Category Archives: Seminars

Overview of the 2013 ISSN Europa Workshop in Phoenix

Today’s article is from Andrew Vigotsky (see his bio below). He was kind enough to take notes and recordings of the ISSN conference that was held this weekend. You get 4 hours of lecture from audio recordings directly from the microphone! Many thanks to Dr. Jose Antonio for approving this! 

Earlier this year, I wrote a synopsis of the ISSN Symposium at the University of Tampa. Because of the overwhelmingly positive response it received, I thought I’d write a synopsis on the ISSN Europa Phoenix which I attended on Friday. I’d like to thank Dr. Antonio for allowing me to record the conference and share this synopsis. If you’re not familiar with the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), I’d highly recommend checking them out! No one publishes more information on the ergogenic benefits of nutrition and supplementation than they do.


Umpteen Reasons Why You Should Consume Sports Supplements

Jose Antonio, PhD, CSCS, FISSN

Click HERE to download MP3


If a supplement helps or has a neutral effect, you should try it.
All studies supplements/studies presented in this presentation based off at least 3 human-only studies with doses.
The rating system is 1-4 “paddles”; 4 being epic, 1 being if you get it for free, take it.
Alanyl-Glutamine (AG) – Rehydration with AG appears to help maintain skill performance, visual reaction time, increase time to exhaustion during mild hydration stress, and reduces infections complications in ICU patients.
Recommended: 2g in a solution to rehydrate
2 Paddles
Arginine – Reduces O2 cost of moderate intensity exercise; Arginine + anti-oxidants increase anaerobic threshold in old folks; Adding Arg to a glucose/electrolyte solution increases glucose oxidation and lowers the O2 cost of exercise.
Recommended: 6g 1hr pre exercises
1 Paddle
Astaxanthin – Increases power output and reduces time for endurance, prevents exercise-induced free radicals, topically improves skin health.
Recommended: 4mg/day
2 Paddles
Bicarbonate – Helps rowing, cycling, and swimming performance.
Recommended: 0.3g/kg of bodyweight
3 Paddles
BCAA – Lessens muscle damage, increases recovery, reduces fatigue, enhances lipid oxidation, and suppresses exercise induced proteolysis.
Recommended: 2g minimum
3 Paddles
Beetroot Juice: Enhances exercise tolerance (22% increase)
Recommended: 70mL 3hrs pre exercise
2 Paddles
Beta-Alanine – Improves exercise capacity in elderly, augments LBM gains, and improves sprint performance in endurance cycling.
Recommended: 2-6g daily
4 Paddles
Beta-alanine vs Bicarbonate? Beta-alanine because there’s less GI distress.
Betaine – Increases total reps and volume load for bench, reduces subjective measures of fatigue, and increases upper body power
Recommended: 2.5g daily
2 Paddles
Caffeine is actually not a diuretic, but coffee may be.
Caffeine – Enhances resistance exercise and reduces perception of pain; acute and chronic use increases physical activity.
Recommended: 3-9 mg/kg
4 Paddles
Caffeine is tied w/ creatine for the BEST ergogenic aids ever! They help both sides of spectrum (i.e., endurance AND strength).
Carbohydrate – Improves stroke performance in tennis, running performance, and force output during RT.
Recommended: Highly variable
4 Paddles
CHO+PRO – Improves subsequent exercise performance, enhances glycogen restoration vs CHO alone, and CHO + Whey improves recovery & adaptations to RT.
Recommended: Dose variable, at least 20g of each, both pre and post
3 Paddles
Carnitine – Increases androgen receptor levels, improves performance when taken before exercise, and may enhance body comp as well.
Recommended: 2-4g/day
2 Paddles
Casein – Enhances muscle protein net balance when taken post workout, good before sleep, and slow acting so there’s a prolonged anabolic effect.
Recommended: Dose is variable; take with Whey
4 Paddles
Creatine – Great treatment for TBIs, increases size of muscle fibers, increases exercise performance in kids, makes you bigger/stronger, increases endurance and power, and it protects your brain!
