Thursday, November 10, 2011

Building Explosive Power through Drop Squats

A key component to building explosive power is teaching all your muscle groups to work together—cooperating and firing at the proper time to ensure maximum transfer of energy to it’s final destination, whether that be a punch, a kick, a successful vault or jump. Here is an excellent exercise you may want to incorporate into your training regime.

Drop Squat with Jump. 
You will want to practice the Drop Squat with a light 35lbs or 45lbs bar (or lighter depending on your strength), until you get the feel for it before adding the jump.

  1. Begin by placing a bar or kettle bell in front of you on the floor. 
  2. Take a wide stance (6" wider than shoulder width), and squat down sitting on your heels keeping your back as straight as possible with your head up. 
  3. Grasp the bar using a wide grip, or the kettle bell on the outside of the handle. 
  4. Now clean the bar, or lift the kettle bell, to the shoulders just under your chin. Be sure to drive from your heels up through your hips, keeping your back as straight as possible and head up.
  5. From this position, do not press the weight overhead but maintain it at your standing shoulder level as you drop your body down to a squat position sitting on your heels, back straight, head up and weight now overhead. It is extremely important you do not press the weight overhead, rather drop your body down. 
  6. From this position you will stand back up, keeping the weight overhead. 
  7. Once standing, lower the weight back to the floor and repeat.
Adding the Jump
  1. Once you have mastered the technique, place a box (6–8” high x 40” long x 24” deep) just in front of the bar/kettle bell. 
  2. Perform the Drop Squat, however this time explode out of the bottom position after the drop, jumping onto the box. Remember to drive from your heels up through the hips maintaining a straight back with head up all the while keeping the weight overhead. 
  3. Step off the box and repeat. Start with just five or six repetitions. You may add weight to the bar, use a heavier kettle bell, or use a higher box as you get stronger. 
  4. Three or four sets with a 1½- to 2-minute rest in between will be adequate. 

Be aware that any physical activity brings with it the risk of injury. If in doubt, find a competent trainer well versed in this technique to assist you. Perform at your own risk.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Compound It!

By far the most effective way to train for any desired physical result—including increased bone density—is to incorporate compound, multi-joint, progressive resistance exercises

If you are after rapid, sustainable weight loss, weight gain, speed and power—or just raw strength—these kinds of exercises must be incorporated into your training regime. Although a properly designed nutritional plan is responsible for approximately 80% of your results as far as weight loss or gain is concerned, you still need to exercise properly to realize that last 20% of your goal. Now, 20% may not sound like much, but make no mistake: without training your results will be less than desirable leading to frustration and possibly giving up.

So what is a compound exercise? 
A compound exercise is one which involves more than one muscle group and utilizes a range of motion through several joints. A great example would be the squat, which works nearly every muscle group and moves through practically every joint in the body.

Why do compound exercises work so well? 
In regard to weight loss, utilizing multi-joint compound exercises demands a lot of energy when the program is designed and performed properly. That translates to burning up lots of calories in a short period of time. As a matter of fact, studies have shown 30 to 40 minutes of progressive compound resistance training burns up calories equal to running a 5K race. And it doesn’t stop there. Your metabolism will return to normal within a couple of hours after a 5K run however, this is not the case after 40 minutes of compound resistance training. Your metabolism may stay elevated for as many as 19 hours post-training, even while resting. I realize that the preferred fuel while training is carbohydrate, but with a properly designed nutritional program, any carbohydrate which is available for energy will be used up while training leaving a good 19 hours of fat burning.

Proper progressive compound resistance training places new stress loads on your body. This effect stimulates the endocrine system to produce more HGH (Human Growth Hormone), make available more usable testosterone and increase IGF1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1). This translates into new muscle and a recipe for fat burning 24 hours per day. Keep in mind, Ladies, you don’t have enough testosterone to get bulky huge muscles so no need to worry. What you will experience is a beautifully toned and shaped physique, with an increase in bone mass, which becomes ever so important as we grow older.

There are many advantages to incorporating progressive compound resistance training, such as minimizing speed-reaction time in sport and building explosive power. I should also mention the sense of confidence and well being as you realize your goals and set higher ones. The design, exercise selection and implementation will determine the result.

If you are not familiar with progressive compound resistance training be sure to seek out a professional trainer who is well versed in compound exercise programs and discuss your requirements with them. They will be able to advise you on how to set up an effective program ensuring your safety and results.

