Category Archives: Announcements

What’s New in BC’s World?

Hi Fitness Friends! Time for a quick update.

1. Backed Up and Overloaded!

My sincere apologies to all my colleagues, I can’t keep up with social media and email responses as I’m swamped working on my PhD thesis. I have 6 weeks to complete it and Murphy’s Law has crept its way into my world – everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. EVERYTHING! I’ve been putting out nonstop fires for the past month and have lost at least a year off of my life due to stress. Please be understanding, soon it’ll be submitted and I’ll be able to breathe again. And please don’t take anything personal; lately I don’t even have time to respond to some of my best friends in the field. I have to prioritize this or it won’t get completed.

When I’m quiet and you’re not hearing from me, it means I’m working harder than ever to bring you the bestest information possible.

2. My Physique: He’s Baaaaack!

In the meantime, this happened. I’ve never worked so hard at eating properly in my entire life.

2015-06-12 00.00.00

I got fat for a while due to focusing solely on setting PRs and gaining strength (I warned about this years ago here in The Pitfalls of Progressive Overload, and it’s a consistent theme in my life). One day (2.5 months ago) I looked in the mirror and said, “enough is enough.” I lost 22 lbs in 10 weeks, going from 246 lbs to 224 lbs. The training didn’t change; it was mostly all diet. I’ll write up a blogpost with greater detail in a few days.

And just to beat all the haters to the punch: I don’t think I look that good, I lift with dudes that are far stronger, more muscular, and leaner than me, and I realize that I look like I don’t even lift. So no  need to point that out.

Nevertheless, I’m happy to see that I’ve made progress over the past few years. I’m almost 39 years old and I’m not drifting quietly into middle-agedness. I’m going to jump kick 40 right in the freakin’ face! Check out this pic (which has been my Facebook profile pic for the past few years) compared to last week’s pic:

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I shed my 1990’s shorts. And I’m more jacked, more tan, and more strong, which brings me to my next point.

3. PR’s: Deadlift 405 lbs x 20 reps and Chin Up bw x 15 reps

I posted these videos on my social media channels, but in case you haven’t seen them, last week I deadlifted 405 x 20 and busted out 15 chin ups. Apparently losing weight is great for deadlifts and chin ups but not so good for bench press and squats.

4. One Study Accepted and a Few More in the Pipeline!

I haven’t announced this yet, but I just got my first original research accepted for publishing. This means just as much to me as my patent (for the Hip Thruster) and my first published book (Strong Curves). I’ve been a contributing author to 24 peer-reviewed published articles so far, but so far these have all been review papers, technical notes, special topics, and papers where I was a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th author that wasn’t the primary researcher. Contributing your own original research and injecting it into the literature has a special feeling to science geeks like me which cannot be described.

The article should be published ahead of print in the next few months, and as soon as it goes up I’ll post the link on social media and write a blogpost about the findings. It compares back squats to hip thrusts in lower body EMG activity and examines resistance trained women.

5. Pics for Squat Study

Another paper I’m in the process of getting published examines the lower body EMG activity between full back squats, full front squats, and parallel back squats. I can’t wait to report the data to you. One of the peer-reviewers took issue with the fact that the subjects in the study are women, but the pictures I used in the write-up were of me (a man), so I had my niece Gaby help me with the pictures. I had to laugh – I wonder if the reviewer will be satisfied or have a heart attack with the scantily clad photos. At least he can’t complain about squat depth! When the Glute Guy publishes a study, these are the types of pics you can expect LOL.

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6. Case Study on Identical Twins

I’m really excited that my final study for my PhD will involve looking at a pair of identical female twins. One will doing just squats and the other will doing just hip thrusts. Technically it’s not a case study; it’s a single subject design using two subjects. But anyway, I’m going to use ultrasound to see if the acute EMG activity data accurately reflects changes in muscle thickness longitudinally. Knowing how much genetics impacts results, I’m actually just as interested in learning this data as a fully powered training study.