Recommended: 5g/daily
4 Paddles
What does creatine not do?
Creatine is safe and effective.
What is the compelling reason not to take creatine?
More myths and misconceptions on creatine despite it having the most data.
Energy drinks are not not a heart attack in a can.
Energy drinks – Lessen pain perception, enhance sprint ability, and improve cycling time
Recommendations: One or two cans at most
4 Paddles
Anything with caffeine is going to help!
EAA – Improve walking performance in elderly and enhance muscle anabolism.
Recommendations: 6g EAA + CHO = anabolic
4 Paddles
Gram for gram, EAA is more anabolic than Whey, but it tastes like socks.
Ginseng – Enhances oxygen utilization, improves pulmonary function in COPD, and can reduces exercise-induced muscle damage, inflammation, and help insulins sensitivity.
Recommended: 100mg 2x/daily
1 Paddle
Glucosamine – Improves symptoms of OA; lessens pain.
Recommended: 1200mg/day
3 Paddles
* Data is variable!
Anecdotally, glucosamine works for Dr. Antonio.
Glutamine – reduced rate of URI after intense exercise, improves muscle glycogen utilization.
Recommended: 5-15g daily
1 Paddle
Green Tea Extract – Increases fat oxidation; thermogenic; may help body composition when combined with resistance training.
Recommended: 90 mg EGCG + 50mg caffeine daily
2 Paddles
HMB – Ameliorates muscle mass loss during catabolic conditions, decreases muscle damage, increases muscle strength & mass.
Recommended: 3g daily
3 Paddles
Leucine – Enhances endurance performance and strength; attenuates muscle damage; induces MPS.
Recommended: 45 mg/kg daily, but whey is fine – may be beneficial to add to whey
2 Paddles
MCT Oil – Increases metabolic rate & fat oxidation.
Recommended: 10g/daily
1 Paddle
Melatonin – Reverses oxidative stress, improves immunological defenses and lipid metabolism, reduces muscle damage, and there’s a generally positive impact on health.
Recommended: 3mg/daily
3 Paddles
Phosphatidylserine – Reduces stress, improves golf performance, improves memory and cognitive function.
Recommended: 200mg/daily
2 Paddles
Quercetin – May enhance LBM, increase endurance in the untrained, and Quercitin + EGCG can be an anti-inflammatory in trained cyclists.
Recommended: 500mg/daily
2 Paddles
Soy Protein – Stimulates MPS post exercise, positive effects on lipid profile in post menopausal women.
Recommended: 30-40g post workout
3 Paddles
Soy is not as good as animal protein.
Spirulina – Increases isometric strength and endurance, lowers post-prandial lipemia, enhances fat oxidation and time to fatigue, may improve allergic symptoms.
Recommended: 1-3g/daily
2 Paddles
The two most common ergogenic aids are water and sugar.
Sports drinks = water + sugar. Gatorade is a better hydrator than water; it improves training time in endurance and enhances lactate removal.
Recommended: Variable – test it out during training. Events longer than 90 min it would be worthy.
4 Paddles
Sports drinks are great for any prolonged exercise, especially in the heat.
Whey – Better than soy for LBM gains after 9 months supplementation, augments tendon & muscle hypertrophy.
Recommended: Variable; Consume as a meal, e.g. 20-40g pre or post workout.
4 Paddles
Whey is one of the very best protein sources, bar none.
Answers to Questions
Creatine monohydrate works better than kre-alkaline.
About 20g of whey induces MPS. 30g is more than enough.
Dr. Antonio thinks you can never go wrong with eating more protein. Helps with body composition due to its thermogenic properties.
Dr. Jacob Wilson states that there are more benefits to protein than MPS. More variables need to be investigated.
Gatorade + BCAA intraworkout may improve recovery intra-workout. Coca-cola works too!
It’s energetically difficult for your body to take in excess protein, hence the high TEF.
Protein calories, for body composition purposes, are better than CHO calories.
Clinical vs optimal for health and performance are totally different! One cannot apply clinical data to performance.

