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: PleasureHe 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 statusHere 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 positiveShit 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would love to share any advice I may have.
Until then ladies and gentlemen, UNfuck yourself.
Man it feels good to be back!
What is up everyone?!
I apologize for the long layoff but between new promotions over here at TTS in Clark, NJ, a new Ebook I have been working on and working on some new, exciting business opportunities I have been swamped to say the least.
But I am back and ready to get some good content out to you guys as often as possible!
I want to cut right to the chase today and talk about a topic I am super passionate about.
And that is…
The most overlooked solution to preventing disease in the world.
Poor nutrition leads us to getting sick. Then, we go to a Dr. who writes us a prescription for a pill that only brushes the problem under the rug, instead of going to the root of the issue…
That pill causes a side effect so you go see a Dr. about it. So, he/she then writes a prescription for ANOTHER pill which causes another side effect which leads us to taking…
The cycle goes on and on and we as a society are getting more and more sick.
Now please understand that I am not saying that there aren’t people that need medications.
Some people have certain diseases or medical conditions that are absolutely out of their control and our advances in medicine have and will continue to save lives.
I am not knocking the brilliance in how far we have come in medicine.
What I am saying however, is that like anything else, there are incredible doctors, great doctors, good doctors, ok doctors and doctors that fucking suck.
And many of the ok doctors and the ones that fucking suck are very quick to toss a pill down your throat and completely disregard what’s causing the issue…
Most of the American diet is made up of sugar, flour, trans fats, and artificial dyes, coloring and sweeteners.
Here is a quick rundown of how these foods can lead to disease in a nutshell.
Let’s start with sugar and flour.
Both of these substances are highly inflammatory, especially in the digestive tract.
The body will recognize inflammation the same way that it will recognize any other foreign body in the blood stream.
It will send it’s resources to fight off the foreign body to prevent disease and infection.
Since these two substances are staples in the American diet, the body is constantly in a state of inflammation.
As a result, the body sends its resources to “fight” and try to reduce the inflammation.
Since your body is constantly expending its resources fighting this chronic inflammation, it now does not have the resources to support your immune system, which leaves you with a weakened, suppressed immune system which leaves you more susceptible to disease and illness.
People need to realize that shit food has more of an effect on their bodies than a few extra inches to their waistline.
In order to properly optimize your health, you need to load your body with vital nutrients.
And not just once in a while… Every fucking day!
Here’s a very simple way to do that.
Base your diet around all earth grown nutrients… anything you can kill, catch, gather or grow.
Avoid sugar, flour and any bullshit artificial ingredients.
Artificial sweeteners have been directly linked to cancer in lab rats and, if that’s not bad enough, they have also been linked to Alzheimer’s, short term memory loss, kidney disease, liver disease and also have been shown to slow down the function of our sexual organs.
I hope I don’t have to sell you on this one.
Please don’t get sucked into the hype of Diet soda, sugar free processed foods or any other man made “food” that they try to sell you as low calorie.
Just because something is low in calories doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good for you!
For instance, I always tell my clients that I would MUCH rather have them eat 1,000 calories in one meal from salmon, broccoli and sweet potatoes than 100 calories from some bullshit, sugar free ice cream.
You have to look deeper into where your calories are coming from, not just how many calories you are taking in.
Also please take note that you want to eat organic foods as often as possible.
Wild caught fish, grass fed beef, free range chickens, turkeys and eggs, etc.
People complain about the cost of these foods but you are paying more for YOUR HEALTH!
Literally the most important thing you can sped your money on, but people will buy booze with the few extra bucks they saved on buying lower quality products.
Even if you don’t care about the inhumane living environment and torturous death of the animals as much as I do, consider this.
These fish and animals never have a shot at life.
The animals are forced to procreate, then kept in cages that are so overcrowded and unlivable that the animals ended up getting sick and dying. The solution that factory farming companies came up with was to pump these animals up with antibiotics and hormones, just so they wouldn’t die from the environment in which they lived.
As a result of their environment, these animals have a significantly higher level of cortisol, the natural stress hormone.
