The room is dimly lit and there are shelves packed with leather-bound books along the walls. You’re laying down on a couch spewing your deepest, darkest secrets to some stranger who’s favored responses seem to be, “how does that make you feel?” or “your parents are the reason you’re like this.” Meanwhile, this stranger is fiercely scribbling on a notepad what you speculate is your dooming diagnoses and who knows what else. [Read more…]
Luck. Whether you’re born with it, find it in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, or find it in a bottle of golden liquid won for brewing the best Draught of Living Death potion in Potions class, we are all aware of its existence. But what exactly is luck? Why does it seem like some people are just so darn lucky, while others can’t catch a break? Also, is luck necessary for success in competitive bodybuilding? Let’s dive in and look deeper! Oh, and whatever you do, don’t play the “Name Game” with luck if there are children around…
Here is a recent post of mine followed by a comment that I received…
My post: [Read more…]
Be Sure to Check With a Qualified Healthcare Practitioner Before Trying Any Training Tool, Including BFR.
Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is a concept that has been researched for a quite some time and appears to be a safe and effective tool for the training of strength and physique athletes as well as the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal pathologies in physical therapy. Due to the increased popularity of BFR training, more and more questions have arisen about the optimization of its implementation (say that 5 times fast). Today, we’re talking about why exercise selection may be key and, depending on the exercise, can either enhance or hinder the effects of BFR. Let’s get to it! [Read more…]
How the weeks have flown! Here we are, back with Part 2 of I Am Thankful for the Mistakes of the Past. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 right here. Let’s get right into it!
Movement is Not the Same as Progress and Doing Wrong Things Well Won’t Make Them Right.
While dedication, discipline, and passion can allow any goal to be achieved and surpassed, they must be guided, controlled, and channeled correctly. We cannot work hard just for the sake of working hard. [Read more…]
The “Old Days” of bodybuilding and fitness…the “Bro Days.” We’ve all heard of them. Many of us have lived them. The “Old Days” refer to that time way back when and long, long ago when the driving forces of fitness and bodybuilding were primarily “Bro science” and wives’ tales from sources like muscle magazines, the biggest guy (or girl) in the gym, or really anyone with a halfway decent set of abs and a smartphone, without regard for science or evidence-based thinking.
We all started somewhere, and I would guess that many of our origins and paths of growth in bodybuilding and fitness are quite similar. We’ve made mistakes. We’ve blindly followed advice and significantly changed our lives to implement these concepts. Essentially, we became experts in ladder climbing with little regard as to whether the ladder was leaning on the right wall!
Those early days were dangerous. They had the potential to crush us mentally and physically as well as jeopardize our most meaningful relationships with friends, family, and significant others. More often than not, the early days also increased our physical and mental stress levels, limited our ability to be fluid and adaptable, and lessened our overall quality of life. The worst part? We didn’t mind. We didn’t care enough to notice it. We stifled that all-knowing tiny voice in our heads, known as conscience, giving us little jabs of guilt and raising the occasional red flag as we fell deeper and deeper away from who we truly were and wanted to be. We were unaware that we were prisoners and that, my friends, is the best kind of prisoner because ignorance has the potential to keep the imprisoned blissfully in prison forever.
The unfortunate truth is, the “Old Days” have not passed; they are still very much alive, present, and thriving (much like Tom Riddle through an enchanted diary**) through gurus, zealots, both mainstream and social media, and magazines and websites focused on gaining subscriptions rather than improving the community at large. They are profiting and preying off of those who are still ignorantly imprisoned. Thankfully, many have been enlightened and have allowed their views and beliefs to be turned upside down in the presence of a better way. Sadly, many have not. Many are still stuck in the dark ages.
When I was in undergraduate college I wanted to do the absolute best that I could and straight A’s were the goal. Just like the “Old Days,” I put my head down and grinded. I ended up “succeeding” in getting straight A’s and graduating summa cum laude, just like I was “successful” at being a “Bro.” As I progressed in my college and eventually professional careers, I realized that grades weren’t what were important. The grade shouldn’t have been the goal. In fact, I was so enlightened, that in my last year of the doctoral program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, I didn’t look at one grade the entire year! And guess what? I still got straight A’s, but I did it with a much less intense, close-minded, and misguided mindset.
I truly feel that I was only able to get straight A’s in that last year of graduate school without tracking grades because of the years spent doing it the wrong way. This two-part article will explain why our ability to properly apply the concepts of a more evidence-based approach to bodybuilding and fitness relies heavily on our mistakes of the past. In other words, in order to do it correctly, you have to have done it incorrectly first. I don’t regret the “Bro Days.” I am thankful for them. Here’s why and what I’ve learned. [Read more…]
Whether you are gaining, maintaining, or cutting, having a digestive system which is functioning smoothly can be life-changing. No one wants to walk around bloated, sluggish, and “backed-up”. The challenge is, when things aren’t working properly and we’re feeling frustrated, it can be difficult to determine what the true cause of our digestive distress is. A few recent consultations on improving digestive functioning prompted the idea for an article on this topic. Over these next few paragraphs, my goal is to equip you with a variety of ideas and strategies that can help you improve your digestive functioning if, and when, you experience issues.* [Read more…]
When did eating get so complicated? I imagine the first humans reading the title of this article then bursting into howls of laugher saying, “You eat when you’re hungry and when there’s food available! Article done!” And while I wish it were always that simple, unfortunately, the motivation behind human eating behavior is more complex.
Welcome back to the final installment of our emotional eating series. In this last piece, we will cover the emotional eating cycle and the steps to break it.
One final point I want to make before getting into today’s topic, is how to get the most out of it: [Read more…]
Welcome back to part 2 of our mini-series on emotional and other non-physiological eating behaviors. Now that we’ve identified some of the major reasons for eating, other than being physically hungry, how do we resolve them? Do we even need to resolve them?
I’ve grouped these emotional and other non-physiological reasons for eating into three main categories: 1) Normal behaviors (given modern culture, traditions, etc.), 2) Neutral but potentially destructive behaviors, and 3) Behaviors we need to address. [Read more…]