Classes for the day:
Iron Maiden Beginners/Advance- 5:30-7:30
See you all tonight!
Solid is back to normal hours!
Classes for the day:
Iron Maiden Beginners/Advance- 5:30-7:30
See you all tonight!
SOLID is closed due to the weather of today and tonight.
We plan on being open normal hours tomorrow, 10 AM-9 PM.
If you have any questions, please email John. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great rest of the day and stay warm!
Vegetables are nature’s way of providing us with the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients we need to live a healthy life. When vegetables are ingested they help to maintain a healthy pH level in our body which will keep your organs healthy. They are a big factor in aiding digestion on other foods we eat which may be hard to digest by them self, like meat. Due to the high amount of nutrients in vegetables, and the lack of complex fats and proteins, they provide the highest level of bioavailable proteins, vitamins, and minerals. According to the Harvard School of Public Education:
“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.”
There is a long list of vitamins and minerals that are hard to absorb when ingested at the same time through sources like supplements and food additives, but nature provides us with vegetables that seem to have the correct combination of nutrients for best absorption. The human body has lived off of the earth for many centuries, but in modern times we have started to ingest artificial foods that lack the nutrients we need. Who needs a multi-vitamin with a diet rich in vegetables?
Through this challenge I hope that you will become aware of how well your body will function on a diet high in natural foods. To amplify the absorption of these nutrients I encourage you to try to not to ingest any grain based foods with the vegetables. This is due to the fact that grains like wheat, corn, soy, rice, and others contain a nutrient called phytic acid. Phytic acid is known to prevent absorption of vitamins and minerals at the intestinal level and would weaken the effects of the vegetables. The second encouragement is to try to eat as many of these vegetables raw as you can. As vegetables are cooked they lose their nutrients based on the level of heat and time cooked they are exposed to. If you can’t go raw, then try steaming or lightly sautéing.
1. Eat vegetables at least 3 times every day
2. Eat at least 1-2 of these meals with raw vegetables
3. You must try every vegetable at least 2 times in the month
4. Fried vegetables do not count
5. Try to buy organic as much as possible
The following list is not an unchangeable list of vegetables. Some people simply cannot eat a certain food and that is alright. I encourage you to try everything at least once. If you have seen another vegetable that you have always wanted to try, then add it to the list. I hope that we can all share some great ideas and recipes to get the most out of this challenge. You may find out that you really enjoy a vegetable that you never thought to try. If this only happens with one of the options then this challenge will be a success.
The program will come with a chart that illustrates when food is in season. Some foods may be hard to find if they are out of season or may be grown in non-organic ways which will compromise the quality of the vegetables. I encourage you to keep a calendar to help add some planning to this challenge. The calendar will also help you connect how you are feeling with how you are eating. There is a direct correspondence that I hope you will notice.
Peppers (bell, jalapeno, chili, etc.)
Lettuces (besides iceberg)
Vegetables that Do Not count:
As I train along my path to strength greatness I have unfortunately run into some serious obstacles. Everyone has obstacles in their life; whether it be working more in a week than most do in two, tending to a constantly maturing family, or resistance from your own body, there are constant obstacles in our way of becoming what we plan to be. These obstacles are quite an annoyance, but are completely necessary. What value is an accomplishment if you didn't have to climb over a mountain to attain it?
This idea brings one example to my thoughts immediately. For many years my father, Steve, has been trying to grow a rose bush so that he can make sure my mom has flowers all the time. Yes, very sweet. If only intentions grew beautiful flowers. Unfortunately they don't. For over a decade he would go pick out the biggest and most bloomed rose bush, the absolute best fertilizer, and would water and tend to it every day; however, almost unfailingly, the bush would die. It was a constant battle for him and each year he would try a new spot, only to have the same result. A few years ago I remember him deciding to give up and set aside this miserable excuse for a rose bush. It had been left out for weeks without being planted and was beginning to wither. He put in it the front of our house which is completely shielded from light 90% of the day. This pathetic rose bush was given no chance. I was soon to be on the list of failed rose bushes.
