All posts by Don Johnson

Several years ago I founded Remarkable Marketers. The goal was to help local businesses build a 5 Star Reputation, Get Found in Google, and Ultimately Get More Customers. I am happy to say that is precisely what we do.

No One Cares How Much You Bench


Ok, Ok I did that thing again where I used a hyperbolic title to get attention. Of course “some” people care how much ya bench, just not as many as you think. Sure your mom will pretend to care when you tell her you set a new PR, but she likely has no idea what you are talking bout and is just being a mom. Your friends may pretend to be impressed, but they don’t know the difference between a 300lb bench and a 700lb bench. If you are lucky enough to have good training partners then they will care as they attempt to motivate you to do better.

Then there is you. Aside from yourself, why would anyone outside of that list care about your bench? When you actually take a second to think about it, it is reasonable to think that you yourself care more about your bench than anyone else. It stands to reason that would make sense. You are the one in the gym bustin’ your ass to try to get stronger. Why would anyone else care more about it than you?

The truth is, there is one group of people that care about how much ya bench more than you do. This group hangs out a lot on the internet and spends hours upon hours arguing about bench pressing. They spend so much time online that one wonders how they have enough time for their own training. That group of people is called, “people who bench less than you.”

Now depending on your current strength level it may be a small group or an impressively large group. Obviously, the size of the group is relative to your current strength levels, and if you are training optimally should only increase with time. The thing is that regardless of this group’s size, they are pissed off about how much you bench.

In case you are wondering what sparked this topic I recently joined a Bench Press Group on Facebook. I enjoy witnessing feats of strength, and I am always looking for more information about improving performance in the big three. Unfortunately for me it quickly became obvious that online Bench Press Groups may not be the beacon of knowledge and human performance that I had hoped. Instead of gleaning new insights into one of the classic lift, most of what I read was a constant rehashing of the same pointless arguments.

Now if you want to get technical, virtually all arguments online are pointless. Everyone is just looking to land a quick jab and enjoy the resulting hit of dopamine without actually having to exert any real intellectual effort. With social media “discussions” nothing seems to ever be resolved, and they tend to end up in an exchange of ad hominem attacks regarding one’s mother’s sexual prowess.

The thing that fascinated me was that it was weaker people, the ones in the “people who bench less than you” group that tended to be the aggressors. One of the best examples is a couple of exchanges between my friend Brian Mincher and several members of “PWBLTY”. Brian is a Master Lifter and bench 771.6lbs @ 198 at the Ronnie Coleman Classic in 2019. In his case the “PWBLTY” Group emcompasses the vast majority of humanity, especially in the 198lb class.


Brian is the kind of guy that if you want to get strong at bench pressing you should listen to him. He definitely helped me with my bench almost 20 years ago when we trained together. But instead of people listening to what he had to say (there were a few that did) I couldn’t help but notice how many people were criticizing his form, making suggestion on how he could bench better, or simply calling him a cheater for using equipment. It was like a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from.

It stands to reason that competitive powerlifters are the best benchers. I know, I know, “Thanks Captain Obvious.” If we accept that competitive powerlifters are the best benchers, then wouldn’t a guy with a Top 10 Bench be worth listening to? One of the reasons I have had so much trouble writing this article is that I cannot wrap my head around the kind of mindset it takes to look at someone at the top of the game and instead of being inspired feeling the need to criticize and critique. Here is another example:



This is a 616lb X 2 in a BenchDaddy that Brian posted in the same group. And while there were a few encouraging reactions, they were overshadowed by crybabies calling foul. One genius claimed that his leg placement was horrible and he “coulda press that weight a lot easier with proper leg drive”. Seriously?! Don’t people realize how ridiculous they sound when they say things like that? Is it some kind of tourettes where they cannot help but try to point out a perceived flaw to make them feel better?

Can you imagine some idiot fan that got to interact with Lebron James or Stephen Curry and instead of simply appreciating their performance they rip into their performance and suggest that Bron “woulda gone for 50 if his shooting elbow was point in the right direction”. I was about to suggest that if there was a Football Discussion Group on FB that NFL players frequented there wouldn’t be weekend warriors critiquing Brady’s throwing motion. Now that I think that through, it is exactly what would happen.

Why? Why are people like this? I think it happens more so with something like Bench Pressing because it is more accessible. Everyone, for the most part has access to a bench if they want and can test themselves against the best of he best. But then when they take that test and are left wanting why can’t they use it as motivation. Why do some feel the need to explain why the master isn’t really that good anyway. The more of these questions that I pose the more rhetorical they seem to sound. While it is a discussion for another day, this is likely why the “Raw Vs Gear” argument continues to rage on.

In the middle of a global pandemic, it would be nice to think that people in America were taking this time to enjoy some quite reflection and introspection instead of engaging in pointless arguments online. Perhaps seeing this forced deload from the gym as a chance to reassess goals and develop a stronger vision of the future, both in their training and life in general. It would be nice to think that, in much the same way it would be nice to think that one day the USAPL would disband and apologize to the powerlifting community as a whole. Unfortunately I don’t suggest holding your breath in anticipation of either outcome.

Read additional information on: Mammoth Strength Blog

Essential Garage Gym Equipment Guide

garage gym equipment
In a land where the government has closed all public gyms, the man with a garage gym is king. The fact that the planet is all but shut down at the moment may be great for the environment, but it can have a disastrous effect on a person with strength and performance goals. When the shelter in place order first rolled out you may have thought to yourself this is a good time to take a break, rest some injuries, and deload. And maybe you convinced yourself that was true, but as the days and weeks continue to pass the ticking of that clock in the back of your head continues to get louder and louder. You can feel all the gainz starting to slip away, and you start to realize that putting off buying that piece of garage gym equipment until you found it on sale may have been a mistake.

