So much going on right now

I’m sure it’s likely the same for everyone, but I really have a lot going on right now.

In addition to working full time, punctuated with international travel to see my kids and family, I have a whole host of projects in the melting pot, all vying for my attention.

Of those, the one project that’s been getting most of my attention right now is a collaboration I am working on with Scott Tousignant and Bryan Krahn.

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Before you hit “publish”, are you adding value?

Frankly, this post was tough to title. I toyed with a variety of options, but most just came off as condescending. I’m still not sure I like the title as written, but it’s at least one of the points I was trying to make.

The idea behind this post was to talk about what goes into writing useful and enjoyable content in the fitness, nutrition and bodybuilding space. Hence my struggle with the title. I could have titled it “A guide to writing content for the fitness industry”, or some such; but that’s where I draw a line, of sorts.

Tackling a post of this nature, you’d be forgiven for assuming I’m a successful personal trainer, fitness icon or otherwise accomplished writer. Fair, but wrong. It would also be reasonable for you to assume I perhaps have a science background, or qualifications in physiology, kinesiology and maybe nutrition. Again, no.

Well this dude better at least be jacked, right?

Alas, merely bumps in the right places, with a vein or two, and even some abs, when viewed under scientifically controlled lighting.

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Exactly one month into the cut

IMG_20150607_085456It’s been almost a month to the day since the end of my last bulking phase. If you recall, I ended the bulk at 187.75lbs, a couple of pounds shy of my 190lb target. Truth be told, I have far from mastered the art of the bulk, and I was grateful to see it end. Still, we’ll do better next time.

As bodybuilders, we say a lot of things that need added context to make complete sense, especially to the novice trainee. For example, consider some of the things I say regularly:

  • “I’m not even dieting yet”
  • “I don’t do any cardio at all”
  • “I don’t track my macros”
  • “I pretty much eat what I want”

All of these things are both completely true, and yet, very misleading without context and some added narrative.

Hence, the goal with this update is to be very specific about what I’ve done during the last month, and evaluate where we are as we head into the second half of this cutting phase.

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The reason you’re not making progress

There’s a reason you’re not making the progress you want in the gym. In fact, there’s likely many reasons. For example, you could be following the wrong program, perhaps working too low in the rep-range. Or maybe it’s that all body, routine you switched to recently. Perhaps you’re doing a little too much cardio; not enough cardio. Ah, you don’t have macros? That’ll be it. Oh, you do have macros, but you’re not tracking? Yeah, track your foods and hit the macros, that will help. Your rest intervals could be too long, or too short, of course, and what’s your tempo like? Exclusively machines? Dope, switch to free weights… but not barbells, just dumbbells. Did you say you are or aren’t benching? Well whichever it is, do the other…

Confused?

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Too long to Tweet

IMG_20150425_083821-COLLAGESometimes, I have a lot to say… other times, not so much. Of late, I’ve not had a lot good to say, so I’ve kept pretty quiet. Twitter is where I spend most of my time, and a closed Facebook group I am part of. You can also see crappy progress pics and photos of food up at Instagram.

So why let the blog slip?

I’ve pondered this long and hard and come to the conclusion that I need to lower the bar somewhat. Not necessarily in terms of quality, just in terms of airing thoughts and getting stuff down. I tend to set the bar too high for the blog, looking for ways to write an elaborate detailed and thematic post, and that can turn into a half day commitment… time I just don’t have (or want to dedicate) to blogging.

So my plan is try and post a few times a week, but to make those posts shorter and easy to digest. That way, I still get to write, you still get to read, and collectively, they still tell the story of me.

As I always point out, this blog is more of a journal than a resource, and thus usefulness and/or interest to the reader will vary dramatically. There’s too much information on health, fitness and bodybuilding out there, and if you do want REAL information, you’ll already be following the likes of Adam Bornstein and Bryan Krahn.

As always, if you have questions about what I am doing, my goals, plans etc., just ask – I’m always happy to share my experiences and what I have (or at least should have) learned.

Top tips to help you reach your physique goals

arnoldAs those of you who follow me know, I am VERY passionate about health, fitness and in particular, bodybuilding. You’ll also be quick to note that I am no expert, and I am certainly not yoked (at least not by my own high standard).

However, I have learned a lot from working with and following some of the industry’s leading authorities (like Adam Bornstein and Bryan Krahn), and perhaps, most of all, through wide experimentation.

In fact, of late, I’ve even had modest success, pushing my lean body mass to its highest point yet while holding an all-time personal-high bodyweight of 180lbs. And as I begin to flirt with success, a number of friends and family have asked for a little help and guidance in pursuit of their own physique goals… something I am more than happy (and flattered!) to do for them.

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Crushing goals, inching forward, still here to tell the tale

Me at 173lb and 10% body fatOverall, it’s been a pretty good week. Sure, I’ve definitely had some ups and downs–this is real-life, after all–but on balance, I’ll take it.

In terms of progress in the gym, it’s been a real roller-coaster! I went from starting out the week with multiple, epic PRs, to fizzling out last night with a pretty lack-luster workout; at least as far as the numbers are concerned. But given I am trying hard to play-down everything negative in my life right now, let’s keep things positive and start with those PRs.

Oh, and I’ve got to keep this post to less than 1K words, or my good friend Bryan Krahn may unexpectedly hurt himself if he pushes through to the end.

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Keeping to the schedule

Alright guys, just a little over a week since I last posted. Trying hard to not let things slip and keep on top of a weekly posting schedule. The challenge, as always, is not finding time to write, but committing to writing something of value. Still, I personally get a little something form journaling my own progress and experiences, so maybe that’s reason enough.

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Are you balancing your fitness books?

Broken piggy bankI was inspired recently having read a great article by Bryan Krahn on having to earn the right to moderation. Gritty and well written, the article asserts that before you back-off on your next visit to the gym and simply go through the motions, be sure that you’ve earned the right to moderate your efforts.

Most interestingly, to help actualize the concept, Bryan uses the analogy of a bank account, with deposits and withdrawals. This mental model is useful, because it helps people understand the notion that just as with money, your fitness books need careful balancing. In his specific example, moderation–a withdrawal–can only be made if you have the funds in your fitness account. That is, you’ve been making regular deposits–hard workouts–to build a surplus.

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