Soon after this bush was planted my mother fell down a flight of steps and broke her first two vertebrae in her neck. The doctor claimed she would never walk and may be paralyzed in her right arm and legs. My dad soon after was in a serious car accident. He spent almost all of his days with my mom while she recovered(which she made a full recovery). All while this was happening the rose bush that was already on its way out of this world was being completely neglected. No watering schedule, no special fertilizer, no attention at all. You could say the bush had every obstacle stacked against it, but I'm sure you have figured out that this rose bush didn't die. This bush fought back. With all its predecessors failing even with the perfect care plan, this rose bush was pushed to the brink and had to grow on its own. This was 3 years ago and now the rose bush is humongous and blooms some of the most beautiful roses I've ever seen. They are not the perfect roses you see in a store. They have bug holes, tatters, and weather marks, but that makes them beautiful to me. With each torn petal I see the obstacles it has overcome. That is far more attractive than something that has had a perfect path laid in front of it.
How does this tie into strength?
Some of us started working out very young, most starting with sports. I was a high school and collegiate thrower and I always remember the schools that had a great coach that held their hand for EVERYTHING. These kids were taught how to perfectly lift in Olympic movements and how to throw perfectly. I was not one of these people. I had to find my own way to win. I almost always beat these kids because I worked harder. My time was spent mostly by myself or with friends that knew less than I did in my dark basement trying to figure out this journey. I had a cheap set up that I personally bought. I had no mirrors to watch form or no one to ask anything. My obstacle was the island I was on. I had to find my own way off. These other kids who had absolute support, I wonder where they are now. If they even lift anymore. I would assume not because they didn't earn it the same way I did. Nothing is very important if you didn't have to earn it. I've earned this.
I've constantly overcame obstacles to get where I am right now. I have now run into a completely new obstacle, injury. For the first time in many years I feel mortal. I have felt invincible for years by lifting whatever weight I put on the bar, by performing feats of strength on my very first attempt, and by completing some of the most brutal workouts any one person could write up. This injury stuff is something completely new to me, but it is good because it has forced me to take a step back and figure it out. I tore my MCL about 3 weeks ago, but it miraculously healed within a couple weeks. I was relieved until earlier this week when I sprained my wrist. I blew off the knee, but the wrist is a big deal. My plans of being a strongman greatly depend on my grip strength and being a trainer I have to demonstrate kettlebell movements often, which demand a strong wrist.
This is the obstacle that I worry with most. Not just the wrist, but the idea of my body getting old. The idea that I may be beating my body up too much, too early. Unfortunately I cannot overcome this obstacle that is aging, no one ever has. My focus now is to just combat it. I have always neglected my mobility, but thanks to this reality check I have to refocus on it. I fully plan to compete this summer and my utmost goal is to destroy any event that demands grip strength. Not just to win the event, but to prove myself that this obstacle was just another one along the way. That it will not slow me down, but strengthen me. I don't want to just walk around or climb over this obstacle, I plan to destroy it so it can never slow be down again.
Since kettlebell month is in full "swing" I think that sharing the many benefits of this ancient training tool will help to shed some light on how great they are. A small handful of people that work with me have decided to join me in trying to complete 10,000 swings in the month of March. Yes, I said 10,000! We are only a week into the challenge and I know everyone is experiencing a few things already(sore hamstrings mostly!).
I know there are people out there that don't understand the power of a kettlebell swing and I'm sure every gym BRO is screaming out, "you're gonna lose your gainz doing all that cardio." The reason for a challenge like this is the overwhelming benefits of the swing. I think at this point in my kettlebell career I could write a small novel on the benefits of the swing, but this is a blog, so I'm going to lay out the benefits by three each blog entry. Here are the first three based on the audience I have reading.