So once the panic sets in you realize that you have to come up with a plan. You HAVE to get your training in somehow. So you start clearing out your garage, or maybe move some things around in the basement. Once you have decided what size space you have to work with then you have to make decisions to get the most bank for your buck with regards to garage gym equipment.

garage gym equipment

When it comes to outfitting a home gym on a budget you have to make sure you are prioritizing the right garage gym equipment. Sure there might be pieces of equipment that you have always wanted, but if you are starting from scratch you have to make sure you have the basics covered first.

Plates and Dumbbells

Unless you have a substantial budget you are probably want to look for used plates and dumbbells to get started. There are few things prettier than a brand new set of matching plates, but the cost of them including the outrageous shipping rates quickly dampens their beauty. Unfortunately right now, everyone seems to be scrambling to find plates and dumbbells, so they are harder to find used than normal. Having said that places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are good places to start. When budget is an issue, only purchase what you need for now. It is important to get as many 45 pound plates are you think you need. Then you should only need (2) 25 lb plates, (4) 10 lb plates, (2) 5 lb plates and (2) 2.5 lb plates. Do not waste your money on 35 lb plates unless they are the only thing you can get.

When it comes to dumbbells, the same rules apply. Only buy the dumbbells that you actually need, and as you get stronger you can add to your set. Obviously, the Pro Style dumbbells tend last longer, that longevity comes at a premium price. Hex dumbbells tend to be cheaper but have a tendency break on a long enough timeline. You may be temped to get adjustable dumbbells. While they may be the cheapest option you tend to pay for those saving with rattling plates and dumbbell posts sticking out ready to rub you the wrong way.


Obviously, the barbell is at the top of the list for outfitting your home gym. A good barbell is worth spending a little extra for, if you can afford it. When it comes to good all-around power bars the is only one Texas Power Bar. It is hands down the best all-around bar you can get. Having said that, if you simply cannot afford a Texas Power Bar then Rep Fitness has a Blues City Power Bar and Rogue Fitness has an Ohio Power Bar that are slightly less expensive and comparable quality.

Once you have your workhorse power bar, you are going to want to acquire at least one beater bar. With all the pin pulls and pin presses that you will be doing you want to get a bar that you can beat the shit out of. A bar that doesn’t matter if it gets bent some, or a lot for that matter. You don’t want your new power bar taking all of that abuse, so find the cheapest used beater bar you can find for this role.

Power Rack

If you want to get strong in your gym, then a Power Rack is a non-negotiable. It is a staple in any serious weight room, or home gym. A power rack gives you the ability to squat, bench, good morning, pin pull, pin press, overhead press, floor press, shrug, etc. If it has the proper attachment it will allow you to do chins and pullups. It also gives you a place to attach bands for reverse band bench, squats or deadlifts. The most important thing a Power Rack does is keeps you safe, or at least as safe as training maximally will allow.

When it comes to Power Racks you get what you pay for. If your budget is limited, you may be tempted to try to find the cheapest rack possible. In my opinion this is a huge mistake. You don’t have to buy a $3,000 Power Rack, but a $100 Power Rack isn’t going to cut it unless it is used. If you can find a Power Rack with a sumo base like the Titan X-3 Power Rack it will allow you to squat with a wider stance. If that is out of your budget then the REP Fitness PR-1100 Power Rack is an economical choice.



Another reason to choose a solid power rack is that if floor space is a limiting factor you will likely be doing your benching in it as well. To do that you have to find yourself a solid utility bench. The Titan X-3 comes matching adjustable bench.

Whether you buy a rack combo, or purchase the bench separately be sure to pay attention to the height of the bench. This seems to be something that people forget. Many utility type benches tend to be much higher than this, especially if you pick up one with the new fat pads that are very popular. The Rogue Utility bench with a Fat Pad is over 20” tall. A bench that is too tall can make it hard to generate any leg drive and can lead to problems on meet day. A competition bench is between 16.5”-17.5”, so that is the height you want to be training with.


The importance of GPP cannot be overstated, and one of the simplest to improve your general physical preparedness is with sled work. Not only will sled work improve your overall conditioning it will aid in recovery. There are several different types of sleds. The dragging sled is the simplest, and likely cheapest option. Having said that, a push pull type sled will offer you more variations for your conditioning work.

Box Squat Boxes

If you train using the conjugate system then you are familiar with dynamic effort and the use of box squats. Having stackable box squat boxes allows you to change box height easily when you have multiple lifters squatting. It also allows you to vary the box height for max effort work. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a fancy adjustable box. In fact you can build 24x24x4 boxes yourself, or have someone do it for you. Each 4″ high box consists of a 2×4 frame with a supporting 2×4 running through the center and a 1/4 inch piece of plywood on top. These 4″ boxes are stacked on top of each other with a 1″ rubber mat to between them to avoid slipping. As an added bonus you can use these boxes to stand on for deficit deadlift, or as pulling blocks for various pulls.

Rubber Mats

Since you are going to need at least one rubber mat to cut up for box squats, now is a good time to decide if flooring should be on your garage gym equipment list. These are kind of a luxury item, and something that can be acquired as you go along unless you have a pressing need for them. Having said that, the place to get them is a Tractor Supply or a local Horse Supply Store. You want horse stall mats, that are 4×6 1″ thick mats. You can expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 per mat. However, sometimes you can get lucky and find them used for slightly less.

