Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Something to consider for 2012...

What a timely article... 7 Reasons why everyone should do a powerlifting meet.

Before you dismiss the idea like everyone else, in addition to the reasons listed, here are a few additional things to consider.

  • It gives you something to TRAIN for... 
    • No more "working out". 
    • Having an event in the future keeps you focused, and working with a purpose, instead of mindlessly working your B's & T's (Biceps/Triceps) and other assorted beach muscles you never see because you can't stay focused on a nutrition plan.
    • Who cares if you win or not? Thousands of people run marathons every year, very few of them with the expectation of winning something.  You do it for the experience and to set a personal record for yourself!
  • It gives you something to DIET for...
    • There are weight classes in powerlifting meets.  Try implementing a sound nutrition plan where you lose weight and gain strength.  
    • It's 10 times easier to lose unwanted pounds when you have a deadline and reason to lose it. 
    • Focus on becoming the most efficient athlete you can, instead of the biggest.

20 Most Overrated Supplements

Interesting Slideshow.

See 20 Most Overrated Supplements

Motivation for 2012

Here are two motivational blog posts I came across today to help get you ready for 2012.

Check out...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

LA Fit Expo 2012

I'll be competing on Sunday for the Deadlift Invitational. If you've got some free time that weekend the LA Fitness Expo is always a good time and has a lot to offer.

(Picture courtesy of Dennis Reneau)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

14 Worst Health Trends of 2011

Get More Sleep

I liked this article on Livestrong.com... The 14 Worst Health Trends of 2011

A few highlights from the list...

  • Lack of Sleep
    • Pretty sure we are all guilty of this, but think about it this way...
      • Sleep and stress play a huge role in hormonal balance. 
      • Hormonal balance plays a huge role in fat loss, muscle gain, memory, health, hunger, etc.
      • Long story short, get more sleep!
      • Want to improve sleep quality? Try three things.
        • Use ear plugs. 
        • Use an eye mask or t-shirt to block out all ambient light. Sleeping in total darkness will change your life. 
        • Write down your todo list or your thoughts you don't want to forget on a piece of paper or a note book.  How often have you sat awake at night thinking about what you have to do the next day?
  • The "Best" Diets
    • Be wary of the next big diet.
    • If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. 
    • Just like gaining weight, losing weight/fat requires work, accountability, focus, and both long term and short term goals. 
    • Plan for focused periods of loss/gain, followed by a break where you incorporate more balance in your diet and focus on maintaining your new weight (instead of rebounding and blowing all your hard work!). 
  • The Anti-Coffee Push
    • Coffee certainly has its benefits, but far too often we use it as a crutch because we are exhausted from not getting enough sleep, or crashing from a carb bender at lunch. 
    • Use coffee in moderation, adjust your consumption based on your tolerance, and focus on getting a majority of your energy from quality sleep and good food choices first.
  • Functional Training (Fads)
    • I'll admit I gave it the benefit of the doubt at first, but it didn't take me long to realize what was a gimmick and what had the biggest impact on my clients' day to day lives.
    • Here are three functional movements that will improve your day to day almost immediately.
      • Deadlift
        • It will improve your posture, build full body strength and when performed correctly will not only teach you how to use your glutes and hamstrings properly, but save your lower back from a lifetime of agony.
      • Row
        • Pull things toward your body with an upright posture. And do it often! Use a dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell, machine, pull up, band, etc. Most of us spend the overwhelming majority of our day in a hunched over position, rowing will aid in pulling back the shoulders and strengthening your postural muscles which in the end will drastically improve the way you look and feel.  Perform rowing movements several times a week, and ease up on the pushing/pressing movements.
      • Stretch your hip-flexors
        • For most of us who sit all day, our hip-flexors are in a contracted position for very long periods of time due. During that time they tighten up, tugging on their attachment points on the lower back.  Do your hips and back a favor and stretch those hip-flexors out.  
        • While we are on this topic, spin class is great for burning calories, however think about the position you're sitting in all day long.  Now think about the position your body is in when you're sitting on a bike. Are you fixing the postural issues you created from sitting or are you promoting them? 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

GTS Commercial

Got a fun little surprise today from Recording Artist, Actor, Model, Modern Day Renaissance Man and GTS Athlete Joe Buy's...

Check out more of Joe Buys at www.JoeBuysMusic.com

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Calorie not a Calorie: Raw vs. Cooked

This is a very interesting article: Why Calorie Counts are Wrong: Cooked Food Provides much more Energy

A few quick highlights:
  • Studies are showing that cooking food makes it easier to digest for the body, ultimately allowing the body to utilize more calories from a portion of food than if it was raw.
    • When studying mice they found that mice gained more weight eating cooked food, compared to raw food.
    • In addition "...the mice had a spontaneous preference for eating cooked meat over raw meat, and their choice made sense, given that they fared better on it."
  • The experiments indicated that there was some serious discrepancies in how calorie counts are measured.
    • "First, it pays no attention to the extent to which food has been processed. For example, it treats grain as the same calorie value whether it is eaten whole or as highly milled flour. But smaller particles are less work to digest, and therefore provide more net energy." 
    • "Second, it treats foods as equally digestible (meaning, having the same proportion digested) regardless of processing. But cooked foods, as we’ve seen, are more digestible than raw foods."
  • Key Take Aways (based on this article):
    • This is NOT a study indicating its healthier to eat one way or another, its clearly looking at calories retained by the body. 
      • The more processed our foods are, the more calories the body retains from them.
      • If you want to gain weight, make sure you eat highly processed and well-cooked meals. 
      • If you want to lose weight, perhaps substituting a few items in your diet for raw food would be a good strategy.  
    • Feeding your children during their growing years 100% raw foods isn't necessarily a healthy practice. Their calorie needs are much higher, so a combination of raw and cooked foods (higher overall calorie) might be a good thing to consider during their key peak growing years. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

IPL World Powerlifting Results

The Game Time Strength Team had a great time at the IPL World Powerlifting Competition in Vegas this past weekend. Nine GTS Athletes attended the event!

