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LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — Common Causes of Hip Shift - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 01:37
Hate to break it to you, but you can't out-correct a corrective exercise.
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WATCH: 9 Steps to Developing a Growth Mindset - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 01:14
You only have as much potential as you allow yourself to have. Josh Bryant takes a dive into what it means to have a growth mindset and how you can start cultivating one today.
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Muscle Building Isolation vs. Integration – Part 1 - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 13:14
How to Build Muscle | Isolation vs. Integration - Part 1 In today’s post, I want to show you the difference between isolation and integration in training. While it is true you can never truly isolate a muscle group, there are some tips and tricks you can use to improve the "INTENTION" of what you're doing. You’ll see in the first video where Ferruggia used a technique of sliding back on a bench, changing the angle of the pull for his shoulder, in order to try and minimize the contribution of the mid and upper back musculature. In this way, he could try and isolate his lat and try to get his lat to facilitate a very powerful and more focused muscular contraction - moving the shoulder from flexion to extension. In the second variation you’ll see Colin perform a prone dumbbell row variation that also introduces a thoracic flexion and extension. This integrated variation tries to engage not only the lats but also the entire mid to upper back while simultaneously improving thoracic flexion and extension. In my experience, complementing both of these techniques together will give you a comprehensive strength training profile while keeping your shoulders healthy and keeping your lats long and strong! View this post on Instagram

A post shared by James Smith (@smittydiesel) on Nov 27, 2019 at 5:32pm PST

For more joint-friendly, pain-free workouts, check out Ageless Athlete 2.0Continue reading...

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Muscle Building Isolation vs. Integration – Part 2 - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 13:07
How to Build Muscle | Isolation vs. Integration - Part 2 Here is part 2 of the “isolation” vs. “integration post and the last videos from my recent trip to FL with Ferruggia and Luka. When we trained in Florida, we hit a ton of different machines for two workouts - a push and pull workout. One of the tehcniques we used was this idea of trying to optimize the intent of the working muscle group vs. trying to move in a more global integrated fashion utilize multiple muscle groups surrounding a joint. In this second example, you’ll see Ferruggia performing two sets of machine posterior flyes in two different fashions. In the first set, Jay tries to focus on only engaging the posterior aspect of the delt with minimal contribution from the mid back musculature, including the rhomboids and traps and without movement of the shoulder blades. The weight is dropped and the set is repeated with Jay now trying to utilize his entire upper back and with a finish of shoulder retraction - driving the shoulder blades together at the end of the rep. As I stated, in my experience, both of these techniques complement each other and work together to give you a comprehensive strength training profile AND balanced musculature - all while keeping your shoulders healthy! View this post on Instagram

A post shared by James Smith (@smittydiesel) on Dec 2, 2019 at 5:28pm PST

For more joint-friendly, pain-free workouts, check out Ageless Athletes 2.0 Continue reading...

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How to Perform a Hip Hinge for Beginners - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 12:51
How to Perform a Hip Hinge for Beginners When learning how to deadlift, a lifter must learn how to hip hinge properly. This is fundamental and critical for their long term success in the gym. And, as progression toward greater loads happens, the lifter will understand what good position is and always try to maintain it. Here is a 3-exercise pre-deadlift warm-up I’ve been using with great success. The importance of a good pre-training prep can’t be overstated. It is during this window, we attempt to get the right muscles fired up, groove the appropriate patterns, and ensure the right positions can be achieved with the optimal amount of stability and control. Why is Warming Up Important? This particular sequence covers a lot of bases, including: 1. Gets your hips and glutes heated up and on fire, 2. Activates the lats during the hinge pattern to simulate the ‘active’ shoulder extension required for the deadlift. 3. Opens up the hips, ankles, and knees while also stretching the adductors, 4. Grooves the deadlift (hinge) pattern to sequence getting the right muscles fired up for the upcoming training session. Here is how the sequence goes: 1. Active Foam Roller Hinging - gets the lats fired up during the hinging pattern. Forces athlete to ‘sit back’ into the hinge. 2. Band-Resisted DB RDL’s - patterns the hinge, activates the glutes and hamstrings, and focuses on a powerful and complete lockout. 3. Band-Assisted Cossacks - Adductor length and extensibility, along with ankle, knee, and hip mobility are critical for optimal positioning for the deadlift. This drills allows even the tightest athlete, to find new ‘space’ at each joint. For more joint-friendly, pain-free training, check out Ageless Athlete 2.0 - HERE View this post on Instagram

A post shared by James Smith (@smittydiesel) on Dec 4, 2019 at 10:37am PST

Continue reading...