Board Press Boards

Another DIY project for your new garage gym is board press boards. You will need 2×6’s for these, and the good news is that if you get your wood at Home Depot they will cut them for you for free. A one board should be 18″ in length, 14″ board length with an extra 4″ for a handle. You’ll have to use a saw to cut the handle. The handle should be 2″-2.5″ wide. For a two board you need (1) 14″ board and (1) 18″ board. Cut the handle in the 18″ board and attach the 14″ with wood screws. Repeat the process for 3, 4 and even 5 boards. All boards will be 14″ in length except for the handle board.


Bands are one of the most versatile tools in your garage gym equipment tool box. Not only can they be used to accommodate resistance and build tremendous explosive strength, they can also be used for prehab, rehab, stretching and conditioning work. They are relatively inexpensive for how much use you will get out of them, and they don’t take up any extra floor space.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list. If you are working with a larger floor space and have a larger budget there are plenty of other toys that you can outfit your gym with. In follow up article we will discuss some of the next tier equipment that you should consider. While I am sure we all are just counting the days until our regular gym opens back up and we can train with our crew again, now is the perfect time to start building that garage gym you always talk about. In a world where the future is so uncertain your garage gym equipment will always be there for you. So now it is time to get #GarageGymStrong

If you are looking for an example of a fully functional garage gym
check out Kevin Kuzia’s Fierce & Mighty setup.

garage gym equipment

Read additional information on: Mammoth Strength & Conditioning Blog

Why New Year’s Fitness Resolutions Fail

While we might all think that January 2019 was the longest year ever, the truth is the new year is only 6 weeks old. If you are like most people, your New Year’s Resolutions included some kind of pledge to “really get in shape THIS year”. So, how’s working out working out for you? Again, if you are like most people the middle of February you are starting to come up with excuses as to why being fat isn’t that big of a deal. For the record, sadly I must include myself in this “most people” group.

The thing people fail to realize is that you aren’t your own boss, nor are you your own slave. You can’t just TELL yourself to eat better and suddenly starting doing it with 100% compliance. If you have been out of shape for an extended amount of time, chances are you have picked up some serious bad habits. Those habits take time to break, and it takes time to create new patterns of behavior. Be honest with yourself, how many times have you said “I am seriously going to get in shape…”, and then eventually fallen back off the wagon. Regardless of whether it was the first of the year, or some last ditch effort in Spring to drop some weight before shirts come off for Summer. The end result (ie, no results) tends to be the same.

The law of inertia states that it is the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion. That is, an object at rest will stay at rest, unless it is acted on by an external force. The same is true of an object in motion.

An obvious example is a soccer ball lying on the ground. The soccer ball will not move from that spot, unless someone kicks it. When the ball has been kicked and it’s moving through the air, it won’t stop until the force of gravity forces it to drop down to the ground; once it’s rolling on the ground, it will continue rolling until friction forces it to come to a standstill.

Guess what, in this scenario YOU are the soccer ball. Actually in America you are more likely a football. You are an odd shape, and you aren’t moving unless you forced to. When you consider so many Americans spent the last 4-5 months sitting on their couch watching football eating snacks, the metaphor becomes even more apropos.

The average American gains 7-10lbs over the holidays. The interesting thing is I would bet many of them use their impending New Year’s Resolutions as an excuse for a caloric free for all. “Well I am going to start my diet on Jan 1, so I might as well enjoy all this good food now”. Again, I speak from personal experience. Sadly all this does is reinforce bad eating habits and add more fat that has to be worked off in the New Year.

So now January 1 rolls around, you announce to all your friends that this is the year that you are going to get in shape. Your friends have heard this all before, and while they try to be encouraging there support isn’t the same as it was the last 5 years you have said this. And then you make the big mistake, you try to go from 0 to 100 mph overnight. If your body was a car, it has been in the garage all winter and you have barely even started it up. Now on Jan 1 you take it to the drag strip and wonder why it almost blows up when you floor it.

I can appreciate the enthusiasm people have when they decide this is the year they are going to get in shape (again). However, if you want to actually be successful so you don’t have to say the same thing next year you have to be smart about it. You cannot go from Big Macs and Supersize Cokes to Brocolli and Salmon overnight, it is just a recipe for disaster. Likewise you cannot go from hibernating all winter to 1 hour of cardio a day and training 6 days a week. That is the reason that so many resolutions fail. People lack patience and haven’t taken the time to think it through. If you have been gaining weight over the past several years, and picking up bad habits then trying to go cold turkey on January 1 isn’t going to work. And if you stop and think about it, you know it isn’t going to work because it didn’t work for you last year or the year before when you tried it.

There is no magic 6 week program that is going to fix all of the damage you have caused yourself in the kitchen. And as I have written many times before, people waste so much time jumping from failed shortcut to failed shortcut that if they just took the slow and steady path they would already be where they wanted to be.

If you really want this time to be successful you need to have a year long plan, not just a 6 week plan. You need to ease into training so you don’t injury yourself or get so sore that you never want to see a gym again. With food you need to slowly substitute good food for the crap you have been eating. For resolutions to really work the entire more of January should just be a break in month. You should learn better habits, you should get used to eating better foods. Remember, even if you get in shape you don’t magically get to going back to eating shit. You have to accept that being in shape takes discipline, and in order to make it work you have to accept that it is a lifestyle and not some quick fix.

The fact that so many people fail with their New Year’s Resolutions is exactly why we decided to open up our Online Training Program in February. Just after Valentine’s Day when all of the holidays are over, and people have been struggling to stay consistent in the gym is when motivation really starts to fail. If you are looking for help with nutrition, training, and most of all accountability feel free to contact us about our training options. Just remember, every year that you put off getting in shape makes you another year old, and makes it that much harder to do when you finally get serious.