The team walked away with...

  • 7 Gold Medals
  • 2 Silver Medals
  • 7 World Records
  • 1 American Record
  • Best Female Deadlifter Award

Huge thanks to Steve Denison, all the USPA Referees, and everyone else who helped with the IPL World Powerlifting Competition this past week. As always it was a very fun, well organized and a highly motivating and inspiring environment that brought in a lot of great competition from all over the world. The Game Time Strength & 4 Star Gym Team is very grateful and really looking forward to next year!

Results for the IPL Worlds are now online.

Pictures and Highlight Video of the event can be found below...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Women: Running into Trouble

GREAT Article by John Kiefer... See full text here... Women: Running into Trouble.

This article applies to those who have been doing excessive steady state cardio for weeks/months/years on end. Meaning 4-7 days a week of 40+ minutes of steady state training...
"...not talking about walking or even appropriate HIIT cardio, but the running, cycling, stair climbing or elliptical variety done for hours at or above 65 percent of max heart rate, actually anaerobic threshold is a better measure, but not practical for day-to-day use."

Important Take Aways:
"Steady-state endurance activities like this devastate a woman’s metabolism. It will devastate a man’s too, but in different ways."
"Studies demonstrate beyond any doubt that in women, cardio chronically shuts down the production of the thyroid hormone, T3.1-11 
T3 is the body’s preeminent regulator of metabolism by throttling the efficiency of cells.12-19 T3 acts in various ways to increase heat production.20-21 As I pointed out, in Logic Does Not Apply: A Calorie Is A Calorie, this is one reason using static equations to perform calorie-in, calorie-out weight loss calculations doesn’t work—well, that’s why it’s stupid, actually. When T3 levels are normal, the body burns enough energy to stay warm and muscles function at moderate efficiency. Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and the body becomes inefficient making weight gain almost impossible. Too little T3 (hypothyroidism) and the body accumulates body fat with ease, almost regardless of physical activity level. 
Women unknowingly put themselves into the hypothyroid condition because they perform so much steady-state cardio. In the quest to lose body fat, T3 levels can grant success or a miserable failure because of how it influences other fat-regulating hormones.22-31 In addition, women get all the other negative effects, which I’ll get to. Don’t be surprised or aghast. It’s a simple, sensible adaption of the body, especially a body equipped to bear the full brunt of reproducing."

Read More here...

Great Reminder of the GTS Fat Loss Hierarchy...
  1. Nutrition
  2. Strength/Hypertrophy
  3. "Cardio"

Thanks to Brad for sending this over...

Saturday, November 5, 2011


If you're on a weight/fat loss program I encourage you to stay patient with your results... I received an email from one of my clients who became very discouraged after a slower Week 2 drop...

Her 2 week results are as follows...

Day 1: 169
EOW 1: 163
EOW2: 160 (9 lbs lost)

Day 1: 31.5
EOW 1: 30.5
EOW2: 29.25 (2.25 inches lost)

Day 1: 43
EOW 1: 40.5
EOW2: 40.5 (2.5 inches lost)

Day 1: 26.5
EOW 1: 25.5
EOW2: 25 (1.5 inches lost)

My Response Below:

Impatience is the hardest part of the fat loss process.

9 lbs. 2.25 inches in your waist in 2 weeks is a ridiculous amount of weight to lose for a female of your size. Think about how you put on weight over the years... do you gain 9 lbs in two weeks? No, your body adjusts slowly, you gain a quarter to a half a pound of fat (not water) here and there.  Extrapolate that over the course of a few years and you may have put on 10-15 lbs...

Losing weight is the same way. the initial drop gets people motivated but don't think thats the norm. Expect 1 lb to a 1/2 pound per week on avgerage, some weeks you might not lose any, but I'm more concerned with trending over time. Stay strong, you're doing great. no need for extra workouts at this time... thats exactly how people get burned out, injured, and/or break the routine.

Calories look perfect and everything is going to plan.... extrapolate some low end results over 8 weeks... Lets look at an example...
  • WK1: -6lb
  • Wk2: -3lb
  • WK3: -2lb
  • Wk4: -1lb
  • WK5: 0 lb
  • WK6: -2 lb
  • WK7: -.5 lb
  • WK8: -.5 lb

Thats - 15 lbs in 8 weeks... combine that with your weight training and thats some DRAMATIC results in the way your body looks.

Remember in the grand scheme of things it took you years to add on weight... a week/month is a very short time to assess your progress... give yourself 8 weeks at least before you start judging your results.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Diet/Strength Training comes first, then add cardio.

Dag has lost over 30 lbs following a fat loss nutrition plan and strength and conditioning program.

Great reminder for those interested in fat loss that put "cardio" before diet/strength training... via Alwyn Cosgrove

See article for studies sited...
"... I told her that if her goal is to change the way her body looks – she needs to adjust her diet, and add strength training. Muscle is metabolically active. If you make it work – you burn calories. If you build some more muscle – you burn some more calories.
So if your goal is to increase your metabolism and lose the fat – and you had to choose between strength training or cardio – you need to add strength training to your program FIRST!"

GTS Fat Loss hierarchy...

