Nuts and Bolts

I have been in the fitness business for a long time now (20 years this year). In that time I have seen and tried just about everything you can think of both good and bad.

When I first started training I used to sit around and try to design the perfect workout. I would arrange all the exercises in just the right order. I would make sure every single muscle was hit with the right amount of sets and reps. like many I was obsessed with being HUGE. I was determined to pack on slabs of muscle and was convinced the secret to doing so was in the creation of that elusive perfect routine.

Well…I was sort of right. There is, of course, a need to have the right routine for each individual. This is easier said then done however. Creating the perfect routine is not just a matter of which exercises in what order or how many sets and reps one should do. Nor is it determining how best to split up the body or perhaps to not split it up at all. Finally the perfect routine is not determined by how many days a week one trains or for how many hours one spends training during those days.

Creating the perfect routine requires one to take into account individual genetic limitations and abilities, needs, goals and preferences, as well as environmental influences. These elements must be looked at first and will then shape the nature of the Nuts and Bolts as I often refer to the actual exercise selection and application. Sure exercise selection is important as are the volume, frequency and intensity of your training. But without addressing the above factors you will never get the absolute most out of your training plan.

Please note that there is not really any magic in exercise selection. The important part is how you execute each individual exercise and how you manipulate your volume, frequency and intensity in relation to the above mentioned factors. This is the true meaning of applying the SAID principal to ones training. Once you are ready to apply a well thought out plan, then monitoring your results closely and making the proper changes is what will determine the ultimate outcome of your program.

So remember, the truth is that there is no perfect routine that will last forever. When you really address the elements listed above you realize that due to numerous factors our individual abilities, needs, goals and preferences, as well as environmental influences can and will change over time. If you spend all your time worrying about the Nuts and Bolts you may never get down to the nitty-gritty and start getting the most out of your training.

Pau for now.


Making Things Happen

I saw a great quote on a friend’s website the other day and it got me thinking. I have no idea who first said it, but the quote was:

“Some people make things happen.
Other people watch things happen.
Other people ask “Hey, what happened?”

This holds true when it comes to fitness and your personal goals. You’ve got a few choices when it comes to making changes in your diet, workouts, mindset, etc. You can choose to watch things happen, you can put the blinders on and later ask “What just happened?”, or you can be proactive and actualy MAKE things happen.

No one is going to do the work for you. No one can log the minutes, miles or hours of cardio, no one can eat the right food for you and no one can lift the weights for you. All of this falls on you. But don’t be discouraged because it’s not that hard. Regardless of your goals, you have the power to make the changes happen. Do you want to be a better athlete? Do you want to loose some bodyfat and get that summer body going? Do you just want to move better and feel better about yourself?

It doesn’t matter which of these apply to you, even if it’s all of them. You start by formulating a game plan. Figure out how much time you have and where you can fit in some training. Look at your diet. Where can you make changes and improvements? One thing to keep in mind is that small changes can make big improvements. A great place to start is with a diet log. Be honest with yourself and track what you eat, how much and when. Keep records over a few days and then look back to see where you can improve. Trust me, it helps. We’ve got podcasts with additional information and downloadable training and diet logs for you on Once you’ve got access to the site, it’s all free.

Once you’ve got your time figured out and diet (roughly) in check, make a plan to get some exercise in. You don’t necessarily need a trainer or a gym for that matter. Just get out and get moving. Keep in mind, though that the more vigorous the exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. If you need a treadmill, elliptical trainer or some other piece of equipment to get you moving faster and harder, maybe a gym is the right choice.

Don’t forget to educate yourself! This is very important. The fitness industry is loaded with myths. One big myth I deal with all the time is that “women will get big and bulky if they lift heavy weights”. I can’t tell you how untrue that statement is. You’ll get strong and you’ll build lean muscle, but “bulk” is very hard to come by, even for men. Keep that in mind. You can get big if you want to, but it takes a specific training approach and diet. We discuss this on the website in podcasts and articles, by the way.

So to summarize, educate yourself, get your diet in check, find time to exercise, then MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Good luck and train hard.