Graham Betchart is an elite mental skills coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has over 13 years of performance coaching experience with global clients at the highest levels of professional basketball and business executives. Tune in for 1x1 mental coaching with Graham.
By John Papp | Thu, Sep 27, 2018
Trainers Reveal the Worst Fitness Advice They've Heard
When your career is helping others with their fitness and you spend your work week in the gym, you tend to come across some...let’s say, questionable, advice that clients have received or we ourselves have received.
The “best,” worst advice, that I have ever received is the ever constant, “Full body workouts are only work for beginners.”
Sure, full body workouts work great for beginners and are arguably the best option for someone just starting out in the weight room. But you don’t have to leave the full body split behind as you progress past those “newbie gains.”
I am a very big proponent of full body workouts at all levels, for almost any goal. Whether you are trying to slim down, gain mass, get stronger, or improve sports performance, they can be very useful. As a plus, you won’t have to spend as much time in the gym but you can still get great results.
Let’s compare a few styles of splits and just examine one movement. For this example, we will use the squat.
In a 6 day split, you would only find one or two days that include some form of a squat. In a upper/lower split you will most likely find yourself squatting two days a week. Now, lets compare that to a three day full body split. Don't you think that is going to be better for gains?
That said, there is a caveat. Just like Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It is important to control intensity of the various lifts in a full body split. Because we are squatting, hinging, pressing, pulling, and carrying three times per week we must control the intensity and total volume for the day and adjust based on how our body feels. Consider cycling through a low, medium, and high intensity day for each main movement pattern to control.
Give it a shot. I think you may be surprised!
In order to share some of the best stories and worst advice, I recruited a handful of fellow coaches and friends from across the country to find out the worst fitness advice they've heard.
Strength Coach, Manual Therapist
"I would have to say the worst fitness advice I've heard someone receive is the need to pick only one diet to lose weight.
There are so many different types of diets (ex: flexible dieting, ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, carb cycling, etc.) and the key thing to remember is they ALL work because each diet has strategies and rules in place to help you eat fewer calories (usually by eliminating processed foods which are high-calorie foods).
What it really comes down to is which diet is sustainable for you, allows you to continue making progress in the gym, and doesn't deprive you of the foods you enjoy."
Where to find Johnny:
“When John told me about this topic, my brain was flooded with a flurry of really funny (but, kind of not) memories of really bad fitness advice I’ve heard over the years. Before I detail the absolute worst advice I’ve ever received, I want to take some time to highlight some fantastic runners up.
'Muscle weighs more than fat.' Umm, what? One pound is one pound. One pound of muscle weighs the same as one pound of fat. I don’t understand how this could ever be advice, but here we are in 2018 still hearing it.
'Lifting weights will bulk you up.' Sorry, but getting ‘bulky’ is extremely difficult. Trust me, I’ve been trying to get bulky for 10+ years and it’s not going great. People think adding any type of resistance training is going to add size. In all reality, your body composition is very dependent on caloric intake. Lifting weights won’t add bulk, but it can help you add size with the right nutritional plan.
Okay, now that I’ve got those off my mind, I want to share the absolute worst piece of fitness advice I’ve ever heard.
'No pain, no gain.' Lifting weights doesn’t tickle. You have to push yourself to great levels to add strength and/or size. With that being said, you should NEVER train in pain.
Pain is different than momentary discomfort, acute soreness, or just general difficulty. Pain is unhealthy and SHOULD NOT be ignored. This is your body, which is extremely complex and smart, trying to tell you that something isn’t right.
Ignoring those signs by “toughing it out,” is only going to lead you to darker levels of pain.
No pain, no gain is a terrible approach to fitness. Being “hardcore” seems cool, but even the most badass lifters in every gym will tell you that nothing about pain is fun. Pain-free lifting is the key to longevity and ultimately lifelong results. Chase progress, not pain."
Where to find Justin:
Instagram : @justin_m_ochoa
Strength Coach, Athletic Trainer
“The worst advice that I have heard when it comes to general fitness is that 'you should be going all out in every workout.'
Sure training hard is important to see results but sometimes going all out when things just don’t feel right can have the opposite effect you may be looking for. It could lead to a drop in results and even lead to injury. The thing is the injury may not happen in that workout but could present itself down the line.
Pick your spots on when to train hard.
It could be as simple as 1 to 2 hard training sessions a week over the long haul with the occasional a 4-6 week phase where you really hammer it hard.
Remember, your body is just like a car, if you are driving it hard every day, eventually it will break down.”
Where to find Mitch:
“When my wife was pregnant with our son, I went with her to the OBGYN for one of her routine check-ups. The results of her blood test showed that her blood sugar levels were slightly elevated. Nothing to be too concerned about, but the doctor took us into her office to discuss some precautionary measures.
'Do your best to avoid processed sugars.'
