility work I like to address severely tight areas (typically the hamstrings, glutes, hip rotators and flexors, pecs and lats) and the muscles that we will be training that day.

In the past static stretching prior to training was frowned upon. However I have been doing this for years and never had an issue. In fact, some of my clients who were extremely tight were able to get into certain positions they normally couldn’t have after some light static stretching pre-workout.

SMR is a great way to relax tight musculature prior to training. Foam rolling and using a lacrosse ball are my go to just before I begin my warm-up. Typically I prescribe massaging the back, glutes, hips, I.T. bands and quads for most of the people I work with.

DYNAMIC WARM-UP/CNS ACTIVATION

I have talked about the importance of a thorough dynamic warm-up plenty of times in previous articles so I won’t beat a dead horse. Just make sure you go through a body weight circuit prior to the start of your strength work. This will help increase your heart rate and core temperature, improve mobility and flexibility, lubricate your joints and put you in a safer state to train in.

A good dynamic warm-up can take 10-15 minutes.

Once you complete your mobility circuit then I like to prime the CNS or Central Nervous System just before your strength work. 

JUMP, THROW AND SPRINT

Now is a good time to work on your power. Since you are in a warmed-up, fresh state this is the best time for your explosive movements.

Jumping, throwing and sprinting aren’t just great for developing power. They are also some of the most athletic things that you can do. Use different variations of all three.

 

Doing some type of jump, throw or sprint just before your strength work is also great for priming your CNS before you hit your heavy lift for the day. Just be sure that you don’t turn this into a conditioning routine and fry yourself out. That’s the opposite of what you want.

Typically on jumps and throws you can do about 3-5 sets of 1-5 reps. For sprints you can do 3-5 sets of 10-25 yards tops.

LIFT HEAVY

 

Here we are focusing on strength. Which means we are focusing on either increasing weight or reps you accomplish with a particular load over the course of your training cycle.

For the most part, your big lifts like the squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, chin-ups and their variations are programmed here.

Keep in mind that your big, compound movements are what’s going to help get you strong as shit and pack on the most muscle from head to toe. But keep in mind that if you are a little older and/or beat up you don’t have to stick strictly to a barbell. You can certainly use variations of each movement that can be done a bit safer.

For instance, if you have access to specialty bars at your gym you can replace a barbell squat with a safety bar squat. Or a straight bar deadlift with a trap bar.

Otherwise, you can use a dumbbell or kettlebell for exercises like the goblet squat instead of using a back squat. Or you can stick to a neutral grip DB press on an incline instead of a straight bar bench press if you have beat up shoulders.

The possibilities are endless. The important thing is that you are mimicking each particular movement pattern with a variation that you can handle.

PUSH, DRAG, CRAWL, CARRY

The best way to look like an athlete is to do athletic shit. Jump, throw, sprint, carry, drag, crawl and lift heavy.

 

Pushing or dragging a heavy sled is tremendous for lower body strength. It’s also a great way to hit the lower body without loading the spine.

Another great thing about sled work is that you won’t get sore from it since there is no eccentric component.

This way you can drop a B.M. without any additional discomfort. Lord knows we can all use some more comfort during a B.M.

Working in different crawls like Gator Walks and Bear Crawls are great for the core and shoulders so make sure you work those in too.

Loaded carry’s like Farmers Walks are great for developing the muscles that make up the core, hands, forearms and can pack on slabs of muscle to the traps.

PLAY

Once you’re doing all that then the one missing piece is to play as often as possible. Softball, basketball, martial arts, biking, hiking, tennis, swimming…whatever. Just be active, play and compete as often as possible.

Being competitive is great for overall well-being.

Competition is a fun way to get your “cardio” in and is great for testosterone production, which will help you build more muscle and burn more fat.

Plus, it’s never a good look to walk around all jacked but look like a total schlub as soon as your buddy throws you a basketball.

Take advantage of the summer and all of the activities that go along with it.

 

NUTRITION

If you want to look like an athlete then you better be eating like one. If you aren’t sure how to do that then check out this article I wrote that shows you how to eat for health and longevity with the physique to back it up.

http://www.tutelatraining.com/single-post/2017/03/20/Eat-for-Life

Now that you know the steps to get on your way to looking and performing like an athlete, it is up to you to follow them.

I hope this article helps you achieve the results you’ve been looking for. Have fun and do whatever it takes to look and perform the way you have always wanted.

Kick ass this summer, guys!