Practical Sports Nutrition for Strength-Power Athletes

David Sandler, MS, CSCS, FISSN

Click HERE to download MP3


Disclaimer: David Sandler is associated with iSatori
Research restrictions include limited access to athletes, the need to control many variables, and it’s difficult to test every dosage/combo.
Many funded studies don’t always report everything and only report “good” findings.
We can’t forget the placebo effect!
In most cases, more isn’t worse.
The placebo effect may help fire athletes up which results in better performance.
Application issues: compliance, cost, athletes listening to too many diff people, dosage adherence and The Kitchen-Sink Theory
Training issues: volume, frequency, intensity; the placebo effect.
“Big guns don’t set you for life.”
What is an ergogenic training effect? The truth is that an athlete needs to focus on their sport, supplements are only marginal (a few %).
A well-balanced diet and consistent training are much more important than supplements.
No pain, no gain. If you want to see results, you need to push yourself.
The most successful athletes cycle their training (periodization, etc.) and work hard.
The body needs time to adapt to the demand placed on it.
If it were easy, everyone would do it.
Why are supplements used? Adds/improves performance., improves health, increases energy, reduces soreness/inflammation, and helps with weight loss & diet.
What are their ergogenic supplement applications? Increases in size, strength, speed/power, focus, and energy.
“If athletes feel like it’s working, I don’t want to tell them it’s not.”
Many physicians do not understand supplementation that well.
It’s hard to differ between ingredient and ingredients.
If you can afford it, more is better.
What is better? Function, result, pain, and excitement.
Individual characteristics must be considered, including athlete size and history of use.
Is it dangerous, and if so, what is the danger?
The research does not support that 1,3-DMAA alone was truly dangerous. It is when combined with stupidity.
Sugar helps improve utilization of things.
Creatine – long-term use appears to be safe and we know it’s effective. There’s no reason to take too much creatine as there’s an upper limit.
“High-absorbing” creatine is not supported by research.
Beta-alanine *may* interfere with Taurine levels. 6.4g/day have been used in studies. Paresthesia is the only issue, but some like it.
Creatine post workout may be more beneficial than taking it pre-workout.
Protein – about 10g/hr can be utilized. Even at 2.5-3g/kg/day, the body isn’t compromised. Athletes should inc. protein intake.
Amino Acids – EAAs: 20g appears to be max MPS; BCAAs: extra Leu does not appear to be a problem; Eggs have a lot of BCAAs!
Sustamine – L-Alanine + L-Glutamine stimulates glycogen synthesis, stimulates MPS, and inhibits muscle protein breakdown. BCAAs are glycogen sparing.
Leucine is the most anabolic of all amino acids.
Bio-Active Peptides (see Dr. Willoughby’s presentation for more on this) are active components of protein chains. All amino combos form BAPs.
Caffeine improves performance across many parameters (power, time, etc.).
If you’re taking Arginine without Citrulline, you’re wasting your time.
BAPs include IGF1, IgG, PRP, etc.
Citrulline/Arginine *may* not really help with performance, but it feels cool.
One must consider risks, i.e., do ingredients increase HR or BP? Do they depress mood? Promote diuresis? Who is at risk?
Most people undertrain and rarely achieve an overtrained state! No supplements will make you work harder.
Many have trouble managing DOMS and recovery.
Exercises that need higher volume: weight training, sprint work, flexibility, and endurance.
Increasing intensity: most athletes do not push themselves hard enough to see adaptation.
Strength must be pushed maximally or near maximally.
Sprint work must be pushed maximally. Just running doesn’t make you faster, sprinting makes you faster.
Overdoing “cardio” prevents proper fat burning if too anaerobic.
Overtraining can occur if constant training “damage” doesn’t have adequate time to recover.
BAPs from collagens and cartilages are making headway.
Rationale for high volume: increased demand for MPS to occur, increased intracellular activity, induces swelling, improves signaling.
High volume also increases free-floating natural hormone concentrations
Train both unilaterally and bilaterally, especially for sports.
Increases skeletal muscle protein synthesis above resting values for at least 48 hrs after resistance training.
Increased muscle protein breakdown can last 24-48 hrs after RT.
In the absence of nutrient intake, you may enter a negative muscle net protein balance for 48 hours.
Both MPS and protein degradation increase after RT.
Exercise = Stress -> Adaptation/Recovery
Greater recovery allows more frequent application of the training stimulus and greater improvements in fitness/performance.
If you don’t recover, you don’t benefit.
Increase training intensity/volume to match demand of sport/adaptation.
Add BAPs and Protein/AAs to diet
Monitor recovery – inc. or dec. components as needed.
Friends don’t let friends skip leg day. – “Are you ridin’ that chicken or fuckin’ it?”
Hormone spikes from AAs are VERY short-lived. ~10 minutes are so.

Oral ATP Effects on Skeletal Muscle Excitability and Blood Flow

Jacob Wilson, PhD, CSCS


Click HERE to download MP3


Tons of people are studying sedentary individuals. We need to study the other end of the spectrum.
High volume, high intensity training leads to greater neuromuscular adaptations.
Intraset rests helps maintain power, but may not be beneficial for neural adaptation.
A 10 second sprint can deplete glycogen by 14-15% in a Wingate.
Replenishing PCr is important for fatigue resistance.
Blood levels of ATP increase with increased bloodflow.
Extracellular ATP may activate anabolic pathways.
Is Oral ATP bioavailable? It depends where you measure it. Enzymes in plasma break it down, but ATP in liver increases.
RBCs release ATP into the blood, which triggers vasodilation, localized blood flow, and enhanced nutrient uptake.
Oral ATP appears to increase liver and RBC pools of ATP, with only small transient rises in plasma.
At ~1000mg ATP supplementation (human equivalent based on rat study), blood flow increases.
Transient increase in blood flow with ATP supplementation in human models.
ATP supplementation for 15 days helps maintain torque in a fatigued state.
Oral ATP reduces strength and power decreases in an overreaching cycle.
ATP + HMB – ATP Increases training volume, greater volume increases damage, HMB lowers damage.
Dosing Oral ATP: min 400mg, take for at least 14 days.
ATP+HMB are not synergistic, they are additive.