7. Get Glutes Sale

In case you didn’t know yet, we’re having a sale this week on lifetime subscriptions to Get Glutes. This will be the last time Kellie and I offer the discount, which is currently set at $149 (a steal in my opinion). See HERE for more info.

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8. Hip Thruster Can Take a Beating

In case you haven’t seen this yet, check out THIS video showing the hip thruster easily withstand 1,000 kgs (2,205 lbs) of loading. You can trust that the hip thruster is built to last my friends!

hip thruster

Okay that’s all folks, catch you later!

From the Lab to Your Pocket: Groundbreaking Leg Power Measurement With Your iPhone

Ladies and gentlemen (especially athletes, strength coaches, and sports scientists),

I’m very excited to present to you some incredible brand new technology. Imagine an iPhone app that allows athletes and coaches to:

  1. Calculate jump height based on the iPhone’s video capture capabilities
  2. Create a force-velocity profile by performing several jumps with varying loads
  3. Compare the force-velocity profile to an ideal force-velocity profile, thus providing individualized training recommendations

Previously, this required expensive equipment, but now it’s available for mass usage if you have an iPhone or iPad. The app is called My Jump, and it can be yours today for only $6. Yes, you read that properly – just six dollars! In addition, My Jump:

  1. Is highly valid and reliable when compared to data obtained on a $12,000 force plate
  2. Provides individualized training recommendations, which will expedite your progress

Reason why? Until now, the vast majority of strength coaches prescribe the same power training programs to every athlete. This is due to the fact that they have not been privy to the athlete’s unique force-velocity profile. Knowing how the athlete’s force-velocity profile compares to the ideal force-velocity profile allow for individualized training. Recently, this individualization has been found to lead to better performance results than traditional power training methods that are not individualized (publication in progress).

I’ve longed for an invention like this for many years. Heck, I’d pay $6 for an app that simply calculated jump height, but this app goes the extra mile and tells me exactly how I should be training in order to best improve my vertical jump performance. How freakin’ cool is that?! You can use this app with your clients and athletes if you’re a personal training or strength coach, or to conduce experiments if you’re a sports science researcher.

Click HERE to purchase My Jump for $6 (not an affiliate link)

Below is a guest article from the inventors of the app.

From the Lab to Your Pocket: Groundbreaking Lower-Limbs Power Measurement With Your iPhone 

by Carlos Balsalobre, Pierre Samozino and Jean-Benoit Morin

Introduction: Jump height as a measure of lower-limbs explosive performance

Explosive movements such as vertical jumps, change of direction, and the first few steps of running, are some of the most frequent activities in a wide range of sports (4,6,11). Basketball, soccer, volleyball, martial arts, and gymnastics each require explosive push-offs in order to succeed in several specific tasks in competition. Vertical jump performance has been used to assess these lower limb explosive capabilities. Many studies show that vertical jumping ability is a good indicator of lower-limbs strength, power or short sprint times (10,12). So, in fact, every athlete involved in any power/explosive sport would need to perform great jumps as a measure of his/her lower limbs explosive capabilities.

But vertical jumping ability not only represents the athletes’ explosive capabilities, it is also a great tool to know the levels of fatigue induced by training and practice (17). For example, it was demonstrated that the jump height decrease observed between the beginning and the end of a back squat training session is very highly correlated to the levels of blood lactate produced (a metabolite associated fatigue); thus, the higher the jump decreases, the higher the blood lactate concentrations.

For those reasons, many researchers have studied and designed different jumping tests to evaluate athletes’ lower limbs performance during the last decades (1,3,13). French scientist and pioneer of motion analysis Etienne-Jules Marey made one of the first attempts in history before 1900.

Power

More recently, based on an equation derived from the Newtonian laws of motion, and used by Asmussen and Bonde-Petersen (1), Bosco designed a widespread battery of tests to assess jumping abilities. These tests included squat jumps, countermovement jumps, drop-jumps or repeated jumps.

