Author Archives: Alex Causton

Upgrading The Classic 5 Day BodyPart Split

The Classic 5 Day Training Split is Wrong – And The Answer Is 6
Every and any excellent coach uses a primary creative framework for program design purposes. An overall shell that he or she then chisels, shapes and molds according to the instructions read by assessing the clients needs and goals. Which one have I used for the longest time? The oldest split in the book. The five day classic bodybuilding split.

But is the Chest, Back, Shoulders, Legs and Arms split the best way to visualize how the body can be divided and trained?

No. It is not.  Nor is any other sequence of the five way body division metaphor any better.


Because it ignores the lower posterior chain. The gluteals, the hams and the calves. And what is not there, is your day six.

So the modern eras updated version would look like this:


This is the better split. But why have I concluded this after 5 years of studying metaphor?

  • The glutes can handle a tremendous amount of high intensity work on their own. Pairing them with quads is like training chest and back together; it would never allow the maximal amount or intensity of work that COULD be done for either to BE done.
  • The Glute/hams when trained separately can handle more volume, which is always going to be better for aesthetic development and calorie expenditure (operating at a greater and higher energy input/output allows for more exercise benefits to manifest)
  • Psychologically MUCH less taxing if program design is correctly done (just like training chest and back together would be more taxing due to higher total workload not only before training, but during, training quads with hams is as well – and its time we fixed that)

Whether you choose to run it over the course of 7 days or 6, the choice is yours. But give the lower body it’s due. And make body part training (when all done on one day per week I call it concentration training) energetically demanding enough to be worthy of inclusion into anyone’s game plan.

What about the abs/core?
I view the abs/core as a force conductor group/unit first and a “muscle group” to be target trained, second; because the abs/core connects and fires to micro-manages the smooth working of other body parts. So if target-trained, the abs/core complex can be made to “fit” in anywhere on any of the six days, depending on program design. But that’s another topic for another design post.

Do I believe that one body part trained every 7 days is optimal? No. I’ve designed programs where each body part is trained up to 6 times per week. 6 exercises each day, one for each “part”. My point is not about trying to find what is optimal, but rather to have a core metaphor for program design. A primary axiom.

Because the one I’ve used for too long, is wrong.

Oh Science, Where Art Thou

Fission Fusion Training aims to emancipate the common mans understanding of physical enhancement from the tyranny of linear cause and effect thinking. 

Cycling Signatures – The Dynamic See-Saw Of Metaphor

So what is the Fission Fusion System? Let me clarify what it is not. It is NOT a physics inspired, mathematically guided, logical, rigid and mechanical system of thought that deals with the biological, anti-entropic solutions of fitness. The Fission Fusion System is a metaphor for a thought. A program design structure that allows me to engage an infinitely creative application of its principle message – which is?

Cycle stress signatures between Fission and Fusion dominance type programs.

It can take any shape, while never losing its identity. No two programs that are forged from its general principles need to have any specific detail in common at all, but may. Yet follow a grand purpose nonetheless. The constraint, the rules and the walls against which we slam the principles till they are at their most absurd , are elastic.

() Fusion Strategy ()
To undo the effects of a modern hypo-kinetic lifestyle, we enter the realm of hyper-kinetic training.
Focused on working kinetic chains through different movement patterns in multiple planes of motion and utilizing a variety of exercises at varying speeds and tempos. Focused on full body functionality.

() Fission Strategy ()
Now we isolate to aesthetically integrate.
Focused on working the individual body parts through different movement patterns in multiple planes of motion and utilizing a variety of exercises at varying speeds and tempos. Focused on full body aesthetic balance.

The two primary methodologies of Fission-Fusion feed into each other and produce a greater sum effect over time than applying the same stress signature over a longer period of time – why? Because anything in excess is a poison. Thus progressively alternating and integrating both ends of the stress signature spectrum the adaptive processes change the clients abilities over time, every time. As you never train in the same body twice. 

