Making Progression Through Strength

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Re-Invent Your Rowing, Again

Re-Invent Your Rowing, Again

The last discussion on scapular mechanics was via Facebook Live where I discussed scapular mechanics during a horizontal rowing pattern. Here is a great example of both vertical AND horizontal rowing with the plate loaded high-row machine. This is by far one of my favorite […]

Understanding Energy Balance

Understanding Energy Balance

Most people know of calories (also kcal) but do not truly understand how they work. Those that believe calories don’t matter also probably think the Earth is flat. Perhaps there is a disconnect. Let me explain. It all comes back to thermodynamics which states that energy […]

Two Years of Eating “Too Much Protein”

Two Years of Eating “Too Much Protein”

Being a two-year study subject has its perks. Things like free blood work, free body composition analysis via the Bod Pod & DEXA, and free protein supplements are just a few of those perks! Big thanks to Dr. Jose Antonio, Co-Founder and CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), for giving me an opportunity to take part in his one-year study along with a one year follow-up examining the effects of high-protein diets on subjects with previous strength-training experience.

If you know anything about conducting research then you would know it is VERY hard to find subjects to agree to take part in a study for one full year. It’s even harder to find subjects that will agree to track all of their training to account for adequate volume, log all calories consumed for one year (minimum of 4 days logged per week), show up for lab testing consistently, and get their blood work completed in a timely fashion after lab visits! I guess I am one of the few but I blame it on being meticulous with a slightly obsessive compulsive behavior!

The research team at NOVA Southeastern University in Davie, FL has conducted a series of studies (here, here, and here) investigating high-protein diets on resistance-trained men to put to rest the circulating myth that too much protein has harmful effects on the kidneys. Bodybuilders and common “bros” have known for decades that eating more protein than what is recommended is the key to making and sustaining your gains in the gym.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a measly 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. That amount may be enough for someone who does not regularly participate in vigorous exercise but is far from sufficient for the more active individual or athlete participating in an intense training program. The ISSN position stand on protein intakes, along with more recent data from Helms et al., suggest a range of 1.4 grams to 3.1 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day. This range helps to promote recovery, promote training tolerance, and maintain lean tissue during periods of caloric restriction (the lower the calories, the higher the recommended amount of protein).

For the full details of the study design, click the link to the study HERE. Here are the cliff notes of the actual study for the TL;DR crowd:

Methods summarized

    • 14 Resistance-Trained men in a randomized crossover trial assigned to one of two groups: normal protein (minimum of 1.4g-2.0g/kg/d) or high protein (minimum of 3g/kg/d)
    • Baseline measures were taken on the first lab visit then four additional visits spread throughout the year
    • Group assignment was randomized averaging 6 months total on normal protein or high protein
    • Body comp was analyzed via Bod Pod under the same conditions
    • Dietary reports were self-reported a minimum of 3 days per week (I’m aware there is a large margin of error here BUT I am very skilled with My Fitness Pal and measuring/weighing food)
    • Training logs were self-reported
    • Blood lipid and comprehensive metabolic panel were performed fasted on 5 separate occasions after each lab visit

A lot of people (see armchair scientists) had some critiques of their own about the research published from Dr. Antonio’s lab because it had a small sample size of 14 subjects including myself. I also noticed comments stating that a supplement company funded the study because Dymatize is a sponsor of the ISSN and provided protein powder for the study subjects (I was also provided other brands of my choosing). Again, it is extremely pressing for researchers to find subjects that meet the criteria of the study and have them commit a full year of their life to it. Second, Dr. Antonio is the lead author because he is the Associate Professor for the College of Health and Human Performance at NOVA.