However, the most popular tests focusing on explosive capabilities (i.e. squat jump and counter movement jump) have the main limitations of not providing power values or information about their force and velocity components. This is mainly because they do not account for the length of leg push-off distance during the push-off phase, which significantly influences power output. Even if mechanical power output is often estimated via regression equations based on jump height, this approach provides only an indirect estimation associated to a very poor accuracy.

To tackle these issues, Samozino and colleagues published a simple method allowing for simple and accurate computations of force, velocity and power outputs during a vertical jump, on the basis of body mass, lower limbs length and jump height (15). 

Force-Velocity profile and power output in squat jumlp for a 75kg male subject who jumped 30.8, 26.5, 23.5, 17.1 and 14.9 cm while carrying additional loads of 0, 10, 20, 40 and 50 kg, respectively.

Force-Velocity profile and power output in squat jump for a 75kg male subject who jumped 30.8, 26.5, 23.5, 17.1 and 14.9 cm while carrying additional loads of 0, 10, 20, 40 and 50 kg, respectively.

Then, in order to know the full range of force and velocity capabilities of an athlete, these authors proposed, on the basis of several jumps with various additional loads, to draw the linear “force-velocity profile”. This relationship basically describes, for each individual, the entire profile of his/her force and velocity capability, from the theoretical maximal force “usually called F0”, to the theoretical maximal velocity (V0) the lower limbs neuromuscular system can produce. The slope of this relationship, i.e. the F-V profile describes the orientation of the athlete’s system towards force or velocity qualities, and which of these mostly determine its power output (14).

The optimal Force-Velocity Profile approach to optimize your performance

Many studies have analyzed the effects of different training programs to improve vertical jump performance (6,8,18). However there is no consensus about what kind of loads and exercises should be used to improve explosive performance, since both heavy resistance training exercises (i.e. back squat with 85%RM) and light/ballistic exercises (i.e., 30%RM, plyometrics) have been probed to increase vertical jumping abilities. It is well known that power output depends on both the force and velocity produced in a certain exercise (15); therefore, increasing velocity (via high-speed, light exercises) or force (or maximal strength, via low-speed, heavy exercises) capabilities might increase vertical jump performance. The question is: in what proportion should we train force and velocity capabilities to best increase our athletes’ vertical jump height?

Samozino and colleagues recently showed, on the basis of a mathematical modeling of jump performance, that there is, for each individual, an optimal value of F-V profile (slope of the linear relationship) that maximizes (all other things, including maximal power, being equal) jump height (16). In other words, for a given maximal power, among the various force and velocity capabilities combinations that lead to these power qualities, only one will result in a maximized jump performance. This optimal combination, called “optimal force-velocity profile” is individual and can be easily determined using the simple method described above. Should your profile be too much force- or velocity-oriented compared to your optimal profile, your jump performance (and more in general, your explosive performance) is lower than what it could be. This analysis led to the concept of individual “force-velocity imbalance” and was shown to be directly related to jump performance (14). Research in progress will show how to “re-orient” athletes’ individual profile via individualized, optimized training regimen, and that this results in better improvements of jump height than traditional strength training not taking account of the individual F-V imbalance of the athletes (publication in process).

The F-V profile of the subject presented in the previous figure (black line) compared to his individual optimla profile computed from Samozino et al.’s 2012 equation (blue dashed line). The F-V imbalance (% difference between actual and optimal profiles) for this subject is 30%. This means that, for a same given power oputput, should this subject train to increase his force capabilities in jumping, he will decrease his F-V imbalance, shift his profile towards his optimal value, and in turn increase his jump height.