It Is About Program Design
The essence of a good program doesn’t come from the individual exercises of which it is constructed, but from the emergent meaningful unity of bringing those exercises together in that certain and sometimes peculiar way for that certain person.

Aesthetic Auto-catalysis: As You Look Better From Training, You Get Better At The Kind Of Training That Lets You Look Better
One of the side effects of training for pursuits of aesthetic magnificence instead of strength gain, is a gain in strength.

How odd. But true. And this enhanced strength feeds itself into an auto-catalytic process, enhancing the ability to train for pursuits of aestheticism. With increased load for one. And with an increased ability to stabilize for deeper, finer and more refined isolationism, second. Increased power as well. The increased strength becomes the new constraint, but as a constraint that potentiates and liberates. And all without training specifically for it.

The Ultimate Split: All Of Them And None Of Them Depending On When
Splits are metaphors. So the idea of dividing up the body to train it is as valid as training it in full, depending on the pursuit.

For example, chest work, anterior loading or push day are basically metaphors for the the same abstraction.  Some metaphors work better than others, at certain times for certain people, because each metaphor brings with it it’s own set of slightly or greatly differing rules. I find the chest METAPHOR as valid as any mathematical or biomechanical view divvying up the human frame for concentrated work bouts of focused attention and destruction. Full body workouts are indeed splendid. But sometimes not so much. Sometimes they are the wrong effort peg for the wrong progress hole.

Metabolic Priming: Supercompensation Sorcery
It’s all about the training – the diet is a far second. Say someone has been training correctly for months. Even years. They’ve sure paid attention to energetic expenditure, but next to no attention to energetic intake. Then one bright sunny morning, they decide to restrict some variable in their daily food fiesta regime, resulting, knowingly or unknowingly, in a caloric reduction. Like pulling the rabbit out of his magic hat, the result is an illusion. A deception. The results are already there, internally. Metabolically waiting. To be exposed by the lifting of the caloric iron curtain.

You can stay in a metabolically primed state BEST if you hold some fat. But you can’t stay in an aesthetically primed, very low body fat state, without depressing your metabolic economics.

What Does A Great Coach Do?
A great coach is a coach that recognizes what type of specific environment (energetic expenditure and ingestion) to create for what type of specific person (mindset)) to get them to express their best self. Nature and nurture synergized.

 Going Too Hard, Too Soon
The pendulum that is raised to the left, strikes back to the right with relentless necessity. — Uexküll

This is what I mean when I try to explain how a crash diet or a crash training program will result in a crash outcome. Your body compensates and this is what adaptation IS. All adaptation is not beneficial. All adaptation is not improvement. Sometimes it is decline, destruction and demise.

The Phlogiston Theory Of Strength And A History Of Lies
Above I wrote about how an increase in strength production can enhance the journey of aesthetic enhancement. But if resistance training were about increased strength levels alone, there would be no point to it. Since strength increase eventually must cease. But that DOES NOT MEAN you are not sowing the seeds of physiological improvement.

You absolutely still are. The strength purists would have you believe otherwise.

But they lie. Or misunderstand. Or misinterpret.

So they use the old phlogiston and magnesium protocol thinking. The phlogiston theorists used to believe that when magnesium burned, it would “release” phlogiston. Making magnesium lighter. But burnt magnesium only became HEAVIER.

So they concluded , “well, that’s because phlogiston has negative weight”.

In the same way, when you train and fail to get continually stronger,  “research reading specialists” explain it away as your training having a negative effect.  Well, they are wrong. Your training just doesn’t have the same effect THEY find easiest to measure. The only effect they really can measure. Or understand.

The purpose of strength training is not and cannot only be to get stronger. It is also about training your strength through multiple possible conduits or means. Finding different ways to express your strength, and  different ways to tax your strength expression. The possible conduits are limited only by your imagination. The triceps extension works out your triceps muscle with the aid of a cable machine

Quick-Fire: Disorderly Order Of Thoughts As They Come

Set in motion by stress and strain, the biologic(al) pendulum swings between catabolism and anabolism, trying to eventually bring stability back to a disrupted metabolism.