Notes worth mentioning

  • My heaviest bodyweight during the study was approx 180 lbs. My lightest was approx 168 lbs. I’m 6’0″ tall with a more athletic build to help you get an idea of what that looks like (sorry no skin pics).
  • I lost 5.4% body fat within one-year with largest loss (4.2%) coming from December 2015 to April 2016. Interestingly, I also gained 1.6 lbs of lean body mass during the same period. Yes, I lost fat and gained muscle. I suspect this is due to a change in training volume.
  • A total of 11 lbs of fat lost over the entire year with only a 0.6 lb loss of lean body mass
  • Overall, I gained 0.64 lbs of lean body mass by the end of the study including gains and losses of lean body mass and fat mass. This is likely due to intentional manipulation of caloric intake during dieting phases and dieting breaks.
  • Other supplements to take into consideration that I used regularly prior to, during, and after the study are a basic multivitamin like Centrum, peri-workouts such as Pre-Jym and/or Post-Jym, Vitamin D3, fish oil, a greens supplement, and HMB-FA (maybe that gave me the gainz like it did in this study although it wasn’t 8kg LOL).
  • My blood work remained impeccable throughout the year. My kidneys didn’t dissolve. Currently, I am involved in a follow-up investigation on high-protein diets with the same researchers which includes Bod Pod & DEXA body comp analysis. My blood work as of May 12, 2017 is still immaculate. This also means I have been involved with this research for two years now.

How did these series of studies come about?

Here is a brief interview I did with Dr. Jose Antonio answering a few questions about the high-protein diet studies:

Re-Invent Your Rowing

Re-Invent Your Rowing

Can we all agree that Facebook Live is kinda weird? During a trip to Atlanta, I decided to shoot a quick video. This was likely inspired by the new found motivation from consumption of a copious amount of caffeine. The topic was about scapular mechanics during […]

Trainer Pro Tip: TRX Y-Raise

Trainer Pro Tip: TRX Y-Raise

As a trainer, you gotta stay on top of continuing your education! I’ve followed Cressey Sports Performance for the past 4 or 5 years learning a lot from their practices with their athletes. One exercise in particular is the Y-Raise with the TRX straps to help […]

Locating Integrity in the Fitness & Nutrition Industry

Locating Integrity in the Fitness & Nutrition Industry

In a multi-billion dollar industry with growth on the rise year after year, it seems like everyone wants to get in on all of the potential profits to be made even if it is at the expense of others. From know-it-all trainers that are getting clients injured due to negligence to self-proclaimed nutrition experts selling you supplements that don’t work and may actually be doing more harm to you than good.

There is a lack of integrity in this industry that gives credible professionals a bad name. Here are some signs you should be aware of when dealing with these individuals…

On the Fitness Side…

All too often I hear of horror stories that others have had going to unqualified trainers and coaches. A lot of times these stories involve injuries, unpleasant experiences, and a lack of personal touch to the training experience. People buy trainers, not training. They are in it for the results AND the experience.

When trainers and coaches neglect fundamental concepts such as exercise frequency, volume, intensity, and duration of exercise then it leaves the client exposed to an increased probability of exercise-related injury (1). For example, you’re likely thinking about CrossFit. Truth is that there a lot of GREAT CrossFit coaches that have done their due diligence in studying the fundamentals of exercise prescription and biomechanics. Clients can get injured by negligent trainers anywhere, any time.

As a client, how do you know the person(s) you’re about to hire is well-qualified? I would suggest interviewing that trainer on their education, credentials, years of experience, and what he/she does to continue their education in the field (This is actually funny because I can count on one hand how many people have asked me about my credentials and education since I started training in 2011). Previous client testimonies can sometimes serve as a professional reference on a résumé with proof of the trainer’s work…provided that they are real.

As a trainer, ALWAYS COVER YOUR ASS! Most personal training certifying organizations offer discounts to Professional (malpractice) and General Liability coverage (simple mistakes). Get Insured! Unless you have millions of dollars laying around, get coverage!

It definitely helps if the trainer has a website, has established a social media presence, offers online training, and has YouTube videos (I’m a shill! What can I say?) Long story short, know what you’re getting in to and do your research!

On the Nutrition Side…

This area gets tricky since supplements come in various forms of bullshit. For a long time, there wasn’t much quality information available on the internet unless you went to PubMed or some other peer-review, research-based website and then extrapolated your own conclusions from the studies. Unless you are involved in academia, then that is VERY unlikely.