The F-V profile of the subject presented in the previous figure (black line) compared to his individual optimal profile computed from Samozino et al.’s 2012 equation (blue dashed line). The F-V imbalance (% difference between actual and optimal profiles) for this subject is 30%. This means that, for a same given maximal power output, should this subject train to increase his force capabilities in jumping, he will decrease his F-V imbalance, shift his profile towards his optimal value, and in turn increase his jump height. If, at the same time, he does not decrease his velocity capabilities, he would also increase his Pmax, and in turn increase his jump height to an even larger extent

My Jump app: Powerful & accurate jump measurements with your iPhone

As stated above, the measurement of the vertical jump height of the athletes is a simple input variable that can be used to provide great information about their lower-limb force-velocity-power capabilities and explosive performance ability, and in turn it helps optimize training programs to maximize gains. Thus, vertical jump assessment is a must for many S&C coaches. Sport scientists have been using different technologies, such as force, contact or infrared systems to accurately measure jump height (5,7,9). These technologies calculate the height of vertical jumps from the measurement of flight time, since fundamental laws of physics establish that the height reached by the center of mass of the subject depends on the time he/she is able to stay in the air during the jump (1).

This approach is highly accurate and it is widely used by sport scientists, researchers and coaches around the world; however, jump systems have a major drawback that prevent their use out of laboratories, Universities or big sports centers: they are still too expensive for regular coaches (for example, one of the most popular system, the Optojump, costs about $2,000). To avoid this great limitation and bring accurate vertical jump measurements to many sport coaches and field practitioners, Carlos Balsalobre, a Spanish sport scientist, designed an app for iPhone & iPad (named My Jump) that accurately calculates vertical jump height, as shown in the validation paper recently published in Journal of Sports Sciences (2).

To do this, My Jump uses the high-speed video recording on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6/6 Plus or iPad Air 2 to record the vertical jumps (120 or 240 frames per second depending on the model). Measuring the height of a vertical jump with My Jump is quite simple: you have to record a video of the feet of the athlete while jumping, and then you just need to select the frame in which the subject leaves the ground and the frame in which he/she lands, and the app calculates the jump height through the flight time.

User interface of My Jump app. After a jump has been recorded, the user can navigate the video frame by frame to select the take-off and landing moments

User interface of My Jump app. After a jump has been recorded, the user can navigate the video frame by frame to select the take-off and landing moments

To test its validity and reliability, Carlos and his colleagues measured 100 jumps in different subjects using My Jump and a $10,000 force platform simultaneously, and then compared the results. We are going to skip advanced statistics stuff but, basically, they showed that My Jump on an iPhone 5s (which records videos at 120 frames per second) provides jump height values with the same reliability as the force platform and a mean difference between these two systems of just 12mm. Moreover, the recent iPhone 6/6 Plus incorporates an enhanced high-speed camera of 240fps, so the accuracy is even better with these devices.

Recently, Pierre Samozino and JB Morin (see our recent interview of JB here) – the sport scientists and fathers of the optimal F-V profile method described above, collaborated with Carlos Balsalobre to incorporate the published F-V profile calculations (14–16) in the updated version of his app. After several weeks of design and validation testing, Carlos and the French iOS developer he works with, Francis Bonnin, were able to release the new version of My Jump that includes Pierre’s and JB’s Optimal F-V profile calculation. Therefore, My Jump can now be used to perform an advanced evaluation of the lower limbs explosive capabilities using just an iPhone or iPad. And that is how technology met science to simplify and improve field practice, packing the theory with several recent scientific publications and validated equations in an accurate <6$ mobile device app.

F-v profile results screen of My Jump. Optimal and actual F-v profiles, as well as F0, v0, Pmax and F-v imbalance are calculated.

F-v profile results screen of My Jump. Optimal and actual F-v profiles, as well as F0, v0, Pmax and F-v imbalance are calculated.

Practical implications 

The optimal F-V profile method is an excellent approach to evaluate your athletes’ lower-limbs explosive performance and can help to optimize your training programs taking into account the specific individual f-v capabilities of each subject.

This advanced lower-limbs evaluation can now be performed in an accurate, reliable, non-expensive way using My Jump in your iPhone or iPad. My Jump is available on the Appstore for just $5.99 – click HERE for the link. You can find more information about My Jump in its Twitter, Facebook or YouTube accounts.