Built Like an Athlete

These days, there is a huge misconception with what it actually means to train for athletic performance.
You may scroll through your Instagram feed and see some "performance" gurus that crawl around all day mimicking every level of the food chain in the animal kingdom.
Some coaches will have their athletes do about 7 hours of mobility work and send them home.
But is this what you should be doing if you want to look like a shredded MMA fighter or NFL wide receiver?
Having worked with athletes and regular guys that want to get jacked and shredded with the strength to back it up for the last 12 years, I have experimented with every training program  under the sun.
Through experimentation on my clients and myself over the years, I put together a blend of the best stuff from each training modality that I have played around with.
Regardless if you are still a competitive athlete or just someone who is looking to get strong, jacked, lean and athletic, following the steps I am about to give you can help get you to your goals faster.
Listed below are the steps you can follow to finally achieve the look of a strong, shredded athlete with the health and performance to back it up!
So let’s get started.
PREHAB
Just before the start of your training session is a perfect time to work on your flexibility and SMR (Self Myofascial Release). For your flexibility work I like to address severely tight areas (typically the hamstrings, glutes, hip rotators and flexors, pecs and lats) and the muscles that we will be training that day.
In the past static stretching prior to training was frowned upon. However I have been doing this for years and never had an issue. In fact, some of my clients who were extremely tight were able to get into certain positions they normally couldn’t have after some light static stretching pre-workout.
SMR is a great way to relax tight musculature prior to training. Foam rolling and using a lacrosse ball are my go to just before I begin my warm-up. Typically I prescribe massaging the back, glutes, hips, I.T. bands and quads for most of the people I work with.
DYNAMIC WARM-UP/CNS ACTIVATION
I have talked about the importance of a thorough dynamic warm-up plenty of times in previous articles so I won’t beat a dead horse. Just make sure you go through a body weight circuit prior to the start of your strength work. This will help increase your heart rate and core temperature, improve mobility and flexibility, lubricate your joints and put you in a safer state to train in.
A good dynamic warm-up can take 10-15 minutes.
Once you complete your mobility circuit then I like to prime the CNS or Central Nervous System just before your strength work. 
JUMP, THROW AND SPRINT
Now is a good time to work on your power. Since you are in a warmed-up, fresh state this is the best time for your explosive movements.
Jumping, throwing and sprinting aren’t just great for developing power. They are also some of the most athletic things that you can do. Use different variations of all three.

Doing some type of jump, throw or sprint just before your strength work is also great for priming your CNS before you hit your heavy lift for the day. Just be sure that you don’t turn this into a conditioning routine and fry yourself out. That’s the opposite of what you want.
Typically on jumps and throws you can do about 3-5 sets of 1-5 reps. For sprints you can do 3-5 sets of 10-25 yards tops.
LIFT HEAVY
Here we are focusing on strength. Which means we are focusing on either increasing weight or reps you accomplish with a particular load over the course of your training cycle.
For the most part, your big lifts like the squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, chin-ups and their variations are programmed here.
Keep in mind that your big, compound movements are what’s going to help get you strong as shit and pack on the most muscle from head to toe. But keep in mind that if you are a little older and/or beat up you don’t have to stick strictly to a barbell. You can certainly use variations of each movement that can be done a bit safer.
For instance, if you have access to specialty bars at your gym you can replace a barbell squat with a safety bar squat. Or a straight bar deadlift with a trap bar.
Otherwise, you can use a dumbbell or kettlebell for exercises like the goblet squat instead of using a back squat. Or you can stick to a neutral grip DB press on an incline instead of a straight bar bench press if you have beat up shoulders.
The possibilities are endless. The important thing is that you are mimicking each particular movement pattern with a variation that you can handle.
PUSH, DRAG, CRAWL, CARRY
The best way to look like an athlete is to do athletic shit. Jump, throw, sprint, carry, drag, crawl and lift heavy.

Pushing or dragging a heavy sled is tremendous for lower body strength. It’s also a great way to hit the lower body without loading the spine.
Another great thing about sled work is that you won’t get sore from it since there is no eccentric component.
This way you can drop a B.M. without any additional discomfort. Lord knows we can all use some more comfort during a B.M.
Working in different crawls like Gator Walks and Bear Crawls are great for the core and shoulders so make sure you work those in too.
Loaded carry’s like Farmers Walks are great for developing the muscles that make up the core, hands, forearms and can pack on slabs of muscle to the traps.
PLAY
Once you’re doing all that then the one missing piece is to play as often as possible. Softball, basketball, martial arts, biking, hiking, tennis, swimming…whatever. Just be active, play and compete as often as possible.
Being competitive is great for overall well-being.
Competition is a fun way to get your “cardio” in and is great for testosterone production, which will help you build more muscle and burn more fat.
Plus, it’s never a good look to walk around all jacked but look like a total schlub as soon as your buddy throws you a basketball.
Take advantage of the summer and all of the activities that go along with it.

NUTRITION
If you want to look like an athlete then you better be eating like one. If you aren’t sure how to do that then check out this article I wrote that shows you how to eat for health and longevity with the physique to back it up.
http://www.tutelatraining.com/single-post/2017/03/20/Eat-for-Life
Now that you know the steps to get on your way to looking and performing like an athlete, it is up to you to follow them.
I hope this article helps you achieve the results you’ve been looking for. Have fun and do whatever it takes to look and perform the way you have always wanted.
Kick ass this summer, guys!

