rhode island

Training

A Brand New Offering from Coach Joey!

Conjugate: combining two or more parts to form a single bigger piece.

When it comes to lifting, I’m always striving to find new ways to combine different techniques (or conjugate them) to make unique, fun and of course most effective workouts for my clients.

I am offering a variation of the conjugate method to my clients already doing 2+ days a week. The complete program is 4 days per week. For those unable to commit to that, I have a 3 day version condensed as well.

Spring is here, Summer is coming, and I want to offer a different approach in getting strong and lean with more days/week. It’s time to up the anti and fast track your results. For those wanting to try it, you have to be able to commit at least 3 days a week and optimally 4 - and the program runs mid April through Mid July, perfect for getting you summer ready.

What is the conjugate program exactly? It is a Strength and Hypertrophy Program with dedicated days for each “function”. There are 4 days, alternating upper and lower body (2 lower, 2 upper per week or 1 upper, 1 lower and 1 longer full body day). Each day has a specific focus, which makes the conjugate different than other programs. One lower body day is all about hitting a 5 or 3 rep max of the squat or deadlift for that day (max effort lower), one upper body day tries to find your 5 or 3 rep max for the bench press (max effort upper body), etc. The other day(s) are rep(hypertrophy) work or dynamic effort days. On the other 2 days there is a dedicated day for high rep lower body work and a day dedicated to high rep upper body work. In layman’s terms, you alternate between days where you max out heavy lifting, and days with lighter way and higher reps.

Not only is this aimed towards getting you summer ready quickly, but I am offering this at a MASSIVE discount. Please reach out to me for more information on pricing, but let’s just say you’ll be getting even more workouts, for less money. It’s a win/win for all!

A couple of disclaimers: This is not for beginner (and tif that is you and you’re not ready yet for a more advanced program and that is totally fine). You also have to have an idea of basic movements in order to switch out different exercises weekly or monthly. Remember this is a huge discount for more days so there will be some more autonomy on your part if you (chose) to do it.

For the right people it will create a great growth and strength stimulus and also added bonus of burning lots of calories from added lifting days (and intensity).

Who’s ready to start cranking up the intensity at Jtab? Whoever wants to give it a go and can COMMIT to at least 3 days(better with 4), then let me know!  Stop by and see me at the gym, send me a DM on Facebook, or email jtabtraining@gmail.com for more information, pricing and to sign up!

Training

Summer Ready Arm and Shoulder Workout

Spring and summer are around the corner which means so are summer fashions. Arms and shoulders are about to be on display, so now is the time to make sure they are show-ready.

This is a giant set, so make sure you have all weights and bands ready to go. 

  • Zottman Cus for all forearm and bicep work

  • Band Pushdowns for tricep work

  • Face pulls for back shoulder work

  • Lateral raises for front and lateral shoulder work.

Shoot for a few rounds, 10-12 reps each exercise. 

Training

Hip Mobility

Today I’ve got a few different exercises and stretches for you to do to increase your hip mobility, loosen your hips, and set your self up for better squats in the future. Increasing your hip mobility can also help protect your lower back and relieve back pain, as well as increase athletic performance. Check them out below!

Training

Straight Flexin'

We talkin’ about flexin’.  Flexin’?  Really?  Is this about bros flexing in the mirror admiring their huge biceps?  No, (well, maybe a little) but not entirely.  This is the kind of flexing that can be done in the comfort and safety of your own house.  Let me explain.

One of the biggest obstacles when I first start to train someone is them being able to “feel their muscles”.  I ask them to “squeeze their glutes” or “make sure you feel your lats”.  Well, to a new beginner that is a daunting task.  To a bodybuilder they will laugh at you and then just start flexin’ or posing like they are on stage.  Their mind muscle connection is at 100%.  So the next question is will you look like a bodybuilder just by practicing flexing all your muscles individually?  Ummm, probably not (nice try though!), but it is an important step to working your way there. 

What it will do, is get you that all important “mind-muscle connection” that us trainers are looking for in our clients.  The sooner the client gets that, the sooner we can advance.  It will make a world of difference when it comes to moving past “newbie” stage and into the intermediate stage.

Don’t believe me? Check out this article by Dr. John Rusin, all about the importance of the “mind-muscle connection”.

