If you listen to the 3DMJ podcast, you’ve probably heard me or one of the other coaches talk about how the offseason and contest prep should resemble one another a bit more closely over the course of your career as you develop “bodybuilder life skills”. If this doesn’t make sense initially, I can understand that. An immediate reaction might be to cock your head, and raise your eyebrow as you think, “hold on, in the offseason you should be in a surplus, gaining weight, higher in body fat, using more volume, and doing less or no cardio…that’s very dissimilar to contest prep.” Correct, that’s all true…but we don’t mean the quantitative variables, we mean the habits and lifestyle you develop, and the underlying structure.
Here is a recent post of mine followed by a comment that I received…
My post: [Read more…]
More and more lately I’ve been writing, speaking and thinking about, well, thinking. As the “evidence based community” has grown in fitness, I’ve been increasingly aware of the disconnect between scientific knowledge and scientific thinking in our little community.
Sometimes we accept logical fallacies in arguments, so long as we think the person being argued against is on the other side of science. [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…]
After reading part one (Consistent Peaking – Part One) you’ll know I’m not a believer in magical peak weeks, but I do believe in the ground work in the weeks preceding it. It’s there where the magic truly happens, and in those weeks your priority should be on getting in true contest shape before you even enter your peak week. If you’re not in contest shape a week out from your show and you’re relying on voodoo tactics (refer to part one), then you’ll most likely fall short of your true potential no matter how your peak week is set up. Based on my 30+ years of experience, I’ve never seen anyone get in true contest shape where they relied heavily on peak week to make up for what they lacked in the weeks prior. [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…]
If you’re a bodybuilder who is fast approaching peak week (the week leading to a show) or is getting ready to compete in the near future, this blog might intrigue you. I wanted to share with you, as a coach, how I approach peak week and I want to feature one of my athletes who is having a tremendous 2018 contest season. Thomas Davies, who is coming off a novice class win at the BNBF Midlands on August 11, 2018 nailed his peak and his best physique to date. [Read more…]
“I’m investing in my metabolism” I told myself, and I believed all of it would be worth it in the long run. At this point, I was eating about 3200 calories on average while weighing just 3-4lbs above my contest weight. Looking back, I would now go as far to say that at this point I looked better than I did during any point of my contest prep. I was eating 1,000 more calories than any leg of my diet, but really that was the only thing I had going for me. [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…]
First of all, I am glad that the whole idea of taking a diet-break mid-prep, is no longer a novel idea. It’s much easier to propose the idea of tackling a contest prep diet with pit stops along the way. If you have ever prepped, you know how it is. [Read more…]