Tuesday, July 3, 2007

NSCA-CPT Certified

Well everyone, I am now officially certified through the NSCA with their Certified Personal Trainer certification. Oh happy days!

I will now begin my journey into the field. I am undecided on whether I want to work in a gym setting, or if I want to try to build up a client base on my own. Obviously the latter will be infinitely more difficult to start up, but ultimately more rewarding. I think my best course of action will be to work in a gym for a while, get a taste of things, and then move on from there.

Another option might be some online training...hmmm. Perhaps I will set up my own website and see if I can get any interest out of that. I figure, if I can charge very competitive rates for my online advice, I might be on to something. Figure if a live personal training session will cost you anywhere from $50-$100, and you often sign up for multiple sessions, if I can write out say a 4 week program for a trainee online, and be there via email or phone to answer any questions or concerns they may have, and do this all for $50-$75, I wonder if I would get any bites?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Goals, goals, goals.....

A post by a message board buddy of mine today really got me thinking. He said he wanted a new routine, but needed a goal. It made me wonder, what the hell are my goals? And to be honest, I can't really answer that. Some days I want to conquer the world and lift massive weight, the next day I want to be as big as I can be. OK, so you can somewhat achieve both, but I'm sure it is better to concentrate on one or the other if that is what you choose to do.

Some days I want to bench press 400 pounds and deadlift 500, so I come up with a workout scheme to get me there, and inevitably, it winds up lasting only maybe a week or so, cause then I will check myself out in a picture or the mirror and say to myself that I want to be bigger (regardless of whether or not I am big already to begin with, and at 5'10" 225 pounds and maybe 15%BF, I probably already am).

Realistically, the best thing for me to do right now is probably concentrate on a size gaining routine, being my sleep isn't optimal right now with my little 7 month old keeping me from full night's sleep every night, and I don't think I have slept 8 continuous hours since he was born, but I digress.

I am sure high intensity lifting is not the best thing for me with my less than optimal recovery ability right now, regardless of how my nutrition is going. Straining for one rep maxes sounds fun, but sometimes I definitely feel it. I would probably be better served by doing relatively heavy, multiple, low rep sets to get a hypertrophy effect and also keep the weights somewhat heavy to get the best of both worlds, which today anyway, lol, is what I am leaning towards

Monday, June 18, 2007


OK, finally took my CPR/AED class and got my cert, so now I have met all the requirements to take the CSCS exam, so it is officially STUDYING time...yuck. I received my text book from the NSCA, so it is just a question of finding the time now to start. In September, I should have lots of time, but that's two months away and I would like to get some sort of a jump start, so we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Westside for non-competitive powerlifters

OK, we all know about the Westside template. A lot of us have tried it, and claimed great success off of it. But how many of us are actual powerlifters? How many of us actually have a need to hit 1RM lifts on a regular basis? I know the tendency is to let the ego take over and lift as much weight as possible, but really, what are we doing? Is it just so I can walk around and say I can bench press 400 pounds? When you tell the non-weightlifter that you can bench 400 pounds, I would bet they probably think you can do it more than once, that they assume it is the weight you regularly work out with. so really, is it necessary if we don't plan on competing?

When you dig deeper, most of us who use westside that aren't hard core powerlifters don't even do it right! The goal of westside is to get the big 3 up, up and up. But how many of us used the right template to accompish that? I think most non PLers have a bit of BBer in them regardless of what they say, so we just can't get rid of staple exercises that we love like lots of pullups, side laterals, dips, overhead presses, etc. The true westside template calls for assistance work specifically with the goal of improving the big 3. So your bench day might be ME bench press, then a triceps press like close grips for reps, then another tricep exercise and then some abs. Or, maybe a bunch of bench press reps, then a max, then some board presses, and maybe then some more benching. They don't do lots of pullups or chinups, some don't do much overhead work, and some do rowing, but not in proportion to the amount of horizontal pushing.

so we all do "westside" but we do it "wrong". What we are doing in effect, is basically an upper/lower split with a heavy day (ME) and a light day (DE). and we are doing it in a more BB angle, matching movement planes and whatnot. So if we do a ME press followed by 3 sets of rows, followed by chinups, followed by dips, followed by some curls, is that still "Westside" just because we use the 1RM?