See additional information on:

Jordan Peterson Saved My Life

There is a reason this website has been relatively silent for a few years. From the fact that my father died in a car accident in 2016, to disintegrating personal relationships with people I thought would always be there, to several failed business ventures; to call the past few years rough is to do them a disservice. And while the passing of my father hit me the hardest, it was my first pec tear that was the catalyst for everything going off the rails.

It may sound odd in the hierarchy of tragedy for the death of one’s father to be overshadowed by a minor injury. To be honest I think it was just a strain and not a tear, regardless when I look back I can see that it was the catalyst for the rollercoaster to really pick up speed as it headed to the underworld. Thankfully the boatman seemed disinterested in me as we exchanged confused glances. It would appear I have a few more years left to figure things out.

The gym has always been the place that I work shit out, literally. Not just from a physical performance stand point, but also psychologically. While I rarely “enjoy” a training session I inevitably feel better afterwards even if I feel worse. In case that last point escaped you, I mean that I find a catharsis in the iron that despite the eventual DOMS still makes the overall experience a net positive.

After that initial wave of tragedy, for lack of a better word, had occurred I decided to get serious about training again. On February 13, 2017 I got back in the gym after taking a break to deal with everything else that was going on. At this point I had let my weight balloon to a soft 301 lbs. For any of your hardgainers reading this, if you want a secret to weight gain apparently stress, depression, and lack of physical activity works much better than Joe Weider’s Mega Mass 2000, but I digress.

So being the jackass that I am, after my first foray back into the gym I reward myself with the rest of the week off. Then I decide to jump straight back into a high volume low rest training cycle, because fuck me right?! Despite the stupidity of my plan I managed to stay locked in for 6 weeks. My food was on point, or so I thought, and I managed to make some progress regaining my strength. The problem was I hadn’t lost any weight, in fact I was up 5lbs to a voluptuous 306lbs.

Since the high volume work wasn’t doing the trick, and I was getting a little beat up I decided to switch up the training a bit. I have always been a fan of Christian Thibadeux’s programming. In the past I have run a few different versions of his High Performance Mass training protocol. Even though I already had the mass part covered in spades, I enjoy that type of training and in my detrained state almost any protocol should work.

I started HPM on Monday April 8, 2017. First workout went fine, the weights were all relatively easy. Tuesday was the same, looking back on my notes nothing of interest was even recorded. On Thursday April 11, 2016 my training session was supposed to be Overhead Press 5×3, Bench Press 5×3, and Front Squats 5×3. For those unfamiliar with HPM it consists of multiple sets of 3 with submaximal weight focusing on generating force.

On that day I made it through Overhead Press without any problems. Then I did on the 3rd rep of the 3rd set of bench press, with a weight that I could easily bench for 8 rep, I went to lower the weight and about halfway down I heard (and felt) a tearing sensation. My left shoulder/pec gave out and the weight came down to my sternum. It was the weirdest thing ever. Inside my head it sounded loud enough that the whole gym must have heard it. Somehow, fueled by adrenaline and shock I managed to press the weight up immediately. In fact had you been watching me bench that day you might have noticed an uneven eccentric phase, but you would never know the internal damage that just occurred.

When I use the word shock that really is what it was. I knew the second it happened that I was fucked up, but it didn’t really hurt. At that point I got up for the bench, racked my weights and got out of the gym so I can return to my cave and assess the situation. Despite all the stupid stuff I have ever done in a weight room I have never had an upper body injury. So this was a new experience that, to be honest I really wasn’t sure what to expect. By the time I got home the pec tie-in area was a little red, but again nothing hurt and more importantly I still had full ROM despite some discomfort. As the evening progressed so did the bruising.

Having never experienced anything like this I had no idea what to expect. So I grabbed the ice bags and went to work trying to fix it. As stated above, the encouraging part is despite the extensive bruising I never lost any ROM. Some movements were difficult, but none of them were particularly painful. So after almost a two week break from the gym, and a lot of ice I decided to test it out on April 24, 2017. Whether this was a wise idea or not I can’t say, although considering my track record it is safe to say are against it. I proceeded to slowly work up on bench, and managed 10 reps with 135. At no point did the weight feel heavy, but around rep 8 my left pec started to twinge. Luckily I had the wherewithal to shut it down right away.

So it was back to more passive and active recovery for me. On May 5, 2017 I decide to go in and do Squats. If I cannot bench at least I can squat, right? Yeah, not so much. Unfortunately the gym doesn’t have a Safety Squat Bar, and when I tried to squat my pec would keep twinging. In the past I would normally just ignore it and push through it, but this time again I decided caution was the better part of valor and shut it down.

Suffice it to say that over the next few weeks I attempted to bench several times with the same result. On May 31, 2017 I worked up to 185×4 and my pec really started to twinge, and as sad as it is to admit now that was the last day I was in the gym in 2017. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t bench, I honestly don’t even really love benching. It was the fact that squatting and pulling hurt. Without those it is really hard for me to get motivated to train.

This is the part where I am supposed to tell you that on January 1, 2018 my pec was completely healed and I hit the gym running with all the other New Year’s Resolutioners? Yeah, again, not so much. The fact of the matter is that I did not return to the gym until June 20, 2018 which was 4 days shy of my 43rd birthday. And when I walked in the gym, after a warmup where did I go you might ask? If your guess was anything other than “to the bench” then I have to wonder if you have been paying attention. This time I only managed 135×5. I had the same twinging feeling that I had 10 months ago, so after the better part of a year the issue was still there. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Couple that with the fact that despite eating relatively low carb and cleanly my weight still exceeded 3 bills.

