Friday, December 10, 2010

5 Great Fitness Gifts for Christmas

Christmas is almost here. If you are still trying to decide what to get the gym rat in your life for Christmas, here are five ideas worth considering.

1. Blast Straps. I bought some Blast Straps from Elite FTS a year ago to give me some variety to my training. The Blast Straps have been featured in Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health. You can use them in a variety of exercises, from push-ups, dips, to abdominal training. They can be purchased at

2. Fat Gripz. I just recently picked up a pair of Fat Gripz after repeatedly hearing the benefits of using this grip product. I am not disappointed. Using Fat Gripz will strengthen your grip and help you pack on more muscle. Fat Gripz can be purchased from Elite FTS at

3. Climbing Rope. You can do many different exercises with a climbing rope, from tug-of-war, battling ropes, to rope climbs. You will strengthen your forearms, lats, biceps, abs, etc. Using a climbing rope to perform battling ropes to increase your endurance and anaerobic capacity. I have personally performed battling ropes as a finisher to my workout for great results. I purchased my climbing rope from Perform Better, at

4. Power Wheel. If you want to blast your core, then purchase a Power Wheel. From knee tucks to hand walks, you will get a great core workout. I purchased my Power Wheel from Monkey Bar Gym, at

5. Foam Roller. When you train, you are going to be sore. The foam roller is a great tool to decrease soreness, breakdown scar tissue and aid in your recovery. I use a foam roller almost everyday. It has greatly decreased my soreness and has helped me recover at a quicker pace. You can purchase foam rollers from several sources, including many chiropractic offices. You can also purchase them from Elite FTS, at


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Recently, I made a huge change in my life. A change that has already had a big impact on me and my family. But before I get to the “change,” let me reminisce.

After high school, I knew I needed to go to college. I knew this because my parents and my brothers told me so. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but at least I was going to college. The first couple of years I switched majors at least three times. But it was okay, I was in college. I also did not want to burden my parents, so I had to take out some student loans to pay tuition.

Finally, when my general education classes were complete, I had to pick a major and try to stick with it. My brother at the time was a professor in philosophy. So, you guessed it, I declared philosophy as my major. I had no idea what I was going to do with a philosophy major, but it made my brother proud that I was studying what he loved. To tell you the truth, I kind of enjoyed the subject, but I never felt like I belonged with the “philosophers” in the department.

Senior year, I had to figure out what I was going to do for a career. At this time, I was married and had one child. It may be hard to believe, but there are not too many jobs for philosophy majors. Well, my brother who was the philosophy professor actually went to law school for a semester before switching to philosophy. He encouraged me to go to law school. Being a lawyer would be a good way to support my family and I could help people. So, I applied law school and was accepted.

I moved my family out-of-state and started law school. I found law school difficult. Lots of studying and pressure. But I made a lot of wonderful friends. When I was about to graduate, I sent out dozens of resumes. I had no idea of what being a lawyer would be like.

Fortunately, I found a job at a law firm in the big city of Salt Lake. Working as a lawyer was nothing like what I thought it would be. Plus, I swear my boss was bi-polar. He taught me some very colorful language. I ended up moving to another firm, and then another. All the while, trying to like the practice of law. While there were some areas I enjoyed, such as estate planning and adoptions, for the most part I found the practice boring, petty and frustrating.

In law school, I became good friends with the assistant strength coach at the university. He began teaching me about strength and nutrition. About how to get strong and fast. He began training me. I loved what I was learning. I began training. It continued until my first job, when because of the long hours and stress, I stopped, and lost around twenty pounds. I eventually started training again, and helping people in the gym where I worked out. I started reading every article and book I could find on training. My passion became fitness. I loved not only the changes I saw in myself, but also helping others better themselves through exercise and nutrition.

About a year and a half ago, I started seriously looking for a job, a job outside the law. But my endeavor was seriously frustrated by the bad economy. I spent a lot of time hoping, praying, and searching for something that I would enjoy. Law never fit my personality. I am a happy, relaxed person who loves to be with positive people. I hate contention and needless bickering. I felt my job was sucking the life out of me. Those of you who have had jobs that do not fit their personalities know what I’m talking about.

Nothing happened. Lots of resumes, no new job. At this same time, I had converted my garage into a gym. I began training people in my “garage gym” and started holding strength and fitness camps. I loved it. Again, fitness was my passion. I finally approached my wife with an idea. I wanted to quit my steady good paying job to pursue my passion. I am not going to lie and say my wife was okay with the idea. She was not. I remember her crying. During one of our conversations, she said she felt like throwing up. I completely understood her hesitation. We have four kids and bills to pay. Still, I was tired of waiting for life to happen. I was going to make it happen.

