Tag: training

4 Simple Tips for Better Weight Management

Weight loss can be an ongoing challenge and determining where to start and sifting through all the information available online can be tedious and more often than not you will leave yourself feeling even more confused as to where to begin and what to do. In terms of where to begin let’s start with some fundamentally important concepts of what you can start working on that will yield great long term results.

1. Eat More Protein.

A goal you should focus on to begin is eating good quality lean proteins with every single meal throughout the day. Aim to shoot for about 1-2 palm size servings every single meal. Protein has a high TEF (Thermic effect of food) meaning it requires more energy to simply breakdown and process the protein being consumed. Essentially, your body burns more calories to utilize this nutrient. Protein is also the least likely macro nutrient that can get stored as body fat when compared to fats and carbohydrates, it is still possible to store of course if you are overeating total calories, however much less likely. While you are in a fat burning state, your body goes catabolic. This means that you are breaking down tissues to use for energy, hence fat burning. When your body is in a catabolic state it will not only burn fat but can also utilize muscle tissues for energy if needed. Increasing protein intake while cutting unwanted body fat will help preserve your hard earned muscle. The more muscle you have on your frame equals more calories burned throughout the day. Win win.

2. Prioritize resistance training over just cardio.

Resistance training will stimulate the formation of new muscle tissues. As above, the more muscle mass you have the more calories and fat you will burn in the long term. You will also burn a higher amount of calories on days off from the gym because your body is recovering from its previous training session and in need of additional energy to grow and recover.

3. Limit processed carbohydrates.

Substitute white breads, enriched pastas, sugar filled drinks, most cereals, sweets, and white rice with more vegetables and fruits, preferably berries. Controlling blood sugar and insulin levels low is essential for fat to be mobilized and be used as fuel to burn.

4. Drink more water.

Shoot for minimum of 1-1.5 ounces of water per kilogram of bodyweight. Limit alcohol consumption, and focus on restful sleep.

Bulletproof Back

Watch this video to see why the deadlift is a necessary exercise. Deadlifting is important to not only lifting weights, but lifting anything off of the ground. Many personal trainers dislike the deadlift, but here at Core Blend we believe it is a crucial exercise that improves basic movement patterns.


A Week of In-Season Training with World Champion Shot Putter Reese Hoffa

In my previous article, I outlined a couple of mistakes I see throwers making with their training. You can check that article out by clicking here. I really appreciate the feedback I got from the Kabuki Strength community, and one of the most common questions was how those considerations actually entered into program design.

reese-duffalo-300x300I thought the most productive way to answer that question was to just open up my old training log and show a sample training week from my final season as a pro. This is my actual in season workout schedule assuming a meet on Saturday.

Read my workout schedule in the rest of this article at Kabuki Strength.



Training Elite Throwing Athletes: The Number One Consideration From 2-Time World Champion Shot Putter Reese Hoffa

I built the Hoffa Throws Academy from the ground up to be able to train throwers the way that I feel like they should train. We have an indoor shot ring, two outdoor shot rings, a discus ring, and three extra rings to throw into nets. This is all housed within Core Blend Training, a gym I helped start up in 2012, filled with everything I think throwers need. I knew that to be the best thrower I could be, every part of my training needed to be built towards producing long throws and that’s exactly what I did.

To read more about the number one mistake throwers and coaches make in their training, read the rest of my piece for Kabuki Strength.

You’re Not Resting Enough!

Watch this video for an explanation of how rest time plays a big factor in conditioning and speed training. Did you know that for 10 yards of sprinting, you need one minute of rest? The more sweat you see may not be a sign that you’re getting the results you desire. Are you resting enough?


How Do You Get Faster?

Speed is key in any sport, from baseball to football to soccer. How do you become fast? A big, and successful, part of training here at Core Blend is our speed training. Speed is the result of two factors: stride length and stride frequency.