Basically this has been a 1500 word prequel to explain how I got to the crossroads point. My personal and professional life was a shambles, and the only thing that ever helped me get though stuff like that in the past had been taken away from me. I was 302lbs with a strained pec, had wasted the last year of my life, and the list of exercises that I could actually do in the gym was getting shorter and shorter.

So what the fuck does Jordan Peterson have to do with any of this. I became aware of Dr. Jordan Peterson a few months after he posted his original videos that went viral and were the catalyst for his rise to prominence. Like anyone else, I don’t agree with everything he says, but I appreciate his ability to communicate what he thinks to be true (even if he is wrong).

As luck would have it he appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience #1139 for a 3rd time, on July 2, 2018. During that episode, after multiple disclaimers of not being a nutrition expert, he relayed his anecdotal experience with a Carnivore type diet. When he started listing symptoms that subsequently went away after this elimination diet I became curious. While I did not have all of the symptoms that Dr. Peterson or his daughter had, the idea of an “elimination diet” made sense. What if there was some seemingly benign food that was preventing consistent weight loss. If I reduced the variable it would be much easier to determine if that was the case.

After the episode on JRE I realized that he was coming to Jacksonville on September 16, 2018. I decided that buying tickets to the event would give me a date on the calendar to hit some kind of weight loss goal. So I ordered my ticket, and the next morning, July 3rd, 2018 I had a ribeye steak and 3 over easy eggs. My bodyweight on that morning was 302.2lbs.

Being someone that always functions better on low carbs, the switch to steak and eggs wasn’t that big of deal. It just meant eliminating cheese, and some condiments for the most part. For the first 3 weeks everything was good. Adherence to the diet wasn’t really a big deal, and my appetite quickly fell off. I was slowly starting to get back in the training groove.

And then of course….

Plot Twist: Despite using an Elitefts Shoulder Saver to reduce ROM on bench I managed to re-injure the same pec.

I only had 36 reps planned that day. The session consisted of 6 sets of 3 on Overhead and 6 sets of 3 on Bench (with the Shoulder Saver). I felt relatively strong for 35 reps, and then on the last rep despite the decreased weight and ROM my left should “popped” again. Thankfully it wasn’t nearly as severe as the first time, but it was obvious that something still wasn’t right.

This time I got a bit more aggressive with trying to rehab the area. I bought a TENS (Electronic Pulse Stimulator) Unit from Amazon, and I had been watching Donnie Thompson talk about boy tempering, so I decided to try a make shift version of a 25kg Kettlebell placed directly on the area for 10+ Minutes at a time. After taking the rest of the week off to rehab, on July 30, 2018 I was back in the gym benching 135×10. And the even better news was, I was 286.2, I had dropped 16lbs in the month of July. Now for most people going on the Carnivore diet most of the initial weight loss is water due to carb restriction, but for me I was already eating low carbs so to drop that much weight was surprising.

For the next 5 weeks I did the same exact thing every day. I had 12oz of steak and 3 eggs at 10am, I went to the gym and did “something” at 3pm, and ate 12oz of steak and 3 eggs at 5pm. That is all I did, and I went from 302.2lbs on July 2nd to 259lbs on Sept 16th, the night of the lecture. So in 76 days, without a single second of cardio I lost 42.2lbs.

Thankfully the diet was so simple and compliance wasn’t really an issue, so I decided to stick with it though not without hurdles. In November I got really sick, and used it and the impending holidays as an excuse for indulge in comfort food. These were the first carbs I had in months. The results, on November 17th I was 243.8lbs and on November 26th I was 261.2lbs. Anyone that tells you that it’s impossible to gain almost 20lbs in 9 days has no idea what they are talking about.

Luckily for me this wasn’t as much of a psychological set back as it might have been. I know that it cost me some time, but I also knew that all I had to do was go back to what I was doing and the weight would come back off. As expected, by December 8th , a mere 12 days later I was back to 248.2lbs. Ever since that little hiccup I have been totally locked in.

Last night I posted my results to Facebook, and one of my friends asked me my “secret” was because he wanted to lost 50lbs. I found the exchange quite interesting:

Me: “It’s no secret, but you won’t like the answer. 12oz Steak and 3 eggs at 10am…12oz Steak and 3 eggs at 5pm…and nothing else. And hit the gym somewhere between the two…rise, repeat for 6 months.”

Him: “I like the 2, but damn that’s all I get?!”

Me: “Well, you get to be 50lbs less fat in 6 months…so that’s something.”

Him: “Man, that’s gotta get boring quick.”

Me: “Honestly that’s the point….boring is easy. There is literally NOTHING to think about. “This is what you eat” now the food question is answered. To be honest…I was rarely hungry. I just kind of lost my interest in food (in a good way). I didn’t say it was fun….but it worked (for me). Your mileage may vary.

It really is a first world problem to think that losing weight should be an enjoyable experience. The fact that it is hard, and that it takes work and discipline are what make it a meaningful endeavor. I have always been fascinated by people complaining about how long it will take to lose weight. Tell someone that it will take 6 months to a year to get where they want to be physique wise. Their reaction is “that’s too long”, and then they spend the next 6 months to a year trying to find a shortcut to the place that had they taken the slow steady route they would already have arrived at.

As of January 29, 2019, I weigh 232.2 lbs which is exactly 70lbs less than I weighed on July 2, 2018. Truth be told I have a long way to go before I reach my physique goals, but I am so much further along that I imagined. I have no doubt that, despite the pending doom of my 44th birthday I will reach those goals this time. And to think I owe the bulk of the credit to the self proclaimed ill-informed, anecdotal evidence of a clinical psychologist from Canada.

