Monday, August 30, 2010

New Blog!

I've integrated my blog into my website.  So, I'll no longer be updating it here.  All updates will be posted to

There you will find my write up from this weekend's Midwest Peformance Seminar along with lots of other cool stuff.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things Your Trainer Is Getting Wrong part 2

It's about the program, not the workout

Too many times trainers are so interested in keeping their clients entertained that they lose sight of the end goal.  They forget that it's about the program, not the workout.  They are so concerned with doing the latest gimmicky thing to impress their customers that they forget about what is important.  What's important is getting results, not being flashy. 

Don't get me wrong, keeping your clients interested is definitely important, but it is also important to have a program in place that is both scalable and produces results. 

Flashy Fitness

Not so Flashy Fitness

See if you can figure out which facility I own.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Here's where your trainer may be getting it wrong. Part I

So the other day, one of my new clients gave me the idea of writing a blog post on things your trainer may be doing wrong.  As I started getting into it, it started to become quite longer than what I prefer a blog post to be.  It became more of an article. So, I decided to break the post into three sections.  Here's the first part of what your trainer is probably getting wrong.

Proper Assesment

Every program should start off with a proper assessment. If you don't have a starting point, you'll never know when you've made progress.  At Nunn's Performance Training, we do a movement screen (overhead squat and single leg squat), bodyfat test (or circumference measurement), bodyweight measurement, and a nutritional and lifestyle analysis.  Most fitness centers will do a pretty good job of the bodyfat, bodyweight, and lifestyle analysis, but they neglect the movement screen part.  This is mainly do to ignorance on the trainers part.  They probably don't understand the process of the screen or what to do with what they find during the screen.  During the movement screen, the trainers responsibility is to identify movement dysfunction so they can put a proper plan in place to address this and minimize injury to the client.  When doing the screen, the trainer should be identifiing which movement patterns they will have to regress for the client.  It is important for the trainer to realize that our job is first and foremost to NOT INJURE PEOPLE!  If a client is injured, they cannot train.  If they cannot train, they cannot get results, and anyone in this business will tell you that getting results is where the money is.

Here's an example of what a trainer may find during the initial assessment:

Posterior Pelvic Tilt

Notice in this picture, the client presents a posterior pelvic tilt.  She may be asymptomatic at the time, but it doesn't mean that she won't be in the future.  When the hips tuck under like that, the ligaments in the lumbar spine are stretched and more likely to cause pain and injury (i.e. herniated disc and/or stenosis).  Initially, squatting would not be a good choice for someone who presents this. 

The posterior tilt is just one of the many things that can be found during the screen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Where do you get your information?

So, the other day, my wife and I were discussing fitness (who knew?) and she says that she is surprised with all of the misinformation in fitness given the abundant resources of the internet.  My response was that with all of the correct info on the internet, there is also a substantial amount of false information out there.  Pretty much any Joe Schmoe can shell out a couple bucks and have a website to spew false information.  I mean, after all, the shake weight has a website.

Anyway, I figured with this post, I would give the readers a bit of insight as to where to I get my information.  At least online anyway.  It's also important to note that the best way to learn is to actually get in the gym and do it!

Blogs I Read

Strength Basics - This blog has lots of useful information that includes book, article, and equipment reviews.  It's also updated daily, which is a good thing.

Mike Robertson's Blog - Plenty of good info on corrective exercise and strength training here.

Diesel Crew - All around awesomeness.

Eric Cressey - Lots of good information on corrective exercise and strength training.  Especially things baseball and shoulder related.

Thomas Plummer - Mainly a fitness business blog.  The best thing about this one is that he doesn't censor himself, and he's not afraid to step on toes.

Elite Fitness Systems - Not really a blog, but a good resource none the less.  They update the site with new articles several times a week.  I may be a bit bias to this one myself.


Strength Coach - is a pay site, but the $9.95 per month I pay to belong to it is well worth it.  Not only to you get access to some of the top strength coaches in the country, but the weekly articles are also great. - There are some pretty knowledgeable people on this forum.  There's also a place to log your workouts for comments and suggestions.

Marunde Muscle - Some of the strongest men and women on the planet post here.  Who else would you rather have answer your questions? 

These are just a few of the places I get information.  It's also important to remember, like I said earlier, that the most important place to find information is in the gym.  Also, I should point out that I am not an affiliate of ANY of the websites.  I do not receive any compensation from you clicking the links.  My motivation for posting them here is to share information.

Friday, July 30, 2010

More Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

So, I was doing some reading, and came across Charles Poliquin's blog titled "Why Women Should Not Be Afraid of Gaining Muscle" and thought it would be a great follow up to my previous post with some additional information. 

The biggest take home points for me were these two things:

  • According to Tufts University, the greater your muscle mass the greater the longevity potential. It is, in fact, the number one biomarker of longevity. It is a far better predictor of longevity than total cholesterol or blood pressure.