  1. Nutrition plan geared toward fat loss (will have the LARGEST impact on body fat loss). I've said it a million times, you can't out train a bad diet.
  2. Strength/Hypertrophy based Training: Challenging full body strength exercises will improve your every day function, your posture (if you learn to do it properly), increase your metabolism, help you utilize calories more efficiently, more fun to track improvements, and of course as an added benefit reshapes your body to improve the way you look!
  3. Cardiovascular based training:  If you've got extra time, you can apply it toward this.  Yes it will help you burn some additional calories, but the first two will make a much larger impact on getting the body you want, less likely to burn you out and is far less time consuming then mindlessly running on the hamster wheel for an hour or two every day.   

Monday, October 17, 2011

Big weekend for GTS Athletes!

Congrats to GTS Athletes Rick, Andrew and Eric!

Rick took 6th in the Clydesdale division of his Triathlon this past weekend! Rick dropped 20 lbs, set personal records in all of his strength lifts and shaved off roughly 22 minutes off of his previous triathlon!

Andrew won his first CA State Sanctioned Muay Thai fight. Andrew looked really strong out in the ring and won with a second round knockout from a head kick!

Eric took 2nd place for his age group in a trail race, 10th Overall, and helped his team win 1st place!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Congrats to Andrew! Big 2nd Round K.O.!

Congrats to Andrew on winning his first CA State Sanctioned Muay Thai fight.  Andrew looked really strong out in the ring and won with a second round knockout from a head kick!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

3 months till 2012

Thanks to my client Dana for inspiring this post.  Dana lost 7.6 lbs on her first week of training and following the GTS Nutrition Program.  She started off with a bang, but the odds are stacked against her these upcoming months as we move into the holiday season.

Dana's homework was to spend 5 minutes visualizing where she'll be on her journey by Jan 1st 2012... 

The new year is only three months away, with a few holidays mixed in. A time most of us put on weight, cast our health goals aside and let our holiday treat days spill into the next day, week, or month...

So that said, 3 months from now on Jan 1st...

  • Are you still working hard toward your goal?
  • Did you enjoy yourself in moderation over each holiday?
  • Did you share your success with your family members?
  • You fitting better in all of your clothes?
  • Are you stronger than you are now?
  • Healthier than you've been in years?
  • Are you setting an example for others so they'll want to follow in your footsteps?
  • What are you doing in your daily life that's different than what you do today? 

I strongly encourage you to write out the answers to these questions. Visualize your success, and do the things you need to do to make it happen.

IPL World Powerlifting Championships Entry Forms

7 Weeks out from competition.  Our team has grown significantly since Nationals, and we'd love to have more people represent 4 Star Gym and Game Time Strength. If you're interested in attending or competing, feel free to reach out!

Gathered all information for the competition below.

Date: Sun Dec 4th (Bench Only and Deadlift Only event)
Location: Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, 129 East Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV 8910
Hotel: Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. group rate starts at $42 per night

Here are the links

IPL Facebook page (main source of updated info):

Discounted hotel rates at Golden Nugget:

IPL World Powerlifting Championship Entry Form (Deadline November 1st, 2011):

USPA membership form:

Read about Nancy's experience at her first competition here...

(Video) Andrew Prepping for his next fight

Video of GTS Athlete Andrew, training with his fight coach for his upcoming Thai Boxing fight this weekend.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Power Racks at 4 Star Gym

Just installed two new power racks in 4 Star Gym this weekend.

One 8 ft, and one 9 ft rack complete with...

  • 2 pull/chin up stations each
  • band attachments at the top
  • band attachments at the bottom
  • Ability to squat both inside and outside of the rack.

Also added another flat bench, and Trap Deadlift Bar.

Special thanks to Mike Goff and Rob Ross for their contributions, and Phil, Jestin, Tom for assisting with the move and breakdown of the old equipment!

Looking forward to utilizing the additional space, and new equipment!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creating Yourself

Take control of your life.
Train Smart.
Work Efficiently.
Learn what you need.
Disregard what you don't need.
Motivate others.
Adapt and Grow.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ladies... Stop focusing on that scale.

Wanted to share one of my female clients weekly measurements... I think its a perfect example of how weighing yourself on a daily basis is an AWFUL habit.  It's really a small piece to a very big puzzle when it comes to transforming your body.

During the second week of this particular clients program she didn't lose a pound... She weighed herself daily, and was getting a bit discouraged with her progress... Something I've seen MANY females do... Luckily she stayed focused, stuck to the plan, and waited till we uncovered the second piece of the puzzle... the measurements.

In one week she dropped 1.5 inches in her waist, 1 inch in her hips, and 1.75 inches in her thigh... yet she didn't lose a single pound... That's progress... That's body transformation.

Ladies, I know you're focused on the scale, and constantly bombarded with the latest celebrity diet or fad training routine.  But if you really want to see physical, long lasting changes, you'll be much better served focusing on improving your overall strength, and committing to a nutrition plan that focuses more on the quality and types of calories your consuming.

Day 1 167.4
Week 1 161.2
Week 2 161.2

Day 1 29.50
Week 1 29.50
Week 2 28.00 (1.5 inches!!)

Day 1 41.75
Week 1 41.25
Week 2 40.25 (1 inch)

Day 1 26.00
Week 1 26.00
Week 2 24.25 (1.75 inches !!!)

Sucker Punch Training

A few weeks back I watched the movie Sucker Punch... it's exactly what you expect... a bunch of hot chicks kicking aaaa... glutes... pretty awesome. (It was actually a little deeper than that but, I would imagine most people would watch it for the action.)

Anyway, I came across this Behind the Scenes video for the movie, showing the training the girls went through to prepare for the film.  In addition to fight training, they went through a hard core strength and conditioning program, using all the same training principles and many of the same exercises as we do at Game Time Strength.

