Cholesterol is healthy

This maybe a news flash for most people, but if it's your trainer, you might wonder why. I learned the real scoop about cholesterol after writing a book with a brilliant doctor, and my friend whose name is Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale. Some of you may have heard of the book, it's called The Anabolic Diet. 

In a nutshell Mauro was the genius behind this diet, and I was the guinea pig who followed it to the letter. This was a high fat diet, not entirely unique, yet it was specifically. Year's before, there was a popular diet on the market called The Atkins diet. He positioned this style of eating to the market as a low carbohydrate diet primarily for marketing purposes to give it a more commercial appeal. 

Back then there was even a dimmer view on eating fat. The Anabolic Diet proved with legit, unbiased research, that eating fat was not the culprit, it was actually carbohydrates. I'm sure for some of you, reading this fact will make you sit up an adjust your shorts, but it's the damn truth. 

I'll be forthright when I tell you I tried the Atkins diet, and it flat out worked, but the biggest issue for me, as it was for others was the lack of variety of food, which led to the consumer getting bored. This is where The Anabolic Diet was specifically unique.To be crystal clear, in terms of mechanics, both diets operate the same way, simply because they both access the free fatty acid metabolism, as opposed to the glucose metabolism. Most consumers are unaware that our bodies have two distinct metabolisms (glucose/ free fatty acid), that are differentiated by carbohydrate intake. 

As to how cholesterol is healthy. First, every cell of our body is made up of cholesterol. It's a steroid, and a lipid that synthesizes protein, carbs, and fats. It maintains balance, and regulates hormones, in addition helps with proper organ function. Here's the bottom line, like everything else in life, too much of anything consumed can be harmful. Did you know that you can drown if you drink too much water? It's called water intoxication. 

It only takes three hours

Are you sure you want to get in shape, get healthy, or feel better, because you don't act like it. Actions speak louder than words. You like many, enjoy hearing yourself talk. It all sounds good like when singing in the shower, but the truth is you sound like dog crap. 

The idea of something appealing really gets you riled up, because to dream of that is where it's at. The only problem with that snow job is when you wake up, because the reality and the dream usually don't match up. Dreaming takes way less energy. Damn you think!!

It's amazing how many of you think you're an expert on things, yet you're not, but it doesn't matter because you'll always find someone out there who will believe you.There are definitely others like you, as people are often attracted to those who are most like themselves. 

That can be an unfortunate fact in so many cases especially if it perpetuates all of the weak points you're aiming to strengthen.That's a nightmare in itself, but not as bad as your worst nightmare when you have that moment in a room all alone with a mirror. The moment of truth, when you really do come to grips that you're living the lie, not the dream. 

You get the he'll outta that room ASAP, and go back out into your fake world where you find your like minded people, and the lies continue. All better now, even though you know it's not real, but so what it feels good for now. Thank goodness for denial, and deception. 

However, there's hope and good news on the horizon. Somehow you just magically stumbled upon on something by accident at your local coffee shop while sucking down a foo foo coffee that has at least 750 calories. 

You can't believe what you're hearing from the next table over, listening to what appears to be a legit personal trainer having a heart to heart conversation with a future client. Yes the personal trainer states, "it only takes three hours per week to get in the best shape of your life". Is this really a dream you wonder? 

Health may not be the most important thing!

That's right, I said it. I learned this philosophy back in the late eighties from a head coach of the Bulgarian National Olympic Weightlifting Team who at the time were dominating the sport, which in that part of the world was bigger than the second coming. 

The secret to their success was based on focusing on the objective, which in this case was developing the strongest lifters in the world. I didn't realize how serious they were about that damn objective until I got a birds eye view, front and center. Sometimes you gotta see things with your own eyes before you believe.

My first encounter was in their olympic training center where they were hoisting some serious ass weight, not only one training session per day, but five. That was my first eye opener which prompted my first question. I asked the head coach, "why do you train so often, each time with that amount of weight"? His response was telling, when he remarked that repetition is the mother of skill, and the training they were putting their athletes through was specific to their olympic competitions. 

From that perspective, it made sense, but what really floored me, making it a wee bit difficult to get my head around was their philosophy on the type of diet they prescribed. High fat diet!!! WTF I thought. I was certain this coach had either lost his mind, or simply didn't care about his athlete's health. 

Coming from my background as a competitive bodybuilder, we were all about eating clean, so when this coach told me they had their athletes on a high fat diet, l asked "isn't that unhealthy"?. His response was " it didn't matter". I couldn't believe what I was hearing, proceeding to ask why not?. "Because eating a diet high in fat produces and provides the best result for developing optimum strength". I will admit, it took me sometime to understand that line of thinking, but eventually I did. There are always tradeoffs in life, this as an example of one of them. 

Don't let your brain beat you

It's only five pounds more. So many times throughout my personal training career I've watched clients meltdown when I give them this Intel. You can see it in their eyes, and body language. I already know when they attempt that next set they're going to fail. 

They've sent the message to their brain, and already beat themselves. The crazy thing is that in most instances their failing had nothing to do with not being physically strong enough. This is how powerful your brain is, in fact thought is the most powerful weapon we humans have. 

It's knowing how to harness all of this horsepower to create the right effect. So many times we just can't get out of our own way, yet when we do miraculous things happen. It's definitely a tug of war we all wrestle with. The solution of how we overcome this ongoing soap opera in our head is more important than the self induced distraction/ problem we create. 

Failure is an obstacle, but also the antidote, because like in the example above where only five pounds more was a deal breaker in spite of there being enough strength, the fear of failing was a hindrance.Yet when you face failure, and fear repeatedly, the perceived threat in your mind changes. 

In other words fail, fail, fail again, and fail hard until you overcome, and achieve. There's a small but huge distinction between knowing that you can do something, rather than hoping you can. This approach is direct and effective, the trade-off is having a face off with your fear, over, and again. 

The only way you can manage fear is fully understanding often times we exaggerate the fear which becomes a mountain instead of a mohill. Logically one should be able to process this objectively, but it's all too emotional. Stress plays a major role and exacerbates the problem. 

Fighting fear using a physical tactic such as weight training is a highly effective way to combat stress, relieving anxiety, which changes the mindset, and the perception of fear. Applying this strategy eventually changes the perception of failure, where you can now begin to exist in an environment where you can and will succeed. 

Devil is in the details

There are three sections of a coherent training program, start, middle, and finish. Before you ever start you should have a plan of attack. Your program should be designed around things like the level of your experience, pre existing and existing injuries, available and type of exercise equipment, and times per week of training. 

A common denominator of any training program is the beginning.This is your foundation, otherwise a base for all that will come afterward, so you musn't get overzealous and in a hurry to get through your workout. Accuracy is speed, meaning in the beginning be disciplined making sure your form and technique are impeccable. Fyi, this is easier said then done. 

After form and technique have been addressed, correctly implemented for each body part, it's time to move forward and start creating training tempo, that are defined by three categories, including slow, medium, and fast, which are all effective, and necessary for a well thought out program poised for reaching ones full training potential. 

In conjunction with the development and implementation of the various training tempos, one should also focus on the quality of repetitions for each body part, with the objective to feel each an everyone. This takes a boatload of discipline. You're now just getting outta the starting blocks of a training program. 

Getting into the middle section of a training program is to develope the meat and potatoes so to speak. Now it's time to fact find, determining which exercises are really the ones made for you, in other words, although all exercises work to a degree, there will be certain ones that are drastically  more effective. These are known, soon to be identified as your go to exercises which never fail to produce results.

The middle section is where the bulk of all results are attained, and also the section where mindset, perfect willingness and discipline will be defined, because it will make or break you. It's where so many lose it because it's a potential breaking point. In the middle section you'll have to learn how to tolerate various obstacles like training monotony, pain, and suffering. It's part of the equation, formula and price you pay for results. By the way this is the longer section of the three, start wrapping your head around that. 

Now, for the third section. Think of this as the refining part of the overall training program, like putting that fine shine on your shoes. By the time you arrive at this section you've learned how to produce results at will. You've become masterful, highly accomplished, to the extent watching you train is like a hypnotic dance with iron. The clanging of weights, and the pace at which you train is in fact artful, however unless you're at this level, most are oblivious, or unaware.

Does your trainer show or tell?

This new gym environment sucks... what the hell are these trainers doing. I've been in the personal training business for thirty six years, and at times it's unrecognizable as to what the hell these fakers are up to. I wish I was exaggerating but I'm not. These goof balls are all over the place with no semblance of anyone who knows their shit.Training clients have become more like show and tell, not for their clients mind you, instead for their own amusement.There's no doubt these bozos like hearing themselves talk, over, and over again. 

A legit trainer does and says less as opposed to more, and interestingly you get more.Their demeanor is that of complete control, and a certain calm that is almost hypnotic.There's no question they have absolute command, and it's quite apparent everyone around them feel it too  because it's obvious the energy and atmosphere in the entire room changes. 

When you ask them a question they have answers because they've been around long enough where they know a thing or two. When you're in their presence you know your in good hands and that you'll reach your goals no matter what. Regardless if they're training you, or explaining something very technical about nutrition, they do it effortlessly, in a manner which you can understand. In the fashion industry this ease of well calculated effort is known as sprezzatura. 

It's inevitable at some point the newness of your training program will wear off, but the reason you keep coming back in so many many instances is because of them. Not only are your results  undeniable, they've created an environment and made you feel like you never want to quit, disappoint, or let them down.This has nothing to do with feeling guilty, it goes way beyond. 

This legit trainer has evoked emotion and a new belief system at your core that never once existed. It's addicting as hell, and you love and crave it. No, there's no show and tell with this trainer, it's way more than that. The real question here is what kind of trainer do you have in your pocket. 

You can't handle the truth

No-one really likes hearing the truth, unless it's convenient truth. It can be harsh and revealing however much different when you're on the other side giving it to someone else, because that's a horse of a different color. You justify your brutal honesty deeming it necessary talking directly with language that's forthright and without filters, all the while dishing out the truth without hesitation, because you truly believe you're right, and that's that. You certainly don't take into consideration hurt feelings because you also justify your directness by stating emphatically "well, it's true", which at times is the damn truth. So be it!

Yet when the shoe is on the other foot you get defensive, pouty, and downright mean. You can't believe someone would say such things to you, even though in some cases you've asked for the truth. What kind of bullshit is that. It took alot of years for me to believe and understand, that truth really does set you free, but you have to be willing to tolerate the trade-offs. 

Be free, or bite your tongue instead of telling it like it is, perhaps because it's uncomfortable, or you care too fucking much about what other people think. If you're in this spot you have a dilemma my friend, foe, or who ever the hell you may be. Either you're all in to the truth or not, make up your damn mind, otherwise you're stuck in the middle like ham in a ham sandwich.

Am I getting a little too real for you right about now? Too fucking bad, maybe you can't handle the truth. If you're a legit trainer you better thicken up your skin, and this applies to you client. Many times you both bring a ton of baggage, and a whole lot of drama and denial to this potential relationship you're about to embark on. 

In some cases spouses blame one another for their own demise claiming as a result they've become wide load with yellows, which is code for fat asses. Trainers, you're no better with some of your stupid ass excuses for why you can't make your training session, consequently leaving your clients high and dry. Listen up both of you. If neither of you can speak the truth about what you need and expect from one another, including consequences due to lack of follow through, then you both can't handle the truth. Stop taking up valuable space. 

Is your trainer a yes guy, or yes girl?

This scenario often times happens especially with fake trainers because they don't have knowledge or strength of character. First of all, a legit trainer has a plan of attack, for themselves and their clients based on a ton of first hand experience, theory, and pure logic.They're always at least one step ahead of the game with a backup plan in case the original doesn't go like it should, and by the way it usually doesn't. 

There are so many ways to skin a cat, but you definitely don't skin every cat the same way, metaphorically speaking. Trainers who are not legit are always operating from behind, with their training strategy being nothing more than a series of after thoughts. 

This is one of first signs a trainer has a crack in their armor. Social media has created a crisis to a degree in the health and fitness industry because it lowers the bar for credibility, and promotes lack of accountability. Everybody and their dog these days are internet/social media experts. It's gotta be true because it's on the internet right? WRONG!

Fake trainer's are yes people, yet they need to say no at appropriate times. They read information somewhere, try it on a limited basis, and implement on their client. Yes they say, this is a great way to get results, but they really don't know why, but do a good job of perpetually nodding their head yes. 

If you're one of those clients who have a yes trainer it's not the worse thing in the world, however close. If ever you work with a legit trainer, they're bound to ruin you because then you'll have a valid reference, realizing that getting consistent results 75% of the time is much more significant that what a fake trainer can produce. Legit trainers are hard to come by, so be prepared to settle for mediocrity, unless you're willing to say no yourself. 

You may not get what you want, instead what you need

When you first start a training program, you don't really know what you want, except that you want it all. That's all fine and dandy but not a very good idea. First of all, it's overwhelming to your physiology plus it's inefficient, and counterproductive.

The fact you have goals in the first place is a definite positive, and if you can manage to consistently show up to your scheduled training sessions, you're half way in the ball game. Weight training, cardio conditioning, and nutrition are not rocket science, but if you're training yourself be mindful that eventually you'll figure it out, but I assure you it will be a long learning curve.

It's important to understand there will be alot of trial and error, even more failure, but it's part of the process and the price of admission as they say. From a perspective of efficiency, and experience, I would highly recommend considering a trained professional for putting together a coherent training regimen that will shorten the learning curve, minimizing natural crossroads of a program which often derail individuals due to frustration from lack of results. 

My recommendation at this stage is to hire a trainer for one solid month, as there is nothing quite the same as learning how to train in real time, which gives immediate insight on things like proper form, technique, training tempo, and rest periods. Completing a month provides a reference, and a good beginning point to put you on the right path. From here, meeting with a trainer once a month for a training tune up to check form, technique, and execution will keep progress moving forward nicely.

And finally, the next natural progression for facilitating progress is hiring a trainer full time where they will get into much greater detail in other important elements of a training program, in addition motivating you in ways far too advanced due to your lack of experience.  

Are you that trainer?

You dumb ass, you wonder why you can't make a living as a personal trainer. Well, I'll tell you why, other than being undisciplined, you're lazy, dramatic, and you give out shitty information, otherwise you're a peach. If I'm not making myself clear, I can repeat. 

We all have to start somewhere, I get that, but some of you fake idiots are not willing to learn the business in the right way. You gotta do the work man, put in the time, day in, day out. Early on based on all the time you'll end up investing, you're working for cheap as far as what you can eventually charge down the road for your service as a personal trainer. Here's why...

Besides knowing everything regarding nutrition and training, there's another world of information you should understand like the back of your hand. In other words, great trainers wear many hats, otherwise they fall way short of their full potential, eventually being exposed for who they really are, a fake trainer.

You see, you're  only as good as your weakest link. In case you're wondering what some of those are, here are a couple of examples.You gotta be a shrink of sorts if you want to make your clients perform to their full potiental. A great trainer has the ability to get in their client's head in a big way, very subtly I might add, to the point they don't even know it, the client that is.  

Great trainer's also have canny bedside manners, ranging from empathic to smart ass, funny or even degrading, however never at the expense of compromising client workouts. No, this is all calculated and contrived and part of the method to their madness.

It's all about creating an interesting environment or a specific edge in the training program to get the most production from the client. Great trainers know it's about the end game helping clients reach their goals, in addition knowing what it's going to take to get them there. Are you that trainer?

It doesn't have to go to hell in a hand basket

Get off the slippery slope and get back on the wagon. Look we're flawed humans who screw up from time to time. So what, pull your head out of your ass immediately. Don't look for a reason to fail, because that's what most people do. It's easier to use this strategy because it's a way to let yourself off the hook. 

That's bullshit thinking on every level.This is my training philosophy today as it's been for the last thirty six years. If you're willing to let yourself off the hook on a regular basis, you've already set yourself for failure, no mater what you're trying to achieve. 

The main problem is your head. You keep getting in your own way impeding results, not aware that it's gut check time for you in a big way. You have no idea how you're setting yourself for a major setback. I'm not making this up. I assure you you're preaching to the choir with all of these weak ass excuses you manage to dream up to appease yourself. 

If you don't stop this madness you're living with, meaning you, the pied piper will come calling, and you're not going to like it. You'll be so far in a hole, not even outside help with a rope will be enough to pull you out. Why can't human nature get that through their thick skulls and yet they don't. 

My advice for you as your concerned trainer is to break the cycle in your head. It's that negative pre recorded tape that's been looping in your head for years. Just say stop, either out loud or to yourself, doesn't matter, just say it now!! 

You're now on the right path because you've now switched from the useless pre recorded voice of destruct in your head, to listen mode. As your trainer I can help you, because potentially you're ready to accept my advice instead of your own.

I've tried everything... nothing works

Can't tell you how many times over the last thirty six years I've heard this statement. Let's be clear, it's a bullshit statement, one that most losers use. It's easier to give in, than to fight the fight. We know that if we're willing to admit it, but who the fuck wants to do that. 

My job as a legit trainer has always been to diceifer bullshit from the real when clients are talking to me. Sometimes I think I've been around too long in this industry, to the point I can't listen anymore. I find myself analyzing every word people say, which for the most part irritates the living shit out of me. Perhaps I've arrived at a stage of true mastery in the human condition, however only focusing on its weaknesses. Oh oh!

When I first got into personal training, using the apple as a metaphor, I was eating it, taking giant bites, getting fantastic pleasure.That apple seemed huge, I'm talking infinity huge, with no rotten spots any where, just big juicy beautiful bites, but then came that one day.

What the fuck was that I thought as my face cringed after taking a bite... it was a sour spot in the apple. It started happening more often, but I just rationalized it was because I was eating more of the apple. That's how the law of averages work, right? 

Actually yes, but there was more to it than that, but it was too early to know what was also going on. Albert Einstein was dead on when he said real knowledge is experience. With more years of experience it started becoming crystal clear.

The apple from which I had gloriously been eating had slowly over the years started eating me one bite at a time. I had come full circle, now what? It was time to reinvent myself into a different form or a better version of myself or just cave in like most losers, claiming I've tried everything, and nothing worked. No fucking way!!

Do discipline everyday

If you don't exercise discipline everyday in some way shape or form, it's not sustainable. Lack of discipline over time will promote apathy, and dissaray which are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The cause and effect of these contrasting emotions create a domino effect of psychological and physiological disruption.

Your life at this juncture will seem like a continuous spinning wheel where it's near impossible to break through to connect with yourself. This is when your life begins to spin out of control, which  can become a dangerous cycle if you don't pull out of it, so what do you do. 

A football coach once told me "do something even if it's wrong, because it's better than doing nothing at all". I never realized how profound a statement this was especially at that young age, but time and experience are great life lessons. 

When you're in this crazy spin cycle it can cause chaos and adversity, which in itself isn't a bad thing depending on how you use it. Instead, this is newfound energy that can be used as an advantage for creating momentum, which can create a path of least resistance. For example, kicking a soccer ball to a teammate down the field, rather than dribbling it yourself creates a path of least resistance, and a better use of energy. 

Once there's energy, an objective must be created, no matter what it is. Objectives create focus that eventually lead directly to discipline. Discipline loves repetition.You must understand, there's a process for developing something systematic, especially when results can seemingly at will be repeated. Remember, great things don't just happen unless you have targeted effort. Imagine how powerful that can make you. 

Creating discipline is like adding muscle to the body, meaning repetition is the mother of skill, and a process of a repetitive action over time. Most things in life are not final, but temporary, which is good news, because that means discipline is never forever lost, especially if you do even a small amount everyday. 

Someone's always doing something wrong, is it you?

Look around you idiots, I guarantee someone is doing something wrong inside the gym. Legit trainers are mindful of that, especially if they work with multiple clients at one time, yet surprisingly most don't take this advice seriously. 

You would never know it if you saw some of these trainers by the way they carry on while training their clients, because it appears they're on it, paying close attention. It's like when you see everything, but can't see things right in front of you. The challenge is maintaining the necessary discipline keeping one's self the most accountable of the group, not some of the time, but always. 

Human nature falls prey to things that become too routine. It's like a baby being rocked to sleep. There's no question many of these trainers are asleep at the wheel, walking around with their eyes open, training their clients, but they're not really awake, and they don't even know it. 

A legit trainer understands the ultimate goal is to make every aspect of every training session productive, whether you're training one, or multiple clients. Don't fall into the training trap of cruise control mode, suddenly becoming aware you have all your clients on a training program that is more similar than personalized. 

Don't be that trainer who slowly forgets what made them unique to that client who outta the blue starts missing training sessions. This is a sign you've strayed off the beat and path from what you originally intended, which was to be fully engaged with your client and the main objective being to get them in the best shape of their lives.

It will happen before you realize it, where all of a sudden you have a client deficit.Then it hits you right between your eyes, and you wake up. You were once a trainer who was mindful, correcting your clients because they were doing something wrong, now it was you.

Why can't you be normal?

Man did I hear this on a regular basis, especially from my ex wife. To be fair, it was during the period in my life when I was bodybuilding, and competing. When you get into a sport like this, and get bitten by the bug, it consumes all of you to the point where it becomes mind altering. It's like a mad fever or addiction that won't go away. Once you cross the line into the land of addiction, there's no way back, and you don't want to go back. After twenty four hours of being away from it you're ready for more, in fact, a bigger dose please. 

The learning curve of this sport is long and painstakingly arduous, but for some strange reason you can't put it down, or stop thinking about it, which is part of the attraction.The years of regimentation and sacrifice no doubt take a toll, physically and emotionally, but you have to go there or you can't realize the benefits. Occasionally when you have a lucid moment, you realize this line of thinking doesn't make sense, but your thought is fuck common sense, it's overrated.

Truth is, the way you start thinking becomes a different kind of mindset.The more you learn, and get that contact high, the more illogical things get in the sense the kind of repetitive pain you're willing to inflict upon yourself really isn't normal, but you don't give a damn. It's the price of admission, it's where you go every time. You didn't know it in the beginning, but this is what you signed up for. 

The sport has such an impact, it rubs certain people the wrong way, even if they're not directly impacted. It's a crazy thing from your perspective, because at this point you're deep in the woods, and you can't see the forest from the trees. Quite frankly you really don't care, instead you just want more, and can't wait to go back for more. 

Then one day when it all seems to be unraveling before your eyes, you wonder if she was right when she asked, why can't you be normal. But the answer in your head immediately surfaces to the forefront with a resounding Fuck No!, You would've missed this crazy ass experience. Nope, you'd rather have a leg pulled out of your ass with no anesthesia instead of being normal. I'm just saying...

It's like going back home

The gym is where I belong, it's my retreat, my sanctuary. When I'm there I have my most lucid moments.There's nothing I can't deal that gets in my path, good or bad. This is my life, and my life's work in progress every single day. Why would I ever want to stop. I wouldn't, and I won't. 

I learned a life changing lesson many years ago from a marketing guru named Jay Abraham. At the time I was one of his clients, and was invited to one of his seminars. He had fifty companies there who forked out $5000.00 a pop that sent their top executives for the purpose of learning how to market their services more effectively. It was an intense two day seminar that lasted all day, both days. 

First of all, it blew my mind he could charge that kind of money for two days worth of work. But here are two things I walked away with that impacted my personal, and professional life to this day. One, he taught me if I was ever to market a service to a client, I needed to communicate its  uniqueness in twenty five words or less, otherwise I would compromise my business. 

The second lesson I learned was after the seminar, when we were having lunch. Jay mentioned his strategy and philosophy about his life and work. He said his work life revolved around the kind of personal life he wanted to lead, instead of the reverse. When I really thought about that concept, it was brilliant. He created an environment for his life where he had freedom, independence, and passion, both in his personal and professional life.  

That's exactly what I wanted. I immediately followed Jays advice modeling my life around his philosophy. My childhood dream was to be a pro athlete, but those dreams were dashed due to a career ending injury. But here's how I made lemonade out of lemons. I got into the sport of bodybuilding, which I fell in love with, became a personal trainer, and the rest became history. 

I created independence, freedom, and the life I still love and live today. No, I didn't make it as a pro athlete, but I competed in bodybuilding at the world level. My work as a personal trainer gave me the flexibility and scheduling  luxury to revolve my work life around my personal life where I could coach my kids and follow their sports careers. 

My personal training studio, even after thirty six years is still a place I go to every morning to work out, which doubles as my office, in addition a training studio where I have trainers who run the business. Turns out the life I've created has produced much more than a pro athletic career,  it's given me a livelihood I love to get up to everyday. It's like going back home. 

Trainer, protect yourself from your client... client protect yourself from your trainer!

Client's if you're looking for an expert trainer, don't assume they're legit. It's definitely not the norm in the industry, far from it. Speaking from someone who's been in the indusrty for ever, I have to tell ya, I've seen some pretty scary shit these fakers come up with. One way to protect yourself is to have your eyes open and beware at all times. Copy cat trainers are probably the scariest of the fake trainer species. 

Trainers, if you copy someone our somebody, not completely knowing what you're copying, you've just made yourself a triple hazard fake trainer. Otherwise copying or mimicking is not necessarily a bad thing because to a degree it's a good way to learn. But you should quantify what you copy, because it's about reference and perspective. Clients, pay heed.

The ideal training environment is to be able to focus on your training, but if you don't have a qualified trainer, and the right chemistry, you don't have shit. A good piece of advice when beginning a new endeavor like this is to be vigilant, and somewhat skeptical as a measure of self protection. 

Plan on entering into a relationship with your trainer as a test of faith. It's like those new shoes you have to break in, hoping like hell they work out. Truth is, your personalities may not fit well, like oil and water, which will definitely be a potential nightmare. 

Look, if this relationship between you and your trainer becomes a longtime proposition, in some cases you'll spend as much time with them as with your boyfriend, girlfriend or husband. So clients, beware, and protect yourself. By the way, this cuts both ways.Trainers, you should also be vigilant and skeptical.Training a new client in a sense is a dress rehearsal of sorts. Nothing worse than getting attached to a high maintenance client who is needy. Nightmare city!!!

If you really understood how your physiology worked

Here's the deal, either your body is in charge of you, or vice versa. It's really that straight forward, but extremely challenging and utterly confusing. On top of all that, there are misfits in the indusrty who masquerade as personal trainers, gurus, and life coaches. All these people do is muddle up the already murky waters. 

Otherwise why is it so damn difficult to make the body look and perform the way we want. Knowledge is power, first hand knowledge that is. Sometimes even with this said, it still can be a task at hand, but you gotta have that knowledge to really be able to figure out your body. 

Creating a training road map, which essentially is a documentation of how you eat and train, is a helpful tip for facilitating targeted results. Very much like a map you use to navigate, it immediately improves the probability for efficiency, minimizing mistakes. 

It's never an easy process developing your own training road map, because to some degree the map continues to change, because your body does, so it's an ongoing adventure, but the upside is fantastic. Your map will be a fast track for clarifying information in an objective way, for example identifying the best exercises to use for certain results.

In addition, your training road map can indicate, even predict certain tendencies, for example how your body will respond to various caloric intakes. This road map can produce objective feedback with a high degree of certainty such as  identifying proper percentages of protein, carbs, and fat intake, which definitely takes the guess work out of a program that's designed to produce specific results. 

So, the real distinction of a training road map, compared to a random training program, is much the same of knowing where your destination is and moving in the general direction, rather than look at a map which can get you there most efficiently. 

The 10,000 hour rule... practice till the cows come home

If you ask most people how long their sessions last each time they train with weights, typically it's an hour or even more. This is mortal sin number one. Mortal sin number two is if a personal trainer  trains their clients in the same way. An hour or more of weight training is a red flag of someone who's inexperienced.

Learning a new discipline such as weight training requires a certain amount of regimented consistency, and unwavering dedication, which over time produces quality of movement, markedly shortening the learning curve, in addition producing results.This is the deal breaker for most, but it's also the x- factor, and the price of admission so to speak. Bottom line, you gotta do the work. 

As you become more serious about weight lifting, you figure out that every exercise works to a degree, but to what degree? This is why consistency, and frequency will undoubtedly facilitate progress putting you on the proper path for achieving mastery, but maybe that's not your goal. 

My take on that is it doesn't matter. Why let good enough get in the way of great, because that's what happens to most. It's an easier ideal too commit to, but with less gratification and results. Think of it this way, you're going to be in the gym anyway, why not give everything, every time? Don't focus on the big picture of how long it will take, which could be a tad bit daunting, rather focus on the moments in front of you, the present if you will.

Why not aim for reaching your full potiental, it will have hidden benefits impacting you indefinitely in some way, shape, or form. Every discipline creates this potential, no matter the discipline. Finally, to add some sober reality, and perspective, it generally takes a person approximately ten years of practice to achieve mastery in a field. How good do you want to be?

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

Visualization doesn't always work

The mind is one of the most powerful things, and no doubt can attract things you visualize, but it's counterproductive when performing, especially if you have to think about it. I never knew this until I went to Bulgaria where I watched the strongest Olympic lifters in the world train. 

I must admit, not only was this a once in a lifetime experience, it was fucking awe inspiring. To be up close and personal with the world's best lifters and coaches changed me forever. If I hadn't witnessed what I saw and learned, I would have never believed it. 

I spent ten days there, with the National Olympic team, and by the time I left, it seemed everything I learned about training was mostly wrong, but it was hard to dispute on any level their overwhelming success. You see, in only nine years Bulgaria, a small country, dominated the Olympic lifting world, which was significant considering they dethroned Russia, their long time nemesis.

The reason Bulgaria rose to dominance in such a short time was because of their out of the box forward thinking, and their cutting edge training methodologies. It was about application before theory, instead of the reverse. With this training philosophy, and first hand experience in the daily weight lifting trenches, they could quickly discover what really worked, way before the nerdy scientists who subscribed to theory first before application. This was a huge distinction, and obviously a game changer on the world stage. 

Among other earth shattering things, I learned that warming up before lifting heavy was a waste of energy. Interesting I thought, however one thing that stood out most was learning that visualization techniques were counterproductive as it related to Olympic lifting. WTF, that was completely opposite of what I thought I knew.

The reasoning they gave was concise, and based on how the physiology more efficiently performed at peak levels. Specifically it was not to think or visualize about what the athlete was attempting to lift prior to the action, rather to lift the designated weight repetitively prior to competition until it became second nature. The visualization, or thinking aspect was now eliminated, therefore leaving the athlete poised to react to the performed exercise, which produced immediate results.

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)