The Biggest Mistake You Can Make

I've been in the gym for a very long time, I've seen countless mistakes and made that many more.  After 20 years of competitive lifting experience that has crossed three disciplines (Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and now Strongman) I have learned the biggest mistake you could ever make in the gym whether your a competitive lifter, gym rat, body builder or weekend warrior.  

Any guesses on what it could be? It's not a perfect set/rep scheme. It's not deloading, intermitten fasting, going to failure, taking rest days, paleo, six meals a day, it's not maxing every time you step into the gym.  The biggest mistake you can make in the gym isn't even Crossfit.  It's not squatting high or with the dreaded butt wink God knows there's thousands of articles about that.  Are you ready????


I've seen some very strong "kids" and I call them kids because they won't listen, destroy themselves and make zero progress.  In fact the only progress they make is getting injured.  I've had reputable coaches ask for input on programs only to get the well you don't know and not accept any suggestions.  Listen to everyone no matter what coaching experience they have they might see something or ask the right question to make you think or adjust your technique.  I've known very strong guys that it wouldn't matter if a Pro, a legit Pro, was standing right in front of them they wouldn't take the advice.  Many times these kids lift with their egos not wanting to drop the weight.  I've heard these kids scoff at warmups, mobility, foam rolling anything that would make them better.  If you're uncaochable then you're not going to last long.  


Some Forgotten Movements

I get asked all the time "what is something I can add to my workout?" I first always say a mobility based warm up, but "Oh yeah I warm up and stretch and stuff!" I like to add in a sled drag. Why would dragging a sled help me? Well I like to do a weighted sled drag for 20 minutes straight. It gets the heart rate up for a sustained period, it "resets" the hips, and gives a good bump to the posterior chain. The variations to sled dragging are endless. We can drag forwards, backwards, sideways, turn it into a row, a chest press.... With sled dragging the impact is low and it can be used on a recovery day or loaded heavy as an assistance movement.

Another movement that I like to suggest for people to add would be some type of weighted carry. This could be a farmers carry with two weights in either hand or one weight to one side. There are countless variations as well. I really like a bear hug carry, it really makes the core stabilize. Kettle bells in a front rack carry are really effective for strengthening and stabilizing the core. Weighted carries aren't about grip strength, no not at all its about core stabilization and if performed heavy enough lower quad and hip development. Don't believe me? Strap 300#'s in each hand and take off running!!!

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Clean Eating Away From Home

Many of the Underground Faithful have very busy lives and jobs that require them to be on the road for most of the day if not for weeks at a time. I hear the question all the time, "What am I supposed to do? What can I eat?". Before I started training full time I had a job that required me to travel extensively. Day to day I may be in some small town in "who knows where USA". I did a lot of prep work so that I could eat clean. I had to plan on meals that didn't require a microwave. I ate a lot of raw foods such as vegetables and nuts. For protein sources I relied on tuna, hard boiled eggs, beef jerky, cold chicken breasts and steaks usually on salads. I also had the occasional protein shake and most gas stations have a microwave, so you don't always have to eat cold food. But hey we all get lazy from time to time and don't do our meal prep and while on the road and in a hurry sometimes fast food joints are all there is.

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If I Had to Choose What Would I Do?

I recently was asked if I could only pick five movements to train for the rest of my life what would they be? Of course there would be a squat and a pull up at the top of the list. The amount of muscle and neurological recruitment that is required is amazing for these two basic lifts and the really funny thing is many people can't perform them properly. So what else would I add? I would definitely add some kind of carry whether that was a farmers carry or some kind of front rack carry. The carry isn't about grip strength its about core and hip stabilization. Most of the lifts we do in the gym are bilateral, both feet stuck in the same plane such as a squat or deadlift. When we start moving/walking with weights things really have to stay tight. Just as an experiment walk while holding one 50# dumbbell and with the other hand feel your abs fire like crazy.

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The Three Biggest Mistakes People Make In The Gym

I am a gym rat always have been always will be. The gym is my home, my business, the laboratory where I experiment, the stage where magic happens in changing people's physiques. I have been in competitive lifting in some fashion for the last 19 years. I have seen a lot of mistakes and have made countless mistakes myself. Listed below are probably the three biggest mistakes I see in the gym, and these just aren't newby mistakes.

1) NO WARM UP : I see this countless times, a person comes into the gym does some arm circles maybe touch their toes (if they can) then jumps right under a bar. Not going to lie I am some what jealous of these people. If I didn't warm up and jumped right in I would snap everything up. All of my clients do a standard warmup and depending on the day and any corrective issues a more specialized warm up is implemented.

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