Then they are slaughtered and when you ingest the meat, you are also ingesting high amounts of cortisol, hormones and antibiotics.
Farm raised fish are raised in such a disgusting environment that you would never eat it if you saw where it came from.
They literally end up eating each others feces in the dirty environment they are raised in.
Uh, that doesn’t sound good, does it?
Obviously you can’t worry about this shit every time you go out to eat, but if you only buy organic grass fed beef, free range chickens and wild caught fish when you cook for yourself you will be far better off.
The old, annoying cliché “you are what you eat” may be just that, but it certainly is true.
You will have a much better shot at health and longevity and won’t have to rely on pills and medication later in life if you take your nutrition seriously now.
People are getting sicker, and the numbers for disease are growing RAPIDLY.
I don’t say that to scare anyone.
I simply want you to understand how vital it is to pay attention to what you are putting in your body.
I really hope that this post helps and answers any questions you may have had.
If you have any additional questions or would like me to go a bit further into this topic, feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Next time you guys hear from me I will be soaking in some sun out in San Diego and can’t wait to tell you guys how that goes.
I have been wanting to go to California for the longest time and I have a whole itinerary already lined up!
I’ll catch you guys later this week!
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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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!
As Christmas approaches, I am sitting here at the local coffee shop trying to think of what to write to you guys, the TTS nation. Earlier I planned on writing you about training during the holiday season, and how to stay consistent during this hectic time of year. But all that keeps popping into my head is how truly grateful I am. How grateful I am that I can reach all of you with one click, and that you guys actually care enough about what I have to say that you subscribed to this list in the first place. I am truly honored and humbled that you give me the opportunity to share my life’s purpose and passion with you a couple of times a week. I sit back and think about how far TTS has come, and how all of you made that possible. When I first opened Tutela Training Systems in Clark I created our mission statement. That is, to educate, motivate and inspire everyone to become the best version of themselves, mentally and physically. It doesn’t matter if you are a raw beginner, experienced lifter, athlete, male or female, I do my very best to help give every single one of you all that I have to give. To help guide you on your path. I speak primarily from my own experiences, and give you guys the advice that was once given to me and applied on myself. Through trial and error, I have learned so much, not only about training and nutrition, but self-development and life as well. I have taken classes, seminars, workshops, invested in coaching and read countless books on all of the above topics. Some of the information has been LIFE CHANGING for me, and I hope that you begin to apply the information that I constantly preach to your own life, because I can tell you from experience how well it has worked for me. So as a thank you during this holiday season, I want to give you all some advice that can change your life TODAY, in whatever area you feel needs some improvement. Here we go… 1. Set goals and write them down: If you are serious about a goal, write it down. That alone takes it from just a thought to a reality. READ YOUR GOALS EVERYDAY to remind yourself of what you want. Most people forget which is why they fail. 2. Write out an action plan: Setting a goal is great, however most people don’t have a clue on how to attain it. Beneath the goals you write down, write out a clear step by step action plan on how to achieve them. This gives you clear cut actionable steps that you can take each day that will bring you closer to your goal. 3. Wake up early: Waking up just 15 minutes earlier each day gives you an extra 105 minutes per week, 420 minutes per month and 5,460 minutes per year that you can put towards your goal. That could be applied to any goal you may have. Most people say they don’t have time to …fill in the blank. MAKE THE FUCKING TIME. You want to make more money, change careers, get fit, have better relationships, wake up earlier and work on it. 4. Have a daily ritual: Having a morning routine is something that has changed my life. It has given me the time I need to work on myself and get better, as well as get more work done for my business. On a typical day, my morning ritual goes like this. 6am: wake, bathroom routine. 