Nutrient Timing – What to Eat and When to Eat It

Rob Wildman, PhD, RD, FISSN

Click HERE to download MP3


Nutrition timing is before, during, and immediately after exercise, plus the rest of the day (nocturnal nutrition and morning nutrition).
Nutrition timing has evolved from just intraworkout (70s), to post workout (90s), to the entire day (2000s).
Before exercise, deliver energy, building blocks for MPS, metabolic & buffering support. CNS stim inc energy, focus, intensity
Time till exhaustion is correlated with how much glycogen someone has. Gylcogen is fuel in the tank.
Optimal pre is 1-5g/kg of CHO and 0.15-0.25g/kg of PRO 3-4 hrs before training.
Pre-exercise ingestion of EAAs or PRO alone increase post exercise MPS.
Light CHO+PRO (50g CHO, 5-10 PRO) snack 30-60 min before exercise increase CHO availability toward end of intense exercise bout.
Pre-workouts can increase strength, size, and improve body comp.
Intraworkout – energy provision, fluid/hydration, electrolytes, PreCovery nutrition (cell damage protection)
The only change in contribution across multiple bouts is in glycogen. Aerobic and CrP stay constant.
Sport drink can help maintain glycogen stores longer.
60-90 min of moderate to high intensity exercise will deplete muscle CHO stores.
Ingesting CHO or CHO+PRO during RT increases glycogen stores, offsets muscle damage, and facilitates greater adaptations.
Carnitine reduces DOMS.
Protein turnover is ongoing and algebraic. Muscle is a metabolic monster.
According to Dr. Philips’ research, 6g EAA + 35g CHO decreases MPB and increases MPS.
Leucine stimulates MPS.
Creatine has 2x the amount of nitrogen as other proteins (32 vs 16%).
Whey seems to stimulate MPS greater than casein and soy.
Protein is effectively digested, absorbed, and stimulates MPS during sleep. Sleep is associated with rest, repair, and recovery.
May be beneficial to split doses of supplements up throughout the day (beta-alanine, omega-3, creatine, etc).
Area under the MPS curves for Whey and Casein are similar.

Bio-Active Peptides – A New Category of Ergogenic Aids

Darryn Willoughby, PhD, CSCS, FISSN

Click HERE to download MP3


BAPs are specific protein fragments that are beneficial to various physiological systems within the body, such as the cardiovascular, digestive, and respiratory systems.
If we can bolster the immune system and reduce oxidative stress, then cells are happy and can optimally undergo metabolism/MPS.
If we can find a way to enhance synthesis and attenuate breakdown, we can optimize our cells’ and systems’ functions.
BAPs are anti-microbial, anti-oxidative, anti-thrombotic, anti-hypertensive, and immuno-modulatory.
Beta-casein displays immune-stimulatory, opioid, angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory activities.
Obesity is associated with systemic inflammation.
BAPs may have an inhibitory effect on tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
Immuno-modulatory milk peptides may alleviate allergic reactions and enhance mucosal immunity in the GI tract.
Immuno-modulatory peptides have been found to stimulate the proliferation of lymphocytes and phagocytic activities of macrophages, and antibody synthesis.
BAPs are protected from degradation because of their high hydrophobicity and the presence of proline residues.
Proline-rich peptides (PRP) are small peptides and have a robust effect in balance immune response and vitally important for colostrum.
Peptide content in colostrum quickly decreases after the first milking (Day 1: 100%; Day 2: 26%, etc.).
Colostrum is rich in everything from PRPs to lactoferrin and IGF-1 and 2.
Immunoglobulins in colostrum are more than 100x greater than those found in milk.
BAPs will probably not have an overwhelming effect on muscle growth.
BAPs show an improvement in 40km cycling times and bone-free LBM
2-wk supplementation of colostrum supplementation increases serum IGF-1 and saliva IgA concentrations in athletes.
BAPs from milk proteins offer a promising approach for the promotion of health by means of daily supplementation.


Andrew is an undergraduate Kinesiology student and biomechanics researcher at Arizona State University.  In addition to his own research at ASU, Andrew works as a research assistant in Bret Contreras’ Glute Lab and is an online strength and nutrition coach for The Strength Guys.  He is certified as both a NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer and Functional Movement Screen Specialist.

21st Century Glute Training Workshop

I wanted to alert my readers about an exciting workshop I’m putting on in a couple of months. Unfortunately most of my readers are in the U.S., but in case there are some New Zealanders reading this blog, I’m going to be putting on a Glute Training workshop at AUT University on Saturday, September 17th from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

Here’s how it all came about. I put together a presentation for the YMCA Build Conference a couple of months ago and since I got such great feedback from the attendees, I kept working on it week after week after week. Since I’m going to write a review paper on the Gluteus Maximus, I’ve been sifting through around 300 papers on the glutes and have been studying like crazy. I’ve been creating charts, making graphs, filming videos, and even talking to researchers around the world. I showed my professor what I’d done and told him that we should put on an all-day workshop, and he agreed.