'Stay away from soda.'
'Don’t eat any food after 6 PM...'
That’s right, a doctor literally told my 8 month pregnant wife not to eat at night.
My hand clenched my wife’s, and she already knew what I was thinking. I could tell by the look on her face that she didn’t want me to make a big deal about it, but I had to question it.
I asked, 'Why shouldn’t she eat anything after 6 PM?' The doctor nonchalantly replied, 'Because anything you eat after 6 PM just turns into fat.'
YEP, A DOCTOR SAID THAT.
Needless to say, we didn’t take her advice and neither should you. Nutrients don’t just magically turn to fat if you consume them after 6PM.”
Where to find Kevin:
By Team Cellucor | Mon, Sep 17, 2018
13 Videos to Watch for Monday Motivation
In need of some motivation? Run through our Featured Youtube Playlist and you'll be ready to workout in no time.
Want more motivation?
Check out more content from:
By Jen Jewell | Tue, Sep 04, 2018
How to Overcome a Weight-Loss Plateau
You workout, you eat healthy, but after a while the progress begins to stall and the results aren’t as rapid as they once were. It sounds like you may have hit the dreaded plateau. It’s OK, it happens to all of us.
Whether you have stopped getting results, or your workouts are becoming more of a chore than something you look forward to, the important thing is to stay focused, keep at it and shake some things up in your daily routine. By implementing these principles, you'll be making progress in no time.
REMIX YOUR WORKOUTS
If you have been doing the same workout over and over again, no wonder your results have been less than desirable! It’s time to switch it up. When it comes to weight loss, most people turn to cardio. They spend months on the same machine hoping to melt away fat. But in fact they should also be hitting the weight room. In the weight room, try new exercises and get out of your comfort zone. Even something as simple as altering your rep range (higher, lower, drop sets, etc.), can spark a change because it requires your body to adjust.
Do your workouts primarily consist of machines? Switch up your strength training and use the dumbbells or barbells instead. Even going from dumbbells to cables can create some muscle confusion and lead to progress. Challenge yourself in a new way and your body will thank you.
PRACTICE CARDIO CONFUSION
What have you been doing for cardio? The same old routine? Practice cardio confusion and make sure that NONE of your cardio workouts are the same during the week.
Alternate from taking a spin class, running or walking outside, busting out a HIIT session, taking a cardio class at the gym, or even preforming exercises like the jump rope. Do a HIIT session one day and a steady state session the next.
Vary levels of intensity, amount of time and the type of cardio that you’re doing, and results will be yours.
WRITE IT DOWN
Time to come clean! What are you eating? No…what are you REALLY eating? For those of you that may be stuck at a plateau, it’s time to tell the truth and only the truth. Do you graze, or snack on extras all day long? Are you consuming excessive liquid calories (think lattes, sugary energy drinks, juices, etc.)? Write down everything you eat and drink within a day so that you can evaluate your choices. Most people consume far more calories on a daily basis than they believe they do.
Another great thing to keep in mind is portion size. You may think you’re only eating one portion, but make the extra effort for a few days and actually measure out everything before you eat. That includes "healthy" foods!
More often than not, I’ve found that people will actually consume "healthy" foods in excess because "they are good for you." Not all healthy foods are created equal, and with the recent onslaught of fit food buzzwords such as “organic,” “vegan,” “paleo,” “gluten-free,” etc., there’s been quite a bit of confusion. Just because the label has one of these catchy buzzwords, it doesn’t always make for a healthy option.
RE-EVALUATE YOUR STACK
Are you supplementing according to YOUR goals? It’s great that you’re adding supplements into your regimen, but make sure they are in line with what you want to achieve. Knowing when and how to stack your favorite supplements appropriately will help you bust through that plateau and achieve those results you’re after.
STEP BACK AND TAKE A BREAK…
Alright, before you say that this sounds counterproductive, allow me to elaborate. We put our bodies through some serious work in the weight room, during cardio, training for and competing in athletic events, and oftentimes we think of ‘rest’ as a nasty little four-letter word.
When you workout you are tearing your muscles down, but when you rest, you allow the muscles that have broken down to heal and recover. Recovery is crucial for progressing your strength and allowing you to handle the increased weight, and number of sets and reps needed for further gains. I don’t mean take weeks off from the gym to rest and watch countless hours of TV, but making room each and every week for allotted rest days will definitely help you in the long run.
By Ron 'Boss' Everline | Wed, Aug 15, 2018
BOSS x Cellucor: HIIT Workout
Looking for a quick HIIT workout you can do anywhere? Grab C4 On the Go and try this routine from Cellucor Athlete Boss!
40 seconds of work
10 seconds of rest
Get to this work!
Want more inspiration from Boss? Watch him push himself to the limit doing a CrossFit workout with Brooke Wells. Click here for video.
