Archive | October, 2010

Friday’s Random Mash-Up

29 Oct

Russian Plate Circuit

Here is a great conditioning circuit that we perform frequently. All you need is some various sized weight plates and a partner for some encouragement. We used 45, 35, 25 and 10 pound olympic plates depending on the exercise. You can switch up the time and rep ranges however to change the intensity. Check out the video below of Anthony, Marco, Dave and Myself getting after it for 15 straight minutes of the plate circuit. Forget that I can’t upload the video to YouTube  because it’s too long. I’ll see if I can find a way around this.

Overhead Squat: 30 seconds

Weighted Push Ups: 30 seconds

Plate Row: 15 seconds each side

Weighted Front Plank: 30 seconds

Overhead Lunge: 10 each

Wheelbarrow Push Up: 30 seconds

Plate Row: 15 seconds each

Plank Circuit: 10 second each side

Single-Leg Straight-Leg Dead lift: 15 reps each side

Squat Plate Press Out: 30 Seconds

Lateral Squat: 30 seconds

Plate Snatch: 30 seconds

Truck Driver: 30 seconds

Plate Diagonal Lift: 10 each side

Interested in In-Season Training Programs?

If so check out Jaime Rodriguez’s blog where he posted the Worcester Sharks in-season training program. This is the real thing ladies and gentlemen. If you want to know how professional hockey teams train in-season, check out what JRod has to offer. Click here to view and download the program.

JROD VIDEO BONUS: Here’s another metabolic circuit gem I found deep in the video vault. The following is JRod dominating another circuit over the summer in particularly impressive fashion. Check out JRod’s moves I’ve never seen anyone move so quickly between exercises. If you want to know how to dominate your friends in metabolic circuits (assuming other people do this sort of sick stuff besides us) then take notes, JRod is a true pro.

People Are Awesome

I posted this video on my Facebook earlier this week but it was so good it deserved a Re-post here. This is an awesome video of people doing awesome things. People Are Awesome!

Anthony Morando’s Blog

Watch out world, MBSC Coach Anthony Morando has started blogging!! If you want to read someone who is truly passionate about training and coaching check out Anthony Morando’s blog. This guy brings more energy and emotion to the gym then anyone I’ve ever seen check out his site at

Do This Exercise!

In the next week MBSC employees have been blessed with in-service presentations at our staff mettings by both Nick Tumminello and Sue Falsone. In honor of this awesome opportunity I’ll be posting some stuff from our presenters throughout the week. Check out this cool core exercise from Nick Tumminello that you can do anywhere. If your sitting reading this right now you have no excuse not to try it out.

Nick Tumminello: Upright Bird dogs


Workout of the Week

27 Oct

The featured workout of the week is my bench press day that I performed yesterday. I am currently training for another powerlifting competition on December 12th in Rockland, Massachusetts. I plan on competing in the bench press and deadlift competitions, sorry no back squats for me. Although this was my “bench day,”  pull-ups stole the show in this workout. Anthony Morando hopped in the lift and surely a competition between us followed. What was originally planned as 4 sets of 5 of weighted pull-ups turned into a competition of who could pull more for 3’s, 2’s and singles. We worked up to hanging 40 kgs in the pull-ups, which turned out to be a personal record for me. This is why I love working out with the other guys at MBSC, we are always pushing each other to work a little harder. In fact there was so much energy in the gym when this was going on that Coach Dan Gabelman, who wasn’t even lifting at the time had to get in on it. Check out the workout below and watch the video to see how the pull-ups went down.

Foam Roll

Static Stretch

Thoracic Mob Drills


No-Money Drill

Prone YW

Linear Warm-Up

Supine Med Ball Chest Pass: 3 x 10

Med Ball Slam: 3 x 10

Bench Press: Bar x 10, 135 x 5, 185 x 2, 225 x 5, 235 x 5, 245 x 5

Bench Press w/ Competition Pause: 2 x 3 with 245 with 1 second pasue

Close Grip Floor Chain Press: 1 x 5 reps of 135 +2, 30 lb chains , 3 x 5 reps of 185 + 2, 30 lb chains x 5 reps


Pull ups: BW x 10, +20kg x 5, +28 kg x 3, + 36 kg x 3, +40 kg x 2

Circuit : Perform 3 times

Push Up with 40 lb vest feet elevated: 15-20

TRX Row with 40 lb vest: 10-15

Pallof Press: 10 each side

Tricep  Band Pressdown: 20 reps




15 Reasons You Are Not Losing Fat

25 Oct

1). You Eat Too Much

Losing weight is 90 percent nutrition. This is a fact that is too real and too depressing for most people trying to lose weight to face. Most people are simply just shoveling down too much food. I know that there is complicated nutritional science regarding hormones and micronutrient balances that can effect how we store fat and lose weight but the bottom line is none of this matters if we’re in a huge caloric excess. Step One: Understand that if your taking in more calories than your burning than you’ll be gaining or maintaining not losing.