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Happiness - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 12:31
Seeking Happiness Outside of Yourself Many of you don’t know but each week in the Diesel newsletter - I give a life lesson. I thought I would start sharing them more with everyone who is not on the newsletter. I hope this message finds you well. Now, for this week's lesson. It is about understanding where your peace and happiness is... Or, simply... Where can you find it? Let's start with a short story. A fellow went to a Zen master and said, "If I work very hard, how soon can I be enlightened?” The Zen master looked him up and down and said, “Ten years.” The fellow said, “No, listen, I mean if I really work at it, how long?” The Zen master cut him off. “I’m sorry. I misjudged. Twenty years.” Wait!” Said the young man, “You don’t understand! I’m...” “Thirty years,” said the Zen master. ----------------------------- You see... When you seek your happiness and peace OUTSIDE of yourself, your journey will be long and fruitless. Because what you seek, you already have! When I first heard of this concept from Alan Watts, it blew me away. I mean I actually stopped everything I was doing and sat there astounded at what he had just said. Want to know what he said? Why don't you know what you want? Because you already have it!" What he was saying is, what you seek, you already have. At any moment. It is yours. The peace and happiness that has alluded you for so long, you already have. Happiness comes from within and it is manifests through your appreciation and gratitude for what is good in your life. And once you see things more clearly, the bad things are there to teach us as well. The lesson is... To always try to live in gratitude! SmittyContinue reading...

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Diesel Workout Songs Playlist 2020 - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 12:21
Diesel Playlist | Workout Songs 2020 Here is the Diesel Workout Songs playlist for 2020. If you need to crush your next workout, here is a playlist of songs to get you ready to train and dominate in the gym. Join on Spotify HERE Continue reading...

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Training DNA - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 10:55

The Scientific Principles of Strength Training are universal but each lifter’s unique characteristics, their Training DNA, changes how they are expressed in the athlete’s program. Max Aita discusses this concept for Team Juggernaut’s weightlifters.

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Your Haters are Pushing You to the Top — Embrace It - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 09:29
Maybe instead of flipping off the haters, you should be thanking them instead. If anything, the haters are just bringing more people your way!
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Don’t Forget Who You're Dealing With - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 09:13
It's easy to assume a young athlete is slacking off due to laziness. However, it's always important to remember that there may be more than meets the eye.
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Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 1/17/20 - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 08:37

Copyright: olegdudko / 123RF Stock Photo


(Things I’ve appeared in, places I’m going, you know, important stuff)

1. (De)-Constructing the Deadlift & Squat – Stoneham, MA: Sunday, January 26, 2020

** EARLY BIRD rate ends this weekend (1/19/20).

I’m teaming up with Brad Cox of ACUMobility for this 6-hour workshop where we’ll discuss hip assessment and, you guessed it…

…keto recipes deadlifts and squats.

What will be unique about this workshop is the two perspectives we’ll bring to the table; myself as a strength coach in addition to Brad’s background in sports medicine and orthopedics.

EARLY BIRD rate ends in two weeks.

2. (Even More) Complete Shoulder & Hip Blueprint – Athens, Greece: Saturday, Feb 29th & Sunday, March 1st, 2020

It’s official: This marks the sixth year in a row Dean Somerset and I are presenting together. We’re so excited to be coming to Athens to kickstart 2020.

3. Coaching Competency Workshop – London, UK: Sunday, March 8, 2020

4. Strategic Strength Workshop – Detroit, MI: April 5, 2020

This will be my first ever workshop in the region!

I’m expecting ticker tape parades.


Twitter coaches tend to lean towards words such as “everyone,” “always,” and “never.”

As in: Everyone should avoid deadlifts. You should always eat paleo for best results. Never perform cardio if you want to add mass.

Real coaches tend to lean more towards “it depends.”

