It’s so easy to get caught up in the environment and want to go ALL IN when it comes to training.

Trust me, I get it.

But before you jump in with competition or attempting that next PR… How about forgetting about the ego for a minute and practice on your craft for a few months or hell… YEARS.

I’m very new to Oly lifting and I have a looooong way to go to get my form and technique down.

I’m getting help from my coach who’s giving me exercises such as this high block clean to get it down.

I’m not looking at PRs or competition today… I’m learning the basics, developing my craft, practicing by the numbers.

I’m going to continue to keep you in the loop of this progress to Lead From the Front…. Because the lesson here is way too important.

I want to demonstrate what it looks like to start from the beginning and how it’ll progress over time… Because some of you are new to lifting and need to know that we ALL struggle with the learning curve at times.

You may be anxious to jump ALL IN before earning your dues… Which is a guaranteed way of getting hurt.

I highly encourage you to develop your lift, practice for excellence, then, once it’s become second nature, step out on the platform… From there I promise that 99% of you will be humbled and you’ll truly know what you need to work on from there.

Don’t take any notes from this video… This is an ugly lift at best 😂😂😂

Deadlifts

The Deadlift gets a bad rap for being dangerous on the lower back.  As someone who has suffered many lower back flare ups due to Degenerative Disc Disease, I am here to tell you that the Deadlift is one of the most beneficial exercises I can do to maintain my strength and stay pain free.

It was only when I would mess up the Deadlift in my training that I would incur the lower back flare ups.

Mistakes I would make were:

  1. Going too heavy too often
  2. Getting out of position during a PR attempt
  3. Using wrong form

See the trend there?… Honestly, when you use the Deadlift properly with correct form and in the right training scope, it has tremendous benefits to aid in recovery of a bad lower back and to me, a life without Deadlifts just sucks.

So lets get your Deadlifts down right so you’ll never have to ignore them in training again.

One thing I really like to do with my clients is a Deadlift progression.

I always start by teaching them the Hip Hinge Pattern Movement first and they must master it.  Next, I teach them how to be under load, both with Romanian Deadlifts and Squats!

YES!  The Squat has great carry over to the Deadlift.  Unfortunately that’s not the same case in reverse.

After learning the hip hinge, Romanian Deadlift and showing me a great loaded squat, I’ll then progress to the Trap Bar Deadlift or if mobility is an issue, I’ll have them do block pulls.  Simply put, this is an elevated Deadlift.

If you are new to the Deadlift, I am going to suggest this same progression along with 3 more things here.

  1. Master the Hip Hinge Movement and learn how to engage and load your hamstrings and glutes BEFORE attempting a deadlift.  A great way to do this is by perfecting the Romanian Deadlift FIRST!
  2. Take your time learning the Deadlift – no need to rush into heavy weight right away.
  3. Watch and perfect your form using the 5 Step Approach created by Mark Rippetoe

Romanian Deadlift

Quick Look at the Romanian Deadlift

The 5 Step Deadlift

Brought to you by Mark Rippetoe of Starting Strength, this is one of the best beginner tutorials for the Deadlift that is on the internet today.  I feel I would be doing you a great disservice if I didn’t share this with you in this blog post.

These 5 Steps will carry over into every Deadlift variation you can think of.  The only difference will be how far apart your foot placement will be from one another (such as Sumo Deadlifts); other than that, your setup and execution will remain the same.

This is also true for Heavy Carry implements such as the Farmer Bars and Strongman Frame.

Rack Pull

Here are some other pointers on the Deadlift.

Best Grip For Deadlift?

Standard grip, mix grip, hook grip?

Which one should you use?

Use them all.

Here’s why I like to incorporate each variation of these grips in my Deadlift training.

Standard, Double Overhand Grip

💥Develops overall grip strength with no extra assistance

💥Will not create imbalances in posture, particularly the upper back .

Mix Grip

💥Helps lift more weight

💥Doesn’t fatigue grip as fast

💥Helps develop bicep strength

Hook Grip

💥Practically cannot lose your grip

💥Develops high pain threshold 😮

Here’s the thing. I use to only use mix grip in my training and it caused me big problems with my lower back.

