Proven, Effective Fitness and Nutrition Advice Without All of the Hype and Pseudo-Science

This website is about one thing... giving people access to the proper fitness and nutrition habits that lead to living a fit and healthy lifestyle. You'll find articles on dieting myths, proper training techniques, developing a successful mindset, custom workouts, and even video how-tos and tips from yours truly and other experts in the industry.

If you're frustrated with the lack of progress you've been making towards your fitness goals, whether it's because of a lack of direction or a lack of motivation, then look around this site, come back often and apply the fitness and nutrition concepts you discover in your own efforts.

Why I’m Opening the TransformationNATION Facility

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I have an exciting announcement to make over the next two weeks about something that has been in the works for quite some time now, but before I get into the nitty-gritty of it all, I want to give a brief background of how I got to this point.

As many of you know, until November of last year, I owned a strength and conditioning gym in Orange County, California known as Training Ground OC. In September 2013, the lease on my facility was about to be up and I was considering moving into a much larger spot, but after discussing plans about our future, my fiancee and I decided to make the hard decision to pick up and move my entire business to Chicago, IL.

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Vindicating Gluten

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Ah, gluten, you old devil, you. You would be hard-pressed to find a more widely-hated, less understood food substance in this day and age. Blamed for everything from headaches, to abnormal weight loss/gain, to constipation/diarrhea, to menstrual irregularity, to leaky gut/bowel inflammation, to anemia… and basically everything including cancer and the deaths of kittens (ok, maybe not), gluten has really gotten a bad rap in the past several years, probably very much in part due to the publishing of the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, the landmark study on Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) by Dr. Peter Gibson, and the explosion of social media in the past decade that has given an unprecedented voice to people who otherwise would have no credibility with which to garner attention towards themselves.

This begs the question… is there any evidence to give credence to these claims, or is this simply another example of baseless fear-mongering by the orthorexically-minded subset of the health industry?

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Perfect Posture Series: Protracted Shoulder Girdle

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Look around you at the gym, or in any public place and you will see a common trait shared by the vast majority: forward-slumped shoulders with a closed-off chest cavity. This posture is so prevalent that people don’t even recognize it when they see it… it just looks like normal posture to them.

The issue is, of course, that it’s not a healthy position to be in for a number of reasons that I am going to outline for you today. Before I get into the reasons why I feel that this postural abnormality needs to be addressed, let me explain what exactly is going on when someone has a protracted shoulder girdle.

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Why I Hate the “Women Only” Section

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Time to work out. You walk into the gym, and are immediately met with the intense smell of sweat, dirty socks and rubber flooring. All around you, angry meat-heads are violently slamming weights, screaming (in a manner you’re not sure is caused by intense pain or some kind of primitive, primal rage), and storming through the gym with a look on their face that says, “Get in my way, even for a second and I will END.YOUR.LIFE.”

You’re already sweating in anticipation of the awkward, frightening experience you will have in the weight room. You start listening to the voice in your head telling you to come back later to work out, no big deal. No, you say, I’m here, I’m going to do it.

You fumble for your membership key card, which you timidly hand to the front desk attendant who is looking at you with a raised eyebrow, probably wondering why you’re sweating so much even though you haven’t yet started your workout.

After procrastinating for as long as you can in the locker room, you finally take a deep breath and prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Just as you’re about to enter the lion’s den, you notice an inviting sign at the opposite end of the locker room. “Women-Only Weights Room” it says.

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There is No Secret Program

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“Hey brah, what program are you on?” This is a common question I see asked of my athletes when they’re posting progress photos or just general updates on Facebook regarding the good results they’re getting while coaching with me.

Often these posts will be littered with friends and acquaintances asking the athlete to provide their “program” so that these people can benefit equally in their own fitness efforts (minus the investment, of course).

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Avoid Anyone Who Preaches Nutritional Extremism

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The fitness industry has been in an uproar the past year about not only whether strict dieting is the best approach to health and fitness, but if it’s an approach that has any advantages or relevance at all. This is in large part thanks to a series of video logs put out by Dr. Layne Norton last year, in which he lambasted “fitness gurus” who preach about “clean eating” and overly-oppressive, dogmatic diets.