Muscle Tricks
Human muscles are tricky – they can change function on you. A bicep works very differently when you curl a dumbbell compared to when you perform a chinup. Closed chain or open chain, shunt muscle or spurt muscle, stabilizer or prime mover… the body is wonderfully complex.

A Swirl Of Anti-Scientific Metaphor
What stretching is to the cycle of contraction, aerobic system function is to the anaerobic systems cycle of stimulation. Now cant a contraction be part of the stretch cycle? And cant anaerobic system function be part of the aerobic systems cycle of stimulation? No. Why? At the most restful state, on your back, you are stretched and aerobic. Action is thus an opponent process.

Elongation will happen with contraction, don’t you worry. And Aerobic system stimulation will happen with anaerobic challenges, don’t you worry either.

Does this show a sort of optimal directionality for exertion? Does the contraction-elongation cycle and the anaerobic-aerobic cycle metaphor linkage negate the need for all forms of stretching and steady state cardiovascular work? We shall see.

Shadow Of Fatigue
In movements of unilateral character, you shouldn’t always work your weak side first. Not always. Training, straining and pushing the weak side second, under the shadow of fatigue from working the strong side first may actually enable you to train it under harder conditions and bring it UP better. Since the fatigue will be systemic and not local.

Principle of Interdependence
The physical and psychical principles of training and nutrition, working and eating, expending and ingesting, do not exist independent of each other. They are functionally interdependent.

Yet, most of the fitness industry operates on mixing and matching various paradigms that are functionally and fundamentally divorced from each other. Yet applied together…such as high velocity training and low carb dieting for middle aged people with life long weight and body image struggles. You know what Im talking about coaches.

This leads to a diet that contradicts the training, training that contradicts the individual and an individual that contradicts the entire process.

(Now it doesn’t always follow this sequence, sometimes the individual is the one who contradicts for the sake of contradicting. Those clients should be shown the door with relentless necessity)

A Beginner Looking For The Best Program And Diet?
There are NO special exercises. Sorry.
There are NO special programs. Sorry.
There are NO special diets either. Sorry.
There are ONLY special coaches or special clients; special people.

And even then the battle will be fierce.
But it usually begins ad hoc.
And you need to win it a priori.

I never said it was going to be easy.


Arms on the preacher rack in front of you?

More Madness – A List Of Agonizing Ideas

Idea 1 – Pseudoscience of Mind Over Matter?
Physics constrains psychology, yes. You simply cannot positive-think or dream-desire your physique to a state of aesthetically refined enhancement. You need to engage in diligent work instead. To sweat, strain and drain. You cannot suspend belief in the mighty caloric equation either. You need to measure. To weigh, to count. But can psychology influence the physics of your biology? I think so. If you can think yourself into fatigue. If you can think yourself stronger, then I think you can make some of your genetic constraints for physique enhancement more malleable, more willing, more ready for diplomacy. And remove some of the roadblocks that hinder the expression of a specific fitness adaptation. Through thought.

Idea 1 – Training Is Harming?
Training is the pars destruens – the destructive part of the physical betterment plan. The way you break yourself down is the way you will find your body builds you back up. Training is a dose of a certain stimulus. The stimulus has a nature. It has a duration. An intensity. A deliverance modality. And then there is the mentality with which you strain; the above psychology influencing the physics of your biology. All of this creates a signature pattern of stress. A breakdown plan. And in the rubble of the workouts destruction, your body reads the instructions for construction. The pars construens.

