Today is going to be more of a random thoughts post which I haven’t done in a while and I have a few thoughts I wanted to share.  It is a little rainy and the fall weather has finally arived but all in all it is going to be a great week as I survived a weekend of the first round of this year’s cold/flu season. 

Luckily (enough) it came at the end of my last 2 month training cycle of the 5-3-1 program where my max lifts skyrocketed.  My deadlift saw the greatest improvement and went from a measly (relatively speaking) 335 to 405.  My bench (which I didn’t focus on for months) went from 245 to 285 and my squat (also didn’t do for months) went from 280 to 345.  And with all thier powers combined (reference?) I joined the 1000lb club.  To some in the lifting community this may be minute but for myself powerlifting is new and that is one badass PR (personal record) to hit in 2 months.  (parenthesis parenthisis)

  • This is a little off topic from the exercise stuff but I just found out that if you hold down the Shift key while clicking on a link then it will open up in a new window.  I don’t know how I figured it out but I think it may have come to me in a dream.  Try it out.  For me it will save mucho time of clicking through to various articles and clicking back to the previous page.  Awesomeness.

A few weeks ago I was sent a question from one of my clients regarding the Perfect Pushup and whether or not it is a sound investment.  My initial response was that they change the range of motion but are no better than doing good old fashioned hand-on-floor pushups.  I actually bought a set myself a few years back and may have used them only about a dozen or so times.  Well I finally found the research to back me up because there is no difference in muscle activation when it comes to using them or doing regular pushups.  Here is the abstract at (use the shift + click, pretty sweet huh?) Therefore the only good to come out of the Perfect Pushup is it may have gotten people to do pushups more regularly since they had bought the equipment.  I myself, did not get my money’s worth.

Do not fall for glorified claims!!

The last topic I wanted to get into today is on the so-called “cheat meal”.  Football season is back in full swing and for many of you guys out there that means huddling in front of your 47″ plasma with a smorgasboard of wings, buffalo dip, beer, and chips.  And in your mind it is ok to go to town on pounds of this stuff “because it is Sunday” and you worked out all week. 

This is a mindset that is setting you up for failure right from the beginning as is the phrase “cheat meal”.  By using the word cheat your are making that little indulgence a dirty little secret like you don’t want anyone to find out (especially your trainer).  When I think of the word cheating what comes to mind are people with gambling problems, people who don’t pay attention in class taking tests, and unfaithful spouses (bastards).  Is this something you want to associate with the food you eat?  Of course not.

Now I eat clean, unprocessed foods most of the time but if the opportunity arrises and it corresponds with my current goals then yes, that slice of Reese’s cheesecake is going straight down my piehole.  It’s often a topic of conversation when I eat out with family or friends because I am a personal trainer.  Funny how because of my profession I am not allowed to eat a bacon cheeseburger (not fastfood, I do not believe that is real meat).

Honestly though, food is food is food and shutting yourself off from certain foods will place them on a pedestal in your mind and make you crave them more so when you do decide to “cheat” you will gorge.  The best way to approach food is nutrient timing and moderation which I will get into in another post.  And of course eating proper nutrition to fuel your body, especially if your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, get stronger, perform better, live longer, and be healthy.  Oh wait, that is everybody. 

Check out this article by Leigh Peele for her view on “cheat meals” as well here (shift + click, fun isn’t it?)  She gives a great insight into what happens in your mind and body when you deprive yourself of something you crave then “cheat”.

REMEMBER:  If you are fueling up with a variety of whole fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and beans then those minor indulgences will be few and far in between. 

ASK YOURSELF: Will eating this triple meaty deluxe with extra cheese pizza move me closer or further from my goals? Be honest with yourself, it will pay off in the long run.

Written by Steve