Read additional information on:

Carb Nite vs. Carb Back Loading

This is a question that gets quite often, should I do CarbNite or Carb Backlaoding? And unfortunately, like most things fitness related the answer is “it depends”. What it depends on is YOU, and your current level of fitness and your current goals. As a general rule, Carbnite is for people that have a lot of weight to lose and want to get it off as quickly and relatively painlessly as possible. When you are carrying a lot of excess weight and you remove all the carbs, your body will be looking for energy and it will be forced to tap into all that adipose that you have been carrying around.

However, once you start to lean out, or if you are already relatively lean then that is where Carb Backloading comes into play. Again as a general rule Carb Backloading is for people that are under 15% bodyfat. Obviously there are exceptions to any rule of thumb, and some people who have a hard time with carbs will have to stick with Carbnite to get into the single digit body fat range. However, if you are not one of those people then the 15% bodyfat mark is where Carb Backloading really starts to work. It can help you preserve, even gain, lean muscle while burning fat off. The literal holy grail of fitness. And the really beautiful thing is that you can do it while eating foods you never thought you could while losing fat. While carb backloading isn’t a free for all, especially if you are trying to get really lean it sometimes feels like it with the amount of carbs that you are required to eat.

Carb Nite vs. Carb Back Loading

Sadly, there rarely are any straight answers when it comes to fitness. Human physiology can vary greatly between individuals. What works for one person will not work for another. However, on avergage Carbnite is best used if your body fat is over 15% and you want to strip fat off quickly. Once you get below 15% bodyfat then Carb Backloading is the perfect plan for recomposition.

The post Carb Nite vs. Carb Back Loading appeared first on Carb Backloading 1.0.

Find additional info on:

Carb Backloading vs. Renegade Diet

Ok, so you may be wondering how does Carb Backloading compare to the Renegade Diet.  Honestly there are some similarities and some differences.  I have tried them both, and for me personally I prefer the CBL because it seems like more of a lifestyle than a “diet”.

The Renegade Diet, by Jason Ferrugia is more of an intermittent fasting diet.  He took the IF premise and made significant modifications to allow for muscle gain.  Both diets promote putting off eating first thing in the AM, but Jason makes fewer suggestions about carb timing.  He does suggest the majority of them come post workout, but again Kiefer is much more thorough in this aspect.  And since Kiefer has structured CBL to allow you to eat junk food regularly, and still get great results I just prefer his method more.

Having said that they both are excellent diets.  You will get results on either one.  It is just a matter of what road you wish to take it.  I posted a review of the Renegade Diet on another site, and it might help you to realize the difference between the two.  For comparison you can check out the Carb Backloading 1.0 Video Review I did here on this site.

Again, I honestly think that is a matter of personal preference between these two excellent plans.  It wouldn’t make sense for me to tell you which one is better for you.  We obviously are all different, and react to things differently.  What works for one will not work for another.  I can only tell you that I prefer the Carb Backloading Diet simply because it was easier for me to adhere to.  And I got just as good if not better results as I did when I was on the Renegade Diet.

The post Carb Backloading vs. Renegade Diet appeared first on Carb Backloading 1.0.

Read additional info on:

Pitchers Need to DO WORK!!

I recently wrote about jogging, and how it did nothing to prepare an athlete for an anaerobic based sport.  Strength Coach Joe Meglio (from The Underground Strength Gym) echoed my sentiments in his own article, and went on to point out how it applies to pitchers.  Running polls to condition a pitcher for the endurance necessary to throw 7-9 innings is a misguided effort.  Of all the major sports, baseball seems to be the one that is the most resistant to change.  It’s a fine line between being a traditionalist and just being close-minded.  This is especially true when it comes to the topic of strength and conditioning for sports.  It is hard to argue with the fact that modern era athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster than their predecessors.  And despite Mr. Baseball’s words to the contrary, this includes baseball players.  So if athletes are so much better than they were in the past, what happened to the complete game?  Why can’t the modern pitcher finish what he starts?  Did you know that as recently as 1974 the percentage of complete games was 28%.  Just ten years later in 1984 the percentage was cut almost in half to 15%.  Contrast that with the 2009 MLB season where that percentage hit a new low of 3.1%.  Does that sound like progress to you?!  Me either.


I know there are many factors at play here. The 5 man rotation, the new prominence of “The Closer”, and even the invention “The Setup Man” have effected starter’s innings.  More specifically expansion has completely diluted the pitching ranks.  Very rarely do starting pitching staffs have more than 3 quality starters out of 5.  Case and point, the NY Yankees were so desperate they threw enough money at Bartolo Colon to convince him to put his competitive eating career on hold, and give up the glitz and glamour of the Mexican league to come to Spring Training.  If the Yankees of all teams are looking at 37 year old, 300lb men that haven’t pitched in the league since 2009, what does that tell you about the talent that’s available?  Maybe I should drive down to Tampa, and see if my 85mph “heater” can wow some people.


Now it’s hard to know if fewer quality starting pitchers have increased the need for a good bullpen, or if pitchers that in the past would be starters are now being converted to relievers.  Either way, just look at the top pitchers in the Major League.  CC Sabathia threw a total of 10 complete games in the 2008 season for the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers, becoming the first pitcher to reach double digits in a single season since Randy Johnson threw twelve complete games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1999.  In the 2010 season, out of roughly 150 starting pitchers in the majors, only 35 pitchers had ONE COMPLETE GAME!  WHY?!