Stride length is self-explanatory, however, its impact on speed is not. Although longer strides do make an athlete faster, if you take too long of a stride, your knee has to lock and unlock every time you make contact of the ground, killing any momentum you had before that step. Too short of a stride? You won’t have enough power behind each step. The ideal stride is the longest one you can take with your foot behind your knee in a powerful position.

Stride frequency is a little bit more complicated because it’s connected to your central nervous system. Alongside a long stride, the next important factor is the number of times you make contact with the ground. A major key for increasing stride frequency is to only adjust a little bit. Hill sprints are a good example. With a very slight hill, you can improve your stride frequency. However, with a steep hill, it is easy to lose proper form and revert to stride lengths that are too long.

Speed cannot only be reached by improving these two factors, however. Strength training is necessary to be fast as well. A stronger person can assert more force against the ground, therefore increasing acceleration and power in each stride.

Exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and box jumps are excellent catalysts in increasing speed.

Injury Prevention Through Movement Strategies

As a trainer working with athletes of all ages, injury prevention is a huge focus. We teach proper movement patterns to avoid noncontact injuries, we practice safe movements within the gym, we attempt to correct muscle imbalances, and try to give athletes the strength in their muscles to stand up to the rigors of their sport.

Each of these injury prevention modalities has its own unique strategies so for this post we will focus on teaching proper movement patterns. A well rounded training program has to have a focus on movement. Acceleration and jumping are sexy, but deceleration and landing are just as important. When I teach a male proper deceleration or landing it is because it is more sport useful and efficient. The incidence of non contact injuries in males is much much lower than that of females, due to the way their bodies are put together (ie Q angle). With female athletes teaching proper movement is focused more on injury prevention, because a non contact injury is much more likely to occur.

So how does this knowledge manifest itself in a training program? A few different ways. First, evaluation. People think of evaluation as something you do on the first day and then just hold onto, but in reality it is a dynamic and fluid. You watch athletes warm up and move on a daily basis and see if things are moving properly. For me that begins from the ground up with proper ankle mobility. I agree with Gray Cook’s “Joint by Joint” Approach where the ankle requires mobility and the knee requires stability. When the ankle loses mobility that mobility flows up the chain to the knee. That’s bad though…we don’t want mobile knees. We want the knee to stay where it is. That’s why we have athletes go through a dynamic speed ladder (often barefoot) on a daily basis. When we see an athlete with poor ankle mobility it is something we address immediately because these things flow upwards and cause problems (I’m more concerned with bad ankles than bad hips because these things are more likely to flow up than down).

Second we teach proper movement a few different ways. Closed chain movements like the squat, clean or deadlift require dynamic movements. Observing how the knees move on these simple (compared to something as open and complicated as stopping after sprinting) movements will give us insight into how they will react on more complicated movements. Assessing and teaching movement in the sprints is handled a few different ways as well. First, there’s the deceleration that occurs when athletes change direction. We address this through change of direction drills. We also do some sprints that do not require stopping afterwards and some that do. Requiring an athlete to stop after a certain distance post sprint encourages proper movement. Proper movement must be progressed from simple to complex. That is teaching something like a squat or lunge, then progressing to sprints and stops, then progressing to actual sports.

This is much more difficult than it might appear. By asking an athlete to focus on these proper movements you can usually get proper movements. However, eliciting proper movement in the gym doesn’t guarantee proper movement in the sport. Learning movements goes through the following stages: conscious incompetence, conscious competence, then unconscious competence. Initially athletes can be asked to perform proper movement and fail. They’re trying and are aware of what to do, but fail anyway. This is conscious incompetence. With some work they can do it properly when they’re thinking about it. This is conscious competence. This is how we typically see them in the gym. The athlete is aware they’re being observed and knows what they’re working on so they demonstrate it.

If I could freeze time and ask what one of your athletes is thinking about in the middle of a play it is very unlikely they would say “Why, I’m thinking about the proper movement patterns I learned at Core Blend!”. They’re focused on a thousand other things. The key then is to get to unconscious competence, movements that are perfect and drilled in without the athlete needing to think about them. This takes a great deal of time and a variety of different tricks to get done. This is one of many reasons that when parents ask when their kid should start exercising my answer is always sooner than they did. Proper movement takes time to learn and it’s easier when there are fewer bad reps to undo.