Some of the most basic and cheapest supplements are the best ones! But supplements like Vitamin D3, fish oil, creatine, whey protein, and multivitamins aren’t sexy. People want the latest and greatest, celebrity endorsed, and overly-hyped supplement.

You’ve got people believing that putting butter in coffee is the greatest thing since sliced bread, that “fat-burners” actually work (Hint: most don’t), and doctors with no formal education in sports nutrition and supplements recommending “miracle cures” such as garcinia cambogia and raspberry ketones. For the record, neither of which are an effective supplement for weight loss in humans according to Hopefully, you’re not someone that bought into the hype. If so, then I can only leave you with THIS.

The best thing you can do is to fully research each individual ingredient on EVERY supplement you plan to purchase to create a full awareness of what it is you’re buying and putting into your body. One important aspect people tend not to take into account is the possible dangerous interactions with prescription drugs you may already be taking. In order for some supplements to work they need to be taken in efficacious dosages, not small amounts in undisclosed proprietary blends. The consumer and said nutrition expert needs to know what is proven to work and what isn’t along with possible precautions.

Supplements aside, be cautious of unqualified professionals that give nutrition advice that is outside of their scope of practice. There are 17 states that are very restrictive on nutritional counseling. For example, even though I am a Certified Sports Nutritionist through the International Society of Sports nutrition (ISSN), I cannot give individualized nutrition counseling without a state license or exemption (this is where Registered/Licensed Dietitians come in). The rules and regulations vary by state so check out to see what is legal and illegal where you practice.

Individual faults aside, large supplement companies also lack integrity as many have inaccurate label claims such as the case with protein spiking. It’s not that the industry is unregulated because Congress, the FDA, FTC, and NAD all oversee the market. It is just insufficiently enforced. Quality control is the main issue in the supplement industry (2).


Not everyone is out to do the right thing so just be aware, do your research, and stay abreast on current topics in health, nutrition, and fitness. Trainers and nutrition experts need to do their part to give our industry a better name. If you don’t have the answers it is completely okay to admit that. I do it all the time. The journey is a learning process so learn along the way and maintain integrity. Doing so will keep you winning in the long-term.






  1. Bibi, Khalid W., and Michael G. Niederpruem. “Chapter 7: Safety, Injury Prevention, and Emergency Care.” ACSM’s Certification Review. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. 142-43. Print.
  2. Collins, Rick, JD. “Nutrition Law Every Fitness Professional Should Know.” The 12th Annual ISSN Conference. Austin Texas, Austin. 3 Apr. 2016. Lecture.
7 Things Women Should Know About Strength-Training

7 Things Women Should Know About Strength-Training

The following is from an interview I did for a How is strength training good for women specifically? Prevention of osteoporosis would be a great reason women should strength train. Research indicates that long-term weight training can help maintain and even form new bone. […]

Recent Gems Worth Reading or Watching

Recent Gems Worth Reading or Watching

Whoa, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here on the main site. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or “the Gram” then you know I’ve still been actively posting there. Stay woke on those social media outlets because you might miss something […]

Choosing HEALTHIER Options At The Fast-Food Drive-Through

Choosing HEALTHIER Options At The Fast-Food Drive-Through

While I’m definitely an advocate of being prepared in all situations, it is not always possible when you are on-the-go. Meal prep can be very important to keeping individuals on point with their nutrition plan especially if you have a very busy lifestyle.

I personally failed to do so this time around. However, when you keep some flexibility in your diet and know how to track your food intake, you can wing-it sometimes and still be successful.

The purpose of this video is not to talk about food quality, fast-food vs what you may or may not have meal prepped, but to focus on what to do in a situation where you have no food. I’m also not here to discuss your personal beliefs on food from McDonald’s or GMO’s because in reality, it doesn’t matter much.

Hopefully this video will inspire you to make BETTER decisions at the drive-through if you ever get stuck in a similar situation.




Gains For Everyone

Gains For Everyone

It’s safe to say I’ve reached a pinnacle in my career where my friends and clients confide in my knowledge of fitness and nutrition because they will regularly tag me on Facebook and Instagram about the latest supplement, diet, or fitness-related product. People also send […]