August 2011 Archives


Like a lot of coaches, I have a handful of “pet” phrases, cues, and quotes that I tend to bring out.  When I’m talking to my clients or having a conversation there are a few that seem to come up pretty regularly.  Usually I don’t notice it or think it’s that obvious until a client starts mimicking one back at me (this is right before I they end up doing extra push-ups).  It’s not that I can’t think of something original to say, trust me, it’s that these cues work.

One of my favorite lines that you’ll never hear me apologize for using is “Strength is a skill”.  I use it a lot, tag most of my emails with it, and firmly believe it.  I’d like to claim that I originated the quote, but I know that I heard it from someone back in the day, but I honestly can’t remember who coined the phrase (if anyone knows then shoot me a line).  Regardless of its root, I think this quote best sums up my training and life philosophy in one succinct message.
Read more on Strength Is a Skill…


A subject I preach about over and over is setting and accomplishing goals. In my mind, if a man doesn’t know what he’s trying to accomplish then he has almost no chance of truly accomplishing much of anything noteworthy. If you can’t do something noteworthy, then are you really living your life to its full potential?

It’s not just about setting concrete goals, though. If you don’t have the balls and staying power to overcome obstacles and crush the work required then there’s little chance of achieving the goal you’ve set, no matter how specific it is. Write that down, my friends, the secret of a great man’s life can be summed up in a couple of words: “Balls” and “Accomplishment”.

In light of that, one of the best ways to keep on task for a goal is to a) write it down, and b) grow a set of balls get it out to the world. Tell your friends, tell your spouse, tell the guy that hates you at work (that asshole will definitely keep up with your progress hoping to see you fail), or… tell the internet.

So to put my money where my Internet mouth is and also so you can see some of the craziness that I get up to in life, I’ve got a few of my personal goals to share today. I actually keep a running list of goals broken down into three categories: Short-term (three months or less, anything much under three months I consider to be more of a task than a goal), Mid-range (one year or less), and Long-term (several years or lifetime). Rather than post the entire list, especially since some are pretty personal, I’ll just drop some highlights.

Here’s my goals and my “why’s”.
Read more on A Look At My Goals – The Plan for Continued Awesomeness…


I think that every day has the opportunity to be a great day… until something screws it up. Life happens, but more often than not what screws up a formerly great day is us.

Taking the “you factor” out and having a great day is facilitated if you start it off right, which is a whole lot easier if you’ve got a solid morning ritual down. Whatever gets your morning motor running, be it breakfast, meditation, stretching, coffee or something else, establishing a morning ritual will get your head right and put your day in the direction you need.

*****Note that staggering to the bathroom is not quite what I mean by “morning ritual”, although by all means, do what you need to do.*****

Those who just roll out of bed and either rush off to a job or just laze around will tend to have a hard time getting established throughout the day.
Read more on Cooking for Men: The No BS Breakfast…


No flowery prose today.

No big speech.

No giving it your all.

No trying.

No “moral victories”.
Read more on Did the Bar Come Off the Ground?…


A few days ago I posted a quick question to my Facebook Page
which read:

“What is one thing the (now older and wiser) you of today would like to tell the you of 5, 10, or 15 years ago… assuming that young you would actually follow the advice?”

I got some great responses (great enough to post it to my personal page, too, for more input) and some of them got me thinking about what I’d say myself. I honestly hadn’t thought of any of my own answers when I posed the question as I was curious about others’ thoughts. However, given that I went ahead and asked, I guess it’s only fair that I come up with my own answers.
Read more on “Write That Down” – The Van Wilder Moments…


I don’t get into politics on this blog on a regular basis and I’m not going to start.  However, that doesn’t mean that I am not aware of general politics and I don’t spend a little bit of time reading about them. This is something that I feel that any man living in a democracy (call the United States what you want, but that’s the goal) should do. After all, if you’re not aware of what’s going on, it is irresponsible to wield the sword of power with your vote.

Anyway, a couple of my friends posted up a great article/opinion piece written today by Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame.
Read more on Penn Jillette Tells It Like It Is… and Sets a Great Example…


Yesterday I met up with my father and brother to consolidate vehicles on a trip down for a family birthday celebration in southern Maine. The most convenient and central place to do this is in a to-not-be-named fast food parking lot (think clown, not king) in Newport, ME. Now that I think about it, that’s probably not the best place to leave my truck, but such is life.

Anyway, my father and brother don’t have my distaste for all things fast food and it seemed that they’d skipped breakfast, so into the spot we trekked so they could grab a bite. Since I wasn’t eating I thought I might as well sit down and take in the show, and I have to say I was pretty shocked at the spectacle that was strewn in front of me. Admittedly it had been a while since I’d been in one of these restaurants so my memories aren’t the sharpest, but the people watching was much more horrible than I’d imagined it would be.
Read more on A Trip Down the Rabbit Hole…


It’s about time for another edition of my Notes From the Field series. Here’s where I let loose with some of the experiments and techniques I’ve been using with my clients to get monster results. Make no mistake about it, though, this isn’t eggheaded lab rat shit. This is the real world stuff that’s making my clients real world strong.
Read more on Notes From the Field II – Three More Ways My Clients Are Getting Strong…


Last night we experienced the closest thing the state of Maine has had to a hurricane in quite some time. Despite warnings from the meteorologists and other assorted media hysteria-mongers, Hurricane Irene limped into the state as a tropical storm, dropped a fair amount of rain and blew over a few trees. This resulted in some power outages and general inconvenience for everyone, but didn’t really cause a ton of heavy damage here.

Other areas of the East Coast didn’t get off so lightly, but in general Irene didn’t live up to the hype that was built around it. Such is the way of media and sometimes (luckily) the way of storms. Having spent time in the southern U.S., I am a little more aware of what hurricanes can do (and I didn’t even go through a major one when I was down there) than a lot of my northern neighbors tend to be. So in light of different perspectives, it’s been interesting to watch the build up to the storm and how people are reacting.
Read more on Observations From Hurricane Irene…


Ok, I’ll come right out and admit it: I hate training my abs/core/midsection/whatever you want to call it.

I mean I hate it like I hate going into a Walmart near the first of the month. Hate it. Traditionally ab training tends to be longer than it needs to be, frustrating, somewhat painful, and has you lying on the floor like an idiot (like the afore-mentioned Walmart trip). I’ve always hated it and I know that a lot of other guys do, too.

There are lots of people who maintain that you don’t need to train your abs at all and that simply “squatting and deadlifting heavy” should be all the abdominal training you need. While that probably works for some of the bodybuilders out there who don’t actually have to do anything with their abs other than stare obsessively at them in the mirror, I don’t know a serious strength athlete or competitive athlete who can get away without performing some dedicated midsection training, or at least operate at peak power.

Trust me, I’ve tried.
Read more on 3 Ab Exercises That Don’t Suck…