I will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Just leave a comment or email me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

“Nothing like a challenge…”

Thanks to our friend and associate trainer Elsbeth Vaino, I was recently inspired to lift heavy again. My personal best for Deadlifts was 5 sets of 6 reps at 155lbs, just over a year ago.

Today, just for fun and after not training regularly for several weeks, I thought I’d see what I could do cold. Here it is… Nice.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011



Replacing Habits…

All humans become habitual. Aside from addiction, habits also include mannerisms, customs, and rituals. Habits are really nothing more than thought patterns which have become automatic.

Ego will support these thought patterns by coming up with every excuse in the book to maintain them. Many of the habits we form serve us well and will continue to serve well for a lifetime.

Some of our habits may become outdated as we strive assiduously toward new goals and lifestyle changes, but are still running the show. Still other habits we adopt may be down right destructive—dangerous to our well being and to those around us. Any habit that does not support our goal is taking us further from it and must be extinguished quickly, to be replaced by a habit—a new blueprint—which does support our intention.

The most effective way to oust an outdated or destructive habit is to be ruthless, immediately cutting all ties. Focus on the polar opposite. With proper use of the will, choose only those thoughts that support and represent the new blueprint we wish to implement. Through starving the old blueprint by lack of thought toward it, the old habit dies of malnourishment.

A clean break is what is required. Draw on the power of the subconscious mind. It will respond.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Grow Yourself…

When we attach ourselves to others opinions and ideas about who they think we should be, we severely limit our growth. In fact the growth we will experience is not our own at all. When we allow others opinions about us to be our influence we are being driven by outside forces and become other peoples ideas of what and who they think we should be, what is best for us—or should I say, them.

This is not to say we should never seek the council of others or discount what they may have to say if it is relevant to our worthy ideals and is in harmony with the direction our purpose. Become the observer. It is important to test these opinions and ideas each day by turning them over to our inner Power of Intelligence and releasing them, allowing the answers to come to us.

“Other people’s values will bring you other people’s results. But your values bring fulfillment and joy. Always remember it is nobler to imperfectly pursue your own vision than to perfectly pursue the vision of another.”
—James Arthur Ray

This month let’s make a priority of growing our self, challenging the opinions and advices of others, discarding any that are not in keeping with our purpose. The only one who truly knows your path is you.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


[ Originally posted at Premier Blueprints for Personal Success on July 7, 2010 ]

Imagination—powerful tool or devastating enemy?

Imagination is one of our most powerful tools and is the beginning point for all our greatest inventions, fictional stories, new businesses, new ways of doing business and anything you can imagine. Men and women have imagined wonderful things in their minds and through visualization, faith and persistence, often against ridicule and seemingly impossible odds, have advanced all of humanity.

Following the universal law of polarity, imagination has a polar opposite which can be devastating if we allow it to run uncontrolled. If it is allowed imagination will run rampant often becoming crippling to the host. Imagination is not reliable to operate on its own and must be governed through proper use of the will and reason. Imagination and emotion fuel one another and can be particularly devastating to relationships at any level. What we harbor in our heart and allow our imagination to dwell and grow upon will manifest in our physical world at some point whether we like it or not. It is imperative we learn to use the will properly selecting and visualizing only those thoughts which direct us toward our desired outcome.

I am the maker of my world and you are the maker of your world. It will become whatever we perpetually imagine it to be.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tilapia + Brussel Sprouts

We are often asked “How do you prepare your fish and vegetables while staying within the guidelines of your nutritional plan?”

Here is a quick capture of what I prepared for my dinner tonight. Enjoy!
{It was delicious!}

Friday, April 8, 2011

Realizing Potential through Drop Sets

Once a client has developed sufficient strength and muscular endurance through compound foundational, training I like to introduce a program which includes a few drop sets.

Most of us, when we begin progressive resistance training for the first time (and even some who have been training for years), have a preconceived idea of our capabilities which is generally way below what we are capable of. I have witnessed people squatting with 135lbs when they could have squatted 315lbs the day they walked in the door. Their true potential is recondite by a preconceived idea of their ability which has kept them working far below what they are capable of and limiting their progress. In their mind they are working hard. This is particularly true of leg training, which is grueling when done properly. This is where the drop set becomes a great tool.

A drop set is when you perform an exercise for a required number of repetitions, then drop a predetermined amount of weight off the bar and immediately continue the exercise until positive failure in good form. Drop sets become even more effective when using continuous tension after the drop; but that is for another post.

