My Top 5 Core Exercises

These are my favorite core exercises I incorporate some these exercises into more training programs and my clients training programs to develop core strength and keep my clients injury free.

  1. Pallof Press                                                            

2. The Boat anti-extension

3.  Suitcase Carry

4.  Cross body Isometric crunch

5.   Hanging Leg Raises

Shout out to Jason for filming

Books that I highly recommend for your bookshelf.

This is a list of books that I have had the time to seat down and read and reread because there is so much useful information. Tons of gold nuggets of information in these books. These books will stay on my bookshelf and stay within arms reach. If you haven’t read any of these books I highly recommend them because they have helped improve my life.

CEO Strength Coach by Ron Mckeefery

CEO Strength Coach written by world renowned strength coach  Ron Mckeefery. Ron talks about his path in the strength and conditioning world. He also talks about the behind the scenes aspect on how to truly be a successful coach. This book doesn’t talk about training or training models he instead layout the administration process and what skills are needed to get a job, keep a job, and develop a network in the field. It’s a fantastic book a must read.

Easy Strength

Easy Strength is written by the famous Dan John & Pavel Tsatsouline.  Pavel, & Dan are pioneers in the world of training. In this book they talk about how to train athletes to improve all aspect of performance. The information is backed by research, but can be hard to read at first. Take your time to read this book. Great information, formatting needs some work.

Super training 

Warning Super training is worst than most college text books. If you read this book cover to cover you are a god among men. Now I consider Super Training the bible of strength and conditioning. It covers everything…..everything. Now the way I use this book is a reference book or if you have a question about a particular subject or just want to look up the facts. It compiles a vast amount of knowledge. Super Training is probably referenced more than any other book by far. It is a great book to have in your library.

Advances in Functional Training

The expert in functional fitness training Michael Boyle. This was the first book I read out of college. Boyle give you reason why he doesn’t back squat and why single leg training is superior than bilateral training. He also has the results to prove why his methods work. Great book on how you should view and train the body to get results and decrease your chances of injury while training.

Leaders eat Last  

Simon Sinek  teaches you about the role and responsibility of a leader. If you want to successfully manage and lead a group of people. Simon lays out the what, why, and how you need to go about becoming the best leader you can to help bring your team together. Great book on improving your leadership skills. Well written with lots of examples.

Anyways: The Paradoxical Commandments finding personal meaning in a crazy world

Written by Kent M. Keith back in the 1960s these commandments teach you how to deal with craziness that is life. Whenever I am feeling down. I like to read through the ten commandments and it helps pick my spirits back up.  Each commandment get there own chapter. Not a long read but just enough to help get you going again.

I hope that you take a chance and look at on or two of these books.

5 Things you need to do have a healthy back

5 Things you need to do have a healthy back 

  1. Avoid seating in the same position for long periods of time 

Staying in the same position for long period of time can cause ligaments and tendons to slow stretch over time. The laxity that it creates will cause more instability. with the vertebrae. So if you do have to sit fidget like there is no tomorrow.

2.Avoid stretching as soon as you get out of bed 

Getting out of bed and immediately going into a hamstring stretch could be the final nail in the coffin for your back instead stand up reach your arms overhead and take 2-3 deep breaths. This will allow the vertebrae disk in your spine to normalize to the weight of your upper body. Remember you were sideways for 8 hours give your body time to adjust.

3.Exercise or move with improper movement patterns 

Exercising or moving improperly is a no brainier for back pain. If you are unsure if you move improperly go find a good coach or trainer to evaluate your movement and make sure you moving more from your hips and not your back. Pay attention to how you pick up objects daily as well because that can cause a back blow out like not tomorrow.

4.Living a sedentary life 

Weakness in the musculature in your core and back is the number one reason injury occurs. Go get some exercise lifts some weights and be happy. If you don’t know how( please don’t assume) go get some professional help.Even if it’s for 1-2 sessions just to get the basics down.

