Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday: Skinny Guys, The Town, Firemen Invade CP

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1. It’s been a while since I’ve started one of my miscellaneous posts with an actual training tip, so here it goes;

One major mistake I see a lot of skinny guys making is thinking that the best way to add on appreciable size is to do more work. The thinking goes as follows: if doing three sets of ten is what the program calls for, then I’ll do nine sets of 30 to get 3x the results. Wrong. Thanks for playing.

It may seem contradictory. but I’d go so far as to say LESS volume is the way to go. I remember a few years ago when I was working in downtown Boston, I started working with this guy who swore up and down that he couldn’t put on weight.

After talking with him for a few minutes I could see why. Not only would he lift weights fives times per week (following a body-part per day split no less), but on his “off” days, he would head to the gym to do an hour of cardio. Uh, hello McFly!?!?!

It took some convincing, but I told him to drop his training volume down to three, full-body training sessions per week, as well as limit the amount of cardio. I think in the first week alone, he added three lbs and was hooked. Mind you, it wasn’t three lbs of pure muscle, but it was definitely a step in the right direction.

So, what’s the take home message here? If you’re a pure ectomorph and have always struggled with putting on weight and size, cut your volume in half. More to the point:

– Stop wasting your time doing bicep curls. I’m sorry, but spending half a training session doing 18 different bicep curl variations is borderline retarded. As I’ve noted in the past, 80% of your results are going to come from 20% of the work. If your goal is to put on size, you need to emphasize movements that will do exactly that: deadlifts, squats, chin-ups, rows, bench press, etc.

– Cardio should be the last thing on your mind. I get it, you don’t want to get fat. Well, you’re not going to put on any muscle if you’re constantly burning calories. Besides, what good is it to have a six pack if you only weigh 140 lbs?

– Speaking of which, you need to eat, and you need to eat a lot. I swear a week never goes by where a kid doesn’t come in and tell us that “he eats ALL. THE. TIME.” Um, no, you don’t. I’m willing to wager that more than half don’t even eat breakfast. Strike one. Too, I’m willing to bet that the vast majority have no idea the importance of post-training nutrition. Strike two. Finally, his last meal is at seven o’clock at night. Compound this with the fact that he probably doesn’t eat breakfast, and you’re looking at a 12+ hour fast. Strike three. Trust me, if this sounds like you, you don’t eat all the time.

End rant

2. So, I took my eight year old nephew (along with my brother-in-law) to his first Major League baseball game yesterday at Fenway Park.

I have to give the little guy credit – he’s a die hard Yankees fan, but he wore Red Sox gear to the game, and even bought a David Ortiz shirt to boot! He’s totally coming to the dark side *strikes evil beard* muhahahahahahahaahahahaha.

3. Speaking of Fenway (there’s a pretty sick scene in the movie that takes place there), my girlfriend and I went and saw The Town over the weekend:

…and all I have to say is that it’s going to give The Departed a run for it’s money as best Boston based crime thriller. I have to give Ben Affleck badass credit where badass credit is due – he did an amazing job with this movie. The movie has everything – great acting, great writing, action, guys getting shot in the balls, and Blake Lively. What more do you want?

4. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, it’s worth 18.

5. I just finished an article over the weekend that I wrote for t-nation, so keep your eyes peeled for that. As well, I was featured in this month’s issue of Men’s Health (pg. 46 to be exact) where I provide a pretty kick-ass 15-Minute Workout. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

6. Funny story of the week. This past Saturday, the fire alarm randomly started going off in the middle of one of our busiest hours of the day. This has happened before, and it’s usually either a glitch or the maintenance crew testing the system. Needless to say, we open the back loading dock door (just in case we need to escape), and continue on.

After about ten minutes, the alarm finally stops and we see a firetruck park right in front of our loading dock door. One of the firemen walks in, and we automatically think we’re going to get reprimanded for not evacuating the building. Turns out, he just wanted to inquire on how he could join. HA! I totally grabbed my spare ax and gave him an ax high-five.

Of course, all the ladies who happened to be training at that time couldn’t control themselves as evidence by the note that Natalie left:

Not to mention, I’m pretty sure they’re already planning the 2011 Firemen Who Train at Cressey Performance calender. I got dibs on August!

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