My Gym!

After a while, and after presenting my “plan” to my wife, she agreed. When I told my boss, who by the way I consider a good friend, I knew I had made the right decision. This time, instead of making my decision based on what others think is best for me, I made a decision I knew was best for me.

I need to note that I would never do anything that would hurt my family. The day after I quit, I took my beautiful three year old daughter for a bike ride to the park. As I watched her playing, it reaffirmed my complete devotion to her and my family. I knew I would succeed not only for myself, but for her and my family. I would never let them go without.

Now, what is my plan? Do I still practice law? Yes, but only part-time. Plus, I am limiting my practice to what I enjoy, estate planning and corporate law. My other time is spent running and growing my training business, NTS Fitness. While it has only been a short time since I made the change, things are going well and I have not regretted my decision. I also have the full support of my wife.

My New Office!

Was quitting my job crazy? Yes. Is it risky? Yes. Would most people do it? No. But was it the right thing for me and my family? Yes. Will I succeed? You bet I will.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Time to Sign Up!! Summer Fitness/Strength Camps

On Monday June 21, I will be offering a 6:00 a.m., 7:00 a.m., and a 7:00 p.m. fitness boot camp for those who want to lose weight or get into better shape. Additionally, I am offering strength camps for those looking to get stronger and bigger. Space is limited, so act fast. Send me an email ( or give me a call (801-706-4787) if you want to sign up, or if you have any questions.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Guest Article - Joe Hashey: "3 Ways to Make Conditioning Complexes Effective"

Approximately a year ago, I came across Joe Hashey at Synergy Athletics. I was impressed by what I found. I began reading every article Joe posted on his website. I then started incorporating many of his ideas in my own training, and the training of my clients. I saw results.

What also impressed me besides Joe's knowledge was his character. Joe has always been willing to answer my questions and give me advice.

I approached Joe some time ago about writing a guest article for my blog. He quickly agreed. Below is his article on conditioning complexes. I encourage you not only to check the article out, but to visit his website.

3 Ways To Make Conditioning Complexes Effective

Conditioning complexes are well known for their ability to burn body fat in minimal time. However, if they are done incorrectly, then they can really hurt your strength gains! Here are some guidelines to get you started with one of the most effective conditioning tools out there.

1. Perform Complexes AT THE END. The purpose of conditioning is to lose fat and fatigue your body. Next time you perform the complex, ideally you will take longer to fatigue (adaptation). Therefore, when you perform complexes at the end of a workout, there is no real detriment to being tired.

However, if you perform them at the beginning, then your strength gains will suffer because of the fatigue.

2. Plan Your Complexes. What are your training goals for the day? What body part will you be working out tomorrow? Is it a max strength day? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself when planning a conditioning program!

If you fail to ask yourself the important questions, then your lean muscle gains and your fat loss will suffer.

3. Work Smarter….and harder. Do not start with the hardest challenge complex you can find. Chances are you won’t be able to complete it and quit. Most people’s bodies just are not ready for that kind of stress.

Plan doable complexes in the 6-12 rep range with appropriate rest time. When you work, work hard, but be realistic especially at the beginning.
Here is an example of a simple full body complex that can be used before a rest day:

• Barbell Row x 8-10
• RDL x 8-10
• Hang Clean x 8-10
• Military Press x 8-10
• Back Squat x 8-10

Complete 3-5 sets with 60—90 seconds rest. If you are already well trained, you can start with a weight between 95-135 lbs on the bar. If not, start lower! No shame in progression.
Joe Hashey is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and owner of Synergy Athletics, a popular strength training bog. Joe also just released the Bull Strength Conditioning Manual. BSC is changing physiques and teaching people the CORRECT way to condition!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why I Train

Iron is in my blood. It's become part of me. I cannot imagine a day when I will not lift weights and train. I look forward to hitting the gym. Setting PRs drives me. There are several reasons why training has become part of my life. I want to share of few of those reasons.

My Family

I train for my family. As a husband and father, I am a protector. I will do anything in my power to prevent anyone from harming my wife or kids. Strength and size helps me to fulfill my role. My wife and kids know that I am strong. They feel safe when they are with me.

The other night I was reading a nighttime story to my two year old daughter. My daughter is my girl. She's my princess. When I started reading her the story, she wrapped her cute little arms around my arm and laid her head on my shoulder. My heart melted. As silly as it may sound, it meant something to me that I have a strong arm my girl (or any of my kids for that matter) can grab a hold of. With my strong arms I can shelter, protect, and support my wife and kids.