— Tony Gentilcore (@tonygentilcore1) January 13, 2020



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The first question to ask is “why do people start wearing a weight belt in the first place?” . My guess is most start because they see others using one in the gym and figure that’s just what the cool kids do. . There are, however, legitimate reasons to use one: . 1⃣ Improved Performance – @gregnuckols wrote a thorough piece a few years ago on the efficacy of weight belts and one of the main points was that a bevy of research shows that wearing a weight belt can allow someone to lift anywhere from 5-15% more weight. . As Greg notes: Yes, there are instances of lifters NOT wearing a belt and still lifting an appreciable amount, but since you’re not them let’s just say that for 99 out of 100 people, wearing a belt will make them He-Man, sans bowl cut. . How? . Improved intra-abdominal pressure. . IAP helps to counter shear load on the spine; a sort of safety net if you will. . This is a good thing. . The drawbacks, though, is that IAP increases blood pressure, which can be detrimental for some. . 2⃣ Wearing a belt = faster lifts. . 3⃣ And lastly, a weight belt generally allows for more repetitions (in the ballpark of 1-3) to be performed at a given load. . In concert: more weight, performed faster, and for more reps = a nice recipe for added muscle and strength.. . Personally I don’t start using a belt until working with 85% (and up) of 1-rep max. . But this is just a general rule – kinda like wearing pants on Thursday – that can be a judgement call the day of. . Now, there’s also instances to NOT wear a weight belt. . ❌ For every set, of every exercise, on every day of training. Again, I tend to lean more on the side of saving the belt for high(er) intensity sets. . ❌ In the shower. . And that’s pretty much it. . That being said, I do find value in purposely going though blocks of training where you DO NOT use the belt. . If you swipe to the video you’ll see me pulling 540 x3 without one. . For the past 4 weeks I’ve made a concerted effort not to use a belt for all squat & DL sets. . Why? . Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Purposely making training harder – no belt, crappy bars, etc – will make the next phase “easier.” . I hope…

Kim Schaper on Why Women Are NOT Small Men

Kim Schaper is a holistic wellness coach and certified personal trainer who is passionate about helping women claim their health and wellbeing.

At age 19, Kim developed anorexia, which eventually paved the way to anxiety and depression. She frequented many different treatment centers over the years that followed. When she finally overcame her struggles in her 30s, she made it her mission to turn her life around and help people who are going through the same experiences.

Kim joins me today to discuss women’s health and shares her experiences with overcoming anorexia and anxiety. She explains the differences between men’s and women’s physiological structure and how this can affect a woman’s physical performance.

She shares her insights on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and illustrates the causes and effects of progesterone. And perhaps most importantly, she also describes the three key components that prevent a person from losing weight and achieving overall health.


Women have different components that men don’t have to deal with. We can’t train like men; we’re not ‘little men. – Kim Schaper


This week on the Physical Preparation Podcast:
  • Kim’s experience with overcoming anorexia and anxiety
  • How Kim started her business from her basement
  • Why Kim decided to focus her venture on women’s health
  • The effects of the menstrual cycle on physical and training performance
  • The importance of paying attention to biofeedback
  • Why Kim recommends bioidentical hormones over synthetic ones
  • The causes and effects of high progesterone levels
  • How a compromised immune system affects weight loss
  • The impact of high stress on weight loss and overall health
  • Why gut health is more than just probiotics
  • The struggles of people with Type A personalities at the gym
  • The power of a holistic approach to health
  • Kim’s advice to her younger self
  • Why women should trust themselves more


Connect with Kim:


Stop the Frustration! Get the Complete Coach Certification

Are you a young fitness trainer or coach? Are you frustrated by the results you’re getting or the lack of resources available to learn the skills you need to be successful? Are you struggling to get enough clients or wondering how long you’ll be able to follow your passion for helping others?

It’s time to stop the frustration and stop worrying. It’s time to get certified!

If you’re serious about improving your results, serious about becoming a better coach, and serious about increasing your bottom line, then you need the Complete Coach Certification.

In this massive course, you’ll learn:

  • How to use the R7 system to create seamless, integrated and efficient programs for clients and athletes of all shapes and sizes
  • How to create the culture, environment and relationships with everyone you train so you can get the absolute best results
  • The exact progressions, regressions, and coaching cues I use in the gym – from squatting and deadlifting to pressing and pulling and everything in between
  • And much, much more

This certification course is jam-packed with everything I’ve learned over the last 20 years of my career.

So if you’re ready to get serious about the results you’re getting for your clients and the impact your programs have on your income, head over to to sign up for the Complete Coach Certification course today!

Spots are limited, and the next certification is set to launch in March 2020.

Join my FREE Insiders List to learn more, stay tuned for our launch details and save $200 when the course opens!


Subscribe, Rate & Share!

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Physical Preparation Podcast – your one-stop-shop for fitness trainers, coaches, and athletes. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunesStitcher, and SoundCloud and leave your honest review.

Connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and don’t forget to share your favorite episodes with your friends on social media. Thank you!