Have You Discovered How to Win?

Have You Discovered How to Win?

Some people are natural winners. They are talented, make the right decisions and always know to work hard enough to put themselves in the right position to capitalize on the opportunities in front of them.

Others make poor choices. They make excuses and point their fingers at everyone else around them as to why they aren’t getting what they want out of life. They have poor values and only care about themselves with total disregard to the people around them.

Then there are those who have NOT YET discovered how to win. These are good people. People who care about others and are as kind as could be. Yet they just never seem to get ahead. They are stuck in a never-ending rut, and regardless of how well intentioned they are they just never seem to be able to take that step in their lives that can propel them to the success they deserve.

Winners win, losers lose, but those who have not discovered how to win are somehow trapped in this grey area of a life of mediocrity. And in my opinion that is due to several reasons.

They say YES too often

Remember that whenever you say “yes” to something you are saying “no” to something else. Even though your “yes” may be well intentioned, you may be saying “no” to something that is essential to your success.

For example, you may say yes to picking up a friend from the airport, but since you have to pick up your friend you skip out on starting the project you have been planning. Skipping that project just once can lead to you skipping it again and again. This snowball effect leads to you never getting your important work done.

You develop a habit of putting others before your own personal dreams or goals.

This may seem selfish, and in a way, it is. But it is imperative to your own success and happiness.

I am not saying that you can never do favors for people. You certainly should always be willing to lend a helping hand. However that should not come at the expense of you holding yourself back. So be sure to prioritize and make time for you.

Then only say yes to things that are important to you.

They give in to instant gratification

Cookies are awesome. Ice cream is awesome, as is pizza, burgers, fries and alcohol.

But if we give in to eating something just because it tastes good, with total disregard to our health then you will never be truly happy.

If you are happily married with children but you decide to risk that to bang hookers on the weekend then you are acting solely out of impulse without any thought of the consequences.

You have to keep your thoughts set on the bigger picture and what will ultimately make you happy. Not just react to fill an emotional need. If you keep your eyes on the prize and keep your actions aligned with your values then you will most likely come out on top more often than not. And I don’t mean on hookers.

They start their day on someone else’s terms

Many people wake up and the first thing they do is check their email, text messages and social media.

They immediately start their day by being reactive rather than proactive. Instead of taking time to better themselves first, they spend time reacting to their ex-girlfriend’s Instagram picture of the new guy she’s been banging.

That ain’t gonna do shit for your productivity.

Having a morning routine has literally changed my life.

Meditating, walking, reading, journaling and reading my goals first thing every morning has kept me focused and starts my day off with a few small victories. Doing so builds momentum for the rest of the day.

You need to make time for the shit you say you don’t have time for.

No time to work out? Bullshit.

Wake up an hour earlier and get it done! Even if it’s a 15 minute workout. Push-ups, sit-ups, body weight squats and burpees in your living room or backyard for 15 minutes is much better than doing nothing.   

 

Start your day on YOUR TERMS without checking your phone.

You will soon realize how life changing this can be.

They aren’t aware of their true purpose

I have worked with a lot of people over the years. Some of the best people I know that can’t seem to get ahead are those who have never put any real thought into what their true purpose on this planet is.

They work, raise a family and prepare for retirement and death.

There’s no vision, no goals and no happiness.

I am not saying this is an easy task, nor am I saying that this means you have to quit your job (if you enjoy it) and start your own business in hopes that you found your passion.

I’m saying to spend time thinking about who it is you truly want to be. Write down your goals and ask yourself why that goal is even important to you in the first place.

You want to make more money? Well how much more? And WHY? To buy a cool car?

Or will money give you the opportunity to start a new business venture that will give you a platform to help more people?

You need to be specific and you need to know why. Putting the time in to think differently than everyone else will give you the passion and that burning desire to pursue your dreams, instead of just going through life’s motions.

Because going through the motions is the best way to achieve a mediocre life. And like Ray Lewis said, “I don’t know no man who’s ok with being just basic”.

 

Don’t be ok with being basic.

Find what lights your fire and put your time into becoming the greatest you that you can possibly be. Money is great, but it isn’t everything. Robin Williams is a perfect example of that.

What makes you tick? What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?

Figure that out and you will be destined for greatness.

I’ll catch you guys next week.


Have You Discovered How To Win?