Flexing is important to building muscle.

How to do it.  Well just flex.  No really, it’s that simple.  Start with one side and “touch” that flexed muscle with your other hand. As and example, flex your left bicep and make sure it is really flexed by holding it with your right hand. Once you’ve mastered that, start flexing both biceps at ones (bodybuilding shows call this a Double Bicep Pose - a la Arnold Schwarzenegger). 

 

Each time you flex, run through this list of the “main” muscles:

1)    Biceps (front of arms)

2)    Triceps (back of arms)

3)    Lats (side of back (have to do one at a time and touch the opposite lat to make sure it’s tight)).

4)    Pecs

5)    Shoulders

6)    Glutes

7)    Quads (work like triceps to extend the knee)

8)    Hamstrings (work like biceps and flex the knee)

 

Let’s get flexin’ and start to convey that over to helping your workouts.    

Training

Part 3 of 3: Why Semi-Private Training May Be Right For You

Social media is everything nowadays.  Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter. Being “social” has taken over everything from making online purchases, to hitching rides, to even processing payments for businesses.  It’s a crazy social world out there.  While “social” media is an integral part of our lives, the real social aspect of life is interacting with people in the same room still.  The definition of social media is to participate in social networking. Making friends and making real connections (not just a Facebook “friends” who you’ve never met before) is still the backbone of our society.  It’s something that people still value, and look for in their daily lives.

Semi-private training allows that to happen organically.  You are inevitably working out with a few people in the same room, sharing equipment and getting to know people more than in a normal gym situation. As opposed to the autonomy of a big box gym, or the isolation of totally private training, the small private studio atmosphere allows people to communicate with each other day in and day out.  With semi-private training, people to tend to lift at similar times with many of the same people.  As people get more comfortable with each other, people tend to open up and form bonds and they get strong(er) together.  I have seen this happen numerous times!

Lots of my clients over the years have even taken that gym friendship and created long lasting friendships outside the gym.  It is a real cool thing to witness, knowing it is all coming together under my “roof”.  As an example of this, some of the ladies even got one of my clients baby gifts after her first born a year ago.  That wouldn’t happen in a big box gym culture! 

In addition to that, the collaborative spirit of semi-private training lends itself to support inside the gym. You can often find members cheering others on as they go for a particularly heavy or difficult lift.  Goes to show how powerful this little semi-private model is for friendships.  Semi-private training makes real connections, real friendships, real social networks.      

Training

Part 2 of 3: Why Semi-Private Training May be Right For You

In Part 1 we talked about the best of both world’s in Semi-Private training when it came to finances. The ability to get personalized attention without having to pay ridiculously high pricing.  Today we are going to talk about the autonomy of this type of training.  What do I mean about autonomy?  Well, let’s dive in and see.  

Some trainers try like heck to “keep you in the dark” in the fitness world so they can hold onto you forever. They may queue you for proper form, but won’t explain the mechanics and the “whys” behind the workout.  My semi-private training style is all about teaching the client as much as I can/they can handle.  This allows for great “self-coaching” after teaching them the form and how they can feel their own body in correct form. This means that outside of the gym, you can continue to move correctly, promoting optimal health and reducing common injuries.

I also talk about the “why”, and teach them to think for themselves on whether to go heavier or correct their form.  While I will always be there to guide and offer advice, I also want my clients to take control of their own training. Someone who takes the lead on their workout program is more invested, and more likely to push themselves to that next step (under my watchful eye of course..)  I want to create this culture that they almost “don’t need me” every second, thus making an autonomic client.  This makes the gym run very smoothly so when I do have a new(er) client I can focus on them when need be.  

Many people like this kind of gym environment because they feel safe while performing the lifts, but don’t feel like they are being micro managed every second of their workout. It’s like having controlled freedom.

Autonomy works in a small gym setting where I can easily still watch every person, new or veteran client, and make sure everyone is doing their program as best as possible.  Speaking of programs, each client has their own sheet, their own lifts they are working on each day they come into the gym.  This alone makes them start to “own” these specific lifts they have to perfect and make strong(er) each and every session in the gym.




Next week is Part 3 of benefits of Semi-Private training!  