You'll see clips of the girls deadlifting, overhead pressing, jumping, farmers and suitcase walks, drags, etc.

Their trainer, Logan Hood, said they took "baby steps" each day working on three things...
1. More WEIGHT
2. More Reps
3. Faster Time

Note: I highlight the word "baby steps" because it's important to set yourself up for daily improvement, over a period of months... beating yourself into the ground from day 1 is not training... its testing... 

The biggest thing I've seen in my clients and the most fascinating part of this video for me was the mindset change of the girls.  Not only did their training create "Glute" kicking bodies that needed to perform on set, their training built up their strength, confidence, pushed them to a level physically that they have never been before.  It enabled them to fully embrace their once helpless female characters that plot to take back control of their lives.

A properly designed Strength and Conditioning Program, changes someone, females especially, for the better.  If you don't believe me... Read Nancy's How Deadlift Training Can Be a Girl's Best Friend...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hard Work and Taking Chances – How Deadlift Competitions Can Be a Girl’s Best Friend

Guest Post from Client and GTS Trainer Nancy Navarrette

“Hard Work and Taking Chances – How Deadlift Competitions Can Be a Girl’s Best Friend”

By Nancy Hallgren Navarrette

On Sunday, July 3, 2011, in a conference room at the Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa, five women from
the South Bay strode, one-at-time, towards their quarry – a barbell loaded with iron plates on either end. The barbell weighed in at 165 pounds and would get heavier with each round. Each woman was ready for a fight, and ready to win.

Nancy's American Record Deadlift
I was one of those women, and we were all competing in the United States Powerlifting Association’s deadlift event. Only one of us, Anna Pearson, 29, had competed before, and yet she had only begun training in the deadlift three months previously. For the rest of us - Conny Marinos, 43, Nancy Hallgren Navarrette, 49, Dagmar Nelson, 50, and Linda Adams, 56 - it was our first competition and we, too, were new to training.

Now, why in the world would the five of us think it a good idea to don odd-looking shoes and singlets– short unitards with plunging armholes and necklines, requiring an under-shirt – to compete in a powerlifting event? And what the heck is powerlifting, anyway?

Powerlifting is comprised of three lifts – the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift. We competed in the deadlift event, only. The deadlift is superficially simple: stand with a loaded barbell at your feet (the load consists of various combination of plates), bend down, and pick it up. That’s it. But not really.

Anna lifting double her body weight
All of us train under Jason Kelske, owner of Game Time Strength, at Four Star Gym in El Segundo, and we learned that the deadlift requires the lifter to put their weight in their heels, initiate the movement from the glutes, keep the back straight – STRAIGHTER – and, when reaching for the bar, keep the shoulders retracted and the hands in a plumb line under the shoulder. Alternate your grip (one hand facing in, one hand facing out) and switch that grip with every rep to maintain symmetrical muscular development in the shoulder girdle. Blow all the air out of your lungs and then inhale strongly right before lifting the bar off the ground. Arms straight, not bent, the legs are doing the lifting, not the arms. Grip the bar tight. Keep the core tight. Everything tight! Keep the neck in-line with the spine, don’t crank the chin up too high or you’ll affect the stability of the lower spine. Lock out at the top, shoulders back. Now put it all together - back straight, butt back, weight in the heels, big air, everything tight, tight, up, up, drive, drive!

That’s a deadlift.

So, why did we do it? I suppose it’s because Kelske is so encouraging and he made it seem so
normal. And it is normal, for him. In 2009 he earned a spot in the Top 20 (220lb) Powerlifters and set a new WPF World Record in the Deadlift. He now competes in the 198 lb weight class and won best deadlifter in this most recent event. He lifted 650 pounds. It was a difficult number for me to comprehend until I googled it and found out that it’s the same weight as a grand piano. A grand piano.

Jason's 650 lb Deadlift
Jason Kelske is a Pied Piper, of sorts, but instead of leading us off the edge of a cliff, his pipe-playing led us to the edge of the deadlift platform where the spotlights were blazing and the Hilton Hotel audience was thrown into shadow.

Before approaching the bar, we stood nervously at the back of the stage and bathed our palms in
powdered chalk. The chalk was heaped in what looked like a silver mixing bowl. Anna Pearson, Jason’s fiancĂ©, gave each of us a slap on the back and words of encouragement as we walked the short distance to the bar. Spotters, plate changers, three judges and their seatmates populated the platform and the perimeter.

Conny after setting an American Record
I walked towards the bar for my first of three allotted attempts. Nerves broke the surface. What the heck am I doing here? Stay calm, save the second-guessing for later. Just breathe. I know how to do this. As I moved past one of the spotters, he said calmly, insistently, “Pick it up.”

I grabbed onto the simplicity of it like a life preserver. “Pick it up! That’s right! That’s it! That’s all I have to do. I’ll do that!”

And I did. And we all did.

We grew more and more elated as our hard work and push into the unknown was rewarded with each round. In the end, we ALL medaled, and three of us had set American Records. We were a little stunned. Instead of Ladies Who Do Lunch, we had become Ladies Who Do Deadlifting.

Linda setting records at 56 years young!
Afterwards, Conny Marinos, who was anxious to get through the event before the competition had started, had a beautiful smile stretching from ear to ear and proclaimed, “This stuff is addicting!” In corresponding with Linda Adams after the event she wrote, “I hope we can encourage other women to push a little harder to achieve something outside their comfort zone. The benefits are endless. Since working with Jason, the arthritis I have in my neck and hip has eased significantly. My overall strength, confidence, and ability to perform everyday tasks have improved my quality of life. Not only that, the friendship and encouragement of other women with similar stories and working as a team has been priceless.”

