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!