Training

Part 1 of 3: Why Semi-Private Training May be Right For You

Don’t we all like “best of both world’s” scenarios?  Committing to a solid workout routine is difficult enough, and when you have to compromise on that routine, it can make it difficult to to stick to. Well here at Jtab we have a few “best of both world’s” situations.  I learned early on in my training career that I was going to focus on a style called semi-private.  Today I am going to focus on one of the benefits of this style of training.  

Nowadays everyone is trying to find the cheapest prices for their favorite products, right?  Go to a store and see what the want and immediately take out their phones to see if they can get it cheaper on Amazon, etc.  I admit I do that also sometimes.  When it comes to training and fitness there is no difference.  Planet fitness’s popping up all over the place and offering $10/month memberships for whole gym access.  What could be better than that, right?

Most people have come to realize that private one-on-one training is pretty expensive.  I mean go to your boutique personal fitness center, or the local big box fitness center and you are looking at a price of at least $60-100/hour.  On top of that, they want you to buy a “package” or 5-15 sessions and before you even know it, you’ve spent a month’s mortgage on “personal” training.  Those sessions will last you a month or two and then you’re left to re-up.  This leads to a quick exit of training when people realize they can no longer afford the steep prices.  No one is faulting the trainers here, they need to make a decent hourly rate so they can live, right? But for most of the middle class, this expense is out of reach. 

Enter semi-private training.  This is the game changer, the “best of both world’s, the win/win/win scenario.  Most semi-private is typically more than a half the cost of private training.  This is due to having more than one person in at the same time.  The trainer can spend great quality coaching time on you and the others in the gym, yet you pay way less that the private option.  This allows the client to keep up with training month after month, without blowing their budget.  On the flip side, it allows the trainer a better income while charging their clients a fraction of what personal training costs.  I feel this is the ultimate win/win.  If the trainer is skilled, you will not notice any drop off from one on one to semi-private in terms of coaching, cueing and spotting.  While the client usually is responsible for their own sheets and setting up and breaking down their equipment, that is the small price to pay for paying a fraction of the cost of training.  

Training

Guest Blog: Java Ladies Getting Healthy with Jtab

Today we borrowed a blog written by 2 of our favorite new members, Stephanie and Emily of Java skin care. They talked about how they joined Jtab in an effort to make healthier choices, and incorporate more exercise in their life. Check it out below to learn more about their experience and their skincare line, JAVA.

At JAVA we’re always trying to make healthier lifestyle choices – and we made a REALLY good life choice when we started working out at Jtab Training with our friend Joey. We’ll admit, it had been quite a while since we’d had a regular exercise routine and the thought of getting back into the swing of things was more then a little intimidating. Lucky for us, we found a fantastic guide back into the world of fitness and now we’re not only feeling stronger and healthier, but we actually look forward to working out!

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Joey Taraborelli is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association. At Joey’s gym, JTab Training, he offers a variety of programs available to fit every need, schedule and comfort level. From private to group classes, high school and college sport training, the awesome trainers at Jtab will work with you no matter your fitness level. With customized nutrition plans and open gym time available, you will build muscle, decrease body fat and live healthier as you tone your body in a safe and encouraging environment.

“I wish could I teach all of RI how to properly strength train, our state would be more fit and healthy if I could!”

We sat down with Joey to find out more about training, opening a gym and of course coffee:

What inspired you to open your own gym? “I wasinspired to open a gym ’cause I really wanted to help people get strong, and gain confidence in themselves.  I was also sick (still am! haha) of the myths in the Fitness Industry that people believe in. (Need “cardio”, don’t lift heavy (for females mostly), you can’t get “cardio” from lifting, lifting is dangerous…. Reality is it’s WAY more dangerous to be weak!)”

What is your Training? “My philosophy is lift heavy weights, get strong, get healthy and don’t eat like an idiot (eat like an adult).  What that really means is I want people to be strong, fit, and to eat the way they “should” be eating, LOTS of protein, as much greens as they can get in and limit carbs and alcohol.” 

What is your passion outside of the gym? “Passion outside the gym is easy, hanging out with friends. Also enjoy watching my athletes’s games, playing volleyball when I can, and of course watching my Superhero movies and shows!  HULK SMASH!”

Your favorite JAVA Product? “Favorite JAVA Product is the scrub, I have lots of dark scar spots and it helps smooth out my skin organically and without chemicals.”