Improve your dead lift and squat- The swing is a movement generated through the powerful extension of the hips. This movement involves mostly the hamstrings, gluteus maximus and minimus, and your entire back erector group. These muscles are highly active in a dead lift and squat. I have noticed a direct improvement at the lockout point of a dead lift and squat when someone has incorporated the swing into their plan. The swing will build the hips to lock out more weight and teach the body to lock in the glutes to protect the back and hips. Some people in the strength community even believe the swing to be superior to the dead lift due to the fact that it maintains tension on the glutes and hamstrings throughout the entire motion; where as, the dead lift can translate the tension to the lower back at the lockout.
Jump higher- as explained earlier the swing will work the glutes in an explosive fashion. The glutes play a key role in jumping off the ground. The strength of your glutes has a direct correlation to the height and distance of your jumping. Doing the regular swing will have a positive impact on your jumps, but some sports like basketball involve springing off of one leg as well as two. This is when you can mix in some "one-leg" swings by putting one foot on a BOSU ball or balance disc and focusing more on the power generated from the leg planted on the ground. This will help to work the glutes and hamstrings unilaterally and improve your one leg jumps.
Build true core strength- almost everything mentioned about the swing talks about how it builds the glutes, hamstrings, and back, but did you know the swing is a great abdominal training exercise, also? I talked briefly about tension in my last swing article and that maintaining core tension is optimal for a proper swing. You should be focused not only on squeezing the abs at the top of your swing, but also work on building your inter-abdominal pressure. The best way to describe this is the pressure you build when you are trying having a bowel movement. This pressure will activate deep core muscles and will build the pelvic wall. This is key for anyone trying to have a big dead lift and squat(along with helping you POOP better). This technique takes some practice, but you will notice an immediate strength gain in all of your lifts when you master it. By building your inter-abdominal pressure you lower your chances of injuring your back when performing major lifts.
I could go on all day on why everyone should incorporate swings into their plan, but I think this is a good start. There are many ways to perform swings based on your personal goals. Someone focusing on max strength should perform <15 swings per set and work with heavier weights and double kettlebells. Someone who wants to build their muscle tone or endurance, like runners, can work in higher rep ranges like 20-50 per set or even timed sets. Experiment with different ranges of repetitions and see which one you like best. I usually suggest everyone start with high rep ranges to practice technique and build their muscular endurance.
The swing has drastically changed my training and I know it will help you, too.
If you are starting to see more and more kettlebell posts and videos this month it is because this is Kettlebell month! I'm not sure who designated this as the month of the kettlebell, but I'm going to participate again this year. There are many challenges that people will present on total kettlebell work throughout the month with exercises like Turkish Get Ups, snatches, and many others. I would be happy to help someone design a challenge for their individual goals, but for simplicity purposes I have decided to program a 10,000 swing challenge for anyone who is interested.
Before I get into specifics on repetitions and days performed, I want to give a brief description of how to do a proper swing. Here is a three part description on how I view the swing.
Tension- the first dimension of the swing that I teach my clients is proper muscle tension at the two parts of the swing. The first part is the bottom of the swing. This is when the bell is back between your legs right before your hips power the bell forward. At this point you should be very conscious to have a straight torso, your abs contracted, and your shoulders pulled back for good posture. Having your torso lined up will allow you to "load" the hamstrings. This is an important dimension to the swing as the hamstrings and glutes(the butt muscles) will be responsible for firing the kettlebell forward. You want to feel a slight stretching of the hamstrings at the back of your swing, this is the "load". If you are not, then try to bend more at the hip and allow the bell to go back further without compromising your straight torso. The second aspect of tension is the top of your swing. At the top of the kettlebell swing your body should be completely straight including your knees, hips, and shoulders. With a proper swing the bell will almost float at shoulder height. You should be contracting your glutes and abs which will protect your lower back. Many clients I work with experience lower back pain and fatigue, but by using the right tensions you should mostly feel this in your hamstrings and glutes.