The videos were mainly geared toward those prepping for fitness competitions and some of the voodoo-type myths that persist in that particular area of nutrition. As a side note, and somewhat ironically, his own concepts of “metabolic damage” and “metabolic capacity” that were one of the main subjects of these videos have been argued to potentially fall into the very category he was criticizing, which can be read about in this article.

A few months after Dr. Norton’s video series came out, another game-changing event took place in the form of a retrospective analysis of a large collection of prior studies that had supported the idea of a narrow “window of opportunity” post-workout. Essentially during this “window,” an athlete could allegedly maximize muscle gain by ingesting fast-absorbing protein (like whey protein supplements) as quickly as possible following their workout.

After controlling for important variables, such as the total daily volume of protein ingested (something that hadn’t previously been equated in the test and control groups, nor had been compared between individual studies), it was shown that the statistically-significant results that had previously been attributed to this narrow window of opportunity were in fact, related to total protein intake rather than the immediacy of ingestion post workout. In other words, eating MORE protein in general each day is much more important when it comes to muscle gain than how quickly after your workout you eat that protein.

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Troubleshooting Weight Loss, Pt. 6

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Welcome to the final part of our 6 part series about obstacles to weight loss.

So far we’ve touched on 5 potential reasons for a lack of results, in order of likelihood. Either you’re not eating in a deficit, you’re “sneaking calories”, fat-free mass gains are masking fat loss, your workout and/or nutrition program are suboptimal, or you’ve depressed your metabolism through irresponsible dieting/exercising habits.

What happens when all of these issues have been accounted for, when you feel like you’ve literally tried everything possible, and you’re STILL not seeing results?

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Troubleshooting Weight Loss, Pt. 5

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Welcome to the 5th installment of our 6 part series on troubleshooting stalling fat loss efforts. Just a warning, this one is pretty long… but hopefully it will educate you a lot about one of the most popular “diagnoses” in the fitness industry these days.

In parts 1 through 4, we took a look at some of the most common reasons that a fat-loss program would not be providing you the results you were expecting—namely, that either:

  1. You’re not really in a deficit (for a variety of possible reasons)
  2. You’re unintentionally sneaking in calories (thus, causing point 1)
  3. You’re “gettin’ DEM GAINZ” (in non-idiot speak, gaining some muscle mass and/or water retention which is masking your simultaneous fat loss)
  4. Your workout and/or nutrition program is an embarrassment to mankind and is worthy of a slow, painful death for whoever came up with it

All joking aside, sometimes we find ourselves doing everything correctly for a long enough time that lean mass/water weight gains continuing to mask fat loss is unlikely—particularly when the stall in weight loss is combined with a lack of change in inches or what we look like in the mirror.

The final two parts of this series will delve into these potential snagging points and how to address them.

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Troubleshooting Weight Loss, Pt. 4

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In part 1 we talked about how it’s crucial to actually be in a calorie deficit in order to see weight loss of any sort, and why many people are unknowingly not eating fewer calories than they burn each day.

In part 2, we talked about the concept of “sneaking calories”, which really is just an adjunct to part 1 because it allows people to inadvertently overeat calories, erasing any deficit they had planned for.

Part 3 was all about learning the difference between muscle/water gain and fat loss, as the former can often mask the latter.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I have been going through these concepts in order of likelihood. The vast majority of you will solve your issues by focusing on one of the first three issues I already went over.

With that being said, there are still a small portion of you who might have all their ducks in a row, yet are still not seeing the results they want. Which brings us to the fourth potential reason behind your lack of results…

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Troubleshooting Weight Loss, Pt. 3

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In part 1 we talked about how it’s crucial to actually be in a calorie deficit in order to see weight loss of any sort, and why many people are unknowingly not eating fewer calories than they burn each day.

In part 2, we talked about the concept of “sneaking calories”, which really is just an adjunct to part 1 because it allows people to inadvertently overeat calories, erasing any deficit they had planned for.

There are times where you’re doing everything correctly, working out hard and yet, the scale doesn’t budge, or worse yet, goes UP… what is the deal???

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