How do you take your coffee? “Coffee black with stevia (cold brew when I can)” 

Learn more about JAVA, view their products, and how organic raw coffee can transform your skin care routine.

Training

Band Zercher Good Mornings

We’re back with another at home exercise this week. These Band Zercher Good Mornings are easy to do at home with minimal equipment (all you need is a band). Not only does the “zercher” part strengthen your core, but this movement also promotes lower back health and strength, glute and hamstring development, and upper back strength. Check it out!

Training

Glute March

Ready to really rock those glutes? Today we're bringing you the advanced Glute March. It's excellent for when you're ready to move past the standard glute exercises and on to something more challenging.

A few things to note, make sure to keep your hips high and your core tight to avoid using your lower back (not only will this cause stress on the area but you'll be working an area you don't want to!

Also, before lifting your leg up, makes sure you drive your other foot into the ground to really make sure you activate your backside.

Training

Can You?

Bodyweight… the near mention of it sends shivers down your spine for some (most) people. Many people aren’t happy with their body weight, or feel that it’s higher than it should be. Yet we carry our own bodyweight around all the time.  

In the strength and conditioning world there is an unofficial “goal” of being able to deadlift and carry your own bodyweight. Being able to do so, generally says good things about your health, strength and body. I have been training people for over 15 years and often work with clients to get them to a point where they can comfortably deadlift and carry (hold and walk with) their own bodyweight.  I have seen aches and pains go away, body composition improve, and confidence go up.

So, the question remains, can you lift and carry your own body weight? If the mere thought of having to pick up something up equal to your body weight seems impossible, it’s time to surprise yourself a little. Give me a call at 401.529.5089 or shoot an email to jtabtraining@gmail.com and let me help you build up your strength.

Training

Single Leg Squat AKA Skater Squat

Today on the blog we're featuring an amazing workout that is especially geared towards runners and athletes. The Single Leg Squat, also known as the Skater Squat, is an amazing exercise to work your hips, glutes, quads and ankles. Not only does it focus on stability and balance, but strength as well.

Stack pads on the ground and increase or decrease pads as needed to progress. You can also add weight by holding it out in front of you (like you were holding a steering wheel), just make sure your back foot stays elevated and doesn't touch the ground!

Nutrition

You Go-To Nutrition Advice

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Here at Jtab Training I try my best to keep things as simple as possible. We all know, that especially when it comes to eating right, the more simple the program, the more likely you are to follow through. Below is my list of solid basic nutrition tips.  

For Fat Loss(accompanied with some strength training):

  1. Reduce starchy carbs:  pasta, rice, bread are not “necessity” for survival or optimal health.  Only have 1 serving, at most, each day.  Bread does not offer any nutritional value except added calories from carbs.  And yes, there are breads that offer added vitamins so it must be "ok" right? No, it’s not and shouldn't have a normal place in your fat loss nutritional plan.    
  2. Reduce sugar (both added sugar and natural sugar):  Sugar is sugar is sugar when it comes to fat loss.  Yes, blueberries are better than table sugar that you put in your coffee (please stop doing that by the way!) but it still has sugar.  Try to eliminate added sugar most days, and try to limit  berries (best bang for your nutritional/sugar buck in my opinion) once a day.  Sugar comes in many things (even salad dressings, etc..) so please read labels and be aware of what you are taking in.  The one exception to the sugar rule is right after a hard workout. You can “allow” yourself a few fast digesting carbs to help with muscle building and to replenish glycogen to muscles.
  3. Increase/maintain protein numbers:  If you are “dropping” carbs, you need to replace some of those calories with protein.  You must be at .7-1.0 grams of protein per pounds bodyweight when trying to lose fat yet still maintain muscle.  This can come from lean meats, eggs, protein powders (vegan or dairy based), fish, beans, or LOW SUGAR Greek yogurts (plain and add some berries on top if need to!).  No matter where you get your protein from, make sure AT LEAST the protein content is the highest macronutrient of the 3 (fat, carbs, protein).  That is a decent quick check to see if it is mainly a protein source or a fat source with some protein (such as peanut butter, almond butter, etc.)
  4. Keep the good fats in, get rid of the bad fat, and limit all fats since they are the highest calorie macro.  Fats have 9 calories/gram while carbs and protein have only 4.  That doesn’t mean you can have tons of carbs (see #1,#2), it just means be picky about what fats you will include.  And for the love of all that is sane, please stop eating/drinking man made fats and “vegetable fats”!  These include canola oil and trans fats.  The one vegetable fat that is acceptable is avocado oil(or avocadoes in general).  Good fats and oils you CAN include in your diet are olive oil, coconut oil (medium chain triglycerides), nuts, or seeds.  Remember, these must be eaten/drank in moderation due to their high calorie count!
  5. Veggies!  Yes to most and as much as you want!  They will help fill you up (higher fiber ones) which helps curb calories since most veggies are very, very low calorie.  Just don’t think about adding lots of oils or cheese on them if you are trying to cut calories.  
  6. Speaking of calories, you have to find your base calorie daily needs (find a good calculator online, Precision Nutrition has a great one) and start with reducing 100-500 calories a day from that number.  Reduce too many too quickly, and your body and hormones will actually go into starvation mode and will not produce the results you're looking for.  Need help finding a PN calculator to find a sweet spot of calories each day (message me or email jtabtraining@gmail.com!)  