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Fat loss and muscle gain: What does realistic progress look like? - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 22:01

When it comes to fat loss and muscle gain, everyone wants Insta-worthy after photos… right now. But understanding what’s realistic can be the difference between achieving amazing results and giving up altogether. How fast can a client lose fat? What’s the upper limit of muscle gain? And how do you figure out a rate of progress that your client can not only achieve but sustain? We have the numbers—and your coaching game plan. 


Imagine you have two new clients.

Courtney—a 34-year old female—wants to lose the extra 30 pounds she’s packed on since college.

Jose—a 27-year old male—wants to add 15 pounds of muscle to his frame.

Like many clients, they both say they’re ready to do whatever it takes.

Knowing all this, how long should it take each to achieve their goals?

A. 3 months
B. 6 months
C. 1 year

Answer: It depends.

Each option may be doable, but all three come with tradeoffs. And unless you help Courtney and Jose fully understand this—and set their expectations appropriately—they’re likely to end up disappointed.

Sound familiar?

When it comes to losing fat or gaining muscle, people are often frustrated by what they think are “poor” or “mediocre” results.  

Not due to lack of progress, but because:

  • They started with unrealistic expectations
  • They couldn’t sustain their initial rate of progress
  • All of the above

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In this article, we’ll share what realistic rates of both fat loss and muscle gain look like, based on a combination of clinical evidence and our work with over 100,000 clients.1, 2

More importantly, we’ll show you how to determine a rate of progress that’s right for your client (or even yourself). For results that meet expectations—every single time.

But… if you want to jump right to the numbers, click the links below:

Otherwise, keep reading (the details matter) for the complete story.

Results not typical… or are they?

Let’s say Courtney lost six pounds of body fat in your first four weeks together. Yet she was disappointed in her “lack” of progress.

From our standpoint, her progress was fantastic.

Over six months, maintaining that rate of progress would lead to a 40-pound fat loss. 

That could be life-changing for some. For others, it might be way more than they’d even want to lose. (In fact, it’s more than Courtney wanted to lose.)

Yet all too often, the client thinks they’re failing. Because six pounds in four weeks doesn’t feel like a lot.

This is likely because they expected extremely rapid results. Perhaps they hoped to quickly look like they did 15 years ago or have the body comp of a magazine cover model… by next month’s vacation.

Now, most people would readily admit that expecting to lose 15 pounds of fat or gain 10 pounds of muscle in two weeks is unrealistic. (The same goes for correcting serious blood lipid issues or knocking a half-second off their 40-yard dash time.)

But subconsciously, they still want to believe these results are not only possible but likely. After all, they’ve seen The Biggest Loser.

Your job: Set achievable expectations from day one. 

Understand the true goal and what success looks like.

This starts by finding out what your client ultimately hopes to achieve.

  • Do they want to lose a few pounds and get healthier?
  • Do they want to look fit in clothes?
  • Do they want to pack on 15 pounds of muscle?
  • Do they want to be “shredded,” with visible abs?

Make sure you have a shared understanding of what they’re envisioning. 

You want to be in complete agreement. So ask more questions and dig deeper.

‣ If they say they want to lose 20 pounds, what do they picture? Many people underestimate how much fat they’d have to lose to achieve a certain body composition. They might think they need to drop 20 pounds, when in fact, it’s more like 40.

‣ If they want to “get healthier,” how will they know when they arrive? Are they picturing better blood work, and if so, what specific measures are they concerned about?

‣ If they want to gain muscle, are they okay gaining some fat, too? Do they see themselves as The Rock, or just a slightly bigger version of themselves?

‣ If they want to “look muscular,” getting leaner might help them achieve that goal faster. As the saying goes, “Losing fat is the fastest way to look bigger.”

‣ If they want a six-pack, are they prepared for all that entails? Achieving this type of physique often requires a greater amount of exercise, a more restrictive diet, and a less flexible lifestyle. What’s more, if they’ve been over-fat for a long time, it could come with some loose skin.

Walking clients through their desired scenario can help them better choose a path based on what’s most important to them.

Make sure the tradeoffs are crystal clear.

Simply put: You want your client to know what they’re getting into.

An effective way to do this: Put your client’s desired outcome on a continuum next to two (or more) other outcomes.

If you want to highlight how unlikely or difficult the goal will be, show what it’ll take to achieve two easier goals.

You could say: “Here are the tradeoffs that you’ll need to make to reach your goal, and for comparison, here’s what two other outcomes might require. Do those tradeoffs feel acceptable to you?”

On the other hand, if you want to give the client more confidence, you might sandwich their goal between one that’s easier and one that’s harder.