With all the advances in training and science, why are pitchers logging fewer and fewer innings?!  Quite simply, it is caused by the pitchers ever decreasing “workload”, and I use the term work lightly.  Consider the fact that it takes an average of 3 seconds to physically throw a pitch.  And for some reason Major League clubs, despite evidence to the contrary; have accepted that the human body can only throw 100 quality pitches in a game.  Add in the two 50 pitch bullpens, for a total of 200 pitches every 5 days.  Do the math, those 200 pitches equal roughly 10 minutes of actual physical exertion over the course of 5 days.  Combine that with their completely senseless running of polls for endurance as well as other conditioning work, and a starting pitcher does less work in a week than a manual laborer does in an hour or two.  See why the term workload amuses me?!  And then very smart baseball minds wonder why pitchers fatigue in games, and late in the season.  That same pitcher, barring injury will hopefully get 34 starts during the season.  In those 34 starts he will hopefully throw 100 pitches.  That’s 3400 pitches.  Add in the two 50 pitch bullpens between starts, and you have 6800 pitches.  If each pitch takes 3 seconds to complete, a typical starting pitcher will do 5.5 hours of actual game time “work” for the ENTIRE SEASON.


So what is the answer?!  How does any other athlete increase their abilities?  They practice more.  After a particularly disappointing loss, Kobe Bryant recently stayed after the game to practice his shooting.  He shot, and shot, and shot.  He kept shooting until they turned the lights out.  So why do pitchers only throw 100 total pitches between starts?  We all realize that the overhand throwing motion is completely unnatural; pitch counts and bullpen limits have been put in place to reduce arm injuries.  So what happens when the arm injuries continue?  Do we drop the pitch counts even more, and eliminate bullpen sessions all together?!  In 1974 Nolan Ryan pitched a 13 inning game and threw over 200 pitches.  Surprisingly enough his arm didn’t spontaneously combust, and he pitched for another 20 years after that.  Now obviously your first reaction is that Nolan Ryan is a freak of nature that still could bring the heat well into his 40s.  There may be something to that.  He also was one of the hardest working, best conditioned pitchers to ever toe the rubber.  John Kruk aside, aren’t all Professional Athletes freaks of nature to one extent or another?  Japanese pitchers routinely throw 100-150 pitch bullpens.  Matsuzaka turned heads when he first came to Boston throwing 100+ pitch bullpens.  Even Korean little leaguers typically throw 200-400 pitches a day.  That’s right, a day and they aren’t getting millions of dollars to do it either.  Are we to assume that the far East consists of freaks of nature?  I know that’s where Godzilla came from, but I never saw his fastball.


Baseball is all about history and numbers, and the numbers show that the human body is capable of throwing a baseball more than 200 times in a 5 day period.  There even is modern proof of this in other parts of the world.  So why have Major League teams imposed these limits on pitchers?  They want to prevent injury, and get a better return on investment from their high dollar arms.  It’s a noble goal, so why are the best and brightest conditioning/pitching coaches doing it wrong?!  Are they really that afraid to rock the boat?  With the invention of youtube and flipcams, pitching coaches don’t even have to hop on a plane to see pitchers all over the world throwing 2 to 3 times as many pitches in a week as our stars.  Do you really think that El Duque and all the other stars from the Dominican Republic, with questionable dates of birth, thought the best way to get off the island was to only throw 200 pitches a week?!  Doubtful.


It seems counterintuitive, but pitchers should throw MORE to prevent injuries.  Limiting workload for pitchers actually diminishes the capacity of their arm.  It is similar to a weekend warrior that plays half court basketball twice a week, and then tries to run full court.  They are gassed pretty quickly, and are more likely to pull a muscle in their exhausted state.  If they were actually in shape to run full court, then it would be no problem.  If pitchers increased their pitch count between starts, and actually got their arms in shape…the game itself would be no problem.  Instead of 100 pitches between starts, they should build up to 200 to 300.  How much better shape do you think their arm would be in then?  Even if you left the game pitch count in place, after throwing a couple 100 pitch bullpens; the 95th pitch in their game would be a lot crisper.


With all the reduction in workload for today’s pitcher have injuries really decreased that much?  With spring training in full swing it seems like every day we hear about another pitcher getting hurt.  Even the casual fan has heard of Tommy John Surgery at this point.  As Americans we are prideful, and we believe that Major League Baseball is the best baseball on the planet.  Case and point, it’s called the World Series even though only two countries are represented.  Ok only one; since we all know Toronto hasn’t been relevant since Joe Carter stuck a dagger in Mitch Williams heart.  So if MLB is the best of the best, then why are our pitchers the worst conditioned athletes in sports?!  Ok ok, second worst, I saw John Daly hitting golf balls with his shirt off too.  Pitchers are the worst conditioned athletes because they do the least amount of work.  Their workload is similar to that of a weekend warrior, and we all know weekend warriors are good at two things….drinking beer, and getting hurt.  Not to mention watching NL pitchers try to hit is like watching a baby giraffe being born.  What do these guy do all day at “practice”?!


Pitching generally wins championships, and major league clubs are always desperate to find quality arms.  I know that expansion has depleted the talent pool, but perhaps the lack of good arms is a direct result of organizations not developing them properly.  Baseball pitchers are unique in that they generally only play every 5 days.  There is no reason that they cannot increase their work capacity DURING the season.  The baseball season is long.  It is extremely difficult to get into shape that will last into October and hopefully November in just a few weeks during the spring.  Unfortunately, positional players can’t really do much about it, they are playing every day so all their baseball workouts can try to do is maintain.  Bats get tired as the season drags on.  Starting pitchers should get stronger as the season goes on.  They pitch just over once per week.  Major League pitching coaches need to realize that by limiting the pitchers workload they are limiting their work capacity.


