Trending Post from Nick Tumminello

Another great post by Nick Tumminello.

I love that people of all stripes are appreciating the value of strength training and getting stronger. However, the current obsession with barbell deadlifts among personal trainers greatly concerns me, as it causes fitness pros to make the capital mistake of 1) thinking that a specific exercise is a “must do” for everyone, which 2) leads one to try to fit clients to specific exercises, when the job of the fit pro is to fit exercises to specific clients. And, when we start putting specific exercises on a pedestal instead of putting the specific needs and abilities of the client on a pedestal, we not only become dangerous and less effective as fit pros, but we also become as simple minded about exercise prescription as one can get.

Here’s a reality: Unless you’re a powerlfter or someone interested in training like one, which is NOT most people who’re working in gyms and with fitness pros, there’s NO SUCH THING as “the big lifts” (or “assistance exercises” for that matter) – There’s JUST “resistance training exercises.” Full stop!

In other words, to a powerlifter or weightlifting enthusiasts, the barbell deadlift is a “must do” *event.* However, to everyone else (e.g., fitness training clients along with field, court and combat sport athletes), the barbell deadlift is… wait for it… JUST ANOTHER FRIGGIN EXERCISE!

That’s right! For all non-powerlifters (i.e., the majority of people who are exercising) the barbell deadlift is not magic and it’s not a “must do.” It’s just one exercise in a list of many viable exercise options that can be substituted, modified or not used at all depending on the individual.

As my friend, and iron game legend Richard Sorin says, “Athletes are not in the gym to be weightlifters, they’re there to be athletes made stronger in the weight room.” I would also add, as I’ve alluded to above, that individuals with physique and general health & fitness related goals aren’t there to be weightlifters either. And, if you don’t know the difference between training for the goal of weight-room mastery (i.e., being a weightlifter) and using resistance training to enhance something outside of the gym (i.e., lifestyle, physique or sports), than you’re absolutely lost as a fitness pro.

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“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

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NYTimes: A Call for a Low-Carb Diet

While this is far from the final word on the subject of nutrition, it is an important one. We continue to fixate on finding a magic bullet cure all, instead of looking at nutrition in relation to lifestyle.

Science is constantly re-examining its own conclusions. That doesn’t mean individual scientists or practitioners don’t become wedded to preconceived ideas or conclusions based on the best evidence at the time, but other scientists and researchers will challenge and sometimes upend the most fervently held beliefs. That’s science. The low fat dogma needs to die, the low carb dogma needs to die, too. What we need is long term examinations of different diets based on lifestyle. Real athletic coaches and competent experienced trainers already have a pretty good understanding of some of this, even without the controlled studies. Put a competitive marathon runner on a low carb diet and we can predict the disaster awaiting their performance. Put a power lifter on a low protein diet and we can predict that failure too. Most people are neither. Most people are sedentary for 20 out of 24 hours every day, if you do the math. What’s best for them? Anything that keeps their weight low, since according to the Harvard School of Public Health, the single biggest risk factor for cardiovascular disease is not cholesterol or even arterial plaque, but simply being overweight. Being too fat is the single biggest risk factor, so instead if putting the cart before the horse, let’s tackle that problem up front. And then, let’s discuss why shopping for healthy food is so expensive.

Enjoy the article. Please read related posts on cholesterol and fat, and a good Wikipedia entry on ketosis here


In a finding that upends long-held notions about a healthy diet, a major study shows that avoiding carbohydrates and eating more fat contributes to weight loss and fewer cardiovascular risks.

“We have art in order not to die from the truth.

Should you exercise while sick? Um, NO!

I’ve been telling my clients, gym members in general, and anyone else who will pretend to listen, to not engage in real exercise when they’re sick. Besides being rude (like everyone around you wants to be exposed to your virus or bacterial infection), you are taking energy away from your own immune response weakening your ability to fight off the infection. Well here’s the science behind it:

Training Elite Athletes- Be Brilliant at the Basics


This is so true. Too many people in the gym are trying to skip all the progressions and go from beginner to advanced way too fast, and it seems they never stop to ask why their bodies look exactly the same 12 months later. Trainers are extremely culpable in this farce. The “fear” of not keeping up with the other trainers and/or boring the client perpetuates this ridiculous state. Too many adults have confused the point of working out with entertainment. This isn’t camp.

Originally posted on Michael Boyle's Blog:

Training Elite Athletes- Be Brilliant at the Basics

( Editors note- my good friend Dewey Nielsen wrote this as an MMA article. It was so good I edited it to apply to all sports)

What works best for an athlete? Linear or undulating periodization? Kettlebells or dumbbells? Olympic lifts from the floor or hang? What do you do for conditioning?

I get questions like these a lot and usually my answer comes down to “it doesn’t matter”. I am not saying that undulating periodization doesn’t work or kettlebells are worthless. What I am saying is these things only matter once you are “Brilliant at the Basics”. You must first understand a few things:

What is strength?
What is endurance?
What is power?
What is power endurance?
What is speed?
What is agility?
What is mobility?
What is anaerobic and aerobic conditioning?

What are all of these things and how should we train them? Where do these components…

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