You could say: “There’s no doubt your goal will be a challenge, but at least you can eat dessert most days and still achieve it. What do you think about that?”

Here’s an example of how this might look. The illustrations that follow show the tradeoffs typically required to achieve three different levels of body fat.

As you can see, the lower your body fat percentage goal, the greater the commitment that’s required. (For a deeper dive on this topic, read: The Cost of Getting Lean.)

Fat loss for healthy body fat levels
Fat loss for 10 percent body fat.
Fat loss for low levels of body fat.

To ensure both you and your client understand what they want to achieve, and what they’re willing (and not willing) to do to achieve it, download and use the Want-Willing-Won’t Worksheet.

Now it’s time to talk timelines. We’ll cover realistic rates of fat loss first, followed by realistic rates of muscle loss.

Realistic rates of fat loss.

How fast you can lose body fat depends on how consistently you can, or want to, follow the guidelines you’re given.

Realistic rates of fat loss per week Progress % Body Weight Men Women Extreme 1-1.5% body weight ~2-3 lb ~1.65-2.5 lb Reasonable 0.5-1% body weight ~1-2 lb ~0.8-1.65 lb Comfortable <0.5% body weight ~<1 lb ~<0.8 lb

Here’s how to quantify each of these categories:

Extreme: Requires about 90 to 100 percent consistency.

Reasonable:  Requires about 70 to 85 percent consistency.

Comfortable: Requires about 50 to 65 percent consistency.

(Note: You could also create a comfortable rate of progress in which you’re highly consistent. Your initial action plan would simply require you to make fewer changes than what’d be necessary to achieve reasonable or extreme rates of progress.)

Clearly, the more consistent you are, the faster your progress, and the more fat you’ll lose.

It’s also important to realize that fat loss is rarely linear. It fluctuates from day to day and week to week. The goal is to see an overall trend downward over time.

Rate of fat loss

But… fat loss is often fastest when:

  • You’re first starting out
  • You have more body fat to lose

Why? Suppose you normally eat 3,500 calories per day and are maintaining your body weight. If you suddenly start eating 2,000 calories a day, you’ve created a massive deficit of 1,500 calories. That’ll lead to rapid weight loss.

Once you start to lose body weight, however, this deficit becomes smaller and smaller, slowing fat loss. (Because a smaller body requires fewer calories.)

As this process continues, your metabolism adapts, lowering your calorie needs even more than what you’d expect from the weight loss alone. You’ll also become more efficient at exercising, reducing the number of calories you burn through movement.

And if that’s not enough, you might even exercise less frequently and intensely because you now have less energy coming in. (To learn more, read: How your metabolism adapts as you lose weight.)

The upshot:

The leaner you become, the slower your rate of fat loss, and the more plateaus you experience.

This is normal. And helping clients understand this leads to better progress.

That’s because they’ll be less likely to throw in the towel when fat loss stalls for a week or two. Instead, they’ll understand it’s a normal part of the journey.

Encourage clients to think of fat loss like a long road trip. If they know going in that they’ll have to stop for food and bathroom breaks, and that they’ll probably experience some traffic jams and construction detours, they won’t be dismayed when those things happen. (Because they will. That’s life.)

It won’t always be smooth sailing. Coach them to expect disruptions ahead of time. This mental preparation will be valuable down the road.

Realistic rates of muscle gain.

The ability to gain muscle is dependent on age, biological sex, genetics, and consistency with food intake, along with resistance training experience, intensity, frequency, style, volume, and more.

Realistic rates of muscle gain per month Fitness level Men Women Beginner 1-1.5%
body weight ~1.5-2.5 lb 0.5-0.75%
body weight ~0.65-1 lb Intermediate 0.5-0.75%
body weight ~0.75-1.25 lb 0.25-0.375%
body weight ~0.325-0.5 lb Advanced 0.25-0.375%
body weight ~0.375-0.625 lb 0.125-0.1875%
body weight ~0.1625-0.25 lb

Much like fat loss, muscle gain is often not linear. Progress seems to come in fits and spurts, especially after the first year of dedicated training. 

It’s not uncommon to see young men gain 15 to 25 pounds of muscle in their first year of dedicated training (beginner), and another 10 to 15 pounds in their second year (intermediate).

Young women can see gains of 8 to 12 pounds of muscle in their first year of dedicated training (beginner), along with another 4 to 6 pounds in their second year (intermediate).

After the first three or so years of dedicated training (advanced), it often takes years of persistent effort to see incremental gains.