So often I have seen a trainee, when first introduced to drop sets, load up the bar with the usual weight they would perform 8 reps with, and easily push out 15 or more before positive failure in good form, at which time a percentage of weight is dropped off the bar and they continue to rep out 15 to 20 more. At the conclusion of the set I always hear; “I had no idea I could do that many reps with that much weight! Obviously I am training far below what I am capable of.” My reward is seeing the smile on their face and the excitement in the brightness of their eyes, knowing their progress is going to triple over the next while. The benefits of this experience do not stop at the gym door, but this too is for another post.

On your next scheduled program update, include a few exercises utilizing drop sets and be ready for some amazing results.

If you are not well-versed in the use of drop sets, it is advisable to seek out a professional trainer who understands the proper use of drop sets and when to use them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring… All Things New

Ah, Spring. With April comes the end of those cold winter months. Spring is the season for new beginnings—new life. The air is full of energetic, positive energy. It is a time for new birth. We begin to plan our gardens—ornamental and vegetable. Which seeds will we sow this year ? How will we arrange them? How will we til and prepare the soil? So much time, preparation and planning. Should we pay any less attention to the gardens of the mind?

Our mind can be likened to the soil. Just as the seeds we plant in the ground will yield their harvest, so too will the thought seeds we continually plant and nurture in the garden of our mind.

Why is it, in our physical world we have no problem understanding that if we plant carrots we yield carrots, if we plant broccoli we reap broccoli and when we sow ragweed our harvest will be ragweed, but in the spirit or mind world we can’t seem to understand that if we plant the thought seeds of lack, limitation, sickness and depression, it is impossible to reap prosperity, good health and joy?

This is a Universal Law. It plays no favourites. It holds true for the individual as well as for society at large. Should we spend any less time preparing and nurturing our thought seeds than on our physical gardens? The quality of our physical experience will be determined by the thought seeds we sow and how well we nurture them using the faculty of the will and the faculty of reason in every garden of our life.

Spring is the time for all things new. Let’s begin this Spring choosing new, uplifting thoughts. New thoughts will bring new results. Set a purpose and plant only thought seeds which support your ideals.

Next to these thoughts, establish daily action steps which will carry you closer to your purpose every day. Next to these, set out affirmations and afformations, forming a powerful root system, able to withstand the tempests turmoil which must come.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Supper: Turkey + Vegetables

Brussel Sprouts, Orange Peppers, Onions + Garlic… waiting to be sizzled.

Served with a giant breast of lean turkey, glazed with Dijon mustard.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Perfect Workout Every Time

[ Originally posted at Premier Blueprints, by Marshall Page Friday, May 29, 2009 ]

It is important to mentally prepare yourself before every training session, beginning the night before.

The perfect workout begins inside your mind. You make a conscious decision how your training will go the next day no matter what is happening around you. I want you to realize nothing can ruin your workout but you. Only you can allow that to happen. Take ten minutes just before you go to sleep to tell yourself you are going to have an amazing workout the next day.

Visualize with emotion. Incorporate all your senses as you mentally go through your session. Feel the energy and the power you will bring to your training. Visualize the drive you will have. Be excited about your progress and realizing your goals. Upon rising, take time to do some deep breathing and clear your mind. Down a full glass of water and feel the energy flow into your body and mentally prepare yourself for a magnificent day and know your training will be awesome. Take a few moments throughout the day to breathe deeply and visualize your workout.

When training time rolls around you will be so pumped and ready, it will be impossible to have an “off” workout. Over and over, without fail, when my clients do this they always experience excellent results.

“As a being of Power, Intelligence, and Love, and the lord of our own thoughts, each of us holds the key to every situation and contains within ourselves that transforming and regenerative agency by which we may make ourselves what we will.”
—James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Walking the walk…

Last evening, I was looking through some photography trying to find a decent image of a woman with strong abs to promote our 8-week Ultimate Beach Body Blitz program. In doing so, I was reminded of my own abs, and how great they were way back in the Fall of 2009, and how today’s version is well, less than great.

I was inspired by some of the ladies I saw, and asked Marshall how much weight he thought I could lose in the little more than five weeks remaining before our trip to the Bahamas.

“Fifteen to twenty pounds, on average”, was his very deliberate response.


“How?” I asked, knowing the answer of course, as it is the same response I have offered many of you when asked the same question.

“Well, you could do my pre-competition diet. Lots of white fish, chicken breast, veggies and restricted carbs. I’ll do it with you. I’ve been wanting to lean down.”

[Excited now…]
BEFORE: March 26, 2011

“Okay. Let’s write it up. Make the plan. I can do it if I have a plan.” Within seconds, I was scratching out a grocery list, a meal schedule, and then it hit me…

Let’s take this public. Let’s document our progress, and share it with not only our Members, but with the world via this blog, Facebook and Twitter.