Flow- for anyone that has performed a kettlebell swing you probably understand the endurance that is required to do a high repetition swing workout. The swing is a continuous movement that can be chained together for high repetition sets, but you must have a good flow to complete this. The flow refers to the continuous movement of the bell and the connection of each repetition. You should be able to complete many repetitions without much variance in the repetitions. Some people can pick this up very quickly, but others struggle with the flow of the movement. The main problem that these people have is that they try to control the bell with their arms on the way up and down on the swing. This causes the back and shoulders to work too hard and fatigue quickly. To these people I usually utter the phrases, "Let your hips determine how high the bell goes" meaning don't lift with the shoulders, and "Let it drop" meaning don't control the bell on the way down with your arms. The bell should be free moving and its trajectory is determined on your explosiveness and your ability to relax between the two points of tension.
Pop- one of the most beneficial points of kettlebell training is the development of hip explosiveness. A proper swing will be driven by the explosive extension of the hips, not the arms or back. The pop of the hips is what sends the bell into the air and starts your swing. You want to fire the hips forward once the bell has reached the bottom of the swing and your hamstrings have been loaded. Firing the hips too early will fatigue the back and shoulders. You know you are popping the bell correctly if it floats at the top of your swing. This is an important aspect in the swing. The bell should float, which requires a very straight body. If you are leaning back at the top of the swing then the bell will not float and will fatigue your back. It will be easier to master this portion of the swing when you have a good understanding of the previous two.
Well that "brief" description wasn't so brief- pretty typical of me- but I hope you have a better understanding of this powerful movement. The swing challenge is very simple, but not easy: Do 10,000 swings in one month. To complete this challenge you must set up a good plan to attack this number daily or every other day. Anything less than 3 days a week of swings will force you to spend over an hour swinging. I have laid out a few plans for people who don't have kettlebells at home and can only use them at their gym 3 or 4 times per week. Try to mix it up each workout instead of just doing the same sets, reps, and weight each day. You will see more of a benefit if can mix in high repetition/low weight and low repetition/high weight workouts to get to your final number.
Warning: performing this challenge will cause the following side effects:
If you need help putting together a plan then feel free to contact me and I can email you one of the schedules I have made or if you need someone to critique your technique then feel free to set up a session. Good luck!
*Below is a schedule that I am following for my month. I have a couple bells at home so this may not work for some people. Just email me and I will send you the 3, 4, or 5 times a week plan.*
This time of the year is a very busy time for anyone in the training business as so many new clients are trying to get in shape for the year. I am contacted frequently from people who are trying to develop a new training plan as their previous ones did not work very well. Most training programs fail because they lack good exercise selection, proper training frequency, and focus on improvement. Many people have trouble building their programs because they do not set a good foundation to their training around. Here is my system of building a training program.
Core exercises- a good way to figure out the main lifts or movements to base your training around is to ask yourself one simple question, "If you could pick ONLY ONE lift to perform each day, what would it be?" If you say dumbbell chest press, bicep curls, crunches or anything like that, then you can fully expect to achieve nothing. These are usually the people who contact me about fat burners and testosterone boosters because they are getting neither from their exercise program. Some good exercises to base your training around could include the following: squats, dead-lift, Turkish get ups, overhead pressing, cleans and snatches, carries, and possibly advanced bodyweight training(pistol squats, front levers, planches, etc). This will vary slightly with most people, but, regardless if you are a man or woman, you should be focusing on your major muscle groups. This will help build a solid foundation of muscle which will increase your resting metabolic rate and boost healthy hormone production. Be sure to pick the ones you are experienced with or ones that someone can help you with.