So over the course of a lifting career, men have the potential to gain about 40 to 50 pounds of muscle, and women have the potential to gain about 20 to 25 pounds of muscle. (Depending on height, bone structure, and genetics—and without the help of performance-enhancing drugs.)

For the realistic rates of muscle gain shown here, the emphasis is on “young” men and women under the age of 30. Testosterone and other sex hormones are higher during this time of life, as is cellular turnover and overall recovery capacity. All are key factors for muscle growth.

Older men and women usually add less muscle and/or at a slower rate, due to changes in these variables.

Can you still gain significant muscle after your 20s? Yes, but for the most part, this depends on whether or not you still have a fair amount of room to reach your 40 to 50 pound (men) or 20 to 25 pound (women) potential.

Identify a likely rate of fat loss or muscle gain for each individual.

Consider the realistic rates of fat loss and muscle gain the upper limit of what can be achieved in a given time frame. Now you have to adjust that number, based on the person and conditions you’re working with.

This is where the art of coaching really comes in.

The rate of body composition changes can be affected by the following factors.

Factors that make fat loss harder or easier What makes fat loss harder What makes fat loss easier Age Being older* Being younger Sex Being female Being male Current body size Being smaller Being heavier Current body composition Being relatively lean Having more body fat Current activity level Little to no activity High levels of activity Current activity type Doing excessive cardio without other types of activity Having a well-rounded exercise regimen Consistency Being inconsistent Being consistent (>80%) Recovery Sleeping less than 7 hours most nights Sleeping at least 7-8 hours most nights Stress Excessive stress or perception of excessive stress Appropriate stress levels or perception of appropriate stress Hormones Leptin-resistance / low leptin
Insulin-resistance Hormones in healthy ranges Medication Birth control
Antidepressants Xenical / Alli
PEDs Health status Menopause
Cushing’s syndrome
Depression Clean bill of health

*Fat loss can and does occur at any age. The reasons it can be harder for older folks may be more age-related (health status, medications, mobility) as opposed to age-dependent.

Factors that make muscle gain harder or easier What makes muscle gain harder What makes muscle gain easier Age Being older (>40) Being younger (<30) Sex Being female Being male Current body size Having a small frame / bone structure Having a large frame / bone structure Current body composition Having more body fat Being relatively lean Current activity level Little to no activity Moderate levels of activity Current activity type Inadequate resistance training / excessive cardio Resistance training Consistency Being inconsistent Being consistent (>80%) Recovery Sleeping less than 7 hours most nights Sleeping at least 7-8 hours most nights Stress Excessive stress or perception of excessive stress Appropriate stress levels or perception of appropriate stress Hormones High cortisol Hormones in healthy ranges Medication Thyroid drugs
ADHD drugs
Acne medication PEDs Health status IBD
Depression Clean bill of health

These are by no means exhaustive lists, but are good examples of how additional factors can impact an individual’s rate of progress.

You also need to account for what else is happening in a person’s life.

Will your client improve at a consistent rate or might there be periods where progress slows?

For example, if they’re an accountant, you may need to adjust expectations during tax season. During the holidays, the goal might just be to maintain current progress, then aim to make further progress after the holidays have passed. And what about upcoming vacations or other planned breaks?

You can’t foresee every issue, but you can plan for what you know. 

For these periods, ask your client how little improvement they’re willing to accept and how long they expect these periods to last. Together, you can incorporate that information into the timeline.

Once you have a good idea of where they want to go and how fast they could get there,  it’s time to fully review what’s required. Is your client “ready, willing, and able” to do what it takes?

You can test this by using the Ready, Willing, and Able Worksheet.

This is where you find out how realistic the rates of progress truly are, based on the action plan you create with your client.

Now that the next steps are in front of them, how confident are they about following through? Remember: The key to success is consistency. (Learn more: How to create a plan clients can do consistently.)

If your client isn’t ready, willing, able to follow through consistently, that’s okay. You’ll simply need to adjust their action plan. And that also means adjusting their expectations.

But that’s good news: With this approach, you’ll both be on the same page from the get-go.

Revisit and re-calibrate expectations as data accumulate.

No one can perfectly predict a client’s rate of progress. This exercise simply gives you a way to measure if your client is moving in the right direction at their desired rate, or if their outcomes are falling short of expectations.

In general, you should monitor results for two weeks before recommending your client adjusts their food intake or action plan.

And as they become more advanced, or progress closer to their final goal, it may take a full four weeks to see if their intake is working. Give it an appropriate amount of time before considering further adjustments.