Dagmar, lost 27 lbs and stronger than ever!
Similar sentiments were voiced by Dagmar Nelson. She related to me that, “Since working with Jason I’ve lost 27 pounds, decreased my time in my last triathlon by 20 minutes, and competed in my very first deadlifting competition, something way out of my comfort zone. Who would have known? He has a wonderful personality and gets the most out of you without you even knowing it. The women I have met are incredible. I look forward to my workouts. But most of all I feel incredible. I have more energy, my stress level has dropped and I have more confidence in myself. I would highly recommend other women to try this. I don’t cut myself short anymore. I now say, ‘I can try this.’ Before I said, ‘I don’t have time’, or the most famous of all, ‘I can’t do this.’ Just goes to show, you never know what you can do until you try it.”

In the week following the competition I spoke with Anna Pearson asked her how her friends and co-workers reacted to the news that a 131-pound girly-girl lifted more than twice her bodyweight. She said that some were congratulatory and some were confused. “Why would you do something like that?” she was asked dubiously. Being a straight-forward gal, she gave a straight answer, “Because it’s awesome!”

Just practicing the deadlift provides numerous physical benefits, but actually competing in the deadlift has given us all increased confidence and the sense that there are more, untapped, pools of potential residing in ourselves.

For pictures of the competition, go to http://blog.gametimestrength.com/2011/07/uspa-nationals-

Competition results:

  • Anna Pearson, 132-pound weight class, 25-30 y.o. division, lifted 264 pounds and won 1st place
  • Conny Marinos, 132-pound weight class, 40-44 y.o. division, lifted 203 pounds and set an American Record
  • Nancy Navarrette, 148-pound class, 45-49 y.o. division, lifted 220 pounds and set an American Record
  • Dagmar Nelson, 148-pound class, 50-54 y.o. division, lifted 220 pounds and earned 3rd place
  • Linda Adams, 132-pound weight class, 55-59 y.o. division, lifted 215 pounds and set an American Record

For information about Jason Kelske and Game Time Strength, go to http://gametimestrength.com

For information about Four Star Gym, go to http://www.fourstargym.com/

For information about the United States Powerlifting Association, go to http://www.uspla.org/index.php

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The #1 Food You Need to Lose

As featured on the Dr. Oz Show.

Research has linked eating too much sugar with the major killers of mankind - high blood pressure, high cholesterol and liver damage... not to mention how it impacts the way you look and feel.

View the Videos here...
Click here to watch Part 1. 
Click here to watch Part 2.
Click here to watch Part 3.

One of the staples of the GTS Nutrition Coaching program is breaking your body of its sugar addiction and learning to build new healthier habits while drastically reducing the size of your waist line. Learn more about 4 Week GTS Nutrition Coaching here

Friday, August 12, 2011

Go hard or go home...

Via T Thyme... A very inspiring blog post from a client of mine...

"Today is a big day for a self proclaimed "Foodie".

About a week ago I decided to get back into the training game. Not that I ever walked away from working out but it's been a while since I've done organized weight lifting/training. Anyway, it's been a week since i've started and suddenly I had an epiphany..."Just like in everything else I do, if I want to be amazing at it and see results I can't go at it half-heartedly." It was in that moment that I realized I need to make a change in the way that I eat. I need to make better decisions, stop being so careless and realize that there is going to be a consequence for my actions.

What is the point in working out so hard if you are just maintaining? Well, that's an interesting question. If you are perfectly happy with how you feel then keep at it. However, If you are like me and you continually wonder why you aren't losing inches/pounds or why you don't feel your best then it's time to make a change.

That is why today is the last time (for a while) that I will follow up a meal with a piece of candy and try to plan my week around the next great restaurant I want to try. I'm starting a healthy meal plan tomorrow! I'm going to hold myself accountable, be organized and prepare for things instead of react to them when they come my way (Just talking about hunger). All with hopes of getting to a place of ultimate comfort and happiness with none other than.. "ME"."
In her first two weeks training and following the GTS Nutrition Coaching program T Thyme has lost 11 lbs and 3 inches in her waist, all while deadlifting and squatting in the 200's... Mindset of a champion!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back from Pendola Training

Just got back from giving a 2 day strength training lecture at Reno's Premiere Athletic Development Facility, Pendola Training!  Matt Pendola just opened up a new 20,000 Sq. ft. Athletic Development Training facility and doing some amazing things with athletes of all ages, and skill levels.

I had an awesome time, and it was really fun sharing my experiences and strength philosophies with both the trainers and athletes who attended! Above is a picture of the head trainers Matt and Mike with a few of the athletes and that stayed after at the end.

Thanks again for Matt, Mike for their warm welcome and hospitality. I was honored to return to their facility, seeing as they were highly influential in the development of my own program and business when I first opened up shop.

You can see my testimonial from a year and a half ago here... Pendola Testimonial from Jason Kelske.  Still holds true today!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

GTS Canine Unit

Dogs and humans have much in common.

Most dogs get cooped up in the house all day...
Most humans get cooped up in an office all day...

Stress and inactivity can be a perfect recipe for disaster both mentally and physically...

This is your reminder to take care of your mind and body with some type of daily activity...

Do this (Henry Post 10-15 minute Sprint Training)...

to avoid this... 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Silent Killer

Thanks to Joe for sending this over!

Here's a great article on American Sugar Consumption entitled The Silent Killer...