If you want to see less arm injuries and better pitching in the Major Leagues, pitchers should throw MORE, not less.  Throwing two 50 pitch bullpen between starts is not the answer.  That would be like running a mile on Monday, a mile on Wednesday, to get ready for 3 miles on Friday.  It doesn’t make sense.  It is time for pitching coaches to open their eyes to the world around them, and realize there is a better way.  Increasing pitchers workload will in turn increase their work capacity.  They will be in better shape to perform the task at hand.  Athletes in better shape get injured less.  If every Major League pitcher double or tripled their practice pitches between starts, how much better would they become at their craft?  How long before there were enough quality arms to accommodate baseballs expansion?  Current Major League pitchers are capable of this incredible workload right now; if baseball could get over its fear of progress.  So why are they reluctant to change?  Baseball always has been stubborn.  All I know is that if you want to get better at something, less work is never the answer.


Read more information on:

The Power of Perception


Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have that one relative that is completely “out of it”.  Usually it is in the form of an octogenarian grandmother that has too many cats, and loves to throw out non-PC comments at the dinner table like she has Civil War era tourettes.  This phenomenon might be more prevalent in the South, but I am sure it is a nationwide epidemic.

If your family tree does not contain this geriatric wonder, then chances are you at least know someone that is stuck in the past.  I have an acquaintance that refuses to believe that Metallica is old, ponytails are out, and that he is no longer single.  When every story starts with “Back in the 90’s…”, it means you need to buy a calendar and try to catch up.

How much does perception shape our lives?  So many of the things that we believe may or may not be true depend on our point of view.  You can be a success or a failure depending on the people that you surround yourself with.  You can be strong or weak…fast or slow…it all depends on who you compare yourself to.  Surround yourself with weaker people and they will convince you that you are strong and that you do not need to work that hard.  Or you surround yourself with stronger people and you may believe that will never get there.  The converse of that is that if you surround yourself with stronger people it will get you a rabbit to chase.  It gives you goals.

Perception Causes Fear and Complacency.

Have you ever been driving along a country road and seen a bull inside a fence.  When you see the fence, you realize he could easily knock down.  What you should realize is that its not the fence that keeps him locked up, but his mind.  He has accepted the limit of the fence.


Strength is not a linear process.  Have you ever noticed that World Records are not linear either?  Long amounts of time will pass, someone finally breaks a record, and then others follow suit….much like strength training…fix a weak link and you set a new record…sometimes your perception can be the weak link.  Much like the bull, your mind sets limits.

Once you believe that you can reach a goal it becomes much easier to obtain.  If you find training partners that show you what you want to do is possible then you have struck training gold.  If you want to bench 500lbs, surround yourself with 500lb benchers.  If you want to run a sub 4.5/40, then train with the fast guys.  If you see it once on TV then it might seem impossible.  If you see it everyday in training, then it is just the way things are, and it’s easier to believe you will get there.  PERCEPTION.

Don’t allow weaker people to hold you back.  It is better to train alone than to train with weaker minded people that will only slow you down.  Choose your training partners wisely.  The right training partners can take your training to a new level.  The wrong training partner can keep you from reaching your goals if you allow it.

See more information on:

Rugby Strength Training

Rugby requires you to absorb the impact of 200lb + men running at top speed.  Then once you make the tackle you have to get up, hurl yourself into the path of another player.  All the while these opposing players are changing direction, stopping and starting with incredible balance and agility.  You have to be able to mimics the oppositions actions in order to stop his advancement.  The ball comes loose, you dive on it instantly, then make a pass before being tackled.  The whistle blows, and you are in the scrum.  And this entire sequence of action last less than 2 minutes out of the 80 total minutes involved. In the past rugby strength training was focused on the legs.  The goal was to develop a powerful lower body as it is necessary for the brutality and physical nature of advancements.  That same lower body strength is required for the mauls and scrums.

==>Rugby Strength Training<==

As rugby strength training has evolved, the need for a complete overall strength program was recognized.  A player’s ability to break through the opposing team’s defense requires brute force.  The last thing you want is to be grounded.  And if you are only training your lower body, you a limiting your strength. Rugby strength training is now focused on functional strength.  Functional strength can take a average rugby player and transform him into an elite player.  Coaches have analyzed the game, and all the requirements of every single movment involved.  Using strength training to address all of these movements is referred to as functional strength training.  You have to take all parts of the game and divide it into separate parts.


Rugby players continue to get bigger, stronger, and faster.  Your training has to evolve to keep up.  If you only concentrate on working your lower body, you will be at a disadvantage when you oppose a team that has trained for  functionality.  The bottom line is, functional strength training equals PERFORMANCE!  And in the sport of Rugby, that is the name of the game. If you want to play at an elite level, make sure that your rugby strength training focuses on functionality.  If you are looking for a more detailed approach, check out the best rugby strength training program on the market.  It’s called, “Get Fit for Rugby”, and it includes a complete program to get you ready for the season of your life.

rugby strength training

See more information on:

Lean Hybrid Muscle For Athletes

Here is Elliott Hulse explaining some of the ways how he helped transform me and a good friend of mine into big time college athletes by giving us Lean Hybrid Muscle.  We used this strength routine in our off-season to gain size and we even became CONDITIONED.  That’s right the routines we used helped us condition while adding slabs of muscle instead of breaking it down.  I was taught forever that you need to run 110’s day after day in the off-season. I was scared at first to give them up but after committing to this guru’s regimen called Lean Hybrid I realized there are other ways to condition than what these coaches tell you.

Want More?? Just Click Here…

Read additional info on: Mammoth Strength