This presentation is seriously one of its kind. I’ve packed so much good information in here and I can’t wait to start spreading the knowledge. The best part about the workshop is that it’s only $150 (NZD), which is a steal in my opinion. Five REPS credits will be given to attendees as well. I can promise you that you will leave this presentation with an excellent understanding of the glutes and practical applications to implement right away. Click on the link below to download a PDF promoting the event.

21st Century Glute Training Workshop 2011

Olympia Weekend Expo

After telling one of my clients that I was contemplating heading up to Vegas for the weekend to check out the 2010 Olympia Expo, he surprised me on Friday by informing me that he booked me hotel reservations using his free points. I drove up late Friday night and spent around 4-5 hours at the Expo on Saturday day.

If you’ve never been to an Olympia Expo and you are a fan of bodybuilding, I highly recommend it. You get to see a ton of freaky stuff and it only costs $25 to attend. Here are some of the highlights:

Things that Ruled!

1. T-Nationers

Right off the bat I found two fellow T-Nationers who work for T-Nation. I told them I write for T-Nation and wanted to take a picture of them. I don’t know if they believed me considering I ain’t got much muscle!

2. Kevin Levrone

He’s an actor now and isn’t so juiced up.

3. Charles Glass

I had a great conversation about the glutes with Charles Glass. Charles trains a ton of bodybuilders and is a crafty and legendary trainer.

4. Johnny Jackson

5. Jay Cutler

In case you’re wondering, Jay won the Mr. Olympia title for the fourth time!

6. Branch Warren

7. Dorian Yates

8. Dexter Jackson

9. Brandon Curry

10. Alicia-Marie

Holy Sweet Mother of God she’s hot! I made her pose for a booty-pic. She’s really cool too. I chatted with her about the glutes. She assumed she knew more than me on this topic but I had to set her straight. She can be the glute queen, but I’m the glute king! The butt pic doesn’t do her justice…you have to see it to get the full effect. It’s truly a work of art. Alicia-Marie is definitely one of the hotter fitness chicks in the world! Here’s her website.

11. Mark “Jackass” Bell

12. Iris Kyle

Say something and she’ll kick your ass!

13. Lou Ferrigno

14. Rich Franklin

I was about to mess him up until he apologized! All kidding aside, Rich and I have a ton in common…we both are former high school math teachers with master’s degrees and wicked left hooks (okay, maybe only one of us has a wicked left hook).

15. Gunter Shleirkamp

16. Evan Centopani

17. Brent Willis

This dude deadlifted 782 and he’s only 20 years old!

18. Matt “Kroc” Kroczaleski

19. Carmen Electra

I hate to be the one to say it, but somebody has gone downhill…

20. Stan “The Rhino” Efferding

He won the 2010 World’s Strongest Bodybuilder with I believe a 628 bench and 800 deadlift.

21. Gilbert Yvel

Kickboxer and UFC fighter

22. Some hot chick with big knockers!

23. Another sexy chick!

24. Mike O’Hearn

He was Titan on American Gladiators, he’s also an extremely accomplished fitness model.

25. Boxer Game

I tried 2 different times to get onto the leader board to no avail. The best I got was 850. If I just did straight punches the highest I got was 810. Then the guy working the game taught me the secret. He said all the leaders stand to the side and twist their bodies. When I did this I got to 850. There were some weak ass dudes who got in the 400’s. I saw a huge beast of a woman get 800 right before I left the show! My wrist and forearm hurt for the next 24 hours! The shit that guys will do to try to pretend they aren’t over the hill!

26. Free Protein – I got 12 packets of protein powder and 3 protein bars while I was there.

27. Freak Shows

It’s always cool to see a few freaks, and you’ll see tons at the Olympia Expo. I never got a picture of this guy (he was just an attendee) but he embodied all that is bodybuilding. He was most likely from Europe and had long hair, a vest with no shirt on, and tight-ass jean short-shorts with boots. Freaking legend!

28. Deadlift Form

I watched 2 straight hours of deadlifting (with powerlifters, strongmen, and bodybuilders) and analyzed the shit out of everyone’s form and physiques. Some interesting things…most deadlifters have decent glutes and usually good quads but surprisingly the hamstrings aren’t always “all-that.” My EMG tests showed that deadlifts max-out hamstring activation. The hamstrings are known to be “fast-twitch” which respond better to heavy loads so what gives? The hamstrings are a tricky muscle to grow. Every once in a while you’ll see a great deadlifter who has poor glute development. However, they ALL have great upper back development. You’ll see different set-ups, different stances, different upper back curvatures, etc. But whatever spinal curvature they choose, their spines rarely buckle during successful lifts. Erector spinae strength appears to be paramount for deadlifting prowess. Here’s a video of some of the short clips I shot:

Things that Sucked!