6:15am-6:30am: meditate 6:30am- 7am: Read 7am: Read goals and action plan for the day 7:05am-7:25am: Walk and listen to educational podcasts or something motivational 7:25am- 8:10am: Write, design programs, design diets, finish any work 8:10am- 8:25am: Breakfast 8:25am: Read passages from Bruce Lee 8:30am: Leave for work and continue listening to podcast Now your routine does not have to be 2.5 hours right away. You can start with just 15 minutes, but I will bet that you will start getting up earlier and earlier once you see the impact this makes on your life. 5. Do not check any texts, social media or email until you finish your morning routine: Most people are reactive instead of proactive. You are forced to react to your phone or laptop before you can take action on your own life. This is something that has freed up a tremendous amount of my time and allows me to get so much more done. 6. Be completely present: We have a limited time on this earth. This day and age we are constantly distracted. When you are with your family or friends, out to dinner with someone, at an event or just having a conversation, TURN YOUR FUCKING PHONE OFF. I cannot stand when I am trying to talk to someone and they are lost in their fantasy football score. Get the most out of the time you have on this planet and start to focus on the relationships you have with those around you. Talk to people, and truly listen to them. Don’t live distracted. You never know what you are going to miss. 7. Read every day: They say the difference between you today and you five years from now is the people you meet and the books you read. I am far from perfect but I strive to get better every day. If you want to change your life you have to dedicate time to reading books that can help you. 8. Make training and good nutrition a priority: I believe that if you truly want the most of your life you need to consistently train and eat well. How can you be your best if you have no energy and no confidence? Not to mention increase your chances of living longer and feeling better. Eating real food and hard training will make you better all around. Period. 9. Sleep: If you are not getting adequate sleep each night you won’t have the energy to dominate your life. Sleep 7-9 hours every night.
10. Time block: When you block out your day and focus solely on what you have scheduled for yourself it is much easier to get stuff done. Set time aside for your most meaningful work of the day and eliminate all other distractions. Also don’t forget time for the stuff you enjoy. Hanging with friends and family, playing an instrument, practicing a martial art or sport… It’s important to set time aside for fun. If you are all work and no play you will never be truly happy and burn out fast.
11. Focus on your one big thing for the day: So many people fall into the trap of trying to multitask, thinking they will get more work done. When you try to multitask you end up just being busy and not producing any quality work. When you work off of your time block and focus on your one big thing, instead of many lesser important things, you will get more done in way less time. Trust me, this was an absolute game changer in my life and has helped me in more ways than one. I highly recommend the book “The One Thing” by Gary Keller to help you with this. 12. Work harder than everyone else and create freedom: In order to achieve the things you want you have to execute. And that doesn’t mean just going through the motions. If you want to be great at something, or have great results, you have to work like someone that is possessed. How you do anything is how you’ll do everything, so if you approach something half-assed you can certainly expect half-assed results in other areas of your life as well. I will say with confidence that if I fail at something, it is never due to a lack of effort. Failure is a part of your journey, but when you do fail you must reflect on why. If you realize you could have worked just a little bit harder, make sure that never fucking happens again. When you work your ass off and focus on your one big thing for the day, you will create freedom for yourself that you have been looking for all along.
Take the time to read this post more than once. I know some of the things on here seem overly simple, but that’s just it. We tend to overlook the beauty of simplicity and try to overcomplicate everything. These simple tips are absolutely life changing, and I have spent many hours (and dollars) studying and practicing them.
Don’t be the one to miss out on your true potential because you didn’t take the time to execute. Apply yourself and unleash the greatness living inside. You owe it to yourself and the others around you.
Again, I thank every single one of you that takes the time to read, share and most of all, apply the information I share with you. I promise that I will continue to do my very best and give you everything I got in 2017 to help you take your health, fitness and life to the next level.
I wish all of you a very happy and safe holiday season.
Thanks for reading!
On December 17th 2016, Bernard Hopkins will be fighting one last time to finish out an incredible boxing career.
If you don’t know his story, I recommend you check it out.
In a nut shell, he came from nothing, always got into trouble, ended up in prison and after spending quite some time in jail, he decided he would never go back.
Boxing was his way out.
This month his storybook career comes to a close.
But here is the inspiring part… Not only did Bernard Hopkins make something of himself… Not only did he change his mindset to find a way out of prison and become a boxing legend…
But he will now be fighting his final bout… at the age of 51.
Look around at most people you know in their 50’s.
How many of them tell you “I’m too old to workout”?
How many of them tell you “Once you get to be my age you won’t care about the gym anymore”?
