Girl Power-Strong and Feminine

On Saturday my Mom went on to prove that, once again, women can be strong AND feminine.

You may remember that a few months ago my Mom competed in her first push/pull meet. At that meet she weighed in at 148 pounds and benched 115 and deadlifted 235.

After that meet her goal was to lose weight, but also compete in another powerlifting meet.

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Women Strength Training

We finally got the snow we were predicted to get this weekend. It was beautiful, and my crazy dog and I had a blast playing in it!

On Saturday the ladies and I headed to the gym for a great training session. If you’ve read this blog at least once, I’m sure you know that I believe strength training is a great way for women to build the body they want, lose fat, and gain confidence.

The other two gals in the following video have lost a combined total of 53 pounds within a three month time period. And they accomplished this goal with simple and smart nutrition and a healthy dose of strength training three to four days per week.

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7 Gym Lessons

1) Everyone has heard the popular slogan “no pain, no gain!” Well, I am not a believer in that phrase if someone is experiencing physical pain, and I’m not talking about stopping a set just because your muscles are burning. If a certain movement or exercise causes physical pain, stop!

Physical pain is not necessary for success, and in fact is very counterproductive. However, there are times when the phrase “no strain, no gain” can be applied. For instance, if you are trying to increase your strength, then there are going to be times when you’re going to have to strain to push (or pull) a heavy weight.

Another phrase I prefer: “no brain, no gain”. Don’t just train hard, but please, train smart. Doing stupid stuff in the gym will just get you injured.

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Why Women Should Deadlift

Deadlifts. They are by far one of the best exercises for producing overall strength. But even more than that, they can even help you improve your physical appearance too. So, before we get into the meat of this article, I want to explain why women in particular should do deadlifts on a regular basis.

There are several reasons why women should incorporate deadlifts into their programs. One of the most important reasons I think deadlifting is important for women is that it allows them to realize their true strength potential. It never fails; anytime I train women and get them to pull a heavy triple on the deadlift, they absolutely love it. Something just seems to click in their minds when the rip a heavy weight off the floor.

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Back to Basics for Better Results

Tony Gentilcore Unplugged ImageIt seems like everywhere you look nowadays someone has come up with the “latest and greatest way to train” and the “latest and greatest diet and nutrition information” that is full of promises that you can get your best body ever.

More often than not, this information is just BS. In fact, many so called “experts” intentionally create diets and or training programs that are very complex because doing so will create the illusion that they are onto something great, and to cover up just how little they truly know about the topic.

So if you are overwhelmed with the surplus of information available about training and nutrition, I suggest this: get back to the basics of training and nutrition to reach your body composition and health goals. It worked 100+ years ago, and it will work today.

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Isolation Exercises and Building a Better Body

Over the past couple of months I have been experimenting with isolation exercises (specifically exercises for biceps, triceps, abdominals, shoulders, and calves) in my workouts and with some of my clients.

In the training world, we are still overwhelmed with the idea that the ultimate way to get a great body is to train for performance or train as an athlete. In fact, some people downright condemn the use of any isolation exercises.

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Protein Powder, Weight Loss, and Supplements

I’ll start this off by saying that no rule applies to every person 100% of the time. With that out of the way, let’s move on to today’s post.

One thing that annoys me more than any other is how supplements are pushed on people who just want to lose weight and improve their overall physical appearance. Now more than ever, personal trainers are joining in and trying to get their clients to buy useless supplements telling them that “you absolutely have to take this if you want to lose weight”. I have heard it many times before.

Now before I jump into why protein shakes and powders are not mandatory for weight loss success, I will first tell you some supplements that can be helpful.

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Stop Training for Weight Loss

Many people who join gyms and want to improve their body composition and physical appearance automatically start training for fat loss. This may mean that they perform circuits, sets with high repetitions, decreased rest periods, or that their focus centers solely on fat loss and nothing else.

This is especially the case with women. There have been numerous occasions when women have come to me for training, and they told me that their main goal was to lose fat/weight. All they wanted to do was see the number on the scale decrease.

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Thanksgiving Workouts

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and that means a couple of things.

  • Lots of food
  • Lots of football
  • Not much exercise

Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying good food with great company, and watching the great sport of football.

However, if you are still trying to lose weight or just improve your overall health, it’s a great idea to do something physically active on a day that revolves around food.

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A Case for Steady State Cardio

Steady state cardio has gotten beat up and spat upon numerous times over the past few years. People everywhere have been trading in their walking shoes for shoes to sprint in, kettlebells for complexes, prowlers, bodyweight circuits, and other tools with which to perform high intensity interval training and other forms of intense conditioning.

Yes, I have read the dozens of research studies that show how interval training is far superior to long slow cardio for fat loss, and how some people even gained more body fat when doing long slow cardio. So it seems pretty cut and dry that interval training, complexes, bodyweight circuits, and other methods are the only way to go if you want to lose body fat.

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