This morning we posed—between giggles—for our BEFORE photos. Taking posing instruction from an award-winning bodybuilder is intimidating, to say the least, but fun at the same time.

Next up: the grocery store. Fifteen bundles of white fish to see us through the next five days, supported by an oh-so-green collection of asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts and Granny Smith apples. Oh yes, and a red and orange pepper for a dash of colour.

At the gym, we will continue our regular three-day training program, and I will complement those efforts with some added cardio and core work on alternate days (you may find me performing excerpts from our new Hard CoreCardio program).

So, here we go! From today through Saturday April 30th, Marshall and I will be walking the walk, demonstrating, through photos and personal experience, how simply—and quickly—results can happen with the right amount of will, reason, discipline… and white fish.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inspiration Wall: January 2010

On Sacrifice and Achievement

I am grateful for those who continually strive for improvement in their selected fields of choice, attaining great heights of achievement. They are a source of inspiration and reveal what we are all capable of.

Those who attain great heights generally have a passion for what they do. I once had the pleasure of attending an afternoon of full contact kickboxing fights. I was there because my son was fighting and wanted to support him. As a father, I am very proud of his and his sisters’ achievements in the martial arts, and life in general. As I was watching the bouts, I began to think about the amount of training hours that go into the physical and mental preparation for a few rounds of fighting or sometimes less. My son’s bout ended in the second round by knock out (he won).

That evening at home I had the opportunity to watch Cirque De Soleil which started me thinking again of how much time and effort goes into being able to perform the incredible feats. So, are these people any different from you and I? Not at all. They simply have a passion for what they do and are willing to do—and give up—anything to do it.

James Allen, in his book As A Man Thinketh, states “They who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; they who would achieve much must sacrifice much; they who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”

The question arises: If we are doing what we truly love, are we really sacrificing anything? Most I know would give their eye teeth to be doing what they love for a living. Does it mean sacrificing the normal life most people lead? What is the normal life? We all devote our lives to something. Many of us to meaningless jobs we don’t enjoy, feeling trapped and stressed. To me this is sacrifice. Sacrificing what you would love to earn your living at for something less. When we earn our living by expressing and achieving what we were designed to do, this is prosperity, abundant living, not sacrifice. Does society dictate what sacrifice means? Should we accept less than we desire just to attain what society says is normal, even when it means misery, stress and hopelessness? This is not success. This is not achievement. We can never be truly happy or successful trying to achieve someone else’s or society’s vision of what is normal or best for us.

To achieve much, and experience meaningful abundance and prosperity, we must pursue our own desires—not sacrifice them for what society tries to dictate we should be, do, or have.

I have a motivational note on my wall here that reminds me “Other people’s values will bring you other people’s results. But your values bring fulfillment and joy. Always remember it is more noble to imperfectly pursue your own vision than to perfectly pursue the vision of another.”—I don’t remember who said this but they are wise words to follow.

It is never too late or impossible to realize your true intentions. Just start where you are and each day begin to perform some action—no matter how small—that leads toward your desired life.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Inspiration Wall: December 2010


It is important that we do all we can each day to move us toward our intentions. This includes accepting and taking care of all we are responsible for that day, not just doing the things we enjoy. When we shirk responsibility, it creates more work for everyone, including ourselves. But it goes much deeper than that—it actually impedes our progress toward realizing our desires by creating a negative flow of energy toward us.

Accepting and completing our responsibilities creates an environment of positive energy—knowing we have done a good job, and thereby advancing life for all who are associated. There is absence of friction when we accept and complete our duties on time.

This is of benefit to everyone for friction can only lead to “dis ease” and distress, breaking down relationships, lowering the immune system and creating a negative environment which reduces the quality of life not just for those immediately affected, but also those with whom we associate because of the negative energy we exude. Just as we cannot plant seeds of thistles or ragweed and expect to harvest beautiful roses, we cannot plant seeds of irresponsibility, laziness or disrespect and expect to harvest prosperity, health, honesty and trust.

Accepting and completing our responsibilities on time is an integral part of becoming our best. It has a residual carry-over into all our endeavors whether they be sports, business, parenting, or life in general. It is important not only to our own self development, but it will play a large part in the degree of success we experience.

Why would anyone allow something they have complete control over to limit their potential to succeed?

Study and test this concept: Accept and complete all responsibilities with gratitude for one month and see if the quality of life you, and those around you, experience isn’t superior, with less friction.