Stuff I Like, and By Default You Should Like Too

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With Christmas Eve right around the corner (no I haven’t started my shopping yet, I suck), I figured I’d help all my fellow procrastinators out there with a list of some of my favorite fitness/nutrition products that I often recommend. So whether you’re still stuck on what to ask for or can’t figure what to buy for your loved one, I’m here to help. And speaking of help, while I’d love to sit here and tell you that by clicking on the links below, you’d be helping to save orphaned baby seals, what you’re really doing is helping me pay off my student loans. Tis the season of giving. PS, I love you.*

The List

1. 2008 Indianapolis Performance Enhancement Seminar.

Hands down, THE best dvd set released this year. Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman are essentially this generations version of Starsky and Hutch, only with less Carmen Electra and Amy Smart.

Topics covered include 21st Century Core Training, Creating a More Effective Assessment (this alone is worth the price), and Optimizing Upper Extremity Biomechanics to name a few. Sure you may be like me and feel like the dumbest person on earth after watching this series (Mike and Bill and really smart), but there is absolutely no question you will become a better trainer and/or strength coach.

2. Maximum Strength: Get Your Strongest Body in 16 Weeks with the Ultimate Weight-Training Program

Written by my good friend and “technically” my boss, Eric Cressey, this book has gotten thousands of people the results they never thought were possible. I’m a firm believer that if you train with performance in mind (and you don’t eat like a retard, ahem Oprah. Yep, I just went there and I’ll blog about this soon), that the aesthetics will follow. In other words, if you train to be a badass, not only will you be a helluva lot stronger, but you’ll actually want to have sex with lights on from time to time. It’s a win-win situation.

3. The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess

If more women read this book, the world would be a better place. Well that and I wouldn’t have the urge to shoot myself in the face nearly as often whenever I hear a woman mention that she doesn’t want to get “big and bulky” at the mere sight of a weight that’s more than five lbs.

4. The Stubborn Fat Solution

Written by Lyle McDonald and geared towards a more “scientific crowd,” this book helps explains why stubborn fat is so, uh, stubborn. Yes, I’m a master at wordplay. It’s not easy folks. As McDonald explains,

“the problem of stubborn body fat (typically the abdominals/low back for men and hips and thighs for women) is one that lean dieters have been trying to deal with for decades. Various simple explanations (typically involving estrogen) have been offered but the results from these simple approaches have been, at best, poor. This is a place where simple is simply wrong.”

Undoubtedly one of the better books I have read this past year and highly recommended for those who just can’t seem to get rid of those extra few lbs of fat.

5. The “Secrets” Series-by Gray Cook, Lee Burton, and Brett Jones

If you’re a fitness professional, this is another “must have” dvd set in my opinion.

Secrets of Primitive Patterns: Learn why taking a step back and reverting back to the basics of human development is oftentimes the best approach in helping to fix faulty motor patterns which lead to faulty compensation patterns.

Secrets of the Shoulder: Your shoulder hurts? Well, it’s not JUST about strengthening the rotator cuff. Take note PT’s, all those band exercises you prescribe are just a piece of the puzzle.

Secrets of Core Training: The “core” isn’t just what you see on the cover of Men’s Health every month. It’s much more than that. Learn why and how the deadlift (and it’s many variations) is the key to a strong core.

Secrets of the Hip and Knee: Probably my favorite out of the entire series. Gray and Brett just affirm my belief that the hips are generally where a lot of shit happens; and the knee is often the joint that takes the brunt of it.

Those are some of my favorite products from the past year or so. Feel free to drop some more ideas in the comment section below.

* (no homo)

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

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