Below are a few highlights if you can't read the whole article:

  • “We’re manufacturing type-2 diabetes in the same way we would skin cancer if the guidance was for people to sit on the beach all day, every day,” 
  • one in three adult Americans now has type-2 diabetes or pre-diabetes,
  • What’s worse, the rest of the world is mimicking our diet and following the lead of our diabetes guidelines...World Health Organization pinned the number of diabetics at 350 million, 70 million higher than previous estimates, and more than double the number from 1980.
  • “Diabetes, along with obesity, is looming as the biggest epidemic in human history,”
  • Food makers... pour 160 pounds of sugar per person per year into the food U.S. supply, a recipe for fat profit margins and waistlines both.
  • Most Insurance companies don’t cover nutritional counseling for prediabetics, even though this is the last chance to forestall the onset of a dietary disease.
  • Drug firms sell tens of billions of dollars worth of diabetes drugs every year to help us manage all that sugar. Diabetes will take its sweet time killing you, so you’ll be filling expensive prescriptions for years, if not decades, as it picks you apart.
  • THE SOLUTION LIES with you. If you’re among those with or threatened by type-2 diabetes, you can very likely beat the disease, starting with a diet overhaul. 
  • The cornerstone of my anti-diabetes plan was the elimination of what had become my metabolic poison: excessive carbohydrates, especially simple sugars.
  • The sugar load that comes from snack foods and soda has been divorced from the fiber that once surrounded it in foods; and concentrated in forms, such as soda, that allow vast quantities to jolt the bloodstream, panicking the pancreas and leading to an over-secretion of insulin. Our metabolic systems weren’t designed to handle anywhere near that load, and our body’s ancient sensors for hunger and satiety are now easily tricked.
  • Fixing the problems of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, which lead to chronically high and/or volatile blood sugar, and eventually type-2 diabetes, means learning basic truths about what you put in your body every day:
  • Control your carbs--or type-2 diabetes will control you...  A low-carb diet is ideal for anyone who has type-2 diabetes or is at high risk for it.
  • Someone with prediabetes or diabetes should be wary of consuming more than 100 grams of carbs a day... and those carbs should come from healthy sources such as vegetables and and nuts. The more you exercise, the more carb-tolerant your body will become. If you want to consume more than 100 carbs grams a day, work out more to account for them.
  • Complex carbs, like simple sugars, can easily be over-consumed... a trickle of the wrong carbs is preferable to an avalanche of the better ones. Sure, whole-wheat bread falls lower on the glycemic index (GI) than white bread. Yet both products break down into glucose. The same goes for brown rice versus white rice. Consume a lot of even low-GI carbs, and your bloodstream can become overwhelmed by too much glucose.
  • Don’t assume you’re eating healthfully just because you’re not overweight. As it turns out, 10 to 15 percent of those with insulin resistance, the condition underlying type-2 diabetes, are not overweight. Among other populations, particularly in Asia, the percentage of normal-weight diabetics is actually much higher.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/blog/blog/the-silent-killer/#ixzz1SkTbmnGj
Authors Book... Sugar Nation 

Need an accountability program?
Help learning how to control your diet?
How to integrate a healthy nutrition plan into your lifestyle?
Ask about Online GTS Nutrition Coaching...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You booze, you lose...

Stupid title, yes. It's also not entirely accurate.

Saw some interesting data looking at the impact of weekend binge drinking with one of my nutrition clients...

Client Description: Active Male, Mid 30's

Begininning of Week (Monday, Began GTS Nutrition Program)

  • Starting weight: 183.4 lbs
  • Starting Measurements:
    • Arm (relaxed): 13
    • Arm (flexed): 15
    • Neck: 15
    • Thigh: 23
    • Waist: 33
    • Hips: 36
    • Chest: 41
    • Arms & Chest: 48 1/2
End of week (Friday)
  • Weight: 180.4 (4 lb decrease)
  • No Measurements
Weekend - A pre-planned Guys Trip... 2 Days of Boozing.

Monday the following week.
  • Weight: 189.4 lbs (+ 6 lbs from one week ago, + 9 lbs from 3 days prior)
  • Measurements:
    • Arm (relaxed): 13
    • Arm (flexed): 15 1/4
    • Neck: 15 3/4 (+3/4 inch increase from starting week)
    • Thigh: 24 (+1 inch increase from starting week) 
    • Waist: 34 (+1 inch increase from starting week)
    • Hips: 36 1/2 (+1/2 inch increase from starting week)
    • Chest: 41
    • Arms & Chest: 48 1/2
Tuesday the following day (Back on GTS Nutrition program and post-detox workout)
  • Weight: 182.8 (~ 7 lb drop from Monday)
Why this is interesting...
  1. You can see how drinking alone can cause quite the increase in measurements and weight.
  2. Notice that the majority of inches was gained in the mid section, hips and thighs.
  3. According to my client, he didn't go overboard while eating that weekend. 
  4. He enjoyed himself for a weekend, but was able to quickly recover by getting back on the nutrition plan.
Get back on track!

This summer there will be no shortage of parties.  Although I don't advise drinking while you're looking to accomplish a performance/nutritional/fat loss goal, I understand situations arise.  

So while you're out with friends make sure the party doesn't spill over to the next day or week... Drinking often leads to poor food choices as you're feeling lazy and your body is recovering.  You can see how 2 days of drinking can add up quickly on the body.  If you're going to put your body through it, plan to get it back on track immediately!

Need help getting back on track?  Ask about Online GTS Nutrition Coaching...

International Powerlifting League (IPL)

For those strength enthusiasts out there, The International Powerlifting League (IPL) has been formed! The IPL is a world federation that will act as the governing body for the USPA in the United States and countries worldwide. There are multiple US federations, but only a handful of World federations. In order to meet the needs of the members of the USPA the IPL was formed.