Some people are natural winners. They are talented, make the right decisions and always know to work hard enough to put themselves in the right position to capitalize on the opportunities in front of them.
Others make poor choices. They make excuses and point their fingers at everyone else around them as to why they aren’t getting what they want out of life. They have poor values and only care about themselves with total disregard to the people around them.
Then there are those who have NOT YET discovered how to win. These are good people. People who care about others and are as kind as could be. Yet they just never seem to get ahead. They are stuck in a never-ending rut, and regardless of how well intentioned they are they just never seem to be able to take that step in their lives that can propel them to the success they deserve.
Winners win, losers lose, but those who have not discovered how to win are somehow trapped in this grey area of a life of mediocrity. And in my opinion that is due to several reasons.
They say YES too often
Remember that whenever you say “yes” to something you are saying “no” to something else. Even though your “yes” may be well intentioned, you may be saying “no” to something that is essential to your success.
For example, you may say yes to picking up a friend from the airport, but since you have to pick up your friend you skip out on starting the project you have been planning. Skipping that project just once can lead to you skipping it again and again. This snowball effect leads to you never getting your important work done.
You develop a habit of putting others before your own personal dreams or goals.
This may seem selfish, and in a way, it is. But it is imperative to your own success and happiness.
I am not saying that you can never do favors for people. You certainly should always be willing to lend a helping hand. However that should not come at the expense of you holding yourself back. So be sure to prioritize and make time for you.
Then only say yes to things that are important to you.
They give in to instant gratification
Cookies are awesome. Ice cream is awesome, as is pizza, burgers, fries and alcohol.
But if we give in to eating something just because it tastes good, with total disregard to our health then you will never be truly happy.
If you are happily married with children but you decide to risk that to bang hookers on the weekend then you are acting solely out of impulse without any thought of the consequences.
You have to keep your thoughts set on the bigger picture and what will ultimately make you happy. Not just react to fill an emotional need. If you keep your eyes on the prize and keep your actions aligned with your values then you will most likely come out on top more often than not. And I don’t mean on hookers.
They start their day on someone else’s terms
Many people wake up and the first thing they do is check their email, text messages and social media.
They immediately start their day by being reactive rather than proactive. Instead of taking time to better themselves first, they spend time reacting to their ex-girlfriend’s Instagram picture of the new guy she’s been banging.
That ain’t gonna do shit for your productivity.
Having a morning routine has literally changed my life.
Meditating, walking, reading, journaling and reading my goals first thing every morning has kept me focused and starts my day off with a few small victories. Doing so builds momentum for the rest of the day.
You need to make time for the shit you say you don’t have time for.
No time to work out? Bullshit.
Wake up an hour earlier and get it done! Even if it’s a 15 minute workout. Push-ups, sit-ups, body weight squats and burpees in your living room or backyard for 15 minutes is much better than doing nothing.   

Start your day on YOUR TERMS without checking your phone.
You will soon realize how life changing this can be.
They aren’t aware of their true purpose
I have worked with a lot of people over the years. Some of the best people I know that can’t seem to get ahead are those who have never put any real thought into what their true purpose on this planet is.
They work, raise a family and prepare for retirement and death.
There’s no vision, no goals and no happiness.
I am not saying this is an easy task, nor am I saying that this means you have to quit your job (if you enjoy it) and start your own business in hopes that you found your passion.
I’m saying to spend time thinking about who it is you truly want to be. Write down your goals and ask yourself why that goal is even important to you in the first place.
You want to make more money? Well how much more? And WHY? To buy a cool car?
Or will money give you the opportunity to start a new business venture that will give you a platform to help more people?
You need to be specific and you need to know why. Putting the time in to think differently than everyone else will give you the passion and that burning desire to pursue your dreams, instead of just going through life’s motions.
Because going through the motions is the best way to achieve a mediocre life. And like Ray Lewis said, “I don’t know no man who’s ok with being just basic”.

Don’t be ok with being basic.
Find what lights your fire and put your time into becoming the greatest you that you can possibly be. Money is great, but it isn’t everything. Robin Williams is a perfect example of that.
What makes you tick? What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?
Figure that out and you will be destined for greatness.
I’ll catch you guys next week.


Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Guy at the bar: “What is the best training program I can do that will get me the best results possible in the fastest amount of time?”

Me: “The one that you feel works best for you.”

Guy at the bar: “OK, well here is what I eat everyday.”

Literally goes through everything he has consumed in the last 24 hours even though I stopped listening at “here’s my breakfast”.

“What should I be eating to get abs?”

Me: “Food that’s healthy and you enjoy.”

I cannot tell you how many people overcomplicate the hell out of getting in shape.

Most are always looking for new advanced ways to do this or do that, but  always seem to overlook what has worked for decades regardless of the proven results they have produced.

Here’s the truth…

There is no “worlds greatest” training or nutrition program that is going to magically get you jacked and shredded overnight.

Sure, there are advanced methods and things you can be doing that are ahead of the curve.

But even those methods are useless if you do not already have a foundation of strength, muscle and power. And the best way to build that foundation is by doing the following:

1. Training 3-4 days per week consistently for at least one year

2.  Getting really good at basic strength training movements.

The bench, squat, deadlift and their variations, vertical and horizontal pulling, jumping, throwing heavy objects, loaded carries, vertical pressing, sled pushing and dragging, body weight movements, sprinting, and unilateral (single limb) exercises.