2). You Don’t Move Enough

This picks up right where we left off on the calories in versus calories out fact. If your lazy and do not get much physical activity let alone structured exercise than your metabolism is slow and your caloric demand is not likely very high. Couple this with a bad diet and it’s a recipe for fat gain. If your not exercising regularly you can forget about seeing any changes.

3). You Spend Too Much Time Doing Steady State Cardio

Due to late night infomercials and commercial gyms everyone associates machines like Ellipticals, Stair Steppers and Treadmills with fat loss. Although these machines do give many an avenue to burn calories and be active, plodding away for 45 minutes at a snails pace on one of these baby’s is hardly your best option to get lean. I can’t tell you how many guys and girls in college would tell me “ I’m trying to lose fat for spring break. I gotta go hit the Elliptical.” I often would attempt to retort by explaining to them the better option was to perform high intensity exercise but would often lose them with the words “ High Intensity” and they realized they might need to work hard. Performing high intensity work will raise your metabolic rate, promote muscle mass and burn calories. Strength training builds muscle. Muscles burn calories and increase your resting metabolic rate. Strength training performed at high intensities with limited rest builds muscles, burns calories and increases your RMR. Seems like a no-brainer to me plus you’ll look a lot cooler than this dude.

4). You Spend Too Much Time Lifting Heavy

Ok so now that I just told you to lift weights to lose weight now I’m going to tell you to stop?!?  Not exactly. Just realize that if your always grinding out reps of 3-5 your going to find it more difficult to get a metabolic effect. I get it. I love lifting heavy too but you need to lighten up the load, move it quicker and rest less if you want to lose some fat. Heavy sets require a lot of rest, not ideal for fat loss. Don’t worry about losing strength when lightening up the load for a bit. Perform a couple heavy sets on your main lift then perform sets of 8-15 on the rest of your exercises in a circuit format. This is an example of what I did over the summer when I cut down 5% of my body fat while also increasing my bench, squat, deadlift and vertical jump numbers.

Deadlift: 3 x 5

Circuit: Complete 3 x At High Pace

KB Swing: x 10

Goblet Rear- Foot Elevated Split Squat: 10 each

Wheel Rollout: x 14

Single Leg Deadlift: x 10 each

Med Ball Slam: x 10

Sled Push: 40 Yards

5).  You’re Fooling Yourself

Many exercisers and dieters are simply delusional and or misinformed as to what is healthy and what is hard work. Label trickery in the food industry has many people associating foods labeled “healthy”, “organic” or “all natural” as products that are beneficial towards fat loss, when this is hardly the case. A 100-percent organic whole-wheat bagel is still a bagel and is still going to make you fat regardless of its composition. The bottom line is you just chowed down on 400 calories and 60 grams of carbs that are doing nothing for you. The labeling of many food products has many of us feeling good about how eat when we really are doing ourselves no favors.

On the exercise side of things I’ve realized that many people simply just do not know what hard work is. Many gym-goers workouts leave much to be desired and consist of too much IPod fiddling and magazine reading. To the people who tell me they work their ass of I often want to say “I’m sorry honey but the hour you just did on the Stair Climber while reading People was nothing to write home about” and “Dude, you spend more time staring at the chick in yoga pants and searching for the right song on your MP3 player than you do under the bar in the squat rack.” I know I’m working hard and I still find that I’m not always working to my full capability. Realize the mind will always punk out before the body if you allow it to and that you are almost always capable of doing more than you think.

