Friday, July 12, 2013

The Great Calorie Race, and why you shouldn't do it.

Most people are on a diet. Most people, when they exercise, are attempting to balance their calories burned with their calories expended. This is the eternal concern. But, really, isn't this a depressing way to live? Constantly watching what you eat and moderating portions to match the calorie expenditure of a sedentary person takes the joy out of life. It's like being a diet zombie.

May I suggest an alternative? Don't exercise, train! Lift weights and get stronger. Tell your body to get better at something, and then eat to support the gains. Eating with a performance goal is much better than eating simply to maintain one's size.

Conan's goal: to crush his enemies.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A very nice squat camp

Thanks to Jordan Feigenbaum, Starting Strength Coach and Steve Tomczak of Bodytech Crossfit in Mokena for helping to put together a squat camp yesterday. Ten people came to get instruction on theory and practice of the low bar back squat. A good time was had by all, and everyone left with a better squat.

You can find events in your area at

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First Powerlifting Meet

I competed in my first meet on April 7, and managed to squat 501.5 lbs, bench press 407.7 lbs, and deadlift 501.5 lbs, for a total of 1411, which is definitely not bad for an old guy. A few years ago I was in chronic lower back pain, but now I feel great, and am stronger than I have ever been. This stuff works. Barbell training is the most effective way to gain strength, for people of all ages. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Personal Training versus Coaching

If you want to get strong (and you should, since strength makes everything easier), you need to know what you are doing. As a coach, it is my job to teach you how to lift, and how to program the lifts. However, it is not my job to follow you around the gym holding a clipboard and making sure that you workout, or chatting with you about the weather, or changing the weights for you. I don't want to sign you up for months of sessions. I want to teach you, so you can succeed on your own.

Buy the book, read it, attempt the lifts, and hire me to make sure you are doing them right. Then continue to do them right on your own.

Of course, if you really want to sign up for months of sessions, and help me put my kids through college, I'd be happy to do it. . . .

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why Strength?

Strength is the fundamental physical adaptation. Without it, all tasks of life are more difficult. Have you ever noticed people struggling to get out of a chair, people for whom walking is a burden, those who need to use the motorized carts in the stores? In large part most of their problems are caused by a lack of strength! It's a vicious cycle--we spend our lives sitting, and we weaken as we age. We weaken, and activity becomes difficult, so we sit more, which makes us weaker. We slide into old age obese and unable to move! Can this be stopped?

Yes! Strength is not easy to get, but it is simple to get. Lift heavy things, and then, after a few days, lift heavier things. Your body will respond. Everyone who is alive is able to increase strength. Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training teaches five basic lifts: the squat, press, deadlift, bench press, and power clean, and tells you how to do them to increase your strength. I can provide coaching in person. Contact me, and we'll work out the details.