References

  1. Asmussen, E and Bonde-Petersen, F. Storage of elastic energy in skeletal muscles in man. Acta Physiol Scand 91: 385–92, 1974.
  2. Balsalobre-Fernández, C, Glaister, M, and Lockey, RA. The validity and reliability of an iPhone app for measuring vertical jump performance. J Sports Sci , 2015.
  3. Bosco, C, Luhtanen, P, and Komi, P V. Simple method for measurement of mechanical power in jumping. Eur J Appl Physiol 50: 273–282, 1983.
  4. Buchheit, M, Spencer, M, and Ahmaidi, S. Reliability, Usefulness, and Validity of a Repeated Sprint and Jump Ability Test. Int J Sport Physiol Perform 5: 3–17, 2010.
  5. Caireallain, AO and Kenny, IC. Validation of an electronic jump mat. Int Symp Biomech Sport Conf Proc Arch 28: 1–4, 2010.
  6. Chaudhary, C and Jhajharia, B. Effects of plyometric exercises on selected motor abilities of university level female basketball players. Br J Sports Med 44: i23–i23, 2010.
  7. Glatthorn, JF, Gouge, S, Nussbaumer, S, Stauffacher, S, Impellizzeri, FM, and Maffiuletti, NA. Validity and reliability of Optojump photoelectric cells for estimating vertical jump height. J Strength Cond Res 25: 556–560, 2011.
  8. Hartmann, H, Wirth, K, Klusemann, M, Dalic, J, Matuschek, C, and Schmidtbleicher, D. Influence of squatting depth on jumping performance. J Strength Cond Res 26: 3243–3261, 2012.
  9. Hertogh, C and Hue, O. Jump evaluation of elite volleyball players using two methods: jump power equations and force platform. J Sport Med Phys Fit 42: 300–303, 2002.
  10. Kale, M, Asci, A, Bayrak, CI, and Acikada, C. Relationships among jumping performances and sprint parameters during maximum speed phase in sprinters. J Strength Cond Res 23: 2272–2279, 2009.
  11. López-Segovia, M, Marques, MC, Vam den Tillaar, R, and González-Badillo, JJ. Relationships Between Vertical Jump and Full Squat Power Outputs With Sprint Times in U21 Soccer Players. J Hum Kinet 30: 135–144, 2011.
  12. Loturco, I, D’Angelo, RA, Fernandes, V, Gil, S, Kobal, R, Cal Abad, CC, et al. Relationship between sprint ability and loaded/unloaded jump tests in elite sprinters. J Strength Cond Res , 2014.
  13. Marey, E. Le Mouvement. Paris: Ed. Masson, 1984.
  14. Samozino, P, Edouard, P, Sangnier, S, Brughelli, M, Gimenez, P, and Morin, JB. Force-velocity profile: imbalance determination and effect on lower limb ballistic performance. Int J Sport Med 35: 505–510, 2014.
  15. Samozino, P, Morin, JB, Hintzy, F, and Belli, A. A simple method for measuring force, velocity and power output during squat jump. J Biomech 41: 2940–2945, 2008.
  16. Samozino, P, Rejc, E, Di Prampero, PE, Belli, A, and Morin, JB. Optimal force-velocity profile in ballistic movements–altius: citius or fortius? Med Sci Sport Exerc 44: 313–322, 2012.
  17. Sanchez-Medina, L and González-Badillo, JJ. Velocity Loss as an Indicator of Neuromuscular Fatigue during Resistance Training. Med Sci Sport Exerc 43: 1725–1734, 2011.
  18. Thompson, BJ, Stock, MS, Shields, JE, Luera, MJ, Munayer, IK, Mota, JA, et al. Barbell deadlift training increases the rate of torque development and vertical jump performance in novices. J Strength Cond Res 29: 1–10, 2015.