Most gym-goers don't understand hard work

6). You’re Riding A Health Roller Coaster When You Should Be Climbing A Moderate Grade

Often our moments of ambition and enthusiasm get the best of us when it comes to our health. We will go through ups and downs in terms of enthusiasm and it reflects in our food choices and gym attendance. You’ve probably been there you eat great for a few days and hit the gym all week only to fall off the wagon for another two weeks straight. I tell clients all the time that successful change is all about momentum whether it be with nutrition or exercise. We need to take baby steps though, large bounds will often lead us to trip and fall and too large of a change will often spell disaster. I tell them we need to learn to make one change at a time, be consistent with it and then carry that momentum into another lifestyle change. Example: Start by eating a healthy breakfast daily and do not try to completely overhaul every mea all at once. When we are consistent for a week or two straight then add a second healthy meal every day. The same can be done for exercise. Exercise once a week for a month and don’t miss a day then make it two and be consistent. If we can increase our adherence in small steps it will lead to a greater change overtime than if we try to make a big change all at once.

7). You Don’t Record What You Eat

Can you recount everything you ate today along with its approximate size? Probably not in most cases. Often times we are eating with no real sense of the amount of food we are putting into our bodies. If you take the time to measure and write down what you are eating you can actually observe the amounts you are taking in. This can often shock the average person who doesn’t realize how much crap they are eating. Also the simple act of writing things down will keep you more accountable for your dietary choices.

8). You Eat Too Many Processed Foods

How many foods in your fridge or pantry come in a cardboard box and we’re made in a factory somewhere? America is a country dependent on foods that are filled with chemicals and preservatives and often laden with empty calories. Fruits, Vegetables, Meats and natural dairy seem to be getting lost in the world of “Food Products” and we are only getting fatter as a country. We find it easy out of convenience to eat these pre-packaged products but this convenience it making us overweight. Remember that bagel I mentioned in #5? That bagel is equal to the equivalent of 5 apples only with more fat and less fiber. Could you even eat 5 apples in one sitting? My point is that we often get much more at less of a caloric cost when it comes to natural foods so when it comes to fat loss natural is often better. 7 words by Food Rules Author Michael Pollen can sum this up: Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not Too Much.

9). You Measure All Your Success On The Scale

Too often those struggling to lose fat often focus too much on the number on the scale. Although our total weight is a great tool to assess our fat loss it’s not the only tool. It is important to remember that body composition is more important than overall weight and that muscle gain can also accompany fat loss in many cases. Too often when we are not seeing pounds drop on the scale we take drastic approaches to see it come off like severely cutting calories, which will usually lead to dietary disaster. Beyond the desire to improve physical appearance our number one concern with fat loss should be to improve overall health and drastic calorie cutting to improve number on the scale is not in accordance with these goals.

10). You Don’t Eat Enough Fiber

Fiber is a wonderful thing. We eat it, it keeps us full for hours and then it passes through us and out the other end at no caloric cost. So why are so many of us getting so little of it? Fiber comes primarily in dark green vegetable, fruits and whole grains. Our daily recommendation is 25 grams and many of us fall short of that. Studies show diets in high in fiber are beneficial for weight loss. This is created by a greater overall feeling of satiety in diets including high amount fiber when compared to diets with equal amounts of calories containing less fiber. If you’re eating all your fruits, veggies and grains and are still having trouble try out Citrucel or Metamucil so supplement your needs.

Fiber, It tastes good and helps you poop!

11). You’re Scared Of Fat

Remember the low-fat craze? When everything marketed was low fat this and low fat that?  Well most of those products were just filled with more sugar to enhance the taste and well we know how that worked out. We all only got fatter. Repeat after me…fat is not bad, fat is not bad. However trans fats and saturated fats are. Unsaturated fats coming from things like nuts, fish and oils are good for your overall health and have been shown to be beneficial towards fat loss and overall health when taken in moderation. Fats also create a greater sensation of satiety much like fiber meaning they keep you full longer.

12). You’re Scared Of Carbs

So after the low fat craze came the low-carb craze. Carbohydrates were being compared to cigarettes and seemed to be the route of all evil. It is true as a country we eat too many carbs especially for how inactive we are. But if we are looking for a healthy well-rounded approach to losing weight going 100-percent carb free is not the answer. When cutting carbs completely we lose fiber and many healthy nutrients our body needs. Mentally, we can often crack and lose control of our nutritional minds and our diet goes haywire. Be moderate with our carbs; eat them in the morning, and around our workout window when we actually need the energy. Avoid them at night. Get most of your carbs from fibrous vegetable and fruits and whole grains. Eating carbs is all about good selection and good timing.