As you gather data, and choose next actions based on that data, continually review and revise your clients’ plans and expectations. (Click here to download a printable guide that lets you reference the information below at a glance.)

Not losing fat within realistic parameters?

Decrease your client’s intake by about 250 calories a day, by cutting out about 25 to 50 grams of carbs and/or 7 to 15 grams of fat. Or simply remove 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of carbs and/or 1 to 2 thumbs of fats from their daily intake. (That’s 2 to 3 total portions of carbs and fats, combined.)

Not gaining muscle within realistic parameters?

Increase your client’s intake by about 250 calories a day, by adding 25 to 50 grams of carbs and/or 7 to 15 grams of fats.  Or simply add 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of carbs and/or 1 to 2 thumbs of fats to your daily intake. (That’s 2 to 3 total portions of carbs and fats, combined.)

Losing too much lean mass when losing weight?

Increase your client’s daily protein intake by about 25 grams. Or simply add 1 extra palm of protein to your daily intake.

Gaining too much fat when adding muscle?

Increase your client’s daily protein intake by about 25 grams, and decrease their daily carb intake by about 25 to 50 grams and/or fat intake by about 7 to 15 grams.

Or simply add 1 extra palm of protein to your daily intake, and remove 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of carbs and/or 1 to 2 thumbs of fats from your daily intake. (That’s 2 to 3 total portions of carbs and fats, combined.)

Not recovering from tough workouts or competitions?

Use these four steps:

Step 1. Review your overall daily energy intake. If you’re cutting calories stringently to lose fat or weight, consider increasing energy intake by 100 to 200 calories so that you’re eating at just a slight deficit.

Step 2. Review your total daily protein intake. Just adding 25 more grams or 1 more palm of protein per day can make a difference.

Step 3. Review your total daily carbohydrate intake. You may need more than you’re getting, particularly right after training sessions or games/competitions. A good start: Add 25 to 50 grams (or 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of carbs) to your daily intake.

Step 4. Review your total daily fat intake, particularly your intake of essential fatty acids. If you’re noticing a lot of inflammation, you might benefit from increasing your intake of Eat More” fat sources, and decreasing your intake of “Eat Less” fat sources. (See a variety of both sources in the article: What Foods Should I Eat?)

Let the facts guide you.

Clients may progress faster or slower than you expected, or they may encounter unexpected challenges (such as an injury or illness).

This is absolutely okay. Base predictions and expectations on known data, not imagination, hopes, or assumptions.

As the great psychotherapist Carl Rogers once said, “The facts are friendly.” No matter what happens, consider this calibration an essential and valuable part of helping you become a more accurate and evidence-driven coach.

This type of outcome-based decision making is a powerful coaching tool for helping clients see how their actions lead to progress and results.

Remember, numbers aren’t the only way to measure progress.

It can be tempting to focus only on quantitative data: body fat percentage, inches lost, the number on the scale. But progress is just as much about subjective measures, such as:

  • Showing up and making any effort, no matter how small
  • Tiny actions that are just a little bit better than before
  • Feeling more at ease with food
  • Daily wins, like having breakfast on your busiest morning
  • Having more energy and vitality
  • Getting stronger and/or fitter
  • Feeling more confident in one’s body or sense of self
  • And more

Make sure your client understands how far they’ve come, no matter what the numbers show. Regularly pointing out the bright spots—especially in behaviors, actions, and mindset—gives the client positive feedback they can build on.

The Looking Back, Looking Ahead Worksheet is often super helpful in this regard. It’s a way for clients to see how far they’ve come, which can boost their confidence and keep them motivated. It can also help them proactively work around potential obstacles.

As we say here at Precision Nutrition:

It’s about progress, not perfection. 

And whether your clients want to lose fat or gain muscle, that may be the most important expectation you can set.

jQuery(document).ready(function(){ jQuery("#references_link").click(function(){ jQuery("#references_holder").show(); jQuery("#references_link").parent().hide(); }); }); References

Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

1. NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative Expert Panel on the Identification, Evaluation, Treatment of Obesity in Adults (US). Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 1998.