  • The more muscle you have, the more strength you have. This, according to the same researchers at Tufts University, is the number two predictor of longevity. For women, strength is empowering.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Girls should lift weights?

I have to say that the fitness industry is probably one of the most sexist industries out there. Walk into any “fitness” facility and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The men have the entire free weight section, while the women are told not to lift weights, that the weight lifting will make them bulky, or, if they do decide to lift weights, they are told to stick with the circuit machines and only do one set of twenty per body part with minimal weight. Anything other than this would turn them into the female version of the incredible hulk.

Obviously, this isn't the case.  Most of my adult clients come to me for two reasons - they want to lose weight and move pain free.  Basically, they want to look better naked and be able to pick up their child without having a disc explode.  So, what's the difference between men who want to look better in the buff and women who want the same thing?  Should there really be that much of difference in their programming?  No...sort of.  The biggest difference in programming women versus men is women are more likely to tear/sprain an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or subluxate a patella (kneecap).  This is due to the Q - angle of the femur.  Basically, a typical females hips are a little wider and shorter than a males.  This causes a natural valgus of the knees.  Valgus knees are the primary cause of the ACL and kneecap injuries.

Another important thing to remember when working with females is that, in many cases, if they've had children, their abdominal and pelvic floor musculature may be weak.  You may have to take the core progressions a bit slower with them.

So, keeping these two things in mind, there is no reason why women shouldn't use resistance training to achieve their goals.  That is losing fat, maintaining or increasing muscle mass, and increasing bone density.  Girls lift weights too, check it out:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Firefighter Strength and Why Crossfit Sucks!


The Firefighter Strength and Conditioning program’s primary purpose is to develop operational fitness for Firefighter and Rescue personnel. When developing a comprehensive strength and conditioning program, firefighters must consider the physical demands of operational related activities in order to optimize physical performance. Physical training for operational performance is not a new concept. In fact, throughout history warriors and soldiers physically trained by performing various strength and conditioning exercises that later evolved into athletic events, such as boxing, wrestling and many track and field events. However, unlike the modern day athlete, these soldiers were not training for specific sports. They were training to be stronger, and more powerful and agile than their enemies on the battlefield. Their superior athletic prowess was developed for the primary purpose of becoming physically prepared for battle. Ironically, the traits that we generally consider to be components of athleticism were requisite based on the demands of war. Thus, many of the first competitive athletes were actually soldiers.

The firefighter not only needs to devote time to improving operational skill but also must focus on improving operational strength, conditioning and/or nutrition. As with any professional athlete, a professional in the EMS community is obligated to maintain a certain level of “Operational Fitness”. By implementing the latest cutting edge training methods and fundamental scientific principles, the Firefighter Strength and Conditioning program focuses on enhancing athleticism for today’s Firefighters.

Click here to see the beginning of our progression for training firefighters.


Ok, before all the cultists start jumping all over me, Crossfit isn't THAT bad.  It just many flaws.  Too many for me to recommend anyone doing it.  Here's why I wouldn't recommend it:

No Progression - And sadly, no regression.  Crossfit doesn't have a progression or regression protocol for it's "coaches" to follow.  They just expect everyone to be proficient at the olympic lifts from day one. 

Doing Technically Challenging Lifts While in a State of Exhaustion - Many times the workout of the day (WOD) will have an olympic lift preceded by some long run.  It may be like:  run 200 meters then clean and press 135 pounds as many times as you can in 60 seconds.  My opinion, pre-exhausting yourself before doing a technically challenging lift is a recipe for disaster. 

Unqualified Coaches Teaching These Lifts - To be a Crossfit "coach", you must pay $500 for a one day workshop.  In this workshop, you spend the day learning to teach the methods and lifts in the Crossfit program (I use the term Crossfit program loosely, but more on that later).  Granted, they do have some of the best in the business at these workshops (Mark Rippetoe and Louis Simmons), but you can't learn enough in one eight hour workshop to be proficient at teaching these lifts. 

No Program - The slogan of Crossfit is "Increased work capacity over a broad domain."  To me, that sounds like be mediocre at everything and good at nothing.  It seems as though the WOD's are just made up on the spot with no thought given to periodization.  I think the people who write the WOD's focus on the workout and not the program.  The workouts just focus on being hard.  It's important for people to realize that just because something is hard, it doesn't means it's effective. 

Like I said earlier, Crossfit isn't that bad.  I am all for anything that gets people off the couch and moving.  I just fear that, with Crossfit, the risk far outweighs the reward.  The reason I made this a double post was that Crossfit really targets the Police/Fire/Military crowd and I felt as thought the two were pretty closely related.

  By the way, this is Crossfit's mascot, Pukie the Clown.  Sounds like something I want to be a part of. /Sarcasm