5.Not performing proper core training 

Dr. Stuart McGill is the leading expert in lower back disorders. He states that person with proper core training can hold a 2 min plank with ease. If you can’t hold a 2 min Front plank your core training is wrong…  So you better get to planking

Personal Training: 3 Things to Look for in a Trainer/ Coach

True Strength

Each year, thousands and thousands of people line up to sign up for memberships at big box gyms. If you have ever been around a gym at this time of year you know and fully understand the scenario. When January 2nd roles around (nobody really comes in on national hangover day), the gyms are packed, and by packed, I mean wall to wall slammed. It is the most frustrating time for consistent gym goers. The machines are all being used and all the lockers are taken up by these “gung ho” new gym members. Then, an interesting and all too predictable thing happens. About two-three weeks later, all the new faces disappear and the gym falls back to its normal self, full of the consistent, day in and day out, members. This post, however, is not about them. It is about the thousands of new faces who, without fail, give…

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4 Things you need to manage to live a healthy and high performing life.

This is a list that I have thought about that all people need to improve the quality of their life and get the most out of their daily life.

  1. Nutrition 
    As the old saying goes “You are what you eat.” Nutrition is vitally important to the well being of your life. Even in present with the abundance of food and information. We are still plagued by many preventable diseases. Many of these diseases can be managed through proper changes in diet.  This is why it is even more important  for you to get your nutrition in check. Easy changes that need to be made to your diet. Drink water…. Period Plan and simple either your drinking water or drinking water. Most people don’t consume enough water on a daily. If you need  a guide line  Men need 3 liters and women need 2 liters of water daily. Protein and vegetable( corn and peas do not count) at every meal.
  2. Exercise                                                                                                                                      If you have a sedentary job or a job period. You need to get daily exercise. When I say exercise. I don’t mean jumping on the elliptical for 30 mins while watching Netflix.  Exercise that requires physical and mental focus. 1 hour a day should be committed to build up a good sweat and putting resistance against the body.  As you age you lose muscle. You lose muscle, you lose strength, no strength means unable to get off the toilet. Once you lose your ability to get off the toilet you end up in the nursing home. Do you want to end up in a nursing home? Then go lift weights and work up a serious sweat  5 days a week. If you don’t know how to workout go find a personal trainer and they will make you sweat.
  3. Stress                                                                                                                                           Everybody  has stress. Many people do not show that stress but inside they are fighting the secret war. Learning the ability to manage stress is key to healthy life.  Stress will always be in your life. Not allowing stress to control you life is Key. Many chronic diseases stem from people who are unable to manage stress daily.  Finding an outlet to alleviate pent up stress is very important. Some people exercise, use the arts, or meditate. Find a way to get rid of stress. Sometimes  that means making major changes in your life such as: cutting people off, Moving to a new town, quitting a job/hobby.  Mental and Physical stress manifest the same way in the body. If you are stressed about something it will eventually wreck you body in the long term.
  4. Sleep                                                                                                                                            If you don’t sleep 8 hours a night you are doing a disservice to your body. I understand that you want to finish that football game or see if someone will finish the course on the next Ninja Warrior. Your body needs rest. Rest is important to allow the body to recover and rebuild from the day. Many people get between 4-6 hours of sleep and then chug down a boat load of caffeine and sugar to get through the day. Eventually your body will force you to crash. Allowing the body to restore itself will give you optimal performance and longevity. So DVR those shows or games and get some rest.                                                                                                                                                                 Learn to manage these for 4 areas of your life and you will see great improvement. It is easier said than done, but it can be done.


Monday is back it is time to get back to work. Here is some Monday motivation to help set the tone for the week.  Persistence is the key to change. Developing good healthy habits and routines will help to forge a healthy mind and body.

Motivational Monday

mjLGXmjGood Monday gang
it is another great Monday I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I just wanted to give you a little motivation for the week.  It doesn’t matter how you are when you start a new goal. As long as you start you can become great.  The only way to become great at something is by taking the first step.  So get going on your journey and have a great week