Time- I have been in the business long enough to know that everyone has different schedules and can only commit certain time to the gym. This will greatly affect your schedule because if you only have 2 days to get to the gym, you better not be spending your time on the treadmill and doing "abs". If your time is limited then be sure to focus all your time on complex, multi-joint movements. If you have 7 days a week to workout then you can manipulate some days to work on feats of strength or some aesthetic work like your precious arms. Here are some examples of what I have going for some of my clients:
2 days- dead-lift/squat, Turkish get up and clean and press
3 days- dead-lift and snatches, squat and overhead press, Turkish get up and carries
4 days- dead-lift and rows, overhead and horizontal pressing, snatch/clean and carries, TGU
5 days- dead-lift, pressing, squats and core, snatch/clean and pulls, core and carries
This does not have to be exact, but the focus on full body strength has been working great with all of my clients. The repetitions will vary for each person depending on their goals. Most of my beginning clients will use a higher rep range to help build endurance and work on technique. My advanced clients work in lower repetitions with heavier weight.
Find your range- I am not one to write out one template for everyone to use because everyone has different goals. This does not mean you should skip dead-lift day and go for a run because you are trying to lean out more. This means the repetitions and style of lifting should be different. For example someone who is trying to build muscular size should focus more on building their 10 rep max and work in some high repetition training. Someone trying to be leaner and more athletic should work on heavier, lower rep training and focus on explosive lifting. This may sound backwards to most people, but heavy and explosive lifting burns more calories due to the recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers which will result in burning excess fat. The group trying to bulk will work with higher repetitions because they want to focus on muscle breakdown and blood flow to the muscles. There is a reason most bodybuilders work in the 10 rep range. Figure out your rep ranges and apply them to the core lifts you have chosen and watch the results pour in.
I would also recommend tracking your results in the form of a training book or with quality body fat testing. You have to be conscious if your program is workout after a few months so you can make changes if needed. The rest of your training session after your main lifts should be mostly filled with accessory movements to improve your core lifts, not with pointless exercises. Your core lifts will give you the results so stay focused on improving them.
If you are having trouble figuring out your training schedule then feel free to reach out to one of us to help build your program.
Flavors: Peanut Butter Cookie, Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Cake, Strawberry, Banana
Protizyme is a great protein and meal replacement supplement that is made of whey protein concentrate and isolates. Whey protein is great for building lean muscle and helping to speed up the metabolism because it is very fast digesting and is high in amino acids that boost muscle building. Whey protein is one of two proteins derived from milk- casein being the other. Whey typically is high in cholesterol and lactose so most companies will isolate it and remove them; however, when this is done the healthy bacteria that are found in raw milk are removed also.
Protizyme is superior to other brands because it has a mix of whey isolate and whey concentrate. This is done to preserve the lacto-immunoglobulins, the good bacteria, and the enzymes that are naturally found in whey. This helps the body digest the protein better than other types of protein which will lead to better results and less digestive problems like gas, bloating, constipation, and indigestion.
(Most users will experience some weird stomach feelings the first time they take this product. This is just the enzymes and lacto-immunoglobulins going to work on your digestive tract. This almost always is followed by a very healthy, and fulfilling bowel movement. This usually does not keep happening to those people who eat fairly healthy.)
Protizyme is also our favorite protein because it is by far the best tasting protein on the market. The product is most famous at our gym because of the outstanding taste of the peanut butter cookie. Ask for a sample and you will be sure to agree. This protein typically is price marked and sells for much more online, but we bring it to you at the best price we can.
Price: 2lbs-$34.99, 5lbs-$74.99 @Solid Training
When I think about competition, I take a look at what Henry J. Kaiser says about competition. A great quote to keep you in the right mindset.
Live daringly, boldly, fearlessly. Taste the relish to be found in competition - in having put forth the best within you.
Everyone needs competition, especially to push ourselves to a new level in our lives. I love it when I put a challenge in front of me. Whether it is to Deadlift 500 pounds, finish another article, learn a new recipe, etc. Competitions and challenges are great for anyone who feel they can do more or have to do more to get where they want to be. So if you are feeling you are in a funk or rut, find a competition that will get a fire under your ass!