A Day in the Life of The Glute Guy: All That Glitters is Not Gold

Tom Cruise is kind of a lunatic in real life, but I don’t care. From 1983’s The Outsiders, to 1986’s Top Gun,  to 1988’s Cocktail and Rain Man, to 1990’s Days of Thunder, to 1992’s Far and Away and A Few Good Men, to 1993’s The Firm, to 1996’s Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire, to 2003’s The Last Samurai, to 2004’s Collateral, to 2005’s War of the Worlds, to 2008’s Tropic Thunder, to 2010’s Knight and Day, to 2012’s Rock of Ages and Jack Reacher, to 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow, Mr. Cruise has consistently put out pure gold in terms of movie quality, and he’s been doing so for over 30 years. But I digress.

Some of you might have seen the musical comedy Rock of Ages. In it, Tom plays Stacee Jaxx, a fading 80’s rock legend with existential issues. When I first saw the movie, I had to laugh as it reminded me of how some of my readers think I live my life. Essentially, Tom’s character is surrounded by groupie booty 24/7. But I’m definitely no rockstar, and my life is much duller.

TC

Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages, see HERE, HERE, and HERE for Tom Cruise’s performance.

The Perks

Don’t get me wrong, being The Glute Guy definitely has its perks. Much of my fan base would quickly point out that I’ve had the pleasure of poking, prodding, and palpating some of the finest glutes that the world has to offer (see my clients HERE). This is definitely true.

And sometimes when I’m out and about, people recognize me, especially when I train at various gyms. For example, last Monday night was pretty fun. I went to Revolution Training System in Tempe and then to Gold’s Gym in Phoenix (I do my heavy compound lifting at Rev and then hit up Golds to bust out high rep machine isolation work). At Revolution, I ran into April, a very strong powerlifter, and at Gold’s, I ran into Monica, a big bootied aspiring figure competitor, and both of these ladies are readers of my blog.

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I also get tagged in a ton of pictures on social media and receive daily emails from women who send me before pictures or progress pictures of their glutes. For example, here are seven pictures that I received in a 24-hour period from Saturday to Sunday:

Joanne

THIS transformation took Joanne 6 months.

Kayla

Kayla absolutely rocked her off-season! Look at those legs and glutes!

glutes

This is Hailey Harber. Remember her guest blog from last year titled, “A Squat Devotee No More“? She finally hit the 39” hip measurement and achieved a 15 inch hip-waist discrepancy. She’s been after this for a couple of years now.

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This transformation took Barb 8 months (from left to right).

Krane

Maria

Gaulty

The Truth

You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger butt man out there in the universe than me, so it’s definitely nice to be surrounded by beautiful women with great backsides. And yes, it’s great to be recognized and appreciated. But much of my life is dedicated to science.

Relax, I'm Buttman

Relax, I’m Buttman

I have much zeal for personal training, improving the personal training profession, and helping others achieve their fitness goals, so I always make sure I’m regularly training real clients. I also train very hard myself and intend on doing another powerlifting competition in the near future. However, in my spare time, I’m usually studying or working on my businesses. I have the monthly research review service I do with Chris Beardsley, Get Glutes with Kellie Davis, Hip Thruster, my blog, social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram), a weekly newsletter, and my PhD. I also try to write a T-Nation article each month and I have two columns for FitnessRx for Women Magazine. Finally, I have my Glute Lab and I regularly publish research with my team of colleagues Brad Schoenfeld, Chris Beardsley, Andrew Vigotsky, and John Cronin. It’s not easy to juggle all of this!

Between these various roles, I go through life feeling like I’m treading water, just trying to stay afloat and not sink. I’m a very curious individual and I want to know how things work. I’m so busy during the week that I try to use my weekends to pursue my other interests. Critical thinking and science are what I’m most passionate about, so when I have free time, I’m often researching different topics on Pubmed and Google Scholar, listening to scientific podcasts (lately I’ve been listening to StarTalk Radio Show with Neil deGrasse Tyson), and reading books on business or self-improvement (lately I’ve been reading Why “A” Students Work for “C” Students and “B” Students Work for the Government).