Follow Boss @justtrain
By David Sautter | Mon, Jul 23, 2018
Fat Burning Series: Essential Exercises for Weight Loss
Fat loss on paper is simple: burn more calories than you eat every day. What sounds easy can quickly become overwhelming as you realize there are dozens of exercises per body part to choose from. One of the three pillars of weight loss, exercise, can help to burn excess calories, placing you into that necessary caloric deficit to trigger fat burning.
Let’s take a look at the best exercises for weight loss and the training methodology to follow to maximize caloric expenditure.
Compound Exercises for Weight Loss
When you want to maximize the number of calories you burn each day, you need exercises that utilize the greatest number of muscle groups. Compound exercises require several muscle groups to work together to execute the movement. As a response, you’ll be burning more calories than you would during an isolation movement.
Compare the squat with the leg extension. Sure, both work the legs, but the squat demands a lot from your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and core. Leg extensions only focus on the quadriceps. Which one do you think burns more calories?
Ten of the best compound exercises you can start with include the following:
- Romanian Deadlifts
- Bench press
- Barbell Rows
- Standing Military Press
Now that you have your exercises, you’ll need to learn the best way to use them to maximize fat loss.
Change Up the Intensity
Both weight training and high-intensity cardiovascular training have been shown to be effective at supporting weight loss.
Weight training with compound movements can help to improve muscle connectivity and the working relationship between the upper and lower body. Cardiovascular workouts can improve your endurance, strengthen your heart and lungs, and lower your risk for disease.
Most workout programs separate weight training from cardiovascular workouts, leaving cardio for resting days or the weekend. In order to maximize your fat loss, I would recommend performing a workout that combines both weight-based compound exercises with high-intensity, bodyweight-based cardio exercises.
You’ll be strengthening your muscles and developing lean mass while safely elevating your heart rate into a fat-burning zone. This type of workout will also boost your excess post oxygen consumptions (EPOC) levels, allowing your body to burn even more calories long after you leave the gym.
Hybrid Weight Loss Workout
For beginners, I would recommend performing the following workout three days per week (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). If you have previous experience with similar workouts, you can add a fourth day (e.g., Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday).
The workout will be based on the training methodology of supersets. This is where you will complete one exercise (A) and immediately perform another exercise (B). Only after you’ve completed the second exercise (B) should you take a break of no more than two minutes. Once your break is finished, return to the first exercise. When you’re finished with all three sets, move on to the next pairing of exercises.
We’ll be combining opposing muscle groups so that you can safely perform the secondary exercise without worrying about burnout.
- A: Barbell Squats: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
- B: Push-ups: 3 x Failure (Do as many as you can with perfect form)
- A: Romanian Deadlifts: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
- B: Pull-ups: 3 x Failure
- A: Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
- B: Superman: 3 x Failure
- A: Barbell Rows: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
- B: Plank: 3 x Failure
- A: Standing Military Press: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
- B: Burpees: 3 x Failure
Starting the Workout? Keep Us Updated!
If you’re starting this workout, be sure to let us know how it’s going or if you have any questions. Don’t be afraid to show off your results by submitting before and after pictures.
It’s important to remember that nutrition is the second pillar to fat loss. Check out my next article on the best meals to trigger fat burning.
By Team Cellucor | Thu, May 03, 2018
Cellucor Behind the Scenes: C4® On the Go x Marc Fitt
The Cellucor Team takes you behind the scenes of one of the biggest video shoots of 2018: C4® On the Go x Marc Fitt!
By Team Cellucor | Wed, Mar 28, 2018
Calorie Burning Lower Body Workout for Weight Loss
If you’re looking to torch fat, then you'd better lift weights. For each pound of lean muscle you gain, you’ll burn an additional 35-50 calories each day while at rest.
When it comes to training, having muscle enhances your post-workout calorie expenditure. Gym-goers who lift heavier weights for fewer reps incinerate twice the number of calories following their workout than people who use a lighter weight for more reps, found a study in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise.
This is because heavy lifting triggers the release of human growth hormone. HGH is a major fat-burning player and increases the release of testosterone, which also helps to build muscle and torch fat.
Use your biggest muscle groups
Your "behind" is not just for sitting on, it’s also a valuable fat-burning machine. Your glutes are the mightiest collection of muscles in your body, which means if they’re weak, all your muscles will be negatively impacted.
This workout will activate your glutes and boost your body’s potential to burn fat. Do it once or twice a week with at least one rest day between sessions.
Supplements to help you enhance your weight loss efforts
Capsimax® Cayenne Fruit Extract
If you've ever had a chili pepper and experienced that "kick" of heat, you've felt the effects of capsaicin, a compound found in the popular pepper that has been tied to many health benefits, including weight loss.
Capsimax®, according to the makers, "is a concentrated highly-active, natural capsicum extract from red hot chili peppers that delivers all of the heat of capsaicin without the burn."