 

3. Consistently eating healthy foods with enough lean proteins, unprocessed carbohydrates, healthy fats and vegetables

4. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night

5. Drink enough water (at least half of your bodyweight in ounces daily)

Sounds pretty simple, huh?

Well, it is!

It’s staying disciplined that is difficult.

Building muscle and strength takes time so you have to be disciplined to stay consistent long enough to actually achieve the results you’re going for.

No need for 10 zillion fancy machines and equipment.

A squat rack with bars and plates, a bench, dumbbells, chin-up bar, a sandbag and a sled is all you will really need.

 

Sure specialty bars are great, especially if you have a pre-existing injury or limitation, but they aren’t absolutely necessary for getting you the best results if you are still a beginner.

If you don’t know how to do the exercises I mentioned then I highly recommend hiring a qualified professional that can teach you.

It’s funny to me how so many people I talk to say they want results but are too cheap to pay for it.

I’ve learned that if someone has the answers to something you want you should be willing to pay that person for what they offer. Whether that be in fitness, business or life in general you should always be willing to invest in yourself instead of wasting your hard earned cash on booze and shitty food.

With that said, once you learn how to move properly don’t waste time in the gym.

Keep your workouts short and efficient.

45-60 minutes is all you need.

Here are some set/rep schemes that can help you with designing your program.

For hypertrophy (increase in muscular size) typically the prescription is 3-4 working sets for 8-12 reps with approximately 60-90 seconds rest.

For strength, 3-5 sets of 6-8 reps with 120-180 seconds rest.

And for power, 3-6 sets of 1-6 reps with full recovery in between sets.

So say it’s a lower body training day, maybe you’ll begin with a box jump for 5 sets of 1 to work on power development.

Then you can move on to a back squat for 5 sets of 6 for your strength work.

Then move down to Romanian Deadlifts and DB split squats for 3 sets of 12.

Finish off the day with some sled pushing or loaded carries and you have had yourself a pretty productive training day.

Remember that for the most part, your power work will come first in your routine so you can work on its development when you are still fresh and can produce the most force.

Strength work should typically come right after your power stuff then followed by your hypertrophy work.

Simple, yet extremely effective.

 

I hope this post helps with any plateaus you may be facing.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at info@tutelatraining.com and I will be happy to give you an hand.

If you are interested in seeing how we get it done at our facility, Tutela Training Systems in Clark, NJ, I am currently offering a free week of training and a free nutrition consultation for you  loyal readers!

Just shoot us an email to the above address and we will get you set up!

Until then, train hard and stay focused my friends!


Keep It Simple, Stupid

Guy at the bar: "What is the best training program I can do that will get me the best results possible in the fastest amount of time?"
Me: "The one that you feel works best for you."
Guy at the bar: "OK, well here is what I eat everyday."
Literally goes through everything he has consumed in the last 24 hours even though I stopped listening at "here’s my breakfast".
"What should I be eating to get abs?"
Me: "Food that’s healthy and you enjoy."
I cannot tell you how many people overcomplicate the hell out of getting in shape.
Most are always looking for new advanced ways to do this or do that, but  always seem to overlook what has worked for decades regardless of the proven results they have produced.
Here’s the truth…
There is no "worlds greatest" training or nutrition program that is going to magically get you jacked and shredded overnight.
Sure, there are advanced methods and things you can be doing that are ahead of the curve.
But even those methods are useless if you do not already have a foundation of strength, muscle and power. And the best way to build that foundation is by doing the following:
1. Training 3-4 days per week consistently for at least one year
2.  Getting really good at basic strength training movements.
The bench, squat, deadlift and their variations, vertical and horizontal pulling, jumping, throwing heavy objects, loaded carries, vertical pressing, sled pushing and dragging, body weight movements, sprinting, and unilateral (single limb) exercises.

3. Consistently eating healthy foods with enough lean proteins, unprocessed carbohydrates, healthy fats and vegetables
4. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night
5. Drink enough water (at least half of your bodyweight in ounces daily)
Sounds pretty simple, huh?
Well, it is!
It’s staying disciplined that is difficult.
Building muscle and strength takes time so you have to be disciplined to stay consistent long enough to actually achieve the results you’re going for.
No need for 10 zillion fancy machines and equipment.
A squat rack with bars and plates, a bench, dumbbells, chin-up bar, a sandbag and a sled is all you will really need.