By continuing to grip the bar with left hand under and right hand over (my strongest grip position) I was causing severe posture imbalances which led to another lower back flare up that put ALL my training on hold for a good 3-4 months.

Since then, if I use the mix grip it’s on 2 conditions.

1. It’s only after I’ve reached a weight that I can’t handle for double overhand or I’ve exhausted my grip due to high reps, as seen in video below

2. I switch my hand position each working set. If I start left over, right under I’ll make sure that the next set my left hand is now under and right over.

By switching my hands each set I’m helping to keep my posture and structural integrity in check.

As far as hookgrip is concerned, I’ll use it as a gut check and will use this when I’m feeling I need to man up

Oh… And what about lifting straps

I never use them in training, maybe for a PR or when a competition allows but honestly, I feel they are cheating yourself out of true strength.

Gym Hack – Easy Unloading Deadlift Bar

Snatch Grip Deadlift

Landmine Deadlift (Car Deadlift Simulation – Athlete, Chris Riddick)

If you’ve been going to the gym for a while but are seeing little to no results, this post is for you.

Progressive Overload is the single most important factor in getting positive results from any type of workout or any form of exercise.

It’s the component that can turn the most perfect workout program into a useless waste of time and literally make or break your success.

Progressive Overload is the absolute key to getting the results you want from your workout routine.

The best way I can explain it is by telling you a very important secret.

You see, the human body doesn’t care that you have some type of workout/exercise goal in mind. It doesn’t care that you want to build muscle, or lose fat, or get toned, or become stronger, or improve performance, or just look great naked.

Your body only knows and cares about 1 thing: keeping you alive and functioning as efficiently as possible. That’s your body’s only real goal.

And, to ensure it meets this goal, your body is both smart enough and capable enough to do whatever is needed of it in order to adapt to its environment.

And it’s this fact that is the basis for all workout/exercise goals to be reached.

What I mean is, the only way your body will ever change or improve the way you want it to is by creating an environment that proves to your body that these changes and improvements MUST be made.

Or, to put it another way, your body will not change or improve unless you force it to.

No matter how perfect your workout is, muscle will not be built, strength will not be gained, and performance will not improve unless you show your body that these are things that absolutely NEED to happen in order for it to survive.

And that right there brings us to something called the progressive overload principle.

The Progressive Overload Principle

The progressive overload principle basically states:

In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced.

And what it means is, if you lift the same weights, for the same number of reps, the same way for the next 20 years… nothing will ever happen. Your body will never change or improve in any way.

You will only maintain your current state.

However, if you increase the demands you are placing on your body by increasing the weight being lifted, lifting the same weight for more reps, or just doing something that increases the demands that your body needs to meet, then your body will have no other choice but to make the necessary changes and improvements that will allow it to adapt to this environment and remain capable of performing these tasks.

And these “changes” and “improvements” and “adaptations” come in the form of more musclemore strengthless fatmore tonebetter performance and just the overall results you are looking to get.

That’s what all of these goals are, really… just our body’s adaptive response to the demands being placed on it through exercise.

You’re basically showing your body that in order for it to survive, in order for it to do what you are forcing it to do, it’s going to NEED to make these changes and improvements.

Let me explain exactly what I mean by watching this short video here:

If you are reading this right now, I have no doubt that you know what your strength and fitness goals are.

But the distance between where you are right now and where you really want to be can be measured by the number of excuses you make.

The more excuses you make, the bigger the distance. So on the flips side, the less excuses you tolerate, the more you close the gap and start seeing your way towards your success.

The purpose of this email is to help you better understand exactly what excuses are so that you can flip the script and not give into them any longer.

😤1. First you must realize that ALL excuses you tell yourself are flat out LIES. We all find the resources, time and energy to do the things we want to do. An excuse is simply finding a way to justify your lack of desire.

😤2. Excuses will NEVER better your situation. You may think you’re doing yourself a favor but in the long run your excuses will turn out to be regret. Unfortunately, at that time, it may be too late.  It’s not too late right now though so start something today!

😤3. The more excuses you make, the easier it gets to make even more. This is a dangerous downward spiral to get into because the further you give in, the harder it is to get out of.  If you feel like this, we may need to talk to help you out of that situation.