Making the decision

Everything looks good on paper but when it comes to applications things will not go as planed.   I will use today workout as an example. Today workout consisted of a barbell complex. Squat clean, push press, back squat, Push press. The 5 reps on each exercise for five rounds. It is a long series which ends up being 100 repetition. Which is only the first part of the workout. The problem I encountered was that many of our clients are unable to Squat Clean with sound technique. So the it puts a lot of people at risk for injury.  It was the first time for many clients to experience this new exercise. What are you to do? Well the more experienced clients will make adjustments and be able to perform the exercise after a round or two. The other clients who lack enough mobility wont be able perform the exercise at their current state. So what do you do as a trainer? You now have to change the complex but still retain what the program was trying to influence for that day. The best you can do is prepare ahead of time put yourself in what if situations. I know when I first saw the workout most people will not be able to perform Squat clean properly. What is the regression?  Can everyone perform the regression.  What about the other exercises? Some times you may have to change the entire complex to suit a client.  It’s a decision that you have to make to ensure that everyone is getting quality service and individualize treatment. They may not seem like big decisions but, Imagine that there are several trainers do not adjust exercises for people an will allow people to continue perform exercises in an unsafe manner.  Some trainers do not want the responsibility. So they rather not make the decision and the quality of their clients workouts will suffer.

The healing Phases

Injury and the phases of healing

If you’re a professional athlete or recreation athlete (weekend warrior) injuries will occur and what you do will determine how fast you will be able to return to action. The healing process can be a long and difficult process if injuries not taken care of properly. There are 3 phases of tissue healing: inflammation, repair, and remodeling.  The athlete will go through each stage at different rates depending on the type of injury and how they are conditioned.

The inflammation phase is the body’s first reaction to an injury. First the local and systematic inflammatory system response goes in to action. This will decrease function of the damaged tissue. If you have a strained muscle its ability to contract or produce force will be reduced. This is done so that a person cannot continue to cause harm to the injured tissue. The area will be red and swollen due to capillary permeability.  Edema can/will occur in the injured tissue which will also limit function.  Phagocytosis occurs when there is a release of macrophages which remove dead cells and damaged cells from the injury site.  The inflammatory phase may cause the sensory nerve fiber to react which will send a pain signal to the athlete to also decrease function.  The inflammation phase will typical last 2-3 days but may last longer depending on the severity of the injury.                                                                                                            Treatments during Inflammation phase are usually passive modalities: icing, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation. These treatments are used to help control inflammation in the body.  Rest for the injured area is necessary to protect from reinjuring the damaged tissue.


Once the macrophages remove the damaged tissue, the body will begin to place collagen fibers in the wounded area. Scar tissue and new capillaries and blood vessels are formed in the injured area.  The best analogy is to think about road construct where they place a large metal board over a pot hole in the street.   The large metal cover is not ideal for street repair but it will be temporary fix the hole in the street. This concept is identical to the body placing collagen fibers as a temporary fix to the wounded area.  the collagen fibers to strength the wound.  The repair phase can start as early as 2 days after the injury but can last up to 2 months depending on the severity of the injury.  During repair the new tissue cannot handle a high amount of stress. To assist with repair the NSCA recommend light lifting, and or low impact activities when coming back from injury.  It is important to start with low loads and gradually increase intensity of activity.  The low loads will increase collagen synthesis and optimum alignment of fibers.  Important to note that too little stress may cause a negative effect in which new fibers do not align properly and adhesions may form preventing full range of motion.


The remodeling phase occurs when the body stops producing new collagen fibers and begins aligning current collagen fibers to best deal with stressors. The next step is to improve the structure, strength and function of the new tissue. Using a proper exercise program and progression the new fibers will begin to hypertrophy and align properly to cope with the stress.  As the fibers become stronger the athlete will be able to return to function. Though the new tissue will not be as strong as the old tissue initially, it will take another 2-4 months for the new tissue strengthens to cope with the stress.

Exercise Progression

The exercise rehab and condition progression will go from Light weight Isolation open-chained exercises to Heavier Sport Specific Closed Chained Exercises. I will give to example of rehab progression

Example and Athlete with a shoulder Injury( rotator cuff) may progress through an exercise program like this

  1. Side Lying Internal/External Rotation
  2. Standing Lateral Shoulder Raise
  3. Seated Shoulder Press
  4. Standing Military Press

Example of progression of knee rehab

  1. Leg Extension/Leg Curl
  2. Leg Press
  3. Bodyweight squat
  4. Split Squat or single leg variation
  5. Pistol Squat single leg unsupported squat



Potach, D. (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. (3rd ed., pp. 529-533). Champaign IL: Human Kinetics. DOI: