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)

Tear it down, build it up

Your body has an amazing resolve for survival. A good example of this is revealed when people abuse alcohol or cigarettes for years before any negative consequences, if any in some cases ever occur. But there are times when your body goes down in flames, however in the end for the very reason that it wants to protect you. 

Yes, at times your body will take drastic measures to get your attention, mainly because you continue to ignore early signs of danger in which your body is trying to alert you. Sometimes the human condition can be severely flawed, because of an unwavering mindset, which creates an environment where objective reasoning becomes compromised. This state of denial is a strong defense mechanism, and a powerful emotion that can be a double edged sword with leathel consequences. 

The key here is emotion, and knowing how to harness it so that it's used most effectively. When you have passion which is akin to emotion, you have at your finger tips a leathel weapon, which can be a good or bad thing!

If ever confronted with a crossroad where you have to make a lifestyle change because if you don't, it might kill you, you potentially have the perfect storm. Action, passion and emotion implemented  in a positive way will produce dramatic results, to the point your body will repair itself back to vitality. 

I only know this from first hand experiencge, as it relates to what  happened to me when I had three strokes in three weeks leaving me paralyzed, and at a major crossword. With passion, new motivation, and getting out of my own way, I was able to rebuild my mind and body, creating a new version of myself. This was and is confirmation of what can happen when there is a strong conviction, and proper mindset.

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

You're outta order.. I'm outta order

Is your goal to tighten, tone, and condition the body? Exactly what does that mean? It could mean gain or lose weight, get a little stronger, improve endurance, and overall, to feel better. Most people fall into this category. If you or your trainer know what you're doing you can accomplish this in three hours per week, if you don't, it can take you a lifetime. 

There are many ways to skin this cat, all you have to do is look around. Every guru and their dog spot is all over the internet claiming so. Do this, do that, eat this way, eat that way. These idiots are so far outta order, and outta their league, it's not funny. Most of the information these fakers are spewing is based on their own limitedexperiences, which is potentially dangerous, because they know just enough to make themselves a real hazard. 

If you’re that person looking for the right trainer, be mindful of this because it's a legit concern in the health and fitness industry, and if you question what I'm saying, the stats speak for themselves. Gym accidents across America are on the rise, and it's directly related to fake trainers and dangerous gym environments.

You need a strategy for minimizing a bad experience, in addition increasing the chances of a positive outcome. Think of it this way, would you get married to the first boyfriend you kissed, or hand your baby off to a stranger to baby sit? I certainly hope not, but if you were, you gotta be willing to deal with the consequences. 

Be a part of your solution, gather data and be armed with as much accurate information that pertains to your health and fitness objectives before you put your hands with an expert. The internet is an obvious source, but as mentioned, it's also full of misinformation. From someone whose been in the personal training business for a long damn time, here's the sniff test, and what I'd do when looking for a legit fit for your needs.

Ask a boatload of questions. If you're going to a gym and want to hire one of their trainers, ask their level of experience and would they give you a free consultation. Most of all, if your dealing with a gym or personal trainer with integrity, they should be willing to offer you a free training session, and a money back guarantee. My advice to all of these fakers, is to get their house in order before attempting yours.

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Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

Know the rules before you break them... The the stages of mastery.

You're only as good as your form and technique, which means you should learn how to train from that perspective. Full range of motion, strict form, and in control. Once you master that process, you're ready to take another step. Quality of repetition before quantity, meaning feel every movement you make, from the first rep to the last rep, first set to the last one.

This phase will take a good amount of time to become adequate, and a lifetime to master. During this phase of training what starts becoming apparent and necessary is the development of discipline. You'll have to come to grips with the reality that you need to try every possible exercise to see how your body responds, because I assure you, you just might miss out on discovering that magical exercise, or exercises that produce consistent results. This process takes years and thousands of reps, blood, sweat, and tears.

If you make it to this point, its time to make yet another leap of faith and find out how nutrition impacts your weight training. You have now entered into phase two. If you thought learning about weight training was an arduous task, buckle up, the games are about to begin. The nutrition phase will be trickier in some sense to rap your brain around, because unlike weight training, most of what you try you won't feel immediately, plus it will take some time to see the difference. 

Mastering the macros to a degree where you understand the why when something you experiment with that should work but doesn't, not only requires time and patience, but it demands objectively, directly in the face of subjectivity, surrounded by it makes no sense at all. 

The thing that makes nutrition so unbelievably challenging is emotional stability, or lack thereof. How in the hell you wonder can freaking out about gaining weight make you store fat on your body, yet its true, WTF. In the end, you'll discover the secret for success among a few other things is knowing the numbers, you see, it's all about calories in, and calories out. This I promise you will go a long way in creating objectivity and emotional stability, which leads us into phase three, cardio conditioning. 

This is the easiest of the three phases to master. More cardio or less, verses high or low impact? Which cardio machine produces the best result in the least amount of time. Answer.  No more than twenty five minutes at one time. Low impact verses high, with moderate tempo, and it's all based on heart rate which is age dependent.There you have it. Does your trainer know this?

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

Micro Circuit Training.... The most powerful way to train for fitness

The more you temporarily stress a muscle, the more it will respond. The stress can be created in various ways, be it through lifting heavy weight, verses lighter weight with more repetitions. Rest periods are a factor, in addition the amount of times a muscle is trained per week, even per day. These are all considered training stress factors.

The X- factor is knowing how to manipulate the training stress factors in a weight training regimen that gets the most performance out of each body part in the least amount of time.This is way easier said than done, but it can definitely be done assuming you understand the natural rhythm of the physiology. 

A few training rules to live buy are one, a fitness workout session should last no more than 30-45 minutes. Nine to fifteen total sets should be performed. Three body parts in no specific order should be performed in conjunction with one another. This is known as a training round, which can be the same or different body parts. When transitioning from one exercise to the other in a training round, rest periods should kept to a minimum.

Rest periods are only to be taken after each training round for no longer than sixty seconds, before beginning subsequent training rounds. A micro training circuit consists of three training rounds. A  30-45 minute training session is made up of three micro training circuits, and nine exercises. Exercises inside of each micro training circuit are to be performed three times in there entirety before moving on to other micro training circuits.

Micro circuit training is the most powerful way to produce results for fitness because of the volume of work (repetitions) performed in a 30-45 minute training session. The objective in a training session is to thoroughly exhaust each muscle group without causing the body to be overtrained, which is efficiently achievable with micro training circuits. All three micro training circuits are a microcosm of one another, and although each micro training circuit is independent, when trained together create synchronicity, producing dramatic fitness results.  

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Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

Don't worry about when you breathe

Sometimes you gotta just let your body do what it knows best.  Most of the time the brain is the problem, especially when you start over thinking. Humans are constantly getting in their own way, which usually translates to diminishing results.

An ongoing debate in the weight training industry is when should one breathe when performing repetitions. Typically the answer is to take a breath at the starting point of the exercise, releasing  air throughout the exercise until the repetition is completed, and repeating that same protocol  for each repetition performed thereafter until training set is completed. 

This advice is sound, but it doesn't necessarily produce the best outcome, because it causes the individual to focus on breathing instead of the exercise. So, what's the solution? One way is through repetition, in this case meaning teaching your body and brain what you want it to do, because repetition is the mother of skill. Let human nature take precedence, in most cases it's the right approach, because your body and brain are innate. In other words, your body and brain by its own nature know what to do, so get out of its way. It knows when to breathe. 

The only exception where this wouldn't apply are when bad habits have been learned to begin with, for example if you held your breath throughout the entire repetition or training set. Not only could this inhibit performance, but potentially be dangerous, because of intracranial pressure, otherwise known as pressure around the brain.

Let's be clear, it's not a problem temporarily holding your breathe, just not entirely. An easy way to execute reps and sets without wondering when and where you should breathe is to make sure some air is being released ever so slowly during the exercise. In order to make each repetition a perfect one, you need to focus on the muscle, not your breathing.

Is your angle right

Lifting weights properly like most everything else has a process when done efficiently to a point where you can produce and have the ability to reproduce training results pretty much at will. The training angle of an exercise plays an important role. The struggle for most people is the lack of discipline and patience to the the wherewithal to follow through. 

There are many stages of weight training one must endure before learning how different exercises impact individual body parts. It's definitely not a one size fits all proposition, because people come in all shapes and sizes.This is where a legit personal trainer earns their money because a good one  shortens the learning curve. 

Otherwise a methodical approach is the protocol. A good training tip for the average Joe and Jane is initially not to focus on lifting heavy, rather opt for lighter amount of weight where more repetitions, which should range from 10-15 reps are performed.This training strategy is more favorable for concentrating on form, technique, and training angles. 

Form and technique should always be a priority, because you're only as good as your form and technique. Once this is attained, incorporating new training angles would be the next phase of well thought out training regimen.This approach will develop a strong foundation and an infrastructure designed to adapt various training methodologies.

Whether you're trying to reach the pinnacle in attaining maximum fitness, or an athlete who wants to develope the competitive edge, it will all come down to this specific strategy of focusing on form, technique, and training angles. 

Making a personal commitment and being patient enough to develop a sound training regimen is the path less traveled, and deal breaker for most, but it's the right way to create something that will produce continued, ongoing results.

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

Does your trainer really know about the three training components

There's a reason why almost all personal trainers are dead wrong in the way they train their clients. It's because they are clueless about the three training components. I'd would say half the trainers know something about the three components. Training is usually the one they most know about, yet not nearly what they should know. 

For example, most don't know the real difference between strength and volume training. Some don't even know the difference between a superset or a compound set. I would venture to say very few if any know you can train the same body part every five hours providing that the body part is not overtrained to begin with, which by the way is entirely possible if you're a legit trainer who knows their shit. 

Cardio conditioning is another area which trainers are confused. Most can't tell you how much you should do and the length of time before it becomes a muscle wasting exercise. Fake trainers can't tell you why a targeted heart rate is paramount when cardio training, simply because if it's too high, your body utilizes sugar rather than fat as it's energy source. 

And then you have nutrition, which is the most misunderstood of the three training components. Trainers are all over the place with this component, usually in the wrong place. The bottom line and  reason most trainers don't really know the ins and outs of the three training components is do to lack of first hand experience, as there in lies the real knowledge. 

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

What the hell happen to the gym?

Hard to tell anymore! I haven't seen a really good training session in a gym since the nineties, and I'm not blind. It's pathetic and absurd beyond belief. All I see are fake trainers, fake gurus, fake workouts, fake everything. These fucking moronic trainers have their thumb up their assess not giving clients any kind of credible workout, far from it. 

Everyone now thanks to social media call themselves a guru this, guru that. I got your guru right here. These gurus are giving information that's inept, delirious, and dangerous. And then they're is the general gym atmosphere of members on their own doing what appears to be a training session.

This is definitely a site for sore eyes, and not in a good way. Ok, let me be clear, these are not fucking workouts. I've seen more action watching a moth eat a drape. These people shouldn't even  be in Planet Fitness, because even there they'd be judged. 

It's time to drain the gym swamp land. The first thing that has to happen is actually have real workouts happen in side the gym. People most of the time are like sheep, they do a damn good job of following. This will not be an easy feat, because like any other change in life, at first it's frightening. Snowflakes beware, start looking for a safe space and counseling. 

In the meantime for those who are clueless or the visual type, go to the website listed at the bottom, and watch what real training looks like. Watch it three or more times before you attempt it yourself, other wise hire a real trainer, preferably who looks the part. www.automaticfitnessplus.com.

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

What a croc

A personal trainer on Google who's name I won't reveal, as not to embarrass him gives guidelines for strength, endurance, muscle with respect to weight training. When you work with or get advice from a personal trainer you want someone who knows their stuff, unfortunately they don't come a dime a dozen, as a matter of fact, not even a dime of two dozens. This so called expert trainer attempted to dazzel the readers with his knowledge on how to weight train for producing strength, endurance, and muscle growth. 

To be more accurate, he gave guidelines for repetitions and rest periods in each one of the categories.The guidelines he gave were boiler plate, otherwise very general information. Where does Google find these rookies? I totally get it, when you're explaining things to an audience, you have to talk in fourth grade language, but this ya hoo did little to explain in a way that made it seem like he himself knew what he was talking about. Seems to me it was a copy and paste job, or worse. 

Truth is, if he had command of his  knowledge and craft he would have educated the reader beyond the general guidelines, providing them a targeted working strategy of how they could improve on the general guidelines, listing core groups of exercises in each one of the categories that have a higher probability for producing more efficient results. He also should have identified the importance of training time of workout sessions, and how to avoid overtraining, as this definitely impacts reps and rest periods. 

But he didn't. Because I'm highly skeptical, my question is why is that, if the goal is always to teach and educate? Think about it, when you open a new business, you just don't hang up a shingle and hope clients show up, and you also don't mail in boiler plate information. I would be shocked if this trainer on Google has much of a clientele, as he had his moment in front of a big audience to show his stuff and he definitely fell short, way short. 

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

I can tell you've never competed

You wake up one day after seven years and decide you can't take it anymore. You're out of shape, and some how it feels like life is already passing you by, and you're not even thirty years of age. You're frustrated, but not enough, because there's not enough pain to snap you out of this lull. 

But then one day it happens, but you're not sure, because you've not had this exact feeling which is somewhere deep inside you. You decide to start working out with weights, which isn't anything earth shattering, yet it seems like it, because it's the furthest thing that you thought you'd ever do. 

Fast forward six months, unbelievably not only are you still working out with weights, you're now training, which is another level of intensity. This phase you're in is much more serious, as in you're training everyday, watching what you eat, to the point, you're counting calories of every single thing that goes in your mouth.

Not only are you feeling better, you're looking good and people are really noticing. Now the unforeseeable happens after a year of training. You decide to compete in a bodybuilding competition. The thought of being judged in posing trunks goes way beyond unforeseeable, it borders on horrifying, and yet somehow you drum up enough nerve to compete anyway. 

Fast forward four months, you've now competed, and it's changed your life forever. Over the next fifteen years the bodybuilding lifestyle is now your life. You've become a master of your craft competing at a level where you know the ends and outs of how nutrition and exercise really impacts performance. As you reflect back, you remember when you thought you had all the answers, but now you realize you didn't. You understand that the only source of knowledge is experience. 

However, history will continue to repeat itself. It's obvious when you read about self proclaimed experts on social media who tout themselves as trainers giving advice on nutrition and training. It's also obvious they lack experience.

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

When should you do cardio?

It would be nice if getting the facts about anything related to diet and exercise were black and white, but if that was the case there would not be any gray matter. I'm telling you from first hand experience all the good shit happens in the gray matter, before it returns to black and white. 

When I first began my bodybuilding career I was so certain I knew everything about all kinds of things, like best way to train to pack on muscle, or how much protein one should consume on a daily basis. Name it, and I knew. It was a black and white answer. 

Fast forward with a few more years of experience under my belt, learning more about those very same things, I realized that my confident certainty about black and white conclusions had changed.  Now it seemed everything I knew about diet and exercise was all gray matter. Nothing was black and white any longer. All of a sudden I was in a time frame of my career where everything was a work in progress, and I didn't seem to conclusively know shit anymore. How could it be I knew less even though I had more experience.

I continued to learn at the school of hard knocks, simply needing more years of first hand, in the trenches of real time experiences. I had to fail, and fail some more to start getting the answers to all the gray matter that had once been black and white. Albert Einstein nailed it when he said real knowledge is experience. 

So, to address the question of when you should do cardio. The black and white answer is if you're an athlete training for sport, do it after your weight training. If you're not an athlete training for sport, rather for overall fitness, it doesn't matter, PERIOD...

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Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

Train more and get more

You won't hear that too often. Your body is designed to handle stress, so stress it out by training it more often. In order to produce more results from your training program at times you have to irritate the muscle more frequently. Say that to most trainers and they'll probably wet themselves. 

Note, there is a process and a method to the madness for irritating the physiology to the point where you push it to the edge without sending it into overtraining land. But keep in mind, one thing you shouldn't do for sure is train more than 45 minutes at any one time because eventually that will  promote overtraining. 

However, there is an override for this. You can train twice, even three times per day without any exposure for overtraining, but you have to keep training times between twenty and thirty minutes. If you want to watch your trainer melt down and soil themselves, tell them of this little unknown fact. 

Here's another inside training tip, tried and tested in the trenches, which will improve exercise performance. Trick your physiology, by implementing training tactics called hyperacceleration, and hyperadaptation. This is where for a period time throughout a regular training regimen, you increase training intensity, or volume, before you decellerate intensity, or volume back to the regular training regimen. Understanding how to manipulate the physiology in this manner is an efficient way to push the envelope for continued progress. If your trainer does not understand this training methodology, they're definitely compromising your results. 

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

Is your health and fitness training program a trend... Probably!

Three only way you can create ongoing consistent results from your health and fitness program is to have a regimen that's built on a sold foundation. Keep in mind, your body is always in a state of flux.To some degree, on some level, it's constantly adapting to it's environment even though initially your mind tends to resist. Here in lies the conflicting dilemma.

Human nature prefers to take the path less traveled, but if you want to create change, you must challenge it with a consistent regimen, yet most people don't, unfortunately most personal trainers don't either. Simply put, changing your training regimen too often produces less results. 

If you're that person who is always following the next trend that will continue to pop up, you'll never attain your full potential, because you won't reach the full potential of the physiology. It's your brain  fucking you up. To be clear, your brain is an organ that acts like a muscle. 

The organ (brain) in a training regimen, in layman terms gets bored and wants change before the physiology (muscle) has fully adapted to the training regimen. So, when you change your training regimen too soon, you make your brain happy, because it has something new and exciting to try, but you short change your physiology. There is a reasonable fix for this.

Listen up fake trainers, here's the scoop. Instead of  constantly changing the complete training regimen, make subtle changes, a slight variation, but still following through with the original training regimen until the physiology fully adapts. 

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)

Muscles can't count

We usually attach a rep range to a training set. Not a bad thing, but reps are not best indicator for determining an effective training set. Sometimes inexperienced trainers, or those individuals who are beginners, or intermediate status rely too much on repetitions rather than the state of the muscle. 

You see, the objective when performing a set is to make every rep count by feeling the movement of the exercise from start to finish, for every single repetition, but most importantly at the completion of each training set, the muscle should be thoroughly exhausted.

What often happens when only counting repetitions, the muscle is under trained, because the rep range the for the training set is the priority instead of focusing on the muscle reaching exhaustion. You can now see how this training strategy overtime will produce sub par results because the muscle is not getting properly trained.

This will definitely have a negative effect on one's  performance, and the way they look. Seasoned trainers know this and should continue to emphasize when training clients that it's fine to have a rep range as a form of accountability, as well a goal to hit, but the focus must remain on the muscle itself. If by the end of the set you still haven't thoroughly exhausted the muscle, it would be appropriate to do more reps until it happens. 

Conversely, when you're not able to complete the repetitions you've set for yourself in a training set because of muscle exhaustion, it should not be considered under performing, which ironically is exactly what happens. It's hard to be logical and objective about the fact that muscles can't count, which is why you want a trainer who fully understands the training process.

Stay tuned for more truth talking…

Best, The Truth Talker (Leo Costa Jr)