So you really want to know what a day in the life of Bret Contreras is like? This past Saturday, I woke up at 9 a.m. For the next 15 hours, I pored over the latest published research pertaining to strength training, bodybuilding, biomechanics, and physical therapy. This was the absolute best month of research for strength training I’ve seen to date, and I love that I still get so excited over the literature. At midnight, I was exhausted from all the reading, and I wanted to reward myself with a beer, so I texted a few friends to see if anyone was out but came up empty-handed. I left my house for the first time that day and grabbed a Blue Moon (my favorite beer) at a local bar. Then I came home and watched an episode from Season Two of Boston Legal (when my stepfather died last year, the only thing I took from his belongings was his collection of Boston Legal DVDs), replied to reader emails, and went to sleep at 3 a.m. You may be wondering where my fiancee was during all of this – she’s in Texas right now doing a clinical rotation for nurse anesthetist school.

As you can see, there was no booty shaking and no sexual escapades. Just a man and his thirst for knowledge. If I could party like a rockstar and still be on top of my industry, maybe I would. But I can’t help advance the strength training profession and improve upon our methods and practices if I’m not putting in the hours in the gym and hitting the books equally as hard. I’m still praying that one day a drug like NZT-48 from the movie Limitless obtains FDA approval, but until then my nose will be buried in journals. It ain’t sexy, but it’s the truth.

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What people think I do

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What I think I do

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What I really do

 

Most Influential Fitness Professionals Lists

This week, I was named on three different lists:

Greatist’s The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness

JMax Fitness’s Top 40 Fitness Professionals to Follow in 2015

Stack’s 31 Fitness Experts You Should Follow in 2015

It’s always great to be featured on these lists. To be honest, if I wasn’t listed on these, I’d be disappointed. I work my balls off to put out good info and positively influence the strength training community, so it’s good to be noticed. I did some investigating and saw that Google Trends shows that my popularity is currently at an all-time high. The Alexa ranking for my website outperforms every one-person strength and conditioning blog on the Internet and my website traffic is at an all-time high. I published 10 peer-reviewed articles in 2014, which is more than almost anyone on these lists (most people have no idea how much work goes into journal article publishing). My Facebook Fitness page now has over 54,000 followers (and they’re all legit). And the quality of my content has consistently risen. Chris and I publish the best research review on the Internet for new strength training, biomechanics, and physical therapy research – we sift through around 100 journals every month in order to positively influence the way personal trainers, strength coaches, and physical therapists conduct their business.

However, I won’t lie. The competitive side in me wishes I was listed higher on these lists. In addition, I’m disappointed when 1) my favorite colleagues aren’t featured on the lists alongside me, and 2) when certain pseudoscientific individuals make the lists, indicating that you don’t have to be credible, just popular. And the criteria for these lists is never clear to me; is objective criteria being used or is it solely subjective?

For example, in 2013, I was listed at #23 on the JMax Fitness blog, then in 2014, I was listed at #4. Now it’s 2015 and I sunk to #13, even though I kicked some serious butt in 2014. With the Greatist list, I was listed at #70 in 2013 and #55 in 2014, but now I’m back down to #64. When I travel, I purposely attend commercial gyms because I want to see what gym-goers are doing around the word. I’ve personally witnessed that people are using my methods over and above probably any other expert out there. So what’s a blogger gotta do to rise up on these lists?

Screenshot

Nevertheless, right now I’d like to focus on what made me happy about the lists. Many of my colleagues and favorite writers including Brad Schoenfeld, Ben Bruno, Tony Gentilcore, Alan Aragon, Layne Norton, Sohee Walsh, Menno Henselmanns, Spencer Nadolsky, and Mike Tuchscherer were named (I know I’m leaving a lot of friends and colleagues out, these are just people who came to mind at first thought). And certain gurus who I won’t name were not on the lists, indicating that people are catching on to pseudoscience. Hurrah for science! Thanks to my readers for continued support and thanks to Greatist, JMax Fitness, and Stack for including me on their lists.