1. Jamie Eason

Well, Jamie certainly doesn’t suck. It’s just that I never got to see her. I know she was there because there are tons of pictures of her at the Expo on her Facebook page, but I never ran into her. This is the closest I got.

2. Groupies

These women are so pathetic. I went to the afterhours party at Blush at the Wynn and saw a couple of pretty girls who were all-over some of the bodybuilders. I realize that there are all kinds of fetishes and that some women are extremely attracted to bodybuilders, but whenever I see girls throwing themselves at athletes, rockstars, or celebrities I’m always blown-away. These are the same idiotic girls who complain that “all men are pigs” because they’re too stupid to choose good ones.

There was a pretty girl next to me that was around my age and when Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler appeared she’d get all giddy and try her hardest to get someone to take a picture of her with them. I like to think that I’m a decent-looking guy, but I was pretty much invisible to her. Now I’m just sounding like a hater so I’ll stop!

3. Continental Breakfast Phenomenon

I turn into a fat slob when I get free continental breakfasts. It never fails. I ate 2 bowls of Rice Krispies, a bagel with 2 packets of butter and 2 packets of cream cheese, an English muffin with 2 packets of peanut butter and 2 packets of honey, a grapefruit, 2 yogurts, a glass of milk, and a glass of apple juice. I’d love to know how many calories, carbs, fat, and protein were in that meal. Then I went back to my room and crashed out in a carb-induced coma for a couple of hours before heading back home!

4. I Forgot My Freaking Camera!

When I went to the afterhours party, I was one of only a few people who saw Ronnie Coleman busting out some serious dance moves in his dress-clothes. It was hilarious; a giant Silverback gettin’ his groove on! If only I had my camera it would have made for some great pictures.

5. The After-Hours Party

During Jay Cutler’s acceptance speech he asked everyone to go to the after party at Blush at the Wynn. I went, paid my admission, and then found all the bodybuilders cooped up in a private room. I stood outside the room for a few minutes trying to assess the situation, and after I realized how pathetic I was standing outside a room like a stalker I took off. Why in the hell would anyone go to these stupid afterhours parties if they don’t get to mingle with the bodybuilders and bodybuilding-writers? I won’t make that mistake ever again. I did chat with bodybuilding trainer Haney Rambod for a few minutes which made the trip somewhat worth it.

6. Less Talent

This was actually my third or fourth time attending the Expo. A couple of years ago Ronnie Coleman had his own booth, and The Rock, John Cena, Wanderlei Silva, Silvester Stallone, and Forrest Griffin were at the Expo. This year I felt that the talent diminished slightly, which makes sense I guess – everyone’s suffering a little bit in this crappy economy.

So there you have it, that’s a wrap!

Providence Perform Better Summit

If you’re looking to penetrate the Strength & Conditioning Industry or simply wanting to meet a bunch of like-minded folks, then the 3-Day Perform Better Seminars are definitely for you. In an effort to be brief, I’ll simply roll through my experiences over the weekend as many individuals don’t quite realize how these weekends go. I’m very glad I already attended the One-Day Seminar a couple of months ago which included Mike Boyle, Gray Cook, Alwyn Cosgrove, and Todd Durkin. This freed up time for me to watch other presenters.



My friend Sam Leahey picks me up and together we head to the seminar. Poor Sam had to chauffeur me around all weekend and a couple of times he had to knock on my door to wake me up as I was completely zonked out. It was difficult for me to adjust to the time zone changes! He was a good sport as he’s super laid-back. He’s also full of integrity. I can’t say enough about my friend Sam. Great guy!


I got to the seminar and ran into a bunch of friends; Nick Tumminello and his girlfriend Allie McKee, Joe Sansalone and his girlfriend Neghar Fanooni, Nate Green, and Joe Bonyai. I felt right at home! It’s good to be around like-minded folks.


I attended Jeff Anderson’s lecture on the Biomechanics of the Spine. I thought that this presentation was great! I’m going to write something up that incorporates some of the things he spoke about but suffice to say, sitting is really bad for you!


Participated in Al Vermeil’s hand-on practical on Speed. Al is hilarious! For those who have never seen him speak, the guy is about as unique as they come. From his random “In my day” rants, to his creative analogies, to his hilarious stories, I’m pretty sure you’ll never see a speaker quite like him. I was pleased to see that much of Al’s work was influenced by the late Charlie Francis, a man for whom I had much admiration.


While speaking with Nick Tumminello, Allie McKee, and Alwyn Cosgrove, I am introduced to a guy named David Jack. This guy is awesome! High energy, very knowledgeable, and super friendly. Got some great free advice from Alwyn regarding my career. Ran into my friend Martin Rooney and talked shop for a little bit.