There are 6 good tips to get you going.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions from these tips or anything else for fat loss!  

Training

Runner's Drill: Single Leg Balance

You all know that at Jtab we are all about strength training. Not only does building muscle burn more calories and fat over time, but it can also work as a great cardio that's less destructive on your knees, hips and ankles. However, for those that do enjoy running, it's important to include strength training to stay strong and reduce the risk of injury. Today on the blog, we have an exercise that is especially important to all you runners out there.

This single leg balance strengthening drill is an all in one workout that works ankle stability, as well as strength in your feet, glutes, abductors, quads and core. So all you runners out there, check out this video and get strong (er)!

Nutrition

My Last Fat Loss Nutrition Blog EVER!

This is it, the last one…  why you might ask?  Cause I can’t make it any more simple than I’m going to make it right now. A simple plan to simply lose fat.  Because we all know the goal is to lose fat, not just “weight” (big difference here).

Are you ready for the secret? You have to have less calories going in calories out.  

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Does it get more simple than that?  For pure weight loss (not caring if it’s muscle mass or fat) it’s as simple as calories in and calories out. You have to expend energy or calories while daily living and working out.  Now here’s where the hard part comes in; You have to count EVERY single little morsel of “food” that you take in, even those “few” M&M’s you ate from your kid’s snack.  So, as you can see, what starts as a simple answer can get a little bit more complicated.

The real answer actually lies somewhere in the middle of having to have a PhD in advanced biology and mathematics, and the calories in vs calories out simplicity.  The real answer lies with making sure your macronutrients are taken care of (protein for muscle recovery and gain, carbs for energy and micronutrients, and fats for hormonal/skin/brain help).  You have to ensure that you’re not only limiting your calories, but managing the TYPE of calories your intaking.

You CAN go workout for 4 hours twice a day if you want, to eat whatever is in front of you.  However, because most of us don’t have more than an hour tops a few days a week to workout, we need to come up with a better, more manageable option.  This means we need to have a general idea of the calories we are eating, to adjust the exercise we should be getting in each day.  In order to truly lose weight, you should limit the days your calorie intake is higher than you expenditure to a maximum of 1 per week.

Exercise recommendations typically favor “cardio” for the sure amount of calories burned DURING exercise. This is why weight training will never be the go to for health care recommendations although it should be. But, with cardio you’re only counting calories burned while exercising, and it doesn’t take into account what is burned for the hours after.   With weight training, there is something called EPOC or afterburn.  I won’t bore you with the numbers but let’s just say over 24 hours lifting weights vs running for one hour, the weight training will eventually burn more calories.  

Hormones: little “things” inside our body that regulates how well we burn fat, keep muscle, lose fat, digest nutrients, build muscle, sleep quality, “hunger” and many other things.  Hormones rarely get the love they deserve when it comes to a fitness plan, and they are just starting to be recognized in their importance.  Many things affect our hormones like like lack of sleep, STRESS, etc.  It’s a constant battle to keep hormones in check and regulate the hormones that work for us.  There’s a hormone, Leptin, that if not regulated won’t trigger that “I’m full” feeling.  And of course, you can imagine, that not feeling full, will just lead you to overeat and gain weight.

