Making Progression Through Strength

Tag: health

Scapular Mechanics: Lesson 2

Scapular Mechanics: Lesson 2

The last lesson on scapular mechanics was via a Facebook Live video 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 […]

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 […]

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.
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 […]

Strategies in Addressing Knee Pain: Part 1

Strategies in Addressing Knee Pain: Part 1

Let’s face it: the muscles of the lower body get WORKED on a daily basis. Whether or not you are an elite athlete or an average Joe (or Jane) riding the keyboard, your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are carrying a lot of stress and tension. […]

Whey Protein + Coffee = Pre-Workout!

Whey Protein + Coffee = Pre-Workout!

When I posted THIS to Facebook, I think some people had really never thought of this before! It’s such a simple go-to when you’re in need of a high-protein meal snack while also looking for an energy boost.

Optimum Nutrition (one of my favorite brands) recently released a series of whey protein products with added natural caffeine and B-vitamins called Protein Energy. Currently, there are four flavors available on Amazon: Chocolate, Cinnamon Bun, Mocha Cappuccino, and Vanilla Latte. Right now I’m cycling back and forth between the Mocha Cappuccino and Cinnamon Bun. Both of which are great, especially the Mocha Cappuccino!

Each scoop has 10g of high quality whey protein isolate and concentrate along with 60mg caffeine derived from coffee and green tea extract. This is a great feature because it allows the consumer to tailor the amount of protein and caffeine for each serving by adding additional scoops. Assess your caffeine tolerance and try adding it to your favorite cup of copy for some extra energy anytime of the day or before a grueling training session!

Check out the Instagram video below on how I made my own pre-workout! Make sure to follow me for more great tips and videos!

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Deadlifts > Everything

Deadlifts > Everything

The deadlift is one of the best exercises of all time! As a matter of fact, if I had to choose one exercise to perform for the rest of my life, it would definitely be the barbell deadlift. My job as a strength & conditioning specialist […]

Got Macros? All About Protein: Part 3

Got Macros? All About Protein: Part 3

This is a three-part article series where in Part 1, I answered the following questions: What is protein? What are great sources of protein? How much protein do I need? Is more protein safe? In Part 2, I discussed how dietary protein intake can largely […]

A Quick Guide to Omega-3 Fish Oil

A Quick Guide to Omega-3 Fish Oil

What is it?

Usually when someone makes a reference to fish oil, they are really talking about the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

Why take it?

The EPA and DHA found in Omega-3 fish oils have an overwhelming number of benefits. For example:

1. Decrease inflammation (faster recovery, healthier arteries)

2. Reduce triglyceride levels (circulating fat in the blood isn’t in style)

3. Decrease blood pressure (no one wants a stroke)

4. Increase GOOD cholesterol (keep those arteries clean)

5. Fight depression (be happy)

And those are just 5 reasons why Omega-3s are great.

*Keep in mind that all of these statements are not applicable to everyone as every individual is different. These are conclusions based off of clinical research studies; however, before taking any supplement check with your physician, registered dietitian, and/or other qualified health professional.

How to take it:

1. Keep capsules refrigerated/frozen as this may help prevent the burping effect some people experience. Taking with food may also help prevent the burps.

2. It is recommended to take 1,ooo mg/1 gram of fish oil daily; however, it may benefit to take AT LEAST 1,OOO mg/ 1 gram OF EPA & DHA ADDED TOGETHER (i.e. If EPA is 300mg and DHA is 200mg per one capsule take 2 capsules as this will equal 1,000 mg of the sum of EPA and DHA)

The take home message:

Omega-3 fish oils may prove beneficial in your well-being and heart health. Omega-3s should also be consumed in your diet. A few examples of foods which contain Omega-3s are salmon, mackerel, walnuts, and sardines to name a few.

Be happy, be healthy my friends.

You’re welcome!


About the Author:


Erik Bustillo is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Sports Nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition- ISSN, and a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association – NSCA. Erik has experience in clinical research studies and extensive knowledge in medical nutrition therapy. He is actively involved with top organizations in the fields of Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition, making him well equipped with both knowledge and practice of cutting edge research in these areas. His specialty being sports nutrition and supplementation, this makes him a diverse health professional that excels in performance science.

Erik can be reached at & @erikbustillo via Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram.

Goal-Specific Supplementation? Say What?

Goal-Specific Supplementation? Say What?

Again, the staff at have come through BIG TIME with the release of their latest product that will solve the age old question I receive on the regular of, “What supplements should I take for _____?” My answer is typically, “It depends.” From here on out […]