Sure specialty bars are great, especially if you have a pre-existing injury or limitation, but they aren’t absolutely necessary for getting you the best results if you are still a beginner.
If you don’t know how to do the exercises I mentioned then I highly recommend hiring a qualified professional that can teach you.
It’s funny to me how so many people I talk to say they want results but are too cheap to pay for it.
I’ve learned that if someone has the answers to something you want you should be willing to pay that person for what they offer. Whether that be in fitness, business or life in general you should always be willing to invest in yourself instead of wasting your hard earned cash on booze and shitty food.
With that said, once you learn how to move properly don’t waste time in the gym.
Keep your workouts short and efficient.
45-60 minutes is all you need.
Here are some set/rep schemes that can help you with designing your program.
For hypertrophy (increase in muscular size) typically the prescription is 3-4 working sets for 8-12 reps with approximately 60-90 seconds rest.
For strength, 3-5 sets of 6-8 reps with 120-180 seconds rest.
And for power, 3-6 sets of 1-6 reps with full recovery in between sets.
So say it’s a lower body training day, maybe you’ll begin with a box jump for 5 sets of 1 to work on power development.
Then you can move on to a back squat for 5 sets of 6 for your strength work.
Then move down to Romanian Deadlifts and DB split squats for 3 sets of 12.
Finish off the day with some sled pushing or loaded carries and you have had yourself a pretty productive training day.
Remember that for the most part, your power work will come first in your routine so you can work on its development when you are still fresh and can produce the most force.
Strength work should typically come right after your power stuff then followed by your hypertrophy work.
Simple, yet extremely effective.

I hope this post helps with any plateaus you may be facing.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at info@tutelatraining.com and I will be happy to give you an hand.
If you are interested in seeing how we get it done at our facility, Tutela Training Systems in Clark, NJ, I am currently offering a free week of training and a free nutrition consultation for you  loyal readers!
Just shoot us an email to the above address and we will get you set up!
Until then, train hard and stay focused my friends!

Do You Have Shitty Values?

Do You Have Shitty Values?

The book I just finished reading, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson is truly one of the best books I have ever read.  


Between the author’s writing style and the lack of fluff and bullshit in this book I can honestly say that this one is a must read.

In one of the chapters he discusses the importance of suffering, and how your personal values dictate your level of suffering.

We all have problems and based on our values and metrics of a good life and happiness, some of us will never truly be happy if we do not shift our thinking and values.

I want to share with you guys some of what the author describes as “shitty values”.

He states that these common values can “create really poor problems for people, problems that can hardly be solved”.

Shitty value #1: Pleasure

He talks about how pleasure is great, but to ask any drug addict about their never ending pursuit of pleasure, adulterer who shattered her family and lost her children or a man who nearly eats himself to death if pleasure helped them “solve” their problems.

“Pleasure is a false god. Research shows that people who focus their energy on superficial pleasures end up more anxious, more emotionally unstable, and more depressed.”

“Pleasure is not the cause of happiness; rather, it is the effect.”

Shitty value # 2: Material status

Here he discusses how so many people measure self-worth by how much money they make or the car they drive. “However, research has shown that once someone can provide for basic physical needs (food, shelter and so on), the correlation between happiness and worldly success quickly approaches zero”.

In the long run, are all of those extra hours of work for another 10 or 20 grand in replace of quality time with friends, family and experiences going to be worth it to you if you already have everything you need?

Odds are, the answer is no.

Shitty value #3: Always being right

“People who see themselves as always right about everything prevent themselves from learning from their mistakes. They lack the ability to take on new perspectives and empathize with others. They close themselves off to new and important information.”

You are not always right. You can’t always be right. Accept that. Learn from your fuck-ups. Open your mind to how others may feel. This new found open-mindedness will put you in a state of constant learning and growth.

Shitty value # 4: Staying positive

Shit happens. When it does, you feel shitty. Pretending that you don’t feel shitty is a form of denial.

It’s important to accept how you truly feel, and deal with it in a healthy way. Don’t just brush the pile of shit under the rug, put a smile on your face and pretend that it doesn’t smell like shit in your living room. 

“Denying negative emotions leads to experiencing deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and to emotional dysfunction. Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life’s problems. Problems which, by the way, if you are choosing the right values and metrics, should be invigorating you and motivating you.”


At the end of the day, we all need to accept that life is not perfect and we will all have problems. However, based on your values and metrics, good values, like being reality-based, will lead to good problems that are regularly solved. Bad values lead to worse problems that are much harder to solve.

The choice is yours.


These days, it gets harder and harder to keep your shit together. Between commercials you see on TV and all of the bullshit you see on social media, it can become very easy to fall into a depression.


If you constantly spend your time looking at someone else’s life that appears to be “great” (which deep down you know is bullshit), and compare your problematic life to their seemingly “problem-less” life, you could feel like shit.


But you have to know that things aren’t always how they seem.


You are not the only one with problems and with the right shift of your thinking you too can start living a good fucking life.

Like Freud said, “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” 

I really hope this helps and you guys take a second to grab a copy of this awesome book.

Until next time…keep moving forward.


Unf*ck Yourself

Unf*ck Yourself

You are fucked.


Conditioned to believe all of the bullshit you have been hearing since birth.


Go to school, accumulate a fuck load of debt, get a job you hate, pay taxes, get married, raise a family, retire and die.


Conditioned to believe that conformity is necessary.


