So I am one year older and another year wiser, or at least I think so.  It has been a very educational year for myself between reading up to two books per week, many great blogs, attending seminars, webinars, and medical  and exercise physiology journals.  Year 27 will be no different as I have already began writing a breif e-book which I hope to get out to all of you guys by December.  The one thing I lack is questions from all of you so post them or email them and I will respond.  We will both become more enlightened in the process.

I decided that I haven’t done a “Great Reads” post in a while so I just wanted to give you guys some stuff to check out that I have already checked out so check it out.  I’m actually setting up for a busy week at Fitcorp and going hiking this weekend so I may not have a lot of blog time but I will make it up to you guys I promise.

This article by Eric Cressey explains exactly what goes on in my head when it comes to being a personal trainer.  When I read this post I felt like Jim Carrey from the Truman Show when he found out he was being recorded because this is exactly what my life is like every day.  If you ever dreamed of becoming a personal trainer definitely check this out to see if you have what it takes.

Here is an epic post by Tony Gentilicore and a follow up post featured on his site by Bret Contreras in response to a trainer’s ass-backwards comment:

…your safety is your #1 priority, and definitely DO NOT be persuaded by advice from magazines and uninformed trainers to do squats that WE ALL KNOW make your thighs huge!This exercise over-develops the outer part of your quadriceps, and possibly will lead to an imbalance in your knees, and even worse – flabby inner thighs.

Here is my insight for the day: Bullets don’t kill people, people kill people.  I also strongly believe that squats don’t hurt people, whatever the they are doing and calling a squat is hurting them.  A squat, when done properly, will in most cases help to clean up movement imbalances, strengthen your glutes and legs to help prevent injury, and give you one killer looking asset.  They will not damage your knees, give you huge thighs, or make your inner thighs flabby.  Like any other exercise, take the time to learn how to perfect it to keep your body healthy and strong.  That is why we exercise…isn’t it?

A question that I seem to get a lot from both clients and friends regarding pain is whether or not to work through it.  Whether you have chronic back pain from having hip flexors that are tighter than a walnut or tweaked something in your shoulder during your last 300lb bench press this article by Nate Green should help you to understand why this happened in the first place.  My best advice is to not work through pain as there is probably something more serious going on that is causing the pain.  Pain is not natural and there is a reason that you can’t do certain exercises without pain.  The good news is with proper training and these quick fixes you should be good as new and no time…and maybe a few pounds lighter in the process.

Here is a post by Brian St.Pierre about the benefits of a low carb diet.  The research is finally out proving that low-carb diets are actually not bad for you and learning to control the carbs in your diet may help you control your weight.  Don’t get me wrong, carbs are very important depending on your training and how active you are but even more important are the quality and timing of your carbs.  So indulge in more protein and healthy fat and keep your carbs in check.

Nia Shanks...she lifts heavy. Very heavy.

This post by Nia Shanks is totally badass and a must read for everyone, male and female.  This goes along with the post I did about a month ago titled “What I Find Sexy“.  These women are lean, strong, powerful, and look nothing like bodybuilders.  They practice and improve their lifts and instead of bulking up they stay toned and sexy and are strong as hell.  Guys take note because they may be lifting more than you.  Girls be proud and stay strong!

Last but not least is another kick-ass post by Mike Robertson outlining the basics of knee pain.  There is a reason your knees bother you when you squat, lunge or run and its usually not your knees.  Check out this post to understand where that pain is coming from and what you can do to prevent it.  Hint: it’s probably from sitting on your ass all day so get off it and start doing the stuff that will help you get and stay fit.

…the best question regarding any of these articles I will give a 30min session to free of charge.  Start using your noodle.  C’mon not that noodle, your brain!

Written by Steve