Idea 1 – You Don’t Need A Barbell?
The straight bar is a stupid tool. Not a useless one, just a stupid one. Ideally the tool should conform to body, not the body to tool. The barbell is a remnant of our past simplistic mis-understanding of the importance of loading for physique alteration and re-creation. The focus on the external, the numerical, the count-able and the braggable. Your body is hopelessly asymmetrical. From the inside, where your right side diaphragm is almost 2/3rds as massive as your left side diaphragm, to the outside, where we are all functionally asymmetrical. Two dumb-bells will flow with the bodies natural twisting, torquing and turning rhythms and in my opinion, allow for more muscle tissue to be seduced, recruited and stimulated for each bout of repetitious effort.

Idea 1 – Idealizations Of Perfect Form Are Not Real? 
There is no ideal form or ideal posture or ideal patterns in the biological game of gravity. The idea that there are such ideals, assumes that a dynamic biology can fit itself snugly into our mathomechanical metaphor models of ideal biomechanical states. These are myths constructed by our aesthetic obsession with the purity of straight lines and linear thinking. The same ideals that won’t let us, not you or me, let go of the barbell. The same ideals that seek to find simplistic feed-forward causes and effects to explain physiological effects that are the result of a nexus and plethora of intersections of cause becoming effect and effect becoming cause.

Idea 1 – The Paradox Of Fitness?
Fitness isn’t a battle. It is a war. You are never going to find the comfortably numb point of ease. Never going to find that place where you can back off the hard effort and maintain your best physical self. You and I see the battle mind-set practically every day. And fitness pro’s are guilty of the same. Ricochet programming. Jumping from one program to another. From one system to the other. Diets follow the same pattern. Low carb to high fat, high this to low that. You also need to understand that there is no linearity in biology. The fitter you get, the more resistance to fitness inducing stimulus you create. Most people understand that, but cant apply the same reasoning when it comes to diet. The more times you diet per year, the more times you need to diet per year. Exactly why my Fission Fusion Method cycles not only caloric intakes, but cycles volumes and loads of mechanical, metabolic and technically challenging training stimuli.

With your body, variation is important. But too much creates novel redundancy. Too little creates abject despondency.

Can Art Save Fitness? And More Tidbits

 I never did get into this profession to “help” people, I should admit. I took to the field because I wanted to KNOW everything there is to know about the human body and the infinite interior of the human mind. To feed the most powerful craving of all – the craving for knowledge. And as far as helping people. That is a beautiful side effect that I am glad comes with the territory.

We Are All The Same AND We Are All Different, At Once
There is no exact right or wrong when it comes to the interpretation and methodological application of the observed principles of human functionality and response. This mathomechanical thinking, flimsily hid behind the veil of reason and logic, is the foundation upon which the boring, mundane, grey and dead fitness industry, IS that way. Averse to creativity, shielding itself from criticism using the imaginary powers of lab-coat worshipping “evidence based” thinkers. We humans are all as different from one another, as we are the same. Each person is a unique expression of the human project. The human project being a unique expression of the biological engine of creativity itself.

All the same essentially, but different at the same time fundamentally.

And the DIFFERENCES create the rules of individualization. Taking the essential block of human function and response, and carving it with the specific and uniquely sharpened chisel of individual need.

There is no mathematical formula that can predict the future functional state of a living biological being. And when linear mathomechanical thinking and thus logic and reason fail us, we see how biology, art and creative initiative can save us.

The Greatest Exercise Of All Time
If I had to pick just ONE. One only. Only one? I wouldn’t pick.

An exercise itself is nothing without considering its place in a workout. A workout is nothing without considering its place in a program. A program is nothing without considering where she, the trainee is coming from, where she is and where she wants to go. The key is context and nuance. They give relevance. And relevance explicates meaning. Context wipes the eyes of the haze of uncertainty and sharpens the solution finding apparatus of the coach. His mind, experience and foresight.

Each person is unique, though we are all the same. And that means each exercise means something for everyone, but that it also means something unique for that person. But it will not have the same magnitude of meaningful effect for two people in exactly the same way. BOTH situations need to be accounted for. The specific and the general.