2. Helms ER, Aragon AA, Fitschen PJ. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 May 12;11:20.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in a way that sets realistic expectations and is personalized for their unique body, goals, and preferences—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 30% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, April 8th, 2020.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 30% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

The post Fat loss and muscle gain: What does realistic progress look like? appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Knee-Friendly Training to Develop Your Quads - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:35
Knee-Friendly Quad Training Check out this very simple quad blaster that is friendly for busted up old knees that need lots of care. While I’m still squatting and deadlifting, there are certain quad exercises that give my right knee problems because I don’t have full flexion in it and there is a pretty nasty meniscus tear in it. Now, because of the constant time under tension for the quads, this little routine is absolutely murder! The key, however, is your pacing if you want to get the most out of it. You should be performing a 10-count for the eccentric, a 10-count ISO-hold at parallel, 10 reps of hip abduction, and then a 10-count concentric to get back to lockout. This is a brutal routine! Here is how the knee-friendly circuit looks: 1A) 10-count ECCENTRIC lowering 1B) 10-count ISO-hold at parallel 1C) Hip Abduction x 10 reps 1D) 10-count CONCENTRIC drive back to lockout As an important coaching note, other options for knee friendly quad training include Amosov squats, sissy squats, backward sled dragging, heel-elevated goblet squats, box squats, step-ups, slow-eccentric step downs, and even single-leg leg press. Check out AGELESS ATHLETE 2.0 for more pain free joint-friendly training, HERE View this post on Instagram

A post shared by James Smith (@smittydiesel) on Dec 17, 2019 at 3:41pm PST

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The post Knee-Friendly Training to Develop Your Quads appeared first on Diesel SC.

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20 Critical Life Lessons - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:19

The post 20 Critical Life Lessons appeared first on Diesel SC.

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Unlock Your Upper Back - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 12:58
Author: Brian Oberther How to Unlock Your Upper Back Are you helping or hurting your mobility? Movement occurs through the path of least resistance. This means that most mobility exercises are an “expression” of what we can already do and not an effective way of increasing our mobility. This is where “targeted mobility” comes in. If we are looking to increase the mobility of a joint, we must first understand how to remove the ability to cheat. For example, when most lifters perform a thoracic extension drill over the foam roller, they "chest" by extending their lower back. Here’s an example of a targeted mobility drill we’ve been using with clients to increase T-spine extension. View this post on Instagram

A post shared by James Smith (@smittydiesel) on Jan 16, 2020 at 10:30am PST

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The post Unlock Your Upper Back appeared first on Diesel SC.

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New Year, New Resolutions? - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:57
Why wait until the start of a new year to start working towards your goals?
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The Waverly Project: Phase II - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:52
In phase I of Nate Harvey's Waverly Project, it's all about movements; getting them down properly before moving on. Phase II is where the work really comes in for student athletes.
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Appearance on the Rebel Performance Radio Podcast - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 07:53

I had the opportunity to make an appearance on the Rebel Performance Radio Show recently hosted by James Cerbie.

James and I have a bit of history because he was an intern at Cressey Sports Performance back in 2014 when I was there, and it was great to sit down and talk some shop.

Copyright: dr911 / 123RF Stock Photo

Rebel Performance Radio Episode 13

I loved doing this episode because not only was it great to catch up with James, but he has a very casual way of interviewing that I enjoy…

…just two dudes talking about dude stuff.

We covered a gamut of topics – everything from my pursuit of a 600 lb deadlift, opening up my own training studio here in Boston, to the differences between working with athletes and the general population.

HINT: There’s not that much of a difference.

Anyway, you can check out:

HERE – on James’ blog.

HERE – Apple downloads

HERE – Spotify

The post Appearance on the Rebel Performance Radio Podcast appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

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Doping, Collagen, Goals, and Hyperplasia (Episode 33) - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 05:00

Get new episodes delivered to your podcast feed by subscribing on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

If you want your questions answered on a future episode, you can submit them using the following link:

Time Stamps

0:00:52 Winter break recap, show structure moving forward

0:06:23 Hugely important developments from the Game Changers cinematic universe

0:09:02 Feats of Strength

0:21:05 New documentary about doping in weightlifting

0:40:06 Q&A

  • 0:40:21 What is the best way to achieve/plan for lifting goals going into the new year?
  • 0:45:10 Is anyone looking into how we can increase our overall potential for muscle growth by boosting hyperplasia?
  • 0:59:35 Does collagen or glycine supplementation provide any benefit to connective tissue, muscle, or skin, beyond simply increasing protein quantity?
  • 1:13:13 What do you think about Brian Minor’s theory that being able to lift more is a result of hypertrophy, rather than hypertrophy being a result of lifting heavier?

1:26:09 Research Roundup

1:43:51 Coach’s Corner: Programming your training during weight loss

1:53:28 To Play Us Out: Mailbag update on processed meat meta-analysis, and how to make really good caramels at home

The post Doping, Collagen, Goals, and Hyperplasia (Episode 33) appeared first on Stronger by Science.

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