Hell, I hear that from guys in their 30’s!
And I cringe every time I do.
Guys that are only 35 years old say that they “don’t have time to train”.
You don’t have time to train?
So your health, longevity, vitality, energy, wellness, mobility, strength and appearance mean nothing to you?
What kind of example does that set for your children and others around you?
You have to understand that if you don’t take care of yourself physically, you will never become the best version of yourself mentally.
Guys like Bernard Hopkins prove that age is truly just a number, as long as you take care of your body and continue to work on yourself throughout your life.
Your health needs to be prioritized, so stop making excuses about your age and start putting in the work.
Now, you might say “well, Bernard Hopkins is a professional fighter, he’s an outlier”. Maybe you have a point. But what about the “normal” people I have worked with over the years that drastically improved their lives that were well into their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s?
Guys like Paul Kaplan who at 49 years old, lost 100 lbs, packed on more lean muscle than he’s ever had in his life and has 10 x’s more energy than any twenty year old I have ever met.
Or women like Maureen Melody that started training for the first time in her mid-fifties and lost 45 lbs. of fat, drastically improved her blood work and felt better than she ever had in her life.
Come into my gym and these people will tell you first-hand how training improved their lives.
It is sad to see that as most people age, they stop caring about themselves. In so many ways, they stop living.
Diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and medication has become the norm, combined with a laundry list of other issues.
That is not the way life is meant to be!
Invest the time and money into yourself, so you can do the things you want to do in your life. Do not just work, retire and die! Stay active, eat well, and enjoy your life as you age.
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold are both around 70 years old.
Both guys still train and look better than guys over half their age.
When you are that age would you rather be fit, traveling the world and playing with your grandchildren, or lying in bed shoveling pills down your throat?
Sickness and medication do not have to be your destiny.
Common does not mean normal, so do not accept illness as something that is completely out of your control. Obviously there are things people are faced with that could not be avoided.
However there are many cases where illness and disease could have been prevented, so stack the odds in your favor.
You get one life. One shot to become the person you want to be. And you can become that person at any age. I don’t care if you are already in your 70’s, it is never too late to reinvent yourself.
And that begins with changing your mindset.
Accepting that you are responsible for your outcome and that no matter how beat up you are you can always change.
Hopefully if you are reading this you are just as inspired by Bernard Hopkins as I am and realize that if he is 51 years old and still competing at the highest level possible, against guys a fraction of his age, then you can get to the gym for a few hours a week.
Stay active, stay strong and control your destiny.
I’ll catch you guys next week.
What’s up, TTS nation?!
I am sure you guys are back on your grind after the holiday and are hitting the gym hard and heavy!
Just a quick update, my hand is pretty close to 100% now, with the exception of occasional numbness. As far as strength goes though, I am almost back to where I was right before the injury, which is an incredible feeling to say the least.
Over the weekend, my buddy Ruben and I went to see the movie “Bleed for This” which is the true story of world champion boxer Vinny Pazienza, or the Pazmanian Devil.
If you have time, definitely go check it out. The movie was a bit slow at times, but a good movie overall. Super inspiring so I definitely recommend checking it out.
What I want to talk to you about today is something that caught my attention in the movie…
It starts off when Vinny Paz is fighting at Jr. welterweight and after one of his fights at that weight class he collapses and was hospitalized due to severe dehydration.
At that time Vinny was known for having a very tough time making weight for his fights, and his weight would rebound back up dramatically after them.
He lost several fights in a row and knew something needed to change.
When he decided to go back to his old trainer, the first thing he did was weigh Vinny in, only to find that he had gained almost 30 lbs since his last fight only a week ago!
They decided to jump Vinny up two weight classes, which seemed extremely farfetched!
The result – A stronger, faster, healthier Vinny Pazienza who ended up winning the world title at that weight class.
That is an extremely valuable lesson for any wrestler or combat athlete out there.
Most wrestlers and fighters feel it is necessary to make drastic weight cuts in order to compete at a lighter division or weight class.
The big problem is that most of these athletes do not cut weight properly, as well as try to cut too much.