😤4. You’re only hurting yourself by allowing excuses to prevent you from taking action.  Please understand that every time you make an excuse, you are preventing yourself from becoming happier, healthier, stronger and being more capable of taking on challenges that’ll test you both mentally and physically.

✅5. The cure for Excuses is EXECUTION. As soon as you have an excuse come up in your head, defeat it by taking action, no matter how small or insignificant you may think that action is. Lace up your shoes, turn on a motivational video, do a few Pushups, jump rope.

It truly doesn’t have to be much but you must do something. Once you get moving you’ll build momentum. Don’t stop. Allow that momentum and positive sensation of accomplishment continue to drive you to the next step and the next and the next.

3 weeks of positive action will propel you into a new, No Excuse making you. That’s just 21 days. You can do it but if you need help, hit me up. I’ll make sure we knock your excuses out for good 💪

Murphy

When trying to lose weight (and every time I use the word weight I’m referring to FAT) it is very important to address your diet.

However, with so many trends, gimmicks and flat out lies out there, it can make someone go crazy about what they should be doing.

The simple fact is, when it comes to losing weight it will ALWAYS be more about calories in vs calories out than anything else.

Here are my TOP 5 Nutrition Lies that need to DIE ☠️

#1. 🚫 You must eat 5-6 meals per day to lose weight.
 Calories matter. As long as you’re in a caloric deficit it doesn’t matter when or how many meals you eat. Eating 5-6 meals can help with discipline, portion control and getting adequate amounts of protein in but it’s not the only way to lose weight.

#2. 🚫 You must restrict carbs to lose fat.
 Sorry keto fans, this isn’t true either. Again, it’s calories in vs calories out. Yes, you can eat and enjoy your carbs and still lose weight 👍

#3. 🚫 Eat clean if you want to lose weight.
 Eating clean / healthy isn’t the same as eating for weight loss. Fact is, you can still over eat on clean and healthy foods. Sure, you may be better off eating a salad when compared to drive thru burgers and fries BUT if that salad is loaded with extra calories it won’t matter much to your weight loss efforts.

#4. 🚫 You must use supplements and cleanses to lose weight.
Sorry Herbalife fanatics. This isn’t true either. Supplements can help support a healthy lifestyle but you should learn how to use food first to reach your goals and then supplement as needed.

#5. 🚫Ab exercises burn belly fat, tighten and flatten your stomach.
 Ab exercises can help strengthen your midsection while burning calories. If you truly want to see all your hard work, make sure you’re eating in a caloric deficit. Abs are made in the kitchen.

If you need help getting started with a proper / science and results based nutrition plan, hit me up and let’s ENJOY life while losing fat😁

Today I have a very important message for you.

Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of people, and some of my clients included, getting very discouraged over their workouts.  They feel as if they aren’t making progress because they don’t notice the same rapid progress happening that they once did.

Here is what really happens when you hit these type of “plateaus.”  Yes, plateaus in quotations because that’s not what is going on at all.

It has been said that out of every 10 workouts – 4 will be “meh” 3 will SUCK and 3 will be GREAT.

You see, the more experience a person has in the gym, and the stronger he or she gets, the more they notice this pattern.

I’ll explain further.

(more…)

If you are finding it very difficult to start your strength and fitness lifestyle, I invite you to PAUSE, breathe and think about this…

Too often we buy into the more is better approach. More workouts, more information, more resources, more time, etc.

In reality, if you take a step back and focus your efforts on what truly matters you’ll make much greater strides towards your goals.

You don’t need the fancy gadgets, the expensive supplements, the 3 hour workouts 7 days a week.

You simply need to take positive action each day with consistency and purpose and allow it to build towards your success.

I talk about it much more in this quick video.  Check it out and if you still need help, please reach out to me by texting me directly at 804-274-8315.

In today’s message I share a little bit more about my own personal Strength and Fitness journey and how a lower back injury set my path to become the strongest version of myself.

I discuss how to face adversity head on and not allow any setbacks or obstacles derail you from achieving your goals.  What it all comes down to is choosing your hard.

Yes, starting a fitness regimen can be hard… but you would be hard pressed to convince me that it’s harder than living in an uncomfortable lifestyle of pain, regret, being over weight and out of shape.

Check out what I mean here and Keep Pounding 👊

Murph