It may seem confusing, especially with all sorts of “different” types of diets out there. So, in effort to clarify, I’ll be giving even more tips in my next blog - I lied about it being my last one :) - that will take this whole calorie in vs. calorie out thing to the next level.

Training

Zercher Squats

Today we're showcasing the Zercher Squat. This powerhouse move works multiple areas of your body. This move has the benefits of a regular squat (legs, quads and glutes), but combines super core activation to work your abs at the same time. It also helps safeguard your lower back as there is less of a potential of pulling or injuring it, and helps take the pressure off your spine by putting the weight at your mid torso. As if all that isn't enough, you'll even get a bonus shoulder workout.

A big thank you to our Jtab squat model Aaron Binek.

Training

High Step Ups

While I was injured I had to get creative with exercises.  I couldn't do heavy traditional lifts so I increased intensity with range of motion with a high step up. This is a great exercise to stretch out the hips, increase range of motion and work your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. Make sure your knee starts above hips to create that deep squat feel.  You don't need heavy weights with this particular exercise, as the intensity is the range of motion.   

Nutrition

Game Day: Are you prepared?  

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High School athletes usually fly by their seat when it comes to nutrition.  And yes, while most of them are getting enough nutrition here in the USA to avoid being malnourished, a better nutrition “plan” will take their game to the next level. Want to perform even better on game day?  Want to have "good nutrition" instead of just "good enough nutrition"? Don’t worry, Sports Nutrition Coach Joey, CSNC, CSCS has your back!  Let’s dig into a better nutrition strategy for a game day.

That big game day starts first thing in the morning, before you leave for school!  Athletes need good carbohydrates and good protein sources first thing in the morning.  Carbs and protein in the morning give your body glucose to fuel your brain for school and performance on the field later in the day.  With steady levels of “fuel”, your body will maintain homeostasis, which means that all systems of your body will be working together correctly.  Just some examples of this combination are: PB&J Sandwich, a protein smoothie with some fruit in it, overnight oats (made the night before and put in fridge from simple ingredients oats, fruit, “milk”, protein powder, nuts), hardboiled eggs and fruit, or low sugar and high protein yogurt with fruit on the side.  And don't forget a large glass of water! Hydration in the morning is very important!

Lunch is more of the same, with some with good quality sources of carbohydrates and protein (and some good fats also).  This can be; a bigger sandwich with a piece of fruit, or a salad with chicken or eggs on it with a piece of fruit.  If you are lucky to have a hot school lunch, try to grab chicken, potatoes, and some fruit!  Again, keep glucose running through your body so it can use it for fuel, your body’s most preferred fuel source!  

Before the big game or practice we usually need another feeding or “snack”.  This can be (depending on how much time before your game or practice) dried fruit and nuts, protein bar (get the ok by Coach Joey on these as most are just candy bars in disguise), beef/turkey jerky with some fruit, packed peanut butter sandwich with some fruit.  Again, lots of liquid in the form of water, or milk.  For some of the older athletes that already drink coffee, and since many go to the local coffee shops in between school and games, bring a scoop of protein powder and mix it into your coffee with a piece or two of fruit on the side. This is a great way to get your caffeine fix with some quality protein and carbs (not just carbs and sugar!).  

With these nutritional strategies you'll know you (or your athlete) will perform at your best!  Don’t forget after the game or practice you need nutrition to help recover for the next day’s practice or game also!  

Joey Taraborelli, CSCS, CSNC   

Training

My Humble Beginnings Story

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I was prompted to write my “story” after a phone call from a mother of 2 High School/College aged kids that might start training with me.  She was explaining to me that one of her sons was intimidated by the weight room because he was naturally really thin.  This of course has kept him thin and self-conscious (whether you are small or larger, body issues can effect everyone and their motivation to get into the gym). As someone who struggled with the same feelings when I was younger, I thought about telling my story many other times throughout the years I've been in business.  Sometimes it helps for people to know where you come from to know where you are going and why you are doing what you are.

So here's my story, and it's the same story many, many, really skinny kids/teenagers have.  

