Friday, August 29, 2008


All of us have experienced plateaus in our training, where we do not seem to be making any gains in our strength or size. These times can be frustrating. However, I have found that if I change one of the following factors, I can break through my plateaus.

First, is my attitude. I truly believe that in order to become strong, you need to think yourself strong. You need to believe that you are strong and have what it takes to "kill it" in the gym. Do not underestimate the power of positive thinking.

Second, is my diet. To become big and strong you need to eat big. It is simple science that if you are not consuming enough calories, your weight will decrease. This decrease will be even more profound if you are active. I try to eat six meals a day. With each meal I include protein, carbs, fruits and vegetables and lots of calories. I also supplement with a protein shake. Remember, if you want to be big, eat big.

Finally, is my workout routine. Our bodies adapt to the stress that is placed upon them. In order to make gains, one needs to keep in the body in shock. You keep the body in shock by regularly changing up your routine. Many professional athletes will change their workout routines weekly. The average joe can change his routine monthly. The key is variety. Keep the body shocked. Change it up. If you do, you will see yourself making gains.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Any of you who have walked into a GNC have noticed the countless choices when it comes to supplements. With all of the choices it can be confusing and overwhelming. In reality, I have found that most supplements are a waste of money.

Besides a quality multivitamin and fish oil, I take creatine and a protein supplement. The brand of creatine I have found to work best is EAS Phosphagen Elite, with Beta-Alanine. I take 5.25 grams per day. In regards to my protein supplement, I use the EAS brand. I take the creatine right before bed. The protein I consume right after my workout and then again in the afternoon, or early evening.

A quality website to check out is ProSource conducts research and evaluations on different brands and types of supplements, and also offers discounts.

Keep in mind that you can get big and strong without taking any supplements. I know of a strength and conditioning coach who is incredibly strong and healthy, and he takes no supplements. Finally, remember that supplements are just that - supplements. Nothing can replace a good diet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I had a killer workout today. I started out with the following circuit, 3 sets:

1. Clean w/ push press
2. Squats
3. Deadlift
4. RDL
5. Bent-Over Row

After the circuit I then did the following:

1. Pull-ups (5 reps)
2. Dips (10 reps)
3. Recline Rows (w/ rope) (5 reps)
4. Weighted Dips (8 reps)
5. Recline Rows (w/ rope) (5 reps)
6. Weighted Dips

This was a great total body workout. Plus, it only took 1/2 hour. Give it a shot.

By the way, my 3 year old son worked out with me. As you can see, he was worn out after his workout.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Zach Even-Esh

Zach Even-Esh is quickly becoming one of the leading strength and conditioning coaches in the United States. What is exciting about Zach's methods is that he incorporates old-school, gladiator type training with the use of weights. For example, he has his athletes use rocks, sandbags, tires, and sledgehammers to develope strength and muscle endurance.

Zach's company, Underground Strength Coach, is located in Edison New Jersey. Check out two of his websites, and

I have started incorporating his techniques in my workout, as well as the athletes and individuals I train. I have seen quick results using his workouts.

I encourage all to pick up a rock or a sandbag and get to work. Maybe flip a tire a few times. Not only will your strength increase, but you will also feel increased energy as you train outside with gladiator techniques.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Training Child Athletes

This is my first post. I've decided to start with one of my favorite subjects, training child-athletes. This subject is important to me not only because I'm a father of four kids, but also because the benefits kids receive from exercising can last throughout their lives.

Research clearly shows that exercise has numerous benefits for children. First, exercise has been shown to increase a child's strength, power, muscular endurance and flexibility. Second, children who exercise are less likely to be or become obese. Third, exercise has been shown helpful to treat such disorders as attention deficit disorder. Fourth, children who exercise are generally happier and optimistic. Finally, in a recent study, children who regularly exercise were shown to perform better in school. See

What are some things to keep in mind when training children? First, remember that children are not adults. The exercise or program must be tailored to a child's abilities and strengths, while recognizing that children are physically less mature than adults. Children should not lift heavy weights or perform exercises that risk personal injury. A major concern when training children is injury to the epiphyseal plate or soft tissue injuries, particularly to the back and shoulders. These concerns must be kept in mind when training a child.

Second, any program you design for a child must be fun. I have seen from my own experience that exercise programs for children should contain a variety of exercises and lots of movement. Additionally, kids love to hear encouraging words. Do all you can to motivate the child to do his or her best.

Third, emphasis must be placed upon teaching the child the proper form for performing the exercise and the child should have ample recovery time.

My personal belief is that you do not need to incorporate weights into an exercise program for a child. Instead, I prefer to use objects such as tires, ropes and rocks to develop strength and muscle endurance. My personal favorites are tire flipping, tug-of-war, sled drags (forward and backward), and different movements with rocks (such as deadlifts, squats and presses). Children seem to love playing with tires and rocks.

I also like to implement sprints, body movements, and speed and agility work on the agility ladder or with the use of cones. A recommendation I have is to set up different drills for the child, time each drill, and encourage them to try to beat the time it took them to finish the previous drill.

I would encourage you also to check out what Joe DeFranco recommended as an exercise routine for children. You can find his recommendation at

The benefits of training children are great. Not only will it enhance the health of the child, encourage them to have a healthy lifestyle, but it will also increase the possibility that the child will be active for the remainder of his or her life.

My next posts will focus on another mentor of mine, Zach Even-Esh, as well as training programs that I have found to produce great results.