Filmed a quick video in a conference room with David Jack and his friend for a possible Men’s Health video showing some of my glute exercise progressions. Hope they post it somewhere! Ran into Jeremy Frisch who showed me how he performs Static Lunge EQI’s. Tried them out and love them. Here’s what he taught me:

Static Lunge EQI


I should mention that in a true EQI you gradually sink deeper into the stretch throughout the duration of the set.


Went to Al Vermeil’s lecture on Speed. More great stuff. Was in the very corner of the room and fell asleep for a few minutes. Thought I was inconspicuous. When I woke up, David Jack and Dewey Nielsen had taken pictures of me sleeping. In my defense, I only got three hours of sleep the night before due to the time differential and my flight arriving after midnight. So lay off me!


Watched John Berardi’s lecture on Nutrition and Injury Recovery. John is such a great presenter and may in fact be the most kind and professional individual in the industry! His lecture was great.


Attended Thomas Plummer’s presentation on Secrets of Success. Thomas is hilarious, motivational, and knowledgeable about our industry. What else could you ask for?


Went back to the hotel, showered, got dressed, and headed back to attend the Perform Better Social. Got to meet Brett Jones. Asked him about correct Chop and Lift technique and he gave me a couple of pointers. Talked with my editor Nate Green for a while. Spoke with Al Vermeil about my glute exercises. Was very surprised that he not only saw value in them, but also knew the specifics in regards to proper form execution without ever having performed the movements. Great coaches have a sixth sense about movement. He asked me to email him links to my exercises; I still need to do that. Hung out more with Nick and Allie.


Went to the StrengthCoach.Com Social event hosted by Mike Boyle and Anthony Renna. This was a wonderful event. Got to meet up with a bunch of my strength coach friends including Anthony Renna, Tim Vagen, Shon Grosse, Charlie Weingroff, Dewey Nielsen, Robert Dos Remedios, Brad Lambert, Elsbeth Vaino, Dan Gableman, Bruce Cohn, Bruce Kelly, Sean Skahan, Max Prokopy, Steven Head, Sam Leahey, Joe Bonyai, Nick Tumminello, Joe Sansalone, Allie McKee, Robbie Bourke, John D’Amico, Cedric Unholz, Ray McCarthy, Chris Brown, Kevin Carr, Adrienne Norris, Henry Lau, Greg Streblow, Alwn Cosgrove, Mike Boyle, Kara Fed, and Nate Green. This was an amazing event! Had an excellent conversation with my friend Shon Grosse.


Extended the party. A lot of us just weren’t willing to throw in the towel. Went to a local bar that had a band playing. Took Neghar Fanooni’s camera and shot a video clip of Robert Dos Remedios and Dewey Nielsen going crazy on the dance floor to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Had an amazing time with Joe S., Neghar, Joe B., and Sam Leahey. These folks were a ton of fun! Left the bar at around 1:45 and went back to the hotel.


Finally crashed out



Sam picks me up, it’s raining like crazy! Sam’s crappy little car was hydroplaning. He was driving Bruce Cohn, Joe Bonyai, and yours truly. We all thought we were going to die. Ran into Kevin Larrabee from Fitcast (Kevlar) before the presentation. As promised, he gave me a Spike (Biotest product). It tasted so good when it hit my lips! Seriously, Spike is amazing. I knew that if Kevlar and Tony Gentilcore liked Spike so much then there had to be something to it. The Spike revitalized me and was much needed. Was hoping to talk more with Kevlar as he seems like a really cool dude but didn’t get the chance with so many people around.


Planned on going to Sue Falsone’s hands-on practical but ran into Martin Rooney and talked for a solid hour straight. The best thing about Martin is that he gives you the impression that you’re his best friend. I’m sure everyone walks away from Martin thinking, “Wow, I really relate to that guy.” We spoke about exercises, training theory, evolution, and the effects of being over-emotional when it comes to learning. I think that Martin and I could talk for five straight hours and not skip a beat. Martin is such a passionate, knowledgeable, hard-working, and inspiring individual. He even gave me some good advice pertaining to my career that was in accord with what Alwyn told me. Awesome!


Attended Eric Cressey’s hands-on practical on Medicine Balls. Eric is extremely bright and went over shoulder stretches, warm-ups, and med-ball exercises.


Watched Greg Rose’s lecture on the Golf Swing. I have to say, this was the presentation that impressed me the most this weekend. I didn’t know who Greg Rose was before this weekend but I found out that he is a co-founder of Titleist Performance Institute and a heck of a smart guy. The TPI folks have the golf swing boiled down to an absolute science. They analyze videos of an individual’s golf swing and can quickly detect everything wrong with it. They have names for each problem…S and C postures, reverse spine angle, early extension, restricted trail leg, scooping, chicken winging, death grip, palm grip, under the plane/over the top, casting, steep swing plane, fat divots, etc. Each of these issues leads to pain at a certain joint. I was very intrigued to say the least.