The Easy Workout Hack To Make Your Body Lose Fat And Feel Better

If I told someone that they were going to do 12 marathons this year, they would feel like they had a ton of cardio coming to them. A marathon is 26.2 miles and a grueling bit of work. They are a strenuous enough challenge that once you finish it, you’ll be compelled to put a tiny 26.2 sticker on the back of your car to let people know what you’ve done. 12 of them in a year would average to one every month. If you live in a small enough town, they’d probably put you in the paper for that.

It might surprise you to know that you can get an equal amount of aerobic volume this year passively by going on an easy walk twice a week. An hour long walk twice a week done at 3 miles an hour (which is a slow pace; I just tried it on the treadmill and it’s easy) adds up to 12 marathons a year. Pick up the pace a little more and it adds up.

This will help your body lose fat by two different processes. 

One, the hour long walks will clear your head and decrease stress. Stress management is one of the most important things someone can do to decrease body fat levels.

Two, workouts at the extremes of the intensity spectrum use fat primarily as an energy source, so to burn fat most efficiently, you want either really easy work (like a walk) or a really hard workout (like the ones we provide at Core Blend Training). When you fall into the middle, working too hard on easy work or not hard enough on hard work causes your body to use muscle, rather than fat, as an energy source.

There’s a reason you don’t see a lot of jacked marathon runners, they are using muscle as an energy source instead of fat. Staying at one of two ends on the intensity spectrum will make sure that fat is the energy source being used and keep you on the way to your goals.

So there you go. Walk.

Try this easy exercise hack and see how it helps improve your fitness:

12 Marathons at 3 miles an hour twice a week (Slow Walk)

14 Marathons at 3.5 miles an hour twice a week (Walk)

16 Marathons at 4.0 miles an hour twice a week (Quick Walk)

18 Marathons at 4.5 miles an hour twice a week (Very Quick Walk)

Core Blend Training and Wellness is an athlete training, sports conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, personal training gym located in Athens, GA. Voted Best Gym and Best Weight Loss Program in Athens.

Core Blend Is More Than Our Name

Core Blend is an elite training philosophy I designed long before we had a physical location. Buckle up, fitness geekery ahead.

Core Blend is a bridge between traditional strength movements and the movements needed on a field.  All elite strength training specialists agree that the core is a key area needed to improve sports performance.  It provides a stable platform for strength, increases control for sports movements, decreases injury risk, and helps transfer energy between the upper and lower body.  Despite this, other training systems don’t train the core for sports movements and performance. Where other training systems fall short, Core Blend performs.

Core Blend Training uses an improved version of the Russian Conjugate Method of training.  The strength of the Russian Conjugate Method over the traditional Linear Periodization workouts is the way that it trains athletes to peak and improve in multiple measures of strength and explosion simultaneously.  The Core Blend Training method creates maximum strength in the body’s prime movers so that the body has a maximum ability to perform.  It simultaneously trains the body’s core to utilize that new strength.  Using advanced techniques, the Core Blend movements create usable muscular chains throughout the body leading to increased strength in sports movements.  The exercise selection, application, and order lead to superior sports performance.

Athletes that develop this usable strength through Core Blend Training use groups of muscles in a synchronized fashion in order to get maximum power, speed, and explosion. Most training programs teach the muscles of the “Posterior Chain” to work together, but make no effort to do that in the rest of the body. An athlete that uses Core Blend Training throws and hits harder, runs faster, and jumps higher than other athletes because their gym movements have been designed to carry over into their competitions. In throwing sports, such as the javelin, shot put, discus, baseball or football, Core Blend Training creates and trains the motor patterns needed to perform. In chaotic sports like football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, basketball and others it gives the athlete the strength and balance to make quick changes of direction and be strong from any position. Most importantly Core Blend Training gets elite results.