They end up starving and dehydrating themselves in order to make weight for a class that is way too far out of their reach to sustain good health and high performance levels.
What most don’t realize is that they are not gaining any advantage by cutting down to such a low weight class. In fact, they are putting themselves at a disadvantage!
When you are deficient in nutrients and dehydrated you cannot perform at an optimum level. You are putting yourself in a weakened, fatigued state that is putting a huge toll on your mental and physical game.
If you compete at a weight class closer to your natural weight however, you will be in a much stronger, healthier state which will not only help you perform at a higher level physically, but it will help keep you sharp mentally as well.
Now I am not saying that you can’t drop a few lbs. if you have it to lose. Cutting 10 lbs. may in fact be healthy for some athletes, as long as it’s done properly.
I understand that cutting weight is part of certain sports, which helps you stay focused and dialed in, which is great.
But there is a fine line between cutting a healthy amount of weight and taking laxatives in order to drop 6 lbs. the day of a match.
What athletes need to learn is how to eat foods that will help them shed body fat, keep them strong, nourished and healthy.
That comes down to eating a well-balanced diet based on earth grown nutrients. Which means cutting out all sugar, flour and anything processed. Drinking enough water every day and putting in the right amount of physical hard work.
Combined with adequate sleep each night (7-9 hours) you will feel strong, fed and more ready for competition than you’ve ever been.
The story of Vinny Pazienza should really be eye-opening. This was a world champion jumping up two weight classes after losing 3 fights in a row only to win another world title at a much heavier weight class. A weight class that was much closer to his everyday weight.
I want every wrestler and fighter reading this to strongly consider what I am saying.
What sense does it make to go into battle weak, dehydrated and depleted?
If you take two guys of the same exact skill, one was taking laxatives and wrapped in a sauna suit jumping rope after barely eating anything all day. The other, eating quality foods, is well rested, hydrated, focused and ready.
Who do you think is going to win that bout?
I know I wouldn’t put my money on the guy that was shitting blood the last three days.
I hope that you take this seriously, and consider competing at a higher weight class this wrestling season. Many athletes have died over the years using these dangerous dehydration methods.
Please learn from the mistakes of others and cut weight the right way.
If you do, I guarantee you will be a much better athlete.
Good luck this season boys and girls.
If you would like help with your meal plan I would love to be of assistance and help you cut weight the right way. Just shoot us an email at INFO@TUTELATRAINING.COM and I will be happy to help!
Now work hard and go have the best season of your life!
We all know the importance of the big, compound movements when it comes to getting strong.
The bench, squat and deadlift are among the three best exercises you can do for developing strength. Combine them with quality back work, overhead pressing, gymnastics training, unilateral and posterior chain work and you are really making a huge dent.
But when it comes to real-world strength, whether it be for athletics or other life, there is one training modality that will give you an even bigger bang for your buck.
And that is strongman training.
For those who don’t know, strongman training involves lifting and or carrying odd objects.
Kegs, tires, yokes, sleds, sandbags, and different implements are all tools you can use from your strength toolbox.
When you train with only barbells and dumbbells your body will adapt to those specific movement patterns.
With strongman training your body has to adapt to the increased stability demands placed on it by having to consciously stabilize the unstable object.
For instance, when you are trying to clean and press a keg filled with water, you have to really place emphasis on trying to control the keg so it doesn’t rip your shoulders out of the sockets.
This is much more realistic when it comes to real life. Especially in sports like fighting or wrestling.
In addition, the extra stability demand also creates a great stimulus for increasing muscular size.
Don’t get me wrong, barbell movements are extremely important, but they won’t have as much carryover to the real world as something like a loaded carry would. Basic barbell training should be the meat and potatoes to your training, however incorporating strongman training will take your strength to new levels.
Along with added real-world strength, strongman training will also create a tremendous conditioning effect.
If your gym doesn’t have any strongman equipment have no fear. You can easily grab some equipment from a junkyard, liquor store, and army-navy store to create your own. The good news is all of that stuff is cheap and can easily be stored in your backyard or garage.
I want to run down a list of my favorite strongman exercises and how you can use them to take your strength to the next level.