Had lunch with Nick Tumminello and Allie McKee. I really enjoy my friendship with this couple. I got to hang out with them a bunch in Kansas City last month and we picked up right where we left off. They are great people and Nick and I are always discussing training theory. It’s cool hearing what’s on Nick’s mind and then reading about it a few weeks later on TMuscle or wherever else Nick’s work appears. He’s all over the place! Nick is always kind enough to introduce me to his friends in the industry; the man has a lot of connections and is well-respected by everyone. I can’t remember the name of what I ate, but it was called something like “The Death Burger.” A burger sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Can’t get much better than that!


Attended Sue Falsone’s lecture on the Thoracic Spine. Was very impressed! Sue is extremely knowledgeable, humble, and professional. I really like Sue! The t-spine may be the most overlooked component of fitness assessment. She also talked about Costal and Diaphragmatic breathing with is important to understand.


Attended Greg Rose’s hands-on practical on the Golf Swing. More awesomeness. Let’s just say that most golfers don’t have the requisite ankle, hip, and t-spine mobility necessary to allow them to swing a golf club correctly. Although I’m a big fan of corrective exercise in general, there may be no other sport where corrective exercise is more warranted than golf.


Watched the Presenters Q & A session. Was great to hear different speakers offering their views on different questions. The best question that came up was “What comprises the core?” What’s your answer?


Headed back to the hotel, showered, got ready, then fell asleep. Sam woke me up by pounding on the door. If not I would have slept for a couple of hours!


We went to dinner with a bunch of folks; Bruce Cohn, Joe S., Neghar, Joe B., Dan G., Henry L., Kevin C., and the other Kevin. I was all riled up and talked too much at dinner. I get excited talking to younger guys in the industry and try my best to point them in the right direction. Most of these younger guys are already going in the right direction as they’re involved with Mike Boyle in one capacity or another.


Extended the night and went bar-hopping with Joe, Neghar, Kevin, and Kevin. Joe and Neghar are such a great couple! They are extremely fun, very professional, and very much in love. They are very knowledgeable fitness folks who have their own facility called Optimum Performance Training Institute in Maryland. I’m very envious of them as their happiness and energy is contagious. Left at around 1:00 I believe.


Finally hit the sack.



Was woken up again by Sam pounding at my door. This awarded me the “Most Annoying Friend” award for the weekend. Headed to the Convention Center.


Watched Thomas Myers’ lecture on Anatomy Trains and Myofasical Meridians. This was the lecture that everyone wanted to see. The visuals were quite spectacular. I find Thomas’ accent very intriguing…he sounds like a mix between John Malkovich and a robot.


Attended Thomas Myer’s hands-on practical. Was impressed that Thomas actually had a pretty decent overview of strength & conditioning although he was persistent in telling us that this isn’t his field and that he’s just trying to give us some different ideas.


I intended on attending Lee Taft’s lecture on the Feet in relation to speed, but instead I met with Carl Valle. Carl has been highly critical of my work so I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk shop with someone who has much more years of experience than me as it relates to the world of Track & Field. We spoke for a couple of hours. Carl is very knowledgeable and well-versed in training theory.


Filmed a quick video with Nick Tumminello for an upcoming blog of his.


Left to the airport with Sam.

There you have it folks! That’s how my weekend went. As you can see, these summits are very exciting and action-packed! Where else do you get to hang out all weekend and talk shop with guys like Martin Rooney, Alwyn Cosgrove, Nick Tumminello, Carl Valle, Al Vermeil, Brett Jones, Nate Green, Joe Bonyai, Jeremy Frisch, Sam Leahey, David Jack, Bruce Cohn, Bruce Kelly, Joe Sansalone, Dan Gableman, Elsbeth Vaino, and Shon Grosse?

I was so busy talking to others that I barely got to speak to guys like Charlie Weingroff, Anthony Renna, Dewey Nielsen, Robert Dos Remedios, Seah Skahan, Kevin Larrabee, Sue Falsone, John Berardi, Timothy Vagen, and Lee Taft.

Just to give you an idea as to how versatile these summits are, I really didn’t get to speak much at all to Mike Boyle, Eric Cressey, Gray Cook, Lee Burton, Greg Rose, Jeff Anderson, John Brookfield, Aaron Brooks, Steve Cotter, Michol Dalcourt, Todd Durkin, Chris Frankel, John Graham, Brian Grasso, Bill Parisi, Fraser Quelch, Chuck Wolf, Todd Wright, Thomas Myers, and Thomas Plummer. As you can see, the depth at these seminars is top-notch!