Don’t worry about your true thoughts and views on the world, simply just agree and shake your head like a schmuck because you don’t want to hurt anyone else’s feelings.

Too tired to go to the gym? Forget it! Stay home, have some toaster strudels and watch reality T.V! Definitely a better option.


Or better yet, watch the news!


Let them pump toxic bullshit into your brain and use scare tactics to get you tuned into their network longer.


Fill your subconscious up with all kinds of positive information, like the old lady that got mugged in an alley, or the family of 5 that was murdered by some lunatic.


Who needs to read self-help books?! Spend your time watching Teen Mom instead.


Hang around people who doubt you, criticize you and hold you back.


Let this go on for years and years and end up like the majority of our society. Weak, unhealthy, overweight, depressed, scared and in debt.


Have shitty relationships, shitty energy, shitty sex, a shitty physique and a shitty outlook on life.


Seems shitty.


It is.


That is the life of someone who is fucked, and unfortunately that is a lot of the people you know, maybe even you.


I know this because I too was fucked at one point.


Most of my childhood involved fighting, screaming, crying, lies and drugs in my home life.


I didn’t realize how effected I was by this until my early twenties.


In my teens I thought it was just the norm. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that my family was a little more fucked up than my friend’s, but I never realized the toll it was taking on me.


When I was 15 I had my first panic attack.


Aside from the anxiety I was depressed and loaded with all types of fear, which led to me becoming super angry.


And my anger only added to the excessive violence that went on in my house.


My lifestyle consisted of plenty of alcohol and late nights. I literally would go to bed around 5am and not wake up until sometime around 3pm.


I felt like I had nothing to live for, no purpose and truly didn’t care. I was unhappy and heading nowhere fast.


As I mentioned before, I was fucked.


I thought about getting my life together, but just felt like I couldn’t.


I was lazy and couldn’t imagine the hard work it would take to change.


I was working as a strength coach and really enjoyed helping people get better, but I just didn’t have any sense of direction or ever put any thought into what my true purpose was, or who I was for that matter.


My life at home was very dark and I was consumed by the drugs and violence that was constantly going down.


There were nights I would be woken up by screaming and fighting only to find myself right in the middle of it.


I might as well have been the one doing drugs, since my life was revolving around them.


However, in early 2008 a few of my buddies wanted to try a new diet and get super lean for the first time. This was something new for me so I decided to give it shot. So, I wrote us up a few diets based on what I was learning at the facility where I was working. 


Once we started, I was more committed to that diet than I was to anything else in my entire life.


Something clicked. I was learning discipline and my mindset began to change.


I didn’t even think about cheating or missing a meal. I was like a robot on a mission.


Of course after that 16 week run we all got super shredded and felt great, but that isn’t what’s most important.


I was changing from the inside out.


Suddenly I wasn’t so focused on what was going on at home. I wasn’t drinking much at all, I was going to bed earlier, studying training and nutrition, watching less T.V and spending more time with my friends who had the same goals.


As a result, I had more energy, more confidence, more strength, looked better, felt better, had better relationships, less stress, less anxiety and cared more about other people.


Which led me to realize what my true mission and purpose in life is…to help people, in any way that I can.


Sounds cliché, I know, but it’s true.


But that’s the reason why I am writing this post, and all posts I write. Because I know there are a lot of you that are going through some shit.


And whatever your shit is I want you to know that there is a way out. No matter how bad it is.


You too can get Unfucked!


To go back to my story, 2008 was a turning point for me.


What I learned was that when you set a goal that is difficult to accomplish, surround yourself with the right people, change your attitude and work your fucking ass off, life tends to be viewed differently.


The positivity from the people you surround yourself with will rub off on you. The discipline you develop will carry over into every aspect of your life and you realize that no matter how far away a goal may seem from the point you are at right now, it is possible to achieve it.


As years passed I continued to develop better habits. I have read tons of books and applied so much of the information I have learned to my own life.


If you asked me to read a book in 2007 I would have probably regurgitated the 16 beers and 22 White Castles I ate the night before, just before passing out in my own vomit.


The information I have gathered and applied over the years led me to starting my own business, walking away from jobs I didn’t enjoy, traveling, investing hard earned cash, managing money, helping other peopleand taking plenty of personal risks.


I am at a point where I have created boundaries with toxic people, including my own family members.


I can truly say that I am happy, and love the way my life is turning out.


I don’t say that to brag by any means. I say that to try and help you see that change is possible.


I am a living, breathing example of change and you can ask anyone who knows me.


But if you keep eating like shit, surrounding yourself with negative people, ignoring your emotions and consuming yourself with the news and mindless T.V, your subconscious mind will absorb all of that crap. 

And change will get further and further away.


However, if you want something bad enough and align your daily habits with your goals, your life WILL change.


Here is a list of the daily habits and rituals that have helped me in my own life.


– Get 7-9 hours of sleep


– Wake up by 6 A.M.