The most practical version of this exercise is a farmer’s walk with dumbbells. Simply grab a heavy pair of dumbbells and stand up tall. Ensure good posture through the entirety of the set by keeping your shoulders back and your chest up high. Be sure to keep your abdominals contracted throughout the set as well. All you are going to do is walk for either distance or time.
Typically, I recommend sets for 30 seconds, but sometimes we will do sets of 45 or 60 seconds. Some people may even go longer than that.
You can also make it competitive and try to beat your buddy’s distance that he or she walked with a specific weight.
The farmer’s walk is great for developing grip and abdominal strength, as well as adding size to your traps and forearms.
Pushing a sled is one of my favorite lower body exercises. The great thing about it is that there is no eccentric component of the exercise. This allows you to do an incredible amount of work, without getting sore. Which is why I love sled pushing for in-season athletes.
My favorite variation is the Prowler sled. In terms of conditioning, there aren’t many tools that have the same effect as the Prowler.
But it is also great for strength too. If you are a football player, it doesn’t get much more “sport specific” than this.
REVERSE SLED DRAG
Reverse sled dragging is an awesome way to hit the quadriceps. Grab a pair of straps with handles, and use a carabiner to connect them to your sled. Grab the handles, keep full tension on the straps, sit back, stay low and walk or run backwards.
A keg is an incredible strength implement. Grab an empty one at a liquor store, and do a quick YouTube search to learn how to make one for training.
Once filled with water, a keg is incredible difficult to stabilize. One of my favorite things to do with it is a clean and press. Trust me, when using a keg filled with water, an 80 lb. clean and press feels like a house.
You can also do a simple standing overhead press or even a loaded carry.
A keg will help you develop strength and stability of your core, as well as your entire upper body.
Flipping a tire has become extremely popular these days. Unfortunately, what hasn’t become very popular is the proper mechanics to actually perform the exercise correctly.
That’s because this exercise is not for everyone. If you have low back issues or poor flexibility, it may be difficult to maintain a neutral spine in the starting position since you have to get extremely low to the ground.
However, if you can maintain proper technique throughout the movement, flipping a tire can be a great dynamic exercise. It’s great for developing strength and power in the lower body and posterior chain.
To execute the movement properly, approach the tire and bend your knees while keeping your chest and butt up, creating an “arch” in your low back. Stick your hands under the tire with an underhand grip. Be sure to keep your elbows fully extended and use your lower body to flip the tire, otherwise you could end up attempting a 400 lb. bicep curl.
Initiate the movement by driving your hips forward, as you would in a deadlift. Once the tire is almost standing up straight, quickly flip your hands and push the tire over to its side.
This is one of my favorite things to do and could be done by pretty much anyone.
Grab yourself a sledgehammer from a hardware store. I recommend getting a heavy and intermediate one.
Grab the sledgehammer similar to the way you would hold a baseball bat, only with your hands close together and at the bottom of the handle. When you are ready to slam your top hand will slide upward on the way up, and back down to its starting position as you slam it down onto your tractor tire.
Be sure to engage your core and use your abs to slam the hammer, not just your arms. Keep in mind that you’ll want to switch your grip and do as many slams with your left hand on top as your right.
You can do these for reps or time. If you aren’t sure where to start, try a 30 second set on each arm and count your reps. That will give you a good base for a starting point.
This exercise will greatly benefit your grip, conditioning and even power.
Sandbags have a very similar effect as kegs do when it comes to training.
They are very difficult to stabilize which elicits a great training effect. They can help develop grip strength, overall strength and conditioning.
They can be used in a much wider exercise selection than kegs however.
Since going over all the different exercises you could perform with a sandbag could be it’s own post, I’ll just go over one of my favorites.
That’s sandbag shouldering.
Lie the bag on its side, parallel to the front of your body. Get down in a deadlift position and place your hands under each side of the bag as if you were going to scoop it.
Grab hold of the bag and literally deadlift the bag up, while simultaneously pulling it to your right shoulder. Then, slam the bag back to its starting position, reset your back angle so you are in a safe pulling position and pull to your left shoulder. Repeat this process nonstop for time.