The IPL will be holding its inaugural World Championship November 30 to December 4 at the Golden Nugget Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Nugget recently had 380 million in renovations and looks fantastic! The hotel is incredible and offers a wide range of room types and a variety of great restaurants. Details will be available soon on the IPL and USPA website.

The inaugural IPL World Powerlifting Championship in Las Vegas will be open to all lifters and will include raw and single ply. It will also include a World Cup for the multi-ply division. There will not be any pre-qualification, for this year only. Several countries have shown great interest and will be sending teams.

The Schedule of events for the IPL Worlds Nov 30 to Dec 4 will be the following:

  • Wed, Nov 30: All women and men up to 165, raw and single ply Full Power.
  • Thurs, Dec 1: Men's 181,198,220 raw and single ply Full Power.
  • Fri, Dec 2: Men's 242,275,308,308+ raw and single ply Full Power.
  • Sat, Dec 3: Multiply World Cup, Full Power and Bench only.
  • Sun, Dec 4: Bench only and Deadlift only, raw and single ply for men and women.

The IPL website is: http://www.powerlifting-ipl.com/ However it is currently under construction and will be available soon.

(Via Powerlifting Watch) Check out the news about the International Powerlifting League (IPL)

Looking to try something different?

We'll have a crew from 4 Star Gym and Game Time Strength competing in this event. If you're interested in training, a program, or jumping on the team, let me know!

Killing it!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Balance Minimus

Just picked up a new pair of Minimalist Training shoes that I'm digging.

The New Balance Minimus

Comes in 3 variations:

  • Trail Running
  • Road Running
  • Cross Training

Wasn't a huge fan of the colors for the Cross Trainers. Loved the soles on the Trail Running shoes so I ended up going with them.  

I do love my Vibrams, but my one issue with them is I'm clumsy and I've ended up stubbing my pinky toes on just about everything imaginable on the weight room floor. I'm pretty sure they are both broken at the moment.

These shoes still give you that barefoot feel, with an enclosed toe.  Plus the sole is flatter and a little more sturdy then the Nike Free's, so I like these for weight training.

Note: If you're planning to pick up any pair of minimalist running shoes, EASE your way into them.  If you're not used to them it puts a lot of strain on the calf, Achilles tendon and musculature of the foot. Don't just jump into a 3 mile run with them on... start out with a few small hills, and wear them to the gym or walking first. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

20 Things You Didn't Know About Sugar

Interesting article I came across on Discover Magazine... "20 things you didn't know about Sugar"

A few highlights...
1 The average American eats 61 pounds of refined sugar each year, including 25 pounds of candy. Halloween accounts for at least two pounds of that.

2 Trick: Sugar may give you wrinkles via a process called glycation, in which excess blood sugar binds to collagen in the skin, making it less elastic.

3 Or treat: Cutting back on sugar may help your skin retain its flexibility. So actually, no treats.

5 In 1747 German chemist Andreas Marggraf discovered that the sugar in a sugar beet is identical to that in sugarcane. In 1802 the first beet-sugar refinery began operations, bringing cheap sweets to northern climes.

6 More than half the 8.4 million metric tons of sugar produced annually in the United States comes from beets.

7 Can you imagine eating 16 sugar cubes at one sitting? You probably have. That’s a little less than what is contained in a 20-ounce bottle of cola.

9 The artificial sweeteners saccharin and aspartame were found accidentally when lab workers doing research that had nothing to do with sweetening put a bit of the test compounds in their mouths and liked what they tasted.

11 The scientists who discovered sucralose (now sold as Splenda) were originally trying to create an insecticide. An assistant thought he had been instructed to “taste” a compound he’d only been asked to “test.”

14 Can’t escape them: Sugars are the building blocks of carbohydrates, the most abundant type of organic molecules in living things.

15 Glycolaldehyde, an eight-atom sugar, has even been found in an interstellar gas cloud near the center of the Milky Way.

16 Glycolaldehyde can react with a three-carbon sugar to form ribose, the basis for both RNA and DNA, so the glycol­aldehyde found in deep space may be a chemical precursor to life on Earth.

18 Burn sucrose with a dose of corn syrup and saltpeter and you get “sugar propellant,” a popular amateur rocket fuel.

Need help breaking your addiction to Sugar... ask about Online GTS Nutrition Coaching...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

4 Star Gym - Strongest Gym in the South Bay

Choosing a headquarters for GTS Performance was an easy decision.  I wanted a location that has a rich history of strength, isn’t filled with unnecessary machines, surrounded by parks & athletic fields, close to the beach, and simply says, “You’re here to work!”

The historic 4 Star Gym was designed for those looking to maximize their strength and performance.  It’s been in business since 1969 and over the years has been home to some of the strongest in the South Bay. 4 Star has a large Powerlifting Community with several individuals that hold National and World records in AAU, USPF, WPF and the 100% RAW Ironman Nationals.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Select Video from USPA Nationals 2011 Bench & Deadlift Comp

Thanks to Edwin Lewis for compiling some of the highlights of the days events!

There were some really impressive lifters featured in this video including...

  • Scott Mendelson's 1100 lb Bench press attempts
  • Dennis Reneau's (4 Star Gym) 727 lb Bench Press
  • David Douglas's 738 lb bench (after competing in the full power meet the day before!)
  • John Bostick (4 Star Gym) 660 lb Deadlift

My final 650 lb Deadlift can be seen at 4:22 min.

So I started eating meat again... (from a former vegetarian)

This is a great article from a former vegetarian.  After dealing with several health problems, he decided to reintroduced meat products back into his diet and his body flourished...

Click here to read "So I started eating meat again"...