Overall, Capsimax® Cayenne Fruit Extract helps support the mobilization of fats for energy production, which is super helpful for weight loss––especially if you're already working out and eating right.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
You love coffee, but have you heard of Green Coffee Bean Extract? It's derived from unroasted green coffee beans.
The distinguishing benefit of this type of bean is that it contains high levels of Chlorogenic Acid, which may reduce carbohydrate absorption. That's good news for those of us who have to eat carbs for fuel to workout!
Unless you've been out of the loop, you already know the power of caffeine. Caffeine is considered a stimulant and it can be used as a tool to support energy and mental alertness, which are both necessary for effective workouts!
This rockstar ingredient carries fatty acids from the cytosol (the liquid found inside cells) of fat cells to the mitochondria – the energy powerhouse of all cells. When you start moving, your body will burn fuel in the mitochondria.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA is an extract found in safflower oil and is believed to suppress the expression of certain fat-gaining enzymes, to increase energy expenditure and preserve lean muscle mass.
BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
BCAAs are known for their performance and recovery benefits but they can also be useful when you're on a weight loss journey. Not only do they help you maintain muscle while you are working out hard, they are also found in formulas that support hydration. Plus, those BCAA supplements are packed with delicious flavor, which can help minimize those cravings.
Want supplement stack that includes the above ingredients? Try this dynamic duo: C4 Ripped + Xtend Ripped
By Guest Contributor | Fri, Mar 02, 2018
Mark Smith: How the Disabled Strongman Eats & Trains For Competition
Mark Smith spent 10 years in the British Forces and lost his leg in 2011. He is a 2 time 'Britain's Strongest Disabled Man' (2016 & 2017) & Winner at Arnold's Disabled Strongman (2017). He is currently competing at the Arnold Sports Festival and will compete again later this year to win the World's Strongest Disabled Man...
What does fitness mean to a Strongman?
I see my body as my work and as an investment. I have one goal in the world of Disabled Strongman and that’s to become the World’s Strongest Disabled Man, but goals like that can only be achieved by paying attention to every detail.
What does your current training program look like?
Monday: Back & Biceps
Tuesday: Event training-Tire pulls, Atlas stones, Deadlifts, Hammer Holds/Farmers Holds
Wednesday: Chest & Triceps
Thursday: Log Press, Axle press, Giant Dumbbell press
Friday: Leg day
What are some recent achievements and future goals?
I recently set a world record for the fastest time pulling two trucks, 20m distance in 24.35 seconds.
My goals are to break the world record for the heaviest atlas stone lifted by a seated disabled athlete, at 150kg.
What's your favorite workout?
I always enjoy a workout Monday morning, it’s the start of another week of progress.
My strongest and also my favorite events are the truck pull and the atlas stones.
I spend a lot of time working on my conditioning and my technique for these two events in particular.
What's your nutrition look like?
My nutrition needs to aid my training, with my training being predominantly heavy weights and working out intensely five days a week, I need to be able to repair and recover quickly, so I consume a lot of calories throughout the day, without these, my strength just wouldn’t be there.
I eat 6-8 meals a day, consisting largely of red meat, in particular, each meal will also have a carb, usually potato or pasta and vegetables.
Between meals, I will have a shake consisting of Cellucor Mass Gainer, oats, ice cream, full-fat milk, cream, 4 whole eggs.
I start my day with oats, fruit, yogurt, pancakes and my C4 pre-workout, as I train shortly after.
How do you supplement for your goals?
How do you stay motivated through it all?
I have a photo in my home gym of myself on life support, in intensive care. It acts as a reminder of how far I’ve come and how lucky I am.
I have fallen in love with the sport of Strongman, and the more competitions I compete in, the more I realize if I keep chipping away, I will one day hold that title of the World’s Strongest Disabled Man and that alone is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
I dream about the day my sons can go into school and tell their friends that their Daddy is the Strongest Disabled Man in the world!
What advice do you have for anyone who is trying to achieve a fitness goal?
I think everybody has something they can excel in and enjoy equally, I think goals are hugely important, to have something to strive for. Once you find a passion, it comes easily.
Set short-term, realistic, achievable goals and tick them off as you go along and each time, reevaluate where you’re at and set new goals, all the while improving.
I believe that anybody can achieve anything they want to, if they are persistent, consistent and willing to work hard enough for it.
Follow Mark Smith
By Jen Jewell | Tue, Feb 13, 2018
Gym Motivation: Advice For Starting a New Fitness Program
Starting a new fitness program? There are some things you need to hear before you set out for the gym.
Team Cellucor Athlete Jen Jewell breaks it down.
How do I get started?
Getting started is the hardest part. Here's how to find your groove.
How do I keep going?
What happens after the initial rush fades?
Jen encourages her clients to reset and experiment!
Category: training (40 articles)
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