Generally I prescribe 30 second sets.
Strongman training is a staple in my training system. It is especially important for athletes since it forces their bodies to respond to a whole new stimulus.
But this is also important for the general population as well.
I hope you guys are excited to try this stuff out. It’s a great way to break away from the monotony of your everyday gym.
The beauty of this is that you can do this all in your garage or backyard.
Compete with your friends and have some fun.
If you aren’t sure how to perform any of these movements or have any questions at all, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks guys, I’ll catch you all next week!
Most people that train on their own normally don’t see the results they want.
I believe this is due to a combination of things.
One reason is that if you are training at a big box gym, there isn’t much motivation around you. Old ladies sweating on a treadmill and The Ellen Show playing on all of the 200 TV’s isn’t the most results-driven environment around.
Another thing is that most guys at a place like that aren’t really there to train hard. They are there to B.S. and try to creep on the ladies.
But don’t get me wrong. There are definitely some people that are there because they want to get better. They want to put their headphones on and get to work.
However, even these people don’t seem to ever make any real progress in the gym.
And here’s why…
Most people train with too big of an ego.
They think that adding more unnecessary weight to the bar is going to help them get jacked.
The added unnecessary weight leaves them with God-awful technique, forced reps with their partner doing most of the work, missed reps, and one step closer to an injury that will eventually put them on the sideline.
That is definitely not the formula to getting jacked.
In fact, it’s far from it.
See, you need to use a weight that is challenging of course, but you have to be able to handle it for the amount of reps you are prescribed, with near perfect technique!
You will not add strength and size by using a weight you can’t handle.
Look around next time you are at the gym. I will bet my money that the guys that are missing reps and using shit technique are the guys that always look the same.
Don’t interpret what I’m saying to “don’t work hard”. That is the last thing you would ever hear me say.
What I’m saying is that you have to be able to control the weight you use, through the full range of motion, and be able to get somewhere in your prescribed rep range on your own.
An easy way to figure out what weight to use is by choosing a weight that you can get 1-2 reps more than your rep range.
For instance, if you are going for a set of 6-8, choose a weight that you can get for about 9 reps on your first week.
That will leave you room to improve over your 3 or 4 week training block. Remember that in order to build strength and size you need to follow the progressive overload principle. Which is, to increase either the weight used or total reps each week.
So here’s a quick example.
If I am following a 3 week training block, and on the first week I use 315 lbs, on a set of squats for 4-6 reps. If today I am only able to get 4 reps, I will use the same weight next week and try to get 5 or 6 reps. If I get 5, I am going to stay with that same weight the following week and try to get all 6. However, if I got all 6 reps on the second week, I would bump up my weight to 320 lbs. on the third week.
If I decided to use 365 lbs. on the first week just for the hell of it, and I only got 2 reps because the weight was too heavy, then I would never be able to make any real progress over this training phase. I would then be just as weak and the same size as when I started.
Using a weight that was too heavy lead to shit technique and missed reps.
Certainly not the recipe to adding size and strength.
Using a weight that you can’t handle and putting your body in an unnatural position with a poor movement pattern will eventually lead to injury.
Even if you don’t get injured right away you will be putting stress on your body that will cause wear and tear on your joints and soft tissue over the years.
So now you’re small, weak and injured. Sounds repulsive.
If you want to make real progress you have to train smart. Train the right way. Work your ass off with quality technique.
Let’s take a look at a guy like The Rock.
Is he using weights that are way too heavy for him, missing reps and only getting a limited range of motion?
Just take a look at his Instagram. Unfortunately, there are times where I see guys in the gym that are about 160 lbs. using weights on an exercise that are heavier than The Rock uses. They struggle to get the first rep and I am actually in shock when I see them try to attempt a second.
That set (if you want to call it that) did nothing for that person besides almost crush him into dust.
All risk and zero reward.
To become strong, jacked and powerful you have to be smart.
Check your ego at the door and get to work.
You will shortly find out that by doing so you will see more results in less time.
Until next time folks, train hard and train smart!