In my previous article I wrote how I was in a terrible rut, and since November I decided to get into training for a physique show in 2014. Since I have done that, my training has intensified, my eating has been "cleaner", and my focus is on point.
I still have yet to say what competitions I will be doing. This is really nothing to make a huge announcement about but its going to put myself on the spot and keep me going towards the goals that I wrote down. So if I bail, everyone is allowed to post online that I am a cottonheadedninnymuggins to go on stage, to flex in a banana hammock , with 5 layers of fake tanner on (yes that is a true amount, #whiteguyproblems).
I have looked at a few and I will be doing shows within 8 months from now.
1st show to get me in the groove of things, I am looking at the Kentucky State Open.
2nd show will be in October, still to be determined.
3rd and final show will be in November, at the Kentucky Muscle.
Choosing to get ready 8 months out should allow me to be ready and still have my health and sanity while looking like Brad Pitt in Fight Club only bigger (every guy wants to look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club) .
This is going to be my greatest athletic challenge in 2014 and I plan on making it my best!
This is going to be so awesome, but I will probably go nuts when the clients bring in apple bread, or whatever Larry from Sunnyside brings in.
I'm not looking for fame, just going for something that is inside me to complete. I will complete this, along with teaching along the way of sane eating for a show. Hopefully someone will read what I say and learn something from me. That is really all I care about, because I have done it wrong and hate to see someone go through what I have.
So if you have a competition in mind, Do IT! Pick yourself off the couch and write out what you want to do. Once you do that it will become real. If you just sit on it, then you will just keep the circle of mediocrity going. And that is the worst thing anyone can do.
Many people are familiar with yohimbine or have at least seen the name on some kind of supplement, somewhere. This is because yohimbine is everywhere! Yohimbine can be found in products that range from pre-workouts and fat burners to even male enhancements. This is because yohimbine has many functions that people have come to really like. In some products the yohimbine is probably doing most of the work, but isn't getting the recognition that it deserves.
Yohimbine is an alkaloid found naturally in pausinystalia yohimbe, or Yohimbe. The main active chemical present in yohimbe bark is yohimbine HCl (indole alkaloid). A lot of yohimbine is sold just as yohimbe bark extract, but the levels can vary greatly and sometime have minimal effects. Yohimbine primarily works by blocking alpha 2 receptors in the adrenal complex, thus getting more use out of your body's own adrenaline. It is also an adrenal stimulant causing more production of norepinephrine. There are some positive functions that come out of this supplement that could drastically help some people. Here are a few:
Yohimbine can be used to assist fat loss while on a good program because it enhances the use of norepinephrine, or NE, and blocks alpha 2 receptors which inhibit fat loss. By increasing NE and blocking alpha 2 receptors fat loss becomes easier, especially burning of the Beta fat cells. These receptors are found in the fat that stores in different places on the body due to a persons gender. In males it helps burn more abdominal fat and in women it will help burn more hip and thigh fat.
Alpha 2 receptors are also known to block peripheral blood flow which can dramatically prevent fat loss. Since yohimbine blocks these receptors it becomes easier to dilate the blood vessels and get blood to the hard to burn adipose tissue. This also allows for more blood to get to the muscles which will enhance recovery and 'pumps' during workouts.
When yohimbine blocks the alpha 2 receptors it allows the chambers of the penis to relax and allow more blood in AND also helps prevent that blood from leaving. Yohimbine has been used in prescription drugs for impotency, infertility, and other orgasmic dysfunction. Its effects are proven to last up to 5 hours after initial consumption.
These are very great effects that I'm sure no man would mind to have boosted. Yohimbine is sold very cheap and does not require a very high dosage to have good effects(usually taken 2.5-8mgs). I've heard that taking one miligram per 10lbs of lean body mass while eating low carbohydrate is very effective to burn fat. Be sure not go to over the recommended dosage because some side effects could include rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, over stimulation, and insomnia and/or sleeplessness. Try it out and I'm sure you will be hooked like I am!