Low Volume Training VS High Volume Training
Probably the most childish debate in the fitness world. And to imagine entire coaching niches have been built around both concepts just makes it all that much sillier. But lets move the entire situation into the realm of no context. Where we can see that BOTH are useful if cycled correctly. BOTH can provide their own unique stress signatures and BOTH can thus be beneficial for the trainee. So let’s end this adolescent bickering. Maintaining volume over time is to create stagnation. Playing with its highs and lows will add more cumulative benefit than sticking with either alone. As I’ve explained before, your body is adept at recognizing stress patterns. And any stress pattern maintained long enough will result in the creation of it’s own poison.

Result Do Not Happen At The Rate Your Mind Desires, They Happen At The Rate Your Body Allows
There is no clean linearity in biology. Your physical fitness progress will be a slow, heavy, drudging process. Testing the endurance of your patience. It will have micro-periods of linearly accelerative progress, punctuated with phases of near absolute stasis. A limbo of change. The stasis does NOT necessarily mean something needs to change in your program, because even when we interpret the body to be in stasis, it never is. As I’ve said before, you never train in the same body twice. The need to “change”  is a massively common misconception based on a very average understanding of cause and effect in complex adaptive bio-systems like you and I.

One common theme? That stasis usually seems to be followed by another period of accelerated change. Why? I’m still working out the exact description in my head, so you’re going to have to wait on that. But till then, stasis is better than regression. But to be honest, sometimes regression is best of all. My friend Kerry Hayes, an exceptionally intelligent Engineer, forged the thought into a beautiful metaphor. With some editing from myself, he put it this way, “Like driving a fast car, the greatest acceleration is measured from the point of origin. As you go faster and faster the acceleration decreases. With the phases of stasis, I am guessing your body needs to change gear to reach a higher top speed. Each gear change invokes moments of deceleration.”

The biology of fitness is everything you never expected. Twist your wrist as you slowly bring the dumbbell to.

Flip The Script

One day during his tenure as a professor, Albert Einstein was visited by a student. “The questions on this year’s exam are the same as last year’s!” the young man exclaimed. “Yes,” Einstein answered, “but this year all the answers are different.”

Metabolism Optimization Isn’t Just About Eating Better
Since life began, metabolism has been the never ending struggle between anabolic processes and catabolic processes, of energy intakes versus energy outputs. Both processes of a self-generating, self-healing, self-correcting and adapting system. Without one, there is no other. Therefore metabolic up-regulation is not and cannot be only about getting people to eat more, as the popular underground Ray Peat inspired metabolism-gurus have been persuading us to believe. And rightly so. But it has to ALSO be about training and exerting MORE. The energy IN verses energy OUT conduits must work in sync to heal and reestablish optimal metabolic functionality. Anabolism and catabolism are connected at the hip of metabolism, in the never ending dance of biological life.

Screw Sustainability It’s Hogwash
A training and feeding program needs to be sustainable to allow compliance? Something a client can actually do? Forever? Not so fast. When designing a program I consider what I can get my client to do, yes. AND what I can get them to eat. BUT that does NOT mean, you only give them what they LIKE to do and LIKE to eat or only what they can do or can eat. I’m looking for compliance. But compliance of what it will take to produce an alteration, not to sustain the comfort zone state. It is obviously what got them to have to need my help in the first place. I truly admire the modern fitness pros intention of  diet sustainability, but to be fair, the entire concept is hogwash. The fear of people not complying to protocol. A diet, like a training program has to be CHALLENGING – just not IMPOSSIBLE. The idea is that the challenge be, at the very least, slightly outside the clients comfort zone. You can’t aesthetically alter your physique without intellectually altering your mind. Take into account where they stand and where they WANT to go by doing what they NEED to do. When it comes to physique alteration, challenge, disturbance, instability creation and jolting the system is the very mechanism of change. Embrace it, use it and steer it.