Also, my wife and kids have come to love fitness. Just last night, while I was training some guys, my five year old son came out to the gym and started "working out". My kids love to hang out with me when I train. They follow my example. Instead of sitting around playing X-Box, they are doing push-ups.

I train to give service. I truly believe that one of the greatest things we can do is to give service. There have been several times when people have called me over to lift the "heavy" object, such as a tree stump, rock, flag pool, etc. Because of my level of fitness, I can do more work and work for longer periods of time. In short, I can help more people.

I train for myself. Let's be honest, who doesn't like to look good. Who doesn't like to feel strong. Training is good for my self-esteem. Growing up I really did not have a good self-esteem. I lacked confidence. In High School, I weighed 160 lbs (I'm 6'3") and had a mullet (yes, a mullet). Besides cutting my mullet off (thanks honey) lifting weights has been great for my confidence. In many ways, it has given me what I lacked growing up. I like how I look in the mirror. And I like that I still catch my wife's eye.

Training also relieves my stress. I have a stressful day job. I'm a lawyer. A lawyer's life is filled with contention and deadlines. This stress can get to you. Add on top of that the stress that comes from being a husband and father. Training is a way that I can relieve life's stresses. I feel great after a training session. I feel like I can conquer the world.

I hope I don't sound conceited or superficial. Instead, I hope you can relate to some of the things I've said. Training is part of me. It's become part of my family. I'm sure, many of you feel the same way.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Interview with Jason Ferruggia

I had the privilege of interviewing one of the greatest minds in strength and conditioning, Jason Ferruggia. Jason just released Triple Threat Muscle. Check out our interview below:

Most guys are being told to follow bodybuilding splits, train multiple times a day, and other non-sense training tactics that don’t work. What tips do you have for people looking to build muscle as fast as possible?

The key to making consistent size gains is making consistent strength gains (in a hypertrophy rep range) while eating enough food and allowing enough time for recovery. You need to constantly be doing more weight or more reps. The body will respond to any given stimulus one time and one time only. If you place the same demands on it a second time (like pressing the same weight for the same reps) nothing will happen. You must always be forcing it to adapt and thus you must always ask it do something it isn’t used to.

The easiest way to do this is add more weight or do more reps with the same weight.
Aside from making consistent strength gains the next most important thing to consider is training frequency. To improve anything in life you need to do it frequently. Building muscle is no different. So you want to train a muscle as frequently as possible, while it is in a fresh and recovered state. This means that you should be training each body part once every 2-5 days, and not once a week like a lot of the muscle mags recommend. That’s too little frequency. The more times you can stimulate growth throughout the year the better. Obviously 104 growth stimulating workouts per year for each body part would be a lot better than 52.

I have seen the phrase “stimulate, don’t annihilate” on your blog in reference to training. Can you explain what you mean by this and the relation to training volume?

To elicit a training response you need to present the body with a stimulus that it isn’t used to. This stress will cause the body to adapt. The body adapts by building itself up bigger and stronger.

Where people go wrong is that they think they need to annihilate the muscle in order to elicit any type of response. This is completely counterproductive. When you annihilate the muscle with tons of sets and reps and intensity techniques like drop sets you drastically increase your recovery time. And as I mentioned previously, frequency is very important. So when you increase your recovery time you have to decrease your training time. You’re shooting yourself in the foot.
The key is to do just enough to stimulate size and strength gains but not annihilate yourself so that it takes forever to recover, or worse- that you put yourself in a state of overtraining.

Triple Threat Muscle is your new program. What separates this program from all the others and can you tell our readers why you created it?

My Muscle Gaining Secrets program is specifically geared toward skinny guys, hardgainers and beginners. This is more of an intermediate/advanced program that is more athletically based. So while the main focus is still on building muscle there is also a shift toward a bit more speed work, mobility and conditioning in Triple Threat Muscle.
The new program was created for the typical weekend warrior or Average Joe who wants to look and train like an athlete but doesn’t actually have the time or recovery ability to spend more than a few hours per week in the gym.

I spent the last two years experimenting on a wide group of individuals to come up with the most effective and fastest way to do this. Triple Threat Muscle is the result of two years of hard work and is based on all of my findings.

And finally, what general tips can you give to our readers who want transform their bodies?

Strength train 3-4 days per week.
Lift heavy and keep most of your sets in the range of 3-10 reps.
Don’t go to failure.
Train each body part 2-3 times per week.
Don’t do more than 12-16 total sets per workout.
Always strive to get stronger.
Eat natural, organic foods and avoid anything processed.
Sleep 8-10 hours per day.
Minimize stress.
Get out in the fresh air and sun more often.

Thanks Jason.

Right now, Triple Threat Muscle is on sale until Thursday. Act fast. Do not miss out on this great opportunity.