I completely understand those of you that choose to avoid meat products due to your beliefs in animal rights.  And although you can survive and compete without meat, the conditions certainly are not ideal.  The fact is, humans are omnivores and animal protein plays an important role in our nutrition, hormone production and our desired physical appearance (increased muscle and decreased body fat).

Soy based protein seems to be the preferred option of vegetarians, however, many of soy’s health benefits have been linked to isoflavones—plant compounds that mimic estrogen. Other studies suggest that eating large amounts of those estrogenic compounds might reduce fertility in women, trigger premature puberty and disrupt development of fetuses and children. (See Could Eating Too Much Soy be Bad for you?

If you still can't stomach the thought of reintroducing beef or poultry into your diet, here are a few ideas to increase your overall amount of protein.

  • Instead protesting meat products all together, choose one day per week to consume a serving.  It's not ideal but at least you'll be getting a small portion of the amino acids your body requires.
  • Try adding eggs & egg whites to your diet.
  • Try adding fish to your diet. (canned tuna, fresh filets, sushi, etc)
  • Try adding an Egg based Protein Powder into your diet. 
Thanks to Anna (A Vegetarian) for sending this article over!

Note: I'm well aware too much of any one thing can be bad for you including meat products. The above link is provided to identify a few of the potential risks of elevated soy consumption.  Moderation and balance seems to be the key in any healthy diet.  But just like increasing body fat, if you're after a very specific short term result like a reduction of body fat, or increase in muscle mass sometimes you might need to shift things out of balance for a small period of time before resuming a more balanced diet. 

Need a Lean Eating Program to follow?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

USPA Nationals Competition Pics!

Results to be posted...

Here are some of the pictures.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Benefits of a Strength & Conditioning Program

Whether you’re looking to improve your performance, health, or physique, everyone can benefit from improving strength. Strength contributes to the overall efficiency of the human body.  For recreational & competitive athletes it leads to enhanced physical & sports performance. For the non-athlete it will help improve quality of life by reducing body fat, increasing energy, and providing you with strength and endurance to keep up with the physical demands of life.

Strength for Sport

Sport-specific strength training requires a more refined approach than simply lifting heavy weights to complete exhaustion. A physiological analysis of any game or event will confirm that most athletes require explosive power, muscular endurance, maximal strength or some combination of all three in order to excel. Rarely is pure muscle bulk the primary concern and when it is, other elements of strength are equally as important.

Most sports require movements that are rapid and demand a higher power output than is generated during maximal lifts. Strength training lays the foundation increasing the potential for additional power development.  If there is no conversion of this strength into sport-specific power, the athlete may not benefit from the increases in strength.  An athlete can be exceptionally strong but lack substantial power due to an inability to contract muscle quickly. GTS Performance athletes learn to combine strength, power and plyometric training to improve the rate of force production and convert maximal strength into explosive power.

Strength for Life

Strength training can reverse the natural decline in your metabolism.  Lean muscle mass is what helps control our metabolism; the more you have, the more calories you burn at rest.   The human body is extremely efficient. After 30 years of age, if you’re body isn’t continually provided with a strength stimulus, you will naturally begin to lose lean muscle mass and strength, thus resulting in a slower metabolism, and in most cases an increase in body fat.  GTS Performance combines strength training with High Intensity Interval training to build and maintain lean muscle, increase metabolism, energy, and overall fitness levels.

Below are a few more benefits of engaging in a Game Time Strength Sports Performance & Fitness Training Program:

Increased lean muscle mass
Lean Muscle mass controls our metabolism. The more you have, the more calories you burn at rest.  When combined with a nutrition program designed to create a caloric deficit or surplus, strength training will contribute to a more “toned”/athletic look or increases in muscular size respectively.

Decreased Body Fat
Studies have shown strength training and high intensity interval training contributes to significantly more fat loss than aerobic training alone. Strength training also increases post exercise caloric burn, meaning we burn more calories from fat in the 24-hour period after resistance training! This means for the 23 hours you’re not working out, your body continues to burn calories.

Increased power production
GTS Performance combines strength, power and plyometric training to improve the rate of force production and convert maximal strength into explosive power.

Increased Speed
Increases in strength, flexibility and sport specific demands allow athletes to create more force with each step.  Combined with good running mechanics, a strength program allows athletes to work longer and harder in developing their skills on the field resulting in an increase in acceleration and multi-directional speed.

Enhanced bone mineral density
Strength training helps to prevent Osteoporosis in older individuals and women.

Reduced Risk of Injury, Improved Posture and Joint Support
Most injuries stem from muscular asymmetries or imbalances.  GTS Performance helps identify/correct these potential problems and improve basic movement patterns thus reducing the risk of injury, improving postural alignment and alleviating excessive joint stress by re-teaching your body how to use your prime movers.

Improved health and cardiovascular fitness
Strategically timed activity and rest periods will improve cardiovascular function, aerobic conditioning and recovery. In addition, tracking strength & performance numbers is a much better way of measuring overall fitness then strictly counting an estimated number of calories burned on a treadmill.

Improved physical appearance
Increases in lean muscle mass and decreases in body fat will lead to a more “toned” / athletic look.

Improved Mobility and Flexibility
Soft Tissue and mobility work before and after training will help improve flexibility, movement patterns, and reduce soreness between workouts.

Improved Mood and Confidence
One side effect of any intense exercises is increased levels of dopamine, serotonin, and nor epinephrine, which can help to improve mood and counter feelings of depression.
Most people are amazed once they realize their strength potential.  Mentally, achieving something you never thought possible is a huge confidence booster.  Physically, your new found strength will make the demands of everyday life far less challenging.