Ever since I could remember I was the “skinny, scrawny, weak” one on my sports team, and in my grade.  This was amplified even more because I was one of the older kids in my grade due to my late birthday.  I played all the major sports back when I was growing up (except football, for obvious reasons).  I always had good athletic potential on all my teams, but one thing was holding back from being a better athlete was my size and lack of natural strength.  I wasn’t gifted with the best genes for size and strength (thanks to my parents haha). 

Not one day would go by without one of my teammates making fun of me for being really weak and scrawny.  At times it got to me, yet I often brushed it off as “what can I do about it”.  Many times I was down, mad and angry about it.  I remember before going to baseball practice during Middle School days, I would go on the small portable rowing machine we had at the house to try to get my muscles bigger and “working”.  Looking back, I think I was trying to pump up my muscles so I didn’t feel so scrawny.  During that same time, I often went down and used some of my Dad’s plastic weight set to do some lifting because I was fed up being made fun of. 

It was here that I really began my weight lifting journey. My Dad showed me some basics and then I was hooked.  I can remember being angry while lifting and trying not to give up at my tiny muscles.  Just like a heavier person not seeing the results they think they should be, it is easy to give up and “accept” the fact your body is just not going to be how you want it.  Although I did not get “jacked” down in the basement, it started a lifelong love for lifting weights.  While it started more as a reaction to being made fun of, it eventually grew into a consistent practice and lifestyle.  

Even with the little lifting now and then down in the basement, and all the sports I played throughout my middle school and HS days, I still left HS about 135lbs soaking wet.  With little self confidence, I entered college and took my lifting a little more seriously each and every year.  I learned from some of the older guys I lifted with (baseball and basketball team players and 1 jacked volleyball teammate haha) and also through research of whatever I could get my hands on.  Through hard work and consistency, I left college feeling pretty comfortable lifting, training people (that’s another story for another blog soon), and really cementing my passion of working out and also helping people to workout.  It all started in my basement with my Dad’s old York weight set and turned into my calling.  Another reason to eternally be thankful for my Dad and all he gave to me and taught me.  

Though I’m usually a steady 178-186 lbs of decently muscular frame, I tend to revert back to my old lack of self confidence days once in a while.  Sometimes we forget to see where we’ve come from and all the progress we have made along the way.  Don’t look back too long, but revel in your small and large accomplishments with your health and nutrition (better choices as you age hopefully)!  I am currently rehabbing from a nasty injury to my arm setting me back months, but I know that just like I did all those years ago, I will once again overcome life’s struggles and HULK SMASH roadblocks!  

Nutrition

Pecking Order of Nutritional Aids - Pt. 2

nutritional aids from Jtab Training in East Greenwich, RI.

Last week we went over the top dogs? (or as Coach Joey would say the Hulk Smash ones), Tier 1.  Today we're bringing you the next set, Tier 2. These are to further your health and longevity (it is cold and flu season after all) and some help with recovery from training.  Tier 3 will be mostly all about training help (people that train hard need more quality nutrition than people that sit on a couch all day) so keep an eye out!

Tier 2:  The Next Big Ones

  1. Ashwagandha: Hormonal and anti-stress help.  This works bifold as a hormone optimizer (this will be a big theme for Tier 2) and also it’s man function as an anti-stress relief(it’s a adaptogen herb, gives you a calming sensation).  https://examine.com/supplements/ashwagandha/
  2. Tumeric (Curcumin):  A spice that has tons of health benefits besides giving Indian food a great taste.  The main benefits reportedly are for anti-inflammation and works well with people with arthritis (that’s a large portion of the population nowadays).   https://examine.com/supplements/curcumin/
  3. Zinc and Magnesium: You may have heard about taking zinc at onset of your cold, but it has many other benefits, including optimizing hormones (especially if deficient and you lose zinc through sweating).  I usually take this as a combo with Magnesium at night to help get into a deep sleep and for better Testosterone levels(ZMA).  Magnesium helps with blood pressure, reduces glucose tolerance and causes neural excitation.  https://examine.com/supplements/magnesium/ https://examine.com/supplements/zinc/
  4. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is capable of being both an antioxidant and pro-oxidant, depending on what the body needs.  Yes it also helps with colds when you load it up (multi-vitamins don't traditionally supply enough Vitamin C so look for it on it's own).  https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-c/