– Meditate first thing in the morning for 10-20 minutes


– Walk for 15-20 minutes while listening to a podcast or something motivational


– Read my goals out loud


– Journal for 5 minutes


– Read for 15-30 minutes


I make sure I get all of that in BEFORE even considering looking at my phone. No texts, no emails, no social media, nothing! All that will do is force you to become REACTIVE instead of PROACTIVE.


When you do that you start your day on someone else’s terms instead of your own.


I cannot stress enough how important that is.


DO NOT let someone else dictate YOUR day.
When you do that, they will end up dictating your life.


I hope that my story can help inspire you to start reaching for bigger things and living the life you were meant to live.


Take action and stay focused! If you just START, even if it doesn’t seem like the right time, and stay CONSISTENT your life WILL change.


If you need any help at all with getting started, please shoot me an email at info@tutelatraining.com.


I would love to share any advice I may have.


Until then ladies and gentlemen, UNfuck yourself.


GROW FASTER USING ECCENTRICS & ISOMETRICS

GROW FASTER USING ECCENTRICS & ISOMETRICS

You have been training for a while.

 You sought out a mentor, learned to move properly, followed a well thought out program, progressed on big compound lifts and ate right.

You bought a one-way ticket on the Gain Train and your results have been fantastic thus far.

But after some time, the Gain Train comes to a screeching halt!

Fuck.

You hit a plateau. They suck, but they happen. If they didn’t we would all be 260 lbs. with 4% body fat.

Genetics play a huge roll in this.

But if you are a hard gainer like me, then have no fear. There is a solution to smash through plateaus. And that solution is…

Variety.

Yes, variety is the key to smashing through your physique and performance plateaus. And the problem is not many people use enough of it.

The first way to utilize different variety in your program is by simply taking advantage of the 3 types of muscular contractions.

They are, the eccentric, concentric and isometric contractions.

Most people solely focus on the concentric phase of the lift, without placing any emphasis on the other two contractions. This will only lead to muscular imbalances and an increased risk of injury.

With that said, let’s take a quick look at each different type of contraction and their roll in muscular development.

Concentric Contraction

This is the phase of the lift where the muscle is shortening. For instance, during a bench press the concentric phase of the prime movers of the lift is the way up.

Eccentric Contraction

The eccentric phase of a particular lift is the phase where the muscle is lengthening. Let’s use a squat for example. The eccentric phase of a squat is the way down.

However if you are performing some type of pulldown variation, the eccentric phase would be during the way up.

Isometric Contraction

An isometric contraction is a static contraction, or where the muscle is not being lengthened nor shortened. For example, if you were to take a pause halfway through a DB curl and hold it for a certain amount of time, that contraction is isometric.

As I mentioned earlier, the common public gym goer pays no mind to either eccentric or isometric contractions. Typically you will see them performing a lift with a weight that is way too heavy, slamming down on their chest with zero control.

If you are looking to break through plateaus and really elicit a growth response, then you have to pay close attention to the eccentric phase of the lift.

For example on a normal lift without a prescribed tempo, the eccentric phase should last about 2 full seconds. When you control a weight in this manner you will be training the muscle both concentrically and eccentrically.

The concentric phase however will typically be done as fast as possible, unless of course there is a prescribed tempo here as well.

So on a normal tempo bench press it should take you about 2 seconds to bring the bar to your chest and about 1 second (if the weight is submaximal) to lock out the bar. That goes for most exercises that aren’t Olympic lifts but that’s a completely different animal.

That’s the first step in focusing on the eccentric phase.

Now, to take it a step further you can apply specific tempos to your program. For example you may prescribe a chin-up with a 5 second eccentric phase counting 1 one-thousand, 2 one-thousand, 3 one-thousand, 4 one-thousand, 5 one-thousand during the eccentric phase (way down here). Keep in mind this will make the exercise significantly more difficult so be wise on your weight selection if you will be using a loaded movement.

As far as isometrics go, you can prescribe a specific rep tempo here as well. For example you can take a pause at the bottom of a bench press for a 1 one-thousand count and explode up.

You can also combine an eccentric tempo along with an iso-hold to really get a bang for your buck.

Now I do not recommend using specific tempos all the time. I like to use them every couple of training cycles for a new stimulus. However, for 99% of typical exercises you should absolutely have AT LEAST a 2 second eccentric phase to be sure you are training the muscle eccentrically as well for optimal growth and performance all the time.

If you are an athlete or strength coach then I highly recommend the book Triphasic Training by Cal Dietz and Ben Peterson to look way further into this topic.

If you are just a guy or gal just looking to pack on some more muscle and strength and help bullet proof yourself from injury then what the hell are you waiting for?!

Get in the gym and start applying these principles ASAP.

Once you do you will begin to smash through the plateaus that have been limiting you.

We all hit them and yes they can be frustrating. But all you need to do is step back and take a smarter approach to growing through them.

Train hard, TTS Nation!

Here’s to a stronger you!