Your Training Pattern Determines Your Adaptation Pattern
What your body does with your food depends on what you do with your body. The workout carves the path the calories must take. The path forged displays the obstacles, puzzles and challenges you faced during your sessions of  stress, strain and pain. In the gym and in life. And since the very “mechanism” of biological adaptation is stress, strain, pain, disturbance and instability inducement, realize that the type, pattern and nature of the challenge contains the exact and precise instruction set for the nature of the adaptation to come. Strain for duration and the adaptation is the endurance gestalt. Strain for power expression, mechanical tension or a mix of something in between and the adaptation is the power production gestalt. Each gestalt comes with it’s own set of positives and negatives. Now, you are free to choose the positives but only so long as you accept the negatives.

Everything comes with a price. But one expense may be more desirable than the other.

Tailor Made Physicality: Can You Direct Your Biological Expression?

How The Diet World Has Failed And Why We Must Put Our Faith Back Into The Training Universe

The diet industry has failed us. Skewed, distorted and completely turned upside down, inside out and set in motion backwards the functional relationship between diet (your energy ingestion plan) and training (your energy expenditure plan).

Modern societies incredible surge in available calories, what I call the food bonanza, and the technological advances that have taken physical work needs down so substantially, what I call the physical activity famine, have made us misinterpret the problem and create a solution that has led to a new problem. One we didn’t expect at all. Food psychosis and its effects on personality disturbance.

Now you can have the perfect diet, sort of, but without a physical exertion plan of an equally high quality, you will still not have health. Or any semblance of a reproductively attractive physique. And if we’ve learned anything from the science of complex bio-dynamical systems, processes of trillions of living cells like me and you and every other living being on this planet, we have learned that we need to be stressed, strained and disturbed for optimized health. Our bodies feed on this disturbance – hard exercise – as much as they do on calories.

What am I asserting here then? That your optimal physical self has as much, if not more, to do with your energy expenditure (your training) plan, than with your energy ingestion plan (your diet).

The problem first is inactivity, and second is over-consumption, which leads to more inactivity and so on.

If people took the mental and physical focus and energy they put into dieting and instead put it into training, they’d have a lot more success with getting what they want from their dieting. And without the harmful negatives of caloric restriction. Negatives that include metabolic down-regulation and dramatic, powerful, permanent alterations in mood and behavior. This combined creates a perpetual cycle of frustration; the more you diet, the more you need to diet. 

Training Correctly Will Get You There, Eating Correctly Will Allow It
Your diet and training fitting like lock and key will allow a better, faster, smoother physique enhancement and health journey. The Diet-focus fitness industry ideology has failed. And in it’s grand failure we’ve been given a message, that “dieting” alone will always fail. It has only resulted in people with psycho-metabolic issues without ever delivering the long term positive results that diet-focused fitness pros of lore had promised with all the fervor of mighty saviors and the confidence of corrupt politicians. Making ridiculous arbitrary, nonsensical claims such as 80% diet, 20% exercise, you are what you eat and an entire assortment of such cliche statements of delusion and reality contempt.

What You Do With Your Body Tells Your Body What To Do With Food

The message of strain is what will create your bodies need for food. And will carve the path of phenotypic expression your physiology will take and determine what that food is used for and how. Now does that mean that food type, quality and quantity doesn’t matter? Of course not. And here is a metaphor for why:

If you body is a car, and physique enhancement is the journey, then hard effort training is giving the car acceleration. Not eating in a way specific for the training pursuit is like having your other foot on the brake at the same.

The Internal Is Influenced By The External: A Little Epigenetics
People need to get the training program right FIRST and foremost. Then decide on how to feed the demands of the training to allow the body to express the work physically through remodeling, modification and enhancement. Both the training and the proper feeding for that training can create the right environment for the expression of your best genomic self. The modern term for this plasticity and potential for adaptability is being called “genetic vulnerability”.

In his book Epigenetics, Richard Francis explains how it is NOT the gene that controls its expression. It is the cell that regulates gene expression. This de-centralizes control of which trait is phenotypically expressed. These epigenetic  mechanisms allow for genomic and phenotypic expression according to how and to what degree we can alter cellular environment.