Finally, I believe there are more efficient ways to gain "strength" than using the westside 1RMs. Yes, there is no better way to get your #s up than to use westside and the 1rm attempts, but that only works if you need to compete and have better numbers than someone else. To me, I feel like I get a better workout if I do something like a 3x3 for strength as opposed to the 1rm. I have attempted some pretty heavy lifts, I have a bench press max of 365 when I did my "westside" routine. But to be honest, I feel like I get a better response and workout by doing a 3x3 with say 320. I think doing 9 total attempts at this weight will do more for me long term than trying that one heavier rep. Would I not be better off in my day to day life by doing 3x3 or 9 total deadlift reps at a weight of 400 pounds as opposed to one gut straining rep at 500?

think about it next time you want to jump on the westside bandwagon if you are not a powerlifter

Random musings on a Tuesday morning...

Well, it's Tuesday and I am at work, it's the last day of school for the kids, so there is pandemonium all around, and not much work to do, so I thought I would write.

I am going to write about the routine I am currently doing. I like to experiment (well, that's what I call it anyway) with lots of different types of routines. I don't think any one is better than any other one, they are just all different. A lot of people tell me that I am never settled with anything in my life, so I guess this is just an extension of that.

Anyway, currently, I am toying around with a type of split I have never done before. It is basically a lower/push/pull split, and I have devised 2 different workouts for each type. The premise is that there is one power movement done for 3x3 each workout, then a repetition range movement done for 3x6-8 each workout, then a drop set with yet another movement. Some days have some random extras at the end like abs or biceps, but that is the general plan. I separated each main workout into 2 different workouts with slightly different layouts. for example, the push workout has one day where the power movement is horizontal plane and the second day the power is vertical plane. Same for pull, and lower has a quad dominant power on one day and a hamstring dominant on the other. It lays out quite nicely actually:
Lower 1
Deadlifts 3x3
1 leg squats 3x6-8
hypers or barbell SLDL drop set with 3 drops

Lower 2
Trap bar squats 3x3
1 leg SLDL 3x6-8
Leverage Squats drop set w/ 3 drops

Push 1
Decline Bench Press 3x3
DB Shoulder Press 3x6-8
Close grip bench press drop set w/ 3 drops
abs 2 sets

Push 2
Overhead Press 3x3
DB bench press 3x6-8
Dips drop set w/3 drops
abs 2 sets

Pull 1
Pendlay Rows 3x3
Pullups 3x6-8
Chest Supported Rows drop set w/3 drops
hammer curls 2 sets

Pull 2
Chinups 3x3
DB Rows 3x6-8
Upright rows drop set w/3 drops
hammer preacher curls 2 sets

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Beginning

OK, so everyone else has a blog, so it's time for me to have one too. The purpose of this blog is going to be to just put down my random thoughts and experiences on my quest to become a fitness professional. I guess I will highlight my highs and lows on my quest.

right now, I am a network administrator for a school district. I have a seven month old son and my wife is a teacher. She took the year off to be with the baby, but must return to work in September, and being a teacher in NY, she makes a lot of $$$$, so she is the breadwinner of the family. Yes, a teacher in NY makes more $$$ than a network admin, at least for a school district!

So, being we do not want to spend over HALF of MY salary on child support come September, we decided that I would stay home with the baby starting in September, so yes, I am resigning from my position. The ultimate goal however, is to turn this into a positive as I will try to get my certification in training and look into getting into the profession in some way.

This is the beginning of my quest. The certification I have targeted is the NSCA CSCS cert. Perhaps foolishly, I don't know yet, but I understand it as the grand daddy of all certs, so why not go for the best, I am sure it holds more clout than a personal trainer cert, even if I wind up personal training to begin. Maybe some day, I would love to be a trainer for a team, or a strength coach somewhere important, but that is a while away.

I have been training now for over 13 years, but I admit, it wasn't only until about 5 years ago that I got REALLY serious about things, and started doing things "the right way", ie, training legs (yep I was one of those guys). I consider myself somewhere between intermediate and advanced on the scale of training experience.

I like to try a lot of different things, so this could be a place for me to discuss why I did a certain thing. It will also be a place to discuss some things that I have learned along the way, and I will discuss my progress in my studying for the cert exam. I just got my textbook in the mail today, so now I can begin the process of reading, reading and more reading!

Stay tuned!!!