Train For Performance, Not For Aesthetics: How CT Lost 15lbs in 13 weeks While Adding 70 Pounds To His Squat and Deadlift

Today, I want to briefly touch upon a few points and highlight a client of mine who has done very well with his performance, athletic and aesthetic goals, all in a span of just over 3 months.

I can’t give his full name because he’s currently being scouted to play professional basketball overseas, but for this article, we’ll refer to him as CT.

CT came to me early in 2012 with the goals of dropping some body fat after his basketball season was over for the year. Since he wouldn’t be actively participating in practice and lots of sport-specific activity, it was a good time to drop the calories and focus on fat loss for a period.

Read moreTrain For Performance, Not For Aesthetics: How CT Lost 15lbs in 13 weeks While Adding 70 Pounds To His Squat and Deadlift

Get Your Butt Out of the Hole – How To Improve Your Squat

Today’s article comes to us courtesy of Jarlo Ilano, PT, MPT, OCS, physical therapist and co-founder of Gold Medal Bodies.

Squats.  I love ‘em.  There are probably some states and municipalities where they’ll let me marry them.  I’m sure my wife would understand, she knows what they mean to me.

Like with any great love, it was transformative.  I was your typical ectomorph asian kid (interesting aside, Teddy Roosevelt called Filipinos “his little brown brothers”. Hard to be offended though, since it was Teddy fricking Roosevelt).  Then came squats, like a revelation from the heavens:

“Thou shalt gain thirty pounds of muscle from putting weights on your back and bending your knees!”

Thunderbolts and lightning, it was a big thing.

Tale as old as time: Do your squats, eat more than you can stand, repeat as needed, and you’ll grow.  I was lucky enough to learn that early and not get too distracted by everything else.

I was also lucky enough to dial in my form from the start.  Attribute it to starting early enough as a kid or genetic heritage, but squatting butt to heels was no big deal.  The ability to get to the full range of motion allowed me to get maximal gains from my lifting.  Because it was so natural, I didn’t think anything of it.

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A Case for Frequent Squatting

You know, it’s funny. If you were to ask me two years ago about how to improve my squat, I would’ve replied with something like “cycle your intensities,” or “don’t train the movement more than twice per week,” or “drop the movement altogether and replace it with a variation for a short period,” only to return to the movement in hopes of being stronger.

However my views have changed a great deal over the last few years and I have the likes of John Broz, Nicholas Horton, Matt Perryman and Bret Contreras to thank for this.

When building training programs, especially those geared toward strength and muscle gain, I was always weary of taxing the nervous system.  I never wanted my clients to overdo it.

Now, I’m still a believer in rest and recovery, but the old notions of needing a full 3-4 days (or more) of rest before training a movement again have since faded from my psyche.

It began as I experimented last year with frequent full body training.  I was basically doing heavy pulls, squats and presses every other day, no matter what.

Some days were good, some sucked, but I was consistent. Guess what?  I got stronger.

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Former Fat Boy Syndrome Hangups

This article is a follow up from last weeks article, From Fat to Fit.  Both are written by Bryan Barletta.  This also is a nice expansion to my original article, The Former Fat Boy Syndrome.

As I write this, I question the former part of the title, and that’s bad but progress doesn’t happen over night. See it’s more than just physical with being a fat boy. You’re mentally fat too. Take it from someone who was called Fatletta most of his life.

As you progress through your diet and exercise plan and away from your old life, if you were ever fat or even chubby, there’s a lot you’ll have to let go of. I searched forums and websites for someone to commiserate with and I never found someone who went through the exact same experience as I did. No one will. But I’m sure that I can shed some light on some of the common problems or thought’s you’ll hit in your journey.

Eat Up, Fatty

It’s hard to convince a FFB (former fat boy) or FB (fat boy) to eat what they’re told. Forget about clearing the broccoli from your plate, I’m talking about the Macros. When JC first put next to the fat grams on my macros “lower fat to minimize fat loss” I undercut his 33g/50g of fat down to nearly 10g per day. Boy did I stall my progress. Your body needs fat and needs calories or it stops listening to your subtle suggestions. Because that’s what dieting is, subtle suggestions. If you go extreme, you stall. You’re your own worst enemy.

Document Your Before and After

I kick myself for throwing away all the “before” pictures I took and my measurements. I fell back more than a few times and got disgusted. Take them, lock them away, look at them every 3-6 months, no sooner. I’m sure you’ve already thought of recording this, but make sure you back it up or give it to someone you trust. The road ain’t easy, but it’s amazing when you look at the whole journey.

Read moreFormer Fat Boy Syndrome Hangups

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