You are not your genes. You are a battle between nature and nurture. Sometimes you are a co-operation between them. As Robert Sapolsky recently said, “Genetic determinism, my tuchus.”

How To Do It?
To create the ultimate expression of human physiology, the healthfully lean and an-aerobic power expressing humanoid, we must stimulate a change in full body environment that allows for this phenotype to realize by training primarily the short term energy systems and feeding the body primarily carbohydrates for the glucose to power those energy systems. To meet the needs only forceful exertion generates.

The stimulation of the dynamic duo of metabolism, the expenditure and ingestion systems energy conduits must both congeal upon one purpose and one goal, to birth a synergy of precise result.

Stimulate in this way and allow the teeter-totter between genetic and epigenetic expression to use your specific plasticity of expression to it’s fullest extent. In time. And with patient appreciation for process.

Also known as the skull crusher, it fully isolates the triceps and allows loading up of.

BlackListed: Little Fitness Heresies

The Art Of Compromise: What Not To Do
So I might not add vegetables or fruits to someones diet plan. I might not even let them squat for 3 months. Fitness blasphemy the main-stream fitness “pros” would call it… but let me explain.

In training (working out and diet planning), the other side of the programming coin is what you do NOT do. Which gives meaning to what we HAVE to do. Progress isn’t about what you must, but also about what you must not. Not about what you’ve learned. But what you’ve maybe un-learned. Excellence isn’t always about accepting, its also about rejecting. Moving forward isn’t only about looking ahead, it’s also about not looking back. This negative space and phase space teeter-totter. Tensioned in dynamic struggle. A non-constraint that behaves AS the constraint that guides process. The sculptor chisels off, the painter leaves blank and the musician goes silent. A great coach does something similar with program design. And sometimes that is exactly what defines the masterpiece.

Re-Express Yourself: Training Is The Big Key
To achieve the power athlete look (swimmer, sprinter, tennis player, soccer player etc), stimulating the short term energy systems primarily to use glucose as a fuel is a fundamental key. It can help you re-express yourself physically. But you must have the power athletes basic training structure down as well. Not their routine, not their diet. But their training methodology and how they feed it. Yes, there is a real and appreciable degree of “phenotypic re-expression” that your physique has the plasticity for. Cell environment can be altered through training and this can direct how your genetic gestalt is expressed phenotypically. But know that it takes TIME. I’d speculate 3 to 10 years for full potential to express itself according to the “type” of training you do.

Metabolic Memories – Do You Remember?
Every hard diet and every extreme training program will change you. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worst. But you will NOT go back to original factory settings, mark my words. The interaction leaves a metabolic memory. You ingrain and condition yourself to those specific/general conditions with general/specific psycho-physiological “reactions”. The more “extreme” the interaction, the more severe the response. The deeper the scars, the darker the bruises and longer lasting the hurt. Stay close to the extreme, because you need to push yourself to points of discomfort to benefit at all. Dance on it’s periphery. But certainly not any longer than is essential. All interactions over time, eventually, poison. UNLESS you change your expectations as the interactions change you.

Constraints Lead To Freedom – The Shackles Of Independence
There are many reasons I don’t allow for too much auto-regulation of training and diet. I believe in structure. I believe in regimentation. The regimented training and diet life-style, besides providing obvious aesthetic and CONSEQUENTIALLY, health benefits, is also a temporal regulator. My fancy schmancy way of saying that it gives your day and routine DISCIPLINE and structure. It’s the constraint that allows you to get more done, not less. Guiding you to specific results from your efforts. My 3 R’s work well here: Regimentation + Repetition + Ritualization = Results

At War With Your Body: How To Have Your Cheesecake And Eat It Too
A workout is about you figuring out how to compete AND co-operate with your body at the same time. All competition or All co-operation, will lead nowhere. Your body will react with injury or sloth to decay. Find the right balance and you can eat more donuts and cheesecake in life.

