1. Here’s the supplement I want to design…
It’s a one-a-day pill (hell, suppository for all I care) that forces people to sleep 7-9 hours a night, seven days a week.
It’s not a new ask. Fitness types have been harping about sleep for decades. But 20 years ago clients would offer apologies or make excuses for poor sleep habits.
Today operating “like a boss” on five hours or less is like a moronic biohacker’s badge of honor.
“I get up at 3 AM so I can get stuff done and then spend more time with my kids.”
More like you get up at 3 AM to do a bunch of bullshit that sounds cool on the internet — Deep breathing at 3 AM? Really? — only to sleepwalk through the very time you were trying to re-capture for your family.
There are many ways to be mercenary with your time, distractions you can remove so you can recapture hours for things that are really important.
Sleep is not one of them.
It’s as integral to the muscle building process as training and nutrition, and perhaps even more in terms of overall quality of life.
But 9 hours is a tall order for most adults, so if that’s not possible then at least maximize consistency.
– same sleep/wake times 7 days a week
– early bed/early rise structure
– morning and evening routines (doesn’t really matter what you do, just have them)
– basic sleep hygiene (cool dark room, caffeine cut offs, blah blah)
As to the notion of overcoming mild sleep deprivation with nootropics and stimulants or “hacking” the negative effects of poor sleep on recovery through hormonal optimization?
Top athletes and pro bodybuilders have the BEST genetics, training, nutrition, and hormonal support. And the best of the best all make sleep, even naps, priority #1.
But the everyday working guy who tries to eat well, applies his Androgel every day, and even meditates on his lunch break?
Nah, he doesn’t need sleep. He’s a cybernetic machine.
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2. Do you deadlift for hamstring/glute size?
If so, you shouldrotate through a variety of hinge variations (Romanian deadlifts, trap bar deads, rack pulls, good mornings, etc.)
You can progress from shorter to longer ranges of motion every training phase or even workout to workout, or rotate stances, or add mid-rep pauses.
Just be mindful of recovery. Long ROM lifts like snatch grip deadlifts on a podium will fry your entire posterior chain for days.
Having a variety of exercises in your training repertoire that you use (intelligently) will lead to more complete muscle development, mitigate patten overload, and probably make you a bit more resilient to injury.
As an aside, those annoying hex plates are a wonderful way to force you to learn other deadlift variations like rack pulls, good mornings, etc. #positivity
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3. I’m a big believer in fitting the muscle building “process” into someones life, not vice versa; it improves buy-in and consistency while reducing stress and overwhelm.
It’s also MUCH more effective.
In terms of program design that’s…
- Starting a bit beneath someone’s current work capacity and then building up. Especially if they’re extremely busy.
- Designing programs so they can be flexible in terms of the number of workouts a week (within reason)
- Having set volume/pump or intensity days and the option of calling an audible and switching on a rough day.
- Separate travel workouts or “training experience” type sessions.
- Matching the volume and intensity arrangement to someone’s goal and their lifestyle. It’s not too much volume that leads to overreaching — it’s too much of anything that taxes recovery (volume, intensity, stress).
Here’s something cool. Write up a full year training outline. It doesn’t have to be super-specific (life always happens anyway) but if you know in advance when you can’t train much due to work/vacations then first designate those weeks as recovery.
From there mark off a few 8-16 week blocks (ideally separated by recovery weeks) where you address one or two non-competing goals per block such as:
- weak point, size
- fat loss, cardio
The above is also my response to those who say periodization is useless for recreational “gen pop” lifters.
You’re just doing it wrong. Base your programming off the client’s life and it suddenly all makes sense.
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4. Love to workout in the morning?
Be sure to give yourself enough time to wake up the nervous system before low rep work or loading the spine with heavy weights.
So a bit of cardio, a couple warmup drills, and then progressive, low rep warmup sets before hitting your first work set.
Just take the warm-up sets seriously. It’s rehearsal for the work about to follow. Blasting out a bunch of garbage reps with an empty bar is counterproductive.
And of course, coffee. Just before you show up, not while training. That’s dumb.
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5. I had some fun on Twitter with this one…
Since a lot of fellow fit-pros seem to read my stuff, perhaps y’all can add your favorites.
DECIPHERING FIT PRO ADS
“Just got off the phone with a client…”
No, you just have something to pitch.
“People always ask me..”
They never do. You want to make a point to set up a pitch.
“Slots opened up for just two new clients and they won’t last long.”
Slow month, you need clients. It happens. We get it.
What did I miss?