13). You Don’t Eat Enough Protein

We’ve all heard it. Protein is the building blocks for muscle. It’s true and its also true that having more muscle means you burn more calories. So make sure you getting around 1 gram per pound of bodyweight to ensure you build muscle and enhance that metabolism. Furthermore, there is a thermic effect to eating protein that is greater than any other macronutrient meaning it costs more calories to breakdown protein than any other foodstuff. Protein has also been shown to increase satiety like fats and fiber.

14) You Don’t Have Goals

“I want to lose weight” or “I want to be skinnier” are not examples of goals. They are examples of blanket statements that hold no real power for change. Most people embarking on a quest for change stumble on their first step and don’t even realize it. They cannot set proper goals to map their success and with no map they get lost. I’ll spare you the talk on smart goals but we need to set out measurable and timely goals. A great weight loss goal may sound like this: “ I WILL lose 5 lbs in 6 weeks.”

15).  You Make Decisions But Have No Discipline

“Successful people make important decisions early and manage those decisions daily.” This quote comes from the author of Today Matters, John Maxwell. This is great book that you should read but that’s for another post on another day. The point is to be successful you need to make a decision like “ I will exercise 5 days a week” and then everyday work to maintain that decision. Sit back and decide and examine whether your behaviors actually match your goals. Is it your goal to lose weight but you are still sucking back Budweiser’s all weekend and are spotty with your gym attendance? Be honest with yourself and adjust your behavior so that your behaviors are in accordance with your goals.

Friday’s Random Links and Videos

22 Oct

Spilling The Beans on Money and Time Management by Marco Sanchez

Marco Sanchez is a good friend of mine and fellow young strength coach from MBSC. Marco is mature beyond his years and is on his way to becoming a great coach in the future. In his article posted on Rearick Strenth he shares some great tips for money and time management for people in our field. Check it out, you’ll be happy you did.

Summer Metabolic Circuit Videos

“Circuit Wednesday” was a weekly ritual where Jaime Rodriguez, Marco Sanchez, Anthony Morando, Dave Rak and myself competed for time in various metabolic circuits. While searching through some videos on my computer I realized I had a bunch of circuits on video that have never been posted. Check out a few of the gems below. WARNING!: You may puke just from watching!!


Upcoming Seminars

I’m attending these. You should too.

Accelerated Strength Seminar

Featuring: Jim “Smitty” Smith, Joe Hashey and Scott Caulfield

Date: November 13th

Location: Lebanon, NH.


How to improve your warm ups

Proper muscle activation techniques

Improving primary lifts

Best exercises for carry over

Goal specific conditioning

FULL Upper or Lower Body Workout

FULL Hybrid Strongman Workout

and MUCH MORE!!!!

Major League Strength: 3rd Annual Performance Conference

Featuring: Dana Cavalea, Brijesh Patel, Dr. Perry Nickelson, Jenna Stranzl and John Pallof

Date: December 11th

Location: Sacred Heart University

This Weeks Assigned Reading

Eric Cressey’s Stuff You Should Read

Bret Contreras posts a million GREAT reads for the week

Workout of the Week from Coach Anthony Morando

20 Oct

This week the featured workout was written up by fellow MBSC coach Anthony Morando. Anthony is a great, young and energetic coach who may train a greater variety of people in a single day than many do in an entire year. One of Coach Morando’s responsibilities is to serve as strength coach for the Malden Catholic high school football team. The workout featured today is a lift he designed for their in-season program. The workout is to be performed on a Monday, the most intensive day of conditioning being as it gives them the most time for recovery before game day.  Since I am on a de-load week I saw this as a great opportunity to jump in and try out the workout myself along side Anthony. I loved the workout. If your an in-season athlete or just a regular old gym rat looking to reduce your volume for a de-load week try it out and make sure to up the intensity in the second round as the reps drop from 10 to 5. Enjoy!

Coach Anthony Morando

Jump Squat 3 x 5 or KB Swing 3 x 10

Yoga Table Stretch: 2 x 10

Plank Circuit: 2 x 20 seconds

Perform 2 Rounds in circuit fashion on exercise after another.

DB Bench Press 1 x 10, 1 x 5

Chin Up 1 x 10, 1 x 5

Trap Bar Dead Lift 1 x 10, 1 x 5

Ball Rollout 1 x 10, 1 x 10

DB SLDL 1 x 10, 1 x 5

TRX ROW 1 x 10, 1 x 10

1 Leg Squat 1 x 10, 1 x 5


Sled March: 20 yards x 4

Tempo Runs on Treadmill: 8 x 15 seconds on/ 30 seconds off with 4 degree incline