And that is always a good thing. Crushed by observing the proper technique in doing the lying triceps extension?

Stretching Things

To Stretch Or Not To Stretch – Is This The Question?

And is it the wrong one? This isnt about stretching. What the debate is really about is how to train so that the athlete can move into and out of end ranges of multiple motion planes simultaneously and/or singularly, while expressing speed and strength.

 So Let’s Ask A Different Question

Does the dead-lift stretch the hamstring? Yes. Does the Chest press stretch the pectoral musculature? Yes, indeed. And do you become what you train for? Yes again. Most extremely strong men, with very large dead-lifts for example, may not be able to touch their toes, because they stay within a plane and range of motion that does not require it; dictated by the height of the plate.

But if they were to train the dead-lift off of a platform so that the bar would be at toe-level or below, what do you think would happen over time? Would they become more adept at the coveted toe touch? Without a doubt. But there is more! They additionally would STRENGTHEN that range of motion through CONTRACTION out of that positional end point.

 So Do You Need To Stretch? Still A Firm, No

If you want improved range of motion, then simply improve the range of motion of the loaded exercises you use. You accrue the added benefit of actually “strengthening” those end ranges, instead of just lengthening. Lengthening without avoiding strengthening. The holy grail.


The one thing to keep in mind is to not consider ANY exercise as axiomatic or essential. You can literally “create” odd exercises that seem to mimic the patterns in the sport (without exact duplication attempt) and load them (safely) to be able to apply the concept above. Additionally, the sport ITSELF could (and maybe should?) serve the purpose of providing flexibility enough. And if it isn’t, then are you practicing incorrectly? There is much more to this debate than stretching. The word itself may be limiting our thinking and creative solution finding to the problem of how to combine range of motion with strength and speed. More soon…

Concentration curl is the most effective in building bicep peaks, giving arms a more

Biased Biofeedback

Auto-regulation Is A Bias

Using heuristics for deciding we produce errors due to biases in thinking.
– Daniel Kahneman

To me auto-regulation and feedback self-assessment has real value and real problems. I’m prone to the boredom-bias, the novelty-drive and the shiny-new program syndrome myself. So I write today to not down-play the value of auto-regulating training AND diet, but to realize it is very, very easy to miss the target, mis-judge and mis-fire. To be completely and utterly wrong about the signals of bio-feedback such as fatigue, irritability and strength decrease.

You see, if the ideas of confirmation bias and the biological fallibility of our intuitions and our psychology are correct, and we are easily led to believe things that we should not, due to problems in our ability to analyze critically, then how can we assume trusting our own bio-feedback is ever going to be truly accurate?

You Can’t Use Your Mind To Understand Your Mind?
The heuristics of bio-feedback assessment can only be interpreted in context of the entire socio-pyschological thinking pattern at the moment of interpretation – meaning your thinking and feeling system is trying to understand your thoughts and feelings. The ease with which this can lead to a misinterpretation is astounding once you realize that the perception of feedback is a pattern drawn out on the background of our emotional experience. The more you analyze it, the more the background takes over and the more fuzzy the feedback pattern becomes, until it actually blends into the background itself as a smudge mark, instead of a sharply informative outline.

Then What Should Be Done? Hire An Eye In The Sky

Ideally that feedback comes from someone with an expert eye and so every world-class sports champion has a coach. If you practice without such feedback, you don’t get to the top ranks. – Daniel Goleman

The value of getting coaching is that the coach does not have to view the feedback from the same background of emotion and experience that has birthed the feedback in the first place. He can help you sharpen the lens of perception so the fuzzy pattern becomes clear enough for the message to be read with more accuracy and precision. All so that the proper “response” to the feedback can be planned, mapped and executed for an optimized continuation of progress in all forms quantitative and qualitative.The lying triceps extension is the most effective way to build up on triceps mass and?